Britain: Police State?

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Mandelson was on the Today programme. He was asked about the Green affair. He suggested that, "allegedly", the civil servant involved had been acting illegally, 'because of his political ambitions within the Tory Party'.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/default.stm

Mandelson's a nasty piece of work, his mouth spouts crap like a slurry spreader behind a John Deere tractor. Unfortunately, he's also a busted flush. His arse has been exposed so often, we can see his mental bowels working. If he says it, we know it's probably toxic crap.

These NuLabor goons don't realise the damage they're doing any more.

I can't stand the Tories, but now I don't see any difference between them and NuLabor, at all.
 

rynner2

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A bit of a cock-up, it seems...

MP raid police 'had no warrant'

Commons Speaker Michael Martin has said he "regrets" that police were allowed to search Conservative MP Damian Green's office without a warrant.

A parliamentary aide had allowed a raid - part of a government leaks inquiry - by signing a consent form, he added.

Mr Martin told MPs he had known in advance about the search and Mr Green's arrest, but he had not been told the police did not have a search warrant.

Mr Green said Home Office leaks to him had been "in the public interest".

Items including computer files were confiscated during raids on all the MP's homes and offices last Thursday.

The Speaker has referred this issue to be investigated by a committee of senior MPs.

Mr Martin also promised that, in future, a warrant would be required before searches were carried out on Commons property.

"Every case must be referred for my personal decision, as it is my responsibility," he added.

But one Conservative MP said the Speaker should resign, given that he had "failed in his fundamental duty to protect Parliament".

"I have no confidence in the Speaker's willingness or ability to defend Parliament or me as an MP, so that I can defend the interests of my constituents," Richard Bacon said.

"He has to go. It is that simple."

After the news broke last week that four addresses had been raided, Scotland Yard said it had had warrants for all of them.

But, shortly before the Speaker's statement, acting Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson revised the detail, saying just three warrants had been issued, while the Commons search had been "consensual".

When asked about this, a Scotland Yard spokesman said there had been "no deliberate attempt to mislead".

A separate police source added that if the official who signed the consent form for the raid - Serjeant at Arms Jill Pay - had not known police could be refused permission to enter, it would be "surprising".

Mr Green, shadow immigration minister, was arrested and held for nine hours last Thursday as part of a police inquiry into Home Office leaks.

Many MPs have expressed outrage, saying that their independence has been compromised.

Raising a point of order, Mr Green told the Commons it would be a "bad day for democracy in this country" if MPs could not expose information that ministers preferred to keep hidden.

He added: "Those who have the real power in this country - ministers, senior civil servants and the police - are also not beyond the law and beyond scrutiny.

"An MP endangering national security would be a disgrace. An MP exposing embarrassing facts about Home Office policy which ministers are hiding is doing a job in the public interest."

The MP for Ashford was arrested and held for nine hours - on suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office and on suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in public office - while the searches took place.

It has been alleged that, during his police interview, Mr Green was accused of "grooming" his Home Office source, rather than simply receiving leaks.

The MP denies any wrongdoing.

In his statement, the Speaker said the Metropolitan Police had told the Serjeant at Arms last Wednesday that they were contemplating arresting an MP but had not given their identity.

Mr Martin said she had told him in the strictest confidence that an MP might be held and charged but no further details had been given.

At 7am on Thursday, the police called the Serjeant at Arms again, explained the background to the case and named Mr Green.

She then informed the Speaker of this and said a search of the MP's Commons office might take place.

Mr Green was arrested that afternoon.

But Mr Martin said: "I was not told that the police did not have a warrant [for the Commons search]."

He added that the police had not explained, as they should have done, that the Serjeant at Arms was not obliged to consent to the search - or that a warrant should have been insisted upon.

"I regret that a consent form was then signed by the Serjeant at Arms without consulting the clerk of the House," Mr Martin said.

"I must make it clear to the House that I was not asked the question of whether consent should be given or whether a warrant should have been insisted on," he said.


Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said she had no prior knowledge of Mr Green's arrest.

She is due to give a full statement on the affair on Thursday.

Ms Smith, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, have said it would be improper for ministers to become involved in police investigations.

In the Commons, Conservative leader David Cameron said: "It's no good for the prime minister to hide behind 'I was only supporting the independence of the police'.

"People want to know whether our democracy, our right to know and our right to expose are safe with this prime minister."

Mr Brown said: "You cannot pick and choose whether you support the operational independence of the police. You either support it or you do not support it."

He added that he was not going to comment on an ongoing police inquiry.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said events such as Mr Green's arrest would make Parliament "increasingly feeble".

Former Conservative leader Michael Howard said MPs on all sides felt "outrage" at the arrest of Mr Green.

The Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman, said: "MPs must be allowed to get on with their work free from unwarranted interference from the law...

"We don't expect a civil servant to back the politics of one party or another."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7762005.stm
 

rynner2

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Still rumblin' on...

Smith statement due on Green case

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to make a statement to the Commons on the arrest of Tory MP Damian Green.

She has already insisted she did not order the police probe into the alleged leaking of documents to Mr Green.

Commons Speaker Michael Martin has said he regrets police were allowed to search Mr Green's office with no warrant as part of the inquiry.

The Speaker is still facing criticism over the affair, says BBC political editor Nick Robinson.

However, it is thought the home secretary's statement about the issues raised by the affair may shift attention to the role of senior ministers.

Mr Martin told MPs yesterday that he knew in advance about the search of Mr Green's office but was not told that the police did not have a warrant.

He has referred this issue to be investigated by a committee of senior MPs and promised that, in future, a warrant would be required before searches were carried out on Commons property.

"Every case must be referred for my personal decision, as it is my responsibility," he added.

Asked if she had confidence in the Speaker, Commons Leader Harriet Harman said: "I am not saying I have got full confidence in anything or anybody."

In an interview with the BBC's Newsnight programme, Ms Harman said it was her responsibility to support the Speaker and his officials, and to uphold key principles such as protecting the rights of MPs to conduct their business without unwarranted interference.

She later denied she had said she had no confidence in Mr Martin, adding "It's not a question; there is no vote of confidence in the Speaker." :roll:

But one Conservative MP said the Speaker should resign, given that he had "failed in his fundamental duty to protect Parliament".

"I have no confidence in the Speaker's willingness or ability to defend Parliament or me as an MP, so that I can defend the interests of my constituents," Richard Bacon said.

"He has to go. It is that simple."

The BBC's Political Editor Nick Robinson said confidence in the Speaker's authority in the Commons had taken a "very severe knock".

Conservative home affairs spokesman Dominic Grieve told Newsnight he had "confidence in the Speaker's good intentions" but described the current situation as a "fiasco".

But he said the Speaker should be not be forced out, saying the focus should be on "putting right what has been done wrong" and reasserting the rights of Parliament.

etc.....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7764093.stm
 

lupinwick

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And some news which will hopefully sort some issues out..

Police forces in much of the UK could be forced to destroy the DNA details of hundreds of thousands of people with no criminal convictions, after a court ruled today that keeping them breaches human rights.

The European court of human rights in Strasbourg said that keeping innocent people's DNA records on a criminal register breached article eight of the Human Rights Convention, covering the right to respect for private and family life.

Keeping DNA material from those who were "entitled to the presumption of innocence" as they had never been convicted of an offence carried "the risk of stigmatisation", the ruling said.

Attacking the "blanket and indiscriminate nature" of the power to retain data, the judges said protections offered by article eight "would be unacceptably weakened if the use of modern scientific techniques in the criminal justice system were allowed at any cost and without carefully balancing the potential benefits of the extensive use of such techniques against important private-life interests".

The decision could oblige the government to order the destruction of DNA data belonging to those without criminal convictions among the approximately 4.5m records on the England, Wales and Northern Ireland database.

Scotland already destroys DNA samples taken during criminal investigations from people, who are eventually not charged or who are later acquitted.

The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said existing laws would remain in place while ministers considered the judgment.

"DNA and fingerprinting is vital to the fight against crime, providing the police with more than 3,500 matches a month, and I am disappointed by the European court of human rights' decision," she said.

"The government mounted a robust defence before the court and I strongly believe DNA and fingerprints play an invaluable role in fighting crime and bringing people to justice."

The decision follows a lengthy legal challenge by two British men. Michael Marper, 45, was arrested in March 2001 and charged with harassing his partner, but the case was later dropped.

Separately, a 19-year-old named in court only as "S" was arrested and charged with attempted robbery in January 2001, when he was 12, but he was cleared five months later.

The men, both from Sheffield, asked that their fingerprints, DNA samples and profiles be destroyed. South Yorkshire police refused, saying the details would be retained "to aid criminal investigation".

They applied to the European court after their case was turned down by the House of Lords, which ruled that keeping the information did not breach human rights.
Guardian

Hopefully the government will be forced to comply, although no doubt the bastards will squirm and try and do nothing.
 

rynner2

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Meanwhile, Speakergate rumbles on:

Speaker's position untenable after police contradict Damian Green arrest details
The position of Michael Martin as Speaker of the House of Commons looked increasingly untenable after the Metropolitan Police contradicted his official account of the raid on Damian Green's Parliamentary office.

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor
Last Updated: 9:12AM GMT 05 Dec 2008

The police's intervention came after senior Government ministers declined to back Mr Martin in the wake of his admission that police had raided the shadow minister's office without a legal warrant.

The raid on Mr Green's office has sparked a constitutional crisis with many MPs claiming that the police action had threatened to undermine Parliamentary privilege.

Earlier this week, Mr Martin was forced to admit that the police search had been approved by Jill Pay, the Serjeant at Arms, and that she had not requested a warrant.

Mr Martin had been made aware of the police request to enter Parliament but failed to intervene.

In a statement to Parliament earlier this week, Mr Martin attacked the police for allegedly failing to set out to Mrs Pay the correct warrant process - as he claimed they should have. He expressed "regret" over the conduct of the police and sought to blame his officials for the debacle.

However, in a letter to the Home Secretary, Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick said that his officers had acted entirely correctly and the process was explained.

Mr Quick's letter, which was released to MPs yesterday, states: "The officers explained the nature of the investigation and the purpose of the search and were satisfied that the Serjeant at Arms understood that police had no power to search in the absence of a warrant and therefore could only do so with her written consent or that of the Speaker." The written consent was later provided.

Mr Quick also revealed that his officers have kept detailed notes of their discussions with the Commons authorities - which are likely to be scrutinised by an independent review into the investigation.

The intervention of Mr Quick raises the possibility that Mr Martin and the Serjeant at Arms may have misled MPs in their explanation of last week's raid. MPs will debate the issue on Monday and an independent review of the police's handling of the case is expected to be received next Wednesday.


Dominic Grieve, the shadow Home Secretary, said that the claims of the police and Speaker were "incompatible" and must be explained.

Several Conservative MPs have taken the unusual step of publicly calling for Mr Martin to step down and concern is also growing among Labour MPs.

Margaret Beckett, the Housing Minister and former leader of the House, yesterday refused to give her backing to Mr Martin.

"It is not for the Government to pronounce on the Speaker, the Speaker is elected by the House," she said in a BBC interview.

Pressed to say whether she thought Mr Martin was doing a good job, Mrs Beckett added: "I thought he handled things with dignity in very, very difficult circumstances."

Harriet Harman, the Leader of the House, has repeatedly declined to openly express confidence in the Speaker or Mrs Pay.

"I am not saying I have full confidence in anything or anybody; I'm just telling you what the procedures are," she told BBC2's Newsnight.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said that Mr Brown still supported Mr Martin.

Link to the original Daily Telegraph story
 

rynner2

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Anti-terror powers used to spy on paperboys
A council used anti-terror powers to spy on paperboys to check whether a village newsagent had not obtained work permits for them.

By John Bingham
Last Updated: 6:02PM GMT 05 Dec 2008

Cambridgeshire County Council sent undercover officers to monitor whether eight children delivering papers in Melbourn, Cambs, were doing their rounds without the correct paperwork.

Campaigners accused the council of acting like a "jumped up version of the A-Team" by using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to target the former postmistress Rashmi Solanki and her husband Dips, who run the local shop.

The couple received a six-month conditional discharge at Cambridge Magistrates' Court for employing delivery boys without a valid permit after what they claimed was a "mix-up" over paperwork.


It is the latest in a series of incidents where local authorities have used surveillance powers to investigate minor matters from dog fouling to underage smoking.

The Daily Telegraph disclosed recently that councils carried out almost 10,000 spying missions last year under the act which was introduced to help the police fight terrorism and crime in 2000.

One council used the powers to investigate a family it wrongly suspected of breaking rules on school catchment areas and to monitor whether fishermen were gathering shellfish illegally. Another recently carried out surveillance to check whether a nursery was selling pot plants unlawfully.

The Conservatives have criticised what they call Labour's "snooper state" and promised to ban the use of such powers except for the most serious crimes.

Andrew Lansley, the Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire, said: "These powers should only be used for the scope they were intended, which is to tackle serious crime and terrorism."

Mrs Solanki, who now has a criminal record, said that she only learnt in court that an officer had been watching her shop from a car across the road.

"It's like something out of a film," she said.

"Who do they think they are? They should only do such things for a serious crime. We're innocent people trying to make an honest living."

The court heard that while that applications had been sent to the children's school for approval some had not been signed.

"It was a complete waste of everyone's time and came out of confusion over paperwork," Mrs Solanki said.

"At the end of the day it could have all been easily sorted out if the council had just spoken to us."

Mark Wallace, campaign director for the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is crazy that this council have used the full force of anti-terror laws against paperboys.

"Local residents want decent services and low council tax, not a jumped up version of the A-Team."


Link to the original Daily Telegraph story
 
A

Anonymous

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Big Brother police to get 'war-time' power to demand ID in the street - on pain of sending you to jail.


State officials are to be given powers previously reserved for times of war to demand a person's proof of identity at any time.

Anybody who refuses the Big Brother demand could face arrest and a possible prison sentence.

The new rules come in legislation unveiled in today's Queen's Speech.

They are presented as a crackdown on illegal immigration, but lawyers say they could be applied to anybody who has ever been outside the UK, even on holiday.

The civil rights group Liberty, which analysed clauses from the new Immigration and Citizenship Bill, called them an attempt to introduce compulsory ID cards by the back door.

The move would effectively take Britain back to the Second World War, when people were stopped and asked to 'show their papers'.

Liberty said: 'Powers to examine identity documents, previously thought to apply only at ports of entry, will be extended to criminalise anyone in Britain who has ever left the country and fails to produce identity papers upon demand.

'We believe that the catch-all remit of this power is disproportionate and that its enactment would not only damage community relations but represent a fundamental shift in the relationship between the State and those present in the UK.'

One broadly-drafted clause would permit checks on anyone who has ever entered the
UK - whether recently or years earlier.

Officials, who could be police or immigration officers, will be able to stop anyone to establish if they need permission to be here, if they have it, and whether it should be cancelled.




No reasonable cause or suspicion is required, and checks can be carried out 'in country' - not just at borders.

The law would apply to British citizens and foreign nationals, according to Liberty's lawyers. The only people who would be exempt are the tiny minority who have never been abroad on holiday or business.

A second clause says that people who are stopped 'must produce a valid identity document if required to do so by the Secretary of State'. Failure to do so would be a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of 51 weeks in jail or a £5,000 fine.



Currently, police are allowed to ask for identity documents only if there is a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed an offence.

During the Second World War, ID cards were seen as a way of protecting the nation from Nazi spies, but in 1952 Winston Churchill's government decided they were not needed in peacetime.

They were thought to be hindering the police because so many people resented being asked to produce them.

Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said last night: ' Sneaking in compulsory identity cards via the back door of immigration law is a cynical escalation of this expensive and intrusive scheme.'

Tory spokesman Damian Green said: 'This scheme will do nothing to improve our security, may make it worse, and will certainly land the taxpayer with a multi-million bill.

'Labour should concentrate on things that will improve our security, like a dedicated border police force.'

LibDem spokesman Chris Huhne said: 'Ministers seem to be breaking their promise that no one would ever have to carry an ID card. This is a sly and underhand way of extending the ID card scheme by stealth.'

Link to the original Daily Mail story

this sounds sinister.
 
A

Anonymous

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Has your child been CAFed? How the Government plans to record intimate information on every child in Britain.

When police raided Tory MP Damian Green’s home, they ‘sheepishly’ asked whether children were present before ransacking it. His wife assumed they were being polite. But, under sinister new guidelines, officers must assess all children they encounter – including while ‘searching premises’ – for a police database called MERLIN.

This, in turn, feeds into a giant new Whitehall database on Britain’s children, Contact Point, which goes live nationally in January.

The Tories have vowed to scrap it, arguing that it threatens family privacy and children’s safety. But civil liberties campaigners say we must resist it now, before it is too late.

Since April 1, hundreds of thousands of State employees, from police to teachers, youth and nursery workers, social workers and sports coaches, have been entitled to interrogate children aged up to 19, using the ‘Common Assessment Framework’ (CAF), a creepy, eight-page, 60-section questionnaire.

CAF includes eyewateringly intimate questions about children’s sexual behaviour, their family’s structure, culture and religion, their views on ‘discrimination’, their friends, secret fears, feelings and family income, plus ‘any serious difficulties in their parents’ relationship’.

How has such a terrifying intrusion into private life crept, almost unnoticed, under the radar? The answer is New Labour has cleverly packaged CAF as an aid to ‘child protection’ and delivering better services as part of its Every Child Matters project (ECM).

The £224million programme has been beset by delays, incomprehensible acronyms and New Labour gobbledegook. But let us not be deceived – it is about control, not care, and spying, not safety.

ECM claims that nearly half of Britain’s 11million children have ‘additional needs’, so must continuously be assessed for the giant database at the Government’s Department for Schools and Families.

CAF questionnaires will be kept until they are 19, or for 75 years if they have been in care, and can be accessed electronically by hundreds of thousands of staff in other agencies.

Contact Point will also store information from databases kept by the NHS, GPs, schools, the Child Benefit Agency and the National Pupil Register. The potential for sensitive material about our children falling into malevolent hands is enormous.

Incredibly, parental consent is not often required for this intrusion into children’s lives. Youngsters from the age of 12 are deemed mature enough to agree to being CAF-ed – whatever their parents’ objections. But campaigners stress that families should teach their children to say No: submitting to CAF is, currently at least, voluntary. The Government claims that the database will identify children at risk of poverty, abuse or future criminality. But since when did filling in endless forms release funds for frontline services, rather than divert them?

By bizarre coincidence – or not – this assault on treasured British notions of privacy and propriety was devised by the woman responsible for Britain’s most notorious social-work scandal. ECM was launched in September 2003 by Margaret Hodge, Tony Blair’s shocking choice as Britain’s first Children’s Minister.
Margaret Hodge,

Attack on privacy: Devised by Britian's first Children's Minister Margaret Hodge

Her main ‘qualification’ was being his pal and running Islington Council when its 12 children’s homes were awash with paedophiles and sympathisers of the ‘Left-wing’ Paedophile Information Exchange. This campaigned for sex to be legalised with children from the age of four.

One can only wonder how many Pervy Petes within childcare today will relish being actively invited to ask children about their sexual behaviour (CAF seemingly views this as normal), the ‘sleeping arrangements’ at home and how they feel about ‘changes to their body’.

I have been exposing child-abuse scandals for nearly 20 years and believe that this new Stalinist bureaucracy will not save a single child. Many of the paedophiles I exposed in Hodge’s homes ‘groomed’ children for eventual abuse through precisely such questions. Hodge claimed that constant State monitoring of children was justified by the Victoria Climbie scandal.

Yet adequate powers to protect genuinely endangered children already exist. Why, then, did the appalling mothers of Shannon Matthews and Baby P retain their children? The problem was not lack of paperwork but too many stupid, politically correct people reading it and failing to act.

CAF will not mean that the State now swoops on the demonic families in flea-infested homes with rottweilers and broken-backed babies. No, just as with the Government’s fearless war on pensioner recycling ‘louts’, they will instead target and terrorise ordinary, decent families.

Why? One reason is simply to control people. Many of today’s New Labour MPs are ex-Marxists and radical feminists who still believe that the family poses the greatest potential opposition to the strong State.

The Government’s decreed desirable ‘outcomes’ for children are so frighteningly broad that many decent parents could find themselves labelled failures or abusers.

Everyone involved with children – including volunteers, and police on raids – is now expected to use the Government’s ‘Pre-Assessment Checklist’, to see if they are achieving these five ‘outcomes’ – being healthy, staying safe, enjoying life, making a ‘positive contribution’ and achieving ‘economic well-being’.

Even parents working desperately hard to feed their children and keep them safe could be classified as failing them. The questionnaire asks if children’s parents are ‘over-protective’, and whether work leaves them ‘too tired to pay attention to your needs’. CAF practitioners are also taught specifically to ask if parents ‘promote a healthy lifestyle’ and oppose ‘bullying and discrimination’.

An increasingly rigid State already rejects potentially loving foster and adoptive carers who smoke or have politically ‘incorrect’ views because they are Christian.

How long until natural parents are also found guilty of thought crime?

Might Damian Green have been considered guilty of encouraging discrimination, through challenging the Government on immigration?

The worst thing is that Every Child Matters has made real protection work harder – the highly effective Child Protection Register was abolished in April and social workers are now drowning in paperwork about entirely innocent families.

A suppressed University of York study found it took them a day to enter data electronically on just one child.

Terri Dowty, director of Action on Rights for Children, says: ‘People should fill in CAF questionnaires only if they have a real, defined need – for example, a disabled child and they need equipment – and then answer only strictly relevant questions. Otherwise, parents should teach their children that if they are asked at school to fill in these forms to say that they want first to go home and discuss it.’

Dowty fears that the new State questionnaire is ‘designed to teach children to accept being interrogated and classified from the earliest age, by anyone and everyone. It is truly frightening’. No one, supposedly, can be forced to fill in a CAF. But practitioners are advised to report the family to the local safeguarding children team ‘if a common assessment is refused and you are concerned’. They may also store the CAF centrally even when permission is refused.

Campaigners are considering challenging CAF in the European Court of Human Rights, which has thrown out Britain’s attempts to store innocent citizens’ DNA. But they desperately need benefactors and lawyers prepared to fund test cases and support innocent families under pressure.

Tragically, Britain, the cradle of parliamentary democracy, is becoming notorious worldwide for snooping on its citizens. Professor Nigel Parton, NSPCC Professor of Childhood Studies at Huddersfield University, warned a recent international conference in Finland that the Every Child Matters agenda means what we are witnessing is the emergence of the ‘preventive-surveillance state’, with ‘major implications for the civil liberties and human rights of the citizen, particularly for children and parents’.

Once, people who warned of a growing police state seemed paranoid. The Damian Green raid was a wake-up call. Let us now protect our children, our and our country’s future, with all our might.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... itain.html
 

sonofajoiner

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megadeth16 said:
Big Brother police to get 'war-time' power to demand ID in the street - on pain of sending you to jail.
....this sounds sinister.

What if you don't possess any i.d.? I currently have absolutely nothing with which to prove my identity, no passport, driving licence, not even a library card. And I have yet to be compelled to forkout for an id card. So I could be sent away for simply being too lazy to fill out forms? What the balls is wrong with this fracking country? :roll:
 

rynner2

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The Damian Green affair is not just rumbling on, it seems to be snowballing...

Boris at risk of investigation over Green raid
Labour group says London mayor broke code of conduct during operation at House of Commons
Mark Townsend, Gaby Hinsliff and Rajeev Syal
The Observer, Sunday December 7 2008

A formal complaint about Boris Johnson's involvement in the controversial Scotland Yard raid on the Houses of Parliament could lead to his suspension or removal as Mayor of London. He is accused of 'potentially corrupting' the Metropolitan Police investigation into leaks from the Home Office, which led to the arrest of the shadow immigration minister, Damian Green.

The complaint alleges that Johnson, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), is guilty of four 'clear and serious' code of conduct breaches by speaking to Green, an arrested suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation, and publicly prejudging the outcome of the police inquiry following a private briefing by senior officers.

Len Duvall, leader of the Labour group on the London Assembly, says in a letter to the MPA's chief executive, Catherine Crawford, that Johnson had brought the mayor's office into 'disrepute'. The letter is understood to have been acknowledged by the MPA and the assembly's monitoring officer, who investigates allegations of misconduct in public office. An assembly source said: 'In effect, an investigation is already under way.'

Investigators will now have 10 days to decide whether the mayor should face a formal inquiry by the local government watchdog, the Standards Board for England, which could see Johnson banned from public office for up to five years if found guilty of misconduct. :shock:

A formal complaint by the Jewish Board of Deputies led to the previous mayor, Ken Livingstone, being suspended from office for four weeks after he had compared a Jewish Evening Standard journalist to a concentration camp guard. The February 2006 adjudication, eventually overturned, ruled that Livingstone had brought his office into disrepute and banned him from attending meetings or using the office facilities at City Hall.

In his letter, Duvall says Johnson should never have contacted his 'friend and ex-colleague' Green, adding: 'Mr Johnson has committed a serious breach of the codes of conduct and undermined the relationship between the chair of the MPA and the Metropolitan Police Service.'

Johnson also said that the Whitehall leak inquiry was unlikely to 'yield either a charge or a successful prosecution'. Duvall believes the mayor's prejudgment 'potentially corrupted' the high-profile inquiry.

The furore has left Home Secretary Jacqui Smith facing a major revolt over police reforms, with senior party figures warning that her plans for members of police authorities to be directly elected risks similar damaging interference in other sensitive operations.

Labour critics say the plans risk the creeping politicisation of policing, with elected figures under pressure to meddle in controversial investigations. The former policing minister, Alun Michael, is among senior party figures gearing up to oppose the forthcoming police bill.

Last night, however, the spotlight turned on the conduct of the police after Tarique Ghaffur, who recently resigned as assistant commissioner of the Met after claiming racial discrimination, said Green's arrest showed 'just how politicised the force has become'. Writing for the Mail on Sunday he said the Home Office 'should have been told to put its own house in order without police help' in tackling its leaks, and said the consequences of searching parliamentary offices were 'profound in terms of democracy'.

Tory MPs last night demanded the full publication of a letter sent to the Met from the Cabinet Office asking the police to investigate the leaks, amid concerns about whether allegations in it - including that the leak raised national security issues - could be justified. Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said officers had been launched like an 'unguided missile' into the controversial inquiry and attention will focus on the role of Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell in involving police.

Meanwhile, it emerged that officers who searched Green's parliamentary office failed to follow the law, sources close to the police inquiry said. They did not tell the Serjeant-at-Arms exactly which items they wished to remove, as specified under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. Detectives searched drawers, desks and the private files of the MP, and took away a number of items.

Under the act, officers who seek consent to enter a building must 'be as specific as possible'. The disclosure will anger Tories and civil liberty campaigners.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008 ... ch-conduct
 
A

Anonymous

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sonofajoiner said:
megadeth16 said:
Big Brother police to get 'war-time' power to demand ID in the street - on pain of sending you to jail.
....this sounds sinister.

What if you don't possess any i.d.? I currently have absolutely nothing with which to prove my identity, no passport, driving licence, not even a library card. And I have yet to be compelled to forkout for an id card. So I could be sent away for simply being too lazy to fill out forms? What the balls is wrong with this fracking country? :roll:

to me it looks like democracy is dead or dieing in the uk. :cry:
 

ted_bloody_maul

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rynner said:
Well, I did mention Speakergate a few posts ago! 8)
That's the generic suffix for any kind of scandal nowadays but it does strike me that there are some similarities re motive. If the police's instructions came from somewhere higher up the political food chain then the motives in these two cases are not really that far apart.
 

wembley8

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sonofajoiner said:
What if you don't possess any i.d.?
How would you suggest the police identify suspects, or rule out non-suspects? If there is no way of identifying someone, it might be a little difficult.
 

sonofajoiner

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wembley8 said:
How would you suggest the police identify suspects, or rule out non-suspects? If there is no way of identifying someone, it might be a little difficult.
Erm, I think I was clear that I was talking about the new proposed rules mentioned in the article in Megadeth's post whereby ANYONE who has ever been out of the country could legally be challenged to provide id in the street, whether you are being/have been naughty or not, and then face prison or one of the ubiquitous fines the authorities are so fond of these days if you refuse to or cannot do so. I have been out of the country in the past. I have no id now. If I'm asked to provide id, I can't. I could now feasibly expect some grief from the police about that, whilst going about my entirely lawful business. Lack of id is not inherently suspicious ffs.

If someone is arrested for committing some sort of actual criminal offence, and they refuse to provide id to help police bang 'em up, then that's a different matter entirely and I have no objection to an additional charge being made against those individuals reflecting their lack of co-operation. I don't see why I should face the same charge for not possessing a driving licence whilst buying baked beans. ;)
 

OneWingedBird

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don't know if we have a cctv thread so i'll put this here for now... we're told it makes us safer, or perhaps at least that it helps catch crooks after the event, but it doesn't do much of either if you don't bother to look at the footage :roll:

Police turn blind eye to scouring pictures from outside burglary victim's home

WHEN Angela Mannion's house was burgled she was sure the thieves would be caught on CCTV cameras on the street outside her home.
But when she asked police and council chiefs to examine the Leeds Watch camera footage she was told they wouldn't – because the job was too time consuming.

Police told Ms Mannion, 29, the eight hours in which the offence happened would take too long to analyse.

When she contacted Leeds City Council she was told they would only look through one hour of footage.

West Yorkshire Police have now apologised to Ms Mannion.

She said: "I even offered to sit through the tapes myself but they wouldn't allow it.

"There could quite easily be footage of the burglars lugging my TV off up the street but they were not interested. Whoever has done this could be responsible for lots more offences."

The break-in at Bellbrook Place, Harehills, Leeds, took place some time between 3am and 11am on November 29. Burglars stole a 42-inch TV, laptop, digital camera, £350 Christmas cash and the passports of Ms Mannion and her five-year-old daughter Ava.

She added: "The officers said that unless I could pinpoint exactly when the break-in took place there was nothing they could do. That's absolutely crazy.

"I wasn't at home at the time of the break-in. You expect a burglar to target properties when no one is inside so there must be countless other crimes that will also get ignored.

"If this is their policy it is absolute nonsense. It seems pointless spending money on these cameras in the first place if they don't take advantage of them properly."

She added: "To make matters worse, my house insurance had just lapsed, I am still paying for the TV and this week I have been made redundant. It all feels like one massive kick in the teeth,"

Police said a senior officer has contacted the complainant and "expressed our regret in terms of how this incident was handled".

A spokeswoman said: "Following the incident we undertook extensive enquiries to arrest potential offenders and recover stolen property.

"We have agreed a course of action with the complainant to take this investigation forward."

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: "Leeds Watch are not permitted to release CCTV footage to members of the public. All the relevant information regarding this case was provided to the police."
http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/n ... 4790629.jp
 

Analogue Boy

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Doesn't the plot of Lucas' THX1138 see the police just about to catch him and then stop and turn around because the allocated budget for the pursuit has been reached?

Maybe some zealous Council Official may offer to go through the tape. They like that sort of thing.
 

rynner2

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Europe - Police Superstate?

Why UK innocents may be branded as criminals abroad
By James Slack
Last updated at 7:53 AM on 15th December 2008

Britons could find themselves forced to prove they are innocent of crimes abroad after the Government agreed to EU-wide access to its 'Big Brother' databases.

All 26 other member countries will be able to check against sensitive personal information held on driver registration, DNA and fingerprint computer systems.

Where there is a match, a suspect-could be extradited to face trial abroad or - at the least - be forced to explain their movements or provide an alibi.

Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve warned last night: 'There is a real risk that a disproportionate number of innocent British citizens will be sucked into foreign criminal investigations.'

The nightmare scenario for a British citizen is a false fingerprint-DNA or number plate match linking them to a rape, murder or other serious crime.

They could be dragged into a lengthy legal battle. The agreement is backed by the European arrest warrant, which provides speedy extradition. :shock:

Mr Grieve said people could even be arrested in Britain for something which is not a criminal offence, or be whisked away to face punishment abroad after being tried in their absence,

In a speech today, he will say: 'It is a fundamental principle of British justice that if you are accused of a serious criminal offence, you get your day in court.

'My fear is that ministers have magnified the risk of British citizens becoming the victim of miscarriages of justice that take place abroad but have effectively been sanctioned by their own government at home.'

The agreement stems from the Prum Convention, signed in Prum, Germany, in 2005 between Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria
The then junior Home Office minister Joan Ryan signed the UK up to its terms in 2007.

Officials are now preparing to formally approve the agreement, following technical talks.

Though the UK will receive access to other countries' databases, they barely compare in scale.
Our DVLA database alone contains the names and addresses of 38million drivers. The DNA database contains samples from 4.6million people, of whom 800,000 are innocent of any crime. The fingerprint database holds 7.5million entries, also including 800,000 innocents.

The UK's DNA database is 50 times the size of its French equivalent. In Austria, under one per cent of the population is included and coverage in Germany is only half of that.
Mr Grieve says this makes it ' disproportionately' likely an innocent British citizen will be sucked into a case overseas.


Requests from EU officials will receive simple 'yes, there is a match or no, there is not' answers. If there is a match, there will be a fast-track request system to get all the details.

Mr Grieve said: 'The Government cannot safeguard our data in Whitehall, so what chance is there of this happening once it's sent to Bucharest?' :shock:

Phil Booth, of the NO2ID privacy campaign, said the Government was allowing its own assault on the principle of innocent until proven guilty to be extended to other EU nations.

He warned of people being forced to explain cases of mistaken identity owing to blunders on the various databases.

The Home Office said last night: 'This initiative will bring benefits to law enforcement authorities in investigating and prosecuting serious crime. During early operation of the system, German officials received more than 1,500 hits on DNA profiles held by Austrian authorities, offering new leads to unsolved cases.

'Prum will speed up existing procedures for member states to find out whether any other state has the information it needs, often returning a hit or no hit within 50 seconds.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... broad.html
 

rynner2

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Who's conspiring against whom?

MP arrest officer accuses Tories

A row has erupted between the senior police officer investigating Home Office leaks and the Conservatives.

Anti-terror chief Bob Quick said the Tories were trying to undermine his inquiry following a newspaper story that he said endangered his family.

Mr Quick says he was forced to move his family after details of their home were published. The Conservatives denied having anything to do with the story.

The leaks inquiry saw the arrest of Conservative frontbencher Damian Green.

In response to the Mail on Sunday story, Assistant Commissioner Quick said: "The Tory machinery and their press friends are mobilised against this investigation.

"I think it is a very spiteful act, possibly to intimidate me away from investigating Mr Green, and I feel it has put my family at risk."

Mr Quick, head of the Metropolitan Police's counter terrorism squad, later retracted a further remark suggesting corruption.

A Conservative Party spokesman said it had "played no part whatsoever in the publication of this story".

"As the officer leading the inquiry into the allegations involving Damian Green, Assistant Commissioner Quick should display objective professionalism and not make baseless, political attacks," the spokesman said.

"He should retract all of his allegations immediately."

BBC political correspondent Norman Smith said that a "long, simmering tension" between Mr Quick and the Conservatives, mainly stemming from the arrest of the senior Tory, had "exploded into the open".

"The relationship between the Tory party and senior police officers now appears to be deteriorating really very rapidly indeed," our correspondent said.

The arrest of Mr Green and search of his home and offices earlier this month prompted a political row.

There was an outcry among MPs from all parties that the police action represented a fundamental breach of their right to hold the government to account.

Police had been asked by the Cabinet Office to investigate alleged leaks from the Home Office.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7794729.stm
 

sonofajoiner

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From The Sunday Times
December 21, 2008

Bailiffs get power to use force on debtors

The government has been accused of trampling on individual liberties by proposing wide-ranging new powers for bailiffs to break into homes and to use “reasonable force” against householders who try to protect their valuables.

Under the regulations, bailiffs for private firms would for the first time be given permission to restrain or pin down householders.
They would also be able to force their way into homes to seize property to pay off debts, such as unpaid credit card bills and loans.

The government, which wants to crack down on people who evade debts, says the new powers would be overseen by a robust industry watchdog. However, the laws are being criticised as the latest erosion of the rights of the householder in his own home.

“These laws strip away tried and tested protections that make a person’s home his castle, and which have stood for centuries,” said Paul Nicolson, chairman of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, a London-based welfare charity. “They could clearly lead to violent confrontations and undermine fundamental liberties.”

Bailiffs have for hundreds of years been denied powers to break into homes for civil debt or to use force against debtors, except in self-defence. In a famous declaration, William Pitt the Elder, the 18th-century prime minister, said: “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown.” Ministers have now proposed bailiffs be given powers to physically remove debtors who try to defend their property, for example by draping themselves over a car or blocking the door of their home. Lord Bach, a junior justice minister, has assured the House of Lords that any new powers will be implemented only after a consultation and will not be used to search debtors’ pockets or to remove jewellery.

It emerged last week that Her Majesty’s Courts Service has already handed out guidance to privately employed bailiffs, pointing out that under legislation passed in 2004 they can already break down doors as a last resort to collect court fines.

Some restraint should be exercised, according to the “search and entry powers” guidelines. “If a person locks himself in their home, it might be reasonable to break open the door, but probably not to smash a hole in the wall,” it advises.

Details of the new guidelines were obtained under freedom of information laws. They say homes should not be broken into when nobody is in. Reasonable grounds for breaking down the door include the “movement of a curtain”, a radio being heard or a figure being spotted inside which “may be the offender”.

It is claimed these powers are already abused. In one case, an 89-year-old grandmother returned home to find a bailiff sitting in her chair having drawn up a list of her possessions. He was pursuing a parking fine owed by her son, who did not even live at the address.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/p ... 375668.ece

Well at least they won't be allowed to smash holes in our walls, just our front doors, so that's something.
 

Analogue Boy

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Santa Claus is checking his list.
Going over it twice.
To see who's been naughty
And who's been nice.

Cross referenced with Merlin,
And ContactPoint
To see which child in future,
Will disappoint.
 

Stormkhan

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sonofajoiner said:
Well at least they won't be allowed to smash holes in our walls, just our front doors, so that's something.
Oh, be fair! Even the coppers can get away with smashing in a front door of someone who turns out to be innocent/ill/misidentified. They've no obligation to pay for repairs/replacement, mind.
 
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