Posts under ‘Whitehall’

The total surveillance state is a nightmare waiting to happen

by Michael Meacher.

Why are apparently so few people worried that a state employee can now select on a computer any item in their individual make-up – their address, phone, mobile, email, passport number, credit card number (any of them), any of their logins to a web service, etc. – and can thus access the content of their […]

Lobby bill ignores big money abuses, but attacks civil society & trade unions

by Michael Meacher.

The government comprehensively lost the argument on the Lobbying Bill yesterday in the Commons. The Labour attack was relentless and well targeted, and the Tory defence weak, hesitant, and defensive. We must press hard for significant amendments in next week’s 3 days of committee stage on the floor of the House. It was called the […]

The “Lobbying Bill” – designed to bash unions not regulate lobbyists

by Michael Meacher.

The Tory MP, Douglas Carswell, noted that Graham Allen MP described tomorrow’s Lobbying Bill as a “dog’s breakfast”. But, Carswell added, “he is wrong of course. Far more thought has gone into pet nutrition than into this Bill”. In fact, Carswell is himself wrong. No political party could, without great thought and ingenuity, introduce a […]

Eighty per cent want public ownership option

by Newsdesk.

A new poll finds 80% of the public think there should always be a public sector bid when a public service is contracted out. The public rejects default privatisation by 10:1. The poll was carried out by Survation and commissioned by We Own It, a new organisation committed to “Public services for people not profit” which launches today with […]

Who will spy on the spies, regulate the regulators and police the police?

by Michael Meacher.

The last few weeks have thrown up example after example how those with power have run rings round those who are supposed to call them to account. Yesterday we learnt that the police, shortly after the murder of Stephen Lawrence, tried to ‘smear’ his family, his friend who witnessed the murder, and campaigners protesting at […]

They snoop on anyone anywhere: there’s nothing & nobody they won’t target

by Michael Meacher.

The latest revelations from Edward Snowden are really chilling. Not only do GCHQ/MI5 have a private portal into the US National Security Agency’s data mining against UK and other European citizens which, because it is offered rather than specifically sought, circumvents ministerial controls, but we now know also that the spooks have secured a laxity […]

See you in the chamber! Ministers snub Atos campaigners’ delegation

by Michael Meacher.

This week something happened which is without precedent in my 40 years of parliamentary experience. On an issue of acute public importance where there had already been a parliamentary debate revealing a total cross-party consensus solidly opposed to government policy, a departmental minister then refused to see a delegation to discuss the matter further and […]

This is what Jeremy Hunt thinks of the NHS

by Lucy Reese.

I was in a meeting this morning when the news of the latest Cabinet reshuffle (excuse me if I think that sounds like public schoolboy slang for something rather sinister) was announced. So forgive me if I am a little late to the general outrage over the appointment of Jeremy Hunt. Please excuse me if […]

Reshuffles show Westminster in its awful naked self

by Michael Meacher.

What is so depressing about reshuffles is that politicians see it – as do the journalists who slavishly report it – as all about themselves, their careers, their prospects , their GPT (Got Political Talent), regardless of what might be the consequential impacts on the British people. The Prime Minister’s office issues a press notice […]

A shuffle to the right

by Darrell Goodliffe.

Today, politics came back with a bang. David Cameron unveiled his first significant reshuffle since taking power after a weekend of damp squib policy announcements. In the most central area for the government, the economy, it was very much a case of plus ca change. George Osborne, unsurprisingly, remained in place, as did Vince Cable […]

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