“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” That was the mantra chanted by Theresa May and her followers as the Investigatory Powers Act (also known as the Snoopers’ Charter) made its way through Parliament.
The news article quoted below indicates that MPs clearly considered that they did have something to hide, as they clamoured to exempt themselves from scrutiny under the Act.
That indicates corrupt intentions, to This Writer at least.
I’ve been trying to find out whether this amendment was voted through, and which MPs supported it if it was.
Can anybody provide useful information?
The only amendment to the government’s sweeping new spying bill so far made by politicians is to stop them from being spied on.
The Investigatory Powers Bill – sometimes referred to as Snoopers’ Charter 2 – has been criticised by experts and tech companies, as well as by the government’s own watchdogs. But politicians have so far submitted only one amendment as it makes its way through parliament on its way into law, The Next Web reports.
As the law is currently written, it requires that the Prime Minister must be consulted if a warrant is to be issued allowing for the monitoring of an MP’s communications.
But the new amendment proposes that those requests must also go to the Speaker of the House of Commons, The Next Web points out. That is the only change so far submitted by politicians.
A child playing in Manchester: ‘Confinement by monoculture is the enemy of aspiration.’ [Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.]
Interesting discussion. I’d hope the entrenched left-right views suggested by Mr Behr can be overcome to find a useful way forward.
But, in the current political climate – well…
I have doubts.
I’d say a taste of something is better than starvation. And the effect of inaction is accelerated segregation and the dissolution of any sense that Britain is a shared national endeavour.
That prospect will be the focus of heated debate next week with the publication of a report by Dame Louise Casey, who was commissioned in 2015 to lead a review into “integration and opportunity in some of our most isolated communities.” Casey has worked in this field for governments of different stripes since the late 1990s, giving her ample opportunity to upset people across the spectrum. She is no mincer of words.
In a speech earlier this year, Casey warned that the review would demand “brave conversations” on a range of issues: the educational underperformance of white working-class children; misguided squeamishness around “causing offence” that inhibits efforts to support women and girls held back by “patriarchal and misogynistic attitudes”; the normalisation of Islamophobia; and social conditions that incubate jihadi and far-right fanaticism.
There will be something to ignite outrage wherever dry ideological tinder is stored.
On the left there will be sparks of fury when it is suggested that some communities nurture insular habits of self-segregation. Tricky cultural questions will be overlooked in the rush to locate social exclusion as a consequence of discrimination, inequality and austerity.
On the right the muscle memory of finger-wagging blame will kick in: open borders as the root of national decline; the lazy conflation of religious conservatism and terrorist sympathy; the demand that minorities demonstrate commitment to “British values”, which will be ill-defined and muddied with a presumption that civic virtue is the automatic inheritance of an indigenous culture to which less enlightened newcomers must swear fealty.
Those precooked positions will emerge as vituperative charges of racism and counter-charges of potty political correctness.
Labour MP John Mann made the comments to the House of Commons’ Standards Committee.
The possibility that MPs are sexually assaulting members of staff is a potentially serious issue – especially in the light of previous allegations of sexual offences by MPs.
There’s just one problem – the identity of the MP making the allegations.
John Mann made the baseless allegations of anti-Semitism against Ken Livingstone that led to the Labour left-winger’s suspension from the party as part of a power-grab by the right-wing of the party.
That attempt ultimately proved fruitless because of Labour Party democracy.
Now he is making claims about sexual assault, but providing absolutely no information about the basis for them.
How are we to believe him?
Is this merely another attempt at self-publicity by this limelight-seeker, that could do huge damage to legitimate investigations into sexual abuse?
MPs are sexually assaulting young researchers who feel they have nowhere to turn, an MP has alleged.
Labour MP John Mann told the House of Commons’ Standards Committee that sexual assault by politicians at Westminster is “a major issue”. He has called for a whistle-blowing service to be established to help victims come forward.
Speaking to the committee, Mr Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, said: “In here [Westminster] there are alleged sexual assaults by current members of Parliament and nowhere for people to go, or they don’t feel confident in going. That’s a major issue.”
He said: “Where there has been improper sexual behaviour in this building that I am aware of with members of staff by Members of Parliament, including in recent times, the last two years, and I have had complaints of that, the individuals do not feel comfortable or confident, working in a political environment, of raising that issue and explicitly did not want me to raise the issue and therefore potentially have them named.”
Joel Dommett admitted he had been made to look like a turkey for following his heart, not his head [Image: ITV].
The revelation that online ‘sextortion’ is on the rise reminds me very much of comedian Joel Dommett’s story about being induced into cybersex on Skype.
He revealed that he had been “catfished” – lured into a relationship by someone who had adopted a fictional online persona – during the current series of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, on ITV1.
He was encouraged into carrying out certain private activities on a Skype call with this imposter, who then posted it on the Internet immediately before the comedian went into the jungle.
As a result of his confession, Google searches for the clip skyrocketed – but at least Mr Dommett had taken possession of the incident. By admitting what had happened, and his own stupidity in participating, he had ensured that the villain could not blackmail him.
As he admits, though, it’s still a very stupid thing to do.
Perhaps there should be a new strand of sex education in school – teaching youngsters the common-sense fact that sexting someone you’ve never met is extremely silly and may lead to similar situations.
They could use Mr Dommett’s confession in the lessons. Would that – at least partially – cut down on these incidents and their tragic consequences?
Four men killed themselves in the last year after being blackmailed as part of an increasing cyber “sextortion” racket.
International gangs of organised criminals are targeting more and more young men by luring them into potentially compromising positions, the National Crime Agency said.
The number of people reporting financially-motivated cyber enabled blackmails more than doubled from 385 in 2015 to 864 up to November 2016.
This number has risen from nine in 2011.
Sextortion is a form of blackmail where criminals use fake identities to befriend victims online – using websites such as Facebook, Skype or Linkedin – before persuading them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam.
Ukip leader Paul Nuttall. ‘We are now in with a realistic chance of breaking the political cartel in Westminster.’ [Image: Ray Tang/Rex/Shutterstock].
Have a taste of this mockery of an article, by former Conservative MP, now UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell in The Guardian, of all places:
Having broken the UK’s political consensus over the European Union, we are now in with a realistic chance of breaking the political cartel in Westminster. With Paul Nuttall’s election as Ukip’s leader, many on the political left are at last waking up to the existential threat the party poses to Labour in its own backyard.
For years, Labour MPs scoffed at our determination to get Britain out of the EU. Many now realise we spoke for the majority of their own constituents. Labour strategists attempted to portray us as diehard Thatcherites. In reality, Ukip is often more in tune with the hopes and aspirations of ordinary Labour voters than their own party in Westminster.
Ukip’s strategy is now to go after once-safe Labour seats with a new unity of purpose.
A former Conservative thinks UKIP is in tune with Labour voters? That’s so ridiculous I can hardly bring myself to type the words.
Carswell – and his new leader Paul Nuttall – are living in a fantasy world if they think they can even touch Labour’s heartlands.
Labour has more than half a million members who are energised, enthusiastic and keen to spread a new kind of politics.
Nuttall couldn’t even manage 10,000 to vote for him in his crummy little single-issue party’s leadership election.
And he’s a former Tory – as is his party chairman and most of its leading lights.
And look at the kind of friends they have. Here’s a photo of Mr Nuttall cuddling up to the English Defence League’s Stockport area leader, Andy Edge:
The EDL’s Andy Edge with Paul Nuttall of UKIP [Image: EDL News].
All fascists together?
UKIP won’t make any headway in Labour heartlands. Still, they might manage fractionally better than Labour, if that party decided to move in on UKIP heartlands – for the simple reason that UKIP doesn’t have any heartlands.
No doubt some Kipper will comment that I must be worried to have written at such length about these goons. Let them.
I am worried – but only that they will find people gullible enough to be fooled by this nonsense propaganda. With help from the BBC and the Guardian, no doubt – not to mention UKIP’s usual friends in the Mail and the Express. All are now right-wing news media so do not be fooled; they don’t have your best interests at heart.
Mostly, though, I thought Vox Political readers would enjoy a good belly-laugh at the expense of this silly gang of cut-price Mosleys and their new Fuhrer.
Ice skaters at the Winter Wonderland experience in London’s Hyde Park [Image: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images].
You could lose a close relative or friend in the near future – particularly if they are elderly or vulnerable due to a health condition. In fact, your Conservative Government has done everything it can to arrange it.
Senior citizens are probably the least vulnerable group, as Tory right-wingers have – so far – failed to convince their leaders to cut cold weather and winter fuel payments. It’s just a matter of time, though.
Working-age people with health problems are a different matter. The Tories have cut benefits to the bone and these people may find it very difficult to cope with the cost of heating their homes while still putting food on the table.
That applies to unemployed people who are sanctioned by the Job Centre, as well.
And what about the homeless – 120,000 of whom, this Christmas, will be children?
Can anybody forget the horrifying fate of the man who was sanctioned, walked out into the street and froze to death?
Expect more – many more. Maybe not this week, but soon. And you know our NHS hospitals cannot cope because Jeremy Hunt has made sure of it.
Heath officials have reminded the public that cold weather can be fatal – hours before a widespread frost hits Britain.
Temperatures could drop to -6C over the coming nights in places, the lowest of the season so far.
A ‘save me’ sign on tree cut down in Rustlings Road, Sheffield [Image: Danny Lawson/PA].
No, Nick Clegg, the fight for Sheffield’s trees is not like “something you’d expect to see in Putin’s Russia” – unless you’ve been to Russia recently and know something we don’t.
TV viewers who watched the documentary Who’s Spending Britain’s Billions will know that Sheffield’s Labour-run council has contracted private firm Amey to maintain the city’s roads.
Apparently, Amey promised the contract would “see Sheffield’s roads transformed from some of the worst in the country to the best in the country within the first five years”.
But protesters say this is a front for a plan to chop down as many trees as possible, in order to spend most of the 25-year contract period with much lower maintenance bills than if they had been left in place.
They say the trees are invaluable flood defences and are vital in countering air pollution – but that hasn’t stopped Amey from felling 4,000 trees since the contract was signed, working without proper consultation and motivated by profit.
The council says many of the trees are diseased and that their roots have ruined pavements, making them impassible for wheelchair users and buggies.
For shifty councillors, the joy of a contract with a private company is they never have to divulge the details to members of the public who submit Freedom of Information requests.
But the tactic can backfire. Members of the city’s Labour Party are deserting it in big numbers, quoting the attack on the city’s trees and the council’s devotion to its contract with a company out to profit from it as the reason.
Labour will suffer serious damage in Sheffield if its councillors are allowed to press on with this debacle.
It doesn’t just reflect badly on them; it reflects on the Labour Party as a whole.
What are they thinking?
And now UKIP has a new leader whose stated aim is to invade Labour heartlands, this Labour council is offering Paul Nuttall a ripe and juicy target.
Of course, Nuttall and his party are nothing but a gang of single-issue sub-fascists who are lucky enough to have been able to attract the attention of the BBC and a few other gullible news providers/right-wing media moguls. They won’t win anywhere.
But why erode confidence in Labour when there are possible threats around?
The attitude of Sheffield’s Labour councillors is utterly unfathomable.
Perhaps they need a telephone call from national Labour leaders, to remind them that they owe loyalty to the people – not profit.
Council contractors and police had descended on a particularly desirable street … under the cover of darkness, “dragged” people out of bed to move their cars and detained peaceful protesters – “all to chop down eight trees”, he wrote in a local paper.
So far five people have been arrested in relation to a long-running and increasingly bitter battle over the fate of Sheffield’s trees, including a 70-year old emeritus professor and a 71-year-old retired teacher, both women. On Thursday two men will become the first of the city’s tree protesters to appear in court, charged under trade union legislation, following a protest on 2 November.
One of them, the author and university lecturer Simon Crump, 56, a local Green party member, said he was arrested for protecting a 100-year-old London plane tree on Marden Road in Nether Edge. He said he was locked in a cell for eight hours and that he would have been released sooner but, he claimed, officers could not find the offence he had allegedly committed on the police computer. “It was quite Kafkaesque. I was being imprisoned because they couldn’t work out what to charge me with,” said Crump.
He was subsequently charged under Section 241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, which criminalises anyone who persistently stops someone from carrying out lawful work – in this case tree surgeons contracted by Amey, an outsourcing company, to chop down trees under a controversial contract with the city council.
The new UKIP leadership were ALL either failed Tory candidates or former Conservatives who failed to even become candidates.
UKIP’s new leader Paul Nuttall stood for the Tories in 2002 – and failed:
The chairman of the party Paul Oakden also stood – and failed– as a Tory candidate before he joined UKIP:
The moneybags behind the party – millionaire Arron Banks – was once a Conservative Party backer too – before he realised senior Tories didn’t even know who he was and so decided to give his cash to Nigel Farage instead.
Not only that, but UKIP’s new deputy leader, Peter Whittle, used to be a regular contributor to influential Tory mouthpiece ConservativeHome before he obviously realised he wasn’t posh enough for the Tories to become a candidate and scuttled over to UKIP to become one for Nigel Farage.
When Tom Watson (right) talks about “fake news”, does he just mean anything complimentary about Jeremy Corbyn (left)? [Image: Gareth Fuller/PA].
For This Writer, the most interesting question raised by this article is: Will Vox Political be targeted with some spurious accusation?
Tom Watson seems to have launched himself into a fantasy crusade against “fake news” websites that seems intended to do the work of the Conservatives and even further-right political parties for them.
One can only question whether he has taken leave of his senses altogether. Depending on any actions he decides to take, it’s possible he and sidekick Michael Dugher may face action against them for bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.
If they come near me, there’ll be Hell to pay.
I was somewhat amused to read that Tom Watson, Labour’s Deputy Leader, was going to “investigate” fake news sites. I was even more amused when I discovered that he’d appointed Michael Dugher, a man who has already penned articles for The S*n to lead the, er, inquiry.
Like many other Twitter users, I asked Watson if his investigation was going to look at the production of fake news stories in The S*n, The Daily Mail and the Daily Express. I have yet to receive a reply.
So what about the fake news produced by official news outlets? The BBC has also produced fake news stories. Take the Battle of Orgreave, the BBC stitched together footage to give viewers the impression that the militarised police were being charged by a violent mob of miners. The reverse was true.
British newspapers routinely make up news stories and some are more guilty of this than others… The Daily Express is best known for its front page health scare stories and its slavish devotion to the Cult of Diana. It also supports UKIP and frequently prints hate stories about “loony lefties” and “luvvies”. This June, it published its Top 10 of ‘barmy’ EU decisions. They were either fake or sensible decisions.
It would also appear that some people are unable to tell the difference between satire and fake news. The Daily Mash, Newsthump, The Onion, Waterford Whispers and other sites produce satirical stories that resemble news stories. There is a point to this: to satirize the so-called ‘free press’ one needs to adopt its motifs and ridicule them. Will Watson and Dugher pursue them too?
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