Tag Archives: immunity

Lords inflict two defeats on government over ‘spy cops’ bill – but Keir Starmer could have made it three

Keir Starmer: he thinks the government and its agents should be above the law.

The Tories bid to allow spies working for government agencies like the Financial Conduct Authority to commit crimes like murder and rape without fear of prosecution has been foiled by the Lords.

Peers supported amendments to the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill as follows:

Peers inflicted two significant defeats on the government on Wednesday evening over a bill to regulate the use of undercover informants, passing amendments to stop them participating in murder and rape, and to curtail the use of children as informants.

The government was also defeated by 299 to 284 on an amendment from the peer Doreen Massey, which proposed explicitly banning those acting undercover from being allowed to participate in a list of serious crimes, including murder, torture, rape or other sexual offences as they gained information.

Ministers had ruled out introducing such a list previously, arguing that creating a list of forbidden offences could give terrorists and serious criminals ways to unmask infiltrators by asking them to engage in such banned activities.

Campaign groups welcomed the result, arguing that it would put the UK on a par with similar western countries in setting clear limits.

Sadly, this result is notable for another reason – Labour leader Keir Starmer’s unacceptable support for the Bill with all immunities against criminal prosecution intact.

If he had whipped Labour to oppose it in the Commons, it would never have got as far as the Lords. But he didn’t.

Worse still, after former shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti put forward an amendment to remove immunity from prosecution for crimes from government agents who commit them, saying there would otherwise be a “grave risk” of human rights abuses by undercover agents, Starmer whipped Labour peers to abstain and it failed:

Peers were debating the bill at the second day of its report stage. On Monday, an amendment from Shami Chakrabarti seeking to strike out immunity for undercover agents acting within authorised guidelines was defeated by 309 to 153, after the Labour leadership chose to abstain.

It seems clear that this former Director of Public Prosecutions thinks the government and its agents should be above the law.

It is an unacceptable attitude for any potential national leader to have.

Source: Lords inflict two defeats on government over ‘spy cops’ bill | House of Lords | The Guardian

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Did you know about this consultation on unqualified people giving you unlicensed vaccines?

I’m willing to bet you didn’t.

Boris Johnson’s government is consulting on a plan to allow unqualified non-medical staff to administer unlicensed – and therefore possibly dangerous – vaccines to us. Covid-19 is the reason provided for the change but it would not be restricted to treatments for that disease.

If these unlicensed vaccines damage our health, the plan is that we will not have the right to seek compensation if we did not object to the plan. In other words, this change would allow the government to pump us full of unlicensed drugs, that could affect us in who knows how many ways, with absolutely no responsibility for the consequences.

And, of course, the plan is that nobody (or at least not enough people) will even know this consultation is taking place.

As I stated at the top of this article – I’m willing to bet you didn’t.

The consultation began on August 28 and closes on September 18 – so there isn’t much time left if you want to make your opinion known.

I’ve had a look at the online version and the language is practically impenetrable. I think the Plain English Society would have a fit if its members saw it.

The cover page (for want of a better description) describes the purpose of the proposed new law as

  • authorising temporary supply of an unlicensed product
  • civil liability and immunity
  • expanding the workforce eligible to administer vaccinations
  • promoting vaccines
  • making provisions for wholesale dealing of vaccines

Technically it may be accurate – but it doesn’t tell you exactly what is being proposed, and that is the problem here.

The consultation document itself states:

If there is a compelling case, on public health grounds, for using a vaccine before it is given a product licence, given the nature of the threat we face, the JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – an independent, arms-length organisation, which means the Tory government can deny any responsibility if its recommendations cause a disaster] may take the very unusual step of advising the UK government to use a tested, unlicensed vaccine against COVID-19, and we need to make sure that the right legislative measures are in place to deal with that scenario.

It says the main policy objects are to

[enable] the licensing authority to temporarily authorise the supply of an unlicensed medicinal product for use in response to certain specific types of public health threat, including the suspected spread of pathogens.

[Increase] the scope of immunity from civil liability … so that it clearly applies not just to manufacturers and healthcare professionals but also to the company placing an unlicensed medicine such as a vaccine on the market with the approval of the licensing authority.

Ensure that the UK has the available workforce to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine [by allowing unqualified individuals to do so].

It adds:

Someone other than a registered healthcare professional may actually be administering unlicensed vaccines – and as a basic issue of fairness, we think they should benefit from the same immunity from civil liability as a registered healthcare professional who is performing the same role.

Put it all together and you can see that this is a very dangerous plan – that proposes a large risk to public health with those creating that risk bearing absolutely no responsibility for the possible consequences.

The online page where you can respond to the consultation is here. Please visit it and provide your opinions on this plan.

There is a question about the consultation process: “What could we do better?”

I said they could try actually informing people of consultations like this. I only knew about it because a friend informed me. It should have been national news.

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Slaver statues may fall but Boris Johnson – and the structural racism he embodies – goes on and on

The echoes of the thud with which Edward Colston’s statue hit the slabs probably hadn’t even died away before a Downing Street spokesman was telling us Boris Johnson is convinced the UK is not racist.

The country doesn’t have to be; he alone is racist enough for all of us:

We all can.

Prominent among the tweets on my Twitter timeline (TL) today was a link to a 2016 article in which Johnson suggested that then-US President Barack Obama may have an “ancestral dislike” of the UK.

Writing a column for The Sun newspaper the outgoing Mayor of London recounted a story about a bust of Winston Churchill purportedly being removed from White House.

“Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender,” he wrote.

One cannot imagine him suggesting that Donald Trump’s part-German ancestry gives him a similar “ancestral dislike” of the UK, though. Can you?

And the decision to invoke Winston Churchill may be considered a mistake, in hindsight. But then, look at the way others mention him:

(Incidentally, if anyone sees that hypocrite Finkelstein getting on his high horse about anti-Semitism about this, just remind him that he was happy to praise the racist Churchill.)

The fact that the UK state endorses racism is proved by a simple fact: even though we have laws to prevent racial antagonism from being stirred up, the police will not use them against the Prime Minister – he is literally above the law, despite all claims by the Establishment that nobody is:

https://twitter.com/RedRadicals/status/1269928734863351809

This Writer has experienced the same frustrations when reporting other members, of previous governments, for law-breaking. The police either say it’s somebody else’s problem or flat-out refuse to consider it.

In the case of a government minister – or indeed the Prime Minister – displaying racism, this becomes an example of not just institutional, but structural racism:

“Multiple institutions” – in this case the police and Parliament – “collectively uphold racist policies and practices.”

So Johnson is completely wrong.

The United Kingdom is racist. Perhaps the prime minister can’t see it because he’s such a damned racist himself.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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