Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

Trade Union :: CPSA

spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Organisations subcategories:

Art

Commercial

Committee for a Workers International

Government

Labour Party

Left and radical

Media

Nationalist and National Liberation

Pro capitalist and Imperialist

Religious

Social Networks

Socialist Party

Sport

* Trade Union

Transport

Voluntary & non-profit


CPSA


6 November 2020

Search site for keywords: Police - Socialist - Socialist Party - Dave Nellist - Militant - Policing - State - Press - Hannah Sell - MI5 - CPSA

Socialists, including Labour MP, spied on by police and security services

Nearly six years after it was set up the Undercover Policing Inquiry has finally begun, albeit in an extremely limited and inadequate way. The Inquiry has not released the names of the big majority of the organisations spied on, nor has it given us the real - or even the cover - names of the majority of spies. The 'non-state core participants' - those who were spied on - have in almost all cases still received none of the police files relevant to them.

Even so, some things are clear. In his opening statement to the Inquiry, James Scobie QC, representing five core participants including Socialist Party members Dave Nellist, Lois Austin and Hannah Sell, lambasted the "political policing" of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) which saw as many as "over a thousand" organisations infiltrated of which "only the tiniest fraction, perhaps only three were from the right wing".

Those spied on included Dave Nellist, a Labour MP for Coventry South East and supporter of the Militant Tendency (now the Socialist Party). Scobie explained that, "whilst he was a serving MP, M15 contacted the West Midlands Police Force and having being tasked to infiltrate Militant they targeted Dave Nellist."

Scobie also pointed out that, "This is not the only example of M15 operating covert surveillance of organisations within which Militant supporters had won elected positions. When cabinet papers from 1984 were released under the thirty year rule they revealed that Cabinet Secretary Lord Armstrong, at the behest of M15, presented a paper expressing concerns about the election of Militant supporters in the civil servants' trade union CPSA."

"The result was the establishment of the Orwellian-sounding 'Interdepartmental Group on Subversives in Public Life', with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher recorded as stating that the civil service should be 'very ready to sack subversive trouble makers...' This was government-sanctioned victimisation of democratically-elected trade unionists."

At the previous day of the Inquiry Oliver Sanders QC, representing the majority of Undercover Officers whose victims are the subject of the Inquiry, made clear that the SDS were acting under the direction of MI5 and reported to them.

Scobie concluded by calling for, "an end to all political policing. For a police force which is democratically accountable to the communities that they should be serving."

These are not just historical issues. At the same time as the Inquiry meets, the government is proposing a bill which protects the next generation of undercover policing infiltrating the workers' and socialist movement. The 'Spycops' Bill would give state agents immunity from prosecution if they commit crimes while undercover. They will be allowed to do so, for example, against trade unionists in order to maintain 'economic well-being'. What does that mean but protecting the 'economic well-being' of employers who feel their profits are threatened by workers' strike action?

The Mitting Inquiry provides an opportunity to campaign for answers about the extent of the spying, the consequences, and who was responsible for it. Most importantly, it gives an opportunity to publicise the role of state agencies during the last 50 years in acting to defend the existing capitalist order and the measures they were prepared to take in order to do so.

ENDS


Info for press

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Trade Union keywords:

BFAWU (124)

BMA (49)

Bectu (21)

CPSA (7)

CWU (374)

EIS (5)

Equity (18)

IWGB (25)

IWW (2)

NEU (73)

NSSN (407)

NSSN (407)

NUM (2)

Napo (29)

National Education Union (95)

National Shop Stewards Network (454)

New Education Union (1)

Nipsa (9)

PCS (982)

Society of Radiographers (1)

TUC (439)

TURCP (2)

Telecoms (18)

Union (1907)

WSSN (1)

Wales Shop Stewards Network (1)

Wales TUC (7)

Zhanartu (1)

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Article dated 6 November 2020

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle14 May Socialist Party national meeting: Perspectives for socialism after the elections

triangle15 May Birmingham Socialist Party: How can we fight for socialist change and a new workers' party?

triangle17 May Oxfordshire & Aylesbury Socialist Party: The role of the state

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Election analysis

Ireland

International news

Workplace news

Readers' opinion

Obituary

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1133 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


TUSC 2021 election video

More videos ...

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version