Thursday, 13 January 2011

The secret policeman's ball

How about this for a job? You get well paid, travel all over Europe, good expenses, false passport and can have sex with anyone you fancy. Welcome to the world of the undercover cop. Now I know that this kind of work can be dangerous, when dealing with real criminals, but I also know people from the environmental movement, and believe me, going undercover with them must be a fairly good gig. This is what Mark Kennedy (Stone?) did for seven years, spying on environmental protestors, at a cost of £250,000 a year - will that be affected by the cuts - I doubt it!

I was only a few weeks ago that I posted about the Metropolitan Police being out of democratic control in relation to their policing of the student protests and other infamous incidents such as the death of Ian Tomlinson. Now we find that the guardians of the state are snooping on people involved in legitimate democratic protest and peaceful civil disobedience. How can this be justified? It can only be justified if you have a police hierarchy which has become a law unto itself, and timid politicians who have neither the guts or the gumption to bring the police back into line. This was brilliantly summed up by Simon Jenkins in a recent Guardian article, please read it - especially the stuff about ACPO.

There is also something else which is sinister and serious here. The police are meant to act in the public interest, but what has become clearer through this debacle is the police are acting in the interest of big corporations. This came out in the policing of the protest at Kingsnorth power station. The police are not supposed to be some sort of rent-a-cop free service for the unelected, unaccountable private sector. This is just another step in the direction of a police state - and it has to be stopped.

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