Monday, 19 August 2013

Police and Information Commissioner Accused

Blacklist Support Group Challenges Metropolitan Police
ON the day The Guardian publishes evidence of police collusion with blacklisting building workers, the Blacklist Support Group accuses the Met Police and Information Commissioners Office of deliberately withholding information that proves the link between the police and the blacklist. 

From the first moments blacklisted workers saw the secret files kept on them by the Consulting Association it was clear that some detailed information about political activities outside work and at the weekends could only have been supplied by the police. The Guardian news story about police collusion with the blacklist finally exposes the secret collusion.
There is now an evidence trail from the undercover police officers who spied on activists to the information they gleaned appearing on illegal blacklist files that were used to deny work to union members in the building industry. 
An undercover police officer from the Special Demonstration Squad wing of Special Branch admits spying on activists involved in anti-BNP campaigns. Entries with specific times and dates where activists were 'observed' by police on anti-racist protests appears as entries on the Consulting Association blacklist files.  How would any building site manager have access to this information without it being provided by the police? 
Another undercover police officer exposed in the Rob Evans & Paul Lewis book Undercover, posed as a construction worker during the late 90s and actually chaired campaign meetings reported on blacklist files.  This suspicion was backed up by David Clancy, investigations manager at the ICO who has told a court and a Select Committee that in his opinion 'information on some of the files could only have been supplied by the police.'
The Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation also heard evidence from Stan Hardy, Jack Winder and Ian Kerr (all of whom were centrally involved with blacklisting for decades) that there was a regular 'two-way exchange' of information with the police about union activists.   
Senior police officers from the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) attended meetings of the blacklisting organisation the Consulting Association in 2008. The code "bad egg" appears on some blacklist files where information about a particular union activist was shared between the police and the illegal blacklist.  Minutes from that meeting and a PowerPoint presentation given by NETCU are in the offices of the ICO but the data watchdog is refusing to release the documents even after Freedom of Information requests by blacklist campaigners and investigative journalists.
Even more ominous is the refusal by the Met Police to release police files under Subject Access Request to a number of blacklisted workers with covering letters which infer that the campaigners are subject to ongoing police surveillance. 
Dave Smith - secretary Blacklist Support Group said:
'The mountain of evidence about the police and security services spying on trade union activists is now damning.  We even know the names of the undercover cops who spied on us.  This is not about a couple of rogue officers: this is deliberate state collusion with big business.  The Consulting Association blacklist ruined lives and has been described in parliament as "the worst human rights abuse involving workers since the war". It is now crystal clear that the police and security services were involved in that human rights abuse.  The ICO are now refusing to disclose documents in their possession that prove the link between the police and the blacklist.  The Met Police are refusing to disclose files to blacklisted workers.  Worse still, it seems the police are still spying on us.  Why are the authorities refusing to give us the documents?  Why are the police spying on blacklisted workers campaigning for the truth about this national scandal?  This is a cover up - plain and simple.  How can victims of this human rights abuse have any faith whatsoever in the truth being uncovered when the police are investigating themselves?  Only a full Leveson style public inquiry will get to the truth - what more evidence do the bloody politicians need?' 
Blacklist Support Group

The current printed issue of NORTHERN VOICES No.14, is now available for sale - see below. This issue N.V.14 also with an article about Tameside entitled 'Who is in bed with the blacklisters' and an interview with blacklisted electrician George Tapp can still be obtained by writing or contacting the people whose details are below:
Postal subscription: £5 for the next two issues (post included). Cheques made payable to 'Northern Voices' should be sent c/o 52, Todmorden Road, Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH.
Tel.: 0161 793 5122.

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