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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 12:45 - Oct 16 with 853 viewsHarry_Palmer

MPs yesterday voted in favour of passing the Covert Human Intelligent Sources Bill.

Amnesty International have described it as 'deeply dangerous' and I agree. In what sane society would you require a law to be passed that allows a Government to potentially murder, torture or commit an act of sexual violence against it's opponents?

This is not just for MI5 by the way, it extends to the Police and bizarrely even the Environment Agency and Food Standards Agency ( ?? )

Shamefully Keir Starmer allowed the Tories to get this through by ordering Labour MP's to abstain. Despite this those with moral decency, such as Zarah Sultana, refused and others even resigned from the front bench ( Dan Carden ).



I have said before that this Government is using Covid-19 to increase their power while eroding civil liberties at a rate of knots and this has been largely ignored or dismissed. The evidence is mounting by the day.
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 12:47 - Oct 16 with 832 viewsHerbivore

What has them passing this bill got to do with Covid?

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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 12:53 - Oct 16 with 806 viewsPinewoodblue

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 12:47 - Oct 16 by Herbivore

What has them passing this bill got to do with Covid?


He hasn’t suggested it has anything to do with COVID-19

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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 12:53 - Oct 16 with 809 viewstractordownsouth

I'm disappointed in the Labour leadership for doing this. Intelligence is important but the fact the bill didn't legislate for which crimes are allowed to be committed (meaning that potentially the most heinous crimes would be permitted) meant that it should have been voted down when it became clear amendments weren't going to be passed.

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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:05 - Oct 16 with 769 viewsHarry_Palmer

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 12:47 - Oct 16 by Herbivore

What has them passing this bill got to do with Covid?


Silly boy, is that really all you have to say about this? Don't you see the huge potential for this type of law to be abused without clear restrictions being applied ( which currently there haven't been ).

Come on Herbs, you are an intelligent poster, there really is no need to hold a grudge because we disagree on certain issues. For what it is worth I agree with you 99% of the time.......well on your football views anyway
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:06 - Oct 16 with 766 viewsHerbivore

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 12:53 - Oct 16 by Pinewoodblue

He hasn’t suggested it has anything to do with COVID-19


Try reading the whole OP maybe?

"I have said before that this Government is using Covid-19 to increase their power while eroding civil liberties"

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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:09 - Oct 16 with 756 viewsHerbivore

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:05 - Oct 16 by Harry_Palmer

Silly boy, is that really all you have to say about this? Don't you see the huge potential for this type of law to be abused without clear restrictions being applied ( which currently there haven't been ).

Come on Herbs, you are an intelligent poster, there really is no need to hold a grudge because we disagree on certain issues. For what it is worth I agree with you 99% of the time.......well on your football views anyway


It is a genuine question, I'm not sure where this imagined grudge has come from.

I'm not happy with the bill and not happy with Labour not voting against it, however you've suggested a link to Covid here and there isn't one. This is the sort of legislation a government can get through when they have an 80 seat majority. It doesn't really have anything to do with the pandemic.

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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:23 - Oct 16 with 725 viewsHarry_Palmer

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:09 - Oct 16 by Herbivore

It is a genuine question, I'm not sure where this imagined grudge has come from.

I'm not happy with the bill and not happy with Labour not voting against it, however you've suggested a link to Covid here and there isn't one. This is the sort of legislation a government can get through when they have an 80 seat majority. It doesn't really have anything to do with the pandemic.


Yes you could argue that they would have got this through regardless of the pandemic but I believe there is a link in that it follows the central them of removing civil liberties. It also looks hugely suspicious at a time where they are coming under increased pressure and more and more people are questioning the narrative on Covid-19. We have already seen attempts in the media to label everybody that does this a 'conspiracy theorist', how long before this is classed as a 'threat to national security'?

What I am struggling to understand is why Starmer would order MPs to abstain? Very disappointing.
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:23 - Oct 16 with 728 viewsLankHenners

It seems Keir Starmer's set himself a rule of only having an opinion about 1 thing at a certain time. Currently it's about Covid/lockdown/circuit breakers so unfortunately he can't weigh in meaningfully on anything else right now.

He did the same the other week with the Overseas Operations bill and sacked Nadia Whittome from the front bench for defying the whip to abstain and voting against, where afterwards it appeared the Labour office had leaked the news to Guido of all places before actually informing Whittome herself.

Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:28 - Oct 16 with 691 viewsHerbivore

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:23 - Oct 16 by Harry_Palmer

Yes you could argue that they would have got this through regardless of the pandemic but I believe there is a link in that it follows the central them of removing civil liberties. It also looks hugely suspicious at a time where they are coming under increased pressure and more and more people are questioning the narrative on Covid-19. We have already seen attempts in the media to label everybody that does this a 'conspiracy theorist', how long before this is classed as a 'threat to national security'?

What I am struggling to understand is why Starmer would order MPs to abstain? Very disappointing.


This bill has been under discussion for some time I believe in order to provide a legal framework for undercover operatives where previously there wasn't one. There are significant issues with it and Starmer should have opposed it, I'm really not happy that he didn't. But I think the links to Covid are really tenuous and look to be very much conspiracy thinking.

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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:33 - Oct 16 with 674 viewsBigManBlue

Agree there seems to be a culture of removing civil liberties in the name of... safety, maybe? Seems like the sort of thing that would never be put up in normal times but seems more normal in an age of increasing restrictions.

Also is it just the thumbnail or is Zarah a new Heidi?

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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:34 - Oct 16 with 669 viewsDarth_Koont

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:28 - Oct 16 by Herbivore

This bill has been under discussion for some time I believe in order to provide a legal framework for undercover operatives where previously there wasn't one. There are significant issues with it and Starmer should have opposed it, I'm really not happy that he didn't. But I think the links to Covid are really tenuous and look to be very much conspiracy thinking.


Agree with that.

Covid isn’t really cover for this. We have a media (and a few too many politicians) that look the other way on security issues and abuses of civil liberties anyway. For example, they weren’t covering the Assange extradition well before Covid so nothing’s changed there.
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:37 - Oct 16 with 645 viewsgordon

Agree that this is appalling but can't see the link to COVID-19.
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:37 - Oct 16 with 639 viewsHarry_Palmer

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:28 - Oct 16 by Herbivore

This bill has been under discussion for some time I believe in order to provide a legal framework for undercover operatives where previously there wasn't one. There are significant issues with it and Starmer should have opposed it, I'm really not happy that he didn't. But I think the links to Covid are really tenuous and look to be very much conspiracy thinking.


Fair enough.
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:43 - Oct 16 with 610 viewsHerbivore

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:37 - Oct 16 by Harry_Palmer

Fair enough.


Here's a decent overview of what the legislation is for and why it's being introduced now. Like I said, I have issues with it as it does potentially allow for some abuses of power and I think Labour should have opposed it in its current form. Not seeing any links to the pandemic though.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-politics-54552152

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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:47 - Oct 16 with 587 viewsMonkeyAlan

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 12:53 - Oct 16 by tractordownsouth

I'm disappointed in the Labour leadership for doing this. Intelligence is important but the fact the bill didn't legislate for which crimes are allowed to be committed (meaning that potentially the most heinous crimes would be permitted) meant that it should have been voted down when it became clear amendments weren't going to be passed.


You will be disappointed a lot. Starmer is no more the answer than Boris is.
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:50 - Oct 16 with 578 viewsBigManBlue

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:47 - Oct 16 by MonkeyAlan

You will be disappointed a lot. Starmer is no more the answer than Boris is.


For real? I voted for Nandy but a bloody tuna roll is more the answer than boris is...

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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:56 - Oct 16 with 561 viewsArnoldMoorhen

We've now reached the official "This is actually Fascism" tipping point.

It's easy to throw that around, but this is following on from:

Attacks on the Judiciary (remember the "Traitors" headlines thrown at the Judges?) and lawyers (Priti Patel demonising "human rights lawyers") and the not-insignificant review of the concept of Judicial review. And, of course, an end to the independent European Court of Human Rights as a last line of defence against tyranny.

Attacks on the impartiality of the BBC, and, so far partially successful, attempts to shoehorn in completely inappropriate Johnson-backers into the top jobs.

Proroguing Parliament and deselecting intelligent One Nation Tories like Rory Stewart.

Passing various Enabling Acts under the cover of first the sheer quantity of Laws which will need changing due to Brexit, and now the Covid-19 crisis, to allow Laws to be enacted by Ministerial fiat.

So Judicial oversight, Media independence and Parliamentary sovereignty have all been deliberately eroded or dismantled.

And now, Securitate powers for the Police and Intelligence Community.

All opposition dismantled and permission given to enforcement agencies to do whatever it takes to get the desired result.

And the actual Leader of the Opposition, a lawyer, didn't vote against it, or even allow his colleagues to vote with their conscience.

I am disgusted at Starmer for whipping abstentions on this.
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 14:21 - Oct 16 with 530 viewsHarry_Palmer

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 13:43 - Oct 16 by Herbivore

Here's a decent overview of what the legislation is for and why it's being introduced now. Like I said, I have issues with it as it does potentially allow for some abuses of power and I think Labour should have opposed it in its current form. Not seeing any links to the pandemic though.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-politics-54552152


I understood the basics of why its needed but this gives some detailed examples, so thanks for that. My big problem is that it seemingly does not have any limitations in the way that the article describes other countries such as Canada do.

Alistair Carmichael, a Lib Dem MP explains here why it is really not fit for purpose. I simply can't get my head around why any Government agent needs to commit torture or sexual violence against anybody. Murder under certain circumstances ie. stopping terrorists, I can understand.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/controversial-e2-80-98spy-powers-bill-e2-8
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You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 14:28 - Oct 16 with 508 viewsHerbivore

You should be more afraid of this Government than Covid-19 on 14:21 - Oct 16 by Harry_Palmer

I understood the basics of why its needed but this gives some detailed examples, so thanks for that. My big problem is that it seemingly does not have any limitations in the way that the article describes other countries such as Canada do.

Alistair Carmichael, a Lib Dem MP explains here why it is really not fit for purpose. I simply can't get my head around why any Government agent needs to commit torture or sexual violence against anybody. Murder under certain circumstances ie. stopping terrorists, I can understand.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/controversial-e2-80-98spy-powers-bill-e2-8


I think, as the BBC article alludes to, that if those specific offences are named as exemptions in legislation then the worry is that criminal organisations can use that to uncover undercover operatives and put them at risk. They could create a scenario where the operative is in a situation where they have to commit a named prohibited offence and if they don't they are essentially outing themselves. That's less of a risk if the law is kept vague and doesn't name specific exceptions.

The flip side of that is the vagueness means the law can be exploited to justify some quite unpleasant things. In theory an undercover operative could infiltrate a trade union and legally assassinate the trade union leader if it was politically expedient. There is a watchdog being set up to review how the law is operating in practice but there are clearly some legitimate concerns about it and I would have liked to see it being opposed in its current form.

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