Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts in British Politics


In the latest “think of the children” idea to come out of the United Kingdom, a new bill proposes that nursery school staff and registered childminders must report toddlers they think are at risk of becoming terrorists.

The directive is contained in a 39-page consultation document issued by the Home Office in a bid to bolster its Prevent anti-terrorism plan.

Critics said the idea was “unworkable” and “heavy-handed”, and accused the Government of treating teachers and carers as “spies”.

The document accompanies the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before parliament. It identifies nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, as having a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism”.

The consultation paper adds: “Senior management and governors should make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.

David Davis, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary, said: “It is hard to see how this can be implemented. It is unworkable. I have to say I cannot understand what they [nursery staff] are expected to do.

“Are they supposed to report some toddler who comes in praising a preacher deemed to be extreme? I don’t think so.

“It is heavy-handed.”

Headteachers’ union NAHT, said it was “uneasy” with the new guidance. General secretary Russell Hobby, said: “It’s really important that nurseries are able to establish a strong relationship of trust with families, as they are often the first experience the families will have of the education system.

“Any suspicions that they are evaluating families for ideology could be quite counterproductive.

“Nursery settings should focus on the foundations of literacy and socialising with other children – those are the real ‘protections’.”

Schools and nurseries, he said, should not be required to act as a police service.


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Full Version Wake Up Call Episode 1 – No Decision About Me Without Me – Full Version from Health Emergency on Vimeo.

Dr John Lister blows away the slick marketing of the government’s plans for the NHS. His witty speech reveals their true intent – to fragment and privatise the health service.

Peppered with jokes and cartoons from the likes of Steve Bell, the film is an easily understood and amusing explanation of how the NHS, as we now know it, will be demolished, if these plans succeed.

John Lister shows us why the plans, at urgent risk of slipping through in a fog of jargon and promotional spin, will be disastrous for NHS patients and staff.

If you care about your health service and want to know what is in store for it, then watch this video and pass the link on to friends, family and colleagues NOW!

Produced for Keep Our NHS Public www.keepournhspublic.com and for Health Emergency www.healthemergency.org.uk


Wake Up Call Episode 2 “A Betrayal of Trust” from Health Emergency on Vimeo.

A film by Anne-Marie Sweeney produced for Keep Our NHS Public and Health Emergency

Sugar Coating the Bitter Bill.

Louise Irvine is a GP in the deprived area of New Cross. She shows how trusted GPs are being used to sugar coat the denationalisation of the NHS, proposed in the government’s Health and Social Care Bill.

Dr Irvine explains with care and compassion, how this bitterly unacceptable bill will harm patient care and break up ‘the NHS family’.

Simply and without jargon, she makes clear why local GPs will actually have less control over their patients’ treatment if it is not scrapped.

Dr Irvine reveals the serious implications that this will have on patient trust.

If you want to know just why so many people in the NHS are in opposition to Lansley’s Bill, then take 15 minutes to watch this video. Find out why the bill will be hugely costly to the NHS budget and will seriously damage our health.

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We’re working to create a more open and less intrusive society. We want to restore Britain’s traditions of freedom and fairness, and free our society of unnecessary laws and regulations – both for individuals and businesses.

So if there are any laws or regulations you’d like us to do away with, then first, check if there are any similar ideas here already and then add your comments to it and rate it to move it up the list. If it’s not here, then add it!  And remember – we want you to suggest ideas for removing laws and regulations, rather than ideas for creating them.

Head over to the government’s website and keep voting. The Digital Economy bill has the most participation right now. You can also vote to Repeal Penalty Notices of Disorder for Section 5 Public Order Act. There’s some great ideas in there and anyone can participate.

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British police intend on keeping track of and gathering personal information suspected radicals and political activists in the UK. The initiative was intended to gather data on radicalization and recruitment into Islamic terrorist groups, but has now spread to other organizations.

Political activists who have no association with terrorism could now find themselves monitored by authorities mandated to discover information about their friends, family, neighbours, political beliefs, use of the internet and even psychological traits.

Police and security agencies have agreed to monitor “agents” who adhere to ideologies potentially involving violence. The documents define targets for the surveillance as people involved in “extreme right/left, Islamist, nationalist, anti-globalisation” groups.

Europol, a EU law enforcement agency, has been asked to produce a list of people involved in either promoting such groups, or in trying to recruit members.

The problem with these measures is that anyone can be identified as someone with ideologies potentially involving violence. It is far too broad a category.

The UK government has also been criticised over Prevent, a programme aimed at stopping Muslims being lured into violent extremism. The initiative was branded a mass surveillance project after it was found it was being used to gather intelligence on innocent people who were not suspected of involvement in terrorism.

Essentially, Prevent received a lot of bad press, as it should have, and the British government is now doing the same thing just under an EU directive.

Under the new, approved, EU scheme, states have acquired a 70-question list on “agents of radicalisation” under their watch. Much of the information presumes a high-degree of intrusive monitoring, obtainable only via covert surveillance techniques, such as phone tapping.

It is assumed, for example, that law enforcement agencies will obtain information about a person’s “feelings” about a group that could be “considered as the enemy”. One section asks for information about “oral comments” made by targets, while others ask about religious knowledge, behaviour, and socio-economic status.

Under “relevant psychological traits”, law enforcement agencies are asked to collate and share information on “psychological disorders, charismatic personality, weak personality, etc”. Another question asks: “Is there a prior relationship between the agents? Schoolmates, friends, relatives, shared time in prison, etc.”

Really? They’re going to ask about your feelings? If they do that, I would be added to the list because my answers would put me on a list of people who want to destroy the government.

This system, like so many others, will be set forth as a means to prevent terrorism and it will be abused. It’s been done in the past and it will continue to be done. British citizens need to continue to point out how these schemes only alienate communities, just as they did with Prevent. It can be stopped and, hopefully, governments will stop trying to implement such ridiculous programs.

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From Big Brother Watch:

Last week the Director of Big Brother Watch, Alex Deane, was invited onto the BBC Breakfast sofa to debate the advantages/disadvantages of CCTV cameras.

You can watch all Big Brother Watch videos here.

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