A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Have I missed the point?


But my reaction to the Sadiq Khan story is that I would be extremely worried if the security forces or police were not monitoring all the conversations of Babar Ahmed, whether with an MP or anyone else, given that the guy is in jail awaiting extradition to the US on charges of running websites supporting the Taleban and Chechen terrorists.


Anonymous Rich said...

Completely agree with you. Babar Ahmed and many others are monitored. It is only right that they are.

Our secret service monitor all manner of people, including the PM. Arthur Scargil was monitored and so was Tony Benn.

It's in the interest of national security that they do. The fact that it's an MP should make no difference at all....we all know that MPS are far from clean.

11:08 am, February 04, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given this MP's track record of support for Islamist causes, it would have been negligent of the social security services not to monitor him.

All this rubbish about the privileged conversations between an MP and his constituent. They had reasonable grounds for believing his constituent is a terrorist. End of story.

3:58 pm, February 04, 2008

Blogger Chris Paul said...

OK, OK, but there should have been a separate permission for this particular tape, no? If that's the law, that's the law.

As far as I can see this is just Davis trying to take the heat off Con-way and the Con-servatives by setting a new news hare running.

4:48 pm, February 04, 2008

Blogger Kris said...

I understand that ALL the tables were bugged- so Sadiq not targeted per se.

Allow me to be the first to ask, but WTF is a MP doing visiting a terrorist in jail?

5:20 pm, February 04, 2008

Anonymous camden road said...

Kris, you missed out the word 'alleged' when you said terrorist. And where have you heard that all the tables were bugged?

And even if you think all of Babar Ahmed's conversations should be bugged, the point is why wasn't permission sought from the Secretary of State or PM?

Also "anonymous" what Islamist causes has Sadiq Khan supported? Such smearing is low.

10:43 pm, February 04, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Babar Ahmed is a terrorist, the yanks want him on terror charges. I just hope they get him as he won't have access to the same legal rights in America.

Our secret service does not require permission. They operate outside of government. When are you people going to realise...there are no rules when it comes to national security. Government rarely know the full extent of operations and they are removed from decisions because MPS are accountable...these people are not.

There is no Law or geneva conventions when you run the wrong side of our homeland security. You end up dead or missing or in some prison where there are no rules.

Reconnaissance excercises often result in civilians being killed when they are compromised...completely against all laws but hidden from the newspapers and media and protected by legal immunity. You will struggle to get a special ops operative in front of a court.

1:25 am, February 05, 2008

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

Yes, Luke. I think you have missed the point. It completely changes the relationship between representative and those you represent if your conversations are the potential property of anyone (particularly the police/security services) and today's 'revelations' re: the bugging of lawyers compounds this even further. An MP must know that their conversations with constituents are confidential (just as a lawyer must).

I wouldn't want to be one of your constituents if you have such a relaxed approach to confidentiality!

10:53 am, February 05, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Doctor Dunc

It doesn't matter who you are conversations are monitored and recorded. I'm not going to name the system but mobile conversations, emails, telephone conversations are automatically monitored. It can pick up keywords and start recording and notify security agents.

We live in the age of technology. Our own armed forces now use listening drones that can pick up voices and conversations from miles away...they used these in Tora Bora.

It won't be long before such devices accompany CCTV on our streets.

1:26 pm, February 05, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

You don't need to be coy about the system Rich as it's been reported in the press loads of times. It's believed to be called Echelon and collects intel on behalf of the 5 AUSCANZUKUS states. The French are believed to have their own version too. Basically you are correct in that if you use a landline or mobile phone, email etc and use certain key words GCHQ will record the conversation. If you say "bombe" or "je deteste Sarkosy" then probably someone in France records it too.

1:36 pm, February 05, 2008

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Err, our Prime MInster, Hone Secretary etc. all calim to know nothing about all this and what the security services are doing and people on this thread are in support of it?

I completely agree with Doctor Dunc when he says:

"Yes, Luke. I think you have missed the point. It completely changes the relationship between representative and those you represent if your conversations are the potential property of anyone (particularly the police/security services) and today's 'revelations' re: the bugging of lawyers compounds this even further".

I also find it depressing that from the party of supposed progressive politics, we find such overwhelming support and at times downright prejudice (as in "Given this MP's track record of support for Islamist causes")being activated by this issue .

It reminds me of attitudes in the Labour Party and Governments about the 'Irish' in the 70s and 80s (something we all pretend now to forget or to be ignorant of).

As the man once said "and one day they will come for you"... many people such as those showing support for this secret and unaccountable activity will regret it when we again get a repressive right wing government in power; your actions and support will have legitimised the means for the repression for them to fully utilise.

2:22 pm, February 05, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Rich said...

"Babar Ahmed is a terrorist, the yanks want him on terror charges. I just hope they get him as he won't have access to the same legal rights in America."

What does that mean Rich?

2:25 pm, February 05, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

No. I think that there should be limits and if MP's cannot act as representatives without being spied on, then civil liberties really are being challenged a step too far.

MP's should be prepared to visit ALL their constituents including those accused of terrorist offences.

The 'news' that we are all being listened to comes as no surprise - and this Government wants me to vote for it again? There's virtually no chance of that now....

3:10 pm, February 05, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Ravi, Babar Ahmed is a wanted man in America. They have information that link him to fund raising activities for terrorist groups.

It won't be long before the yanks can literally take suspects from British soil. You can thank good old Tony Blair for that cracking bit of legislation. They are already talking about extending bounties into UK for wanted people.

So my advice to anyone....don't get into trouble with the yanks. Not a nice place to have to do time.

4:57 pm, February 05, 2008

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

I'm assuming the point about 'legal rights' is the suggestion that this alleged terrorist (actually he hasn't been accused of terrorism, but of publishing pro-jihad websites) would have less legal protection in the US, though the US constitution should protect him from cruel and unusual punishment, and we presumably would not extradite him if there were any question of the death penalty (as doing so would be illegal).

Yes - those who mention the general extent of surveillance: you're right of course that such surveillance exists, it doesn't mean that I should approve of how it is used, nor that I should therefore condone its use to undermine either the democratic process or the legal system.

8:55 pm, February 05, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Whether you approve or not it happens. No matter how much legislation you impose agencies will always have the right to go around them in the interest of national security.

There are variety of agencies out there that deal with counter terrorist threats...all have varying levels of power. Some operate outside of government and are free from political legistlation. The current leak surrounds the police, which is the reason why we know about it. Do you think you would find out if it was SIS or similar.

Which is one reason why you hear about rendition flights or water boarding. You hear about it, there is a big media stink but nothing is ever done. I have stories to tell that would make these look like a walk in the park.

The higher up the food chain you go the more shocking it becomes. Labour have actually given more power to the police and these agencies so if anything they have only got themselves to blame.

12:37 pm, February 06, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Yes Dunc, I was indeed infering that.

Terrorist or not we should not extradite a suspect to a country where he might not get due process; innocent until proven guilty, otherwise we might as well claim democracy and the rule of law are dead.

1:33 pm, February 06, 2008

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

I agree Ravi.

9:48 pm, February 06, 2008

Blogger Kris said...

Camden Road,

I got my information from the BBC.

You can go back to sleep now.

10:13 pm, February 06, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Democracy is dead, died a long time ago. We now have a Mediaocracy in which we're told what to vote for.

11:24 pm, February 06, 2008


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