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By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
"Prime Minister Boris (and other things that never happened)" - collection of counterfactual and 'what-if' essays from the likes of Iain Dale. Raises a few questions, although the quality of articles ranges from very good dry analysis to sub-Archer potboiler territory.
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
Looks like this new book on blacklisting is going to be a must-read.
One Monday morning in February 2009, four investigators from the Information Commissioner’s office knocked on a door in an alley in Droitwich, West Midlands. It was opened by 66-year-old Ian Kerr. David Clancy, head of investigations at the ICO, had spent months hunting for the Consulting Association, which had no nameplate above its green door and didn’t appear on official records. But this was the epicentre of a 30-year covert operation involving the country’s top construction firms and security services. Eventually the repercussions from this raid would be felt in boardrooms and parliaments around the world.

For 16 years the Consulting Association compiled a secret database on thousands of construction workers. The files in this shabby two-room office had names, addresses and National Insurance numbers, comments by managers, newspaper clippings. The organisation acted as a covert vetting service funded by the industry. When people applied for work on building sites, senior employees at Carillion, Balfour Beatty, Skanska, Kier, Costain, McAlpine and more than 30 other companies would fax their names to the Consulting Association, where Kerr would check his files to see if they matched.

The effect was devastating. The worker had no idea their details were being checked and no way of seeing if the information was accurate. Blacklisting was a secret tool used by companies to keep out people they didn’t like. Those with files were often union members who had raised health-and-safety concerns. There had always been rumours about blacklisting but the files provided evidence.
The police unit Netcu, which gave the presentation to the Consulting Association in 2008, was dissolved and responsibility for monitoring extremism was handed to the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit in December 2011. In 2013 it was revealed that the NDEDIU was monitoring some 9,000 people considered domestic subversives. All monitoring of domestic extremism is now under the auspices of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command SO15 unit, which means that state spying on trade unionists is now categorised as counter-terrorism. ... on-workers" onclick=";return false;
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