Hazel Blears and Sergeant Flanderka - "tension monitoring" i.e. snooping on local communities

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The Hazel Blears the NuLabour former Home Office Minister who introduced so much counter productive bureaucratic red tape and form filling when she used to be in charge of Policing, Crime Reduction and Counter-terrorism, is at it again, now that she is inflicting a new Community Snooping policy onto Local Government.

She has just published a poisonous document entitled: Guidance for local authorities on community cohesion contingency planning and tension monitoring (.pdf)

This seems to envisage the gathering of political intelligence on local communities, and on "individual troublemakers", not just by the Local Authorities and the Police, but by a whole host of public sector employees turned into Government spies:

37. The most effective way to do this is through establishing a multi-agency tension monitoring group, led by an officer/s from the local authority and/or the local police force. This should include key partners from the statutory sector (e.g. housing, community safety, education, fire service, health, probation/youth offending team, community workers, neighbourhood wardens and police community support officers, National Asylum Support Service), and relevant representatives from the voluntary, community and faith sectors.

The sort of data which Hazel Blears wants to collect and share :

Relevant pieces of intelligence might include:
  • quantitative data (e.g. police crime statistics and intelligence reports)
  • qualitative community intelligence from neighbourhood wardens, community workers, casework by local councillors and feedback from local community meetings and organisations
  • racially or religiously motivated offences or incidents
  • details of new arrivals, refugees and asylum seekers, and Gypsy and Traveller communities in the local area
  • gang and turf conflicts
  • neighbour disputes

Why does a dispute between two neighbours suddenly constitute "community tension", requiring reporting back to a Central Government Department ?

  • complaints of noise nuisance

What about the noise nuisance from Airport Expansion plans ?

  • examples of poor community/local authority relations, poor community/police relations/low levels of trust in local politicians

How exactly are low levels of trust in the police and in local politicians, going to be improved by such spying and snooping on local communities by those very same politicians ?

  • surveys of community views on reassurance, cohesion and safety matters
  • state of local economic activity (decline or improvement)
  • financial and social investment in the area
  • demand for housing and condition of the local housing stock
  • plans for renewal and the sustainability of planned or actual improvements
  • political extremism

What is the definition of "political extremism" ?

Anybody who disagrees with the Labour government ?

It would be a disaster, of Northern Irish "Troubles" proportions, if the local police force were to be seen to be involved in party political or religious monitoring or discrimination, but that is exactly what they are being drawn into with this scheme.

  • media reports.

So is every Local Authority now going to waste money setting up its own "media monitoring unit" ?

This whole scheme appears to give the impression that the Labour government only appear to be willing to listen, and then to apply propaganda resources and other "community" investment, once there have been demonstrations, protests and violent incidents - peaceful lobbying and dialogue is ignored.

If you look at the sample "Tension Monitoring Form" reproduced below, it is obvious that such forms, or the central database of such forms, will not have enough detailed information to give a full, true picture of each "incident", but there will be sufficient details to create "guilt by association" and to stereotype a particular area unfairly, and to blacklist any individuals who might be directly or indirectly identifiable.

Note that there is no mechanism for error correction or appeal, and no sanctions against abuse of power by officials, who will be trying to use the exemptions under the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act to keep this all secret from the public.

The Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act are only cited, so as to advise how the rights of citizens might be curtailed through the use of exemptions e.g.

59. There are a number of exemptions from disclosure under the FOIA which could be applicable if a local authority wished to consider refusing disclosure. You may wish to take into account the possible damage which disclosure would do by identifying areas at risk of disturbance. If the identity of an area became known sections of the media might publicise this. This could in turn create an expectation of disorder.

Despite claiming that "personal data" should, ideally, not be collected, they neglect to mention that "personal data" includes data about a person who can easily be identified via a cross-check on another database or system.

54. As far as possible, the data provided under tension monitoring arrangements should not be 'personal data' ie it does not identify individuals and could not be used to identify individuals in conjunction with other information.

How can this possibly work in practice ? If there are "reports" of say, "inflammatory preaching" , how difficult is it going to be to associate those reports with known priests or imams at local churches or mosques ?

The enemies appear to be, in part , "the media", and Hazel Blears and her minions are actually advising secrecy and coverups, and spin, rather than transparency and media and public friendly openness.

Apparently there is a secret (i.e. non-public) document

I&DeA Toolkit: Building a relationship with the media


(Please forward us a copy or a link to a public access version of this document)

The creepy words "horizon scanning" linked to Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Emergency Planning also sneak into this document - exactly the same language as is used by MI5 the Security Service and the Metropolitan Police Counter-terrorism Command, when they talk of data warehousing and the "Rich Picture" to identify "threats".

There is an example of the sort of data which the central government bureaucrats expect the local government ones to collect and to pass on to each other and to report back to the centre in Appendix A the example Tension Monitoring Form.

Sample Tension Monitoring Form

Please complete each column with as much detail as possible, including whether the situation/incident is 'experienced' (what communities are feeling); 'evidenced' (an event that has happened); or 'potential' (something which might happen).

Name of local authority area:

Name of person completing the report: Organisation:
The overall community tension risk in this area is assessed as___________ [insert high / medium / low / no tensions as appropriate] based on the information contained within this report.

Date Details of Situation/Incident (ie where, when, who (age, gender, ethnicity, faith), and what (useful to specify whether 'experienced', 'evidenced' or 'potential').Media coverage/ angle takenAction Taken Likely Future Impact
Date Details of Situation/Incident Media coverage/ angle takenAction Taken Likely Future Impact
Date Details of Situation/IncidentMedia coverage/ angle takenAction Taken Likely Future Impact
Date Details of Situation/Incident Media coverage/ angle takenAction Taken Likely Future Impact
Date Details of Situation/Incident Media coverage/ angle takenAction Taken Likely Future Impact
Date Details of Situation/Incident Media coverage/ angle takenAction Taken Likely Future Impact
Date Details of Situation/Incident Media coverage/ angle takenAction Taken Likely Future Impact

This ghastly bureaucratic questionnaire reminds us of those mentioned in the satire The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek.

The similarities between the incompetent police state bureaucracy just before the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the First World War, and that which has been instituted by the failing Labour regime and with its "Community Cohesion" snooping and "intervention", are remarkable.

From the chapter "Švejk's Budějovice anabasis":

(Google Books have a scanned version of this online)

Sergeant Flanderka again smiled with a satisfied smile and put the secret instruction away with other documents into the file with the inscription: 'Secret Orders'.

There were many of them, which the Ministry of the Interior drew up in collaboration with the Ministry of Regional Defence, to which the gendarmerie was subordinated.

At the regional headquarters of the gendarmerie in Prague could not cope with their duplication and distribution.

There were:

Orders for the control of the attitude of the local population.

Directives on how to converse with the local inhabitants and elicit from them what influence the news from the front had on their attitude.

A questionnaire on how the local population reacted to the war loans which had been issued and the collections which had been instituted.

A questionnaire on the morale of those who had been called up and those who were to be called up.

A questionnaire on the morale of the members of local government and intellectuals.

An order for the immediate supply of information about the political party affiliations of the local population and the strength of the various political parties.

An order for the control of the activity of the leaders of of the local political parties and information on the degree of loyalty of certain political parties represented in the local population.

A questionnaire on what newspapers, journals and brochures came to the district of the gendarmerie station.

Instructions on how to obtain information on the contacts of people suspected of disloyalty and what their disloyalty consisted of.

Instructions on how to recruit paid denouncers and informers among the local population.

Instructions for paid informers from the local population who were officially registered at the gendarmerie station.

Every day brought new instructions, directives, questionnaires and orders.

Swamped with this flood of inventions from the Austrian Ministry of Interior, Sergeant Flanderka had amassed an enormous backlog of unprocessed papers and answered the questionnaires in a stereotyped way: everything was in perfect order here and the loyalty of the local population could be graded I.a.

The Austrian Ministry of Interior invented the following grades for unshakeable loyalty to the monarchy: I.a, I.b, I.c; II.a, II.b, II.c; III.a, III.b, III.c; IV.a, IV.b, IV.c. The last fours in Roman figures meant, in conjunction with 'a' meant, treason and the gallows, with 'b', internment, and with 'c' 'keep under observation and behind bars'.

In the Sergeant's desk there were all sorts of printed papers and lists. The government wanted to know what every citizen thought about it.

In the satirical novel, the bureaucratic Sergeant Flanderka mistakes The Good Soldier Švejk for an enemy Russian rather than a Czech soldier, and, in order to make himself appear more important to his superiors, even exaggerates this mistake by convincing himself that Švejk must actually be an elite high ranking Russian officer spy.

We expect that exactly the same will happen with this "tension monitoring" nonsense. Either people will just "go through the motions" and tick all the "everything is ok here" boxes, or else some apparatchik, ambitious for promotion, or fearful of having their funding cut back, will exaggerate and invent "community tension" where none actually exists, to cast themselves in a good light.

Will such Local Authority "little Hitlers" be tempted to make disproportionate use of their Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act powers for Communications Traffic Data and Directed Surveillance, using "tension monitoring" as an excuse ?


N.B. this comment has been moved from another comment thread to here, where it it is more appropriate, and edited to show where it quotes from the interesting British National Party denunciation of Labour's Hazel Blears' community snooping plans:

Hazel Blears and Little Sister (link to Google cache version of the article as we do not feel like giving the BNP website any direct promotion)]

mary wrote:

Is this scaremongering (from the Guido Fawkes blog) or is there any truth in it?

[N.B. There is no actual Guido Fawkes article on this topic, it must be lurking somewhere in the comments section, which is often full of crass idiocy]

'the Nazis have landed - Hazel Blears brings in Big Brother on steroids

Labour bring in proposals for community spies where all families will be monitored - BBC is quiet on this the most vicious anti Libertarian descent into fascism by Labour/communist purpose and the Nazi EU to date.


take a look at pages 39 to 40 about gagging the local press.


Labour government to set up neighbourhood spying agencies, the New Labour equivalent of the German Nazi Block Wardens who assisted the Gestapo in the Nazi state, are nothing more than fascism in the raw. For it represents an extension of the power of the British state to intrude into the private lives of British citizens that did not exist even during World War Two.

These plans are not the plans of responsible politicians in a democracy, they are a complete admission of failure by decades of failed politicians forcing failed ideas upon an unwilling population.

[mary seems to have left out the original end of that paragraph "-Multi-Culturalism and Mass Immigration prime amongst them."]

The definition of political troublemakers under this plan will apply to everyone who the government regards as against them - from socialists, trade unionists to nationalists and religious leaders and bloggers not in tune with the Labour party.

[The original BNP article did not mention "and bloggers not in tune with the Labour party."]

section 44 includes the definition of a ‘Political incident’, that requires intelligence gathering and monitoring, as: “elections or by-elections at which extremist candidates are standing”.

Could this mean New Labour - or am I getting confused?

what gives Labour the right to define extremistspolitical candidates?

pure fascism from the Labour party!

the current push to up the period of detention without trial to 42 days, is no doubt all part of this ghastly idea. It may be being put forward as only for terrorist offences now, but keep in mind the EU has kept drafted the death penalty for political unrest - presumably targeting the political trouble makers!

but who defines such trouble makers why Labour and the EU off course.

This is the creation of a fascist state being built before our very eyes.

Not only that, once these powers are put in place by the Labour government they will then be voted out at the next general election and the Tories will be in power - and they will use these Labour powers to assist them when they are in power.

A political troublemaker as defined by the Labour Party is not a political troublemaker that will be so defined by the Tories when they are in power.

What next - internment camps for those that puts plastic bottles in the glass recycling bins or concentration camps for political dissidents.

This is a scandal of epic proportions.

Put your bins out late you will not only be fined you will go on a government data base as a terrorist and criminal.

Don’t like your neighbour - then ring the community monitoring nazis up and report them.

Don’t use your real name, just use your other neighbours name and report the neighbour you don’t like.

Don’t like your Christian neighbour, then report them as a religious bigot and get the council to spy on them.

Don’t like the black guy next door, then report them for racism.

The possible permutations for abuse are vast.

This is an insane idea, one of the most draconian and authoritarian state policies since the Nazis and the Soviet Communists.

Hazel Blears has revealed the true nature of the Labour Party, which is a corrupt police state run by tyrants.

This plan is also against the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 as the plan states they will collect details on individuals political beliefs, race and opinions - all of which are defined as sensitive data under the DPA and can only be collected with EXPRESS permission of the person whose details are being collected.

The fact the idiot Blears has stated she has even thought about this plan will destroy the Labour Party at the next election - as the British people, as Orwell knew, despise Big Brother and they will despise Blears Little Sister as well.

More than 10 million people are to have their everyday disputes, their politics and their business lives checked by new “tension monitoring” committees.

The committees are to be set up to try to cut the risk of
riots or disturbances in the aftermath of terrorist outrages or
outbreaks of local racial trouble. They will ask for and file reports on
named troublemakers whose political activities are considered to be
raising community tensions.

Reports on the behaviour and attitudes of local residents will be collected by community workers, neighbourhood wardens, local councillors and provided by voluntary organisations, according to a paper published by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears today. It will then be considered by the monitoring committees run by town halls. A sample “tension monitoring form” for use in checking on the likelihood of local racial or religious trouble asks for details of individuals considered to be making political trouble. The monitoring committees will ask for information on those identified as troublemakers with includes “age, gender, ethnicity and faith” of those being reported on.

The committees will include representatives from housing authorities, schools, the NHS, the fire brigade, community workers and neighbourhood wardens in area which have them. Voluntary, community and faith groups will also be asked to provide information.

They will record “qualitative community intelligence” alongside reports of race incidents, gang and turf conflicts, disputes between neighbours, complaints about noise, and examples of low local trust, including low trust in politicians.

Economic activity, including business investment, and housing demand will also be monitored. So will political extremism. The “sample tension monitoring form” provided by civil servants as a model for councils to follow in recording information calls for the name of the monitor and his or her organisation to be filed. It asks for an assessment of whether levels of community tension are high, medium or low. Under the heading “political” monitors are asked to provide “details of situation/incident (ie where, when, who (age, gender, ethnicity, faith), and what (useful to specify whether ‘experienced, evidence, or potential).”

Now we start to see the real need for ID cards. (EU directive)ID cards were originally called ‘Entitlement cards’.

People like us would rapidly find we had no access to employment, social security benefits or even health care. We would not even have recourse to appeal when the doctors receptionist put our card in the reader and it came back ‘Withold Services’ purely because of our political affiliations and our love of freedom and belief in democracy. The receptionist would just say ‘nothing to do with me, you’ll have to speak to the NHS’ and then we would enter a beauracratic nightmare that would make Kafka’s The Trial look friendly.

The building blocks for this have been quietly slipped into place over the last 30 years.

Labour politicians are ideological kinsmen of the people who built the Gulags, known in this country as Titan Gaols

The following is to be “monitored”:

“Political extremist political activity (leafleting, graffiti, meetings); elections or by-elections at which extremist candidates are standing;local demonstrations;”

after the monitoring i presume it is the gulags for anyone who does not agree with Labour/EU policy and wishes to reject it or protest.

no doubt the new ability of the lowest of local goverment snoops having access to your emails and telephone calls will be used in this war on the people.

If anyone thinks I’m exaggerating, then read it yourself. Just remind yourself that this is not a museum piece from Communist Eastern Germany, or part of the script for ‘Animal Farm’, or the synopsis for some horror film: this is, in effect, the official plan for the takeover of Britain.

It stinks of the EUs subversive group common purpose, who also have a hand up the conservatives back!

Obviously the BNP feel that some of these NuLabour control freak community snooping plans are aimed directly at them, but it is interesting that they correctly identify the exact parallels with Fascist and Communist police states and their community snoops, and bureaucracy, just like Sergeant Flanderka in The Good Soldier Svejk.

Will any Guardianistas also condemn this wretched plan ?

Is there any new money being made available by Blears, or will this plan, like so many other political headline grabbing schemes, die a quiet death from apathy and underfunding ?

Is there any actual active or passive resistance to this scheme, by insiders working within Local Government, the police and the other agencies which are to be turned into sate snoopers ?

Are there any insider whistleblowers out there willing to identify the individuals who proposed this scheme ?

@ mary - thanks for your comment,

Do you have a source for your statement

the EU has kept drafted the death penalty for political unrest

The death penalty is expressly forbidden under EU law and constitution and treaties, even the possible threat of the death penalty in non-EU countries is what has lead to all the malarkey with Control Orders and interment under immigration laws instead of deportation or extradition.

Labour politicians are ideological kinsmen of the people who built the Gulags, known in this country as Titan Gaols

The first bit of that sentence may well be true, but they are also incompetent.

However, no Titan Jails have yet been built, and Jack Straw's Ministry of (in)Justice have admitted that they have not secured the funding for building all of the ones which they are planning to, in the face of opposition of everyone who has actually worked in the existing much smaller prisons, which they cannot manage properly.

It stinks of the EUs subversive group common purpose, who also have a hand up the conservatives back!

As with other people who mention "Common Purpose", do you have any actual evidence that they are a corrupt cult, or are they just exploiting the UK Government and EU gravy train of public money for "community leadership training" programmes ?

Are any of those LGA and idea docs listed in Annex A available publicly ? I've tried the first two and can't get them.

@ Laban - do you mean Annex B ?

Perhaps there were copies of these on Hazel Blears' computer which was stolen from her constituency office ?

Annex B
Useful publications

Guidance for Leaders and Chief Executives
Leading cohesive communities: A guide for Local Authority Leaders and Chief Executives, IDeA and Local Government Association (and partners), 2005


There seems to be a 2006 version of this first document at


(you need to use the LGA website's search facility)

Guidance for practitioners Community cohesion – an action guide: Guidance for Local Authorities, Local Government Association (and partners), 2004


This one now resides at:


Community cohesion: SEVEN STEPS a practitioners toolkit, Home Office/Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2005


This now seems to be lurking at:


Measuring cohesion Building a picture of cohesion: A guide for Local Authorities and their partners, Home Office/Local Government Association, 2003

No URL link published for that one.

Working with the media I&DeA Toolkit: Building a relationship with the media

Conflict resolution
Community conflict: a resource pack, Home Office/Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2006

No URL link published for that one.

Community conflict: causes and action, Lemos & Crane, 2004

My God, Hazel Blears reminds me so much of Mrs. Umbrage from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! She seems to be the exact same type of nosy busybody, micromanaging every little detail she can of people's lives simply because she can. I wonder how long it will take before Britons rise up and revolt against that police state insanity.

Wikileaks seem to have a leaked Restricted document which lists the pyramid of acronyms and bureaucratic quangos which constitute the UK Government's counter terrorism PREVENT strategy to supposedly win the hearts and minds of the "yoofs" in the "communities".


The actual .pdf document:


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Postnote February 2006 Number 258 - National DNA Database (.pdf) - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

The National DNA Database Annual Report 2004/5 (.pdf) - published by the NDNAD Board and ACPO.

Eeclaim Your DNA from Britain's National DNA Database - model letters and advice on how to have your DNA samples and profiles removed from the National DNA Database,in spite of all of the nureacratic obstacles which try to prevent this, even if you are innocent.

Miscellanous Links

Michael Field - Pacific Island news - no longer a paradise
freetotravel.org - John Gilmore versus USA internal flight passports and passenger profiling etc.

The BUPA Seven - whistleblowers badly let down by the system.

Tax Credit Overpayment - the near suicidal despair inflicted on poor, vulnerable people by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown's disasterous Inland Revenue IT system.

Fassit UK - resources and help for those abused by the Social Services Childrens Care bureaucracy

Former Spies

MI6 v Tomlinson - Richard Tomlinson - still being harassed by his former employer MI6

Martin Ingram, Welcome To The Dark Side - former British Army Intelligence operative in Northern Ireland.

Operation Billiards - Mitrokhin or Oshchenko ? Michael John Smith - seeking to overturn his Official Secrets Act conviction in the GEC case.

The Dirty Secrets of MI5 & MI6 - Tony Holland, Michael John Smith and John Symond - stories and chronologies.

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

Blog Links

e-nsecure.net blog - Comments on IT security and Privacy or the lack thereof.
Rat's Blog -The Reverend Rat writes about London street life and technology
Duncan Drury - wired adventures in Tanzania & London
Dr. K's blog - Hacker, Author, Musician, Philosopher

David Mery - falsely arrested on the London Tube - you could be next.

James Hammerton
White Rose - a thorn in the side of Big Brother
Big Blunkett
Into The Machine - formerly "David Blunkett is an Arse" by Charlie Williams and Scribe
infinite ideas machine - Phil Booth
Louise Ferguson - City of Bits
Chris Lightfoot
Oblomovka - Danny O'Brien

Liberty Central

dropsafe - Alec Muffett
The Identity Corner - Stefan Brands
Kim Cameron - Microsoft's Identity Architect
Schneier on Security - Bruce Schneier
Politics of Privacy Blog - Andreas Busch
solarider blog

Richard Allan - former Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam
Boris Johnson Conservative MP for Henley
Craig Murray - former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, "outsourced torture" whistleblower

Howard Rheingold - SmartMobs
Global Guerrillas - John Robb
Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

Nick Leaton - Random Ramblings
The Periscope - Companion weblog to Euro-correspondent.com journalist network.
The Practical Nomad Blog Edward Hasbrouck on Privacy and Travel
Policeman's Blog
World Weary Detective

Martin Stabe
B2fxxx - Ray Corrigan
Matt Sellers
Grits for Breakfast - Scott Henson in Texas
The Green Ribbon - Tom Griffin
Guido Fawkes blog - Parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy.
The Last Ditch - Tom Paine
The (e)State of Tim - Tim Hicks
Ilkley Against CCTV
Tim Worstall
Bill's Comment Page - Bill Cameron
The Society of Qualified Archivists
The Streeb-Greebling Diaries - Bob Mottram

Your Right To Know - Heather Brooke - Freedom off Information campaigning journalist

Ministry of Truth _ Unity's V for Vendetta styled blog.

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

W. David Stephenson blogs on homeland security et al.
EUrophobia - Nosemonkey

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward


The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

Database Masterclass - frequently asked questions and answers about the several centralised national databases of children in the UK.


Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

Brit Watch - Public Surveillance in the UK - Web - Email - Databases - CCTV - Telephony - RFID - Banking - DNA


MySecured.com - smart mobile phone forensics, information security, computer security and digital forensics by a couple of Australian researchers

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

UK Liberty - A blog on issues relating to liberty in the UK

Big Brother State - "a small act of resistance" to the "sustained and systematic attack on our personal freedom, privacy and legal system"

HosReport - "Crisis. Conspiraciones. Enigmas. Conflictos. Espionaje." - Carlos Eduardo Hos (in Spanish)

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

Corruption-free Anguilla - Good Governance and Corruption in Public Office Issues in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla in the West Indies - Don Mitchell CBE QC

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

PJC Journal - I am not a number, I am a free Man - The Prisoner

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

The Caucus House - blog of the Chicago International Model United Nations

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

The 4th Bomb: Tavistock Sq Daniel's 7:7 Revelations - Daniel Obachike

OurKingdom - part of OpenDemocracy - " will discuss Britain’s nations, institutions, constitution, administration, liberties, justice, peoples and media and their principles, identity and character"

Beau Bo D'Or blog by an increasingly famous digital political cartoonist.

Between Both Worlds - "Thoughts & Ideas that Reflect the Concerns of Our Conscious Evolution" - Kingsley Dennis

Bloggerheads: The Alisher Usmanov Affair - the rich Uzbek businessman and his shyster lawyers Schillings really made a huge counterproductive error in trying to censor the blogs of Tim Ireland, of all people.

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

Henry Porter on Liberty - a leading mainstream media commentator and opinion former who is doing more than most to help preserve our freedom and liberty.

HMRC is shite - "dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)."

Head of Legal - Carl Gardner a former legal advisor to the Government

The Landed Underclass - Voice of the Banana Republic of Great Britain

Henrik Alexandersson - Swedish blogger threatened with censorship by the Försvarets Radioanstalt (FRA), the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishement, their equivalent of the UK GCHQ or the US NSA.

World's First Fascist Democracy - blog with link to a Google map - "This map is an attempt to take a UK wide, geographical view, of both the public and the personal effect of State sponsored fear and distrust as seen through the twisted technological lens of petty officials and would be bureaucrats nationwide."

Blogoir - Charles Crawford - former UK Ambassodor to Poland etc.

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

Lords of the Blog - group blog by half a dozen or so Peers sitting in the House of Lords.

notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society - blog by Dr. David Murakami Wood, editor of the online academic journal Surveillance and Society

Justin Wylie's political blog

Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

Armed and Dangerous - Sex, software, politics, and firearms. Life’s simple pleasures… - by Open Source Software advocate Eric S. Raymond.

Georgetown Security Law Brief - group blog by the Georgetown Law Center on National Security and the Law , at Georgtown University, Washington D.C, USA.

Big Brother Watch - well connected with the mainstream media, this is a campaign blog by the TaxPayersAlliance, which thankfully does not seem to have spawned Yet Another Campaign Organisation as many Civil Liberties groups had feared.

Spy on Moseley - "Sparkbrook, Springfield, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green. An MI5 Intelligence-gathering operation to spy on Muslim communities in Birmingham is taking liberties in every sense" - about 150 ANPR CCTV cameras funded by Home Office via the secretive Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM) section of ACPO.

FitWatch blog - keeps an eye on the activities of some of the controversial Police Forward Intelligence Teams, who supposedly only target "known troublemakers" for photo and video surveillance, at otherwise legal, peaceful protests and demonstrations.

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

Fuel Crisis Blog - Petrol over £1 per litre ! Protest !
Mayor of London Blog
London Olympics 2012 - NO !!!!

Cool Britannia


Free Gary McKinnon - UK citizen facing extradition to the USA for "hacking" over 90 US Military computer systems.

Parliament Protest - information and discussion on peaceful resistance to the arbitrary curtailment of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, in the excessive Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Designated Area around Parliament Square in London.

Brian Burnell's British / US nuclear weapons history at http://nuclear-weapons.info

RIPA Consultations

RIPA Part III consultation blog - Government access to Encrypted Information and Encryption Keys.

RIPA Part I Chapter II consultation blog - Government access and disclosure of Communications Traffic Data

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence.gov.uk - Cabinet Office hosted portal website to various UK Intelligence Agencies and UK Government intelligence committees and Commissioners etc.

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protestClimate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

syf_logo_120.gif Secure Your Ferliliser logo
Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

SIS MI6 careers_logo_sis.gif
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

Serious Organised Crime Agency - have cut themselves off from direct contact with the public and businesses - no phone - no email

Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

netcu_logo_150.gif National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit
National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit - keeps a watch on animal extremists, genetically modified crop protesters, peace protesters etc.
(some people think that the word salad of acronyms means that NETCU is a spoof website)

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV


I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !


Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign


Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."


Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme