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BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower

Richard Bridge 29 Nov 08 - 09:36 PM
Leadfingers 30 Nov 08 - 09:45 AM
s&r 30 Nov 08 - 04:55 PM
Liz the Squeak 01 Dec 08 - 03:53 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Dec 08 - 04:06 AM
Liz the Squeak 01 Dec 08 - 04:08 AM
John MacKenzie 01 Dec 08 - 05:44 AM
s&r 01 Dec 08 - 07:09 AM
sapper82 01 Dec 08 - 08:30 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Dec 08 - 09:52 AM
Sleepy Rosie 01 Dec 08 - 10:37 AM
sapper82 01 Dec 08 - 10:42 AM
Stu 01 Dec 08 - 10:51 AM
sapper82 01 Dec 08 - 11:10 AM
John MacKenzie 01 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Dec 08 - 02:47 PM
Liz the Squeak 01 Dec 08 - 04:20 PM
VirginiaTam 01 Dec 08 - 04:25 PM
Liz the Squeak 01 Dec 08 - 04:46 PM
Terry McDonald 01 Dec 08 - 05:21 PM
Liz the Squeak 01 Dec 08 - 06:17 PM
Terry McDonald 01 Dec 08 - 06:24 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Dec 08 - 07:45 PM
Bonecruncher 01 Dec 08 - 09:32 PM
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Subject: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Nov 08 - 09:36 PM

According to one view, a conservative front-bencher allegedly conspires with a civil servant with (allegedly) a party-political perspective allegedly to steal civil service secret documents allegedly to exploit them for party political advantage.

Then parliamentarians object when the police investigate the alleged conspiracy and alleged theft.

According to the other view, Parliament must be free without impeachment to investigate and challenge the government.

Discuss.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 09:45 AM

Without accurate info , rather than biased comments , I am not commenting !


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: s&r
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 04:55 PM

I see no reason why any person should be exempt from a properly conducted police investigation.
Parliamentary privilege should be abolished except where national security is concerned. I find it distasteful that comments that would be slanderous outside the Houses of Parliament are unactionable if uttered within.

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 03:53 AM

I think the crux of this matter is the 'theft' by a Civil Servant.

The majority of, if not all, Civil Servants (Government employees) are bound by the Official Secrets Act to not reveal secrets and certain information to the general public.

Theft is a crime in any occupation.

To entice a Civil Servant to steal secret documents is doubly wrong.

Of course, a lot of the information the Government keeps secret can be considered by some to be morally wrong, so its revelation to the general populace would be a good thing.

Two wrongs do not make a right though. There are ways to 'blow the whistle' but they should not include theft.

LTS - Civil Servant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 04:06 AM

Precisely my view LTS. Why are all the papers banging the other drum?


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 04:08 AM

Ye Gods Richard.... we agree on something!!! Worlds will collide, the skies will fall and Bush will say something sensible and itelligible!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 05:44 AM

The papers are banging the other drum on a self interest basis.
This would also deprive some civil servants of the odd unsolicited gift.
'Honest guv, I've no idea why that nice reporter from the Daily Blah would send me a bottle of 20 year old malt whisky, accompanied by the £100 Harrod's gift certificate for my partner. Only met him in Annabelle's last week'
So if they say 'It's about freedom of information!, ask them, 'Who's information mate?'


John 'XG'


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: s&r
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 07:09 AM

Depends I suppose whether you think the Law is above the Government or the Government is above the Law.

Would you trust a politician or a policeman?

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: sapper82
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 08:30 AM

So, here we have Neues Arbeit, the Partie that has probably made most use of leaks, both in oposition and in government, in the entire history of parliament, arranging for the arrest of someone who made use of similarly leaked information.

The information that was leaked was not security sensitive but facts that ought already have been in the public domain and had been supressed simply to avoid embarrassment for Brown and his cohort.

It is the job of Opposition to hold Government to account. This arrest is little more than an attempt to hinder the opposition from doing it's job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 09:52 AM

The requirement to hold government to account does not include breaking the law to do so. Unless of course you count armed insurrection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 10:37 AM

I'm not commenting on any specific incident but on the principle. Which is of course open to any amount of abuse, depending upon the honourable (or otherwise) intentions, of said civil servant.

Such 'theft' may also be considered the moral and social *obligation* of a public servant, who is a *servant of the public*, rather than a servant of whatever government happens to be in power at any given time.

Morally corrupt governments create morally corrupt laws. And laws which protect goverment interests over social interests. We all have a moral obligation to civil disobedience where the laws of the land actually do harm to the collective good. Or where an illegal action, serves society positively. But no-one moreso, than a public servant.

very muddy waters, but give me public servants who break the law for socially correct intentions, over those who fail in their duty to society, and allow wrongfull or ethically dubious government actions to remain secret.

Civil servants have a duty to serve the *public interest* not the interest of government, and especially so when governments in their self-interest, fail to serve public interest. This may necessitate law breaking. Caveats gallore, but essential for democracy IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: sapper82
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 10:42 AM

But Richard, this current Socialist shower of shite have been quite happy to govern by leaked information rather than properly announce things in the chamber.
They also made use of leaked information when in opposition.
From what I can gather, the information that was leaked in this case showed that they were not only failing to tell the truth on certain matters, but were actively lying.

I think it also shows how seriously some on the left take the matter when both Harriet Harman and the former Viscount Stansgate both lend some support to the Tory position.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Stu
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 10:51 AM

"They also made use of leaked information when in opposition."

So who doesn't? What's that statement meant to prove?

New Labour tosspots or Tory gits, it really doesn't matter as they would all do the same and it's naive to think they wouldn't.

Rosie, I think has it spot on. It's a matter of conscience and if that means flouting the Official Secrets Act to bring these issues out into the public arena then so be it. I wouldn't regard it particularly as theft if the information is being made public - we own the state apparatus anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: sapper82
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:10 AM

Good posting Rosie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM

A moral obligation to civil disobedience, is only admirable when it chimes with one's own beliefs.

XG


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 02:47 PM

Civil Servants are indeed there to serve the government. It is what they are for. They are, however, not there to serve party political interests, much less opposition party political interests.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 04:20 PM

Ah but Rosie - do that and you won't be a Civil Servant for long. They are cutting jobs by the thousands - 73 Tax offices being reduced to 15 NATIONWIDE, a freeze on hiring, pay rises not being honoured, enforced early retirement (go before you're pushed), a reduction in Borders Agency staff leaving holes in our "borders" you could drive several truck loads of illegal immigrants through, half the number of staff being made responsible for double - or more - the amount of work (my office now receives and is expected to deal with the post for 6 London areas, on less than the ideal number of staff for 2, when we already export work we cannot cope with), staff forcibly made to travel for over an hour to get to work, offices relocated to areas where there is no infrastructure for transport or getting food... Long gone are the days when being a Civil Servant meant a job for life, regardless of behaviour.

I will have to serve the Government no matter which party wins the next election, it's what I'm employed to do. Did you really think that each new party taking power replaces every Civil Servant with those who think as they do? As a Civil Servant, I am not employed by a political party, but by the duly elected Government of the land. My political leanings have no bearing on my work or my duties. Neither will I risk my job or liberty by committing theft, regardless of what incentive there may be.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 04:25 PM

Same thing happening in local authorities. All top heavy administrations. Essex CEO is on the hunt for partners, which means looking to outsource as much as possible, which means, apply for your own job if it is still there, which means fewer services for the tax money paid.. It is vicious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 04:46 PM

I will have to serve the Government no matter which party wins the next election,

Unless of course, I have lost my job due to Workforce Change or been 'pruned' as too expensive to keep on.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 05:21 PM

Richard - if they were there to serve the government, they'd be called 'government servants.' They are there to serve the people and if they think the government is doing something wrong they have a duty to respond.


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 06:17 PM

A duty to respond yes... but not a duty to steal under the guise of 'moral outrage'.

And civil means many things.

From the Cambridge Dictionary:
"the Civil Service group noun [S]
the government departments responsible for putting central government plans into action:
The British Civil Service is supposed to be non-political."


From Dictionary.com:
"civ-il   /ˈsɪvəl
–adjective 1. of, pertaining to, or consisting of citizens: civil life; civil society.
2. of the commonwealth or state: civil affairs.
3. of citizens in their ordinary capacity, or of the ordinary life and affairs of citizens, as distinguished from military and ecclesiastical life and affairs. "

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 06:24 PM

Steal what? To steal surely means the taking of someone else's property and I've not noticed any 'property' being stolen, simply information that should be made known to the public.

Now just imagine if it had been a Labour MP who'd been arrested.........


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 07:45 PM

Terry, your wishful interpretation of "Civil Servant" is just not so. Check with a contitutional law textbook.

And as for theft - who did the paper belong to?

But you are ignoring the main issue. There is a difference between a politician who receives a leak (or two) and capitalises on them, on the one hand, and one on the other hand who over a period of time suborns (or perhaps suborns) a servant into stealing from his master and betraying his master's secrets (whether for payment or otherwise).


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Subject: RE: BS: Thief @ UK Parliament - or whistleblower
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 09:32 PM

Richard.
Are you not making an assumption that the politician "suborned" the civil servant, based on your reading of newspapers most of which have a political bias? That allegation has yet to be proven. I am sure that you, in particular, would wish to hear both sides of the case.
The aspect that I find most troubling is that, in this case, the Terrorism Acts were invoked, despite categorical assurances in the House that said Acts would only be used for their legitimate and intended purpose.
The senior policeman in charge of this case naturally used such laws as were available to him to do his job, which could be construed as "given an inch and he will take a mile". The Police are remarkably apt at "bending" the law to suit themselves.
Do Parliament not have only themselves to blame for making yet another thoroughly badly drafted law?
Colyn


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