Socialist Worker

Who's that blending into the background?

Issue No. 1877

EVER FANCIED a job with MI5, Britain's spy agency? Well, now might be your chance.

The agency is looking for administrative staff, and has produced a glossy recruitment brochure.

The first stage of the recruitment process starts with a telephone interview with the Bartlett Scott Edgar firm-which the brochure gives the unfortunate initials BSE.

You then go through another five stages including the security interview that 'covers some potentially sensitive areas of your background and lifestyle'.

Candidates need to be discreet as 'it is important you restrict this information to as few people as possible. If you are interested in joining the Service, it is essential that you start by being discreet.'

If admin work doesn't appeal, there are job details of the much more juicy positions at MI5 handily tucked into the brochure.

The job profile for static surveillance says, 'Surveillance is one of the essential ways in which we collect the information that helps us to build up a picture of the activities of people who might threaten our security or economic well-being. Static surveillance usually involves monitoring the CCTV cameras which record the movements of the targets of our investigations.'

If you want to be a mobile surveillance officer and follow suspects, MI5 is looking for people 'able to retain anonymity and blend into the background'.

Child labour scam

TOP supermarket Sainsbury's has been fined £6,600 for employing children without work permits at its Leatherhead store.

Bosses made the children work into the night in breach of employment laws.

Surrey County Council officers found over 50 infringements when they investigated the youngsters' work records.

Ian Hart, Surrey's child employment officer, said, 'I find it appalling that such a well established and respected company failed to monitor and supervise its local managers. It allowed them to employ these children without work permits, and then to work them into the evening, knowing they had school the next day.'

Tories praise IDS at last

GOOD NEWS at last for ousted Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith. Someone has finally given his new novel The Devil's Tune a good review.

It says, 'Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Iain Duncan Smith's debut novel is an ingenious fast-paced thriller.'

Where is this review? On the Tory Party's website.

Free speech US-style

'I LOVE free speech,' George Bush told Australian MPs after he was heckled.

Funny that protesters against Bush in the US are now put in 'Free Speech Zones' up to a mile from where he will be.

Brett Bursey attended a Bush speech given at Columbia Airport with a sign reading 'No More War For Oil'.

He was ordered to put down his sign or move to the designated protest site half a mile away. He refused. Bursey now faces charges that could land him with up to six months in prison and a fine of $5,000.

A toy to treasure

LOOKING FOR the ultimate bad taste gift for children this Christmas?

Try the Elite Force Aviator George W Bush 12-inch action figure, a 're-creation of the commander in chief's appearance during his historic aircraft carrier landing.

'On 1 May President Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln and officially declared the end to major combat operation in Iraq.' Only $39.99.
Thanks to Clare Fermont

Class(ified) by postcode

YOUR POSTCODE is being used to identify you as a second class citizen, without you even knowing.

Top companies are using computer technology to grade people when they phone call centres.

Computers are programmed to recognise posh postcodes given by callers. Those customers get good treatment, with special deals and personal service. Meanwhile those with postcodes from poorer areas get left in phone queues and are answered by machines.

One company, Experian, has 52 social rankings programmed into its computer software. These include 'clever capitalists' and 'rising materialists' as well as 'smoke-stack shift workers' and a category of 'rootless renters'.

Nick Randall of the AIT Group, which has installed similar software in banks, said, 'You want your best staff dealing with the best customers. Hopefully consumers don't realise what is happening.'

Next time you're held in a long phone queue just think, maybe you've been banged into the rootless renter or shift worker category and dumped at the end of the queue.

City bonus bonanza

ONE GROUP of people can look forward to a bumper Christmas this year-merchant bankers.

Top bosses in the City of London are expecting bonuses of up to £3 million, 50 percent up, to celebrate the end of a three-year fall in share prices.

City share forecasters and equity analysts are looking forward to £1.1 million in bonuses this Christmas-20 percent more than last year. Investment bankers can expect the measly bonus of £890,000.

IN THIS WEEK - Snapshots from history: 1973

SOME 350,000 engineering workers struck in protest at a fine imposed on their AUEW union (now Amicus) by the National Industrial Relations Court, set up by the Tory government.

The fine had been imposed after workers at the Con Mech firm in Surrey broke anti-union laws by striking when they were sacked for fighting for union recognition.

Socialist Worker reported, 'The rank and file response was magnificent. In Bristol 15,000 were out. In Liverpool 40,000 struck. In Manchester 79,000 were out.'

Figure it out - 21 percent

The amount that the average fine for a conviction on a health and safety offence has dropped by in the last year, according to the Health and Safety Executive. Many cases involving the death of a worker are heard in magistrates' courts, where employers can face the maximum fine of just £20,000.

Who says?

'We suffer from elitism in the US. The interests of the wealthy and powerful are always protected. Low-income Americans are excluded from decisions about the economy or going to war in Iraq or funding schools.'
Jerry Springer, US talk show host

'We welcome Milburn's conversion to Conservative Party policy.'
LIAM FOX, Tory chairman, congratulates New Labour's former cabinet minister for effectively advocating the end of social housing

'They used me as a way to symbolise all this stuff. It's wrong.'
PRIVATE JESSICA LYNCH, rescued US soldier criticises the Pentagon's propaganda

'I'm sorry there's confusion-it's early days.'
DAVID EDMONDS, telecoms regulator squirms over the chaos caused by 18 new directory enquiries numbers

'Africa remains central to the UK's development agenda.'
PAUL BOATENG, Treasury minister in October. New Labour is now cutting £100 million from the aid budget to pour into Iraq

'McJob-low-paying, dead end work.'
MERRIAM-WEBSTER, dictionary publishers include this description in their latest edition

'Gateways to opportunity.'

JIM CANTALUPO, McDonald's boss offers his definition of a McJob

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Article information

Sat 15 Nov 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1877
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