Socialist Worker

All-in-one cop service: kidnap, investigate and shred evidence

Issue No. 2399

A team of the Sweeney— police flying squad officers —came up with a novel way of keeping crime under control in the 1990s. They decided to carry out their own kidnappings. 

The London-based cops were called in to investigate when a cash van driver’s partner was kidnapped. The man was told she would be hurt if he didn’t hand over £50,000 of the money he transported. 

The dodgy officers realised that if they did a copycat crime they would also be the people called to find the villains, so they would be investigating themselves. An informer leaked the plan and anti-corruption police started investigating the team. 

A report into one of the group said, “This scenario has allegedly been used on one other occasion by the officer when he netted £40,000.” Somehow the rogue cops found out they were being watched and abandoned further plans. 

Perhaps unsurprsingly the investigation stopped at this point for lack of evidence. And the stored files were among those shredded with a lorryload of other evidence of police corruption. 

We only know it happened at all because a duplicate of the file has been leaked to the BBC since the shredding.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said, “The nature and scale of corruption within the MPS in the 1990s was recognised at the time as entirely unacceptable. The fight against corruption was carried out with determination, vigour and innovation.”

They went on to assure us that far from kidnapping people, now “victim care is of the utmost importance”. Something that probably won’t surprise anyone is that one of the officers in the intelligence reports was friendly with those who were suspected of murdering Daniel Morgan in 1987.

Kelloggs---they’re not so grrrreat!

Forget anything you may have seen in an animated advert or heard about traditional values at Kellogg’s. Last week the food multinational locked out 226 workers at its factory in Memphis, Tennessee.

Among other products they produce Frosties and Corn Flakes. The firm wants to cut wages and worsen conditions. It says it will not pay “above market wages”.

Kellogg’s is trying to sack full time members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union and replacing them with temporary workers. The corporate greed is not down to poverty. The company just bought Pringles for £1.6 billion.

A senior City executive in London ran up £43,000 in dodged train fares. With the outrageous price of rail fares you might feel sympathy, but this hedge fund manager paid the lot off in one go when he was caught.

No, for God’s sake don’t attack Tories

Labour’s parliamentary candidate in St Austell and Newquay in Cornwall has been suspended for making offensive tweets. What was Deborah Hopkins’ crime? It must have been pretty horrendous in a political bubble where casual racism is almost expected.

But no, she accused the Tories of “killing the sick” and “starving the disabled”. She described the British Empire as “genocide”. Apparently attacking the government, telling the truth and defending the poor really is going too far. 

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has announced the creation of “up to three” new garden cities. To cope with the housing shortage after the Second World War 27 new towns were built, and funded. Clegg says his towns will be built from an existing budget. No wonder Cameron let him announce it.

Was Tamiflu vital or just like paracetamol?

The government spent £473 million stockpiling the Tamiflu in case of a flu pandemic.

But a new study by Cochrane Collaboration argues that a paracetamol would probably have the same effect. It concludes, “There is no credible way these drugs could prevent a pandemic.”

The drug is produced by Roche, whose own report suggested it could save tens of thousands of lives. Campaigning scientist Ben Goldacre said this case “perfectly illustrates the need for full transparency around clinical trials... and the failure of the regulatory system.”

The current system is very profitable. Roche struggled to get Cochrane Collaboration to sign a confidentiality agreement before viewing  its data.

Don’t fasten your seatbelt

Passengers at Ostersund airport Sweden stopped a man being deported by collectively refusing to fasten their seatbelts. The authorities were deporting Ghader Ghalamere to Iran, where he had faced persecution as a Kurd. 

He had to flee without a passport and the Swedish government says he must return to Iran to apply to live in Sweden. His wife told passengers in the departure lounge about the case and when they boarded they refused to follow instructions. Ghader has a temporary reprieve to stay. 

Prime minister David Cameron flew off to chillax in Lanzarote on Ryanair last week. No really, the old-Etonian is just like anyone else. Of course the choice of airline was a stunt—the Camerons are not strapped for cash. They only cancelled their previous holiday in Thailand in case it looked bad. Last summer they managed four breaks—Ibiza, Portugal, Cornwall and Scotland.

So it’s goodbye to culture secretary Maria Miller. But be warned—David Cameron “hopes to see her back soon”. She has donated her £17,000 severance pay to charity. But she still has the bulk of the expenses money. And of course the £1.25 million profit she made on the house the public bought for her.


The number of bottles of champagne drunk in the House of Commons has gone up by 1,000 each year since the coalition came to office. It was 4,691 in 2010 and 8,082 in 2013, a massive 72 percent rise. Are they all quaffing it together?

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The Troublemaker
Tue 15 Apr 2014, 19:08 BST
Issue No. 2399
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