Socialist Worker

Files go missing despite tea and bisuits with the spooks

Issue No. 2431

Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, central London

Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, central London (Pic: Tagishsimon on Wikipedia)


Files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed.

D-notices were warnings not to publish intelligence that might damage national security.

Two newspaper editors said that their publications were issued with them when they sought to report on allegations of a powerful group of men engaging in child sex abuse in 1984. 

One is Hilton Tims, news editor of the Surrey Comet. He said that his chief reporter had informed him that a D-notice had been issued when he tried to write about a police investigation into Elm Guest House, in southwest London. 

Don Hale said he was accosted in his office by 15 uniformed and two non-uniformed police over a dossier on Westminster paedophiles passed to him by the former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle.

Officials running the D-notice system said that files “going back beyond 20 years are not complete because files are reviewed and correspondence of a routine nature with no historical significance destroyed”.

A spokesman for the D-notice system said,“If Don Hale was ‘served’ with anything purporting to be a ‘D-notice’, it was quite obviously a fabrication.”

Which raises as many questions as it answers. They are now called Defence Advisory (DA) Notices.

Twice a year, over tea and biscuits at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, senior editors sit down with senior civil servants to discuss what should be kept secret.

At first it was a forum for newspaper proprietors and military men only. Now Google has a seat.

Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Vallance is the the committee’s current secretary and he issues the DA notices.

The media could choose to ignore any notices. But mostly they don’t.


Tory chancellor George Osborne has brought a new meaning to the label “milk snatcher”.

Apparently he locks away milk in his cabinet office fridge with a padlock to stop crafty Lib Dems having a swig.

The Tories denied that Osbsorne is stingy. They claimed the key was “readily available” on top of the fridge.


School report used to whip up a panic

“This is political correctness gone mad,” bellowed Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh last week.

He was responding to an Ofsted report into Middle Rasen primary school in Lincolnshire.

Right wingers seized on the report to claim that the school was marked down for being “too white”.

In fact Ofsted said teachers should create opportunities for children to mix with others “from different backgrounds beyond the immediate locality”.


Now it’s official—working in the banking industry makes people less honest.

A study from the University of Zurich looked at over 100 employees of a Swiss bank.

It found that when they carried out a simple task after answering questions about their job “a significant proportion of them became dishonest”.

Researchers saw similar findings with several other groups of bankers.

There was no similar finding with other groups such as students or other professionals.


Mail migrant story is wrong - again

Another week, another “clarification” from the Daily Mail. 

It read, “An article in the final edition of yesterday’s paper incorrectly stated that 14.6, 9.5, 4.6 and 

4.2 were the numbers in millions of migrants from India, Pakistan, Nigeria and the Philippines respectively granted UK citizenship in 2012.

“We are happy to clarify that these were in fact the respective percentages of UK citizenships granted to people from those countries.”

Meanwhile over at the Daily Express, political commentator James Delingpole was bemoaning the loss of his beloved England.

“Every time I pop to the shops, I’m reminded that the Britain of my childhood has gone,” he whined.

This amounted to him hearing people speak in languages other than English. Delingpole added, “Until recently it wasn’t something you could admit in public without being called ‘racist’.”


It’s thought that 29,000 people in Britain die each year because of air pollution.

In 2010 Britain exceeded limits for nitrogen dioxide in 40 out of 43 areas. 

The situation is so bad that the European Court of Justice has ordered the government to take action to cut pollution.


IPCC dithers over Miners’ Strike files

More than two years have passed since the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) began considering whether to mount an inquiry into police conduct during the Miners’ Strike.

Now we hear that Troublemaker repeat offender South Yorkshire Police is refusing to hand over potentially vital documents relating to the 1984 “Battle of Orgreave.”

The material is held by the force’s insurers. The cops are apparently in negoiations to find the files. 

The IPCC still hasn’t finished a “scoping exercise” and can’t promise a final decision until next year.


Gove brings in two-day week for Tory MPs

Parliament is on a two-day week until the election next May. Tory chief whip Michael Gove has told Tory MPs not to bother turning up at Westminster on Thursdays.

They already give themselves the DCF (Don’t Come Friday), and arrive on Monday afternoon before swanning off after Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesdays.


Going up

Tory MPs now only need to be in parliament half the week as there’s not enough work to do

Going down

Workers’ pay rises are the worst on record according to official statistics. And pay is falling in real terms


The Things They Say...

‘The ethnic Bangladeshi community has colonised the East End’

The Economist magazine on Tower Hamlets

‘If you yank a dog’s tail then don’t be surprised when it bites you’

BBC radio host Nick Conrad blames women for rape

‘Open a door for a young woman and she’s likely to call security’

Sir Terry Wogan complains about women

‘No, that’s Strood, deputy prime minister’

Radio host Nick Ferrari reminds Nick Clegg where last week’s by-election was

‘No one’s going to defect’

The ever confident Tory MP Michael Gove

‘Jewish people chase money more than everybody else’

Tory donor and former head of JJB sports David Whelan shares his anti-semitism with the world


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 25 Nov 2014, 16:14 GMT
Issue No. 2431
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