Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2673

Letters—Progressive groups listed on cop ‘counter-terror’ list

This article is over 4 years, 2 months old
Issue 2673
Oxford NHS trust are among those receiving the document
Oxford NHS trust are among those receiving the document (Pic: Kaishu/Wikipedia)

A counter-terrorism document giving advice to workers includes left wing groups in its safeguarding bulletin—alongside proscribed terrorist organisations.

As a union rep in Oxford Health NHS Foundation I think we need to raise a complaint with the trust about the “Counter Terrorism Policing National Operations Centre Intelligence Signs & Symbols Guidance Document June 2019”.

A “Safeguarding update September 2019” was published on the trust intranet this month.

The guide document, advertised as a guide to far right organisations, includes violent fascist organisations.

It also includes a host of left wing parties and campaign groups that some of our members are members of, such as Greenpeace. None have a history of terrorism.

In small print the guidance notes read, “Membership or support of these groups does not indicate criminality; much of the activity conducted by such groups is lawful protest.”

But it sets the tone of consideration for membership of the included groups in a negative light and creates an association of terrorism. The document ends with advice on reporting suspected activity and advice as to what to do in a terrorist attack.

People are probably aware of the recent referral of a 69 year old doctor to counter-terrorism for his membership of Extinction Rebellion.

The man had clearly made a decision to take part in explicitly non-violent protest out of concern for the worsening climate crisis.

The document was circulated uncritically to staff. Such documents create an atmosphere of fear and suspicion of patients and potentially our members who are engaged in progressive campaigns or political activity.

Our members should not be expected to function as an arm of the security services in reporting people’s political affiliations.

Ian McKendrick 


The document Counter Terrorism Policing National Operations Centre (CTPNOC) Intelligence Signs & Symbols Guidance Document can be read here

Don’t trust the Liberal Democrats

Being a Sheffielder I know how the Lib Dems screwed over students with Nick Clegg’s broken promises over tuitions fees.

Being a disabled woman I’ve seen and suffered the effects of them voting through benefit cuts and sanctions during the coalition government.

The Lib Dems hope we’ll forget seeing people lose their jobs, neighbours evicted and losing loved ones to the effects of policies that Jo Swinson’s party championed.

Last week Swinson blamed anyone but her party for the fact that we ever had a European Union (EU) referendum.

Meanwhile archive footage emerged of her demanding exactly that.

Jo Swinson claims to be anti-fracking yet she just admitted famously pro-fracking MP Angela Smith to her party. She claims to be pro-LGBT+, and yet she also accepted renowned homophobe MP Philip Lee.

Recently the Lib Dem leader gleefully announced that her party intend to overturn the result of the EU referendum—the one she initially demanded.

They can’t be trusted. Swinson unashamedly backed the campaign to erect a statue to Thatcher.

Born in 1980 I lived through losing free school milk and youth clubs, the Falklands war, the military occupation of Northern Ireland and the Battle of Orgreave. We need a Corbyn-led socialist Labour government.

Jennifer Jones 

Sheffield Labour and Momentum, personal capacity 

The fight over climate change is a class battle

The fight to stop climate chaos and the fight against austerity are one and the same fight.

The tiny minority of people who benefit from austerity are the same class of people who back fracking, the car industry and wars for oil.

They pocket the extra profit every time wages are cut or benefits reduced.

The people at the sharp end of austerity are ordinary working class people, and those already suffering from climate change are not the rich.

Our unions are powerful organisations.

So why was the climate strike not backed and led 100 percent by our leaders?

The businesses that are destroying the planet are also destroying working class lives. They could be brought to a standstill by working class power.

J Richardson 


John Mann helps Tories’ war on left

John Mann’s usefulness to the Tories has not just got him the job of antisemitism Tsar, but has also earned him a peerage.

What he seems unaware of is how inappropriate it is to have an “antisemitism Tsar”.

Mann is too stupid and ignorant to have any knowledge of the Tsarist regime’s long history of persecuting Russian and Polish Jews, legal discrimination, bloody pogroms and trials for ritual child murder.

Still no matter. After all he has been put in place not to fight antisemitism but to smear the left and to assist the Tories in their battle against Jeremy Corbyn.

John Newsinger 


New hope for left in the US?

A new group has been formed in the US—Young Americans Against Socialism.

It was founded by Morgan Zegers, daughter of an army colonel.

But it reflects a good thing—the group was set up because more young people in the US say they agree with socialism.

Margaret Baines 


Get Watson out of Labour 

Sick of Tom Watson. It’s really time for him to go. 

Rob Murray 

South Tyneside 

Protest for Hisham Fouad 

Hisham Fouad is still incarcerated in a Cairo prison.

Please protest for the importance of due process and to free political prisoners.

Ray Bush

On Twitter 

SWP is right about Mugabe

I remember welcoming Mugabe coming to power (Socialist Worker, 11 September).

An SWP friend warned me his politics would be top down and authoritarian, a far cry from workers’ control.

He was right.

Hugh Friel 

On Facebook 

Fight war, not climate chaos

Surely stopping the West’s wars in other countries will save people’s lives more (Revolt to save the planet, 18 September)

Andres Viveros 

On Facebook 

Bin this trash from Cameron

Bookshop managers— why not save time and energy?

Send David Cameron’s feeble, self-justifying political biography For the Record—which is destined for the bargin bins before November anyway—straight from the printers to the pulpers?

Sasha Simic

North London 

Sign up for our daily email update ‘Breakfast in Red’

Latest News

Make a donation to Socialist Worker

Help fund the resistance