2nd day of the HoC Report Stage of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

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If you thought that yesterday's debates on controversial Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill were difficult to follow, then today's list of Amendments is even more obscure.

What is clear is that since all the Government Amendments were "programmed" or "guillotined" to be dealt with yesterday, somehow, as if by magic, the one Government amendment which we saw as a partial concession, New Clause 26, which would have prevented the Human Rights Act 1998 from being amended or repealed , by Order, and whiich would partially have prevented the new legislation from being used to self-modify itself, has been dropped !

Does this have anything to do with the fact that the Prime Minister Tony Blair came out with a weekend spin and disinformation attack on the Human Rights Act, in response to the tabloid headlines of last week ?

There are some Opposition amendments which would also do prevent self-modificaation and more, however, it would be incredible if the Government preferred these to their own amendments, of which there are at least 75 Government Amendments tabled in the name of Hilary Armstrong. to be considered by the end of today's debate.

None of today's Government amendments provide even the weak constitutional safeguards of the Government's own New Clause 26, which now appears to have been lost.

[UPDATE: the New Clause 26 was passed, but without any word of debate, right at the very end of the debate on Monday see the comments below]

Feel free to double the number of people thinking about this incredibly obscure, yet constitutionally vital debate over at the Save Parliament blog if their "live blogging" thread is up an running today, or comment on it here.

77 Comments

They are off - Conservative New Clause 2

Mark Harper (Cons)

NC2 asks for an annual report to Parliament about what has and what has not been de-regulated.

NC 24 is an alternative renewal clause, Part 1 approval every 2 years

NC 7 is a 5 year "sunset clause"

David Howarth Lib Democrat, makes the point that these sunset clauses only affect the Bill/Act, but not any Orders passed by the LRR Act.

David Heath, Liberal Democrat,
Somerset & Frome

reminds everyone that vast amounts of supposedly "urgent" laegislation and regualtions are actually never used or even commenced

Andrew Miller Labour, Ellsemere Port & Neston, chairman of the Regulatory Select Committee

Does not prefer an annual report to Prliament, but wants more powers for investigation and reporting for his own Committee.

The Committee could report on the facts i.e. that a Gov Dept had only de-regulated a few items under the old 2001 Act, but not the reasons why the delays or lack ofprogress happened.

Some sympathy for a periodic Review, but not a "sunset clause".

Mark Harper - Conservative - - NC 24 may be more acceptable

Mark Harper - wants a confirmation of the verbal promise made by Jim Murphy anout a 5 year review.

Pat McFadden, the Cabinet office Minister

"a Minister of the Crown will report to the House no less than 5 years after the Act passes"

Pat McFadden's first "not appropriate to write this on the face of the Bill" .

Presumably there will be more of these.

Pat McFadden is rejecting NC7 sunset clause

Kenneth Clarke (Cons. former Chancellor etc.) - clarification on the reporting period promise "not more" or "not less" than 5 years ?

Pat McFadden - "within 5 years"

Andrew Love (Labour, Edmonton) served on the Regulatory Committee.

Whitehall culture is to create more regulation and law, rather than de-regulation.

Division i.e. a vote on New Clause 2, the annual report to Parliament of the sucesses or failures of this Bill.

This will probably take about 10 minutes or so.

Mr Oliver Heald Mr Jonathan Djanogly Mr Mark Harper

NC2
To move the following Clause:—

'Before the end of the six months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State must prepare and lay before Parliament a report setting out his estimate of the extent to which orders, rules and schemes made pursuant to this Act have—

(a) removed or reduced any burden,

(b) re-enacted any provision having the effect of imposing any burden, in cases where the burden was proportionate to the benefit that was expected to result from such re-enactment,

(c) made any new provision having the effect of imposing a burden that has affected any person in the carrying on of the activity, but was proportionate to the benefit that was expected to result from its creation, or

(d) removed inconsistencies and anomalies in legislation.'.

NC2 vote:

Ayes: 210
Noes: 269

Point of Order - promise by Jim Murphy to produce a Code of Practice in good time for Report stage - unsurprisingly , given the Government's record on this sort of thing, thewre is no such Code of Practice available

Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative Shadow Solicitor General)
Lots of amendmends and cNew Clauses to do with various Procedures "negative" (vote against)and "affirmative" (vote for) and "super-affirmative" (votes in both the Houses of Commons and Lthe House of Lords)

There is also the "vetos" or similar for the Select Committees.

Remember that Committees are always packed with a Government majority.

rewsolutions (ie, votes

Jonathan Djanogly - if Committee issues a "veto", it is only a recommendation to the House of Commons, which can then be overturned by the inevitable Government majority in the Commons.


This is another promise made by Jim Murphy which has not appeared in the amendments.

Just looking through NC19 and am appalled at what a woolly piece of bullshit constitutional legislation it is.

Exactly which aspects of our constitution could not be considered a financial cost, an administrative inconvenience, an obstacle to efficiency, productivity or profitability; or a sanction, criminal or otherwise, for doing or not doing anything in the course of any activity?

That's a serious question.  Are elections safe?  Is Parliament safe?  Is the Monarchy safe?

The Govt-chosen committee vetoes are virtually meaningless.

Jonathan Djanogly - is there to be just one single point of failure, i.e. a special Committee which deals with Orders under this Bill, which would not have the subject expertise of Departmental Select Committees ?

@ Dave Gould - it is as bad as it looks, and the Government "concessions" so far seem to be smoke and mirrors.

Andrew Miller, currently speaking, needed a spare pair of spectacles.

Since only Members of Parliament are allowed on the Benches, he had to impose on one of the very few of his Labour MP colleagues to nip over to the doorway and get them from an aide.

His idea that a "Ministerial Undertaking" has any real force in law or practice , rather than something written into the Bill, does not seem to be strong enough safeguard.

David Heath (LibDem): )paraphraseds):

If the Government gives an undertaking not to ever use powers in the Bill, then what should they be in the Bill in the first place ?


Kenneth Clarke (Cons")said in effect:

"Ministerial Undertaking" only bind an "honourable) Minister, or perhaps the Government which he is a member of. They do not bind future Governments.

Yet again, the former Minister Jim Murphy's "promises and undertakings" are not belived by the Opposition.

This "live blogging" of the Parliament TV feed, is a frustrating experience.

David Heath (Liberal Democrat) - There is no Parliamentary Veto in this Group of Amendments, it is more of a Parliamentary Caveat.

Government does not appear to accept the recommendations of the Procedure Committee and the Regulatory Committee.

@wtwu - You are doing well, I am finding the debate it quite difficult to follow. Having a running commentary helps me understand

@wtwu - You are doing well, I am finding the debate it quite difficult to follow. Having a running commentary helps me understand

David Heath (Liberal Democrat) defends his idea of a "controversy" test involving 10% of MPs of at least 2 Parties, but the Conservatives are not really going for it, in case it sets a precedent for all other prrocedures, not just this"fasttrack" LRRB one.

He makes the valid point that Early Day Motions, even those signed by over half the mebers of the House of Commons are just that, and do not lead to a proper Debate on an issue.

At a guess this Liberal Democrat amendment will not pass.

David Heath (Liberal Democrat) will seek to divide the House i.e. call for a vote on his New CLause 14

I did wonder what was stopping them simply announcing an amendment to appease those concerned but never bringing it before the House.

LRRB always was a grab for totalitarian power and it looks like they're going to get away with it.

Our Parliament has always been woefully inadequate in its capacity to hold the executive to account.

I shall be interested to find out what the Queen has to say about it.

Tony Wright, (Labour - Cannock Chase) Chairman of the Public Affairs Committee, who was earlier today on the news regarding the Loans for Peerages Police investigation, is talking about the theory of Select Committees, and the practical reality, taking up Andrew Miller's comment that, despite all the talk about giving powers to Select Committees, not all the Conservative Members have been turning up for duty on his Committee.

Is he for or against the "veto of the veto of the veto" ?

There should be an effective , if qualified, veto.

All this Parliamentary Procedure is of theoretical interest, however, this is all burning up Parliamentary time.

Therei are only about two and a half hours left to consider all the remaining amendments.

Greg Knight (Conservative Yorkshire East) - chairman of the Procedure Committee, read out the evidence that Jim Murphy gave to his Commuttee, promising a Veto, a full Veto.

Hilary Armstrong, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the former Government Chief Whip has just weasled in, and said that the Qualified Veto now proposed, rather than the Full Veto which Jim Murphy promised so often does is somehow ok, because of yesterday's vote which slightly reduced the scope of the Powers i,e, New Clause 19.

Jim Knight does not agree.

Alison Seaback (Labour Plymouth Devonport) makes the point that there should be a 2 year restriction on the re-submission of LRR Orders which are identical or slightly dressed up, once they have been Vetoed

I've been try to follow the debate on Parliament TV. However I've just lost sound. I think the microphones have been turned off.

Sound is back again

BBC Parliament sound is ok

Another half hour gone, and the question of Select Committee Vetoes is still not resolved.

David Howarth (Liberal Democrat for Cambridge, also a Cambridge University academic lawyer)
has just said that one of the changes which was made yesterday was the prevention of self-modification, and modification of the Human Rights Act, i.e. New Clause 26 !

Where exactly did this get passed ??

The proceedings of yesterday's debate might be of interest

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmbills/141/rs1411505.553-557.html

It shows what has happened so far

I have no idea when NC26 got passed - maybe after the debate last night or some commitee?

Maybe the Gov't decided to add NC26 afterall.....

Also noticed that "Line 4, leave out ‘with or without changes’." was negatived on division but "Line 4, leave out ‘with or without changes’ and insert ‘either without changes or with such changes as are necessary to take into acount any development in the law since the time the recommendations were made.’."

I'm dissapointed in Mr Heath & Mr Howarth who seem to have proposed the second of these two but not the first. (I'm reading this right aren't I?!)

It seems that it was not debated but "nodded through" right at the very end !!

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm060515/debtext/60515-0079.htm

New Clause 26

EXCEPTED ENACTMENTS

‘An order under this Part may not make provision amending or repealing any provision of—

(a) this Part; or

(b) the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42).'. —[Hilary Armstrong.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

Bill, as amended in the Standing Committee, to be further considered tomorrow.

Mr. Heath: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether you could help us. The last group of amendments for consideration today, which we did not have an opportunity to debate at all, included some very important amendments on the constitutional arrangements, particularly the application to the Scotland Act 1998 and the way in which the Bill interacts with Scottish affairs in the Scottish Parliament. Is there any opportunity to discuss those matters tomorrow, given that we have a further day on Report and that under today’s timetable we have had no debate whatever of those subjects?

Mr. Speaker: There is not. Under the terms of the programme motion, to which the House agreed, that cannot be done.

Aaaaaargh !!!

Pat McFadden (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Cabinet Office) is not convincing Kenneth Clarke about this wretchedly complicated Select Committee Veto stuff.

Pat McFadden is rejecting the Liberal Democrat NC 14 and for the two year rule.

"I understand the reasoning behind these amendments ... however"

Repeat of yesterday - the Labour Party MPs vibrating pagers have gone off again, whilst Pat McFadden has been speaking, and both he and someone else in view have reached into their pockets to turn them off.

Presumably, the lobby fodder is being summoned electronically - a vote is probably due in say, the next, 15 minutes.

N.B. if these are normal, Alphanumeric Message Pagers from BT, these unencrypted messages are almost trivially intercepted and read by anyone with a radio scanner, anywhere in the UK, and some FLEX or POCSAG protocol decoding software from off the internet.

Division (i.e. a vote) on the Conservative's New Clause 5

Mr Oliver Heald Mr Jonathan Djanogly Mr Mark Harper

NC5
To move the following Clause:—

'(1) Where within the period set out in section 13 either House of Parliament resolves that the content of an order is inappropriate for provision to be made under section [Power to remove or reduce burdens] , there shall be no further proceedings in respect thereof.

(2) An order which has the same or similar effect to one that has previously been prevented from passing under the provisions of subsection (1) may not be laid under Part 1 within the subsequent two-year period.

(3) In this section, "two year period" means the period of two years beginning with the day on which the draft order was laid before Parliament under section 12.'.

New Clause 5 vote

Ayes: 205

Noes: 256

Division (vote) on the Liberal Democrat New Clause 14

Veto by specified number of Members of House of Commons

Mr David Heath
David Howarth

NC14
To move the following Clause:—

'No order may be made under Part 1 where both of the following conditions have been fulfilled—

(a) within the period defined in section 13(7), more than 10 per cent. of the members of the House of Commons have signified to the Speaker in writing that they object to the use of the Act for purpose of introducing the order in question, and

(b) the members referred to in subsection (1) above are not all members of the same party.'.

New Clause 14

Ayes: 85

Noes: 259

David Heath (Liberal Democrat) raises New Clause 15

"Sub-delegated legislative functions"

which tries to restrict the power of Ministers under the Bill, to delegate the Order powers to any other person

This tries to close the loophole whereby an Order made by an Minister has to go through the (inadequate) safeguards in the Bill i.e. the Committee Vetoes etc., but if a Minister delegates the Order making power to someone else e.g. to a Quango or a petty official etc. they are not subject to even those inadequate safeguards.

Oliver Heald (Conservative) - says he will support NC 15

The Minister Pat McFadden looks like he is going to reject this NC15, and the amendments. to it.

Pat McFadden is trying to reassure Mark Fisher(Labour) about the Delegation of Order making powers, which may enable arbitrary sub-delegation to other people.

This is impossible to do properly in the last 5 minutes before the Guillotine deadline at 9pm

Point of Order by Jim Knight (Conservative) the chairman of the Procedures Committee - sought confirmation from the Speaker that Parts 2 and 3 of this very important Bill will not receive any Parliamentary scrutiny at all during this Report stage, because of the Government's guillotine.

The Deputy Speaker confirned that this looked very likely

It is utterly disgraceful that the potentially massive impact of these other parts of the BIll have not been debated:

    >
  • Part 2 Regulators

  • >Part 3 Legislation relating to the European Communities etc
  • Part 4 Supplementary and general
  • which includes the worldwide exyent which was refered to yesterday

    34 Extent (1) An order under section 1 which amends, repeals or replaces legislation extending outside England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may have the same extent as that legislation.

    Division on the Liberal Democrat New Clause 15

    Sub-delegated legislative functions

    Mr David Heath
    David Howarth

    NC15
    To move the following Clause:—

    '(1) Where, by an order under this part, the function of legislating has been conferred on a person, any legislation that person makes must be made by statutory instrument.

    (2) The procedures specified in section 10 and section [Veto by specified number of Members of House of Commons] shall apply to any legislation made by any person on whom the power to legislate has been conferred under this part.

    (3) Any person on whom the power to legislate has been conferred under this part shall be subject to the same duties to consult before exercising that power as those to which a minister of the Crown is subject under section 11.

    (4) Legislation made by a person on whom the function of legislating has been conferred under this part—

    (a) may not delegate further any power to legislate,

    (b) may only be made for purposes for which orders under this part may themselves be made, and

    (c) is subject to the same restrictions as orders under this part.'.

    NC 15

    Ayes : 200

    Noes: 259

    Conservative "Eurosceptic" New Clause 17, which has not been debated is now being voted on:

    Disapplication of European Communities Act 1972 (No. 2)

    Mr William Cash
    Mr David Heathcoat-Amory
    Mr Edward Leigh
    Mr Richard Shepherd
    Sir Peter Tapsell
    Mr Nigel Dodds

    Mark Pritchard
    Mr Michael Fallon
    Mr Philip Dunne
    Mr David Burrowes
    Mr Charles Walker
    Mr Lee Scott
    Mr Stewart Jackson
    Peter Viggers
    Mr James Gray
    Mr Nick Hurd
    Mr Philip Hollobone
    Mr Mark Lancaster
    Mr David Gauke
    Anne Main
    Mr Graham Stuart
    Miss Ann Widdecombe

    NC17
    To move the following Clause:—

    '(1) An order made under Part 1 containing provision relating to Community treaties, Community instruments or Community obligations shall, notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972, be binding in any legal proceedings in the United Kingdom.

    (2) In section 1 and this section—

    "Community instruments" and "Community obligations" have the same meaning as in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the European Communities Act 1972 (c. 68);

    "Community treaties" has the same meaning as in section 1(2) of the European Communities Act 1972.'.

    Will this be the last vote on this Bill at Report stage in the Commons ?

    "Lock the doors" - the lobby fodder are all in the Chamber / voting Lobbies.

    New Clause 17 must surely be defeated ?

    New Clause 17

    Ayes: 136

    Noes: 318

    Government Amendments 10 to 45
    just got nodded through with no vote

    Division on Amendment a) to Government Amendment 46 is being voted on.

    Hilary Armstrong

    46
    Page 8, line 17 [Clause 14], leave out subsection (2) and insert—

    '(2) The Minister may make an order in the terms of the draft order subject to the following provisions of this section.

    (2A) The Minister may not make an order in the terms of the draft order if either House of Parliament so resolves within the 40-day period.

    (2B) A committee of either House charged with reporting on the draft order may, at any time after the expiry of the 30-day period and before the expiry of the 40-day period, recommend under this subsection that no further proceedings be taken in relation to the draft order.

    (2C) A recommendation may be made under subsection (2B) only if the committee considers that—

    (a) the provision made by the draft order does not serve the purpose specified in section (Power to remove or reduce burdens)(2), (Power to promote regulatory principles)(2) or (Power to implement Law Commission recommendations)(2) (as the case may be);

    (b) any relevant condition in section 3(2) is not satisfied in relation to any provision of the draft order referred to in section 3(1); or

    (c) the condition in section 3(4) is not satisfied in relation to any provision of the draft order referred to in section 3(3).

    (2D) Where a recommendation is made by a committee of either House under subsection (2B) in relation to a draft order, the Minister may not make an order in the terms of the draft order unless the recommendation is, in the same Session, rejected by resolution of that House.'.

    As Amendments to Hilary Armstrong's proposed Amendment (No. 46):—

    Mr Greg Knight
    Rosemary McKenna
    Sir Robert Smith
    Mr Eric Illsley
    Mr Christopher Chope
    Ms Katy Clark

    Mr Roger Gale
    Lynne Jones
    Mark Fisher
    Kate Hoey
    Jeremy Corbyn
    Kelvin Hopkins

    (a)
    Line 5, leave out from 'with' to end of line 18 and insert 'responsibility for this matter may, at any time after the expiry of the 30-day period and before the expiry of the 40-day period, recommend that no further proceedings be taken in relation to the draft order.'.

    This has not been properly debated either !

    Amendment a) to Government Amendment 46

    Ayes: 200

    Noes: 258

    The Amendment 46 nodded through without a vote.

    Remaining Government Amendments nodded through, without a vote.

    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Hilary Armstrong is now winding up the Third Reading, thanking various people.

    Watching these debates in the Commons where our freedoms are legislated away by our Members of Parliament, without proper detailed scrutiny or debate is really depressing.

    @wtwu Yes I entirely agree

    Oliver Heald - this Bill is not good enough,

    Hopefully the Conservatives will vote against the Third Reading

    The most depressing thing for me is how no one is making the points I see as so simple. Not, of course, making a logical irrefutable debate would make a difference as most the people voting haven't even read the bill, never mind listened to all the debate and given it careful consideration.

    So we now live in a democracy only at the whim of ministers? Is it really that bad? If so it's shocking that they couldn't even debate most of it.

    Could these powers be used to abolish elections and make Tony PM for life for example? Or delegate abolishing health and safety laws to vested interests? Is there any credible democratic oversight left?

    David Heath (liberal Democrats) also said it was marginnally improved from the dangerous initial version.

    Hopefully the Liberal Democrats will also vote against it at Third Reading.

    The Third Reading Division is now underway.

    House of Commons Third Reading of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

    Ayes: 259

    Noes: 213


    Now the Bill goes off to the House of Lords - will they "improve" it at all ?

    This is precisely the sort of thing that makes me despair. In a court of law you get a verdict only if the decision is beyond reasonable doubt. Surely no one could be so credulous as to not have any doubts about this potentially incredibly dangerous piece of legislation?

    More to the point, who are the Labour MPs voting for this thing rallying behind? They must know that Blair's a spent force - they surely can't be that stupid?

    Good question! Who are they supporting? The Bill (under its guise of being a deregulatory Bill for business) was backed from the start by both Brown and Blair. The original Bill was to be part of a new philosophy of a 'risk-based approach to business: ie trust them more, and regulate them less. This was originally thought up by Brown, I think.

    Makes you wonder what happened in between that Bill and this one. The civil servants got it accidentally wrong, is what I heard.

    What if the House of Lords block provisions made under LRRB? Can they be overriden as usual?

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    Ideal Government - debate about UK eGovernment

    NIR and ID cards

    Stand - email and fax campaign on ID Cards etc. [Now defunct]. The people who supported stand.org.uk have gone on to set up other online tools like WriteToThem.com. The Government's contemptuous dismissal of over 5,000 individual responses via the stand.org website to the Home Office public consultation on Entitlement Cards is one of the factors which later led directly to the formation of the the NO2ID Campaign who have been marshalling cross party opposition to Labour's dreadful National Identity Register compulsory centralised national biometric database and ID Card plans, at the expense of simpler, cheaper, less repressive, more effective, nore secure and more privacy friendly alternative identity schemes.

    NO2ID - opposition to the Home Office's Compulsory Biometric ID Card
    NO2ID bulletin board discussion forum

    Home Office Identity Cards website
    No compulsory national Identity Cards (ID Cards) BBC iCan campaign site
    UK ID Cards blog
    NO2ID press clippings blog
    CASNIC - Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card.
    Defy-ID active meetings and protests in Glasgow
    www.idcards-uk.info - New Alliance's ID Cards page
    irefuse.org - total rejection of any UK ID Card

    International Civil Aviation Organisation - Machine Readable Travel Documents standards for Biometric Passports etc.
    Anti National ID Japan - controversial and insecure Jukinet National ID registry in Japan
    UK Biometrics Working Group run by CESG/GCHQ experts etc. the UK Government on Biometrics issues feasability
    Citizen Information Project feasability study population register plans by the Treasury and Office of National Statistics

    CommentOnThis.com - comments and links to each paragraph of the Home Office's "Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme".

    De-Materialised ID - "The voluntary alternative to material ID cards, A Proposal by David Moss of Business Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL)" - well researched analysis of the current Home Office scheme, and a potentially viable alternative.

    Surveillance Infrastructures

    National Roads Telecommunications Services project - infrastruture for various mass surveillance systems, CCTV, ANPR, PMMR imaging etc.

    CameraWatch - independent UK CCTV industry lobby group - like us, they also want more regulation of CCTV surveillance systems.

    Every Step You Take a documentary about CCTV surveillance in the Uk by Austrian film maker Nino Leitner.

    Transport for London an attempt at a technological panopticon - London Congestion Charge, London Low-Emission Zone, Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, tens of thousands of CCTV cameras on buses, thousands of CCTV cameras on London Underground, realtime road traffic CCTV, Iyster smart cards - all handed over to the Metropolitan Police for "national security" purposes, in real time, in bulk, without any public accountibility, for secret data mining, exempt from even the usual weak protections of the Data Protection Act 1998.

    RFID Links

    RFID tag privacy concerns - our own original article updated with photos

    NoTags - campaign against individual item RFID tags
    Position Statement on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products has been endorsed by a large number of privacy and human rights organisations.
    RFID Privacy Happenings at MIT
    Surpriv: RFID Surveillance and Privacy
    RFID Scanner blog
    RFID Gazette
    The Sorting Door Project

    RFIDBuzz.com blog - where we sometimes crosspost RFID articles

    Genetic Links

    DNA Profiles - analysis by Paul Nutteing
    GeneWatch UK monitors genetic privacy and other issues
    Postnote February 2006 Number 258 - National DNA Database (.pdf) - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

    The National DNA Database Annual Report 2004/5 (.pdf) - published by the NDNAD Board and ACPO.

    Eeclaim Your DNA from Britain's National DNA Database - model letters and advice on how to have your DNA samples and profiles removed from the National DNA Database,in spite of all of the nureacratic obstacles which try to prevent this, even if you are innocent.

    Miscellanous Links

    Michael Field - Pacific Island news - no longer a paradise
    freetotravel.org - John Gilmore versus USA internal flight passports and passenger profiling etc.

    The BUPA Seven - whistleblowers badly let down by the system.

    Tax Credit Overpayment - the near suicidal despair inflicted on poor, vulnerable people by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown's disasterous Inland Revenue IT system.

    Fassit UK - resources and help for those abused by the Social Services Childrens Care bureaucracy

    Former Spies

    MI6 v Tomlinson - Richard Tomlinson - still being harassed by his former employer MI6

    Martin Ingram, Welcome To The Dark Side - former British Army Intelligence operative in Northern Ireland.

    Operation Billiards - Mitrokhin or Oshchenko ? Michael John Smith - seeking to overturn his Official Secrets Act conviction in the GEC case.

    The Dirty Secrets of MI5 & MI6 - Tony Holland, Michael John Smith and John Symond - stories and chronologies.

    Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

    Blog Links

    e-nsecure.net blog - Comments on IT security and Privacy or the lack thereof.
    Rat's Blog -The Reverend Rat writes about London street life and technology
    Duncan Drury - wired adventures in Tanzania & London
    Dr. K's blog - Hacker, Author, Musician, Philosopher

    David Mery - falsely arrested on the London Tube - you could be next.

    James Hammerton
    White Rose - a thorn in the side of Big Brother
    Big Blunkett
    Into The Machine - formerly "David Blunkett is an Arse" by Charlie Williams and Scribe
    infinite ideas machine - Phil Booth
    Louise Ferguson - City of Bits
    Chris Lightfoot
    Oblomovka - Danny O'Brien

    Liberty Central

    dropsafe - Alec Muffett
    The Identity Corner - Stefan Brands
    Kim Cameron - Microsoft's Identity Architect
    Schneier on Security - Bruce Schneier
    Politics of Privacy Blog - Andreas Busch
    solarider blog

    Richard Allan - former Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam
    Boris Johnson Conservative MP for Henley
    Craig Murray - former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, "outsourced torture" whistleblower

    Howard Rheingold - SmartMobs
    Global Guerrillas - John Robb
    Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends

    Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

    Nick Leaton - Random Ramblings
    The Periscope - Companion weblog to Euro-correspondent.com journalist network.
    The Practical Nomad Blog Edward Hasbrouck on Privacy and Travel
    Policeman's Blog
    World Weary Detective

    Martin Stabe
    Longrider
    B2fxxx - Ray Corrigan
    Matt Sellers
    Grits for Breakfast - Scott Henson in Texas
    The Green Ribbon - Tom Griffin
    Guido Fawkes blog - Parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy.
    The Last Ditch - Tom Paine
    Murky.org
    The (e)State of Tim - Tim Hicks
    Ilkley Against CCTV
    Tim Worstall
    Bill's Comment Page - Bill Cameron
    The Society of Qualified Archivists
    The Streeb-Greebling Diaries - Bob Mottram

    Your Right To Know - Heather Brooke - Freedom off Information campaigning journalist

    Ministry of Truth _ Unity's V for Vendetta styled blog.

    Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

    W. David Stephenson blogs on homeland security et al.
    EUrophobia - Nosemonkey

    Blogzilla - Ian Brown

    BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

    dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

    Informaticopia - Rod Ward

    War-on-Freedom

    The Musings of Harry

    Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

    The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

    Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

    Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

    Rob Wilton's esoterica

    panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

    Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

    Database Masterclass - frequently asked questions and answers about the several centralised national databases of children in the UK.

    Shaphan

    Moving On

    Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

    Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

    Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

    rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

    Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

    Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

    Brit Watch - Public Surveillance in the UK - Web - Email - Databases - CCTV - Telephony - RFID - Banking - DNA

    BLOGDIAL

    MySecured.com - smart mobile phone forensics, information security, computer security and digital forensics by a couple of Australian researchers

    Ralph Bendrath

    Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

    UK Liberty - A blog on issues relating to liberty in the UK

    Big Brother State - "a small act of resistance" to the "sustained and systematic attack on our personal freedom, privacy and legal system"

    HosReport - "Crisis. Conspiraciones. Enigmas. Conflictos. Espionaje." - Carlos Eduardo Hos (in Spanish)

    "Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

    Corruption-free Anguilla - Good Governance and Corruption in Public Office Issues in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla in the West Indies - Don Mitchell CBE QC

    geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

    PJC Journal - I am not a number, I am a free Man - The Prisoner

    Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

    The Caucus House - blog of the Chicago International Model United Nations

    Famous for 15 Megapixels

    Postman Patel

    The 4th Bomb: Tavistock Sq Daniel's 7:7 Revelations - Daniel Obachike

    OurKingdom - part of OpenDemocracy - " will discuss Britain’s nations, institutions, constitution, administration, liberties, justice, peoples and media and their principles, identity and character"

    Beau Bo D'Or blog by an increasingly famous digital political cartoonist.

    Between Both Worlds - "Thoughts & Ideas that Reflect the Concerns of Our Conscious Evolution" - Kingsley Dennis

    Bloggerheads: The Alisher Usmanov Affair - the rich Uzbek businessman and his shyster lawyers Schillings really made a huge counterproductive error in trying to censor the blogs of Tim Ireland, of all people.

    Matt Wardman political blog analysis

    Henry Porter on Liberty - a leading mainstream media commentator and opinion former who is doing more than most to help preserve our freedom and liberty.

    HMRC is shite - "dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)."

    Head of Legal - Carl Gardner a former legal advisor to the Government

    The Landed Underclass - Voice of the Banana Republic of Great Britain

    Henrik Alexandersson - Swedish blogger threatened with censorship by the Försvarets Radioanstalt (FRA), the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishement, their equivalent of the UK GCHQ or the US NSA.

    World's First Fascist Democracy - blog with link to a Google map - "This map is an attempt to take a UK wide, geographical view, of both the public and the personal effect of State sponsored fear and distrust as seen through the twisted technological lens of petty officials and would be bureaucrats nationwide."

    Blogoir - Charles Crawford - former UK Ambassodor to Poland etc.

    No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

    Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

    Lords of the Blog - group blog by half a dozen or so Peers sitting in the House of Lords.

    notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society - blog by Dr. David Murakami Wood, editor of the online academic journal Surveillance and Society

    Justin Wylie's political blog

    Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

    Armed and Dangerous - Sex, software, politics, and firearms. Life’s simple pleasures… - by Open Source Software advocate Eric S. Raymond.

    Georgetown Security Law Brief - group blog by the Georgetown Law Center on National Security and the Law , at Georgtown University, Washington D.C, USA.

    Big Brother Watch - well connected with the mainstream media, this is a campaign blog by the TaxPayersAlliance, which thankfully does not seem to have spawned Yet Another Campaign Organisation as many Civil Liberties groups had feared.

    Spy on Moseley - "Sparkbrook, Springfield, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green. An MI5 Intelligence-gathering operation to spy on Muslim communities in Birmingham is taking liberties in every sense" - about 150 ANPR CCTV cameras funded by Home Office via the secretive Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM) section of ACPO.

    FitWatch blog - keeps an eye on the activities of some of the controversial Police Forward Intelligence Teams, who supposedly only target "known troublemakers" for photo and video surveillance, at otherwise legal, peaceful protests and demonstrations.

    Other Links

    Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

    Fuel Crisis Blog - Petrol over £1 per litre ! Protest !
    Mayor of London Blog
    London Olympics 2012 - NO !!!!

    Cool Britannia

    NuLabour

    Free Gary McKinnon - UK citizen facing extradition to the USA for "hacking" over 90 US Military computer systems.

    Parliament Protest - information and discussion on peaceful resistance to the arbitrary curtailment of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, in the excessive Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Designated Area around Parliament Square in London.

    Brian Burnell's British / US nuclear weapons history at http://nuclear-weapons.info

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    UK Legislation

    The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

    The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

    Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

    UK Legislation Links

    UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

    UK Commissioners

    UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

    UK Intelligence Agencies

    Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

    Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

    MI5 Security Service
    MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

    syf_logo_120.gif Secure Your Ferliliser logo
    Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

    cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
    Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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    Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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    Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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    National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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    Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

    Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

    It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

    For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

    Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

    Campaign Button Links

    Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
    UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

    NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
    NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

    Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
    Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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    FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

    Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
    Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

    Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
    Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

    Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
    Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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    Open Rights Group

    The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

    Tor - the onion routing network
    Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

    Tor - the onion routing network
    Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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    Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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    BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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    NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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    Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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    Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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    Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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    Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

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    No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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    I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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    Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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    Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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    Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

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    WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers