I must admit that I’m terribly amused to hear that Jenny Jones of the Green Party has just discovered that the Police have been watching her. Now from where I’m sat any time a member of the great and good gets a taste of what happens to the rest of us it’s a good thing. What puzzles me though is that this was news to Ms Jones, after all she’s hardly the first politician the security forces have held files on. Just search for “MI5 files politicians” to see, or I suppose she could have asked Jack Straw or Peter Mandelson who’ve also had the same honour. Also apparently this was a secret file, so secret that she could only get the contents by having paid £10 and filled out a very long form.
To be fair to Ms Jones and the Green Party she has protested about the powers of the police to put people under surveillance, especially it seems if they’re Journalists, politicians or artistic pensioners.
“When the police’s work on domestic extremism involves spying on elected politicians and artistic pensioners, they have lost sight of what they are there to do.”
She even asked quite a few questions about it back in 2009 following the Kingsworth demonstration, so I can’t help but suspect that she had an inkling that the police might have such a database as she’s found herself on. She does though seem to be learning as her only interjection back in 1197 when debating counter terrorism legislation was to ask that terrorist organizations have their assets confiscated, I guess back then she hadn’t thought that maybe we’re all terrorists now.
I shall look forward to Ms Jones maybe extending her concerns about surveillance to broader examples, such as people that aren’t artistic pensioners or one of her friends. The Met after all were transparent they gave her the contents of their “secret” data base and the Ms Jones’ party doesn’t seem to be calling for much more than that except where it concerns people they like.
So I’m afraid that given the Green Parties general authoritarian penchant until they issue an unqualified call for everyone, even people they don’t like, to be free from this sort of state surveillance I’m going to enjoy her mock discomfiture. after all she didn’t even include details as to where one can find that “very long form”.