Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill

The ongoing siege on the democratic nature of the United Kingdom is well underway from the Conservatives. Power grabs, democratic shutouts and Authoritarian policies are becoming scarily regular.

In recent weeks and months, we have seen Westminster grab powers that should be rightfully handed to the three devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. We have seen MPs vote to protect potential war criminals from facing charges and we have all heard of certain government advisors flouting the Coronavirus regulations.

In yet another oppresive move from the government Conservative and Democratic Unionist MPs have voted to allow the “Authorisation of criminal conduct” to Covert Operatives. Intelligence Authorities now have the power to break the law during Covert Human Intelligence Operations. These operations can carried out for an array of reasons including to protect “the interests of the economic well-being of the UK” i.e. to protect capitalists profits.

Murder, Torture, Sexual Assault and other sickening crimes are going to be legal under the pretence of “Intelligence” and “National Security”. We have seen examples of British Agencies use these excuses before to allow agents to commit war crimes and human rights abuses in Northern Ireland and across the UK. British Agents infiltrated Northern Irish Para-Military groups during the troubles and acted with impunity in their actions, victims of these crimes are still fighting their cases to this day. It was uncovered that in the ’80s that police officers had relationships with political activists in attempts to infiltrate the groups, in a few cases children have grown up to discover one of their parents was a police operative. This emotional abuse from operatives has had serious impacts on children’s lives as they grow up without knowing one of their parents, putting a strain on the only parent as well.

Westminster Voted on the bill with reduced capacity due to Coronavirus however some MPs used a Proxy Vote.

The list of organisation being granted these powers are:

  • Any Police Force (Met Police etc.)
  • The National Crime Agency
  • The Serious Fraud Office
  • Any of the intelligence services (MI5 etc.)
  • Any of Her Majesty’s forces (Army, Royal Marines, SAS etc.)
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • The Department of Health and Social Care
  • The Home Office
  • The Ministry of Justice
  • The Competition and Markets Authority
  • The Enviroment Agency
  • The Financial Conduct Agency
  • The Foods Standard Agency
  • The Gambling Commission

The Black Live Matter movement has already shown that BAME groups are far more likely to face violence from authorities than others. British Government Institutions are inherently racist and this has been proven time after time, only by digging up the roots and starting again can we get rid of the racist colonial heritage of Her Majestys Government. Granting these institutions the power to commit crimes is extremely dangerous and a sign of the authoritarian nature of the Conservative Party.

In the second reading of the bill to the House of Commons, the bill was passed by 313 to 98. Conservatives, Democratic Unionists and Independent MP DR Julian Lewis voted in favour of this bill. However, following a series of amendments put forward by the Labour Party being voted down, Labour whipped their MPs to abstain from the vote. 18 Labour MPs did vote against (including Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and Nadia Whittome) however the vast majority of Labour MPs sided with the party to abstain.

Labour’s refusal to vote against this bill is a real insight into the new Starmer led Labour. The party have taken up a stance of a centrist abstention rather than the working-class rebellion against Tory oppression, their lack of fight against Boris is what gives the government it’s mandate. The Labour Party look weak. The Labour Party are weak. We need to stop thinking about Labour as the “Working Class Party” as time and time again we are shown they are not the revolutionaries they once were, they are reactionists clinging onto the rubble of their Blairite collapse trying to stick back together when they need to move on.

This bill is a dangerous piece of legislation that puts no limit on the potential damage governement organisations can do to an individual or community, it violates human rights and is a threat to minority communities who are already at the highest risk of police violence.


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