Archives for posts with tag: snoopers charter


It is not the strongest of a species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one most adaptable to change, that survives. Charles Darwin.

The growth of civilisation was made possible because every able bodied person is capable of producing more goods than they need for their own personal survival, bearing in mind that human societies were formed and flourished long before mechanisation.

Work, as we now know it, was established in the Industrial Revolution. Workers were not paid for what they produce, but the minimum that the industrialists could get away with, whilst keeping all the produce and the profits from their exploited workers.

To be honest, I think that overall we’ve been pretty tolerant of this over the last two and a half centuries, as far as I know not a single factory or business owner has been strung up, not least for the exploitation, beating, maiming and killing of children in the work place. Measures to support and protect workers were hard fought for and hard won by workers unions, which are, to this day, utterly despised by many business owners, conservatives and, what we now call, the right wing media.

I think it is remarkable that contempt for workers seems to exist in direct proportion to the greed of factory/corporate/business owners. Perhaps it is just an extension, from feudal times, of contempt for the peasantry and perhaps that helps explain the contempt of the Tory party, which is establishment to the bone, who are busily dragging us back to, for them, the halcyon days of Poor Houses/Work Houses and Debtors Prisons.

Work, or employment, is one of those encultured norms, like Royalty and Christmas, that are so difficult to challenge. Working class people who vote Tory, called deferential voters, also tend to follow the Daily Express, Daily Mail, and latterly The Sun, line in despising our Unions, and are frequently likened, with a fair degree of accuracy, to turkeys voting for Christmas.

The corporate media is well practised in the dark arts of division, sowing and breeding hatred between different groups of tax paying workers. In the recent Birmingham bin strike, the Daily Mail headline, or one of them, was “Birmingham bin strike costing taxpayers £40,000 a day”. Stoking discord and petty hatreds is pretty standard stuff, as George Osborne proved in his 2012 Conference speech, “Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?” Sadly, it works like a charm, preventing workers from seeing or doing anything about the daily reality of being robbed blind in the work place and the accumulation of wealth made on the back of their daily toil and even being paid a minimum wage that is not enough to live on.

Not content with getting away with paying a minimum wage, many companies now exploit workers through zero hours contracts and what Damien Green, then Work and Pensions Secretary, called the exciting Gig Economy, saying it had huge potential, but omitted to say, ‘for worker exploitation’.

It is a measure of the tenacity and determination of workers, even the most exploited and befuddled by political and media rhetoric, that their ability to adapt and change under the most trying conditions imposed upon them is taken for granted and exploited by their oppressors.

Not so their oppressors, the merest hint of actually paying their fair share of taxes or decent wages is enough to send them into apoplectic rage, resentment and the bribery of politicians to maintain their accustomed and cosy lives of greed and plenty at our expense.

It is in the nature of human vanity that those who enjoy the benefits of the current system the most think of themselves as the strongest and most intelligent, but they are the least adaptable.

The Tories despise the rise of social media and its existence as an open democracy for ordinary people. They simply cannot adapt and can be frequently seen walking into the brick wall of their own privilege and ignorance and would like nothing better than to shut social media down. The Snoopers Charter, under the guise of preventing terrorism is, in reality, a means to snoop into the lives of ordinary people who they uniformly despise.

Unable to adapt, they choose repression and when challenged they bluster, hide, lie and deny, or besmirch and vilify those who oppose them.

2018 is going to be an interesting year, because, if Darwin is right, then the end is swiftly approaching for the Tory party which is ripping us all off and has plunged the country into chaos, not least in our greatest ever achievement, our NHS.

It is not my intention to suggest that the Tories should die, and, like the dinosaurs, become extinct, but it is my personal and fervent hope that, as a political party, they disappear into the vault of history and never darken our lives again. Then we might begin to address the oppression and exploitation that has bedeviled us for centuries and achieve a change for the better for all ordinary people, the many, not the few.

KOG. 07 January 2018.



In 1921, C P Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian for nearly 50 years, wrote an essay to mark the papers centenary in which he wrote that the “primary office” of a newspaper is accurate news reporting, saying “comment is free, but facts are sacred”.

He would likely have abhorred the present time where news is less the result of investigative journalism and largely just the regurgitation (copy and pasted) of whatever is reported on newswire or PR copy.

Modern news reporting is in a parlous state, not least because the expression ‘fake news’ has been dragged from obscurity, where it belonged, and has been forcibly injected into the current mess by those who should know better and those for whom it serves their twisted agenda of falsity and deception. It comes at a heavy price, in particular for those who are the main consumers, but not creators, of news, ordinary people. The most invidious use of ‘fake news’ is in dismissing anything that the user wishes to dismiss without bothering to provide any evidence. Used in that way, it becomes a term of deception in itself, and it is a mark of our times that grappling with the news is like trying to find our way in a thick smog, it befuddles the mind, which is entirely the intent.

We live in an age of deception in which war is peace, or as George W put it – spreading democracy, and driving millions of people into poverty, as the Tories are, incentivising them to work.

Incentivising people into work through sanctions and benefit delays is not fake news, but it is a deception that has at its heart human rights violations which are driving people into penury and death.

Claims for social security have ceased to be access to a social safety net which people pay into over their life time, and have, under the Tories, become trial by ordeal, or conditionality, with requirements so exacting, cruel and harsh, failure, and therefore punishment by sanctioning, is almost guaranteed.

The Tories claim that trial by ordeal, or incentives, help (drive) people into work. The entire system is based on double speak for forced labour, which, no matter how you wrap it, is a violation of people’s human rights, just as escalating poverty is a denial of people’s right to life and homelessness is a denial of people’s rights to respect for privacy, family life, home and correspondence.

The point of human rights it to prevent suffering, mental torment and anguish and premature death, through reduced life expectancy and suicide.

The Tories have long expressed their desire to rid themselves of the Human Rights Act, but why bother when they can so successfully circumvent them through deceit, psychobabble and corruption? Exactly the same tactics which have been used to bring our NHS to its knees and privatise it.

What we are witnessing is a degree of UK state criminality against the people which was hitherto unthinkable, such that it beggars public belief, which is exactly the point. Fooling the public is now a government industry, ramped up under David Cameron, costing the public tens of millions of pounds every year, backed by a vicious right wing media.

Thankfully, the growth of social and independent media is proving to be a significant thorn in the side of government corruption. The power of the people is growing daily, much to the government’s dismay and anger. What is significant about the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, or Snoopers Charter as it is known, is that under the guise of preventing terrorism, it is every member of society who suffers from paternalistic and ever more intrusive government policies.

What is truly shocking is that all of these policies, enacted by government, through subterfuge and deceit, without our consent, are paid for by us. We paid for the bankers bailout, we pay for austerity, we pay for Universal Credit and every sanction piled upon us, we pay for the Snoopers Charter, we pay to be lied to, we pay for the privatisation of our NHS, we pay for corporate tax breaks and tax avoidance and evasion and we pay the salaries, expenses, food and booze bills of this rogue government. No matter what it is, we, the people, always pay.

Has anyone heard a single ‘thank you’, ever? Hardly, because they despise us. The Tories are bleeding us dry and the only issues that remain are how and when we get rid of them.

I wish everyone a happy and politically active new year, make every one of our lives count against this atrocious government of thieves and charlatans, who have not suffered a day of the austerity they have imposed upon us, indeed, they are all better off because we paid for that too.

KOG. 31 December 2017


We are in the middle of a revolution that isn’t receiving the attention it not only deserves but which is growing exponentially and which has taken over the world.

It’s not that it hasn’t been noticed or acted upon, it’s just that it needs more attention paid to it for its own sake, because it is a huge deal and we’re all part of it.

Information technology has given us the ability not only to share knowledge, insights, understanding, commentary and debate but has made it both free and interactive in a way that has never been possible before.

We are no longer locked into teaching spaces or conference spaces, we are no longer isolated in learning and whilst I hope that books will never die out, whatever we read we need not grapple with the information books contain alone. If we don’t understand something we can interact with others and ask for help and that help is, by and large, freely available, be it on a forum, chat room, social media or whatever and in which we are also intimately located in the frame of learning, in that we can share the personal highs and lows of our experience and even seek help for, say, our frustration, in the process.

But there is another facet to this revolution. Capitalism in founded on exclusivity, the control of products for profit. So far as information is concerned capitalism is on the back foot and is struggling because it is unable to do anything about this revolution because it cannot contain it or control the supply. Any attempt to do so would create a swift response because the majority want it and as such it is a the greatest mass movement ever known on Earth.

In the light of this, the governments Snoopers Charter can be seen as a desperate attempt to control the fearsome masses in a retrogressive way in order to maintain the historic imbalance of power in favour of the ruling elites. Anyone who is paying attention knows full well that the Snoopers Charter has nothing to do with containing violent extremism, indeed, as we also well know, the most violent extremists on Earth are those who have the exclusive power to make war and kill millions of innocent people, governments. The Snoopers Charter is aimed at us, ordinary people, because we are (and always have been) a force to be reckoned with and they want to contain us, just as they always have.

Today the main stream media is struggling, the news empires are trying to maintain their exclusivity, because they are essentially money making outfits first and purveyors of news second. Pop up messages for funding are now a regular occurrence, users of ad-blockers are asked to white list web sites and papers like the Guardian ask for subscriptions as do most alternative media sites by way of subscription or donations. Many of us are happy to self fund with occasional help from kindly donations, but essentially we are free of the constraints of having to conform to a business model in which money is the master.

I am not for one moment suggesting that money isn’t an issue, but it is the issue of money that needs examining because the old paradigms of money are being challenged as a means of control. I have no idea what the outcome will be, but the historic role of money as a means of control is looking decidedly flaky and desperate. What else are benefit sanctions if not the abuse of money and power as a means of control? They are still doing what governments do best, killing people, a (self given) right and the might exclusive to them which they also insist we pay for.

Globally right wing politics is on the rise and I dare to suggest it is at least in part due to the rise and rise of information technology and the empowering of ordinary people. I would also suggest that the dumbing down of mainstream education, and making it prohibitively expensive and debt ridden, is an attempt to control and suppress our natural inclination to learn because knowledge is power.

Back in 2015 David Cameron said, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’.” He said a lot of creepy things, but that has to be the creepiest. A fearful populace is a controlled populace and it might have worked were we still locked down in our individual pre-internet worlds, but shared on the interweb of all things it just made him look what he is, creepy and ridiculous, as a million interconnected jaws dropped in outraged disbelief at his effrontery.

The pedestals of power are no longer unassailable, they are doing their best to maintain the old paradigms of power but they are being chipped away by an informed world. We may be frustrated by their machinations to maintain their power, but it is being eroded daily through shared information, thoughts and feelings. We are no longer alone if we choose not to be, the online world has many faults, but it is a vibrant place and very much alive and well, used or abused.

If you are reading this, you have access to a world of information right at your fingertips. How you use it is your choice, you can choose to watch porn all day or entertain yourself on YouTube or just buy stuff, but if you want to engage and be informed (with all your critical faculties fully engaged) then it’s all out there, freely available to you, you may be on your own but you are not alone.

The choice is yours and that alone is remarkable. In this you have absolute freedom of choice, if you want to be informed, you can be, and, indeed, probably are. They can try and blind side us with fake news and ‘post-truth’ bullshit, and is it any wonder? Information is truly a fearsome thing if your life is predicated on using and abusing others, as so many politicians and corporations do. But it is no longer a one way street in which we are given little choice but to comply not knowing what else we can do. We can seek help and support and much of that is entirely free from those so inclined to give it. We can share our individual expertise and develop our skills as we go as never before. And it is happening right now. It’s revolutionary and it is amazing and the technology of access is right here at our fingertips.

There is much that is wrong with the world, neoliberalism is driving disastrous poverty and the transfer of wealth from ordinary people into the hands of a few and indiscriminately killing on the way. Social safety nets are being destroyed at an alarming rate and we’re in the midst of the biggest global heist in history, but not silently, nor unremarked. If we want to be informed, though many have not yet woken up or realised that there is anything to be informed about, we can be and are and we can grow and develop and share and foster that in others. Welcome to the revolution, it ain’t being televised. We’re it.

It may seem that progress is slow and that it is an uphill struggle (it is), those in power still have it. None of us know what the future holds, in fact no one knows what the future holds and there are no certainties as to what may unfold. But we do not have to be ignorant or ill informed.

I look back at my own school days with sadness, school was awful and I loathed it and came out intensely learning phobic. I am now better educated in ways that school could never have given me. If I can thank school for anything it is the ability to read and write, I left with little else. I could wish they’d left it at that, that was enough for a lifetime of voracious enquiry which is alive and well to this day. Education is now free for the price of an internet connection and a device to access it and we can follow any interest we desire from the political to the utterly puerile (which are all too often the same thing).

It really is down to us to call it as we see it and to sift information with intelligence and discernment. We owe it to ourselves and each other and to the next generation who will inherit whatever we are able to leave them, above all, information.

KOG. 06 January 2017



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,432

Friday 13 May 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Ah corruption. It’s a funny old thing, even the police couldn’t believe that the UK government could act against the best interests of the people. In one of my attempts to report the DWP for human rights abuses I was sent on my way without the evidence I had with me even being glanced at. I am not suggesting the police were corrupt in that instance, although they were definitely naive, but I had brought evidence of appalling abuses of power by the DWP, a government department hopelessly corrupt in its malicious attacks on poor, sick and disabled people.

As the worst government in UK history, how can people tell that you are corrupt? The daily onslaught of news is full of lies and spin and real journalism in the main stream media is now, with few exceptions, a homeless quivering wreck, out on the streets somewhere, starving to death.

The recent debacle over the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg is a triumph of corruption in which legitimate complaints of bias were accused of being sexist, misogynistic abuse and a witch hunt, leading to the petition site, 38 degrees, taking down a petition based on no discernible or published evidence. The list of comments has been published and whilst one sexist comment was apparently found amongst nearly 40,000, I couldn’t find it. The only sexist comment that could be found was on Twitter using a familiar expletive that rhymes with Hunt.

The issue was even raised in the House of Commons where Lucy Allan (accused in the past of viciously abusing a member of staff) called it a hate campaign against ‘respected journalist Laura Kuenssberg’ to much tutting and frothing at the mouth by fellow MPs. You quite rightly condemned sexist bullying on Twitter which I agree is appalling and abhorrent, but on the specific issue raised you said not a word. Attacking the person and not the issues is the province of scoundrels, trolls and bitter losers, you might like to remember that for PMQs.

Corruption by those in power can most readily be seen in the policies enacted to suppress debate, dissent and protest, hence Theresa May’s Snoopers Charter. It can also be seen in the use and abuse of statistics and reports as is the case with Jeremy Hunt in the junior doctors dispute. It is also evident in the egregious and corrupt abuse of power by the DWP incentivising people into work by depriving them of the means of survival. Last, but not least, is that you are currently hosting an international summit on corruption which Diane Abbott has described as, ‘like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop’. Nuff said.

Proof Positive that David Cameron, the BBC, Guardian, New Statesman and Entire Establishment are Peddling Blatant Untruths in the Kuenssberg Affair

BREAKING: Proof that Cameron and the media made up sexism row to protect Laura Kuenssberg

Petition to sack BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg was ‘probably’ removed ‘under establishment pressure’, says former UK ambassador

Plan for sickness benefit cut to ‘incentivise’ claimants


28_november_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,269

Saturday 28 November 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I am sure you know what a Panopticon is – ‘The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow all (pan-) inmates of an institution to be observed (-opticon) by a single watchman without the inmates being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that all inmates must act as though they are watched at all times, effectively controlling their own behaviour constantly.’ (Wikipedia)

The reason I am sure is because we are living in a Virtual Panopticon of the ever more intrusive state. Since the proliferation of CCTV in Britain, the digital age has enabled ever greater intrusions into our lives from hidden watchers. The entirely specious argument that ‘if you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about’ does not answer the effects the insidious invasion of hidden observers has on our lives. It ‘nudges’ us in the direction of accepting such invasions and to cease questioning how we feel about that, lowering our guard through their very omnipresence and being given no choice in the matter.

It becomes ever easier to ramp up hidden surveillance by an ever more intrusive state. The Snoopers Charter has raised barely a flutter of protest across the nation except amongst the few who pay close attention to politics and the behaviour of government and ask the question, does government serve the people or do people serve the government? Clearly we have a difference of opinion on that matter as you erode our rights at work and at home. The Trade Union Bill is a direct attack on workers and workers rights just as your plan to scrap the Human Rights Act (HRA) is an attack on each individual in the UK.

One of the most egregious statements you made just this year was, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’.” If the law is no longer sufficient to protect us from state intrusion in our lives, Britain has become a totalitarian state, ‘a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible’. Iain Duncan Smiths sanctions regime is a direct attack on people’s right to life (just as Workfare is explicitly forced labour) and far too many lives have already been lost, small wonder you want shot of the HRA.

We have laws because we are moral creatures, were we not the law would be meaningless, in fact we’d be unable to make any laws at all. Within the Virtual Panopticon it becomes the moral duty of each one of us to resist conformity to the dictates of a government gone entirely rogue.


18_june_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,121

Thursday 18 June 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

In this year when we are supposedly celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta in 1215 the burning question in everyone’s mind should be, ‘who or what protects us from the state?’

Your government has set in place legislation that takes away the means of survival from people for up to three years, a punishment for which no crime has been committed, no trial has taken place and is certainly not judged by a jury of our peers. You and your government, then, have become a modern day King John, against whose despotic rule the barons of England rose up to hold him to account. Interestingly, King John had no intention of abiding by Magna Carta and thus ensued the Barons war which eventually saw King John deposed.

Curiously the main reason for the Barons rebellion was the imposition of taxes without consultation, not a million miles disconnected from your execrable bedroom tax, for who ultimately would the Barons seek to raise taxes from if not their feudal subjects and holdings?

It is interesting that again, like King John, you are seeking to scrap the 1998 Human Rights Act which takes its substance from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which Britain was instrumental in drafting and which traces its roots back to Magna Carta. There may be a case, in a modern complex world, to re-examine the Human Rights Act and submit it to careful review, but to simply scrap it in favour of an in-house Tory written bill of rights about which we still know absolutely nothing should be a clarion call to everyone in Britain with a drop of blood still left in their veins.

As in so many things, your party resembles little more than a modern incarnation of King John treating Britain and its people as a Tory fiefdom, riding rough shod over the lives and well being of ordinary people. Through Workfare and Sanctions we have already witnessed the reintroduction of forced labour. With the introduction of the bedroom tax, the proposed snoopers charter and your saying, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’, so much for respect for our private and family life, home and correspondence. Lastly, for now, sanctions have put paid to no punishment without law and, indeed, freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment (at the hands of the DWP). I see little to celebrate except for those who voted for you who might like to celebrate all the perverse comforts and security of handing their lives and liberty over to the Tory feudal state. Britons ever, ever, ever shall be slaves, eh?–ekox_1SdBx