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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 September 2015

Prying Conservatives demand yet more powers to invade our privacy

Jonny Dickens

Alarmingly, Tory ministers are preparing to increase their surveillance powers. A new bill would grant near-total access to our private online and electronic communications.

We are told this is in response to terrorists using communication networks the state cannot detect. Even many politicians don't buy this - past attempts at a 'snoopers' charter' failed to get through parliament.

Mutiny

Powers to fight vague terrorist threats are inevitably turned on the workers' movement when we fight the bosses' austerity politics. Recently, army top brass is even reported to have discussed mutiny if left winger Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister.

Channel 4's 'real-life thriller' Hunted is a timely illustration of how the state keeps tabs on us. The show follows normal people attempting to escape their homes and avoid detection by the surveillance state. Its tools are deployed at frightening strength by experienced detectives.

For such a small country, we are one of the most watched nations in the world. Around five million CCTV cameras are already deployed.

Hunted highlights just how easy it is for the state to know our every move. As we rely more and more on mobile phones, the internet and credit cards, the state gathers more private information.

State security agency MI5 is well-known for monitoring trade union and socialist activists.

Spies

Spies insist they are not in the business of "browsing the lives" of the public. But by awarding itself further access to our personal information, the government may as well be taking the keys to our front doors.

The state's own policies - austerity at home and war abroad - threaten its ability to defend the rich. That is why it wants more repressive powers.

The Socialist Party fights for a society owned and run democratically by ordinary people in our own interests. Then there would be no need for state repression of workers.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 23 September 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Corbyn under fire .... Organise to fight cuts!

Cameron must go

Refugees brutalised by thug EU governments

Liverpool's Labour mayor took pay for job he no longer did

Prying Conservatives demand yet more powers to invade our privacy

Them & Us

What we saw


Socialist Party feature

Fight for a real living wage for all!


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Widespread abstention dominates election

Australia: Turnbull deposes Abbot to become PM

International news in brief


Workplace news and analysis

TUC debates action to defeat anti-trade union bill

Nominate Roger Bannister for Unison general secretary

Traffic wardens strike for better pay

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party review

TV review: This is England '90


Socialist history

1985: police murder sparks Brixton riot


Socialist Party youth and students

Organise the student fightback!

Good response to Nottingham Socialist Students


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

London protesters demand affordable housing

Socialism back on the agenda in Wolverhampton

Tower Hamlets housing campaign lobbies council

North Kent TUSC meeting


 

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