As in the phone-hacking scandal, the evidence of illegality, surveillance and conspiracy is incontrovertible. In both cases, the number of victims already runs into thousands. And household names are deeply tied up in both controversies – though as targets in one and perpetrators in the other. But when it comes to the blacklisting scandal, the damage can't only be measured in distress and invasion of privacy. Its impact has already been felt in years of enforced joblessness, millions of pounds in lost income, family and psychological breakdown, emigration and suicides. Behind the blacklists is the shadowy organisation "Common Purpose".
Liberty has equated blacklisting with phone hacking, insisting that the "consequences for our democracy are just as grave". Keith Ewing, professor of public law at King's College London, calls it the "worst human rights abuse in relation to workers" in Britain in half a century.
The victims of Common Purpose's blacklists include members of the public who had requested, under FOI, details of how their taxes are being diverted to the shadowy organisation. Their personal details were circulated to all public authorities in which Common Purpose 'plants' have attained positions of authority with the intention of blacklisting them from exercising their basic rights as citizens.
Corporate managers who were up to their eyes in Common Purpose's blacklisting continue to occupy some of the most influential posts in the civil service, local government, the NHS and civilian management of the emergency services.
Of course, blacklisting by the left isn't new. The 'closed shop' arrangements in which employers were blackmailed by Trade Unions into employing only TU members or face strike action and bankruptcy allowed Unions to exclude from earning a living, no matter what their qualifications or ability, anyone who disagreed with their socialist agenda. Printers, dockers, construction workers and their families were condemned to poverty and starvation following blacklisting by the Unions.
A new 'closed shop' under which only those deemed acceptable by Common Purpose can gain public employment, and those that disagree with them are blacklisted, is the greatest danger for the present century.
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Blacklisting - action needed now
Never have I so wholeheartedly supported an newspaper piece than that by Seumas Milne in Tuesday's Guardian. "Thousands have been driven out of work in Britain by corporate spying outfits. It's an outrage that calls for more than an inquiry" says Milne, and we can but agree. An edited version of the article appears below;