What open government?

Submitted by on 20 November, 2002 - 9:40

By Joe Verdi
Open government? Remember that one? Labour was going to deliver "open government".
In fact, under New Labour government is not less but more secretive, more manipulative and more unaccountable. The jailing of David Shayler for blowing some of the gaff on Britain's secret services - he talked to a tabloid newspaper - highlights the need for the open government Blair promised but will not deliver.

The jailing of Shayler coincides with the TV exposé by Peter Taylor of the vast network of spying on Britain's trade unions and on perfectly legal organisations of the left within Britain. Taylor showed that police spies played a serious part in the defeat of the miners in the 1984-5 strike, feeding back information about the miners' plans for picketing.

The secrecy which surrounds the spies and the spying agencies does not serve Britain's "national interest" - whatever that is - but the interests of the ruling class and of politicians with things to hide.

David Shayler came to understand that he was in a sordid trade and cut loose. We owe him some gratitude for that, and for drawing attention to what goes on behind the scenes.

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