Thursday 16 February 2017

Whistles need Blowing

Whistles are for blowing ....We know the names Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange. Forced exile, imprisonment and confinement. They are whistleblowers whose lives have suffered from attempting to better the human condition. I personally know a couple more; Ex-SAS trooper, Ben Griffin and former UK Ambassador, Craig Murray. Ben was persecuted for holding information about the UK military's collaboration with US torturers, Craig for wanting Jack Straw and his then Foreign Office employers to acknowledge that some allies in the 'war against terror' boil their prisoners alive. My respect for these people is great because, at a much lower level, I too was a whistleblower. I didn't suffer their fates, but was sacked from the NGO I had co-founded, and never employed again in that world. Even as an OAP, I was shocked to be refused work stuffing envelopes at an NGO whose work in the Middle East I had admired. When I have spoken out on political matters I have been told by that I must make it clear that I have nothing to do with my former charity. So I recommend Ian Cobain's article in the Guardian, (16 Feb 2016) about the Law Commissioners recent report suggesting a new law criminalising, not only those who disclose official information, but anyone “who obtains or gathers information”. If passed into law this will tighten up even further on the 1979 Official Secrets Act which the Liberal MP, Clement Freud said, “gives the attorney general more power than a bad man should have or a good man should need.” Of course this covers only the state sector, but as in my case, this thinking infects the wider world. Sadly in Trump-World we are going to need an army of Snowdens, Mannings, Assanges, Griffins and Murrays. You can read more about my experiences as a whistleblower in 'Left Field'

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