We see how the database State will work…

“Nothing to hide nothing to fear” – words that have a certain nuance and are, in a liberal society, vile in the intonation.

We see that many of the politicians – of all colours, in the UK parliament still believe that having chunks of information on a database is a good idea – so good that they are willing to utilise billions of pounds and dollars to make those databases work. Maybe the argument against those databases once were just for the tinfoil hat brigade – I proudly add my name to that creed, because with stories like the one linked to, I, and those like me, are being proven correct.

Many people I speak to are, unsurprisingly, for such things as ID cards – yet against biometric ID cards. Yet the government and those proponents of biometric ID cards say that only with them will crime be fought and so will terrorism – bollox, I say.

Then we read this:

For years, 66-year-old Ian Kerr has run his business quietly in a first-floor office in the Worcestershire town of Droitwich. There was no nameplate for his premises, which was protected by a green door, and workers in the neighbouring shops either failed to notice him or thought he was a little mysterious.

“Oh yes, Ian,” said one. “He has been there for years. We never really knew what he does – probably works for MI5 or something.”

Kerr did not work for the security services, but the world he operated in was certainly a private one, and it can be exposed today because of an investigation by the office of the information commissioner, Richard Thomas.

Thomas, whose watchdog is entrusted with maintaining the public’s privacy, believes Kerr has spent 15 years compiling and maintaining a huge database on 3,200 workers from around the country.

He alleges that Kerr, trading under the anodyne name of The Consulting Association, sold information from this database to construction companies who wanted to vet potential staff.

Can you imagine how much easier it would be to vet workers if you had all their biometric information at hand? All on one massive database?

Details of workers’ trade union activities and past employment conduct were recorded on cards.

One individual was said to be a “poor timekeeper, will cause trouble, strong TU [trade union]”. Another card referred to a member of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians as “Ucatt … very bad news”.

A member of the Transport and General Workers Union was described as “a sleeper and should be watched”. One entry on a worker simply said: “Do not touch !”

Sprinkled throughout the database were warnings of the confidentiality of the database; companies were told “do not divulge any of the above”.

From reading that – I can only suppose that this odium of humanity kept all his work on hard copy – if that is the case then I would and should say he was diligent – and that, once again, brings us around to looking at what would happen if all this information was kept electronically on computer databases?

Commissioner’s list: Companies allegedly involved

The information commissioner, Richard Thomas, alleges that the following companies have been making payments to a private investigator, Ian Kerr. Thomas said the use of brackets indicates where companies have undergone a change of name or where subsidiaries have been absorbed by parent companies. He added that the phrase “ex-member” next to a name means that company may no longer exist or no longer pay for Kerr’s services.

Amec Building Ltd

Amec Construction Ltd

Amec Facilities Ltd

Amec Industrial Division

Amec Process & Energy Ltd

Amey Construction Ex-member

B Sunley & Sons Ex-member

Balfour Beatty

Balfour Kilpatrick

Ballast (Wiltshire) plc Ex-member

Bam Construction (HBC Construction)

Bam Nuttall (Edmund Nuttall Ltd)

C B & I

Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd

Costain UK Ltd

Crown House Technologies

(Carillion/Tarmac Construction)

Diamond (M & E) Services

Dudley Bower & Co Ltd Ex-member

Emcor (Drake & Scull) Ex ref

Emcor Rail

G Wimpey Ltd Ex-member

Haden Young

Kier Ltd

John Mowlem Ltd Ex-member

Laing O’Rourke (Laing Ltd)

Lovell Construction (UK) Ltd Ex-member

Miller Construction Ltd Ex-member

Morgan Ashurst

Morgan Est

Morrison Construction Group Ex-member

NG Bailey

Shepherd Engineering Services Ltd

Sias Building Services

Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd

Skanska (Kvaerner/Trafalgar

House plc)

SPIE (Matthew Hall) Ex-member

Taylor Woodrow Construction Ltd Ex-member

Turriff Construction Ltd Ex-member

Tysons Contractors Ex-member

Walter Llewellyn & Sons Ltd Ex-member

Whessoe Oil & Gas Ltd

Willmott Dixon Ex-member

Vinci plc (Norwest Holst Group)

Compiled in a quiet office: a database that kept union activists out of work | UK news | The Guardian.

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About Bolshy

Blogging in the ether to see if that elusive literary agent or publisher wants some new talent.
This entry was posted in Bias, Big Brother Britain, Blah!, Blogroll, Civil Liberties, Comment, Modern Liberty, Personal philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to We see how the database State will work…

  1. thebeadden says:

    I have been working on a union post and you beat me to it. But mine had nothing to do with the lists! Good for you to pick this up! I would have missed it.

    Boy, could I tell you stories about this stuff. On both sides of the picture. Sometimes it is best to leave things unsaid. I still have to work, you know 😉

    I’d like to link to this when I post mine if that is ok?

  2. Pingback: Union Busting. Coming to a Town Near You! « The Oriel

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