Sunday, May 21, 2006

Blogging from the other side of the wire

The Observer today has a piece about Richard Tomlinson, ex-MI6 agent, sent to jail in '98 for breaching the official secrets acts after handing a draft copy of a book he'd written about his time in MI6 to a publisher in Australia. One of the key gripes Tomlinson has against MI6 is that when they sacked him after he became depressed he was denied the opportunity to take them to an industrial tribunal over unfair dismissal.

He now says that "If MI6 really don't want the hassle of going to an employment tribunal, they could just admit liability and apologise. Saying sorry won't cost them a thing." However, he also worried that
'If their past history of vindictively silencing me is anything to go by, MI6 will probably attempt to shut down this website, just as they previously succeeded in shutting down my old site. But just maybe, blogging may make a difference, and MI6 may try a different tactic this time. But I doubt it...'

Read the Observer piece
here. Read Richard Tomlinson's blog here

I'm sure lots of our readers will not feel absolute and 100% sympathy with Tomlinson but this kind of blog is well worth reading if only for an insight into the way people think. All too often we on the left tend to take our gut feelings as fact and it is useful to see things from the other side of the wire now and then. Not everyone who crosses over the lines is the wonderful
Craig Murray but they are worth reading none the less.

Some readers will have noticed the
Policeman's blog in our links. This is a genuinely interesting and well written by a reasonably high ranking UK police officer. Horrifically he is neither a baby chewing monster nor drooling imbecile, very worrying. In fact in the areas where an orthodox socialist will disagree with the opinions expressed it is also clear his views are part of the logic of the job rather than some genetic predisposition to being a tool of capitalist oppression.

There are lots of blogs like this out there. For instance, you can also read the
Magistrate's blog, the Lawyer's view, Memoir of a British Soldier, this Californian Social Work Zealot, NHS blog doctor, Ambulance driver, or Traffic warden - all of which help to show the employees of the state are human, if you didn't know that already. Check them out.

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