Yesterday, the Nazi Post and others ran with our story about the council spying on SEND parents. Naturally, Bristol City Council had a totally bizarre explanation for their actions.
An unnamed spokesperson from the council’s External Communications team – who are at the heart of the scandal after covertly collecting parents’ sensitive personal data from the internet and distributing it to Council House managers – explained:
“At the request of the Bristol Parents Carer Forum, we reviewed our own social media and passed onto the forum information relating to claims made about SEND services which included comments left by members. The forum had specifically requested this information to conduct an internal investigation into the conduct of some of its members.”
This is a bizarre excuse, which seems to be saying that a small, local voluntary group made the council do it. It also fails to address public concern that the council acted unlawfully in terms of data protection law (GDPR) and in terms of tight legislation around covert investigations by the state (RIPA).
It now appears the council statement was also a total lie. The Bristol Parent Carer Forum this morning issued the following statement:
This is a pretty categorical statement that the forum did not ask the council to collect data about parents. What have the council got to say now? What’s gonna be their next excuse for their unlawful conduct?
This story is set to run and run …
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Bristol City council have admitted misconduct. There is no point in trying to blame another party. We need to find out who is responsible and act accordingly. Do the Council assume that because you have difficulties you are not entitled to your human rights?
There is a pattern to this. Both mayors have dealt with campaigners in a similar way. Ferguson (desperately) tried to ignore the protests in Avonmouth over the pollution from the recycling industries as it was an inconvenient truth. It was the same for the campaign for safe council housing for victims of domestic violence where they tried to discredit the victims.
Now we have Rees who has upped the ante. His approach to campaigns against austerity and cuts was to treat the campaigners as the ‘problem’ rather than getting some balls and standing up to the Tory cunts. Now years down the line he is getting council officers to spy on the personal lives of the SEND campaigners so they can get data to fight them more effectively. Similar underhand tactics have been used by the right wing of the Labour Party to smash the left in Bristol.and kick all the activists out.
Good riddance to the Mayor’s Office. Best thing Bristol has done in years.