National security and spy cameras

There have been two bad stories about national security over the last week. There was the surprise arrival of top secret papers at the BBC via bus stop, and there was the revelation that someone had been able to place a spy camera in a Ministerial office without the Minister knowing it was there.

I did not defend Mr Hancock’s conduct and thought he had to resign because he had broken rules and guidance which he told the rest of us to obey. If the recordings of his meetings and activities in the office was confined to photos revealing his unwise decision to kiss an adviser then there has been no harm to national security. The spying could also have been used for other purposes, and could give people the idea that maybe they too could place a camera to learn more of government decision making and thinking. Ministerial offices should be secure enough so Ministers and senior officials can think the unthinkable aloud, discuss a range of options, ask themselves what a worse case looks like without every more extreme case appearing in the newspapers. They should also be secure in case matters of national security or commercial confidentiality come up in their talks. In return for having secure offices Secretaries of State should of course keep their romances for private rooms elsewhere, and conduct any family or private business to the extent allowed away from government buildings.

The dumping of important papers in Kent and the decision of the BBC to tell us much of their contents even though they were confidential and in one case had a special top secret designation is extremely worrying. Only a very limited number of Ministers and top officials would have access to such papers. They were very recent, as we are told one went into detail about the recent voyage of a naval vessel close to Crimea. There must be a successful investigation to find out who removed these papers from a secure location or who copied them. We should also expect a better statement from the BBC about why they did not simply return the papers to their rightful place in Whitehall. It can only damage the UK to put out some details about the sensible arguments in government about the conduct of defence and foreign relations. The correct democratic approach is for the government to explain its policy without offering up secrets or counter arguments to opponents, and for the Opposition when it judges it necessary to offer an alternative strategy or to criticise the policy and execution. An Opposition saying a foreign policy could go wrong or is not well done is democratic. A government expressing its own inner doubts about a policy it is still defending is unhelpful. A government with no doubts about its policy is arrogant or foolish.


  1. Richard1
    June 29, 2021

    It requires an attitude of righteous leftism to publish the contents of a national security breach irrespective of the consequences.

    Tony Benn in his diaries told a story of a cleaning lady who picked up a whole lot of papers which had blown out of a window in Whitehall during the war. They contained plans for D-day. She insisted she would hand them over only in person to a general. Had she given them to the BBC at the time doubtless they would have been returned.

    Churchill included her in his resignation honours list.

    1. MiC
      June 29, 2021

      Don’t be silly.

      The BBC did not reveal any strategic detail and only facts as to the already public matters to which some of the papers related, and that they were currently relevant – they might have been historic for example.

      Without this the listener would have had no idea as to whether the lapse was serious or utterly trivial.

      There was a balance to be struck and the BBC in this case probably got it about right.

      Reply. They did reveal more than you say

      1. agricola
        June 29, 2021

        MiC, the papers should have gone silently straight to Special Branch. That they did not suggests malicious intent.

      2. SM
        June 29, 2021

        MiC – the silliness (if that is the correct word) is on your part.

        You can have no idea who, within the BBC, has spoken to whom about the file’s contents, regardless of what was actually broadcast.

        I will leave it to other contributors to describe what they think should happen to the BBC personnel who revealed ANY contents to the public.

      3. MiC
        June 29, 2021

        Yes John, but generally falling into the classes that I outline, that is, of no strategic significance or matters of purely political PR concerns e.g. of possible European Union involvement.

        The only arguable exception was the envisaging of a “possible” future involvement of the UK military in Afghanistan, I think.

        However, that is in essentially no more than a truism.

        It’s hardly any betrayal.

      4. dixie
        June 29, 2021

        @MiC there was no balance to be struck at all, or don’t you understand the meaning of “confidential” either.
        In UK Common Law there is a duty of confidentiality concerning information one comes into possession of.
        Clearly the BBC cannot be trusted with any information under any circumstances whatsoever.

        1. MiC
          June 29, 2021

          Surprise surprise – a bunch of Tory thralls want the national broadcaster to do a cover-up job, on an appalling security lapse by a Tory government.

          1. dixie
            June 30, 2021

            The security lapse, assuming it was not deliberate, was by civil servants responsible for maintaining security of information not politicians.

            I would expect any broadcaster or publisher to treat confidential information confidentially but the BBC purports to represent the country to some degree so should meet higher standards, if it cannot do that then it should lose all privileges.

      5. Frank
        June 29, 2021

        Wrong in several respects: classified documents are held and accountable to named personnel that have the necessary security clearance. “UK eyes only” is within the Top Secret categories (There are classifications above that). Anything found that is of a classified nature should be returned to the appropriate government organisation. Passing documents (especially top-secret) onto a non-authorised organisation should be a prosecutable offence. The BBC should also be prosecuted for failing to return the documents and for putting content into the public domain.

      6. agricola
        June 29, 2021

        MiC, what are the BBC doing, reading classified MOD documents. Was the reader security cleared, not only to read them but to publicly comment on their content. If the Official Secrets Act has any significance the BBC is open to prosecution.

      7. a-tracy
        June 29, 2021

        The BBC revealed information in a document with ‘Secret UK Eyes Only’. ‘Official Sensitive’ UK-US Defence Dialogue 1400-1645 Mon 21 June 2021. Only people with malicious intent would reveal what was in those papers, it was sufficient to show a photo of the front without detailing what was in those marked ‘secret’ and ‘sensitive’.

        There is a traitor in the workplace. They need to be found. What sort of person/s hands this over to the BBC rather than the MOD?

      8. Dennis
        June 29, 2021

        Will those responsible at the BBC for the revelations be tried in court with a possible sentence of 175 years?

        Also the public was told that after Assange’s extradition was stopped the US had 2 weeks to make an appeal. I have read that the US has still any time they want to make an appeal, presumably until Assange is dead.

        Does anyone know the current state of play?

    2. agricola
      June 29, 2021

      Richard, sadly that was then, now is now.

    3. Mockbeggar
      June 29, 2021

      I agree. Whoever found the papers claimed to be doing “the responsible thing” when he or she passed them to the biggest news organisation in the country. The responsible thing would have been to pass them to the police at the least or to the MoD directly. I hope that an investigation will be carried out to find out why the BBC felt it was the “responsible” thing to publish the contents of these papers.

    4. dixie
      June 29, 2021

      Quite so, the BBC clearly have no idea what “confidentiality” or “stealing-by-finding” means.
      The BBC personnel involved need to be dealt with appropriately so “lessons are learned”.

    5. Original Richard
      June 29, 2021

      Richard1 : “It requires an attitude of righteous leftism to publish the contents of a national security breach irrespective of the consequences.”

      Never forget that for political extremes, just as for religious extremes, the ends always justifies the means.

    6. James1
      June 29, 2021

      What on earth was Boris thinking of? Can anyone imagine Churchill or Margaret Thatcher for an instant allowing a Minister to remain a Minister let alone in the Cabinet, after committing what might be referred to as a Matt Hancock indiscretion. The hapless Minister would be gone immediately and no question about it.

  2. Everhopeful
    June 29, 2021

    The two stories are bad because demonstrably there IS NO security!
    Something like the Border Farce …set to become even worse via some half-cocked “overhaul”.
    A truncheon and extreme violence sorts out the public…no problem.
    Just apply the same robust attitude to Whitehall.
    “Turn out your pockets”.
    But actually the camera was pretty handy (!) wasn’t it?

    1. Hope
      June 29, 2021

      How about Snooper charter to spy on us everyday? Why should so many public bodies have the right to see what we look up on our computers everyday? May imposed this without any safeguard, check or balance.

      How about forcibly being told to complete census and electoral registration with threat of punishment and for that information to be sold to business which we have to pay to see, ie Ancestry, findmypast etc. Recently medical records will also be sold unless you opt out by 21/06/2021. Again, one rule for the plebs another for politicians!

      JR, sidesteps information about the public that is sold by local authority or govt to business under threat of punishment if we do not comply!!

    2. Ian Wragg
      June 29, 2021

      I think someone is trying to make mischief.
      Everyone knows the lockdown data is fiction and the great and good aren’t affected.
      Next we will be locked down to save the planet with daily graphs on CO2 and the number of useless heat pumps installed.
      Now they have lockdown in their toolbox just wait for the next excuse.

  3. turboterrier
    June 29, 2021

    It would seem a never ending story when it comes to strange happenings within civil service departments and offices. Files “left” on trains and bus shelters, hidden cameras and surveillance equipment. What I find strange is that the story breaks out, but you never seem to get the ending of the who, what, why, when, where, how regarding responsibilities and accountabilities and final outcome regarding the perpetrators. Were they just promoted and moved on?

  4. DOM
    June 29, 2021

    Transparency has always been a problem for politicians and bureaucrats.

    While we desire to know exactly what and why is being done in our name politicians and their lackeys desperately seek a blanket ban on any and all information available to the voter and the general public at large

    Information is valuable currency. If the voter knew the inner workings of government and how both main parties nobble the system to conceal their true aims then both parties would become almost untouchable

    The Labour party and the Tory party do not have a divine right to government though it appears they think they do and fight to the protect the status quo from all newcomers

    1. Everhopeful
      June 29, 2021

      They have had approximately 200 years to get it right.
      And look at the ever increasing mess!

  5. Mark B
    June 29, 2021

    Good morning.

    I also recall a former MP stuffing government documents in a public bin – no sanction was administered, just another mealy mouthed apology.

    The BBC hates this country and its people. Is especially loathsome as it owes its existence to both, but you wouldn’t think that would you ?

    Both cases mentioned in this article should be the subject of criminal investigation. As someone who has signed the Official Secrets Act and worked on government projects as a private contractor, I know how strict the rules are. I therefore expect arrests should be made, especially if the BBC have revealed state secrets, and the person(s) who have illegally placed surveillance equipment in a government office. This is a very serious matter and I honestly believe an example should be made.

    As to the former Health Secretary, I think his indiscretion has just help our cause regarding this Lockdown. Clearly he did not see that there was any risk so why should any of us.

    Finally. This government is beginning to look like the final years of the John Major era. A sad thought.

    1. agricola
      June 29, 2021

      Mark, your last paragraph is worrying because no alternative has emerged.

    2. Lifelogic
      June 29, 2021

      Not quite as bad as John Major with his idiotic ERM fiasco (and his failure even say sorry, even now, for this predictable and totally self inflicted economic disaster). But the net zero lunacy is at least as bad probably even worse. After the COP26 lunacy he should this abandon this insanity. Next election probably in May 24 not that long.

    3. Everhopeful
      June 29, 2021

      Spot on!
      If those “in the know” see no personal risk then we can be certain there is none to anyone!
      On the other hand ..just supposing they are incredibly brave …let them do without their “rings of steel” security. Ha!
      Hilarious how they can’t even claim that they can do all sorts because they are double jabbed having denied us that promised freedom.

    4. Andy
      June 29, 2021

      ‘The BBC hates this country.’

      What a ludicrous comment.

      The people who actually hate this country are you lot – who have contempt for everyone and everything in it.

      1. Roy Grainger
        June 29, 2021

        Says Andy, who for years has displayed his contempt for 52% of the people of this country.

        1. MiC
          June 29, 2021

          Maths is not your strong point, is it, Roy?

          17 million voted Leave.

          That is about 26% of the population of the UK.

          Any idea how many of them are still here in the pink to boot?

          Five years is a long time for the elderly.

          1. Know-Dice
            June 30, 2021

            Hmm… 52% of those that were bothered to vote.

          2. Peter2
            June 30, 2021

            Ridiculous comment MiC
            There are certain rules concerning voting.
            It is voluntary.
            You have to be 18.
            You have to be a UK citizen.

    5. Hope
      June 29, 2021


      How about a few years ago medical records being left on a train!! Now everyone’s medical record will be sold unless you opt out. Many are not even aware this is going on!! Census records and electoral roll records also held by many commercial businesses, information gleaned by govt. forcing the public under threat. The last census wanting medical information!!

      We read many stories of honey traps for key national figures and leaders, this govt is ripe for compromise.

      The bottom line is Johnson is not a leader and not up to the job of keeping the nations secrets safe.

    6. hefner
      June 29, 2021

      M_B, Only dimwits declare on a public website that they ever had to sign the OSA.

      1. Mark B
        June 30, 2021

        Why ?

  6. Sea_Warrior
    June 29, 2021

    And what penalty will the BBC face for mishandling Defence documents? Any?

    1. Lifelogic
      June 29, 2021

      +1 very damaging actions from the BBC to the national interests.

    2. Cheshire Girl
      June 29, 2021

      What is this thing, about running to the Media with every little thing. If I had picked up those papers, I would have immediately taken them straight to a Police Station, and handed them in.

      The Media are not to be trusted. Their only desire is to create a scandal for the Government, and then crow about it. They don’t give a hoot if national security is breached through their actions,

    3. Dennis
      June 29, 2021

      SW – a possible jail sentence of 175 years?

  7. Martyn G
    June 29, 2021

    Files of that classification would have been moved within departments to named individuals and signed for. In my time in the RAF, they would only have been moved outside of the building by a named individual carried in a locked briefcase discreetly chained to the wrist. It is inconceivable (unless security rules have been seriously downgraded) that such documents would have been simply carried around in public without such security measures being taken. It is possible I suppose that in these days someone with the appropriate clearances might well have made copies for some nefarious personal reason to pass on to another and then either mislaid them or deliberately dumped them somewhere to be found.

  8. Mike Wilson
    June 29, 2021

    Again, what this article shows is the incompetence of the government.

    I have never understood why governments think they are entitled to keep things secret from those who elect them. If ministers are ‘thinking the unthinkable’, that’s okay – we’re not children. We can take it.

  9. agricola
    June 29, 2021

    Questions on the subject of the camera.
    Was it a standard item put in place by our security services or an alien object put in place by a third party.
    Who as an individual new of its existence.
    Who had access to the MoH and specifically the ministers office. I would look very hard at the cleaning service. Government offices have been known to use people of dubious origens for the purpose of cleaning.
    Was the newspaper involved an instigator or an innocent receiver of the data.

    Questions on the MoD papers.
    Were they in a tied heap, or a briefcase.
    Who at MoD had access to them and who might have a destination close to the bus stop.
    Who at the MoD might consider the BBC a suitable rescipient of the papers. Were the papers sent to anyone specific at the BBC.
    Was the motivation on destination a consideration that the BBC were sufficiently alien of this government to make use of the situation. A body with the nations security in mind would have quietly returned them via the nearest Special Branch office.
    Who gave the papers to the BBC, was it the same person who found them. A person finding papers at a bus stop would be expected to be a random person with no motivation and therefore not in fear of disclosure to the security services. There would be no reason for the BBC to hide the identity of such a person.
    In this age of mobile phone cameras is there any photographic evidence of the papers sat at the bus stop.
    In a London full of CCTV is there any evidence from around the bus stop or the entrance to the BBC of persons involved.
    Will anyone follow the DNA trails on the papers themselves.
    Top Secret is a designation, I’m quite sure there are much higher ones, so what was of significance to national security that the papers contained. Was this all a malign political gesture rather than a top level breach of security by a careless employee of the MOD.
    I will read the forthcoming media with interest.

  10. J Bush
    June 29, 2021

    Over the course of my working life I have managed innovative technological ground breaking projects, so I am fully conversant how sensitive documents must be managed and the need for robust security. If I had breached any of this I would have faced immediate sacking and no doubt felt the ‘strong arm of the law’, as I would have breached the Official Secrets Act.

    That said, I am frustrated and annoyed by the antics of this government with all its sound-bites and no substance. To the point I don’t think I would be too dismayed if the real reasons behind ‘build back better’, the ‘great reset’, ‘global Britain’, the ‘pandemic’ with no bodies piling up (FOI requests across the country confirm this) and various meetings with big pharma and foreigners were recorded and released to the public. Johnson has had at least 2 meetings with an American on government policy, but all that can be found on the Gov website is a summary, not the minutes of these meetings. Why? The fact these statements are on the Gov website evidences this was indeed government business that was being discussed. Why would Johnson be discussing government business behind closed doors with a foreign layman? It begs the question what is Johnson hiding from the people who pay his salary, what doesn’t he want us to know?

    I confess I would have no problem if videos of these interactions were released, at least then ‘joe public’ would know what this deviant and hypocritical mob are really planning for us.

  11. Newmania
    June 29, 2021

    The fact that a minister was spied on, in a Government lead by Journalists sends a very worrying message indeed about the culture of this Government, The casual incompetence of losing important documents is hardly a surprise ( naturally it is the BBC`s fault ) –
    Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.

  12. Sakara Gold
    June 29, 2021

    Of course government ministers should be watched, monitored and recorded whilst conducting government business in taxpayer funded premises. After all, the security service and the constabularies have been subjecting the public to CCTV mass surveillance, APNR tracking of motorists, facial recognition AI, logging of “metadata” on our mobile phone calls etc etc. for decades. Apparently this has now become “routine” so it must be OK, right?

    The FCO spook who left classified documents on a Kent bus will have been identified by now – and will be disciplined.

    Who was monitoring Hancock’s use of a private email a/c to undertake the PPE fiasco – and the purchase of £900 million worth of useless lateral flow test kits from one of his chums down the pub?

    When I worked for the MoD I had secure, encrypted email and was made aware of the penalties, should I deviate from this policy.

  13. formula57
    June 29, 2021

    It is puzzling that:

    – any Ministers would assume an office was free from surveillance, both by Ministry security people and by malevolent outsiders, and not develop appropriate awarenesses and routines to safeguard themselves, and

    – any member of the public alert to the realities of contemporary Britain would willingly hand anything to the BBC.

  14. BJC
    June 29, 2021

    If the Marxist ideologues at the BBC wanted to discredit the government, they only needed to disclose that sensitive papers had been left in an unsecure public place and returned to the MOD, so what exactly was their intention in disclosing the contents?

    1. MiC
      June 30, 2021

      The Editor-In-Chief at the BBC is Tim Davie, its Director-General.

      He is ex-deputy chair of the Hammersmith Conservatives.

      The BBC’s Chairman is Richard Sharp (born 8 February 1956), a role he has held since February 2021. A former banker, he worked at JP Morgan for eight years, and then for 23 years at Goldman Sachs. Sharp was an advisor to Boris Johnson during his tenure as London Mayor, and to Rishi Sunak as Chancellor. He has donated more than £400,000 to the Conservative Party.

      Marxists to a tee, eh?

  15. Robert McDonald
    June 29, 2021

    The BBC purports to be a national institution that is funded by the nation to inform and entertain the nation. But its management decision to detail highly sensitive contents of a national security document handed to it in good faith is a signal that management do not consider they are there to act in the nations interest.
    Add this to the many shocking exposures of BBC management willingness to hide the most egregious facts about their failures leads me to only one conclusion. The BBC is no longer fit for purpose and cannot expect to be financially supported by the nation in its current unaccountable way. Defund the BBC now.

  16. Nig l
    June 29, 2021

    I agree with your comments but governments that act like this one deserve and so do we, every bit of leaking possible. Too many chums being given contracts, how did Friends of Hancock get contracts, a close one a job at the centre of power with seemingly no experience, Hancock allegedly holding back figures to manipulate lockdown, the number of migrants under stated, two Border Force Director Generals ‘moved on’ for incompetence to be found other jobs In Whitehall, why if they are ‘useless’

    And finally only today we learn HMG settles a massive claim over HS2 train purchase, more procurement incompetence yet won’t tell us how much.

    With Johnson treating us like idiots patently dissembling over Hancock’s sacking I agree with a previous correspondent, that this government is giving off the snell of decay already.

  17. Iago
    June 29, 2021

    Dentists have been told there will be a new lockdown from this October to March next year – it’s in Conservative Woman. What is the first thing that happens to slaves? They are sold. It is past time to wake up.

  18. Old Albion
    June 29, 2021

    Ah! the BBC. The Lefty fifth column that I’m forced to fund……………

    1. Andy
      June 29, 2021

      Ah! The pensioners. The hard right fifth column that I’m forced to fund…..

      Annual cost to me & my family:
      BBC – £159
      Pensioners – £100,000+

      1. Peter2
        June 30, 2021

        How do you pay £100,000 a year to pensioners?
        We pay our own National Insurance contributions for our pensions and pay contributions into personal or company schemes as well.

        1. MiC
          July 1, 2021

          Think, just for once, for pity’s sake.

  19. Bryan Harris
    June 29, 2021

    Just why does ‘GOVERNMENT BUSINESS’ have to be done in secret?

    What have they got to hide — If there are options then why shouldn’t they be known to everyone, not just a select few who would have power over our lives

    Secrecy encourages deceit and dirty deals — Why can’t we have transparency in government?

    I’m not saying all government offices should be open to surveilence, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea – It might keep some on the straight and narrow.

    It’s time we knew what government was doing behind our backs, and formal justifications should be made on why any meetings have to be in secret. If everyone is being honest then it should all be out in the open, with no dodgy deals, intimidation or bribery of any kind.

    It would have helped many to make up their minds about the vaccines, for example, if the meeting between Boris and Gates had been recorded and made available for us all to see.

  20. majorfrustration
    June 29, 2021

    Why the BBC – if I had found the papers my first stop would have been the nearest police station. Or is that old fashioned. Looks like Mike Heron has another Slow Horse.

  21. Chris S
    June 29, 2021

    The presence of that now-infamous camera in Hancock’s office is a scandal far more serious than his foolish daliance with a family friend.

    We are led to believe that cameras are not fitted routinely installed in ministerial offices so, either Hancock was under suspicion of doing something illegal ( maybe to do with contract placement?), and the camera was installed by the security services to catch him out, or, it was fitted by a third party which in itself is an almost unprecedented breach of security.

    Which is it ?

  22. Roy Grainger
    June 29, 2021

    It wasn’t a hidden spy camera though was it ? Wasn’t it just a standard CCTV fitted as standard in plain view in the office ? Javid’s comments seemed to suggest the latter.

    The government and civil service leak like a sieve because for all the bluster about official inquiries and “getting to the bottom of it” no-one is ever identified as the leaker or sanctioned. Who leaked details of lockdown ? Even MI5 couldn’t find out. Which civil servant sent the “truth twisters” tweet via the government account ? Impossible to find out apparently. It will be the same in these two cases I imagine. One interesting moment in Cummings’ testimony came when he was asked to publish all his WhatsApp messages to journalists through the pandemic and suddenly his belief in “transparency” evaporated and he refused. Many of these leaks – possibly not these two – are entirely deliberate and come from those in government – they are not “leaks” at all but simply part of their communications strategy.

  23. Alan Jutson
    June 29, 2021

    Clearly security has failed, but this is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg, it is always worse than what is actually reported, and it is very often human nature that is to blame, or is the cause.
    When was the last time someone/anyone was prosecuted for breaking the so called official secrets act ?

    Afraid rather too many people involved with Government now think it right to spill the beans on anything they do not agree with, even if only at a general discussion stage. You only have to go back to our so called Brexit negotiations to see that many current and past MP’s were advising the EU of the best way to hinder our our own negotiating stance, even openly visiting EU officials abroad in order to complete such !!!!

  24. rose
    June 29, 2021

    In its representations on behalf of the IRA, the EU, and countless other hostile bodies, the BBC has for a long time now shown it is an international organization with no particular attachment to this country, other than to its money. I don’t think it is going to give us an explanation.

    Blair has rightly rued his FOIA. It was just one more disastrous piece of vandalism that regime inflicted on us. Even if there aren’t spies and cameras around when ministers are discussing matters of importance and sensitivity, they still have hanging over them this pernicious little Act, which serves to advance the treacherous activities of the BBC, subversive lawyers, and others. Ministers will inevitably find ways of discussing things sub rosa which can’t be good for the conduct of government and proper record keeping.

  25. glen cullen
    June 29, 2021

    If I where the Secretary of State I’d employ at the taxpayers expense a private counter-intelligence consultancy to examine every inch of my estate to find and identify any spy equipment – the spy equipment placed by my own government to spy on its own departments….sounds more like the ‘Stasi’
    I’d recommend that every MP checks their office & home smoke alarm !

    1. glen cullen
      June 29, 2021

      Maybe Boris’s secret army could tell us where they planted all the secret cameras to save time and expense

  26. J Bush
    June 29, 2021

    I am picking up from other sources stating the camera in Hancock’s office was in fact, not hidden/secret, but that it was visible and a permanent feature. Please can you confirm this?

    If so, then the real reason he had to go was more because he was becoming a liability. Things like using a personal email address to purchase PPE instead of his registered government account. Possibly used for the dodgy deals he made with family members and friends. No conflict of interest there… Then there was his ridiculous dictatorial declarations and dubious data used coupled with the mounting ‘do as we say, not as we do’ evidence, which was opening too many plebs eyes and the annoyance was building. I suspect there is a lot more there in rotting woodwork as well, which may or may not be revealed, now that he has stood down.

  27. ukretired123
    June 29, 2021

    The enemy within famously declared by Mrs Thatcher – now includes the BBC.
    These incidents are designed to embarrass Britain to our competition and enemies who resent us for many reasons great and petty….

  28. Original Richard
    June 29, 2021

    I find it extraordinary that I never seem to read of any civil servant being sacked for incompetence, malfeasance, corruption, misbehaviour or breaching the Official Secrets Act.

    Shouldn’t the publication of videos taken in private spaces without permission be treated in the same way as mobile ‘phone hacking?

  29. Annette
    June 29, 2021

    Isn’t it a National Security concern that a (now ex) Minister of the Crown has been using his private email on State business (contract procured)? How widespread is this?

  30. nota#
    June 29, 2021

    The UK Government is not interested in the security of the people they just are desperate for control and manipulation regardless of the long term risks. If they were interested in any way all communications would have security at the very heart. They ‘deliberately’ don’t.

    The BBC fights the very idea of an independent UK, they are not out just to belittle the Government but to undermine the Nation in pursuance of the Left Wing World.

    As the UK is very lax on external security it would be reasonable that foreign powers would already have these so-called leaked documents. How else doo they get to build up a better defence structure than we have.

  31. Christine
    June 29, 2021

    The Kent incident sounds like a dead letter drop from a John Le Carre novel that went wrong. A full investigation needs to be carried out. As for the BBC, this is another nail in its coffin. It’s time it was defunded and sold off. How much more must the tax-paying public put up with? This country seems to be full of traitors who want us to fail.

    1. glen cullen
      June 29, 2021

      Spot On Christine

    2. MiC
      June 29, 2021

      Could equally have been a set-up to entrap the BBC.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        June 29, 2021

        MiC – If so then the BBC fell for it.

        1. MiC
          June 29, 2021

          What do we know about the person who “found” the papers?

    3. The Prangwizard
      June 29, 2021

      Nothing will happen to the BBC . It was thanked by the Defence Minister and BBC News later reported this.

      The country’s establishment is rotten and incompetent. It does not know right from wrong, in fact I don’t believe it thinks there is a right and a wrong. No-one in it ever faces any punishment for what the people would regard as failure or treachery. Yesterday’s parliamentary questions were put by many very angry MPs but those in authority worked as hard as they could to dodge responsibilty. Answers were always ‘there’s an enquiry’. Fact is they must know who did it but are never going to say.

      1. The Prangwizard
        June 29, 2021

        A PS. They will know who is responsible for the loss of the Defence papers. They don’t admit they know.

        If they don’t know it must be the case that there is no security system. The whole thing is a farce and deceit and the country looks idiotic not supprising with such a buffoon in charge.

        Who will be punished? No-one.

    4. hefner
      June 29, 2021

      … and then, and then … if such things had never appeared in the MSM nobody would have been the wiser except a very few people in the security services and Whitehall and all the rest would have continued safe in their certainty that the hoi polloi do not need to know.

      Have you ever wondered how long it took between the first hints of possible treachery by the Cambridge Five and the original release of information? Do you really think that everybody is like you loving to have the wool pulled on their eyes?

  32. William Long
    June 29, 2021

    It is sadly no surprise that the BBC decided to behave with complete disregard for the security of the nation it is meant to serve. Duff Cooper’s comment on the nature of the press to mind: “Power without responsibility: the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages”.
    One does have to wonder though, before condemning the BBC totally, what would have been the reaction of other news organaisations if these papers classified papers landed on their doorstep: would The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, Channel Four, or even GB News, have behaved any differently?

  33. a-tracy
    June 29, 2021

    Affairs and divorce wasn’t the issue with Hancock if he’d have kept it private no one really cares anymore. ‘The average overall divorce rate in England and Wales is 33.3%, based on all marriages over the past 50+ years between 1964 to 2019. Of couples who married 50 years ago in 1967, only 31.9% had ended in divorce by 2017. In contrast, 43.6% of those marrying in 1987 had divorced by 2017. And 20.1% of couples married in 2007 had divorced within the first ten years by 2017.’

    However, in the workplace with a colleague! A public workplace with known cctv – really was a big slip up! Having given out contracts to her connections! It all starts getting very unedifying. We are told there was a cctv camera clearly in sight near the door, people are wondering who is the snitch who leaked it and what would happen if this had just been reported internally to Boris – his initial reaction was just to say ‘nothing to see here, move along’ so we suspect it would have been covered up. When things like this kick off procedure should be suspend and investigate, substitute the person immediately as you would if they went sick or on holiday, then investigate properly, speedily and don’t give decisions to the press before proper disciplinary action has been concluded. The Press can wait.

  34. forthurst
    June 29, 2021

    The reportage of some current military details by the BBC is extremely embarrassing for the Tory party and demonstrates its inability to act sensibly in the national interest. On the one hand they are deliberately importing hundreds of thousands of unassimilable aliens every year and, on the other, they are playing childish and dangerous games in the Black Sea. If they wish to pretend that Crimea is part of Ukraine, why did they not order HMS Defender to sail into Sevastopol harbour and pay a courtesy visit? Only an idiot would claim that sailing a military vessel close to Crimea could possibly be conceived as innocent passage when there was plenty of sea to accommodate a different route.

    With regard to Afghanistan, as with Syria etc, there is a belief that Special Forces have some magical properties that make them a realistic substitute for boots on the ground and air cover. Is Tory politicians’ understanding of military strategy based on their watching Rambo films? We had no reason to be in Afghanistan other than being ordered in by neocons and all we have to show for it is good men with their legs blown off because they were sent on patrol by the MOD in vehicles designed for civilian use.

  35. rose
    June 29, 2021

    I have just seen an unprecedented BBC interview – of George Galloway. The interviewer is a prominent presenter called Martine Croxall and she spent the entire time attacking Galloway for letting in the Conservatives! She got more and more upset at the thought of it, and couldn’t regain her composure under Galloway’s reprimands about the BBC Charter.

  36. G Hetherington
    June 29, 2021

    Photographs show that the CCTV camera was openly sited, hanging from the ceiling of Hancock’s office. He must have known that it was there.

    Who leaked the tape?

    1. kb
      June 29, 2021

      Workplace surveillance is controlled in law. Workers have to be informed they are monitored, and areas that have CCTV surveillance should have warning signs. The reasons for monitoring have to be pre-notified to the Information Commissioner (it is unlikely that monitoring for affairs at work would be a valid reason).

      Quite apart from the national security angle (which is serious), there is also the Data Protection Act. The Dept of Health is in breach and would be prosecuted (but I guess it has crown immunity?)
      Even if there is crown immunity it is possible Hancock and his girlfriend (plus others in that workplace) have civil claims because their Data Protection rights were transgressed due to the negligence of the Dept.

  37. mactheknife
    June 30, 2021

    Firstly on the spy camera issue. I would have assumed that a ministers office was a secure environment accessible only by those with authority to do so ? If its not the case and any civil servant can just walk in and out then surely their must be some secure access / registration technology put in ? Its common place in business premises and registers the individual and the time spent in that location.

    Secondly about the BBC. Did you really expect anything else from our beloved national broadcaster ? The priority is of course to find out who removed the documents, they don’t just turn up at a bus stop, its clearly a deliberate act. The second priority is the BBC who once again take the opportunity to damage this country and its national security. This ‘public interest’ defense used by all media companies as a get out of jail free card must be tightened in law.

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