back to article Minister trashes ex-spook chief's liberty warning

Tony McNulty, the combative employment minister tipped to replace Jacqui Smith as Home Secretary, has branded a high profile warning by a former MI5 chief that the government risks creating a police state as "abject nonsense". McNulty was responding to criticisms of anti-terror laws by Dame Stella Rimington, head of the …


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  1. null

    Tom McNutty

    Good bye Wacky Jacqui. Hello Tom McNutty.

  2. Wokstation

    If we ignore the lessons of history

    We're doomed to make the same mistakes.

    This guy clearly isn't paying much attention, and he's the next Home Secretary (every time I say or type that I have the guy from Less Than Perfect shouting "Secra-Tary!" in my head)?

    Are Labour deliberately trying to alienate people? Surely a sensible politician would have either kept his trap shut or at least made soothing noises?

  3. Ed
    Thumb Up

    Go ahread, please!

    I very much want to see them try and develop this database of Internet communications. I think it has the potential to be highly entertaining.

    In all likelihood it will be as successful as all other IT projects, and even if they do manage to get it off the ground I can guarantee that it will contain absolutely zero useful data from me whatsoever.

  4. Hollerith

    I am really getting tired of this

    "McNulty said her "loose" use of language "plays into the hands of our enemies"."

    Speaking freely to a newspaper in a free country is 'playing into the hands of our enemies'. Warning that we are selling our liberties for the illusion of protection 'plays into the hands of our enemeies'. How, exactly? I am sick of this constant push to make us adopt the preemptive cringe: don't do, don't say, don't stand up for anything, lest it 'play into the hands of our enemies'. Let the Powers That Be spell out exactly how being constantly under surveillance and constantly silenced and coerced creates a defeat for 'our enemies'.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Headling news: "Politician Lies"

    Who'd have thought it.

    Paris because the british people are as clueless as her to let the government get away with what they are doing.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Clone secretary

    McNulty said her "loose" use of language "plays into the hands of our enemies".

    And which enemies would that be, hmm?

    The army of straw men the government and the media have so successfully created?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Terrorism could be defined as "attempting to control policical decision making and public opinion by the threat of violence". In which case constantly telling us that we must accept new laws and police powers in order to combat terrorism surely qualifies itself as terrorism.

    Oh, but hang on. Bush declared war on international terrorism, so anything our government do to us is fine, not being international.

    Ho hum.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    o look

    O look another lying fascist to pander to the media elite.

    Labour has alot of them don't they.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    War on terrorism?

    First of all, that was a stock response from a parasite, so we cannot expect anything better. Secondly, since war and terrorism are the same thing, I'm wondering what these parasites and their collaborators are hoping to achieve by increasing the amount of violence, anger, and fear in the world. Couldn't be a police state, right?

  10. Martin Lyne

    corrected for you

    'Tony McNulty, the combative employment minister tipped to replace Jacqui Smith as Home Secretary, has branded a high profile warning by a former MI5 chief that the government risks creating a police state as "abject nonsense", *then used the Terrorism Act to condemn her actions as incitement to riot, inciting hatred to have her detailed indefinately*'


    (Unless they are trying to flog a book)

  11. AlMac

    typical New Labour bo****ks

    It seems like any time somebody with actual real experience of anything says anything it's get ignored or ridiculed by them, whether it be to do with policing, terrorism, drugs, etc. All the more so if the person was actually employed to give them advice on the subject in the first place.

  12. John Macintyre

    joys of conspiracies

    "Man tipped to replace Jacqui calls 'abject nonsense' on Stella" Well he's not going to say 'yeah she's right, screw you all you're totally f****d' is he, he's be out of the running quicker than a sneeze

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Can someone please explain

    how ex-teachers are qualified to look after the security of the UK?

  14. James


    Is he really being tipped to be the new Home Secretary, the blokes clueless! I can't stand watching him on Question Time, he seems to be totally devoid of independent thought, and all he can do is parrot the party line. I can't think of anyone in the government more annoying or useless, and that's saying something!

  15. Phil Hare

    Who do we listen to on this issue?

    The former head of one of the intelligence services or a career politician?

    Decisions, decisions...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Always be vigilant

    The Fifth column, I mean Alqaeda terrorists are out to get you!

  17. Whitter
    Thumb Down

    Fire / frying pan senario

    This isn't fair. I hate Cameron's mob too.

  18. Nomen Publicus

    Rimington just repeats security expert opinion

    The _only_ good new security measure after 9/11 was stronger, locked cockpit doors. Everything else is just security theatre. All the money wasted on catching criminal tourists with more than the allowed amount of shampoo could be spent on actually tracking down and catching some terrorists.

    Instead of ID cards we could save the car industry...

    Instead of NHS IT projects we could have more doctors and nurses...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is one of the most repellent politicians out there right now. He has one style - bullying and hectoring. Watch him on Newsnight or Question Time, he rants when he's spoken to and sits there muttering and interrupting other contributors.

    And his huge experience of security, let's see - degree in politics, postgrad degree in politics, then went on to be a councillor, then an MP.

    He was a nasty piece of shit at the Home Office, he is a nasty piece of shit in his current role and he will continue to be one into the future.

    Currently sitting on a 4,000 odd majority, so if there is any justice in the World we'll soon be seeing the back of him.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    We need a...

    ... V for Vendetta icon on the Reg. Ah, I just said that on the "bad pics" article - wonder if this comment will get added, the other hasn't (so far).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    What he said and what he really means

    "Wrong to suggest that had all the things we planned been passed we'd have been a police state..." We'd be a police state if only half the things had passed...

    "wrong to suggest we have somehow stumbled towards a police state..." We've never stumbled. It's closer to a gallop really...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    abject nonsense

    If a government minister says that something is abject nonsense my brain translates this into a fact, the gospel, true.

    I wonder if any ministers have watched V for Vendetta, a really crap film but I'm sure Gordon, Jaquie etc would love to have the rule of law shown on this film.

  23. Anonymous Coward


    Isn't it sad that when the ex-chief of one of our security foces raised her concerns, the government just brush them off as though they didn't exist? I think that says it all.

    We've just found ourselves in the position where even the secret police are calling for less powers and don't seem to trust the direction their fascist uber-meisters are taking. Scared yet?

  24. Matt
    Paris Hilton

    dumb and dumber

    In the blue corner: Stella Rimington, ex-Head of MI5, with around 30 years of experience in the relevant sector

    In the red corner: Tony McNulty, MP and minor minister in the Department of Work and Pensions with degrees in policitcal science and political theory

    Go figure

    Paris, 'cos I'm in despair, and you can spell 'Paris' with some of the letters in 'despair'

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That sounds like Bush

    Bush: "That kind of question is what I'm talking about, giving comfort to our enemies abroad by liberal attacks such as yours on the president and his policies. Let's move on."

    McNulty: "Even to use such language so loosely plays in to the hands of our enemies."

    Isn't it funny, the whole of Britain is against them, they can't trust Parliament, so they bypass it, they can't trust the judges, so they've moved adhoc penalties down to the police, EU is against them so they shut the border. Now they want the power to grab any data and make any law without Parliament. An unelected, unpopular leader with nearly 3/4 of the people against him, saying that we are the problem for questioning his and his ministers choices.

  26. Ad Fundum

    Surprisingly enough he's wrong

    When McNutty says

    " ... Wrong to suggest that had all the things we planned been passed we'd have been a police state, and wrong to suggest we have somehow stumbled towards a police state."

    he's entirely wrong. We haven't stumbled towards it at all. We've been sprinting towards it at breakneck speed.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Ignore him

    He will be unemployed after the next election...

  28. Anonymous Coward

    ok Now what?

    Obviously this guy is more of the same.

    However the real questions is what do WE/YOU do now?

    or do we just leave quietly hand passport at gate - give em two fingers and hope some other country offers anyone dissatisfied a new home? Seriously does it come to this? or is it time to make a stand?

  29. Anonymous Coward


    You guys are screwed and the US isn't far behind.. The root of the problem isn't the politicians, but the public apathy that allows these guys to get elected in the first place. If most people genuinely cared about their privacy, then these guys wouldn't be able to get elected. Politicians seek power; it's what they do for a living. It's up to the people to put limits on them and stop them. The "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about" mentality is a cliche and a joke on the internet but the fact of the matter is that it's a commonly held conception amongst the general public. If you're a citizen who speaks out against the government's invasion of privacy you're a terrorist/pedo/criminal. If you're a politician who speaks out against it you support terrorism/pedophilia/criminality.

    I think the best thing we can do is promote our view-point to the general population. It's not enough to publish a blog or blab about it online as most netizens already have a strong aversion to government intrusion and government control in general. We need to write newsletters, books, and editorials. More importantly, we need to take advantage of mass media if we really want to reach the masses. We need to take advantage of television, radio, music, billboards, and advertisements.

    This is not a battle that's going to be won by e-mailing your representatives. It's going to take a grassroots effort and a significant investment in time and money. We need to start *now*.

  30. Ted Treen
    Paris Hilton

    History lesson...

    In the words of the esteemed Ms Rice-Davis (Google it, youngsters) "He would say that, wouldn't he?"

    Paris: Following on from Mandy, but not as honest...

  31. 3x2

    Sooo... just to be clear here ..

    .. a respected member of the intelligence community suggests that our Government is using scare tactics to introduce police state legislation and curtail civil liberties. Ministers counter with

    <...> her "loose" use of language "plays into the hands of our enemies". <...>

    ... and in defence of a very expensive program of dubious practical value and which would have Stalin blushing another comments ..

    <...> blocking the plans on civil liberties grounds would grant terrorists "a licence to kill".<...>

    They just don't see the irony

    Nuremberg Rally anyone?

  32. Christopher Rogers

    Bring down the Government

    I don't wanna sound like an anarchist, but it really is time the government was pulled down. Brown and Labour have shafted us for too long now. Politics in Britain is hitting a new low and we are allowing the loonies to run the asylum.

  33. It wasnt me

    @James 13:50 GMT

    I can - Hazel Blears. More annoying, more useless and even more of a party line puppet.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apartheid-era South Africa calls!

    I assume it is just a coincidence that the British government has been passing (or trying) to pass laws that were used to stifle dissent in apartheid-era SA (notably detention without trial). They certainly appear to be quacking like a police state.

    Without the legal underpinnings, the UK cannot become a police state - but once the laws are in place, the transition is easy because the authorities only need to start using powers they already have.

  35. Seán


    "plays into the hands of our enemies" at this stage the only enemies the UK has are people who are being militarily assaulted by the UK. Try not killing a load of muslims and see how that works out, better yet spend the same amount of money it costs to kill them on building them schools and hospitals and see how that goes.

    That is of course unless the enemies can be defined as sections of the UK populace in which case the police state approach which is being taken is probably appropriate. I wonder what groups are predicted to need controlling according to the "advanced computer model" they're doubtless using.

  36. Alan Fisher

    Our Enemies??

    McCarthy-ism anyone? I'm amazed just how potty Britain has gone since I left but, looking at it; I think the only place you could be safe these days is in a cabin in some isolated woods or in a cave underground!

    I would like these power-crazed politicos to tell people who their enemies are though, just in case they pass one on the street or something?

  37. Edward Miles

    Letter to the PM...

    Dear New Labour,

    Please FOAD.


    The British Public.

  38. b

    Tony "day in day out" McNulty

    is an arse.

    "Speaking freely to a newspaper in a free country is 'playing into the hands of our enemies'. "

    It's also an example of the sort of scaremongering that Rimmington was talking about...

  39. Russ Taylor

    Bad to worse, what to do?

    I think there's a growing consensus that something isn't right with our government, the growing nanny state, the aiming everything at the lowest common denominator and removing responsibility for ourselves.

    I agree with the coward above, what do we do? We're a terrible nation for being apathetic, surely something so fundamental is worth doing something about. I really don't want to have to move to NZ but every year it gets more tempting.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ James

    "I can't think of anyone in the government more annoying or useless, and that's saying something!"

    Apart from Jacqui Smith herself, presumably?

    Although from reading this article, he sounds like a male version of the same...

  41. Steve

    "our enemies"

    "McNulty said her "loose" use of language "plays into the hands of our enemies"."

    This makes perfect sense when you remember that Labour consider the public their enemy. Saddam and bin Laden were never going to destroy the Labour government, but an informed public may well string up the lot of them.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    saw him on question time

    ...telling someone out of work from a car factory in birmingham that it was ok that her and her husband couldn't find work because Labour has created "Job Centre Plus", which is yet another half arsed attempt to fiddle with the employment stats.

    It was very rewarding to hear this woman tell him just how useless the job centre had been and that she was getting off her backside and finding what little work she could, in spite of nu labour's efforts not because of them.

    This man is more of a waste of space that wacki jaqui, bet she had a good toke on a spliff before suggesting him as her replacement, while laughing her arse.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    another twunt on a power trip to be home sec!

    Mcnutty as home secretary really is letting the monkey fly the aeroplane.

    And we thought Wacqui was bad!

    After all, someone like Rimmington, an acknowledged expert should bow to the superior powers and experience of some twunt like McNutty, after all, his wealth of experience in counter terrorism could be inscribed on a small grain of rice.

    Paris, shes not been quite as heavily screwed as the british public, but its close!

  44. Bad Beaver
    Paris Hilton

    help me out

    I'm not a Brit but I'm sure "our enemies" are the same. I just got a little confused about whom we now actually consider "the enemy".

    Oh, and I second the V for Vendetta icon request.

  45. Kia Foster
    Jobs Halo

    This Labour Government has got to

    rank as the biggest bunch of self serving (i.e. serving themselves expenses from taxpayers money) arseholes that we have EVER had the displeasure to have in power. I do hope they all FOAD in 2010.

  46. Robert Ramsay

    If you want to talk about V for Vendetta...

    "And its no good blaming the drop in work standards on and management either... though to be sure, the management is very bad. In fact, let us not mince words... The Management is terrible! We've had a string of embezzelers, frauds, liars and lunatics making a string of catastrophic decisions. This is plain fact. But who elected them? It was you! You who elected these people! You who gave them the power to make your decisions for you! While I'll admit that anyone can make a mistake once, to go on making the same lethal errors century after century seems to me nothing short of deliberate. You have encouraged these malicious incompetents, who have made your working life a shambles. You have accepted without question their senseless orders. You have allowed them to fill your workspace with dangerous and unproven machines. You could have stopped them. All you had to say was "No". You have no spine. You have no pride. You are no longer an asset to the company."

  47. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Executive Action and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActivity

    "I think the best thing we can do is promote our view-point to the general population. It's not enough to publish a blog or blab about it online as most netizens already have a strong aversion to government intrusion and government control in general. We need to write newsletters, books, and editorials. More importantly, we need to take advantage of mass media if we really want to reach the masses. We need to take advantage of television, radio, music, billboards, and advertisements." ......."Screwed"... By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 18th February 2009 14:41 GMT


    Not all of us are averse to telling governments where they can go .... although not necessarily to get screwed. Some things would be just too distasteful. The following is sitting in front of A Darling and others, even as we speak/you read this.

    And re "This is not a battle that's going to be won by e-mailing your representatives. It's going to take a grassroots effort and a significant investment in time and money. We need to start *now*." ........ I couldn't agree more.

    For the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, so that he cannot be said to be ignorant of a Virtual Program for Beta Governance, which is hereby asking for National Support/Particular and Peculiar Specific Funding for a Cloud Initiative/CyberSpace Project in the better Global Management of Perception and Resources, and which can be effortlessly and freely explored [and also interacted with] here ..... C42 Quantum Control Systems*

    And the following is freely, universally available online and is just a very small part of a much Bigger Picture, Great Game dDeveloped for Future Generation Play.

    And please, do not do yourself a grave dis-service by even thinking that you are not being provided/confronted with a very sophisticated ProgramMIng, which can be easily tailored to Virtually Any Need and Feed.

    91. At 1:34pm on 18 Feb 2009, amanfromMars wrote:

    "There should be plenty for us to discuss on my return, next week. "

    Hi, Robert, Enjoy the break while/if you can for there is always a lot to discuss when stage-managing perceptions and uncovering deep deceptions

    As the following is posted to the parties listed at the end [cc], which you can see also stars your good self, [and this quite excellent transparent Internet blog is far better than any email, which can be conveniently/inconveniently ignored or dismissed or as is maybe the case in Government, vetted by a minion for subjective decision for the addressed's attention] and after having watched the PM doing his Mr Bean/Has Been routine at todays press conference, announcing nothing worthy of note and therefore no real change to an easily corruptible Financial/Money/Fiscal/Control System, [call it what you will], perhaps this could be pursued, looking for the flaw, which could then be addressed to remove it.

    Quite patently obviously are the present "cosy arrangements"/Ponzi scams, Unfit for Future Purpose and if the Government cannot think to change things fundamentally, for what can only be a Lack of Intelligence and Initiative or Coersion to maintain the Status Quo hierarchy , then it will be provided to them for them to comment on [or to ignore, should that be their choice] However, it will be universally known that other viable options and alternatives to stop Collapse have been submitted for Systems BetaTesting and Trial Runs.


    Adjusting the System to Eliminate Parasitic Destructive Inflation?

    By amanfromMars

    Posted Wednesday 18th February 2009 07:28 GMT

    "The Story Has Vanished From The BBC ... And people think the BBC is a free, fair and independent news service??" ......By RotaCyclic Posted Tuesday 17th February 2009 17:05 GMT

    Others would more reasonably suggest it is a Shadow of its Gay Former Self and a Proxy Tool Failing Governments with its Mandates and Foreign Programs. But then that is directly attributable to Spineless Direction from the Top of the Board Room Tree and its Bankrupt of Novel and innovative Intellectual Property, Creativity Department.

    "There is good news and bad news. The good news is that the "credit crunch"/slump is not terminal, and we will survive it, because... The bad news is that there will be a next "credit crunch"/slump, and it will be terminal, altho when it will occur is difficult to predict. However, we have seen enough of how the World is Being $aved today to be confident in this." ... By Luther Blissett Posted Tuesday 17th February 2009 17:14 GMT.

    I cannot fault the logic but would suggest that the bad news is current and therefore one does not need to wait on prediction.

    To all who would either post here on El Reg or just spend years just reading [yes, there are those too, apparently, who have no urge nor strong enough or sure enough opinions to share publicly for peer review ] now would be the perfect time to present to Government any viable sustainable mega-spending plans for any Public Service Initiative Projects which you might have, as Quantitive Easing/the Printing and Supply of Currency to Generate Economies and Industry gets under Way. Cutting out the Middleman/the Banks will also ensure that their Costs do not Burden one with unnecessary Taxation and Wealth Payment on a Service not required.

    It is surely quite enough for Currency Spend to Generate Industry and Economies, without the Banking Sector, expecting the Added and Unfunded Service of Interest Charged on a Principal Currency Spend and the Return of the Capital Spent from the Principal, whose Spend is Generating Industry/Work/Economies.......... for that would require one to be able to Invent and Print Money from Nothing or to ask Currency Suppliers for more than twice what one would Really need, in Order to Entertain a Sector which is making Nothing but merely employing members of the Population with either limited or undereducated skillsets.

    However, if that be necessarily so by Default Design of the System, then one should make the necessary adjustments to Currency Requirements made to Government and make them aware of the Inflated Provision/Excessive Third Party Borrowing Requirement. It does not though do the Banking Sector any favours, whenever their business Model is Based upon the SurReal Supply of Nothing, and yet for which they would think to be Paid with such Extreme Supplies of Currency.

    cc Vince Cable/Robert Peston/Mervyn King/Alistair Darling/UK PLC. "

    The System is broken like Humpty Dumpty and it is an insult to us all, from those who should know better, to think that things will be fixed without a Completely New Currency Supply System rather than a Currency Control System, which relies on arbitrary subjective Third party decision making for Suitable Supply of Wealth for Spending ..... and that can be easily Refined for Finer Mentored and Monitored Constructive Performance Tuning with Currency Supply being by Electronic Credit Transfers thus to save on the Wear and Tear and Pitfalls of Cash.

    It is not rocket science, is it.

    "Money is like water, block its flow and it will stagnate." .... His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

    Please be advised that NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActivity is AIdDutch Initiative in Transparent Virtual Communication and is not at all well suited to Concealment at any Stage or on any Stage.


    Graham [amfM]

    [* which of course is a hyperlink in the original]

  48. Alex

    McNultyism - the new McCarthyism ?

    It sounds to me as though she should be locked up or deported

    in line with the new Government approach to 'anti-democratic'

    views revealed on Panorama.

  49. michael

    irony meters

    <...> her "loose" use of language "plays into the hands of our enemies". <...>

    <...> blocking the plans on civil liberties grounds would grant terrorists "a licence to kill".<...>

    and all the irony meters in the room exploded

    I mean when I read those comments I just thought "dose this guy know what i fool he sounds?"

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This reminds me of the same thing

    Here's Olbermann discussing the scaremongering of Bush which sounds remarkably familiar.

    Bush "the lives of countless Americans depend on our ability to monitor terrorist communications..."

    He goes onto to quote security professionals like Richard Clark calling Bush a liar for pretending he needs the law. Sort of like Stella Rimington criticizing Brown.

    Doesn't it all seem quite deja-vu.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    Another brainless goon...

    ... spouting McBroon's propaganda.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    The UK is de facto a police state - face it. Adding laws to the mix would simply add an extra veneer of legitimacy in an attempt to further hijack a proud people's (former) liberty.

    Where's V when you need him, eh?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which factory produces these nutters?

    This guy's record is awful.

    He is of Irish descent, educated by the Merkins, currently in charge of employment at the time of record unemployment, and responsible for a lot of the terror, anti privacy legislation. This is the enemy within our country.

    Thanks Harrow East, look just vote conservative as you normally do next time please, the behind the scenes architect for the downfall of Britain is this one.

  54. dervheid
    Black Helicopters

    He's right, you know.

    "wrong to suggest we have somehow stumbled towards a police state."


    NuLabour have driven headlong towards this end.

    His voting record speaks for itself here;

  55. Eponymous Cowherd

    Now who am I going to believe?

    The ex head of MI5, a professional spook with real world experience of counter-terrorism, or some numpty Nu-Labour drone who probably knows no more about counter-terrorism than my pet hamster.

    And then there are all of the other people criticising Labour's Stasi Britain recently:

    Airline Pilots.

    The International Commission of Jurists.

    The BCS.

    The Scottish Parliament.

    McNutty "trashing" Dame Stella's opinion is a bit like a McDonalds burger-flipper criticising Gordon Ramsay. Both cook stuff, but the former only has the faintest grasp of what's involved.

    Sod this f***ing oppressive, overbearing, control-obsessed, snooping, stealth taxing, corrupt, sleazy, and, worst of all, totally incompetent, Government. May they all burn in the pits of Hell. (hence the icon)

  56. Anonymous Coward

    @ James

    "Is he really being tipped to be the new Home Secretary, the blokes clueless! I can't stand watching him on Question Time, he seems to be totally devoid of independent thought, and all he can do is parrot the party line. I can't think of anyone in the government more annoying or useless, and that's saying something!"

    Try Hazel Blears....

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never thought I'd say it

    Bring on the next (please god let it be) tory govt.

    Or will voting have been banned by 2010?

  58. Mike Smith

    Read between the lines!

    Spot on Mr McNutty. Just read between the lines folks:

    "Wrong to suggest that had all the things we planned been passed we'd have been a police state"

    In other words, the things they've planned AND passed have been enough. And...

    "wrong to suggest we have somehow stumbled towards a police state"

    They didn't stumble. They went there intentionally. And Mr McNutty has just admitted it.

    Oh well, see you in the Gulag after my show trial in the People's Court. Only one more thing to decide - when the Stasi kick my door down at 3am, do I come quietly as a political prisoner or go down fighting? I can't decide - perhaps some kind minister could decide for me?

    442 days to go. Hang on in there folks.

  59. chris

    Tony McNulty ran scared from asylum seeker women in Glasgow

    "Is he really being tipped to be the new Home Secretary, [...] he seems to be totally devoid of independent thought, and all he can do is parrot the party line"

    Answered your own question there, mate.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Can someone please explain ...

    If you look up the details of both the present and previous chancellors of the exchequer you will also see that they also do not have the correct educational background for the job they are currently being paid for.

    Must be a requirement to be a minister, so providing you have no financial background, logically, AC, you could be chancellor (as could my cat).

  61. Ben Boyle


    ...on a jet plane - just as soon as I can manage it.

    This country is going to the dogs, led most ably by our fear mongering, thought policing, movement controlling government, reactionary NIMBYs and their allies in the media.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear me

    I worked alongside Tony McNulty for a few years. He's a very clever man, and not above telling huge lies to make a point.

    Him as Home Secretary would be very, very scary.

  63. Jack

    Hanlon's Razor...

    tells us we ought not: "attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity". Having witnessed the administrations of Bush and Blair or Dumb and Dumber, as they're known in some circles, I've come to the conclusion malice and stupidity are not mutually exclusive.

    Dame Stella Rimington, at 73; an age when diminished mental capacity would be expected, appears to have a, vastly, superior understanding of the situation than Britain's employment minister, Mr. McNutty.

    Mr. McNutty's statement: "...I think on this she is totally and utterly wrong", when it's obvious to anyone "with the brains God gave geese" that she is totally and utterly right, suggests he suffers a high degree of cognitive disfunction.

    Likewise his statement: "Wrong to suggest that had all the things we planned been passed we'd have been a police state, and wrong to suggest we have somehow stumbled towards a police state"...unless Mr. McNutty means Dame Rimington is wrong to suggest "we'd have been a police state" as "we", already, are and wrong to suggest "we have somehow stumbled towards a police state" as "we", intentionally, became a police state, as expeditiously as "we" were able.

    McNutty referring to Dame Rimington's use of language as "loose" and suggesting her statement "plays into the hands of our enemies" is worthy of Monty Python and this from a man who uses the phrase "abject nonsense". I imagine anyone with an elementary command of the English language would realize Dame Rimington's statements were an articulate expression of her, obviously, coherent thoughts, on the matter. I, also, imagine anyone with even a passing knowledge of the history of fascism would recognize Mr. McNutty's "plays into the hands of our enemies" as a tactic employed by fascist regimes, for centuries.

    Dame Rimington's understanding of the situation, also, appears vastly superior to Britain's transport Secretary, Geoff Goon. Mr. Goon's statement: "blocking the plans on civil liberties grounds would grant terrorists a licence to kill" is ridiculous. I expect most schoolchildren are aware that killing people, without just cause, is illegal under existing legislation, preventing the British government from stripping the British people of their legal and human rights would not exempt terrorists from that legislation and, given terrorists almost invariably kill by way of a suicide attack, no legislation is likely to deter them.

    It seems to me, the only conclusion we can come to, here, is: Mr. McNutty and Mr. Goon are either stupid or malicious and, possibly, both. You people need to give your heads a shake and remove them from your colons, before it's too late, assuming it's not already.

    A couple of pages you may find interesting: and

  64. Kieron McCann


    "Even to use such language so loosely plays in to the hands of our enemies."

    If by 'Enemies' you mean the tax paying British public, then yes, it does. Somehow I get the feeling that we are now all enemies of the state.

    Jesus Christ, just when I thought it could'nt get any worse than Jackboot Smith, they wheel out this fucking vacuous ingnorant turd. The government appears to be a bottomless cesspit of increasingly talentless authoritarian facists. I've scraped more intelligent things off the bottom of my shoe. It's almost as if they know that they're going to be flushed down the toilet next year and are out to implement a scorched earth policy on our rights and freedoms.

    And I have zero expectations that the Tories will do anything to repeal any of the Stalinist legislation that has been implemented over the last 10 years.

    Where's the queue for the riot?

  65. Dave Stark

    Job requirements

    Are all Home Secretaries required to be arseholes?

    Jack Straw - arsehole

    Jacqui Smith - arsehole

    Tony McNulty - arsehole

    Small sample size, but there's a pattern in there that warrants further investigation.

  66. RW
    Thumb Down

    A revision of the OED entry "enemy"

    Enemy. n. 1. anyone who does not slavishly lick the toes of NuLabourThought.

    Tell me, is a custard pie considered a deadly weapon in the UK?

  67. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down


    I suppose at least we KNOW beforehand, that we are getting a another arsehole to replace Wacky J! Should be a fun run up to the election then, with McNutter desperately trying to get everything Gordo gave Wacky to do before Labour get booted in favour of the other bunch of useless tossers!

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We are in a police state already

    " ... Wrong to suggest that had all the things we planned been passed we'd have been a police state, and wrong to suggest we have somehow stumbled towards a police state."

    They don't need all of them - we're already there and have been for a while.

    All we need is another petrol protest and the wheels will begin to roll - check out the Civil Contingencies Act 2004:

    I think when he said "loose" use of language "plays into the hands of our enemies" he was referring to NuLab's enemies. I think by that he means us or anyone who values their liberty.

    The AC earlier was spot on about apathy.

    I make a point of mentioning the IRA terrorism in the 80s and 90s and how virtually nobody died or was injured (no offence to those who were and their families) and how we had less restriction on our liberty then than now (I suppose I'm talking about the mainland UK here).

    If I'm told that the threat is greater now because of dirty bombs I'll mention the fact that nobody had thought of them until the government gave detailed instructions on what to do. Erm I mean warned everyone about them. If that's not good enough I'll point out that Japan swallowed a couple of real nuclear bombs and recovered alright.

    The best thing to do though, is to remind the people you know that the government works for us and not the other way around. As crazy as it seems, most people don't seem to realize that.

    Our biggest problem is that we haven't had a dictator since Cromwell.

    Just remember the words of an East German: "If we'd all attack the secret police with shovels spades and pitch forks every time they burst in, they'd have run out of secret police pretty quickly".

  69. Quirkafleeg
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Can someone please explain

    “how ex-teachers are qualified to look after the security of the UK?”

    Easy. They'll put us all in detention…

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's called sucking up

    Sucking up to the people that he hopes will recruit him into the position.

    Plain and simple.

    Stella should come back to the UK and make the same remarks, book a large conference room in a hotel and invite a number of MPs, ministers, IT, privacy campaigners and let's have a proper debate.

    I think the Labour government might try to stop such a debate somehow. Wonder how they would do it? Bomb scare, causing an evacuation of the hotel? I wouldn't put it past them.

  71. Alan

    Tony's Admission?

    To Quote

    "Wrong to suggest that had all the things we planned been passed we'd have been a police state, and wrong to suggest we have somehow stumbled towards a police state."

    Is this an unintentional admission that a police state is the intended destination ofr this country

  72. Jonathan McColl
    Black Helicopters

    The blue-number brigade

    Commenters in the Reg on these news events have demonised every Home Sec since at least David Blunkett (remember him?) in pejorative terms such as Wacqui Jacqui and now Tom McNutty.

    The ideas aren't new: look at the attitude of the 70s TV series 1990 to show the fear writers could extrapolate from the Labour government policies then.

    Part of it is Labour but most of it is a government machine that wants to grind us all exceeding fine so that we are all tidy and under control. The 'people' who really want national identity pass-law databases are the civil servants behind the politicians. We can't demonise them because they don't give interviews as often as Home Secretaries.

  73. Blitheringeejit

    He's right!

    He may have chosen his words more intelligently than is apparent: this kind of talk certainly does play into the hands of "our" enemies, if by "we" he means the Labour Government. "We" have created lots of enemies (by invading their countries, bombing their children etc), and "we" now understandably fear that revenge may be on a lot of peoples' agendas.

    But I'm not part of that "we", and they're not my enemies - I sympathise with them, because I voted and demonstrated to try to stop the madness that "we" inflicted on the world. If "we" get hurt because of what "we" did in Blair's wars, "we" are getting what we deserve.

    If the courts won't prosecute Blair, Hoon, Brown etc for their illegal invasion and mass-murder, I can understand why the maimed and the orphaned might seek extra-judicial vent for their understandable feelings. I just hope that when they do so, they are more careful than "we" were about killing innocents in the crossfire.

  74. Andy Bright


    I've always had the opinion that anyone who suggests we should be happy to give up civil liberties in order to stop terrorism is just a coward looking to save his or her own skin.

    Trouble is for some reason voters never seem to want to make these idiots pay for their cowardice. If nothing else it confuses me that people are okay with the cost of all this pointless technology. You guys do understand that the money government uses to buy all this useless shite comes from your own paychecks right?

    My argument will always be that literally anyone with the ability to crayon could make more competent decisions than the spineless twat that believes id cards and biometrics will in some way prevent terrorists from killing people. So next time vote for anyone but the person currently holding office and I guarantee you pretty much can't go wrong. It might take a few elections before they get it, but eventually politicians will understand that if they want to hold office they need to grow a backbone and learn how to spend our money on things we actually need. Just keep voting them out of office until they do.

  75. ElFatbob

    actually, i'm surprised he

    managed to say anything at all through the salivation brought about by the thought of getting his teeth in the pork barrel that awaits him as HS.....

    expenses, nice cabinet salary (and pension), promised (IT) directorships...

    as for a police state? If the ex-head of the internal Spooks says it is, then nuff said....

  76. Buzzby


    Don't you get it? The enemy is us!

  77. Marcus Fil
    Black Helicopters

    George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'

    Seen by most people as a vicious indictment of a surveillance obsessed totalitarian state.

    Seen by NuLabour as a bloody manual.

    P.S. El Reg - please hurry up with that 'V' icon.

  78. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Voting them out

    To all those who feel they might be holding their nose and voting Tory at the next general election, might I point out that in *many* constituencies Dave's lot are not the second party. If you *just* want to evict the government whilst you still have voting rights, there are smarter ways of using them.

    And to overseas observers, amazed that we put up with this, I'm reminded of a story I once heard about an American lady who came to work in the UK and spent the first few months in almost continuous conflict with the management. Eventually, she realised that she was the only one with this problem. Everyone else simply *ignored* the management, and since policy actually changed every few months one could reasonably say that even the management ignored the management. It's the British Way -- stiff upper lip and all that.

    Of course, it only works in the political arena if the governing party gets the boot every couple of terms. Leave them in for too long and they get the idea that people ought to listen to them.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The UK

    Is a police state. I left the country 6 years ago because of this.

  80. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    McNulty said...

    ,,, her "loose" use of language "plays into the hands of our enemies"

    You mean as opposed to Labour's "loose use of language" which passes laws which are so vague and incomprehensible that even their own Ministry of Justice can't say what they cover?

    Or their "loose use of language" that tries to sneak even more power-grabbing legislation through in the guise of the "Coroners and Justice Bill"?

    Or their "loose use of language" that spreads FUD around like manure until we're buried in so much shit that we can't even see daylight in our new Big Brother state...?

    PS El Reg - Here's another vote for a V for Vendetta icon!

  81. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Black Helicopters

    In a McNulty shell

    Here is the entire issue in a nut shell:

    -> McNulty said her "loose" use of language "plays into the hands of our enemies".

    That is, the gubbament just wants us to continually remain scared!

  82. R Callan


    "Tell me, is a custard pie considered a deadly weapon in the UK?"

    I would imagine only if it is heavily almond flavoured.

  83. Stephen Jenner

    "Socialism" needs a police state to operate.

    "and wrong to suggest we have somehow stumbled towards a police state"...

    We didn't stumble, it has been deliberate.

    As Churchill once said...

    "No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo...Socialist policy is abhorrent to British ideas of freedom...there can be no doubt that socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism."

  84. Anonymous Coward

    @Alan 18th February 2009 18:12 GMT

    "Tony's Admission?"

    It is not an admission, it is a statement of fact.

    The current government is well aware of what it has achieved, it is proud of what it has achieved, and is confident that:

    1: The subjects of the UK will not rebel or rock the boat in any way.

    2: The next Tory government will not do anything to undo what has been done.

    Solution: Vote UKIP.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Don't fall for the either-or trap!

    Yes, Labour are dreadful, but never forget they got elected by copying the Tories' policies. Bringing back the Tories would just be more of the same. We don't have to have either of them, there are alternatives...

  86. Tom Austin
    Thumb Up

    V for Vendetta icon...

    ...or a Big Brother icon. Hurry up, please, Reg people...

  87. amanfromMars Silver badge

    I apologize,.... if wrong and not right..

    "Oh dear me .... I worked alongside Tony McNulty for a few years. He's a very clever man, and not above telling huge lies to make a point." ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 18th February 2009 16:31 GMT

    Err, ... A very clever man wouldn't need to tell lies for anything or anyone, AC, ergo is Tony McNulty not a very clever man?

    And, oh dear me, he works for Mr Brown and his chums/colleagues, who has presided, pushed and lorded it over more than 10 years of Sustained and Maintained National Decline. Incompetent is not nearly realistic enough as it suggests a Lack of Forethought. Venal and Venereal is much more appropriate....... and Criminal too, of course, in the First Degree.

  88. Chris


    Can I please recommend the Epic Fail Guy icon for articles such as these.

  89. Alan Fisher

    typical politician

    he is hardly likely to say "oh bugger you got me" and admit that's what they doing now are they...not yet anyway.....

    this is just rattle throwing as he knows that the educated and clever people (the minority....intellectuals..see the pattern emerging?) will listen to that 'evil woman' while the plebs who read the papers will continue to swallow the "foreigners, terrorists, druggies, liberals and peados" rhetoric of their favourite former chip wrapper

  90. Ascylto

    @ null

    "Good bye Wacky Jacqui. Hello Tom McNutty."

    And not forgetting ... Goodbye Tom McNutty, goodbye NuLabour.

    This issue of invasion of privacy is the biggest one of all for me in the next election. It convinces me, also, that NuLabour is totally devoid of morality and is a spineless, toadying group of snouters.

    Because NuLabour are soooooooooo frightened ... of US!

    Because that's a NuLabour toady looking in my coat for my ID Card. (Fat chance!).

  91. Mike Silver badge

    Let's have some facts

    Anyone who still has serious doubts about the validity of Dame Stella Rimington's comments might like to take a look at the Coroners and Justice Bill Chapter 8 Section 152 and also the report "Assessing Damage, Urging Action" published by the International Commission of Jurists on 16th Feb. 2009.

    The idea that massive surveillance intrinsically yields good intelligence is popular, but fundamentally flawed. There is a finite amount of useful intelligence at any given moment, so the optimum approach is directed, evolutionary and requires detached, impartial assessment (see R.V Jones, Most Secret War, Hamish Hamilton 1978 and Abram Shulsky, Silent Warfare, 2nd Edition, Brasseys (US) 1993). There should be a sound justification for a particular fragment of data to qualify as "intelligence". Monitoring everything and everyone and trying to find "patterns" in the mess just buries the real intelligence in meaningless noise and makes it harder to identify. As a result not only is the potential for effective pre-emptive countermeasures diminished, but serious miscarriages of justice can occur - often due to false conclusions being drawn from misinterpreted fragile correlations - as indeed documented in the ICJ report.

    In reality, the probability of any one of us falling foul of a terrorist attack is vanishingly small, but because of the very rarity of such events it's also almost completely unpredictable (and therefore effectively unavoidable should one happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time). A bit like getting struck by a meteor while out walking the dog (or indeed winning the National Lottery). Consequently keeping tabs on everyone in case they might be a potential perpetrator is (to use a technical term) daft.

    However the current brute force response to this problem is not new. The same kind panic infected Britain in the 1880s and lead to both the founding of Special Branch and similar calls for the curtailment of freedoms in the name of security. In some cases this extended to the use of agents provocateurs who incited and possibly perpetrated terrorist acts (Bernard Porter, The Origins of the Vigilant State, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1987).

    Of course we must always keep in mind that no-one is actively trying to restrict our freedoms per se. Any restrictions are just unfortunate collateral damage in the fight to protect us against extremely rare extreme events - a kind of "friendly fire". What has been forgotten is just how rare the events that we are being "protected" from are.

    But the thing that's truly scary in the ICJ report: "... certain governments want to reserve for themselves the power to designate a class of people who are not entitled to the same rights as other human beings" (page 12 para 2) - a situation that the European Convention on Human Rights was defined expressly to prevent ever happening again after the 1930s-40s, and the very mind set we attribute to the "enemy". Personally, I see a disturbing similarity emerging between the positions of the "bad guys" and "good guys" - fanatics all, regardless of specific flavour. As Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said "A people willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both."

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bit of Perspective Please

    Number of people killed in the UK since 2000 due to terrorism : 52

    Number of people killed in the UK since 2000 due to road accidents: approximately 30,000

    So why aren't they banning cars and arresting those with drivers licences?

  93. Jimmy

    Tom a Hawk

    Tom McNulty clearly ticks all the NuLabour boxes that qualify him to succeed the Wacky Wonder.

    1. Contemptuous dismissal of someone who is infinitely better informed about a subject than he is himself.

    2. Dogmatic adherence to the party line that private citizens must be regulated with brutal Stalinist discipline while the so-called wealth creators are let off the leash in order to create nothing less than the worst economic crisis for a hundred years.

    3. Replaces rational, evidence-based policy making with the conviction-based politics of Thatcher.

    4. Fully subscribes to Mandelson's dictum "New Labour has no problem with people becoming filthy rich", although to be fair he did add "provided they pay their taxes".( But, being a hell of a lot smarter than the NuLabour dummies, the filthy rich promptly off-shored their tax liabilities to tax havens like the Cayman islands.)

    5. Fully paid up member of the Pontius Pilate sect within NuLabour: We do not torture people, we get other people to do it for us.

    Perfect CV for Tom - the man's a shoo-in.

  94. ElFatbob

    @ Dave Stark

    I'm not a statistician, but I think you're on to something there....

  95. kosmos

    Welcome to the UK... Please recite your pledge to the party.




  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... is a cross between Michael Doyle out of Grange Hill's father ('My dad's on the Board of Governors') and Harry Enfield's Mr. You Don't Want To Do That, You Want To Do This.

  97. Ted Treen
    Jobs Halo


    And of course they know full well that any "real" terrorist isn't out to get Joe Soap, but has his beady eyes set on those in authority.

    And those in authority know equally well that Joe Soap wouldn't be exactly inconsolable were it to happen successfully...

    "No Officer, I never saw nuffink, and I didn't hear nuffink, either. What? - the entire cabinet wiped out? Oh well, mustn't grumble, worse things happen at sea....."

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    McNutty indeed, and it seems the lunatics have taken over the asylum already.

This topic is closed for new posts.