Militant supporters march agianst the poll tax, photo Steve Gardner

Militant supporters march agianst the poll tax, photo Steve Gardner   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Chris Baugh, PCS AGS, responds (personal capacity)

On 24 July, the Guardian published an article revealing that Thatcher’s government worked with MI5 and Special Branch to draw up a blacklist of civil servants deemed to be ‘subversives’.

Cabinet papers from the time reveal the government was ‘most concerned’ about supporters of Militant, the forerunner of the Socialist Party.

Here Chris Baugh, the assistant general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which represents civil servants, and a member of the Socialist Party, reacts to the revelation:

“The latest release of cabinet papers provides yet more evidence of the Thatcher government and secret state carrying out covert work against trade unions in the civil service.

“The Orwellian sounding ‘Interdepartmental Group on Subversives in Public Life’, shows the collusion between the Thatcher government, MI5 and special branch, in targeting so-called subversives, particularly those identified as supporters of Militant.

“To quote Thatcher herself, the civil service should be ‘very ready to sack subversive trouble makers…’

This needs to be properly investigated in the Mitting spy-cops inquiry, and by working alongside trade unionists, socialists, anti-racist and environmental campaigners, to expose the level of covert surveillance and the threat this poses to independent trade unions, the right to protest, and fighting for another socialist world.”