Monday, September 19, 2016

Newham Council's befriending blockade: Declan brings a formal Stage 1 complaint against the Equality Advisory Support Service (with updates on non-access to our Church and State website)

Befriending blockade

Excerpt from Declan's formal complaint of discrimination against Newham Council

On 2 September 2016, in reply to my appeal request, Newham Council's Pauline Jones, Interim Head of Complaints and Member Enquiries, was satisfied that my stage one complaint was "assessed correctly" by Bernie Lynch, Complaints and Member Enquiries Manager, who determined that I may not be informed of Active Newham's next befriending training session, or asked for personal information to facilitate a befriending match up, because the session will be "bespoke to the person who needs befriending".

This irrational and illogical determination from senior management in Newham Council not only denies me the opportunity to befriend an older or isolated resident in my community, but seriously affects my educational and vocational prospects. It is at variance with the rational information provided in an Active Newham newsletter: "After attending the Newham’s Volunteers befriending Induction and training, Sajid was introduced to an older person - Mr Porter, based on the information he provided at the session." And it is discriminatory in its application and impact.

Declan cannot even befriend an older or isolated resident in the London Borough of Newham! This "befriending blockade" is being maintained by senior management in Newham Council right under the nose of Kim Bromley-Derry, the Council's CEO. Declan is trying to get his complaint of discrimination against the Council to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, but not even the Government's Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) will confirm whether or not our local Labour MP, Lyn Brown, can refer a complaint of discrimination to the Commission. This is his formal Stage 1 complaint to the EASS for this crucial information if we are to keep going in our attempt to break this blockade:

19 September 2016

Dear Team Manager,

Please accept this email as a formal Stage 1 complaint.

I have twice telephoned your service to enquire if a Member of Parliament (MP) can refer a complaint of discrimination to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). I have been twice informed that your service does not know the answer to the question.

On 8 September 2016 I contacted my local Labour MP's office in Newham - Lyn Brown MP - regarding the referral of my complaint of discrimination against Newham Council to the EHRC. I was told that they do not know the answer to the question either.

On 14 September 2016 I wrote to the Director of the Government Equalities Office, Hilary Spencer, but I have not received a reply to date.

I would like you to investigate my complaint with a view to confirming whether or not an MP can refer a complaint of discrimination to the EHRC.

Yours faithfully,

Declan Heavey

Meanwhile, the unprecedented double-barrelled attack on our Church and State website continues unabated (SiteGround is paid $1,000 per year to host our site and manage the server):

1. Our Facebook likes/shares plugin has been showing zeros to varying degrees on category pages throughout the site since 19 August.

2. I've been blogging data relating to non-access to the site since 26 July.

1st 26 July 2016, 9.34pm
2nd 27 July 2016, 12.10pm
3rd 27 July 2016, 5.55pm
4th 28 July 2016, 11.44pm
5th 29 July 2016, 12.29pm
6th 30 July 2016, 3.58pm
7th 31 July 2016, 7.03pm
8th 2 August 2016, 10.23pm
9th 3 August 2016, 1.05pm
10th 7 August 2016, 10.49am
11th 8 August 2016, 11.38am
12th 14 August 2016, 2.02pm
13th 16 August 2016, 8.56pm
14th 18 August 2016, 10.48pm
15th 18 August 2016, 11.14pm
16th 20 August 2016, 6.04pm
17th 21 August 2016, 2.35pm
18th 25 August 2016, 3.07pm
19th 30 August 2016, 8.10pm
20th 31 August 2016, 1.10am
21st 2 September 2016, 8.44pm
22nd 10 September 2016, 11.51pm
23rd 11 September 2016, 3.46am
24th 15 September 2016, 3.47pm
25th 16 September 2016, 3.45pm
26th 19 September 2016, 4.50am
27th 19 September 2016, 12.15pm


28th 20 September 2016, 4.39pm
29th 22 September 2016, 10.43pm
30th 23 September 2016, 10.32am
31st 23 September 2016, 8.53pm
32nd 25 September 2016, 5.54pm

Click to enlarge

Paragraph 12 of Declan's updated complaint to the United Nations re the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

12. It is important to underscore that the discriminatory surveillance suffered by the Applicant and his wife is not an isolated event. Rather, it is emblematic of a larger pattern of surveillance by law enforcement officials in the UK that has been well-documented by international and domestic human rights bodies. For example, GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) specialises in the "4 D's": deny, disrupt, degrade, deceive. It has been branded by the press as the spy agency's "deception unit". Though its existence was secret until 2014, JTRIG has developed a distinctive profile in the public understanding, after documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in "dirty tricks" like deploying sexual "honey traps" designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down Internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks and generally warping discourse online. Previous reporting on GCHQ established its focus on what it regards as political radicalism. Beyond JTRIG's targeting of Anonymous, other parts of GCHQ targeted political activists and groups deemed to be "radical", even monitoring human rights NGOs. Simon Davies, president of the London-based Privacy International, asks: "If spying on human rights NGOs isn't off limits for GCHQ, then what is?"

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