Essentially, an intelligence analyst (Tony Farrell) working for South Yorkshire police provided a threat assessment that did not concur with the official narrative. The analyst was forced from his position. He has taken South Yorkshire police to an employment tribunal. See here for details.
A couple of points from the story are of interest.
In the Richplanet film, Farrell tells us of his academic and employment background: BSc in stats from Sheffield poly 1984, ten years or so working at Sheffield council, job in South Yorkshire police with some higher degrees (management studies etc). Is this representative of intelligence analysts within the UK establishment? The people who are supposedly deliberating and balancing our freedoms against our security. I don't mean to be offensive to Tony but ... he doesn't strike me as being especially bright.
The second point that struck me during his interview was that he was at pains to tell us that he did research in his own time, rather than police time. I don't get where he's coming from. My understanding of intelligence analysis comes from Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J Heur Jr [pdf]. There doesn't seem to be any of this analysis being done. He seems to be pre-empting the results of his research by doing 'research at home'. That is, how would he know to do research at home, in his own time, unless he knew what the results of this research was going to be before hand?
Following on from this point, when his research was presented to his superiors, they forced him out of his position. Surely it is his methods that should be under scrutiny not his results? If this is the standard at which our overseers operate then they have very little credibility.
All in all, a strange tale where no one comes out of it very well. When this story gets more widely reported, perhaps it will give a platform from which one can obtain Freedom of Information requests in order to find out whether or not our overseers are that crap.
The non-conspiraloon aspect to this story is a lot more interesting than the conspiraloon aspect.
- what are the qualifications of intelligence analysts in equivalent positions to Tony Farrell?
- what are their working methodologies?
- is intelligence analysis bottom up or top down?
"Why don't ya get a good lawyer? Oh Valerie?" ♫ ♫
More details are emerging about this story where another site reports,
"Tony Farrell was summoned to a hearing chaired by the Director of Finance a member of the Senior Command Team on 2nd September 2010. He was told that he held beliefs that were ‘incompatible’ with his position. There was no allegation of any misconduct. In dismissing him, the Director of Finance said this: “It is a very sad occasion as you have done some excellent work for South Yorkshire Police and I have never been involved in a situation like today. Your beliefs are very sincere and you may be right, but it is I’m afraid incompatible at the moment with where we are.”
He took the matter to the South Yorkshire Police Authority Appeal’s Committee but his case was dismissed. He has since put the case into an Employment Tribunal where final hearings are scheduled to be held in early September 2011 in Sheffield. This will be a public event, and it is likely that South Yorkshire Police will feel embarrassed by the repercussions. This case has potentially far-reaching implications."This takes us straight into Grainger v Nicholson a case where it was found that it was against the law to sack someone on the basis of their beliefs. There were caveats: the beliefs had to be sincerely held; they had to be compatible with a democratic society. But it isn't clear why this isn't the case with Farrell. I don't know all the facts but from what we know so far he's got a good chance of winning his case; what's more the details of the tribunal hearing will be published and available for public scrutiny. Status - one to watch. Similar cases can be found here, the employment appeal tribunal.