29 April 2009

New Labour is the cause of the BNP

Much of the cause of the growth of the BHP is New Labour.

In 1973 Labour adopted as its purpose ‘a fundamental shift in the balance of wealth and power in favour of working people and their families’ Blair and New Labour replaced those social democratic ideals with debt, spin and flexible working.

Yet whatever short-term material gains the credit boom of the 2000s generated for some working people, it all went up in smoke in the financial convulsions in the autumn of 2008.

Thus, the Labour Party today has betrayed its past and bankrupted the future. The only voice left for working people to hear, it would seem, is that of fascism.

27 April 2009

G20 See the whole picture of police violence

Two cases have been highlighted of people being assaulted by police: Ian Tomlinson because he died and Nicola Fisher because she is a woman – and in both cases video evidence shows very clearly what happened.

Police authorities will try to pass off Tomlinson and Fisher as isolated cases using the ‘rotten apples in the barrel’ argument. However this approach deliberately deflects attention from the wide scale use of police violence.

The truth is that tens (if not hundreds) of demonstrators, who were neither violent nor vandalising property, were beaten with truncheons, riot shield, or were kicked or punched by police officers. Officers removed their identification number en masse precisely so they could assault with impunity.

Many of the victims were people who were corralled for hours into street concentration pens (the so-called kettling) who could not even leave the demonstration if they wished.

After several hours without food, water or toilet facilities demonstrators were allowed out the kettles, only if they agreed to identify themselves and be photographed. No legal authority for this exists; yet neither police management nor the government cares.

It is impossible not to draw the conclusion that police tactics were to punish demonstrators, not to police the demonstration. And the government is quite content, it would seem, to let that stand.

For the government Lord West has already congratulated the police on their operation. The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is anything but independent, has thus got the political support to procrastinate and to exonerate the police whenever it can. We need not hold our breath for them to finish their deliberations.

Indeed Tomlinson and Fischer need justice in their individual cases. But what really needs to happen is that large numbers of these police thugs need prosecuting and should be dismissed from the police force – and those senior officers in charge of these police on April 1st should be put on trial for conspiracy to assault.

Attempt to recruit "Plane Stupid" activitist as a police informer

Whatever the merits of your cause, even the most liberal republic will take measures against you if you throw custard at government ministers and block airport runways.

That said, non-violent protest should be met by non-violent policing. And using menacing police officers to bribe and intimate protesters into becoming police informers stinks in a democratic society.

24 April 2009

Pornography is fantasy

Many people enjoy pornography because it affords them sexual enjoyment in a fantasy world. You don’t change people’s sexual desires by restricting access to pornography; you just make them less happy. The issue is not to censor, but to teach people to realise that porn (like kung-fu films and Mills and Boon) is fantasy and nothing more.

If it offends, then by all means put it on the top shelf, so long as those who want it can still reach.

23 April 2009

The police killing of Jean Charles Menezies

Here is a case where armed police assassinated a totally innocent terrorist suspect in circumstances where he could have been arrested without injury. (Arguably once he was grabbed and thrown into the seat he was already de facto under arrest anyway)

Every step was taken by the police and the establishment to exonerate these anonymous police officers who are now back on duty. The precedent set was a terrible one, namely that even the most worst police excesses could be swept under the carpet.

21 April 2009

Police violence against peacful protesters

It is revolting to see batons, dogs and fists used against protesters who are protesting wholly peacefully. The police deal with the protesters as if their protest were a crime per se, instead of a democratic right which the police should protect. How else can you understand the gratuitous police violence and the incarceration of hundreds of innocent people in street concentration pens for hours?

If someone breaks the law during a demonstration (e.g. committing vandalism, assaults or trespassing) they should be arrested not subject to on an on an on-the-spot beating. If they are not breaking the law they should be left in peace.

These police and policing tactics are incompatible with the norms of a democratic society.

(I find utterly vacuous the argument of the people who argue that because police in similar situations in some other countries might beat more people and more brutally that therefore people in London have nothing to complain about. By this criterion nothing can ever be wrong because there is always worse. It is hopeless and depressing argument.)

1 April 2009

G20 demonstrations against capitalism

The creation of a carnival circus around the institutions of capitalism may indeed be fun and raise consciousness about the processes of domination and exploitation in New Labour’s Britain. There is however a downside: many people suffering loss of jobs, savings and a house will find it difficult to identify with clowns.

However hard it may be there is no alternative to building a mass political organisation to confront unbridled capitalism and diminishing political freedom. As Lenin once remarked he who has organisation has power.