Political corruption reflects the widening chasm between the political class and the electorate
The expenses scandal, the Leveson Inquiry, and now the revelation that the anti corruption unit of the Met is being investigated for-wait for it- corruption, all reinforce this point. The relationships between, politicians, the police, and the media are incestuous the results of which are being laid bare for all to see.
In recent months and years, the news has been continually awash with stories revealing that which all of us instinctively knew to be true, but which nonetheless retained the propensity to shock, leaving anger and indignation in their wake; the state of play in domestic politics, underpins a fundamental problem which has the potential to lead us to a catastrophe. We’ve had plenty of warning signs.
Last year we witnessed violent insurrections in some of the UK’s poorest communities, coupled with continued police brutality in the face of any legitimate opposition. It has become a familiar narrative, like kettling. And who can forget the tragedy of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 summit in 2009? Or Alfie Meadows being beaten to within an inch of his life in the wake of the student protests last year, to then face charges, or Jody McIntyre’s treatment by the police, and the shameless misrepresentation of events in the aftermath? The history of police brutality, in particular deaths in custody has left an unshakable legacy. There have been almost 3000 civilian deaths in police custody, since 1969, but there have been no convictions of any officers.
This is the backdrop to the problems we face, while the causes of the problems continue to fester and remain stagnant. Less police, higher unemployment, along with other ingredients are a recipe for more trouble.
The riots of summer 2011 saw a mixture of dispossessed anger and rage of unprecedented proportions, coupled with political dissent-proving to be a cocktail that the police simply could not deal with-tensions rapidly escalated and spread to other parts of the country. At the time the relationship between the police and the public was already a fragile one. When Mark Duggan was killed at the time of arrest, that catalyst sparked the scenes in Tottenham that nobody wants to see again.
Some might argue that the government has anticipated such scenes recurring, and as such last year, introduced a number of draconian measures in preparation, in addition to the necessary and accompanying propaganda, regurgitated rubbish claiming that ‘we are all in this together’.
The ruling elite are predictably following an ideological blueprint that is to be expected of them, in addition to minimizing the means of legitimate dissent, while slashing spending on public services, education, and the NHS-classic hallmarks of Conservative policy.
But the manner in which the current bankers coalition of millionaires, are systematically hacking away at the welfare state, and monopolising education smacks of the hypocrisy people are tired of.
It should have the propensity to shock if not to cause complete outrage, because let’s face it, this has become the acceptable norm and many have come to expect little more from elected leaders and public servants.
But let’s be fair here. Each of the main political parties signed up to the austerity package. But the conservatives take first prize for the speed with which they have implemented them. Interestingly, excluding any social issues, Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, this week warned that Britain faces the risk of a double dip recession, and stated chancellor George Osborne that he must lower tax, not cut spending to stimulate economic growth.
If politicians cannot be persuaded of the moral argument, for tackling the problems which led to the events of last summer, caused by youth unemployment, the behavior of the police, lack of opportunity for young people with little hope of employment and unable to afford further education, they should be persuaded by the economic argument.
The riots caused an estimated £100 million worth of damage. It is surely more cost effective to deal with these root problems, than it is to foot the cost of cleaning up another riot.
But our current government, a coalition of millionaires, who may as well inhabit a separate universe to the rest of us, would rather focus on beating the war drum.
It should have been clear from the shock by-election in Bradford-West a few weeks back, that there is a fundamental difference of thinking between the mainstream parties and ordinary people. Predictably the mainstream press largely tried to play down the significance of this.
Several cabinet ministers have been under the spotlight this year for all the wrong reasons, all of which makes Prime Minister David Cameron’s judgment questionable.
The Olympic Games taking place in London this summer is a disaster waiting to happen. Police resources are stretched already, and the problems at the epicenter of last year’s chaos have simply not been dealt with. There has been no serious desire for this reflected in either policy, or political rhetoric.
Instead we saw the problems brushed under the carpet, dismissed as simply ‘sheer criminality’.
It’s becoming increasingly clear, on a daily basis, who the real criminals are, and it isn’t the hoodies who ransacked JJB last year. Is it any wonder therefore we see so many problems manifested elsewhere in society?Tagged in: Alfie Meadows, austerity, Christine Lagarde, corruption, david cameron, deaths in police custody, double dip recession, expenses scandal, george osborne, ian tomlinson, Leveson Inquiry, mark duggan, media, Metropolitan Police, police brutality, politics, Riots, the Leveson Inquiry
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