Civil liberties, justice, crime

Tories: prepare the fightback!

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:42
Author

Editorial

Boris Johnson has talked of ending austerity, bolstering public services and appealing to the working class, but on all the evidence so far that is a threadbare velvet glove on an iron hand.

NHS spending is set to increase, but by nothing anywhere near what is needed to fill the shortfall from its 2010-20 cuts. The tide of privatisation will continue to roll forward.

The NHS is probably the best protected part of the public sector. The Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that by 2024, non-NHS spending will be 14% lower than in 2010.

The provisional local government funding settlement

The racism in “gang” panics

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 11:22
Author

Ellie Clarke

I want to start with a bit of a disclaimer. I first became deeply interested in the topic of crime and policing in response to a wave of gang violence that was plaguing the area of North West London I call home.

I say this to illustrate that there are instances where gangs are the culprit. It isn’t my intention to delegitimise or trivialise those situations. However, in the words of an unnamed senior Met officer talking to Amnesty International: “Gangs are, for the most part, a complete red herring… fixation with the term is unhelpful at every level.”

That hasn’t stopped all major police

To defeat salafi-jihadism, rebuild hope

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 17:43
Author

Colin Foster

Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were killed by Usman Khan on 30 November on London Bridge in an attack which has been claimed by Al Qaida as its own.

About the similar but larger massacre, in Manchester, in the run-up to the 2017 election, we wrote:

“Cults of death run through the history of fascism. The Spanish Falangists (part of Franco’s forces) had the slogan Viva la Muerte, Long Live Death.

“For the death cult to reach the pitch of suicide attacks on randomly chosen civilians... (world-wide, more often what the Islamists see as the wrong sort of Muslims than non-Muslims) requires a

The police and cuts

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 09:00

Local Labour Parties are still distributing leaflets which make Labour’s prime play the call for more police.

The call should be instead for cutting the social roots of crime. Stop school exclusions. End the “exam factory” culture and tinpot authoritarianism which make schools inhospitable for many students, and worsen the mental-illness epidemic among teenagers.

Give social services the resources and funding so that they can actually do family support work, and not just crisis control.

Develop enough clean, safe social housing that everyone has a decent home. Make benefits adequate. Restore

The world of online hate

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:09
Author

Cathy Nugent

In 2013, the Australian journalist Ginger Gorman became the subject of an online hate campaign.

In 2010, she had interviewed two gay men, seemingly an ordinary couple, about their adoption of a young boy. Three years later the men were convicted of child sexual exploitation; they had been involved in an international paedophile network.

Naturally Gorman was mortified that she had, however inadvertently, given these men a platform. But a few days after the conviction Gorman began to be inundated by tweets from ″conservatives″ saying she was a paedophile collaborator, and, equally horrifying to

Is Drill really killing people?

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 09:30
Author

Carrie Evans

Bing. You have one new WhatsApp message — “What you up to?” asks one of my friends, “Nothing. Watching Drill videos”, I reply.

Drill eh? Isn’t that the music that literally kills you? I’ve heard it literally comes out of the headphones and stabs you as you listen to it.”

The joke lands well. I find it funny mostly because it plays right in to all the preconceived notions I already have about this Drill debate. As far as I’m concerned, the war on Drill music is just another in a long line of moralistic, oversimplified, sensationalised, outrage campaigns designed to sell papers to an

What Prevent does and doesn’t “prevent”

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 08:53
Author

Sacha Marten

It’s not just Islamists and the SWP who criticise the government’s Prevent programme. In some ways, the targeting of Islamism is just a welcome bonus for the Conservatives, since the core point is to increase the government’s ideological control over education and other areas where children are present.

Prevent was “revised” in 2011 along with the launch of two other projects, the promotion of “British Values” and the deputisation of teachers, social workers, healthcare workers and so on as immigration officials.

All three of these measures were part of an increasingly jingoistic tone forced

Prevent database revealed

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:56
Author

Zack Muddle

UK police have a secret database with details of thousands of people referred to “Prevent”, the government’s supposed “anti-radicalisation” programme, it was revealed on 6 October by the Guardian, via human rights group Liberty.

The National Police Prevent Case Management (PCM) database is accessible to all UK police forces and the home office, and contains personal details and reasons for “referral” of all those referred. People referred are not notified, and so have no (straightforward) rights to due process.

The stated aim of Prevent is to prevent “radicalisation” which is at risk of

A sticky time for Teflon Don

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 08:37
Author

Barrie Hardy

Donald Trump is such an obvious crook that he’s been a prime candidate for impeachment from the minute he assumed office.

There has been such a substantial menu of grounds for impeachment that it’s difficult to know what to choose.

Soliciting help from Putin’s secret services to win the election itself? Illegal election payments to porn stars?

Trump’s various businesses benefiting from his presidency? As of last week, there were 30 separate investigations into Trump being conducted by Congressional, Federal or State authorities.

The problem so far has been that none of the accusations have

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