Civil liberties, justice, crime

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

Beijing goes for attrition

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 11:40
Author

Chen Ying

On the morning of 9 September, outside hundreds of secondary schools in Hong Kong, thousands of students, supported by their alumni, held hands to form human chains.

This followed days of school student protests the previous week, at the start of the academic year.

That previous week too, Chief Executive Carrie Lam eventually announced the complete withdrawal of the Extradition Bill.

Immediately the entire spectrum of the protest movement declared this as “too little, too late” as they insisted that the Hong Kong Government concedes to all five of their demands.

Lam opposed the demand for a

Morality and the Birmingham bombings

Published on: Thu, 30/05/2019 - 19:49
Author

Lawrie White, Sean Matgamna

The "Birmingham bombings", on 21 November 1974, killed 21 people and injured 182 others through bombs in Birmingham city centre.

The reaction to the killings included protest strikes; some workers seen to be sympathetic to Irish Republicanism being driven out of their jobs; and drastic curbs on civil liberties through a Prevention of Terrorism Act rushed through Parliament (with no votes against - supposedly as a temporary measure, but renewed again and again over decades until its provisions were folded into more recent "anti-terrorist" legislation).

Six people were quickly arrested and

Letters

Published on: Wed, 17/04/2019 - 10:57

We should advocate the revoking of Article 50 by Parliament. A second referendum was a tactic that has outlived its usefulness.

The point of a second referendum was that it was thought a more acceptable, less divisive way of stopping Brexit than revoking Article 50; and that since both parties are officially for Brexit, it took it out of Parliament’s hands.

But now the second referendum is less popular in many polls then stopping Brexit. People are tired of the division and focus on this issue. A referendum will sharpen the divisions and suck up all politics and news.

Anecdotally, plenty of

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