Thursday 10 May 2012

Even the police are protesting against this Tory lunacy

It is genuinely astonishing to see the police protesting against the Tory
led government in solidarity with trade unionists, given their role as 
Thatcher's bully boy militia during the 1984-85 miners' strike.
The Tories are a divisive bunch with have nothing but contempt for the labour of ordinary working people, believing that the only true wealth is either inherited wealth or wealth obtained through capitalist exploitation. They were not always so rabid. Before Margaret Thatcher's rise to power they had observed the post-war consensus, in which the UK economy was run as a mixture of regulated capitalism and state controlled core industries and services.

The right-wing apologists will tell you that the mixed economy was "broken" and that Thatcher's ideologically driven neoliberalisation somehow "saved Britain", but it is quite obvious that the opposite is true. The statistics speak for themselves. The mixed economy years were the most productive in British history and every sector of society benefited from this increase in wealth. Since the neoliberals took over in 1979, UK manufacturing has gone into steep decline and greater and greater proportions of the national wealth have been siphoned off by the economic elite, a process that continued under the Neo-Labour turncoats and is still going on now three decades later. Despite the Tory rhetoric that "we are all in it together", the wealthy are getting richer, whilst the ordinary are suffering the "austerity".

It doesn't seem to matter at all to the Coalition that their barmy self-defeating austerity drive has pushed the UK economy back into recession and their policies are allowing the super-rich economic elite to escape the effects of austerity. The Tories are on an ideological crusade, and they will let nothing get in their way.

A key component of this Tory attack on ordinary working people is their privatisation agenda. The objective is to ensure that an ever greater proportion of the national wealth goes to the economic elite by gifting state institutions to the private sector, who then use the industries to generate profits for themselves. One of the first post-privatisation steps is to slash the wages and labour rights of the workforce. Since their return to power in 2010 at the head of a Lib-Dem backed Coalition, they have already succeeded in introducing privatisation schemes in the forensic science service and the court translation service. Their biggest privatisation "success" to date, the ramming through of their National Health Service privatisation scheme that is hugely unpopular with the public and the general population alike.

The police brutally suppressed the miners' protests against
 Thatcher's Tories, yet their "reward" in the long term will
 be the same kind of job losses, pay cuts and privatisation
that the miners were protesting about in the 1980s.
Future plans include the privatisation of the Post Office, the road network and the privatisation and outsourcing of the police force. On Thursday 10 May 2012 thousands of police joined unionised public service workers to protest against the Tory agenda of public service cuts and large scale privatisations. It just goes to show how extreme this government is, that they are intent on privatising things that even their great idol Thatcher wouldn't have dared such as the NHS and the police force.

These strikes and protests are necessary because people are rightly angry that "the ordinary" are suffering all of the "austerity" in the form of public sector layoffs, pension cuts, stagnant wages, rising prices and loss of public services, whilst the economic elite are still getting richer and have just been gifted a large cut in income tax by the Tories. The Tories belligerent attitude is made clear by the Paymaster General Francis Maude who described the protests as "futile".

Julie Nesbit of the Police Federation complained that despite being a vital public service, the police are under attack, claiming that "we don't have industrial rights" and "cannot do anything about the poor treatment we are receiving". Many people would find it hard to have any sympathy for the police as they suffer this brutal assault from the Tories, after all, the police acted as Thatcher's bully boy militia during the Miners' strike in 1984-85.

For decades the police have been quite happy to support neoliberal governments in their suppression political opponents. They helped the state to crush the coal mining industry, later the steel yards and the ship builders. Under Neo-Labour they continued to use violence, intimidation and kettling to beat down dissent from anti-war, anti-globalisation and student fees protesters. Now the tables have turned and the Tory government have turned their attention the police force that so enthusiastically helped them to carry out the the neoliberalisation of the state by brutally crushing dissent.

The Paymaster General Francis Maude
must be a big fan of dystopian sci-fi, he even
  uses the catchphrase of The Borg as inspiration.
The idea of privatised profit making police forces feeding into a privatised profit-making justice system which sends people to privatised profit making jails sounds a lot like a scenario from a fantastical science-fiction dystopia, yet this is exactly the kind of profit making "justice system" that the ideologically driven neoliberals that run the Tory party are intent on creating.

You don't have to have any sympathy for the police to see that what the Tories are planning is a grotesque betrayal of their loyal neoliberal militia. That they would slash investment in and then sell off their most loyal public sector workers, the ones that did so much to help them divide Britain in the first place, tells you all you need to know about the Tories. They have no loyalty to anyone but the rich.

It doesn't matter who or how many people protest against these socially and economically destructive policies, the Tories are on a far-right ideological crusade that makes Margaret Thatcher look like a moderate, and according to Francis Maude "resistance is futile".

This situation the police find themselves in reminds me of that old Martin Niemöller statement, first they came....
First they came for the miners
and we helped the state to defeat them because we weren't miners.
Then they came for the students
and we helped the state to defeat them because we weren't students.
Then they came for the anti-war protesters
and we helped the state to defeat them because we weren't anti-war protesters.
Then they came for the anti-neoliberals
and we helped the state to defeat them because we weren't anti-neoliberals.
Then they came for us
and there was no one left to prevent us from being defeated too.


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