Government “protecting” the public? Spin us another one!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
30 March 2021

During the "Kill the Bill"protest in Bristol on Friday, police in riot gear and on horses charged into a group of protesters sitting down outside Bridewell police station. Thousands of mostly young workers and students had gathered to demonstrate against the new "Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill", which gives police powers to break up protests if "causing public nuisance".

   The cops’ violent attack on the protesters showed yet again what a free hand they have in breaking up public demonstrations, whenever and wherever they see fit - under current “law”! In fact “Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary” has just found that cops "acted appropriately" when they violently waded into the Sarah Everard vigil 2 weeks ago.

   It’s no real surprise: police violence is endemic, as “sussed” black youths know all too well. The “bill” are licenced to kill (18 deaths in their custody last year), and just like in the USA, where the cop who killed George Floyd is today on trial, they mostly get away with it.

    One aim of this new law is obviously to allow the police more water-tight “legal” immunity. But it also provides cover for their actions should “unrest" break out in the future: something which the bosses and their government are rightly afraid of. They know full well what the crisis of their capitalist system and its total inability to deal with a pandemic means, in social terms.

    Of course, this law is also conceived as a vote-winner, aimed at their City “law and order” constituency, who expect the state to protect their wealth and private property under all threats and all circumstances.

    Patel’s other “vote winner” is her “New Plan for Immigration”.In the same vein, she claims it will offer migrants “protection from dying at sea". As if she could care less. In fact it turns refugees who manage to get to British shores, but without the proper legal paperwork, into illegal immigrants, liable for immediate deportation - tearing up the (albeit) minimal protection provided under the 1951 UN refugee convention.

    Yes, under the guise of protecting the public, the government is enhancing the protection of the police, its own establishment and the sacrosanct private property of the rich against the “public”.

    And irony of all ironies, when the public really did need “protection” 12 months ago when coronavirus first hit, there was none.

    The capitalist protection racket - administered by Johnson and Patel - put the interests of profits and big business first. It still does. And no belated “success story” on vaccines can bring back the 127,000 who just died, unprotected.