Civil liberties, justice, crime

We're still for a united Europe

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 12:16
Author

Editorial

The socialist left should vocally oppose the Tories’ Brexit plans. It should argue for a united Europe, and for the UK to rejoin the EU. It should fight for the broad labour movement, including the Labour Party, to argue and campaign for this too.

Almost all the Labour-leader candidates say that we have no choice but to “move on” while the Tories “get Brexit done”. Even Emily Thornberry, the most vocally anti-Brexit candidate, says only that Labour should have been more anti-Brexit.

That is wrong. Actual, really-existing Brexit involves a range of attacks on the interests of the working class.

"More jail" will not make society safer

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 11:45
Author

Editorial

The Tories are speeding through plans to expand the prison population and strengthen state powers of control and surveillance, supposedly to tackle Islamist-inspired terrorism.

They cite the murder of Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt by recently released terrorism convict Usman Khan in London Bridge last November as justification.

Those convicted will face more time in jail, with a minimum term of 14 years and the abolition of automatic early release. There will be more funding for counter-terrorism police and probation officers. Lie detector tests will be introduced into the probation system.

Ci

Labour leader: the contest so far

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 11:13
Author

Mohan Sen

At the moment at least, I am not supporting any of the candidates for Labour leader. In hustings, I think, activists should ask pointed questions, and ask members to judge the candidates by their responses.

For example, no candidate has yet committed to work for wide democratic reforms in Labour’s still-largely-Blair-made structure. None has backed the Free Our Unions call for them to respect the 2019 Labour conference decision for repeal of all anti-union laws. None has said that they will seek to lead on-the-streets and industrial campaigning against Johnson.

Rebecca Long-Bailey,Salford and

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 08:33
Author

Ollie Moore and Darren Bedford

Although the action is yet to be announced, the next round of the university and college union (UCU) dispute appears set for the second half of February.

Where strike ballots exist, they are either related to action defending the USS pension scheme, or over casualisation, pay, workloads and equalities (the “four fights”), however in most universities live ballots exist for both disputes simultaneously. A further 37 branches are currently being re-balloted, which alongside the live 98, would significantly enhance the strike’s impact, which in November and December saw thousands of UCU members

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

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