Police

The Ruling Class, its Police and the Left

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One of the most disgusting spectacles last month was that of Ken Livingstone defending Ian Blair, head of the Metropolitan Police, after his force shot the second innocent person in 11 months.

For Livingstone, it seems, the man who oversees such things is a "progressive" chief constable.

But Livingstone is not alone in confusion over the role of the police. Even people who have not made their peace with New Labour were sometimes slow to back up Yvonne Ridley when she said Muslims should withdraw cooperation with the police so long as they continued to behave like that.

When Getting it Wrong is Part of the Job Description

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Who'd have thought the day would come when the police spoke with affection about the IRA?

But the official police line now appears to be, "You have to realise we are facing an entirely new threat. Today's terrorists are far more dangerous than the IRA, you know." They seem on the verge of saying, "At least the IRA had manners. Our surveillance teams noted that when procuring weapons they'd say, 'I'd like a pound of your finest Semtex PLEASE, and I bid you a fine afternoon sir'." Maybe this explains why so many of them blew themselves up with their own bombs.

Double Standards and Decapitation

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The self-styled "defenders of the West" should look a little closer to home before decrying Islam.

Last September Subhaan Younis, a young Glaswegian, was discussing the Iraq war with Charlotte McCay in the shop of the city's Moathouse hotel. He asked if he could show her something that would give her nightmares. When she responded, "Aye, right," Younis held out his video phone and played her a clip he had downloaded of a hostage in Iraq being beheaded.

Nothing but Contempt

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As if the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes, the innocent Brazilian man shot at Stockwell tube on 22 July by the Metropolitan Police, was not shocking enough, the behaviour of the police since has been appalling.

Despite initial claims, Jean Charles was not wearing a padded jacket, he didn't run from the police, nor did he jump the tube ticket-barrier and there were no grounds for seeing him as an immediate threat.

Police Racism: Bigots on the Beat

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If you want a licence to inflict racism on black and Asian people with impunity, then look no further than a career with the British police.

The Secret Policeman, the undercover BBC documentary of a police training college in Cheshire shown last month, shocked a lot of people with the level of extreme racism it revealed. PC Rob Pulling, the man who thought it 'fun' to dress up as the Ku Klux Klan, was caught articulating racist prejudices straight out of a BNP meeting: 'A dog born in a barn is still a dog. A Paki born in Britain is still a fucking Paki.' 'He [Stephen Lawrence] deserved it, and his mum and dad are fucking spongers.'

Racism: Stopping Them on Sight

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New Labour's Home Secretary David Blunkett has launched a new offensive around the issue of stop and search.

He claims, 'We must respect and tolerate differences but not tolerate unacceptable behaviour.' Behind Blunkett stand the newspaper tabloids and broadsheets with headlines such as 'Surge In Street Crime' and 'Black Gangs Lead Crime Wave'.

Both Blunkett and the press are building up a moral panic. Their comments stem from the false idea that following the Macpherson inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence 'the police are now afraid to stop and search black people', as one Tory put it.

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