13 Days Remaining

Monday 23rd
posted by Morning Star in Editorial

George Osborne’s refusal to rule out further police cuts in the Autumn Statement shows his true colours.

It’s totally at odds with his government’s claims to be genuinely concerned with safeguarding the security and safety of people in Britain.

Since 2010 more than 17,000 police officers have been axed.

The Chancellor plans to axe as much as 20 per cent of the total police budget. While these cuts are being matched across all government departments, this one has the potential to be as politically disastrous for the Tories as Jeremy Hunt’s monumental cock-up over junior doctors.

Cuts in numbers and wages across all sections of the public sector have seen the government miss nearly every target it set itself back in 2010. Cuts don’t just worsen the conditions of workers in the public sector. They are passed on to every person who relies on those services.

Tories are well-practiced in collective amnesia as the reason for the increased severity of these cuts is their failure to meet their own deficit reduction targets.

The threat that terrorist violence poses cannot be solved by buying more aircraft carriers, Tomahawk missiles or funding the mass surveillance of people’s emails and internet browsing history.

Nor is there a lack of cash when the Tories want it.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson confirmed yesterday that its initial estimate of Trident replacement costing £100 billion was in fact an underestimate. Public spending cuts have always been about serving a particular agenda that reshapes the role and nature of the state, eliminating workers’ gains made in the second half of the last century.

Providing a safe and secure society is the furthest thing from their minds: this is about reinforcing Britain’s role as a leading imperial power.

The establishment of a permanent military presence in key strategic locations across the Middle East is a vital component of Nato’s plans for the greater Middle East.

The £15 million opening of a permanent new British naval base in Bahrain, to go alongside the permanent RAF bases in Cyprus, provides a launchpad for a permanent state of intervention and warfare across the region.

Published crime figures over the last five years are far out of whack with most people’s day-to-day experience and the economic situation.

The year-on-year “decline” in crime when police numbers are being cut, wages are falling and millions of young people remain unemployed, shows how good the Tories have become at cooking statistics.

In fact it took until last month before revised figures which include “new” forms of crime like those involving the use of a computer — yes those spam emails you’ve been receiving from a prince in Nigeria for the last 10 years asking for your bank details are a figment of your fevered imagination — to show that crime has been running rampant.

The average victim of crime is not a well-heeled Daily Mail-reading little Englander working in the city. It is the poorest and most vulnerable people living in the most economically deprived parts of Britain.

Whether it’s economic or violent crime, young people, single parents, the unemployed and pensioners are more than twice as likely to be the victims.

The temptation to indulge in a bit of lefty schadenfreude that “Maggie’s boot boys” are not immune from cuts facing other public-sector workers should be avoided.

The criminal justice system is often used by the ruling class for its own ends, but that isn’t the whole story.