Socialist Worker

Dishonourable zero tolerance

Issue No. 1788

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani enjoyed a warm welcome in Britain last week when he arrived to pick up his honorary knighthood. The Queen, Tony Blair and Ken Livingstone all praised him. 'London Needs A Giuliani,' proclaimed the Daily Telegraph. Home secretary David Blunkett praised his 'fine example' for encouraging 'strong police leadership'.

Giuliani became mayor of New York in 1994. His 'zero tolerance' regime gave New York's police the right to carry out murder and brutality without facing any consequences. Amadou Diallo was executed by police at his apartment in the Bronx, New York, in February 1999.

Four officers shot Amadou 41 times. They were members of a special crime unit notorious for stopping and searching young black men. 'We own the night,' was their slogan. All four officers got let off in court. Abner Louima was tortured and assaulted by New York officers in a Brooklyn police station in August 1997.

Officer Justin Volpe was convicted of shoving a wooden pole into Abner's rectum and mouth. Many ordinary people were victims of Giuliani's regime, which put more powers in police hands and made them less accountable.

An expert witness at the trial admitted, 'Officers killed Amadou by following standard procedure.' Officers are trained to shoot immediately at a 'suspect' if they feel 'threatened'. Amnesty International accused the New York police of 'ill treatment, deaths in custody and unjustified shootings'.

The police targeted minor crimes like begging, sleeping rough, and 'squeegee merchants' washing car windscreens. Even an officer admitted, 'The only way I know how to police this community is by harassing them. We're the oppressors. It's the only thing these fuckers understand.'


TWO parties in the Scottish Parliament are battling over what they consider to be a vital issue to local people. Housing? Poverty? Public transport? No. New Labour and the Scottish National Party are rowing over the colour of speed cameras.

The cameras are painted yellow in England. But New Labour members of the Scottish Parliament have kicked up a storm, complaining the cameras could be mistaken for the SNP's yellow posters.


Fees greed

Two experts claim they can prove human beings are naturally consumed by envy and greed. Andrew Oswald was one of the researchers who devised a betting experiment. Contestants had the chance to spend their own money to bring the other players down.

Oswald has made a career of trumpeting greed. He has written newspaper articles, spoken at meetings of students and backed top-up fees and university 'deregulation'. Oswald supported Tory right winger Oliver Letwin's pre-election plans to privatise higher education.

In the student union magazine he explains fees were the way for Warwick students to show gratitude for being 'genetically advantaged'. But it seems there is counter-evidence to Oswald's claims. His article came in the wake of 500 Warwick University students occupying their administration block against top-up fees.


Are you a stressed out, tired new mother who could do with a break? Head off on a specially designed trip to Royal Parc Evian on Lake Geneva for mother and baby.

The package includes mum and baby 'bonding' activities like music, swimming and massage. Oh, and a nanny will take the child off your hands if you want to head for the spa. A bargain at £1,720 for mother, with the baby thrown in for £25.


Mayoral attack

The new mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is targeting the poor. He is the fifth richest individual in the city. Over 1.6 million people out of New York's population of eight million live below the poverty line.

Now Bloomberg wants to slash the city's budget. He plans to axe libraries and museums, cut education spending by $354 million and attack workers' pay.

He will cut $2 million to uninsured workers in the city's hospital. People like single parent Sylvia Rosado, who is employed to clear rubbish, will see their wages cut by $2,860 a year.

Bloomberg held a notorious $2 million party on the theme of the seven deadly sins. Singers were ordered to repeat, 'Money, ain't it gorgeous?'


Shame of US prisons

The United States has more people locked up in prison than anywhere else in the world. The US has some 1.93 million people in prison out of a global prison population of 8.75 million.

Britain, the US's closest partner in the 'free world', also has a disgusting record in incarcerating people.

There are proportionately more people in prison in Britain than there are in China, Saudi Arabia or Turkey-all countries that have been damned for their human rights record.


Food competition

SPECTATORS AT the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in the US were hit by food shortages last week. The private company with the monopoly to provide food at the games ran out. This left spectators hungry and thirsty watching events in sub-zero temperatures.

The Olympic Games organisers lifted the ban on food and drink being taken into the venues. However, spectators were forced to remove rival manufacturers' food labels to protect the exclusive agreement with the US-based company.


Rotten essence

IS THIS what is meant by stinking rich? You can have your very own smell created. Exclusively designed perfume from Créations et Parfumeurs can be sprayed around for £2,500.

Each bottle contains just six teaspoonfuls. Particularly stupid clients can have a scent made from essence of a wood that only grows in the monsoon season, for a whopping £150,000.


Things they say

'ABSOLUTELY wonderful chap. Streets ahead of his rivals in the cabinet. Clearly the right man to lead his party.'
Tory leader IAIN DUNCAN SMITH on New Labour home secretary David Blunkett

'THE ENRON story isn't going to last very long if we invade Iraq.'
ROBERT BARTLEY, editor of the Wall Street Journal

'SOME OF these old distinctions-left and right-are no longer in my view as relevant as they were maybe 30 or 40 years ago.'
TONY BLAIR after meeting Italian prime minister Berlusconi, who has fascists in his government

'We discussed the devaluation issue.'
PRESIDENT BUSH, after meeting Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi

'The president meant 'the deflation issue'.'
OFFICIALS trying to stop the run on the yen

'Everyone is pleased she's gone. Her hands were on virtually every announcement that came out of her department.'
FORMER COLLEAGUE of Jo Moore

'We should all be grateful to Mr Blunkett for stating what most of us had long believed.'
NORMAN TEBBIT on Blunkett's language tests for immigrants

'Excuse me, ingléses, but what country do you think you are in?'
SPANISH POLICE to British marines who should have been in Gibraltar

'We were not trying to take Spain and have no plans to try to do so. There is much embarrassment. The error is regretted. They spent only five minutes before they were told they were in the wrong country.'
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE SPOKESPERSON


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Article information

Inside the System
Sat 23 Feb 2002, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1788
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