Socialist Worker

The police are part of the problem—wherever they are from

Issue No. 2265

The Tories are targeting the poorest people in society—and have a brutal police force willing to back them up if anyone resists.

After the riots, Labour MPs and Tory mayor Boris Johnson have teamed up to stop the only public funding cuts they seem to care about—those to the police.

David Cameron, meanwhile, wants to cut the “red tape” which he claims keeps cops off the streets and holds back their truncheons.

But both arguments are wrong.

More police on the streets will mean increased harassment of ordinary people—especially black and Asian people.

Cameron is flying in former US police chief Bill Bratton to advise him on policing tactics. Bratton was the police chief of Boston, New York and Los Angeles. There was even speculation that he could head London’s Metropolitan Police.

Bratton is painted as a “progressive”—but he isn’t. His “zero tolerance” approach is a disaster. He says that even minor crimes should result in severe punishment.

This would only serve to feed our rulers’ lust for revenge and repression rather than improving people’s lives.

And Bratton’s talk of employing more minority cops is a smokescreen. No matter who holds the truncheon, the police are there to protect the rich and their rotten system. People need jobs, public services and respect. Water cannon, plastic bullets and “super-cops” will just make things worse.

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What We Think
Tue 16 Aug 2011, 17:55 BST
Issue No. 2265
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