Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker—Plenty of funds for top cops and sticks to hit people with

Issue No. 2652

Greater Manchester cops on the streets

Greater Manchester cops on the streets (Pic: Terry/Wikipedia)


A police chief who claims his service is ­underfunded has overseen a 50 percent rise in ­highly-paid officers.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said last week that budget cuts and falling officer numbers had forced Greater Manchester Police to “screen out” 43 percent of cases

He said the chance of one of his officers investigating a bicycle or shed theft was “almost non-existent”.

But figures show that more than 1,260 officers on his force earned £50,000 or more over the past year, up by almost 450 on the ­previous 12 months.

Fourteen members of staff were handed pay and ­pension packages of more than £100,000.

They include Hopkins himself, who was paid £251,000 including pension payments of £46,000.

His deputy Ian Pilling is on a package of £192,000.

And eight assistant chief constables have salaries and pensions ranging from £118,000 to £153,000.

The Manchester cops are getting a £35.8 million budget boost from the Home Office this year.

  • Police have launched an investigation after video footage posted on social media appeared to show an officer hitting a handcuffed 17 year old boy with a truncheon.

In the 50-second video shot in Romford, east London, the boy shouts, “I am a child. You can’t do this. I’ve done nothing. He’s slapping me with a stick.”

Dawn Johnson, a witness, said, “He’s far from resisting arrest, just trying to protect himself from getting beaten.”

The Met said that the boy was stopped and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act on Monday and was found to be in possession of class B drugs.

He was arrested for possession with intent to supply.

A 14 year old boy stopped at the same time fled but was arrested later. Both were released under investigation.


  • Surveillance cameras are being used in shopping centres to spy on people and work out their age and their mood so they can be targeted with the “correct” advertisements. The screens display marketing for the specific audience. Ocean Outdoor boss Tim Bleakley said, “We can measure the level of happiness or sadness.” One of its screens at Canary Wharf stated that 49 percent of people walking past that day were ‘affluent’ and earned ‘over £100,000’.
     
  • Hundreds of nurses have killed themselves in just seven years, shocking new figures revealed. Data shows that 32 suicides were recorded in 2017—down from 51 nurses aged from 20 to 64 in 2016. But during the worst year of 2014, there was more than one NHS nurse taking their own life every week.

Thousands march to Break up Britain

Tens of thousands of people are set to march in Glasgow for Scottish independence on Saturday.

The demonstration is called by the All Under One Banner group. It comes after Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, announced last week that legislation would be passed to allow a second independence referendum by 2021.

But this does not guarantee it will happen.

The Tories have already said they will not consent to an independence referendum. And the Labour Party also opposes it.

Mass defiance will be needed to break such resistance.

There is increasing frustration at the Scottish National Party’s slowness in confronting the Westminster government.

The break up of Britain would be positive.

But the demand for independence needs to be linked to calls for a Scotland without austerity, racism and nuclear weapons.


Council’s speculation ‘generally poor choice’

A local council has been criticised by its auditors after spending almost £400 million on a property investment.

Spelthorne borough council in Surrey bought the BP Centre in Sunbury for £385 million in September 2016 using a government loan.

KPMG identified “significant weaknesses” in the council’s financial processes surrounding the investment. The auditor warned that the decision making was “generally poor and difficult to follow”, meaning it was “difficult to identify whether all the risks associated with such a large and significant transaction had been fully considered and mitigated”.

It was one of the more extreme cases of a council betting on the property market to replace revenue lost in government cuts.

But many councils are gambling on rising property prices.


Benefits chaos causes poor to die early

The poorest pensioners are “dying early” because £3.1 billion of benefits go unclaimed.

Many are forced to ration their food and heating because they do not realise they could be getting Pension Credit —worth around £49 a week for every eligible household.

It ensures couples have at least £255.25 a week to live on and single pensioners £167.25.

But many are said to be unaware of it—or find the paperwork too hard.

Age UK said two in five eligible people miss out.

George McNamara, of charity Independent Age, warned of two million pensioners “living in poverty and more just above the breadline”.


Virtual Tories build virtual tower

The world’s first luxury development to be sold in bitcoins—promoted by the Tory peer Baroness Mone—has unfortunately stalled.

Mone, a former Tory business “start-up tsar”, and her partner, Doug Barrowman, launched the £250 million development in September 2017.

The Aston Plaza project in Dubai, is still being described on its website as “25 percent complete”, the figure used in the promotional material.

However, government inspectors who visited the site at the Dubai science park in January last year described the venture as “on hold”, and construction has stopped.

Mone and Barrowman had hoped to launch a new digital currency last year but abandoned the plan after lack of interest.


The things they say

‘They cannot let a vocal minority of right-on fools push the rest of us around. There’s no need to stop referring to ships as she’

Lord West, former first sea lord, stuck in the 16th century

‘The transition from oily fish to politics was straightforward’

Brexit Party candidate Lance Forman runs a salmon fishing business

‘The kind of witch-hunting of people on the right is something which is getting worse in our societies’

Philosopher Sir Roger Scruton on not being allowed to be a racist as he wants to be—or something

‘She was in a hurry and she said, “Brexit is Brexit, we will Brexit’.”

Pascal Lamy, former director general of the World Trade Organisation, on the prime minister’s approach to negotiations


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