Socialist Worker

Tories won’t tackle racism—they’ll fuel it

Issue No. 2715

A protest in South London last week against stop and search

A protest in South London last week against stop and search (Pic: South London Stand Up To Racism)


The government’s lie that it’s “committed to tackling racism” has been exposed once again. The Metropolitan Police has increased its use of stop and search powers. 

Some 1,418 people were stopped under Section 60 of the Public Order and Criminal Justice Act in May, more than double the figure for May 2019. 

Black people were nine times more likely to be stopped and searched in England and Wales in 2017-18 under the police’s regular powers.

But it was reported last year that this increases to 40 times more likely when police use Section 60, which allows them to stop and search without “reasonable grounds” of suspicion. 

Section 60 lets the police authorise stop and search across an area—often an entire borough.

And there has been a sharp rise in such authorisations in London—with 65 in May compared to 13 the previous month. 

The Met’s commissioner Cressida Dick was forced to admit that her force had stopped and searched over 20,000 young black men during the lockdown. That’s the equivalent of more than a quarter of black 15 to 24 year old men in London. 

This is a result of Tory policy. 

Restrictions

While the Tories failed to protect people’s lives from the pandemic, they were busy grabbing more powers for the state under the guise of a “national emergency”. 

The Coronavirus Act gave the cops and border guards authority to arrest anyone who might be infectious. 

Another set of figures shows police were twice as likely to fine black and Asian people under lockdown restrictions. 

The police issued 17,039 fines between 27 March and 25 May, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council. 

Overall that amounts to around three fines for every 10,000 people. But that rate jumped to 4.6 fines per 10,000 for black people and 4.7 for Asian people. 

These are just some instances of institutional racism fuelling the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in Britain.  

Boris Johnson had to pay lip service to BLM, but has done nothing. 

David Isaac, the Equality and Human Rights Commission head, said the government is “dragging its feet” on racism.

The Tories do have a coherent strategy—to divide working class people with racism while enriching those at the top of society. 

They are pushing racist laws through parliament right now. 

Their Immigration Bill makes Britain’s immigration system even more racist and their Terrorism Bill gives the state more powers to target Muslims.

Faced with systematic racism, we need to continue the fight to uproot the system that produces it and relies on it. 


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