Tag Archives: crime

Police are arresting people for free-speech protests against the monarchy – due to Tory law

People across the UK are being arrested for exercising what should be their free-speech right to protest against the continuing existence of the monarchy.

Police are able to do this because Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act allows them to arrest people who are deemed to be causing a disturbance, or simply to be annoying.

This is the Tory boot stamping on your face, of course. Royalists may approve of republicans being silenced, but will they be as happy when they’re on the receiving end of this repression?

Here’s the evidence:

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Why is this think tank so influential on Tory policy – and who pays for it?

The puppet PM-to-be? Liz Truss appears to be nothing more than a figurehead for shadowy business concerns. Are her strings being pulled by think tanks like Policy Exchange?

Remember the report the Tories pushed into both Houses of Parliament three years ago, attempting to claim that Extinction Rebellion is a terrorist organisation and its protests should be stopped?

A few months later it was revealed that ER had been listed as an “extremist ideology”, to be referred to the Prevent programme – which aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.

There was a row, and then the reference was described as an error and removed.

But it is widely agreed that the report played a large role in the drafting of Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act which heavily restricts protest, criminalises many peaceful actions, disproportionately targets minority groups including  people of colour and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

The report had been published by Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank that is part of the Tufton Street Brexit Nexus which

ties together fossil fuel interests, climate denial groups and a whole array of Brexit campaigns, pushing for a deregulated low-tax playing field pushing profit and growth over people and planet. As well as close ties to most of the current Conservative right politicians, they reach deep into the media, influencing the output of the Telegraph and Spectator, as well as the Times, Mail, Express and Sun.

We don’t know the names of everybody who funds this organisation, but information that is available shows that its work – and therefore Conservative Party policy – is being driven by private business interests:

As well as receiving around £3million per year from undisclosed donors, it has received ‘sponsorship’ money from many UK energy companies for arranging meetings with government ministers, and these included Drax, E.On, Centrica, and lobbyist Energy UK. It also receives money from ‘American Friends of Policy Exchange’, a US non-profit organisation supporting Policy Exchange UK and backed by mainly anonymous donors. They were listed in a 2017 ExxonMobil worldwide-giving report  as receiving a $30,000 donation from the giant fossil fuel corporation. ExxonMobil has spent vast sums over decades on promoting climate denial.

And think about this:

Policy Exchange also funds something called the Judicial Power Project which seeks to limit the rights of our justice system to rein in the power of government ministers or question unfair or draconian legislation. Under the guise of concern over “how and by whom public power is exercised”, it’s basically pushing for more power for heavily-lobbied ministers along with less accountability to a judicial system that may be more resistant to corporate influence.

Other changes suggested by Policy Exchange include calls for amendments to the Overseas Operations Bill, giving soldiers impunity for war crimes, and for government control over appointments of judges; and it has published a major study on “judicial interference” over the government’s Rwanda deal and other anti-asylum proposals. The project strongly influenced the tabling of the Judicial Review Act, which limits citizens’ ability to challenge government decisions in court.

And now, as RealMedia points out,

we are about to face a leader elected by a tiny unrepresentative club, advised by secretly-funded policy units, and cheered on by a media owned by its rich friends and donors.

This will get messy and you will probably be badly harmed by what these people will do. The big question is: how long are you going to let them do it?

Source: The hidden forces pushing change in our democracy and rights – Real Media – The View From Below

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Fascism? Anti-Brexit protester silenced (almost) on day anti-protest Act comes into law

How do you like the new British fascism?

On the very day the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act that bans “noisy” protest became law, police swooped on anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray and confiscated his amplifiers.

Mr Bray, of Port Talbot, has been a regular feature in Westminster for many years, protesting against Brexit. He regularly used his equipment to broadcast protest songs about Boris Johnson, notably during Prime Minister’s Questions.

But after the new Act came into force, which extends a “controlled area” around Westminster where activities like sleeping in a tent are restricted, around 15 police officers swooped on Mr Bray and took his equipment:

According to the Mirror,

One clause that commenced this morning is for police to “impose conditions on one-person protests” – a law critics have speculated was drawn up because of Mr Bray.

A senior police officer can impose conditions on a one-person protest if they “reasonably believe” the noise it creates “may result in serious disruption to the activities of an organisation in the vicinity, or have a significant, relevant impact on people in the vicinity.”

This disruption includes if people in the organisation can’t “reasonably carry out any one of their activities for a prolonged period of time.”

This Writer has seen no evidence that this was the case when Mr Bray’s equipment was taken.

I would certainly encourage you to read the Mirror article, especially the comments by representatives of organisations opposing the draconian measures in the Act. They make its consequences very clear.

This is likely to be the mildest example of the new policy’s enforcement.

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Was Tory crackdown on protest really prompted by this oil-funded think tank?

Targeted: Extinction Rebellion members – here protesting at a Murdoch print works – were briefly defined as an extremist group. Although they have now been removed from the list, Home Secretary Priti Patel has continued to refer to climate protesters as “criminals”.

A Tory crackdown on legal political protest was devised by a right-wing think tank that is funded by the US fossil fuel corporation ExxonMobil, it has been alleged.

And it is easy to see the reason: it removes the right of ordinary citizens to protest against the climate-wrecking policies followed by the oil industry.

According to Open Democracy,

Policy Exchange explicitly said the government should pass legislation to target Extinction Rebellion (XR) in a 2019 report that got the attention of Tory MPs and peers.

The report called for protest laws to be “urgently reformed in order to strengthen the ability of police to place restrictions on planned protest and deal more effectively with mass law-breaking tactics”.

Sections of Priti Patel’s controversial policing bill, which became the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, appear directly inspired by the Policy Exchange report.

The Policy Exchange report that appears to have contained the seeds of the policing bill was later cited in the House of Commons by Tory MP Steve Baker, who urged ministers to read it, and in the Lords by Tory peer Matt Ridley. Baker is a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic group that has received money from groups with oil interests in the US. Ridley is a member of the group’s academic advisory council.

Patel said openly that the legislation was intended to stop tactics used by Extinction Rebellion. The home secretary first pledged to introduce the bill just over a year after the Policy Exchange report was published.

Policy Exchange does not disclose its donors, but openDemocracy has uncovered that ExxonMobil Corporation donated $30,000 to its American fundraising arm in 2017.

There is much more information on the Open Democracy site (link below).

Circumstantial evidence?

Maybe – but then it isn’t likely that the Conservative Party, Policy Exchange and ExxonMobil are ever going to admit conspiring to silence legitimate political protest.

Source: Policy Exchange: Was oil-funded think tank behind anti-XR policing bill? | openDemocracy

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Priti Patel is refusing to pay police enough to do their job & then demanding power to criticise them for it

Here’s the contradictory nature of Tory policy exposed in all its grubby grimness:

Priti Patel has been challenged to explain whether she could “survive” on the salaries she pays to local police officers – and ran away from answering.

Meanwhile, she is demanding the right to interfere in local policing matters – possibly criticising officers for failing to do work she does not pay them enough to manage.

According to Nation.Cymru,

Detective Constable Vicky Knight, a single mother who had worked in policing for more than two decades, asked Priti Patel if she would be able to “survive” on £1,200 or £1,400 a month.

Describing how she is paid “a couple of hundred pounds a month more than the workers in McDonald’s flipping burgers” and less than her “local manager at Lidl”, Ms Knight told how ahead of her most recent pay day she had to borrow £40 from her mother so she could put fuel in her car and buy food for her son’s school lunches “because I had no money left at the end of the month”.

“I went to see an accountant and the advice was leave the police, work for 22 hours a week and claim benefits and you will be better off. How can that be right?”

Patel did not answer the question; we don’t know whether she thinks she could survive on the pay she tells police officers to accept.

But we do know delegates at the annual conference of the Police Federation of England and Wales groaned when she whined that their organisation had not been “at the table” for pay negotiations; it is currently in dispute with her because she has imposed a pay freeze for officers and there were, therefore, no negotiations to be done.

While she is depriving police of the salaries they need in order to be able to do their jobs, it seems Patel is demanding the right to criticise them for any failures.

In a row with Police and Crime Commissioners, she is planning a unilateral revision of rules that define where policing responsibilities lie, in order to grant herself more power to interfere in local services.

She wants to take back power to demand answers from chief constables on local policing matters – and ability that was given to commissioners a decade ago when their role was created.

Obviously the ability to demand answers also provides an implied ability to criticise police services for failings – even though any failures may be because she has not provided the resources to do the job.

According to The Guardian,

The proposed protocol says: “We propose to lower the threshold for home secretary intervention in appropriate circumstances. This would equip the home secretary to intervene earlier as required, thus reducing the risk of failing to deliver effective policing.”

Apparently this is a reflection of a policy adopted by Patel since she became Home Secretary, called “lean in”. Perhaps it would more accurately be phrased as “lean on“.

Another example of this policy would appear to be her demand that chief constables act “in a politically neutral manner”, which has been added to the previous stricture that they must be impartial.

This would restrict them from commenting on public policy that they believe may affect crime fighting – such as the effects of austerity. Nor would they be allowed to speak out publicly on issues of political dispute like tougher sentences or opposing the decriminalisation of cannabis, which is supported by some frontline politicians.

In their response to Patel’s proposals, commissioners said she would need to seek an Act of Parliament to impose them as they are beyond her statutory powers at the moment – “ultra vires”:

“Creation of new powers of strategic oversight can only be achieved through primary legislation and must be subject to the full scrutiny that is required of primary legislation.”

So we see a hardline Home Secretary, attempting to dictate the behaviour of local police forces while denying them the resources to their job.

How ironic that she is currently being restricted with rules imposed by her own Tory forerunners.

Source: Home Secretary confronted by ‘desperately struggling’ North Wales Constable over low pay

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ANOTHER Conservative MP has been arrested for sex crimes

Police have arrested yet another Conservative MP for sex crimes.

The Tory Parliamentarian, who has not been named, had his collar felt by the long arm of the law after an investigation lasting no fewer than two years.

As a result, he now stands accused of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office – all between 2002 and 2009.

The latter two accusations suggest that this is someone who may have used his position as a member of Parliament in order to commit the crimes.

The arrest follows the resignation of another Tory MP, Neil Parish, after he admitted having watched pornography in the Commons chamber.

And that came after yet another Conservative MP, Imran Ahmad Khan, resigned after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. His victim said that he had alerted the Conservative Party before Khan had been elected – but his warnings had fallen on deaf ears.

Prior to that, three cabinet ministers were among 56 MPs said to have been accused of sexual misconduct and referred to Parliamentary watchdog the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

On This Site, I questioned whether those 56 names included some of those on a list known to the Tory whips during Theresa May’s leadership – and asked why these people, if they were known to have committed offences, had been allowed to continue as MPs for years when they should have been arrested.

Leaving sexual offences behind, Conservative MPs have been at the centre of a string of corruption allegations. Remember Owen Paterson?

Guilty or not, this accusation leaves another grubby mark on the Conservative Party’s reputation.

This is an organisation that claims to be fit to run the United Kingdom, for the benefit of everybody, yet its members – possibly including people in the highest offices in the land – seem determined to act on their own basest instincts to harm others.

And the party’s leaders seem completely unconcerned.

Why do we let these creatures govern the country when experience shows they can’t even govern themselves?

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One rule for them: the privileges enjoyed by this Tory MP sex offender have been astonishing

Khan and can’t: Imran Ahmad Khan has been convicted of a serious crime – but will his erstwhile boss, that utter incompetent Boris Johnson, also be convicted of a criminal offence before long?

Are the newspapers really sure they have permission to reveal that now ex-Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan is a convicted sex offender?

The lengths to which he – and, it seems, the authorities – went to avoid admitting he was facing charges were phenomenal, and strongly reinforce the prevailing opinion that MPs, and particularly Tories, get preferential treatment:

  • His victim said he wasn’t ‘taken very seriously’ when he made the allegation of sexual assault to the Tory press office days before Khan was elected as MP for Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in the December 2019 general election.
  • Turned away by the Tories, the victim resorted to the police, making a complaint days after Khan was elected. But Khan was sent a questionnaire by Staffordshire Police rather than being interviewed under caution at a station because of “Covid protocols in place at the time”.
  • Neither Staffordshire Police nor the Crown Prosecution Service informed the media or the public when Khan was charged by postal requisition – the point at which suspects in criminal cases are routinely named.
  • His first appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by video link on June 3 last year did not appear on the public or press lists. Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring granted him an interim anonymity order ahead of another unlisted hearing, which the CPS refused to confirm was taking place as well as what charge Khan was facing.
  • He attempted to stop key details of the case – including the age of his victim, his own homosexuality, and even his fondness for a gin and tonic – coming into the public domain.
  • On June 17 last year, Khan argued in court that he should be granted anonymity.
  • Then he tweeted in support of press freedom, retweeting a message by then-foreign secretary Dominic Raab about the situation in Hong Kong. He had previously claimed Extinction Rebellion had constrained press freedom when the protest group blocked a newspaper printing press.
  • His anonymity – unprecedented in a case not involving national security – was only lifted after legal challenges from two media organisations.

Now Khan has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old male at a house in Staffordshire in 2008.

Southwark Crown Court heard how Khan forced the teenager to drink gin and tonic, dragged him upstairs, pushed him onto a bed and asked him to watch porn before the attack.

The victim, now 29, told a jury he was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan touched his feet and legs, and came within “a hair’s breadth” of his genitals.

The boy ran to his parents and a police report was made – but no further action was taken at the time because the victim did not want to make a formal complaint.

Of course, now that a court has returned a “guilty” verdict, the Tory Party’s attitude has gone into reverse. Whereas in 2019 the victim wasn’t “taken very seriously”, now Khan has been expelled from the organisation.

He is awaiting sentencing for the offence and if he is imprisoned for more than a year he will be automatically expelled from the House of Commons.

He could also be subjected to the recall process, by which Wakefield constituents may have him removed as their MP.

Labour has already called for him to resign, so the people of Wakefield “can get the representation they deserve”.

This Writer is fine with all of that; whatever is appropriate, I’ll go with it.

But I want to know how the police and courts will be prevented from treating accused MPs as though the law doesn’t apply to them.

Source: Tory MP guilty of sex attack on boy after forcing him to drink gin | Metro News

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New Tory law to sanction Russians actually lets them off the hook

Boris Johnson and Alexander Temerko: You can imagine the conversation – “Don’t worry Alex, the fix is in so you can keep donating hundreds of thousands of quid to us via Aquind Ltd.

A law to harden and quicken UK sanctions against allies of Vladimir Putin that was fast-tracked through the House of Commons contains a clause to get them all off the hook.

The Economic Crime Bill intends to end anonymity for foreign billionaires who own land and other assets in the UK, making it harder for them to launder money into the country. Apparently they’ll be named on a register and that will stop them.

But Section 18 of the Economic Crime Bill, “Exemptions”, states:

“The Secretary of State may, by giving written notice to a person, exempt the person under this section if satisfied that to do so is necessary – (a) in the interests of national security; (b) in the interests of the economic wellbeing of the United Kingdom; (c) for the purposes of preventing or detecting serious crime.”

The Secretary of State, at the moment, is Priti Patel.

You see the problem?

The Bill makes it entirely possible for Russian oligarchs with close connections to members of the government like, perhaps, Boris Johnson to persuade them that transparency would force them to remove their assets from the UK and therefore harm the economy, and that it is in the UK’s economic interest for their identities to remain confidential.

This encourages This Writer to reason that the government has never intended to sanction Russians with close connections to it; we know no sanctions have been imposed on Russians who have donated money to the Conservative Party or any of its MPs, and now we see that the new clampdown Bill is designed to exempt them from any penalties.

This is more evidence that although the Johnson government says it supports Ukraine, it is in fact on the side of the Russians who pay their drinks bills.

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Tories set to outlaw the kind of anti-war protests we praised so much in Russia


While you’re busy having your attention directed to Russia and Ukraine by your Tory-supporting right-wing media…

… and I’ll make this quick because it’s really easy to understand…

Remember those anti-war protests in Russia that we all praised last week?

These:

Well, while you were being distracted by the war against which these brave people were protesting, your own government has been busy outlawing the kind of protest they were carrying out.

This is important because we are being told that Russia is a repressive, authoritarian dictatorship. And it is true that protesters can expect to face lengthy prison sentences if they are arrested.

But just compare the jail terms they’ll get with what you’ll face if you protest against your own government after the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is passed into law:

The debate is in Hansard (although at the time of writing, not in full). You can read it here.

So much for the Tory UK’s freedom-loving democracy!

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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StarmerLabour launches new smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn – and it is VERY shady

Backstabbers? Steve Reed attacked Jeremy Corbyn in the Mirror, as The Times suggested Keir Starmer would try to push Corbyn out of the Labour Party by whatever means necessary.

News moves fast. When This Writer published an article speculating on Keir Starmer possibly planning to dishonestly push Jeremy Corbyn out of Labour, it seems the party leader had already put this into action.

In a Mirror interview, new shadow justice secretary Steve Reed put out a claim that Labour “cared more about criminals than their victims” under Jeremy Corbyn. He said:

“Given the period that Labour’s gone through over the last 10 years, but particularly under the last leadership – the days when Labour cared more about the criminals than about their victims are well and truly over.”

Mr Reed said rehabilitation and tackling the causes of crime are essential. But he added: “I think when Jeremy Corbyn was the leader, we gave the impression that we were more concerned about the criminals than about their victims.

Let’s put the record straight: Jeremy Corbyn saw the Conservatives as being the party that was soft on crime – as has every Labour leadership since Tony Blair. Consider Skwawkbox‘s reaction to Reed’s smear:

Leaving aside the obvious, that rehabilitating criminals makes us all safer, the claims are an outright falsehood. Labour’s 2019 manifesto was clear on the need for a strong justice system, promising to:

• end short prison sentences
• recruit and fund 5,000 more prison officers
• recruit and fund 10,000 more police officers
• recruit and fund 1,000 more border guards

It does seem strange that Reed tries to say Mr Corbyn’s plan to do that means he “cared more about criminals”, while at the same time saying rehabilitation of criminals is useful.

A bit hypocritical, perhaps?

But then, Reed himself says – and seems proud of it – that he helped set up the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) which (while it has successfully campaigned for the removal of some genuinely poisonous individuals from the social media) is best-known as a highly-politicised pressure group that targets left-wing websites with vicious campaigns.

We’ve known of CCDH’s behaviour – and its origin as a creation of right-wing Labour to smear the left – for more than a year.

The organisation lists as its “ambassador” – and she has been described as its only patron in the past – Rachel Riley. This backfired badly against it when she announced she was supporting its “Don’t Feed The Trolls” campaign in 2019.

My CrowdJustice site, raising money to defend me against libel claims by Riley, suddenly enjoyed an unexpected windfall from people reacting against what they saw as the TV host’s hypocrisy.

Just read some of the comments in the article linked above and you’ll see clear evidence.

So not only is Reed smearing Corbyn with a false claim about his attitude to crime, but he is associated with an organisation whose patron has habitually smeared Corbyn with unsupported accusations.

If this is how Keir Starmer hopes to undermine support for his immediate forerunner as Labour leader, he’ll deserve the massive backlash that I expect to see him suffer.

Source: Steve Reed interview: Labour ‘cared more about criminals than victims’ under Corbyn – Mirror Online

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

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Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook