Tag Archives: violence

As England’s football team scales the heights, how many of its fans will be plumbing the depths?

Try to take this in:

“If England get beaten, so will she.

“Domestic violence increases 26% when England play, 38% if they lose.”

At a time when the England squad and its manager are winning universal praise for the examples they are setting – in leadership, against racism, and for any number of grassroots causes that, frankly, shame the UK’s fascist government, it shames the entire nation that so-called supporters are likely to respond like this.

It could be argued that people who inflict domestic violence on others are going to do it, no matter what the stimulus – but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

This Writer is no expert on what is to be done, so in the run-up to a match where tension will be at its highest for 55 years, and nerves are likely to be frayed to their limits, I can only echo the advice on the image:

“For help with a protective injunction text ‘NCDV’ to 60777 or call 0800 970 2070.”

If anybody has better or alternative suggestions, please send them in to the comment column.

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Israeli government continues persecution of Palestinians with ground assault in Gaza

Israel rains destruction on Gaza: at the time of writing, Palestinian casualties include 103 deaths, of which 27 were children and 11 women, while 580 have been wounded as a result of Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza strip. Seven Israelis have also died as a result of the violence initiated by their own government.

Sky News nailed the current behaviour of Israel towards the people of Palestine in this clip:

And the commentary could have gone further.

This escalating persecution began when Israeli forces started invading the homes of people in the Sheikh Jarrah area of Jerusalem, intending to force people out of homes they have had for many hundreds of years.

It intensified with the invasion of the Al Aqsa Mosque – Islam’s third most holy site – by troops who shot worshippers with rubber bullets and let off stun grenades.

These atrocities provoked Palestinians to take to the streets in (admittedly) violent protests. What were they supposed to do? Lie down and wait for the Israelis to evict them or shoot them?

And now the Israeli government is playing its usual game – playing the victim in order to justify further atrocities. It has invaded Gaza again.

Here’s a quick reminder of what happened the last time an Israeli government sent ground forces into Gaza:

There were also Israeli casualties but they were minimal in comparison: 67 soldiers and six civilians killed; 469 soldiers and 87 civilians wounded.

Now Israel is back in Gaza again.

Expect many, many Palestinian deaths, caused by Israeli “victims”. Who do you think are the real victims?

The perversion of language by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an abomination. Look at this:

Israel’s political leaders said on Thursday that violent street clashes between Jews and Arabs inside the country pose a bigger threat.

Netanyahu visited the town of Lod, where there has been rioting, burning of cars, destruction of property and violent attacks on individuals.

“We have no bigger threat now than these pogroms, and we have no choice but to restore law and order via determined use of force,” he said.

He was accusing Palestinians of launching pogroms – organised massacres – against Jews. This is gaslighting on an epic scale. It should be clear to anybody that he is the aggressor.

He went further:

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, tweeted: “The last word was not said and this operation will continue as long as necessary.”

“The last word” seems unpleasantly close to “the final solution”. Doesn’t it?

Source: Israel ground troops begin attack on Gaza Strip, military says | Gaza | The Guardian

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Read this and weep:

Last Saturday, May 8, This Writer put out a request on This Site for supporters of Israel – the people who set out to justify the atrocities committed by the government of that country – to explain why armed Israeli forces had invaded the Al Aqsa Mosque and were shooting worshippers there with rubber bullets and letting off stun grenades on this holy ground.

I received very few responses from such people, which is uncharacteristic for people who usually cannot be prevented from spouting their propaganda as often and widely as possible.

The best any of them could manage was a bit of whataboutery – an attempt to say that it was reasonable because of Palestinian rocket attacks and why wasn’t I bothered about them?

am bothered about them; these screamers always miss the point that none of the violence between Israel and Palestine is acceptable.

There’s also this argument, made by a commenter on Twitter:

Furthermore, it is entirely disproportionate for Israel to use the rocket retaliations against the attack on Al Aqsa, and the forcible emptying of the Sheikh Jarrah area of Jerusalem, as a justification for this:

The result:

And what happened next?

Instead of apologising for murdering civilians, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he is escalating attacks on residential areas:

And he meant it:

The result:

It seems the weapons used on these residential areas of Palestine were manufactured in the United States, whose industrialists and government may be deemed to support the murder of civilians by their provision of weapons used to kill them.

It was during the attacks on Gaza that six-year-old Rahaf al Masry was killed by a US missile, aimed by a member of Israel’s armed forces. She was one of many…

… and this murder of children prompted Unicef to make an appeal for sanity – which fell on deaf ears.

The Israeli Defence force has attempted to justify these murders – but the statement would have been laughable if it had not been about the deliberate killing of children. As it is, I think the comment on the statement that I’m publishing here is remarkably restrained:

The only sentence in the IDF statement that strikes This Writer as in any way likely to be true is the last: “Our goal is only to strike terror.”

They’ve certainly done that. They’ve struck terror into the hearts of every Palestinian (yet again), and they have struck terror into everybody watching the development of this atrocity, who has a heart.

Condemnation has come thick and fast:

Those were mild words from Jeremy Corbyn who, despite the sustained and vicious accusations of anti-Semitism against him, continues to be the peacemaker. His hope here was forlorn.

The quote tweet from Haaretz refers to two Israeli deaths, caused by a Palestinian rocket that, it seems, got through Netanyahu’s “Iron Wall”. These deaths are just as deplorable as those of the many more Palestinians who have lost their lives. But who should take responsibility for them? Whoever let off the rocket, certainly. But what about the Israeli prime minister who provoked those people into doing it?

And when is the cycle of violence ever going to end?

Will it only end when Israel has used its overwhelming military superiority to destroy Palestine altogether – wipe its people off the face of the Earth – in the full view of the world and protesting that it is Israelis who are the victims all the way through?

Will it really have to go that far before the other nations of the world publicly acknowledge what is happening there and condemn it? Will they really wait until it is too late?

It seems so.

Look at Emily Maitlis on the BBC’s Newsnight, pushing the Establishment line that the violence is all the fault of the Palestinians for all she was worth, and getting very short shrift from Palestine’s ambassador to the UK, Husam Zumlot. Labour MP Clive Lewis’s choice of words to quote is right on the button:

Yesterday, in the Queen’s Speech opening the new Parliamentary session, Boris Johnson’s government announced a plan to deny UK citizens the right to protest against Israeli atrocities via BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) in what This Writer can only see as wholehearted support for the murder of Palestinian children:

The alternative, of course, is to be labelled anti-Semitic:

It’s a false accusation; Israel is not the Jewish people, nor has it ever been representative of them all. No doubt there are many Jews across the world who deplore the atrocities committed by the government of that country – including among those in Israel itself.

Taking that as true, then I agree with John Smith, son of the late Labour legend Harry Leslie Smith:

Sadly, if such people exist in Israel, their voices are being suppressed just as much as ours will be if Johnson pushes through his ban on BDS. Instead we are shown Israelis backing the violence – including, remember, the murder of children – to the hilt:

I dare say it is – because those people should be offended, not elated. So should people here in the UK.

Their government is perpetuating a cycle of violence that – as Jeremy Corbyn pointed out – it could end at a moment’s notice.

And our government is implying that we all support these killings by suppressing our ability to protest against them.

How will we ever find peace with monsters like these in charge?

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Tories vote down plan to register stalkers and domestic abusers – because of how it would affect them?

Priti Patel: she initially said she would support a register of stalkers and domestic abusers, but reneged on that promise when it came to a vote. Was it because it wouldn’t directly target immigrants?

Boris Johnson’s government is showing us in increasingly blatant ways that Tories only ever make law for their own profit.

David Cameron’s Greensill scandal came about because it seems he designed his law to register lobbyists specifically to ignore the lobbyists who would employ him in the future – to quote just one example.

So what are we to make of this?

The government is facing growing anger after voting against putting serial stalkers and domestic abusers on a national register, despite briefing they were likely to support the measures following the death of Sarah Everard.

Conservative MPs voted against amendments to the domestic abuse bill on Thursday that would have placed serial domestic abusers and stalkers on the current Violent and Sex Offender Register (Visor).

MPs also voted down House of Lords-supported amendments that would have given family court judges training on sexual abuse and provided greater protection to migrant victims of domestic violence.

Why would a Tory government reject a change in the law that would make people safer?

Is it because they don’t think it would affect them?

Or is it because they do? Think about it.

Source: Anger as Tory MPs vote against register for stalkers and domestic abusers | Domestic violence | The Guardian

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Met police want to stop social media sharing of rogue police cracking heads

Police violence: it seems our law guardians are upset at being filmed attacking members of the public, with the images subsequently going on social media. Simple solution: don’t commit violent attacks on members of the public.

Apparently breaking the heads of members of the public isn’t such fun when you can be identified and shamed on the social media.

Of course that’s not what the Metropolitan Police Federation is saying. Its spokespeople call it “trial by social media” and say it should be banned.

They would, wouldn’t they?

They’re justifying their demand by pointing to verdicts of investigations into police conduct that have resulted in no action being taken.

But doesn’t that just raise questions about the way the police are policed?

Doesn’t it give us cause to question what police need to do before they are penalised for the outrageous behaviour they have been caught doing on camera?

This Writer has seen a woman being punched in the face by a policeman, her head snapping back almost into the camera taking the footage.

We all saw the police men practically stripping a female protester at a demonstration in Manchester. Why were they doing that and when will they be punished for it?

We’ve all seen footage of police harassing people from ethnic minorities, for no readily-apparent reason.

The MetFed wants those videos to be banned – and I don’t think it’s because there is no case to be answered.

I think it is because the MetFed doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the behaviour of its own people.

And what about this:

Two good points, don’t you think? For clarity, they are:

1. If nobody had taken footage of George Floyd being throttled under the knee of a US police officer, nothing would have been done about it.

2. It is hypocritical of the MetFed to complain about the sharing of images that shame the police when its own officers have shared images of them behaving inappropriately (to say the least) with the dead bodies of members of the public.

If the police did not behave inappropriately; if they weren’t prone to violence against the public they are meant to protect; and if we didn’t have reason to believe the system was corruptly supporting them, then nobody would be recording these images – they simply would not happen.

So, before these people demand what are frankly fascist measures to stop us from holding them to account – and remember, they can still record us (although I understand footage from cop cameras is likely to be restricted due to failings in policing by the officers involved) – it seems clear they should try cleaning up their act instead.

But I suppose that would take all the fun out of it.

Source: Met Fed calls on chiefs to end trial by media after IOPC verdict | UK Police News – Police Oracle

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Comeuppance for Kate: Hoey’s Brexit balderdash get the brush-off – finally

Kate Hoey: either she did not understand what Brexit would mean to Northern Ireland or she didn’tt care. But the people her influence has harmed will not forget.

This has been a long time coming – and not just to Kate Hoey.

The Brexiteer and former Labour MP has been trying to defend her support for the UK leaving the European Union in the flame-light of the burning vehicles in Northern Ireland.

Her reception has been – well, see for yourself. Here’s her tweeted assertion:

“The Protocol” would be the Northern Ireland protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.

Many have pointed out what this means about Hoey’s comment:

Yes indeed – Hoey stated in a Telegraph article that Northern Ireland had much to gain from Brexit, despite the province having voted against leaving the EU (because people there knew it would jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process):

Her article is still available to read:

Now people have simply connected her words then with her words now, and found that they are not persuasive:

But Hoey should not feel that she is the only one feeling the force of Northern Ireland’s (and indeed the rest of the UK’s)… ire:

What’s the best phrase to describe this lot?

Ah, yes: They’re all in it together.

And we should remember that…

… when we seek compensation for what has happened.

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Is it time for checks and balances on police who abuse their powers?

Police at one of the Easter Saturday ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstrations: who do you think is being violent here?

It seems police across the UK have been abusing their powers to control protests for many years – so why do our governments only ever seem to give them more powers to abuse?

This article by Christine Berry expands on one This Site publicised a few days ago, discussing instances going back 13 or 14 years in which police behaviour fell far below the expected standard.

And the similarities tell us that they should have been stopped long ago.

Consider the opening paragraphs:

After someone suffers an untimely death at the hands of a Metropolitan Police officer, a vigil is held in London. Footage goes viral of a woman being physically attacked by Met officers at the vigil, but senior figures insist it was just good public order policing. Around the same time, it’s revealed that police lied about officers being injured at a separate protest. Public trust in policing is battered, but somehow, politicians still think it’s a good idea to give them more powers.

No, this isn’t 2021. It’s 2008-’09. The dead man is Ian Tomlinson, a bystander at the G20 protests who was hit with a baton and pushed to the ground. The woman is Nicola Fisher. And those ‘injuries’? ‘Six insect bites and a toothache,’ as the Guardian put it – sustained at the Kingsnorth Camp for Climate Action.

We see that, even then, the police were using the media to alter public perception of protests, with claims that their violence was “good public order policing” and with false claims of injuries suffered by officers.

The summer before, I’d joined the Heathrow Climate Camp – which saw a step change in police repression of protest, including kettling, mass searching, surveillance, and physical attacks.

So this was when these tactics were introduced. Under the New Labour government of Gordon Brown, notice.

I was advised that volunteering as a legal observer might give me a degree of protection: ‘They seem to respect the hi-vis jacket.’ Instead, the opposite happened, with legal observers expressly targeted for intimidation.

Footage of recent protests has shown police singling out observers and members of the press. It seems they don’t like it when their violence is witnessed. Neither do criminals; I make the observation in passing.

Going back to 2008:

When we raised questions about police abuse of power, the Minister for Policing responded that 70 officers had been injured at the protest. The implication was that the climate campers were a violent mob, and attacking them with batons was a proportionate response.

We heard the same last month…

Not a single officer had been injured by a protester. Instead, bizarre entries like ‘stung on finger by possible wasp’ ensured that the story went viral, and the Minister was forced to apologise for misleading Parliament.

… again, the injuries mentioned last month also proved unconnected – or simply false.

The conclusion is clear:

Smearing protesters as violent is a consistent and deliberate strategy employed by the police to justify their own aggressive tactics and suppress criticism.

Perhaps it is time to impose a rule – that police should only be allowed to make such claims if they are able to support them, immediately, with independently-verified proof.

Here’s another tactic:

In the run-up to the G20 [protests], Met Commander Bob Broadhurst had talked up the prospect of violence, so the media and the public were primed to believe his version of events.

He did the same before the student protests of 2010, imploring parents to ‘talk to their children and make sure they’re aware of the potential dangers’, since there was ‘only so much police officers can do’ to protect them from violent yobs hijacking demonstrations: yobs, presumably, like the officer who hit Alfie Meadows over the head with a baton, and left him bleeding into his brain.

So perhaps police representatives should be restrained from such “priming” – or at the very least, the press should challenge them to demonstrate their reasons for making such claims.

The following year, over 100 UK Uncut protesters were lured out of Fortnum and Mason on false pretences and arrested for aggravated trespass.

Yvette Cooper gave the police her full-throated support in bringing ‘the full force of the law’ down on the ‘few hundred mindless idiots and thugs’ who had supposedly attacked people and property. In fact, less than a dozen people had been charged with violent offences. And all the Fortnum and Mason prosecutions were subsequently dropped.

But nobody at the police faced any criticism over the tactics they used or the lies they told.

This cyclical pattern creates a climate of impunity where the police are in a no-lose situation. If protests pass off peacefully, they are praised for handling them well. If they don’t, the violence is blamed on the people they are beating up. The very fact of protestors’ repression is treated as proof they were engaged in violence: the police ‘must have had a reason’.

This is victim-blaming.

Here is a direct example of it:

In the days around the G20 protests… the Home Affairs Select Committee conducted an inquiry, but they gave Nicola Fisher a much harder time than Bob Broadhurst – insinuating that she’d ‘asked for it’ by instinctively pushing back when a police officer first shoved her, and asking how much she’d got for selling her story.

Press challenges to the police narrative, it seems, are met with the threat of a costly court battle:

Climate Camp occupied Bishopsgate … announcing at the outset that the occupation would last 24 hours…. I started getting panicked phone calls from friends who were kettled there, pleading for our help. The police were advancing on them with dogs, batons and riot shields. People were being punched, dragged, and thrown for no reason.

Feeling helpless, I rang my boss, who eventually managed to speak to Bob Broadhurst’s deputy, Ian Thomas. He asked Thomas what the hell he thought he was doing, making clear that he thought the action was unlawful. The response was effectively: see you in court.

We know (don’t we? This Writer certainly understands how it works) that civil court action in the UK is a lengthy and costly process. The police have the infinite resources of the state to support them; the press do not. It seems, then, that if faced with the consequences of their actions, they are happy to buy justice.

And now we have a new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that hands new powers to the police without imposing any of the checks and balances that are needed to stop them behaving like criminals.

Patel’s response to policing that oversteps legal powers is simply to ratchet up the powers. They no longer need to worry about how much ‘disruption’ justifies violently dispersing a protest: now, the threshold will effectively be zero.

They no longer need to worry about proving aggravated trespass: now, all trespass will be criminal anyway. She is giving them the impunity they have always wanted.

This should worry us all. As this history shows, a right to protest that stops when the Met says so is no right at all.

So it seems the police have been acting as politicians’ paid thugs for many years (decades, in fact – look at the disgraceful way police were used as political weapons during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5).

Faced with evidence of criminal behaviour by men in police uniforms, our government has chosen not to impose curbs, but to change the law so their thuggery becomes legal – putting the police in a class above the rest of us.

It means that you will have no rights at all in any dealings you have with the police. They will be able to do anything they want with you, or to you, with impunity.

Remember that in some cases this includes committing crimes such as murder and rape, thanks to a law the Tories brought in a few months ago.

If you voted Tory in 2019, it’s what you wanted. Own it.

But even if you did, that doesn’t mean you should accept it. If you now understand that you made a mistake, you’d better do something about it.

Because this repression will only get worse.

Source: How Protestors Get the Blame for Police Violence

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As Stormont politicians meet, Northern Ireland violence escalates

Northern Ireland has now endured more than a week of violence related to Boris Johnson’s duff Brexit deal.

Johnson himself has said the violence in West Belfast “deeply concerned” him. He was right – it did, and it should; he is directly responsible for it.

He was told his decision to put a customs border in the middle of the Irish Sea would tear up the Good Friday Agreement, triggering an end to the NI peace process and a return to violence – and he did it anyway.

Northern Ireland doesn’t have a single Conservative member of Parliament; nobody in the province voted to be governed by Johnson (or at least, nobody worth mentioning).

The province’s pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party propped up former prime minister Theresa May, and could therefore be said to have paved the way for him. It holds power in the Stormont assembly so This Writer wonders what its representatives have to say for themselves.

Last night alone, police officers were attacked, petrol bombs were thrown and a bus was burnt.

Here’s how it looked:

Police believe paramilitary groups were involved in incidents such as one in which several hundred people on each side were throwing petrol bombs in both directions in the loyalist Shankill Road and the nationalist Springfield Road.

The Shankill Road and Springfield Road in west Belfast are now added to the list that includes Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Ballymena and the Waterside area of Londonderry.

The BBC’s report editorialised:

The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to stop.

While it is a comment that should not have been made by a news reporter, This Writer tends to agree with whoever wrote it.

Sadly, with Boris Johnson running the country, he will undoubtedly dither, delay, take a holiday, and probably even hide in a fridge before taking any decisions – and by the time he does, it will probably be too late.

And, as This Site stated yesterday, this is what he wanted. He had been warned repeatedly that it would happen but he did nothing. We have to draw the obvious conclusion from that.

Source: Belfast: Emergency Stormont meeting after night of violence – BBC News

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Northern Ireland is ablaze again. It’s what Boris Johnson wanted and why he lied

Masks and molotov cocktails: Northern Ireland has gone back to this because of Boris Johnson’s Brexit. We can only conclude it’s what the UK prime minister wants.

Is Boris Johnson delighted that his lies have stirred up more Troubles in Northern Ireland.

This Writer reckons he must be.

Why else would he have promised to everybody who would listen that he would make sure they got what they wanted out of Brexit – and then reneged?

Here’s Peter Stefanovic to explain:

Here’s Johnson himself, lying to a gang of Northern Ireland Tories:

And here’s the result:

Note the comment about the UK’s Tory press ignoring this. In fairness, they might have been slow on the uptake but I found a piece on the BBC website easily enough. Under a bland image of the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Stormont, it reported:

The Northern Ireland Assembly is to be recalled early from its Easter break on Thursday to discuss the violence in some loyalist areas.

A petition tabled by the Alliance Party to bring MLAs back to the chamber has secured the 30 signatures required.

Detectives are also investigating parades in Portadown and Markethill on Monday.

Politicians are united in calling for the violence to end, but are divided over why it has erupted.

NI’s first minister, Arlene Foster of the DUP, has flown a kite suggesting that poor policing of the funeral of Bobby Storey, which attracted 2,000 mourners who didn’t socially distance, has caused a collapse of confidence in the province’s Chief Constable, Simon Byrne.

She’s a supporter of Brexit, of course.

Here’s a tweet that answers her claims:

Yes indeed. What Brexiters labelled “Project Fear” is now a reality of life in Northern Ireland. Again. And those of us who warned the rest can only point out the obvious:

But somebody clearly did want them to – and he’s sitting in 10 Downing Street.

Boris Johnson knew what would happen – just as he knew what would happen when he refused to take the big decisions about Covid-19 that were needed between November 2019 and March 2020.

There can be no denial of the facts. He was told this would happen; he ignored the evidence; and now it is happening.

It won’t go away, because unlike those in mainland Britain, people in Northern Ireland are used to expressing their anger in highly visible, public, and violent ways.

And they won’t care about any laws Johnson might pass that ban demonstrations, parades, rallies and marches either!

For This Writer, it is extremely depressing. I’m old enough to remember the Troubles. I remember being ordered out of a shopping centre because of an IRA bomb in a shop there.

That device was discovered and defused, but I also remember seeing the results when bombs elsewhere were allowed to detonate.

I remember the deaths, the injuries, the recriminations and the resentments.

I know Boris Johnson remembers them too.

But he seems hell-bent on stirring them all up again. So can someone please remind us all why anybody thought it was a good idea to elect him? “But Corbyn” won’t cut it because Corbyn would never have done anything that could lead to this.

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.

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#BristolRiot – after police retract serious injury claims, will Ian Austin please give back his peerage? [WARNING: VIDEO OF EXTREME POLICE VIOLENCE]

Bristol riot: there seem to be a huge number of images showing the police attacking members of the public – and none at all of police being on the receiving end. Just why were they on the streets with their batons, their dogs and their horses?

Isn’t it curious that, days after making a big song and dance about police suffering broken bones and a punctured lung at the Bristol riot (that they may have caused), the claims were retracted days later?

Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Andy Marsh admitted in a press conference that no officer of his had suffered a punctured lung.

And the force’s publicity department admitted that neither of the officers taken to hospital actually turned out to have broken bones.

The damage had been done, though – the public outraged at this apparent thuggery by people who had congregated in Bristol to protest against police mistreatment of women.

How will the police take back this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or – especially – this?

And, having consideration of all the above, shouldn’t Lord Ian Austin reconsider his position in public life, hand back his peerage, and go home to spend more time with his prejudices?

Just look at the state of this:

Austin, formerly a Labour MP, was ennobled by Boris Johnson to sit as a non-affiliated peer after he quit the party as led by Jeremy Corbyn, claiming that it had a “culture of extremism, anti-Semitism and intolerance”.

Strange. He seems to be both extreme and intolerant. If Labour under Corbyn really had been like that, he should have fitted right in.

Current evidence shows the police inflicting extreme violence on people – many of whom were sitting down and/or offering no resistance, while suffering very few injuries themselves (and how many were self-inflicted or accidental?).

Austin has indicated that he supports this brand of extreme violent activity against people who are defenceless.

That is unacceptable in a public representative.

Ah, but we live in an unaccountable dictatorship, don’t we? He’ll ignore all his critics and continue with his offensive ways.

Source: Police retract claims that officers suffered broken bones at Bristol protest