The mouthpieces of the establishment are constantly telling us that abuse, racism, and misogyny in the police are merely a case of a few bad apples. But it’s increasingly clear that this rotten fruit is just part of a bigger crumbly mess.
The whole British state is falling apart. The latest example is the armed police, who are refusing to carry their guns. Several hundred of them effectively went on strike this week in protest against the government.
But there’s nothing good about this strike. What provoked it was one of them being charged with murder, after he scandalously shot and killed Chris Kaba, an unarmed black man, in September last year.
I’m sure we all feel enormous sympathy for these poor, armed police officers, who just want to be able to shoot people in peace, without being accused of murder all the time. Is that too much to ask?
Not according to Suella Braverman and Rishi Sunak. We should express more “gratitude” to the armed police, says the Prime Minister. They have the government’s “full backing”, the Home Secretary declared.
And why wouldn’t they? After all, it was the Met’s Specialist Firearms Unit that was home to the murderers and rapists Wayne Couzens and David Carrick. It warms the heart to see the nation’s leaders praising such an honourable institution.
The implication of Sunak and Braverman’s comments is that the government’s own lawyers, who have enough evidence to charge the trigger-happy officer with murder, do not have the Tories’ backing.
It’s turned into a public punch-up between government lawyers, armed police, and politicians.
Just like in a failed state, the army was hastily called in to plug the gaps. Meanwhile, the government begged the police to pick up their guns again, which they eventually did.
When teachers go on strike, they get called lazy and entitled by the establishment. When it’s the police, they get praised in the media, and the prime minister grovels before them.
That’s because the police are what the ruling class rely upon to hold us down, while they give us an economic kicking.
Unfortunately for the government, at a time when the kicking is really ramping up, police officers aren’t particularly willing accomplices. Back in January, 94% of officers said they didn’t feel respected by the government.
For obvious reasons, meanwhile, only 29% of people in London have any trust in the Met police, according to a poll in April.
So, the police hate the government. And most people don’t trust the police.
To fix this, Met Commissioner Mark Rowley has been trying to clean up the force. He’s been slamming his own officers in the media – calling for higher standards and demanding that the police be held to account, in order to restore public confidence.
But the more he pushes in this direction, the more he undermines the morale of his own officers. This recent shambles is the result.
There’s no clear way out of this for the ruling class. Whatever they do is wrong.
Attacking the police to restore public confidence results in police backlash. Praising the police leads to generalised disgust with the institutional violence, racism, sexism, and general thuggery of officers protected by powerful politicians.
Without a strong police force, the bosses and the government are in difficulty. Who’s going to police all the strikes and demonstrations that are set to explode onto Britain’s streets?
They could call in the army again. But sending the army onto the streets isn’t exactly a sign of a healthy democracy.
And in any case, Britain’s army is already pretty overstretched – filling in for striking ambulance drivers and border guards, or being sent around the country in response to floods and fuel shortages.
Furthermore, over the summer, the government confirmed that it’s cutting the size of the army again to save money. By 2025, troop numbers will be 25% smaller than in 2010. This provoked the head of the British Army to threaten his resignation.
But it’s not just the police and the army that are falling to pieces.
Recently, a prisoner escape from HMP Wandsworth made the headlines. This revealed overcrowding and understaffing in the country’s prisons, which have contributed towards such escapes.
Two-thirds of prisons are over-capacity. And thanks to Tory austerity, there are 10% fewer prison staff today than there were in 2010.
Similarly, the probation service, responsible for releasing prisoners, was performing ‘acceptably’ in just 28% of cases it handled last year, according to its watchdog.
Over 15,000 people, meanwhile, are currently in prison without having been convicted of any crime, awaiting trials that are being delayed by underfunded and backlogged courts.
The police, the army, the courts, and the prisons are the foundations of the capitalist state. Without them, the ruling class and its representatives can’t defend their property, profits, and privileges.
At a time when the capitalist establishment is looking to inflict significant pain on the rest of us, provoking social explosions in the process, their state institutions are crumbling. The Tories are getting their just deserts.
Workers, meanwhile, are getting angrier. And the communists are getting stronger.
So, Rishi, how do you like them apples?