“Kill the Bill” protests in the UK a welcome response to proposed “paramilitary policing” laws

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New Zealand is frequently a fast follower behind the UK in adopting all manner of awful policies so it’s important we note the broadside attack on civil liberties currently working its way through the British parliament.

The changes are so bad that a former chief constable for Durham, Michael Barton, has warned the laws move Britain dangerously towards “paramilitary policing” and that UK ministers are “flexing their muscles via their police forces” like repressive regimes around the world. This report says in part:

The police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, currently passing through parliament, will afford new powers to officers to tackle protests, including measures aimed at static protests and a new offence of “intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance”, which is in part defined as causing “serious annoyance” or “serious inconvenience”.

So how does the UK government defend this broadside attack on civil liberties?

“People will still be able to protest, but they cannot be permitted to trample on the rights of local businesses and communities.

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These measures will prevent misery to the public and the loss of millions of pounds to the taxpayers and businesses…”

In other words protecting big business profits is behind these proposed law changes.

The most promising sign of popular revolt against the changes are protests with thousands marching and over 100 arrested in the latest demonstration.

The UK’s Tory government are always keen to point the finger at heavy-handed paramilitary policing in other countries which they claim are undemocratic and attack free speech but at home they are working to curb and control public protest with a broadside assault on democracy and free speech.

Police thuggery is already out of control in the UK with a Daily mail journalist caught up in the latest protest and batoned by police. The video of the incident is here.

There is no sign of such a law change on the horizon here in Aotearoa but as sure as night follows day police here will, sooner or later, want to replicate these laws as protests against inequality, climate change and mass extinction inevitably intensify.

We need to be ready.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Absolutely right again, John.

    There is little doubt in my mind that ‘as the ship goes under’ [as a consequence of the truly awful economic and social polices imposed on the masses by the looters-and-polluters club over several decades] we will see enormous pressure from the looters-and polluters club to prevent redistribution of the wealth they purloined. Effectively, handing out firearms to the crew of the sinking Titanic and telling the crew to use them on the third-class passengers if the third-class passengers attempt to break out of the lower decks (as actually happened_.

    The phenomenon of wealth accumulation by sociopaths at the expense of everyone else and their determination to hold on to their ill=gotten gains is worldwide, and is a recipe for both revolution and collapse of current ways of living (which need to collapse anyway, and will do so, whatever the ‘elites’ attempt to do to stop it, because the industrial-financial system is self-defeating).

    Just how vicious Jacinda is prepared to be after all the expressions of empty rhetoric centred on of ‘kindness’ is yet to be seen. Collapse is coming on her watch. And her performance thus far has been highly unimpressive: all talk and no action. or in the cases of Planetary Meltdown and energy, completely the wrong action, i.e. making both worse faster.

    Luckily for Jacinda, NZ has am uninformed, dumbed-down populace (by design) which has a sense of entitlement that encompasses destruction of the future via squandering of energy and resources. I’m sure the corporate media will play their part by keeping the masses uninformed/misinformed.

    The tiny sector that is awake -arguably 1% at the most (just look at the page views on TDB) – is powerless to prevent the ongoing environmental catastrophe from being made much worse.

    It’s ‘the economy’, and the banks, of course.

    Under such circumstances one can only prepare for the environmental and economic meltdown by disengaging from all mainstream thinking, e.g. fuck the Americas Cup, fuck corporatised sport, fuck the royal family, fuck consumerism etc. and work with nature as much as possible, rather than against it.

    According the CHS, Americans are turning away from corporatised sport in droves because they no longer can afford it.

    That won’t prevent the powers that be from organising ‘bread and circuses’ (without the bread).

    Charles Hugh Smith’s words of wisdom:

    ‘What’s Changed and What Hasn’t in a Tumultuous Year
    April 5, 2021

    Inequality is America’s Monster Id, and we’re continuing to fuel its future rampage daily.

    What’s changed and what hasn’t in the past year? What hasn’t changed is easy:

    1. Wealth / income inequality is still increasing. (see chart #1 below)

    2. Wages / labor’s share of the economy is still plummeting as financial speculation’s share has soared. (see chart #2 below)

    What’s changed is also obvious:

    1. Money velocity has cratered. (see chart #3 below)

    2. Federal borrowing / spending has skyrocketed, pushing federal debt to unprecedented levels. (see chart #4 below)

    3. Speculation has reached the society-wide mania level. This is evidenced by record margin debt levels, record levels of financial assets compared to GDP and many other indicators. (see chart #5 below)

    Interestingly, every one of historian Peter Turchin’s 3-point Political Stress Index is now checked. Recall that these are core drivers of consequential social disorder, the kind that leads to empires collapsing, the overthrow of ruling elites, social revolutions, etc.

    1. Stagnating real wages (i.e. adjusted for real-world inflation): check

    2. Overproduction of parasitic elites: double-triple check

    3. Deterioration of central state finances: check

    But what about social changes? This is an interesting topic because social changes are less easily tracked (few even ask relevant questions and compile the data). Social trends are often more difficult to discern, as surveys may not track actual changes in behavior: people may give answers they reckon are expected or acceptable.

    Here are four long-term trends that may have been accelerated by the pandemic:

    1. The residents of overcrowded tourist destinations are sick of tourists and are demanding limits that protect increasingly fragile environments and resident quality of life.

    Here’s a typical observation of a resident in Hawaii now that tourists are coming back:

    Sunday I saw a group of 30 spring break tourists littering the beach with red cups and bottles of alcohol and trash. They had a table full of booze on the beach and were happily leaving their trash everywhere. No masks and no cares for Hawaii. When they left, instead of using the beach access they all climbed over the fence into someone’s yard because it saved them a minute of walking.

    No I don’t miss tourists.

    This is a global phenomenon. The absence of tourists has awakened a powerful sense that the profits (which flow into elite hands, not local economies) have taken precedence over the protection of what makes the destination worth visiting.

    2. Work from home is here to stay. The benefits are too personal and powerful. Corporations demanding a return to long commutes and central offices will find their most productive employees are giving them “take this job and shove it” notices as they find positions with companies that understand that you can’t turn back the clock or ignore the benefits of flexible schedules.

    3. Consumer behaviors have changed and are continuing to change. This is not just an expansion of home delivery; it’s a re-appraisal of big-ticket spending on concerts, entertainment, sports events and many other sectors that depend solely on free-spending consumers who ignore the recent doubling or tripling of prices.

    4. Perceptions of the wealthy are changing. I touched on this topic in The Coming War on Wealth and the Wealthy (1/5/21) and The Coming Revolt of the Middle Class (1/27/21). Inequality is America’s Monster Id, and we’re continuing to fuel its future rampage daily.

    https://www.oftwominds.com/blogapr21/what-changed4-21.html

  2. …and you wonder why the Government and Police are going so hard after licenced firearms owners, whilst criminals with guns run rampant on the streets and are treated with kid gloves by the Police & Courts.

    …and why the Police scramble to arm themselves and become increasingly militarized.

    …and why the State Security apparatus focuses on “dangerous” individuals like yourself, Bomber, Nicky Hager and other social/environmental/Maori activists.

  3. End of Protests in Britain? The Controversial ‘Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill’ – TLDR News
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHr5EAep3R4
    This bill is brought in by Priti Patel who wanted to bring back the death penealty! She’s an extremist authoritarian without any understanding of human and democratic righta.

    James Royce
    2 weeks ago
    Oh my goodness, I never thought the day would come when I would take anything Teresa May said seriously but I have to hand it to her for voicing these concerns.
    Oliver Banks
    2 weeks ago
    It’s a horrifying bill, there’s no excuse for it.

    Sunrise Samurai
    1 week ago
    Exactly this home secretary is trying to pull a fast one.. They trying to strip us of our rights to protest and speak out against things that affect us. Not even mentioning it. They are sneaky dodgy little buggers. This bill must not be passed on this basis alone.
    Dan Yates
    2 weeks ago
    You know a security bill is going too far when Theresa May thinks its dangerous
    Jamie Wilson
    1 day ago
    who is the man who said “if you can’t live by the rules of society then you should live in prison?” I want to know their name so I can see what they are responsible for. That way I’ll know how much to panic about what damage their attitudes could do to society….

    The U$K has sunk to the level of the pits: a police state attacking sacred freedoms and an asset speculator paradise while people die in freezing rooms as their benefits are cut by the SS employment persecution organisation. led, in the former Cameron and May governments by Ober sturm bann Führer Ian Duncan Smith. ” Work makes Free ” when you die

    • Incredible David Lammy speech against police, crime and sentencing bill
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgbzN9Ojcf0
      Joseph stalin
      2 weeks ago
      With this law we are seeing the UK drift to further and further to a dictatorship. We must take action against this law to keep our democracy alive. I just hope that our MPs protect our civil liberties not destroy them.

      Gared Alkon
      6 days ago
      This government is lost they introduce dictatorship

  4. @ JM. You write :
    ” In other words protecting big business profits is behind these proposed law changes.”
    Yep indeedy. And that’s been the case for centuries. The rich cynically applaude the tireless endevours of their workers until the workers realise they’re being exploited and say ” Hang on a minute mate? Fuck this for a joke!? ”
    Then out comes the armed thugs.
    The biggest problem the very rich, and those who aspire to be so, appears to be is a terminal stupidity infliction. ” They’re rich so how can they be stupid?” we might ask. My answer to that would be what then would you call rich people who shit in their own nests? Brilliant? Great and creative minds at work? Or arrogant, tricky, sneaky bastards who can see the money but they don’t have the imaginative horse power to comprehend their prey being able to come to understand that they’re being fucked on the deal.
    Here’s the kicker.
    Mandatory voting.
    People would begin to understand, by forced involvement, what they’re up against and protect themselves before the thugs with clubs are released by the rich who employ them.
    I’d argue that being able to vote for those whom might best be able to protect us, especially from the shadowy secret-secret people and encourage us to prosper and evolve as the highly intellectualised species we are is the very piniacle of evolutionary sophistication which would surely lead to further enlightenment.
    That’s why we AO/NZ’ers think the very pinnacle of sophistication is to not give a fuck whether we vote or not. She’ll be right, aye Boys?
    That’s exactly like a chicken going up to the person with the axe and explaining that this thing that connects the head to the breast meat’s called a neck and all you have to do is cut it to get to the riches.
    ( Chicken says in a whisper) “Hint. Use the axe and here’s my neck?”

  5. It’s completely true. The Brits can’t look to Labour either, now that Corbyn has been ousted – Starmer is a Tory ally. He did not oppose the Spy Cops bill, which allows undercover police to commit crimes legally – small things like rape, torture and murder – and has waged war on progressive voices in the party. Some events under Starmer, like Rebecca Long-Bailey’s dismissal, were pure scandal.
    A good summary on Starmer’s recent legacy FWIW:

    “Keir Starmer Has Spent a Year Pushing Labour to the Right”
    https://jacobinmag.com/2021/04/keir-starmer-labour-party-leader-uk-left

    More on the “Spy Cops” bill:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_Human_Intelligence_Sources_(Criminal_Conduct)_Act_2021#Passage_through_Parliament

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