I think the essence of the current expose of our police state is in Mark Thomas’ piece-
The Metropolitan police circulated the card specifically for the Docklands biannual arms fair in London to help its officers identify “people at specific events who may instigate offences or disorder”. Which is such a flattering quote I am thinking of having it on my next tour poster. While being wanted outside the arms fair, I was legitimately inside researching a book on the subject, and uncovered four companies illegally promoting “banned” torture equipment. Questions were later asked in the Commons as to why HM Revenue & Customs and the police didn’t spot it. Though, in fairness, none of the torture traders featured on the spotter card.
It’s all about who is perceived as the enemy and who is not, and who has power and who does not. That we expect more of the police is testament to the effectiveness of corporate media and their incessant cops shows that eulogise mythic heroes with badges. They are doing a job and the job is what the people with the most capital tell them it is, now that shouldn’t be the case in a democracy.
All three units divide their work into four categories of domestic extremism: animal rights campaigns; far-right groups such as the English Defence League; “extreme leftwing” protest groups, including anti-war campaigners; and “environmental extremism” such as Climate Camp and Plane Stupid campaigns.
So as a vegetarian, anti-imperialist with an eco-socialist bent, it’s suspicious I get 3 out of 4. If I was pro-war, loved vivisection and ran a hedge fund this new secret police project would work out just peachy for me. A political secret police force, are we sure when the Berlin Wall came down that wasn’t actually a successful invasion by the Stasi? Seems only the EDL makes it as unacceptable right wing behaviour (although to be fair surely they would also qualify as special needs too? An issue for social workers as well as the police).
Concern about the environment (y’know that thing we all live in and without we’d sort of die) the beasties within it (that includes us) and a disliking of the propensity for some of the human beasties to kill and torture others so they can steal their stuff makes me a dangerous subversive, a domestic extremist. My conscience can sit a whole lot better with that than it could if say… I were a policeman. The warning from recent history is Neoliberalism leads to a police state, it can only survive through an authoritarian repression of the disempowered, poor and disenfranchised, dissent is necessarily crushed. The challenges that face the human race are vast, our own life support system is in danger but those who cause the worst damage also hold the most power and Change is naught but a brand for election marketing purposes. The repression of those with a vision of the future that is not just Mad Max writ large is suicidally stupid, but that’s not even in contention. What happens now happens because it keeps the ruling class & corporatocracy where they believe they should be and if that leaves the vast majority of the human race utterly fucked, well that’s where the whole police thing comes into play (and internationally the military). These reports show they are just diligently laying the groundwork to maintain control on behalf of the criminals who are causing this crisis, through ACPO & their familiars they are choosing to do this more enthusiastically then ever. As Chief Constables socialise with corporate CEO’s it is inevitable they identify with them, their world view and their solutions, not to mention the big wodges of cash to be had. I don’t think most people want it this way, I don’t think people of good conscience want to have to treat the police as a hostile occupying paramilitary force, just as rank and file ought to realise this is inevitable if this continues.