Tuesday 4 April 2023

More "beyond awful."

There are local government elections in a month’s time. The government is currently highlighting three of its “beyond awful” polices which are absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with local government but which are presumably designed to appeal to the worst instincts of their supporters and encourage them to turn out. 1. There is huge emphasis on their policy to discourage migrants and asylum seekers from coming here. Their three-word slogan “stop the boats” is copied from that used in Australia. The threat to disallow each and every claim for asylum made by someone who has arrived here illegally itself contravenes international international law to which the UK not only subscribes but in fact played a leading part in creating. 2. There is a threat to clamp down on “Grooming Gangs.” What are really needed are policies and resources to deal effectively with all forms of child abuse, most of which is perpetrated by individuals and within families. However, by highlighting “grooming gangs” our recollections are triggered of a prominent case of grooming by an gang of Asian men who operated in Rochdale. Hence there’s strong whiff of “dog whistle” racism. 3. “Wokism” is highlighted as an impediment to dealing with crime and all sorts of anti-social behaviour, as are the efforts of “lefty lawyers” who operate to ensure that people’s rights, not least their human rights, are respected. I take “Woke” to mean "respect of and sensitivity towards other people’s feelings.” Aided by the right-wing press, the Conservatives are , with some success, turning what might otherwise be called “politeness” into a term of abuse. I fervently hope that the Tories have misjudged the national mood, and the evidence will be their trouncing in the coming council elections, as a prelude to their eviction from office as and when they dare to call the general election

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