Theresa May has been studiously avoiding using the Conservative Party name as a label for her campaign, preferring the more presidential sounding “Theresa May’s team”. So it’s fair to judge her party by her record in office. It’s not a good one.
UPDATE: The Facebook video originally included has been taken down (censorship?), so here’s something to replace it, which was recorded after the 3 June attack on London Bridge/Borough Market:
We need an approach that uses what Blair used to call “joined up thinking” to deal with terrorism at home, and we need to stop making excuses for attacks on Muslims, whether by ourselves or others. For example, Israel needs to be held to account, and so do Blair, Bush and everyone else who initiated and carries on with the so-called “war on terror” – about as useful as the “war on drugs”. Both have seen the target increase exponentially since their inception.
Even the security services recognise the negative effect of British attacks on Muslim countries, as stated by Baroness Manningham-Buller, head of the domestic intelligence service between 2002 and 2007, speaking to the Iraq Inquiry.
We’ve all seen the rise of hate crime since the Brexit referendum result, and it’s understandable that the victims of all this hostility become uncomfortable. For EU migrants, that’s simply meant they’re more likely not to bother trying to renew existing contracts, preferring instead to return home. But for people who have nowhere to go, having been born here or resettled due to their refugee status, it’s not so simple.
Muslims have borne the brunt of hate crimes ranging from vile rants to attacks, some leading to death. It seems that a friend of the Manchester bomber (I won’t dignify this creature with a name) was stabbed to death recently. The fanatical Islamist group called Daesh in the Muslim community, and by various other names outside, for example “so-called Islamic State” by the BBC, have a ready answer to this: not just an eye for an eye, but wholesale slaughter such as we witnessed on Monday.
Our emergency services, and the people of Manchester including many Muslims rose to the challenge and in many cases put their own lives at risk to help the victims of that attack. This is the British way, of course. Alongside the sorrow for the death and suffering of so many innocents, we can feel justified pride in this, but we also need to reflect on what more we can do to help prevent these things from occurring so far as possible in the future.
Jeremy Corbyn’s speech hits the right note, I think, and certainly provides a more rational and well thought out approach than has been evidenced by the behaviour of the Tory party under May’s watch as Home Secretary and PM.
Boris Johnson, predictably, has attacked Jeremy Corbyn for pointing out that British adventurism is encouraging terrorism. He doesn’t want us to remember what he wrote in an article in the Spectator on 16 July 2005 : “As the Butler report revealed, the Joint Intelligence Committee assessment in 2003 was that a war in Iraq would increase the terror threat to Britain.”
Jeremy has reaffirmed his manifesto pledge to fund the NHS properly, so it can deal with atrocities like this and also with the day to day things that have been falling apart so spectacularly over the course of this Government.
He’s also pledged to increase police funding so that we no longer have to call in the few soldiers we have left to free the police to do their job of protecting the public, which they haven’t had the staff to do for some years. Police numbers have been reduced to such an extent that they are now only able to react to events. Preventive investigation, community policing and other important aspects of their work have had to be shelved.
It’s time to get rid of this government that places the bottom line before people’s lives, not just in the matter of security and fire services but in so many other ways. We need to get the Tories out before they completely destroy the UK and all it stands for.
Tim Farron, leader of the LibDem rump has said that his party won’t go into coalition with Labour, even though Nick Clegg (the former leader) is saying that Labour can’t win a majority on its own and the party should ‘start thinking about how to mount a proper challenge to Conservative hegemony’.
On the other hand, since the LibDems were saying that they’d never go into coalition with the Tories before 2010, this may be another LibDem lie, even if not quite on a par with the U-turn on tuition fees which destroyed much of their support in 2015.
If Alistair Carmichael’s defence (in the case brought by voters in Orkney and Shetland after the 2015 election) is to be believed, Liberal Democrats think that promises made to win an election are meaningless spin, so there’s space for a change of mind. Let’s hope so. They might be needed.