Sunday, 16 June 2024

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Liberal Worker Debate (1) – How Should Workers View Stop & Search?

WELCOME TO the first debate hosted by Liberal Worker – the voice of National Liberal Trade Unionists. As many readers may know, supporters of the NLTU are different from many of our fellow trade unionists in that we’re not socialists (or capitalists). Neither are we particularly ‘into’ class definitions. We feel that class distinction has become increasingly blurred. Also to simply define someone by the class is very restrictive: living, breathing human beings are purely described in economic terms and everything else – say, their character or natural talents – count for nothing. Despite this, as trade unionists, we’re naturally very interested in the lives and well-being of ordinary working folks.

With the above in mind, a comrade has brought our attention to the following untitled article which was published way back in July by the Independent Working Class Association. According to the IWCA, it was established ‘to promote and celebrate the political independence of the working class, and to pursue the political and economic interests of that class with no consideration for, and regardless of, the consequences to the existing political and economic structures.’

The IWCA seem to be more in tune with ordinary working folks and aren’t afraid to talk about real social issues like immigration, anti-social behaviour and drugs. They are miles away from the trendy, metropolitan ‘middle-class champagne socialists’ who seemed to have taken over the Labour Party. These are just a couple of reasons why we’re happy to reproduce an article from their Facebook page which effectively looks at black knife crime in London knife crime, and the left’s insane Politically Correct reaction to it. This article will also be posted up on the National Liberal Trade Unionist Facebook page –– and we’d invite our readers to post any comments up once they it.

Liberal Worker Debate (1) – How Should Workers View Stop & Search?

London’s Metropolitan Police have produced this graphic to address knife crime in the capital. Whilst the message is clear enough, Liberal Worker believes that the vast majority of ordinary working folk would support much tougher measures such as Stop & Search. What do you think?

SINCE 1 June there have been over 40 murder attempts in London ending in 12 fatalities. Yet if the figures are to be believed there has been a significant drop in knife crime since the re-introduction of stop and search. Yet the left continue to express their disgust at the use of the tactic. As an alternative they point to a supposedly more enlightened approach pioneered in Glasgow, but in deliberately ignoring one critical component, they again betray the minority ethnic communities they claim to cherish.


A week before the 2011 riots erupted, police went through 32 doors on the Pembury estate in Hackney in just one morning. Gang members were the target, the enormity of the operation illustrating both the scale of the problem and the surveillance and other resources required to combat it. And that was just one estate. A similar focus was required for many others across London. So in the run up to the shooting by police of Mark Duggan it was this focus that the gang leaders were increasingly unhappy with. Thus the killing became the catalyst for the gangs to hit back in a coordinated show of force. Coordinated in the sense that a truce was declared between the gangs that lasted for the duration of what the IWCA described at the time as a ‘lumpen rebellion’.


In the aftermath, the Government declared ‘war on the gangs’ while the IWCA analysis predicted the authorities had ‘learned their lesson’. And so it proved. According to the Times, stop and search “was all but abandoned after Theresa May, as home secretary, accepted findings that it was partly to blame for the riots”. Abandoned alongside the tactic were black working class communities, easy prey for the next generation of gangsters and killers (but then who speaks for them?). Inevitably, with the police disabled, the stabbings and shootings began to increase. A process which was further accelerated under new Mayor Sadiq Khan, who on the campaign trail had infamously promised to ‘do all in his power to further cut its use’.


But with stabbings quickly hitting record numbers, stop and search plus Section 60 notices (whereby police can stop and search without reasonable excuse across entire areas) were ushered back in. Since then, the use of the new powers has increased by 400 per cent, with a consequent 30 per cent reduction in killings and a 20 per cent fall in knife injuries to under-25s in the year to April.

Now, in a circular argument “fears have been raised of backlash over stop and search” according to a headline in the Times, suggesting the relative success of the policy may lead to further unrest. This is not only to confuse cause and effect, but also to muddle priorities. A condition Hackney Labour councillor Mete Coban represents in an effortless way. Tweeting from Stratford on June 16 he wrote: “Just came across 4 police officers at Stratford Station searching 2 young black boys for no reason. When I asked them [police], why are you searching them, one of them told me, ‘I have to stop these people getting stabbed’. This cannot be our response to knife crime. Disgusted.”

“Does Mete think that Section 60 orders are a more significant problem than gangland stabbings? Does he think stop and search is somehow the root cause of the knife crime problems?” inquires journalist Mary Wakefield. Yes, is the answer: because as it is already accepted in liberal circles that stop and search aligned with racial profiling was one of the root causes for the riots in 2011, it is not much of a stretch to seeing stop and search as the root cause for knife crime as well. Or as Katrina French of the monitoring group Stopwatch sees it: “Blanket Section 60 orders are an admission that you don’t know what is going on. It’s more about social control than crime prevention”. Of course when the idea of a police database was set up to allow them to know precisely ‘what is going on’, howls of “disproportionate” emanated from the same quarter. A similar puerility infers that as ‘social control’ is the authorities’ real objective, another gang orchestrated rampage which mainly involved looting, robbery, and arson would not only be justified but embraced as politically progressive.


If we challenge the Metes and Katrinas as to what they would consider a more proportionate response to the daily round of butchery, they will gleefully point to the Glasgow model where, according to liberal mythology, a cuddlier strategy has proven to be an overwhelming success. This is to close your eyes to one significant caveat. When the Violence Reduction Unit was set up in Glasgow in 2005, stop and search was regarded as paramount. By 2010 the tactic was being employed four times more than in England, and sentences for being caught in possession more than doubled to 5 years in jail.


Moreover, as recently released Scottish government figures demonstrate, it was when stop and search was at its most intense that serious assaults and attempted murders showed the most dramatic decline. In short, it was only after the habitual carriers had been jailed or otherwise dissuaded that the more holistic, community based approach had a chance to bed in. Naturally, the effective targeting of the habitual carrier is precisely what liberals are set against.


London has, of course, a number of aggravating factors (the sheer size of the place, sensitivity surrounding the ethnicity of victims and perpetrators alike, plus the mammoth profits from the drugs trade would all need to be factored in), but the adoption of the innovative hard line approach pioneered in Glasgow still looks like the most practical policy not only for the capital at present but for other English metropolitan areas as well. As for the madness assailing a left who blithely step over still warm bodies to shout ‘institutional racism’, there is however no legislative remedy.

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