Blair favours more repression and more privatisation

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THE Prime Minister with his grip on office weakening fast, yesterday through the Queen’s speech brought forward his familiar and well known programme of attacks on the working class, attacks that have still not been completed after over nine years of trying.

These included a pledge to continue privatising the NHS, and a series of attacks on basic rights, alongside a pathetic attempt to gloss over the defeat of UK-US policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Lebanon and in Palestine.

It was a Queen’s speech for a government that has got stuck in a mire of its own creation, both at home and abroad, and is beginning to disintegrate after the collapse of its Iraq policy, the resignations of Blunkett, Clarke, and now Lord Sainsbury, and the police inquiry into the cash for peerages scandal.

The Queen stated: ‘My government will put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, support the police and all those responsible for the public’s safety, and proceed with the development of ID cards.’

This is to be implemented by Blair through measures to introduce non-jury courts into Britain, starting with ‘difficult’ financial cases, that juries are said to be unable to understand.

If this is introduced, we will no doubt see an attempt to extend the principle to major criminal trials on the grounds that juries cannot be trusted to ‘put victims first’, and are clinging onto the precept of innocent until proven guilty.

There is also to be another attempt to force through a measure to allow the police 90 days to hold and soften a prisoner up before he or she has to be charged or freed. The present limit is 28 days.

Under a new proposed mental health bill, people diagnosed as having personality disorders, and who have never committed any offence are to be put into secure units indefinitely, less they harm somebody.

This measure will create the conditions for detaining indefinitely people who are judged to follow ‘mad’ ideas, and act in a way that the state does not approve of, and are thus dangerous.

It is the same repressive story under a measure to reform sentences. The idea is that a criminal (no innocent until proven guilty here) whom the state deems to have caught red handed, should be encouraged to plead guilty by the fact he will lose all hope of a one third remission of his sentence if he goes to trial and is found guilty.

Under another measure, the police are to have the right to throw families out of their homes within 48 hours if they are deemed to be engaging in anti-social behaviour. This is a measure that if enacted will see the creation of a ‘people of the abyss’ as foretold by Jack London.

The Queen added in her speech: ‘My government will continue its investment in, and reforms of, the public services in order to improve further their effectiveness and to help the most vulnerable members of society. . . My government will carry through the modernisation of healthcare based on the founding principles of the National Health Service.’

The privatisation offensive is to be stepped up in the NHS and throughout the public sector, on the basis that this act of vandalism is ‘based on the founding principles of the National Health Service.’ The spin doctors have reached new heights of cynicism.

The only thing that was new in the Queen’s speech is the proposal to elevate the status of Mayor Livingstone with ‘enhanced powers for the Mayor and Assembly for London’.

On the issue of the Middle East, the Queen stated: ‘My government remains committed to peace in the Middle East.’

This is the government that has helped kill many thousands of Iraqis, and under the guise of democracy has brought in a regime based on death squads. This is the government that worked might and main to give the Israelis extra time to bomb the Lebanon. This is a government that has stood by and watched the slaughter of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. This is now called being ‘committed to peace’!

There is only one thing to be done with this government. It must be brought down, and be replaced by a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies.