HOME Office minister Blears has had a strenuous week.
On the one hand she has been working to support British Transport Police Chief Johnston. He said that his officers would not be stopping and searching ‘white grandmothers’, revealing the racist nature of police policy. On the other hand, Blears has been stressing to the Asian community that the government does not support racial targeting of ‘terrorist suspects’.
She has been working strenuously and assuring the police that she will back any action that they take to uncover suicide bombers, while she has been telling the Asian community that she only supports intelligence driven targeting.
With the extensive powers that the police now have, any hint of intelligence concerning a bomber does not lead to a stop-and-search. It leads to an armed police raid, a siege, the suspect being brought out of their place of residence either dead or naked, and ready to be taken either to the morgue or to Paddington Green police station for 14 days of interrogation.
Johnston, who said that his officers would not be stopping and searching white grannies, was emphasising that they would be stopping Asian youths, adults, and even grandmothers on the basis that as Asians, and believers in Islam, they were terrorist suspects.
Last Sunday Blears seeking to defend the police chief’s approach said: ‘What it means is if intelligence in a particular area tells you that you’re looking for somebody of a particular description, perhaps with particular clothing on, then you are clearly going to exercise that power in that way.’
The police will say that this profile equals any Asian with a rucksack, bulky clothing or a bag.
When meeting Asians in Oldham, Blears was adamant that ‘counter-terrorism powers are not targeting any community in particular, but are targeting terrorists’.
However, PM Blair’s statements that IRA terrorists were civilised and could be negotiated with while Islamic terrorists were not and could not be negotiated with, has set the standard for targeting.
She added on the use of special powers: ‘That is why they have got to be intelligence led and used proportionally, fairly and in a non-discriminatory way.’
Unfortunately, PM Blair and Police Chief Blair have already established that the target is Islamic, dangerous beyond belief, and could be shot dead on grounds of suspicion.
Even Asian Labour councillors, after their meeting with Blears, admitted that the targeting of Asian people was police policy, and were fearful of what it would lead to.
Labour has no answer to the concerns of the Asian and Islamic communities that they are being targeted, because the source of the terrorist attacks in Britain is Blair’s foreign policy.
Its foreign policy in Iraq is a direct incitement to terrorism at home. Since this foreign policy is here to stay, Labour’s answer to the crisis is to send in the capitalist state with instructions to use any means that is necessary, to deal with a crisis that it knows is just beginning.
Labour’s policy however opens up the door for the Tory right. Shadow Home Secretary Davis is demanding that the Islamic communities must be instructed to integrate and become British.
It will not be long before others in both the Labour and Tory parties call for those who won’t, to be deported. This is where Blair’s policy leads.
The only solution to this crisis is for the trade unions to bring down the Blair government, and bring in a workers government that will withdraw the troops from Iraq and bring in socialism at home.