The army and police – a law unto themselves


The Surrey Police re-investigation into the deaths of four teenage recruits at the Deepcut army barracks has been called a ‘farce’ by Geoff Gray, the father of one of the dead teenage soldiers, and has been sharply criticised by Devon and Cornwall Police.

In fact, Gray and the other parents of the four dead teenagers were allowed to see just three pages of the 150 page Devon and Cornwall police report of their inquiry into the Surrey reinvestigation of the four deaths.

Not only has the Devon report been effectively censored, but the Surrey police blocked the Devon police from inquiring into the issues raised by documents acquired from the Ministry of Defence by Geoff Gray under the Freedom of Information Act.

The issues raised by this new information went to the heart of the ‘mindset’ of the Surrey police, according to the Devon and Cornwall review board.

So the families and the general public will see just three pages of a 150 page report, while the inquiry was blocked from looking at the vital issues raised by the discovery of new information that had been in the hands of the MoD.

Geoff Gray has rightly condemned the Surrey police investigation as a farce. From the three page summary we know that the Devon review found that from the start the Surrey police assumed that the four had committed suicide and did not treat it as a murder inquiry.

However, the Devon inquiry was one section of the police investigating another. The Devon police allowed Surrey to block the scope of the inquiry and the report to be censored down from 150 to three pages.

No wonder Geoff Gray condemned ‘a rather cosy situation where you have got one police force investigating another police force.’

In fact, what happened is that the Surrey police covered up what happened at Deepcut for the army, and the Devon and Cornwall police swept what the Surrey police did under the carpet.

This is not the first time that we have seen the capitalist state getting away with murder.

We saw this in the Harry Stanley case, where a middle-aged Hackney resident was shot dead by police who said that they thought that a table leg he was carrying in a plastic bag was a shotgun.

After years of investigations culminating in new evidence, the CPS ruled that there should not be a prosecution and that in its opinion the killing of Stanley was ‘reasonable’.

Before that ruling we saw the murder of the young Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, by a gang of armed policemen at Stockwell tube. He was dispatched with seven shots to the head and one to the shoulder.

The Met chief of police Blair, tried to prevent any inquiry into what happened, and said that the police were right to kill him because they suspected that he was a terrorist with a bomb and that such mistakes in life and death situations could happen again in the future.

The reason for this extraordinary leniency to the state’s bodies of armed men, and its death squads, is that in a situation of a deepening crisis of capitalism, the ruling class and its government needs this deadly capitalist state to maintain its rule. This capitalist state must be kept happy and loyal. Therefore it must have the right to shoot-to-kill and have immunity from prosecution.

Nobody will stand trial for the Deepcut killings, or for the murders of Harry Stanley or Jean Charles de Menezes.

The only way to deal with this murderous capitalist state, and the ruling class that stands behind it, is through the organisation of a socialist revolution that will smash the capitalist state and go forward to a workers’ state that will defend the working class and a socialist society.