Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019


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#55064
Kim Sanders-Fisher
Guest

Clark – In her appointed role as the Government’s Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch is in the most influential position to speak up and commit to making a significant difference in response to the “Black Lives Matter” protests, but as her recent performance in the Commons clearly illustrated she is either woefully out of touch or well muzzled by Johnson’s toxic Tory cabal. Independent input or rebelion is instantly quashed; Johnson ruthlessly dispensed with veteran MPs who defied the Tory whip, despite totally eviscerating his slim majority. He confidently launched the Covert 2019 Rigged Election relying on Dominic Cummings to mastermind the cruel deception with military grade PsyOps and his VICS Voter Intention Collection System to quantify and target where to steal votes for 80 seats exactly as promised. That huge stolen majority enables Boris Johnson to threaten and bully dissenting voices, but his glory days as PM depend on the real power behind the dictatorship: firing Cummings risks his bringing down the Government!

If she is not muzzled into silent approval of Government policies, possibly through fear of being ousted from her post, possibly too hopelessly out of touch to know or even care about the BAME community, what could Kemi Badenoch do to genuinely contribute in the ongoing struggle against racism in the UK? “A powerful new video exposes the UK’s ‘racist’ and ‘most brutal’ law” according to a shocking Article in the Canary that highlights the increasing racially motivated abuse of section 60 powers, the injustice of ‘Joint Enterprise’ and Indeterminate Sentencing. The Canary report, “Protests continue around the world to challenge the abhorrent extent of systemic and institutional racism. Now, conscious rapper and poet Potent Whisper has released a new video. This exposes a further layer of racism within our legal system. Campaigners have called ‘joint enterprise’ “racist” and the UK’s “most brutal law”. It disproportionately affects too many young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people.”

According to the Canary, “Under joint enterprise, one or more people can be found guilty of a crime committed by another person.” The describe it as “highly controversial.” They point to a support organization, “Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) is a group that works with families of young people who’ve been falsely imprisoned via the application of joint enterprise law. The group notes, “It’s been used to issue ‘mandatory life sentences’ for crimes committed by other people. Significantly, the media also fuels a: shared incorrect narrative that the Joint Enterprise doctrine is about gangs, broken Britain and the ‘alleged’ feral youth that needs to be served justice.” This is a massive injustice disproportionately targeting minorities that Badenoch could take on as her personal crusade.

The Canary report, “As a result: People can be wrongly charged and convicted when they have been within close proximity of a crime, have a random connection with the actual perpetrator or via text or mistaken phone call or they might not even have been at the scene of the crime.” The Canary quote JENGbA co-founder Jan Cunliffe: “We’ve been working to prove that the joint enterprise law is wrong and that it’s racist. We have the evidence. But we’ve been ignored by the government for the last ten years. This is the most brutal law we’ve got. We’ve got children as young as 12 who’ve been given life sentences for a murder that they didn’t commit. The sentences are huge too. We’re not talking three or four years, we’re talking as big as 35 years. But, most worryingly, studies show that the doctrine is disproportionately used to criminalise young BAME people – young Black men in particular.”

The Canary cite evidence of, “Legitimized Racism… In 2016, a study commissioned by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies examined the disproportionate criminalisation of BAME people in the UK legal system. The findings revealed that ‘prosecutors regularly rely on racial stereotypes’ in cases with Black defendants. This was used to influence juries, especially in building joint enterprise cases. For example: prosecution teams were reported as being more likely to appropriate discourses of ‘gang insignia’ and music videos or lyrics, particularly ‘hip hop’ and ‘rap’ genres, as a way of building a JE [joint enterprise] case against BAME prisoners.”

According to the Canary, “The report also examines the ways that targeting young BAME people as gang members is ‘a result of racialised policing practices, not because of the objective risk they pose’ They say, Half of those questioned in this study were not present at the scene of the offence”. It found that “the ‘gangs’ discourse” was frequently used against BAME defendants, but rarely against white people. Yet: Despite featuring heavily in gang databases, young black and minority ethnic people do not appear to be responsible for most serious violence in their areas. Indeed, official data illustrates that the majority of successful prosecutions for serious violence are of white people.” This injustice continues despite being recognized at the highest levels, The Canary say that, “A 2016 Supreme Court ruling found that joint enterprise resulted in wrongful convictions. But this hasn’t ended the practice or dealt with the systemic racism in policing and UK criminal law.” A JENGbA representative explained: “In 2016, it was acknowledged that the law was wrong. But nothing’s been done to change it. Nothing’s been done to release those prisoners that were convicted. The vast majority of people we support are Black and ethnic minorities.”

The Canary also say that, “Even some senior police officers think that ‘institutional racism still plagues policing’. After hearing Potent Whisper’s latest poem, Benjamin Zephaniah said: ‘Word up. I am responsible for what I do. If joint enterprise was a fair thing then we should prosecute all the cops who stand by and watch as their friends kill our friends. We should prosecute all those politicians who sell arms to warmongers all over the world to kill innocent people and those who stand by and do nothing about the high numbers of black people being killed by Covid-19. They are all involved in an enterprise that leads to the deaths of many. Joint enterprise is lazy policing. Resist’.” I would have preferred to include the Picture of this Text, but did not know how to imbed; “Powerful to see Professor Benjamin Zephaniah speak about Joint Enterprise and identify the *real* criminals in society.”

The Canary insists that, “Drawing attention to the unjust and racist aspects of joint enterprise is vital. As Black Lives Matter protests continue, it’s now more important than ever.” They quote Cunliffe who said that, “this law underpins a significant amount of anger in the UK and is “very important as part of these protests”. She continued: “This is the worst bit of law that this country has right now. And it’s coming from the top. Every agency in this country that is supposed to protect us is involved. It’s good to fight racism at ground level, but this is racism right at the top. We need to get the public to realise that this is where it’s coming from and this is what Black Lives Matter is fighting against. It’s the institutional racism, the systematic racism and that’s the thing that most people don’t realise even exists.” I would say that Kemi Badenoch has her work cut out for her and it is time she rolled up her sleeves and got started on addressing the long neglected injustices suffered by the BAME community.

Alarm bells were already ringing last year when a Canary Article entitled, “Boris Johnson’s latest ‘supremely ruthless’ move could trigger violent unrest.” The say that, “Boris Johnson’s latest claim ‘to come down hard on crime’ has caused widespread concern. Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, for example, slammed his approach as ‘draconian’. She also warned it had the potential to trigger unrest and riots. Johnson announced plans to “make criminals afraid” in the Mail on Sunday. In addition to investing £2.5bn for an additional 10,000 prison places, Johnson’s also extending Section 60 (S 60) stop and search powers for police.”

The Canary explain Section 60 as, “part of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, which was allegedly designed “to provide an exceptional [police] response to anticipated violence”. As policing campaign group StopWatch noted, it can also “curtail people’s civil liberties at a moment’s notice”. However they note that, “Even before Johnson’s announcement, June figures showed a ‘five-fold increase in the number of stop and searches’ in London alone.” They cite the Guardian reporting that, “Searches under section 60 had increased in the capital from 1,836 in 2017-18 to 9,599 in 2018-19. In addition, figures showed a 219% rise in ‘authorised S 60 orders’,” warning that, “Johnson has now extended those powers. A further 8,000 police officers can stop and search people; and they only need authorisation from an inspector, rather than a senior inspector.”

The Canary cites a Report from, “the all-parliamentary group on knife crime found, there are direct links between ‘cuts to youth services and the country’s knife crime epidemic’. It stated: Analysis of council youth service budgets and knife crime data since 2014 has found areas suffering the largest cuts to spending on young people have seen bigger increases in knife crime” They also quote, “Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said this was ‘alarming but sadly unsurprising’ …Taking away youth workers and safe spaces in the community contributes to a ‘poverty of hope’ among young people who see little or no chance of a positive future.” The phrase used to be “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” in reality our protests to this ruthless Tory Government should include a new mantra, “It was the Austerity, Stupid!”

At one point during the time I was living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida I had a graphic artist volunteering his time helping me to create the logo for ‘Team ProMaxi’ which was my International racing crew hoping to gain sponsorship to compete in the 93/94 Whitbread Round the World Race. He was a very talented, IT savvy young man who channelled all of his energy and funding into his start-up business, but as a darkly complected Puerto Rican male who drove a slightly dilapidated car, he was constantly getting stopped by police. At first I thought that he might actually have poor driving skills, but the frequency of these annoying traffic stops started to bother me as it aroused memories of a single disquieting incident in my own past. Because police harassment didn’t affect me personally on a constant basis I was naive to the reality of racial profiling. Perhaps through aspects of her background, Badenoch is lucky enough to be personally removed from ever having experienced racial targeting in the UK: she needs enlightening.

One personal experience alone was all it took to jolt me to my senses regarding police targeting in Fort Lauderdale. Even after it got dark I used to walk everywhere and one evening I was on my way home carrying two bags of groceries just emerging from a shortcut alleyway when a gold coloured van emerged from behind. I tried to ignore the men in the van not realizing that it was a police vehicle. Suddenly two police officers leapt out of the van and took up a very menacing stance brandishing truncheons and implying they would use them in a heartbeat. Most people in the US drive everywhere so the officers thought I was a helpless, homeless, bag lady they could harass; without any explanation they wanted to take me down to the police station. I was just a couple of blocks from my home, but they didn’t even want to let me go that far and they refused to contact my husband who was expecting my return. It is easy to become irate during an experience like this when officers deliberately try to provoke outrage.

The police officers tried claiming they were protecting the businesses that backed onto that ally, but we had actually rented an office on that same block so I pulled out a card wallet and produced my business card. The officers were stunned; at that moment I stopped being a vulnerable potential victim of police harassment an easy target as a ‘bag lady.’ I had endured their grilling and intimidation with threats of violence for at least thirty agonizing minutes before they backed down; I was both furious and shaking with fear when I got home. That night I fit the profile of an easy target and that was the only requirement for the police to zero in on me. Just one harrowing altercation was enough to leave me feeling so terrified and insecure I honestly considered leaving the country. It is hard to imagine what it must be like for young black men who face this experience on a regular basis. That was in America, but we have this same bigoted attitude of targeting the vulnerable here in the UK and it sickens me.

There are another group of minority citizens who might not feel well represented by Badenoch in my analysis of “could do better.” An Article in the Independent critical of her voting record appeared right after Boris Johnson formed his mostly ‘pale, male and stale’ Cabinet of hyper compliant Tory MPs, all sworn to absolute loyalty and adherence to alt-right voting obedience. Commenting on his selection of Badenoch they informed us that, “The government’s newly appointed junior minister for equalities has never voted on equal gay rights or gay marriage in her three years as an MP, it has emerged. Following Boris Johnson’s reshuffle, Kemi Badenoch is working on policy for women and LGBT+ people – but she has abstained on every Commons vote on the issue. In July 2019, the Saffron Walden MP abstained from a vote on Northern Ireland’s extensions of “Marriage of Same-Sex Couples” and “Marriage and Civil Partnerships” for same sex people. Both of these successfully passed through the Houses.”

In my 8th of June Post #54793, which I warn is quite lengthy, there is a link to the full Hansard transcript of, “Public Health England review; Covid 19 disparities.” In my summation of her performance I say that, “Responding for the Tory Government Keri Badenoch started into her statement with the words, ‘As a black woman and the Equalities Minister,’ before commenting on her reaction to the George Floyd case in the US. Rather than establishing concern, her remarks bore the hallmark of a ‘they’re worse than we are’ pitch. It was not a confident start to a speech that made a familiar veiled request not to criticize the Government and meandered through continued inaction to culminate in the need for further review.”

The most stunning revelation from the debate was from the SNP’s Joanna Cherry who revealed that a similar report in Scotland She said that, “On 20th May, the Scottish Government published Public Health Scotland’s preliminary analysis, which suggested that the proportion of BAME patients among those seriously ill with Covid is no higher than the proportion in the Scottish population generally.” While she admitted the study was not particularly comprehensive and the findings were therefore preliminary this lack of disparity contrasts sharply with the UK and should provide a way to rapidly assess the problem areas that need to be addressed in England. The devolved Government in Scotland has tried valiantly to diminish and counteract the punitive impact on the most vulnerable that have been caused by ten years of Tory austerity policies. Glasgow took an innovative approach to rampant knife crime that reduced violence in the city, but there are undoubtedly other policy differences a humane Government should emulate.

During the debate Badenoch confidently asserted her opinion that, “This is one of the best countries in the world to be a black person” and at one point she described the response of a Labour MP as “confected outrage.” I highlighted the input from Labour MP Zarah Sultana who said, “The coronavirus does not discriminate, but the system in which it is spreading does. Higher rates of poverty, overcrowded housing, precarious work and jobs on the frontline mean that if you are black or Asian you are more likely to catch the virus and to be hit worse if you do. ‘Black lives matter’ is not a slogan. We are owed more than confirmation that our communities are suffering; we are owed justice. Will the Minister commit to a race equality strategy covering all Whitehall Departments, so that we can rebuild by tackling the underlying inequalities and systemic injustice that coronavirus has so brutally laid bare?”

Kemi Badenoch’s response was truly staggering in light of the Government’s appalling high death toll track record dealing with Covid 19, she said, “I am not going to take any lessons from the hon. Lady on race and what I should be doing on that. I think the Government have a record to be proud of….” Her aggressively defensive reply was typical of the Tory double-down on delusion public response. Keep repeating how proud you are of the Tory Government’s chronic mismanagement of the Covid 19 crisis and just megaphone your unquestioning support for Johnsons inept and downright dangerous leadership or you will be replaced with a more compliant MP eager to climb the greasy pole into a Ministerial position. Threaten and bully dissenting voices, no independent thinking is allowed; that is the key to a strong dictatorship, but Boris Johnson’s Achilles heel is Dominic Cummings. He knows too much about the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; if he’s ousted he could expose the truth and bring down this Government. We need to keep the pressure up; DO NOT MOVE ON!