Look Left – Police double tragedy, Clegg’s fees apology, and Romney’s latest gaffe

Shamik Das looks back at the week’s politics, including our progressive, regressive and evidence of the week.


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• The nation was shocked by the murder of two police officers in Manchester this week.

The killing of Police Constables Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone prompted fresh debate on whether Britain’s police should be armed, and if the death penalty should be brought back for cop killers.

On Left Foot Forward today, James Hallwood makes the arguments against arming our police, pointing to statistics and examples from around the world, most notably the US, where 166 police officers died from gunfire last year alone.

And in terms of civilian deaths, in 2009, US police recorded 414 ‘justifiable homicides’, while the British police have killed 54 people since 1990. See here for more.

Meanwhile on the death penalty debate, Christopher Wilcock makes the case against bringing it back, again highlighting the lessons learned from the States; see here for more.

• Nick Clegg apologised yesterday for the tuition fees pledge – that’s an apology for making the promise in the first place, not one for the actual policy.

As political mea culpas go, in terms of timing, sincerity, believability and what he was actually apologising for, it has been greeted with a mixture of contempt, anger, renewed rage about fees (which had died down a little), and bemusement.

In essence, he seemed to be saying Liberal Democrat policy (which, incredulously, still states an “ambition to phase out fees” – see here) and the Lib Dem manifesto are worthless. Is an inability to ever deliver true of all Lib Dem policies? What, therefore, is the point of them even having a distinct manifesto if they are unwilling to fight for their convictions in coalition negotiations?

On Left Foot Forward today, we’ve a list of some of the other Lib Dem policy failures, which Mr Clegg might consider apologising for, including the longest double-dip recession since WW2, the million young unemployed; the tax cut for millionaires (while slashing services for the poor); and the cutting away at the heart of the NHS.

See here for more, including a hilarious auto-tune of the apology.

• In the US election race, Mitt Romney made yet another campaign gaffe.

The Republican Presidential candidate was secretly filmed saying 47 per cent of Americans are “people who pay no income tax”. As Ben Mackay illustrated on Left Foot Forward, Romney’s comments on ‘Federal Income Tax’ are as misguided as they were untimely.

See here for more on the Romney gaffe, and check out our latest must-read US election campaign digests by Larry Smith here and here; the next one will be up on LFF on Monday.

Progressive of the week:

Former Labour cabinet minister David Blunkett MP, whose new pamphlet, “In Defence of Politics Revisited”, which argues for the need to change how we do politics, was published this week.

See here for more.

Regressive of the week:

Lord Ashcroft, Tory donor and tax dodger, who this week demanded the slashing of the overseas aid budget, a budget which, no thanks to selfish, unconscionable tax avoiders like him, will put more than 15 million children in school, provide more than 80 million children with vaccines against life-threatening diseases, and ensure better nutrition for more than 9 million people over the next four years.

See here for more.

Evidence of the week:

The new report by Children England, “Perfect Storms: An analysis of the operating conditions for the children, young people and families voluntary sector” (pdf), published this week.

It is the first time a report has modelled and provided case studies showing the cumulative impact of the financial crisis and subsequent austerity measures on children’s charities and their statutory partners. It describes two worrying and interrelated ‘perfect storms’ affecting the voluntary and public sectors, and those they support.

See here for more.

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14 Responses to “Look Left – Police double tragedy, Clegg’s fees apology, and Romney’s latest gaffe”

  1. treborc1

    Why not look at France or Germany both carry side arms and sub machine pistols, but nope to get the argument over we always seem to look at American, that’s because the UK sees it’s self as American not EU.

    Most of the EU police forces will have either the whole force armed all with have major units which are armed, the problem is in the UK we armed groups of mainly ex Military officers with weapons, and sadly they have proved in some cases to be more soldier then police officer shoot first then lie like hell about running away jumping over barriers with a large back pack.

    Should our police be armed well I believe the time is right as drug gangs seem to be more interested in profits money then life.

  2. Newsbot9

    Because there is already very low levels of trust, you want to finish it off, and make communities other than the White (c)hristian one feel menaced by not only a gang but an armed gang.

    That you use the excuse of drugs, when neoprohibitionist approaches do major economic damage and create violence is pathetic. (i favour, and have for years, Portugal’s harm minimisation approach)

  3. gev

    another couple of murders committed by the immigrant community. if Dale Cregan had been in Ireland where he belongs, those 2 police would be alive today.

  4. fsvdv

    indigenous english people should be allowed to go around armed to the teeth. everyone else should lump it or fuck off.

  5. Newsbot9

    Great, then you can fuck off! You’re certainly not from around here, given how much you hate Britain.

  6. gt5g4

    i actually like it round here. too many fucking socialists mind. that would soon be sorted if the english were tooled up.

  7. Newsbot9

    Ah yes, when your far right fanatics went on your killing spree, you’d murder anyone with views different from your party line. You’re a good Orwellian.

  8. erg

    given that socialism murdered 200 million people last century I would have thought killing a socialist is, at worst is self defence and at best civic duty

  9. Newsbot9

    Socialism huh? Well, quite apart from the fact that your figures are wrong, I’m no kind of Socialist. So the relevance to me is?

    And of course you think mass murder is your duty, like all good Neo-Fachists.

  10. gter

    i can’t recall calling you a socialist. and the numbers are wrong? what are they then? is it really worth quibbling over the precise number of deaths caused by the worlds most homicidal belief system?

    self defence is not murder. it’s self defence

    when the RAF bombed Dresden, it wasn’t murder it was self-defence. breaking the industrial might that the german socialists relied upon for their war machine

  11. Newsbot9

    You can’t recall your own posts then, and as usual you are lumping everything outside your intolerant cult into “socialist”, and ignoring history.

    And no, given you’ve called for murdering all but a few tens of thousands of people, you’re far more homicidal.

    As ever, right wing fanatics like you have to try to revise history to deny that your far right Neo-Nazi views are not, in fact, direct descendants of the fat right Nazi ideology. (Alternately, you are claiming that you so far to the right of the Nazis that they appear left wing to you…)

    (And no, I don’t give a flying horseshoe about the name issue, it was as they said regretted and stood for nationalism in the face of Communism)

    This is going to have to go to the police at this stage given your calls for genocide. You are an evident risk to normal people, and my current job has certain requirements about protecting the public.

  12. Newsbot9

    And if you posting on the far right sites where you belonged, immigrants like you wouldn’t be polluting these message boards. Go home, immigrant.

  13. gteg


  14. Newsbot9

    Yes, you are.

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