Manchester shows that we need more than perceived Tory strength
This government document, unearthed by former diplomat Craig Murray, details the extent of cuts to policing under the Tories, particularly in the period when Theresa May was Home Secretary.
Look at the steady decline in officer strength since she took over in 2010.
She was warned that these cuts would have negative consequences.
In 2015, this Greater Manchester Police Officer stood up and told May about the dangers. He was a community cop who quit due to the cuts making it difficult for people like him to do the job properly.
He advised May that her decisions put national security at risk.
Her response had the appearance of a strong one.
Instead of taking on board the advice of someone who clearly knew what he was talking about, she insisted that she was right and accused him of scaremongering. Sticking firmly to your guns does look strong but is it the best way to lead?
We know that the Manchester arena bomber Ramadan Abedi fits the pattern of most home grown islamists.
A recently radicalised second generation immigrant and a petty criminal with nothing to lose. We know that he had recently travelled to Syria and Lybia. We know that people within his community had noticed that he was acting strangely and had become conspicuously more extreme. We know that the public had warned the police about radicalisation within the Libyan community in Manchester.
Obviously you can’t stop every terror attack but you have to think that if Theresa May had listened to the Manchester Community Cop in 2015, instead of attacking him, then this attack would have been much less likely.
May would probably justify cutting police numbers by saying that she had to make tough choices due to budget cuts. However, the country and the Conservative party always seem to find money to do things that experts agree exacerbate the terror problem. Surely the money used to bomb countries like Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq could have been better spent here in the UK on such things as community policing?
Instead, western intervention in these troubled countries has left vacuums in which radicalism flourishes. The plight of ordinary Muslims in these countries is a cause that forms part of the recipe for creating our homegrown radicals.
Jeremey Corbyn working with the SNP is the coalition of chaos the Tories want you to fear.
Two political forces that have over the years been consistent in warning us that invading Middle Eastern countries with little justification and with no exit plan can only lead to more carnage at home and abroad. You only need to look at the state of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria to understand they were right.
Both Corbyn and the SNP would save money on failed military adventurism and they say they would spend some of it on boosting community policing.
The SNP are stronger on policing than the Tories. In Scotland there has been no dramatic drop in police officer strength.
The conservative government had hoped to win this election by painting themselves as strong and stable while painting the alternative as a coalition of chaos.
However, what they say is strong is really just appearing tough while mindlessly plodding on with failed policies even when experts tell them these policies are damaging. Not just on security, but I would argue in other areas like the NHS, austerity and social security.
You can see why the more thoughtful and restrained approach of the likes of Corbyn is often portrayed as weaker.
In times of trouble there is a reassurance in seeing people make seemingly powerful decisions. However being strong says nothing about the quality of decision making and the consequences they have. On security May’s approach was short-term thinking and as the Manchester cop said she has ultimately put us at risk.
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