So, let’s try to get this straight because it’s getting a bit complicated now
Members of the UK government, including the actual prime minister broke lockdown laws that they themselves made by having parties at No.10, driving to Durham while infected and so on.
At the same time, families up and down the country were separated by those lockdown laws that Johnson and co had made and were themselves breaking, and had to suffer losing relatives and friends without being able to say goodbye or go to their funerals.
During lockdown Patsy Stevenson and others were arrested by the Metropolitan police for holding a vigil for Sarah Everard — who had been murdered by a serving member of the Metropolitan police, who lured her to her death by claiming she was breaking lockdown laws — for contravening the government’s lockdown laws, the same lockdown laws that members of the government that had made them were breaking.
Following complaints against the police that their response to the Sarah Everard vigil were inappropriate, the police were investigated by the police who exonerated the police.
In the months after her arrest, Patsy Stevenson experienced online intimidation and harassment from serving members of the police. The police promised to investigate and sanction inappropriate behaviour by members of the police, none of whom were apparently sanctioned.
And then the very force that had counted the murderer of Sarah Everard in its ranks and arrested the women on the peaceful vigil, declined to investigate the prime minister and his people over any of their parties, citing lack of evidence despite there being numerous witnesses, photographs, and video recordings of the events — just as the Met and other police forces had earlier declined to prosecute the prime minister’s adviser Dominic Cummings for his lockdown violations.
And the police watchdog, which was appointed by the police to investigate complaints against the police, rejected complaints against the police that they they failed to investigate the lockdown-violating parties at No.10.
Johnson’s partying is, however, being investigated by an independent investigator (Sue Gray) who isn’t independent because she was appointed by Johnson.
Meanwhile, this government that had failed to hold itself to its own laws decided to demonstrate its commitment to law and order by persecuting someone who had broken no laws. They did this by agreeing to extradite Julian Assange to the US. Assange has broken no laws within US jurisdiction and is not a US citizen and has been held in British prisons without charge long after the expiration of his sentence for bail dodging.
Assange’s crime is of course journalism that embarrasses the powers that be. However, the powers that be, once again in the form of Johnson’s government, are fixing the inconvenience of embarrassing journalism by making it punishable by 14 years in prison.
And while fixing the problem of freedom of speech by locking up journalists, the same government is fixing the problem of being embarrassed by freedom of speech as exercised through protest by essentially outlawing protest. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will make holding placards, signs, glue, making a noise, protesting in a public space, etc, etc, punishable by up to 51 months in prison and/or an unlimited fine, and will give the police power to ban anyone they (don’t) like from attending protests about anything ever. This bill would have criminalised the Suffragettes campaign for women’s voting rights.
The government of the UK, which is extraditing Assange for his journalism and is clamping down on free speech at home is joining the government of the US, who claims Assange for embarrassing it by exposing its war crimes, and which still holds prisoners without trial at Guantanamo, are joining together for a diplomatic boycott of China’s winter Olympics as a protest over that country’s human rights abuses.
The UK government, which is joining the US in its diplomatic boycott of China, has proposed keeping asylum seekers and refugees in offshore internment camps in the Falkland Islands and has just made about 6,000,000 people second-class citizens through the nationality and borders bill who may now lose their nationality at the drop of a bureaucratic hat.
This, incidentally, is in addition to an unknown number of UK nationals who were effectively made second class citizens by the British Nationality Act of 1981, about whom we hear nothing, and in addition to the arbitrary deportations of the Windrush people.
At the same time, the Grand Ol’ Duke of York, Prince Andrew, peer of the realm, dipstick of royal proportions, has not flown to the United States where he has been accused of real crimes on US soil and neither the US nor UK governments who are holding Assange without trial and extraditing him for no crime, are extraditing the prince, nor even urging him to go do the right thing. Andrew, in the face of answering for his actions in a US court, is clinging on to the UK’s shores as if they were one of the teenagers he was abusing.
So, have I got that actually straight, because, you know, a chap could be forgiven for thinking that this was all totally screwed up.
[This is an edited and updated version of the story originally posted here titled ‘Clear as Poop …’]