Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17

AlfRodchenko

Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

14

Now, there is – sad to say – an ugly truth here.

These panics were not wholly unfounded.

Crime was high in the 80s, and football

hooliganism was a genuine problem; Heysel

happened just four years before Hillsborough.

However, a pound of fact became a ton of

moral panic and class hatred.

It’s in this context that we should interpret

the slanders against the Hillsborough

victims by Tories such as Irvine Patnick,

Bernard Ingham and Kelvin Mackenzie.

Their fear and hatred of working people

had reached such feverish heights that they

were prepared to believe them capable of

robbing the dead.

In all these cases, the police were brutal

enforcers of this class-based hatred – and

unlawfully so. After the battle of Stonehenge

in 1985 Wiltshire Police were found guilty of

ABH, false imprisonment and wrongful arrest.

And after Orgreave South Yorkshire Police –

them again – paid £500,000 compensation

for assault, unlawful arrest and malicious

prosecution. As James Doran says:

The British state is not a neutral body

which enforces the rule of law - it is a set

of social relations which uphold the rule

of the capital. Law is a matter of struggle

- ordinary people are automatically

subject to the discipline of the repressive

apparatus of the state.

All this poses a question. Have things really

changed? Of course, the police and Tories

have much better PR than they did then.

But is it really a coincidence that the police

still turn up mob-handed to demos whilst

giving a free ride to corporate crime and

asset stripping? When the cameras are off

and they are behind closed doors, do the

police and Tories retain a vestige of their

1980s attitudes? When Alan Duncan spoke

of those who aren’t rich as “low achievers”,

was that a minority view, or a reminder that

the Tories haven’t really abandoned their

class hatred?

Many younger lefties might have

abandoned class in favour of the politics

of micro-identities. For those of us shaped

by the 80s, however, class matters. And I

suspect this is as true for the Tories as it is

for me.

From the excellent blog:

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.

com/stumbling_and_mumbling/

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN

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