Labour MP Chuka Umunna – fleetingly considered a Labour contender for the party leadership in 2015 – has appalled many Labour members by accepting Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s invitation to join her ‘taskforce’ on violent crime.
In doing so, he has acted as a classic ‘enabler’ to shore up Rudd’s lamentable denial that the massive police cuts the Tories have inflicted on police have anything to do with the UK’s sharp rise in violent crime.
Rudd has formed the ‘taskforce’ to look for ‘reasons’ other than the blindingly obvious – the equivalent of ‘method acting‘ to avoid admitting that there is no sensible way to imagine that a fourteen percent cut in police numbers is anything but almost certainly the key driver for the crime increase, as it has all but extinguished the community policing that police experts recognise as essential for preventing crime.
The police themselves know this perfectly well – and have warned Rudd repeatedly about the consequences, as former Metropolitan Police investigator Peter Kirkham told Sky News just a few months ago:
Amber Rudd seems to think Police cuts have no effect on violent crime… Perhaps we should listen to people that actually know about these things?
Oh, I don't know, like… Police officers? pic.twitter.com/ymwSZpFI2a
— EL4C (@EL4JC) April 9, 2018
Yet Umunna blamed his London constituents for his decision to co-operate with Rudd, saying they:
would never forgive me if I allow tribal, party politics to get in the way of us working together.
But his decision to blur the clear differences between the politics and policies of Labour and those of the Tories will damage his constituents – and people elsewhere – twice over.
First by providing cover for Rudd’s delusional insistence that cuts in police resources are not causing more violent crime.
And secondly by reinforcing the common – but now deeply inaccurate – public perception that ‘politicians are all the same‘, which plays into the hands of the Tories because they cannot manufacture the passion and integrity that drives the genuine Labour movement inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.
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