As the nation remembers the victims of the Manchester bombing, with grief for those killed and admiration for those who have overcome terrible injuries, the Establishment is presenting that grief and inspiration without proper recognition of what went before.
In the aftermath of the bombing a year ago, as the UK prepared for a general election, the SKWAWKBOX was attacked by right-wing media for pointing out the Tories’ culpability in the UK’s vulnerability to attack. Supposedly this was ‘politicising’ a tragedy.
This blog makes no apologies for raising that same culpability now, a year later.
Because it is political. The deaths of innocents at the hands of terrorists is a political matter when the Theresa May, as Home Secretary and Prime Minister, has presided over and driven massive cuts to policing.
Just as the tragic deaths at Grenfell Tower less than a month later were a political matter against a backdrop of Tory cuts and complicity with shoddy building regulations and inspection.
The deaths and injuries at the Manchester Arena are a political matter when May and her then Home Secretary Amber Rudd stripped the budgets of anti-extremism units to funnel more cash into Brexit campaigning.
The tragic impact of the Manchester bombing is even more political when, weeks after the event, May and Rudd were planning further huge cuts to counter-terrorism budgets:
Those events are even more intensely political in the light of the admission that the British government and security services had worked with and supported the militant anti-Gaddafi group that the bomber and his father fought for in Libya – in spite of a government response in the Commons that refused to say explicitly that Salman Abedi was a member of the group, but which implied that he did and that Abedi was linked to British intelligence.
They are hugely political in view of the revelation that, while May and Rudd refused to properly fund our national security, they were more than willing to use national security as an excuse not to release information about paedophiles who threaten the safety of our children:
The bombing is toweringly political when Theresa May as Home Secretary was filled with so much hubris that she told cameras that she could continue cutting police numbers without an adverse effect on our security:
And even more so when her successor was prepared, almost a year later, to lie to us all that police cuts were not at the root of huge increases in violent crime – even though her own department had told her differently:
The Manchester Arena tragedy is inescapably political when government politicians and allies who praised the incredible bravery of police, NHS and emergency services who risked their own lives and performed wonders for the injured or gave comfort to the dying will praise them again today – yet those very same politicians have inflicted cuts, created a crisis and destroyed the morale of the same people they conveniently praise.
Anyone raising these facts is a likely target for those accusations of ‘politicising’ a terrible tragedy.
But those who do not raise them dishonour the memory of those killed and their still-grieving families, the bravery of those who have overcome life-changing injuries – and the future generations who will live or die with the consequences of government action and inaction now.
Remember the victims. Do not forget the guilt of the guilty.
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