RASBOs – name them and shame them!

In response to the Labour government’s vindictive ASBO scheme which is not, despite its name, designed to deal with anti-social behaviour, but to keep the working class off the streets, FRFI has decided to institute its own awards to deal with real anti-social behaviour: RASBOs. We will be naming and shaming the real offenders. We start off the awards with two government ministers and a cleric who have made working class lives a misery.

Hazel Blears MP
Labour MP for Salford and Minister of State at the Home Office, responsible for crime reduction, policing, community safety and counter-terrorism and author of ‘The Politics of Decency’. This is enough to qualify for a RASBO on its own. In the course of trying to force through fundamental restrictions on civil liberties through the introduction of control orders, Blears announced that Muslims in Britain must expect to be discriminated against by the police because the terrorist threat came from people ‘falsely hiding behind Islam’. It’s the same old story. When the government or the police want to target a particular community whether it’s the Irish, or black people, or Muslims, they think they should have a free hand to pick on people because of the colour of their skin or because of their nationality or appearance. No Ms Blears, we do not accept discrimination – you are a racist and you are ordered to keep out of our lives.

Paul Boateng MP
Labour MP for Brent South and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, former GLC councillor. He was Labour’s first black Cabinet Minister, wore posh suits and educated his children in private schools. He knows which side his bread is buttered. As a Blair loyalist he voted for the Iraq war, detention without trial, control orders etc. He greeted his election as an MP in 1987 with the words: ‘Today Brent South, tomorrow Soweto’. This was a slip of the tongue, he really meant: ‘Today Brent South, tomorrow Pretoria’. He will stand down at the next election in order to take the post of High Commissioner to South Africa (salary £190,000 plus). Having liberated Brent South (not!), he is off to tell South Africa, and indeed the entire African continent, how they should be controlling the working class and poor. All at our expense. You should be ashamed (except that you are completely shameless).

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor
Catholic Archbishop of Westminster who promoted a priest knowing that he was a child abuser (the priest was later gaoled after 19 years of abusing children). Following this ‘misjudgement’ Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor held on to his job by the skin of his teeth and went into retreat. But he has now re-emerged in the public limelight. Quick as a flash after Tory leader Michael Howard announced his wish to reduce the time limit on legal abortion to 20 weeks, the Cardinal was recommending that abortion and ‘other issues’ of morality should take centre stage in the next election, just like the United States! We have noticed how moral the US is – holding the world record for imprisoning people, the majority of them black; imposing the death penalty, including against the mentally ill or disabled; detaining prisoners without trial at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere; torturing detainees; invading other countries and waging war; polluting the atmosphere. There is no end to their morality.
Nonetheless the Cardinal is another old man who thinks he should have the right to determine the sexual and reproductive lives of women. All over the world 19 million women suffer the effects of unsafe abortion every year, for the simple reason that abortion is illegal in their country. In Britain the women and girls who will be most affected by reducing the legal limit for abortion will be frightened teenagers. The Cardinal’s church believes there should be no abortion and no contraception, and that women and girls who have been raped, or are HIV-positive, or just simply want to make a choice about their own sexual lives, should abstain or put up with their lot. Apparently the Cardinal thinks that ‘faith and reason always go together’. One wonders how the head of a church that persecuted Copernicus and Galileo has the nerve to say this, or, indeed, maintains any credibility whatsoever.

Let us know your nominations for RASBOs

FRFI 184 April / May 2005


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