The Murdoch goons at the Sun have been once again giving their readers more of those below-the-radar messages that tell them they should put their crosses in the Tories’ box come the General Election. This takes the form of “only talking about the Government’s response to what happened in Manchester, honestly”.
“THERESA May has chaired another COBRA meeting this morning after raising the terror threat level to critical as the Army hits the street to help out following the horrific Manchester bombing … It comes amid fears another attack could be imminent … The army are set to stand guard outside Buckingham Palace, Westminster and Downing Street. Some have already been sent to Parliament today”. There was more.
“After meeting with security chiefs last night the Prime Minister said Britain will never be defeated by terrorism … She once again praised the response to Monday night's brutal slaying at Manchester Arena”. Very good. Well, one way to ensure there is a security presence, a prompt response and therefore a good chance any future attack is nipped in the bud would be to have a decent Police presence on the ground.
And there, the Sun and other Tory-supporting papers are silent. Why this might be is not hard to figure out, as the example of Manchester shows. Fortunately, we have the Manchester Evening News reports, which are untainted by Murdoch, Dacre, Barclay Brothers or Desmond spin. And the headlines make grim reading.
“GMP facing more savage cuts which could halve number of police officers in ten years … The MEN has learned that senior officers may have to slash another £157m from the force’s annual budget by 2019 - potentially cutting hundreds of policing posts” reported the paper in September 2015. The next month, worried readers were told “New GMP chief says cuts mean officers can't be expected to rush to all burglaries … The next Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, who starts next week, said people would be better off changing locks before police arrive”. And it got worse.
April 2016 brought the news that “Police patrols so stretched there are two hours every afternoon where officers 'struggle to attend any job’ … The impact of cuts emerged at an inquest into the death of a missing mum”. And only last month the headline was “'Neighbourhood policing could be wiped out completely if more cuts are forced' warns police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd … That’s the startling view of out-going police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd, who finishes his near five-year tenure on May 7”.
Who might be imposing these cuts? That would be as a result of central Government policy. The Tories and their press cheerleaders want the public to think that Theresa May would keep cities like Manchester safe, but the reality is very different. And what is on offer from the parties in the run-up to the General Election?
Labour is proposing the addition of 10,000 more Police officers, noting that since 2010, there has been a reduction in their ranks of twice that number. The Tories, on the other hand, have refused to rule out further cuts. So who is really going to keep our cities and communities safe? You figure it out. I’ll just leave that one there.