Figures released today show that hate crime has risen in the last couple of years. This comes as no surprise to anyone who has undertaken PREVENT training recently.
PREVENT is part of the Government’s counter terrorism initiatives which aims to prevent people from turning to terrorism.
The hypocracy of the iniative however, is hard to swallow.
Prevent is founded on the idea of protecting “British Values”. But how can the Government talk of mutual respect and tolerance being British Values? The former Foreign Secretary makes derogatory comments about Muslim women, the Home Office issue hostile immigration policies, and the Brexit campaign was based on scapegoating and falsehoods not dissimilar from Zach Goldsmith’s vile campaign for London mayor.
To be taken seriously, British Values should be heralded as HUMAN values- a way of life that we ALL need to follow especially by NOT except for the Government. Then we could all work towards “protecting” them.
If the Government wants to prevent extremism in this country, perhaps it should explore the underlining issues causing the breakdown of our society, which results in the rise of hate crimes and other forms of terrorism.
Could you imagine the change it would make to “global terrorism” if the UK changed foreign policy away from the colonial dominance and resource grab approach, to a perspective that respects the rights and sovereignty of other (non white) countries and territories.
Imagine if the Government chose to invest in education, NHS, housing: restored workers rights, legal aid, scrapped employment tribunal fees and improved work conditions. The Far Right grooming cries of “They’re takin’ all ‘r jobs and hosital beds..” just wouldn’t have the same gravitas.
Imagine if the Government didn’t propagate and pander to media scapegoating and properganda about immigrants.
What a simple way to reduce the isolation and abuse that members of our society face due to their religion, skin colour or immigration status. A way to build unity and community rather than fraction society.
But that is all very John Lennon. (Imagine)
But scapegoats are always useful. So rather than irradicating the causes of fear and anger – we have PREVENT.
PREVENT with an approximate annual budget of £46 million.
That money partly used to “train” professionals like doctors, nurses, teachers etc to report any “vulnerable individuals” to local Government. All the training in the world though, still leaves the system highly susceptible to personal bias. Especially in a scapegoat saturated society.
Ask the average person to describe a “terrorist”. You could probably accurately guess the description…
Very few would describe:
and a pint of beer in hand…
So it is no surprise that in the PREVENT system there is a huge discrepancy between reports of Islamist terrorism concerns compared with Far Right reports. (Please note that every individual deemed requiring support is investigated by the police…)
Which is particularly condemning when you look at the current hate crimes statics which show a 50% increase in the rise hate crimes towards Muslims. Yet Muslim individuals are by far the largest group indentified and investigated under PREVENT. Something just isn’t working.
So yes of course I will continue to safeguard and prevent any harm to the upmost of my ability. I only hope we elect a new government that will do the same.
If you want to help prevent the rise of The Far Right join the protest Saturday 17th November 2018 in central London.