‘The Queen’s Speech confirms the Conservative government’s turn in a deeply authoritarian direction’, Ben Chacko told the Communist Party’s political committee on Tuesday evening.
Pointing to the powers already given to the police, courts and immigration and intelligence officers to target protestors, asylum seekers and refugees, he warned that new repressive measures were being planned.
The government’s legislative programme seeks to replace the Human Rights Act and ban local authorities and other public bodies from adopting boycott and divestment policies against repressive regimes in Israel and elsewhere.
‘Furthermore, Home Secretary Priti Patel is pushing for wider deployment of tasers to volunteer police and for greater stop and search powers which we know have been deployed in a racist manner’, he informed the political committee.
‘These measures are being prepared at a time when trust in the police is at an all-time low following the Sarah Everard murder case and the horrific revelations from the Spycops inquiry’, the Morning Star editor added.
He claimed it was ‘no coincidence’ that the government’s new plans are being laid as the cost of living crisis intensifies.
‘The Tories are out of touch, but they do understand where the resistance to soaring prices, job losses and cuts in public services is likely to come from and are determined to smash it. This is why government supporters and the right-wing media are attacking the most organised sections of the labour movement such as the railways workers and civil servants’, Mr Chacko insisted.
Furthermore, he argued, the huge advance of censorship during the Ukraine War underlines the need for the left to reclaim the cause of free speech from the right. In particular, monopoly control of the mass and social media must be challenged.
He urged civil rights, anti-racist and other campaigning groups to join trade unions in a mass movement against state-backed ‘class warfare’ on people’s democratic rights and living standards.
The CP political committee opposed any expansion of NATO into Sweden and along Finland’s 900-mile border with Russia as ‘dangerous’, warning that it would turn the Arctic into a zone of military confrontation at great cost to the Earth’s environmental security.
Britain’s Communists also expressed their disappointment at the silence of Labour MPs in the face of NATO’s militarisation of eastern Europe and the West’s military build-up against China.