Sunday, 23 February 2014

Ukraine & legal aid - You won't fool the Children of the Revolution

This morning I awoke to pictures of the inside of the palace of the deposed leader of the Ukraine. It seems that he has run away leaving his palace in the hands of protestors. The level of corruption and theft from the state is staggering. Amongst other items was a spanish barge in its own dry dock. To get rid of this greedy and evil regime, hundreds of protestors gave their lives. Despite awful violence, the protestors didn't give up. They really had no choice, they were backed into a corner and so they just had to keep going. I salute the bravery of people prepared to face beatings & death for the cause of freedom and justice.

This week I had a discussion with Andrew Dismore, the Labour candidate for Hendon about the issue of the Pavillion Way playing fields. These grounds were given to the residents of Burnt Oak, a staunchly working class area, by the Laing building company. There was a covenant that the grounds could only be used as a sports ground. Barnet Council want to see these facilities for local children replaced with yet more homes and a Chinese language school. They have deliberately sat on the terms of the covenant, discussing it in secret blue papers, but not telling the residents. Despite this the residents have found out. There is a rock solid case for a legal challenge, but sadly for the working class dwellers of the Council estate, this costs money. The coalition government has changed the rules for legal aid, so they have effectively made Great Britain a country where the legal system is simply a tool for the rich and the powerful to impose their will on the rest of us.

You only have to look to the Ukraine to see where this leads. It leads to corruption, huge palaces for the powerful, built at the expense of the impoverished, who have no means to do anything about it. The press, controlled buy rich media barons, lead a campaign against legal aid, painting a picture of taxpayers money being wasted. They never mentioned the countless cases where ordinary people got justice in the face of the rich and powerful.

Legal aid is the foundation stone of a fair and democratic society. The people of Burnt Oak have been given a bitter lesson in the harsh realities of the Tory view of justice and law. Despite having a cast iron legal case, without the cash to take it to court they are scuppered. At the moment Mr Cameron and his local cronies may find this all rather cosy. I'd suggest that they consider the case of the Ukraine and consider where this could lead. Ask yourself this question. Without legal aid for the masses, what is there to prevent huge electoral fraud in the UK. At the last general election in Hendon, Mr Dismore lost by 105 votes. It is a matter of public record that in working class areas, polling stations were undermanned. There were huge queues and people were turned away. This happened in Mill Hill at the station in Page Street. Strangely the one at St Michaels Church in Mill Hill Broadway (a more affluent area) saw no such queues. Would Mr Dismore have got the 105 extra votes if the polling stations had been properly manned? No one can be sure, but what I do know for certain is that when people lose faith in the fairness of elections, they turn to violence. You only have to open your papers this morning to see where that leads. I am a pacifist, so the last thing I would ever want to see is violence. The only way to maintain a peaceful society is to ensure that every citizen has access to the justice system. That is why full legal aid must be restored. If Tories think they are being clever in denying it to the poor, they should consider where the road they are building leads to.

If there is an anthem for the day, it should be Children of the Revolution by T-Rex. No you won't fool, the Children of the revolution.

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