The government is gaslighting us

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The Guardian is amongst many papers to note the summary report of the Downing Street Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities that has apparently been issued to the press, but which is not on its website. It reports that the Commission says:

The well-meaning idealism of many young people who claim the country is still institutionally racist is not borne out by the evidence.

It apparently also claims that the UK should be seen as “a model for other white-majority countries”.

This, of course, comes just after HM Inspector of Constabulary found that the policing of the Clapham Common vigil for Sarah Everard was appropriate, that the police acted properly and that those who formed judgement on them based on the evidence on the day were wrong.

It would be possible to spend a great deal of time discussing why both reports are wrong. That they are is glaringly obviously true. But it's hardly worth the time and effort to say that. That's not because the issues do not matter. They very obviously do. What matters is that the government set out to ensure that the wrong answers were provided.

These reports had simple objectives. They were required to report that those making complaint, and engaging in communal activity to support that complaint, had inappropriate concerns and that as such their actions could not be justified. They were instead to be called 'well-meaning idealists'. Idealists can, of course, be dismissed because it is claimed that the hard-headed evidence does not support their claims.

Except that we know that people of colour are discriminated against, day in and day out, not least by the police, but also right across society as well.

And we also know that women are discriminated against, and even die, because the police do not protect them and do not believe them when they report crimes.

No one is making this up. These are facts. They are proven facts. The weight of evidence is overwhelming.

It's not idealism that makes people want to address these issues (although there is nothing wrong with idealism). It is a deep-seated sense of injustice that makes people angry with a system so rigged against some in society that makes people demand change.

And now the government is literally trolling, or gas-lighting us, on these issues. They are issuing false claims that the issues that so very obviously need to be addressed are not matters of concern at all.

This might work for the Daily Mail.

I am sure the police are cock-a-hoop and will be heading out to stop and search with a new-found swagger this morning.

But the reality is that all these reports do is divide society. The issues will not go away because the government denies that they exist. Nor will the division or hurt and the sense of injustice disappear. Instead, it will be fuelled by a sense that the government does not just care, but is actually picking on those who do.

There is only one question to ask, which is when it might be that the government is actually planning on making civil order break out as a result of its actions so that it can use that situation to impose the permanent state of emergency that will finally let it take complete unaccountable control of the country? It now seems hard to imagine that it has any other agenda. Where else, after all, does this blatant stoking of division lead to?

I admit that I never really imagined that it would come to this. Or, at least, that it would do so at this pace.

One day the breakdown of democracy in this country will be studied with fascination by historians yet to be born. We are the living witnesses to the fact that it is happening. I would rather not be in that role.