The stench of corruption coming from the British establishment is overwhelming.
This week, the Metropolitan Police was accused of ‘institutional corruption’ in a report commissioned by the government. What it reveals is that the police, the media, and politicians are swimming together in a river of filth. We need to wash the whole lot away.
The latest revelations demonstrate the raw, unapologetic gangsterism of the British establishment.
In 1987, a private investigator called Daniel Morgan planned to sell a story to the newspapers about police corruption. He had a heated argument with a senior police officer in a South London pub. The next evening, Morgan was murdered with an axe in the pub car park.
There were five investigations into the murder. None resulted in convictions. Evidence was destroyed or concealed by police officers. Threats from police resulted in key witnesses leaving the country.
One officer connected to Morgan ended up shot in the chest (the official verdict was suicide). Officers following up lines of enquiry relating to police corruption were taken off the case. Trial witnesses were coached, others were intimidated. The litany of textbook corruption goes on and on.
The report published this week points out that this is not just a historic question. This inquiry into Morgan’s murder was commissioned by Theresa May in 2013. It was supposed to last 12 months. Instead it has taken eight years, largely because of the refusal of the Met Police to cooperate.
Some documents were only finally handed over in March 2021. For the last eight years, the police have thrown up every barrier conceivable between the inquiry and police records. The senior officer liaising with the inquiry – and the one who has obstructed its work – is the commissioner of the Met Police: Dame Cressida Dick.
The most senior police officer running the Met has been directly covering up for corrupt police officers for the last eight years. We’re therefore entitled to ask: How much other corruption and wrongdoing by the police is she covering up at the moment?
Daniel Morgan was one of two people who ran a private investigation firm called Southern Investigations. They carried out work for the Murdoch media empire, especially the now disgraced News of the World.
The Morgan case shows how the capitalist media and the police are linked.
Through intermediaries like Southern Investigations, the media buys information from corrupt police officers about ongoing investigations. The inquiry’s report paints a picture of investigators, police, journalists, and criminals all drinking together down the pub and swapping information for money.
This cozy relationship wasn’t just an individual matter. Early 1987 saw brutal attacks by riot police on striking print workers facing off against Murdoch in Wapping. Institutionally, as well as individually, the police and the capitalist media lean on one another.
It’s not surprising that during one of the investigations into Morgan’s murder, the chief investigating officer was placed under surveillance by the News of the World. When the phone hacking scandal broke in 2011, it emerged that Met chiefs knew this officer, and that his wife had been targeted by the media, but declined to tell them.
Every time an opportunity has arisen for this investigating officer to give evidence to a court or inquiry about Morgan’s murder, he has been arrested or placed under investigation by the Met, preventing his testimony.
A loyal stooge of the Murdoch media empire was Andy Coulson. Coulson was editor of the News of the World from 2003 to 2007, having worked in the Murdoch press almost uninterrupted ever since 1988. In 2007, he became Tory Prime Minister David Cameron’s director of communications.
A man steeped in the culture of corruption and gaining information by dodgy means was a perfect fit for a Tory government.
The Cameron government was very cozy with the Murdoch empire, including socialising with top executives. This was a continuation of the approach of Blair and Thatcher towards Murdoch. The capitalist media and politicians lean on one another.
Under enormous pressure, the Met charged Coulson, and he was eventually convicted in 2014 of conspiracy to hack phones.
This came 13 years after the Met began accumulating vast quantities of evidence about phone hacking and other wrongdoing by Murdoch journalists. That evidence sat unexamined in police trash bags for over a decade. Sentenced to 18 months in prison, the Tory government let Coulson out after less than five.
In the wake of the phone hacking scandal, the Leveson Inquiry of 2011 and 2012 revealed just how closely intertwined the tops of the police, media, and government really are. It made some toothless recommendations about press regulation, but even these were wholly ignored by the Tory government.
There was supposed to be a second part to the Leveson Inquiry, which would investigate criminality in the media and corruption in the police. This had to be delayed until criminal investigations relating to the News of the World were concluded.
These investigations lasted just long enough for the Tories to include scrapping the second part of the Inquiry in their 2017 election manifesto. The rest of the Inquiry has now been binned.
The publication of this latest report was delayed by several weeks after an intervention by the Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel. She wanted to read the report, and potentially redact it, before its publication.
Patel is a close friend of Rupert Murdoch, being one of a small number of politicians who attended his wedding in 2016. Most recently, she and Murdoch had a private dinner together in September.
The Met’s top police officer, Cressia Dick, has been exposed for shielding corrupt officers. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson says she has his full confidence. Home Secretary Priti Patel agrees. And, scandalously, so does Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has failed to call for Dick’s resignation.
Establishment politicians are lining up to defend the institutional corruption of the police force.
Conspiracy or class?
The sordid relationship between the police, media, and government has once again been brought into the spotlight by this report. This could provoke suspicions of a shadowy network of conspiracy that runs the British establishment.
The report even makes explicit reference to freemasonry. Many of the criminals, journalists, and police officers surrounding the Morgan case were all freemasons and watched each other’s back.
But conspiracy between a few individuals, where it exists, is just a symptom of the shared class interests of all the figures who populate the British establishment.
Fundamentally Cressida Dick, Priti Patel, and Rupert Murdoch all have a shared interest in preserving private property, making money, and maintaining their power to do so. They are the representatives of a tiny minority of rich and powerful people – the capitalist class – whose existence depends on the continued exploitation and oppression of the rest of us.
Where individual representatives of the capitalist class come into direct contact with one another, whether through freemasonry or anything else, then conspiracy and all kinds of criminality can ripple outwards. But this is the symptom, not the cause.
For those of us disgusted by what happened to Daniel Morgan, the solution is not to root out a few bad apples, but to take on the capitalist class and the capitalist system as a whole.
Toothless government inquiries, or individual investigative reporters, aren’t capable of this. It is a task for those of us united by our common exploitation and oppression by the bosses: the working class.
A rotting carcass
This report is the latest event in a series exposing the British establishment for the crooks and gangsters they are.
Dominic Cummings’ recent revelations exposed criminal Tory incompetence that has cost thousands of lives in this pandemic. This comes on top of the eye-watering corruption between Tory ministers and their friends, who have been given pandemic-related contracts.
Not long ago, the BBC was revealed to have lied and produced false bank statements to trick Princess Diana into an interview that undermined the monarchy. The monarchy, meanwhile, is being battered from all sides: from Prince Andrew’s ties to paedophilic banker Jeffery Epstein; to accusations of racism from Meghan and Harry.
Turning back to the police: They adopted a brutal attitude towards the Sarah Everard protests earlier this year, after an innocent woman was murdered by a serving police officer. The anger towards the police has been compounded by the Kill the Bill demonstrations against giving more powers to the police.
The institutional racism of the police means that almost a third of all young black men in London were stopped-and-searched during the lockdown. This adds fuel to the anger ignited during the Black Lives Matter movement. And in April, a serving London police officer was convicted of belonging to a neo-Nazi terrorist group.
Every pillar of the British establishment is being undermined – from the politicians, to the police, to the media, to the monarchy.
The anti-establishment anger building up beneath the surface in society must, in one way or another, find an expression. When it does, the old establishment institutions will find that they have no authority with which to stop it.
Organised around a clear socialist programme, the mass movements that are coming will sweep the rotting carcass of the state and the capitalist class – including all of its politicians, media, and police – into the dustbin of history, where it belongs.