A recent BBC investigation has revealed how an MI5 agent was able to use his position to abuse and terrorise his partner.
The agent, who can only be referred to as X, worked as an informant on right-wing extremist networks in the UK. He brazenly told his partner, referred to as Beth, that she could not report the abuse she was enduring, as the security services would protect him.
With the approval of the state, MI5 agents and ‘spy cops’ are authorised to commit crimes in certain circumstances. But even this highly-questionable immunity and impunity clearly does not cover activities in their private life.
In practice, however, when X’s abuse did come to the attention of the police – after he attacked his partner with a machete and then tried to cut her throat – the establishment quickly closed ranks to shield one of their own.
In a despicable case of negligence in-and-of-itself, police officers at the time arrested X, but failed to take a full statement from Beth, or register her video recording of the machete attack.
The Crown Prosecution Service quickly dropped the case as a result, citing a lack of evidence, and X was freed.
A counter-terror investigation was launched after police officers discovered extremist material at the house. The BBC’s investigation describes how X admired white supremacist mass murderers; had written about exploiting and killing women and Jewish people; and fantasised about eating children’s flesh.
The BBC also found that X had a history of violent abuse, which had come to the attention of the police after he similarly terrorised a partner in another country before moving to the UK.
That this readily-available information did not stop X from securing a job with MI5 indicates that the British security services either did not bother to check, or simply did not care.
In an act of flagrant interference, the material that had been seized by counter-terror police was then handed over to MI5. It was then concluded that ‘no criminality’ could be identified.
While this conclusion was being drawn, X fled from the UK to work for security services in a different country. His traumatised ex-partner, meanwhile, was hospitalised after suffering a mental breakdown.
It comes as no surprise that the capitalist state would be nonchalant towards violent sexism or racism when selecting its agents. After all, sexism and racism are baked into the very foundations of the capitalist system – a system built on oppression, violence, inequality, and exploitation.
Although the government has in words launched an inquiry to prevent such abuses of power from taking place again, its deeds lay bare its real interests and hypocrisy.
For example, far from providing justice for left-wing activists coerced by undercover police into relationships, the Tory government has cleared the way for the continuation of this scandalous practice with its spy cops bill.
Likewise, when the BBC tried to bring to light X’s abuse – and the blind eye that MI5 turned to this – the government took the public news broadcaster to court, in an attempt to block the story from surfacing at all.
What is clear is that it is not just a case of bad apples creating a stench in the apparatus of the capitalist state. The whole system is rotten.
The police and security services – as vital organs of the state – exist to defend the interests of the ruling class, not the safety or wellbeing of ordinary people.
Indeed, to serve this role, these ‘armed bodies of men’ are handed a monopoly of violence, in order to protect the property and power of the capitalists.
But it doesn’t stop at these institutions. After all, the BBC itself doesn’t have the cleanest record when it comes to covering up abuses, having brushed the disgusting actions of Jimmy Saville under the rug for years.
X’s violent sexism, racism, and abuse is not an isolated case. Countless similar examples will no doubt continue to surface in the future. And these cannot – and will not – be solved on a case-by-case basis.
Even the best-intentioned calls for inquiries and investigations into institutional sexism, racism, and corruption in the pillars of the capitalist state will not find a resolution.
Only the socialist transformation of society can do away with capitalism and its tools of repression, along with the violence and oppression that thrives inside of them.