Tag Archives: Clapham common

On waking up in an authoritarian state


Be honest with yourself. When you saw the woman, her arms locked behind her back – you recognised her, didn’t you?

For she had been in Poland in winter 2020, when women asked only to control her own lives. And the journalist from the BBC was forced to acknowledge that the protests were illegal, and the police acting strictly within their rights. And to show that in Britain we had not fallen quite so far, the journalist let the emotion catch in his voice, even while he called the actions of the police a necessity.

And, for those who see further, where did the massacares at Rabaa in 2013 or in Khartoum in 2019 begin, or the scenes in New York or Portland the men and women who could not breathe, if not in the days and weeks before, with images like Clapham Common, reported, repeated, so familiar that you the viewer permit the small disgrace to pass, make yourself incapable of resisting the large?

We need to admit a truth that no politician has dared tell. That the actions of the police did not come unannounced, that they are not an aberration in own low, dishonest times. That a year without democracy has paved the way for them.

Crimes made on the whim of ministers, made law within days, changed to avoid a difficult question. The friends of those in power enriched. That man is a friend of government, nothing he does can break the law. This woman its enemy; the cells gape for her.

We have all slept too long.