Sunday Column: The CHAZ shows what life without the police would really be like.

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

By Derek W Gardiner

Three weeks ago protesters took control of a several city blocks in the US city of Seattle after the police chose to abandon the area. They called this the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (or CHAZ), the protesters harboured illusions of establishing a separate country, putting up signs saying "you are now leaving the USA" and ironically sealing off the zone with a makeshift wall. While something like this should not have been allowed to happen in the first place, it at least provided an experiment into what life without the police might look like.

The zone seemed to start off as a peaceful area with free food stalls and communal movie events but within a few days some form of hierarchy was established, a rapper named Raz Simone took on the role of police chief with a vigilante force of untrained "community defence forces". Who were patrolling the streets with weapons and demanding that residents of the area show ID before entering their homes, so much for "no borders, no wall". Despite the bullying of residents and attempts to extract taxes from them to fund the new state, the mayor of Seattle did nothing about it.

So naturally without any police force to impose law and order and keep residents safe, the zone descended into violent chaos and became per capita the worst "country" in the world for crime. A 19 year old man was shot dead on 20th June and police were prevented from entering the zone by protesters. There were several shooting of mostly young men over the next 10 days until the final straw came when a clash over a stolen Jeep resulted in a 16 year old boy being killed and a 14 year old being taken into critical care. The Police finally took back control of the zone on 1st July.

However, despite the evidence of this being a bad idea, defunding the police seems to have taken root in major cities such as London and New York; Mayor Bill De Blasio announced a $1 Billion cut to the New York Police Department Budget and Mayor Sadiq Khan announced £110 million to be cut from the London Metropolitan Police budget as London knife crime is at it's worst. The Warwick Labour twitter account became a laughing stock this week after criticising Sir Kier Starmer for, quite rightly, dismissing the idea of defunding the police as nonsense when they themselves called on voters to reject police cuts in the 2016 Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Defunding the police is a dangerous idea which puts the lives of innocent people at risk. Yes, there is a conversation that needs to be had about how the police can work better, I would argue through de-militarisation and breaking up large police forces such as Police Scotland and the Metropolitan Police, but the police are accountable to democratically elected councils and governments, they are subject to the same laws which they enforce, armed vigilantes are not.

President Trump is right to call out the radical left, it's time for Boris Johnson to do the same.

At his Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore U.S President Donald Trump spoke about the "new far-left fascism" saying that it "demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished."

Unfortunately, this cancel culture is not a uniquely American phenomenon. It has made it's way to the UK as well, with Harry Potter sites removing any reference to the books author J.K Rowling for believing that women are women or Nigel Farage being forced to quit LBC, it is also extending to people associated with them. After historian David Starkey made some distasteful comments on the slave trade, on a podcast interview with Conservative activist Darren Grimes, not only did Mr Starkey resign from his position at Cambridge University but also the host of the podcast was misquoted by the BBC in an attempt to label him as a racist as well, despite apologising on twitter for not challenging the remarks in the interview, the mob was unforgiving. Scottish Historian Niel Oliver has also faced a campaign to have him sacked by the National Newspaper for posting a tweet saying he "loved" Mr Starkey.

There is no end to this, soon anyone who disagrees with the hard left will be rendered persona non grata. The twitter mob will never be satisfied no matter how many careers are destroyed in an attempt to appease them. Boris Johnson and the UK government will never gain the support of these people so they should stop trying and stand up to them instead. They should champion the good that Britain has done in stamping out the slave trade with the might of the British navy, in leading the way on Woman's suffrage and emancipation, in championing the rule of law which is the greatest protection for equality one can have.

Those who voted Conservative at the last election feel let down over this governments lack of leadership when it comes to defending British values of freedom, tolerance and mutual respect, I can only hope that will change in the coming weeks. We cannot let the woke left and the twitter mob control the narrative.