Just imagine if the cops followed all the election candidates around in order to intimidate them. Today in Purley a small band of Class War agitators were out and about supporting me in my legitimate electioneering. Constantly followed by four uniformed cops on foot and a van with approximately eight more they numbered more than we did. In fact there were two vans when we started our campaigning outside Tesco. What was our crime?
We were giving out leaflets. OK the leaflets had “Class War” written on them and my mugshot which might have been a danger to public order but they were just leaflets. When Chris Philp or Emily Benn hand out leaflets do they get followed like this? What can it mean other than intimidation?
What do the authorities fear so much about me standing in the election that they feel the need to get so many officers involved? As the Sergeant said to me part way through our campaigning, “How much longer do you think you’ll be? It’s just that I’ve got my officers on rotation.” What? Yes, they had more officers on standby ready to plough into Purley in case our leafletting got out of control.
Croydon’s Borough Commander should explain this total waste of resources and detail whether they try to intimidate other candidates during the election campaign. The message to me seems to be clear. If you’re a Tory candidate, representing a party that is waging a very real class war on ordinary people you get police protection. If you stand for a party called Class War and you oppose the Tory cuts and austerity programme you get police intimidation.