Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No 10 G20 epetition response - more evidence of Govt brain fade

TSG officers using lethal intimidation and violence on a citizen

Proper police officers doing their duty at Glastonbury

There was a petition to No 10 Downing Street about the policing of the G20 Climate Camp

The Government response here begins"It is a long-standing tradition in this country that people are free to gather together and to demonstrate their views provided that they do so within the law. Equally, people have a right to be free to carry out their lawful business without fear of intimidation and violence."

The implication being that among the protesters are agents of intimidation and violence, and it is the duty of the police to protect the right of peeps to carry out their lawful &c.

The fact of the matter is that Ian Tomlinson was an ordinary citizen carrying out his lawful business of making his way home from work, and that he was exposed to intimidation and violence by an unnumbered police officer from the TSG which led to his death.

The lack of irony in Government using this phrase in these circumstances is truly terrifying, showing how far from reality the Government officials who draft up these statements are.

We should go back to Government and point this out, but today I am beginning to weary of the Sisyphean task of trying to speak truth to power. So I am going to do some woodwork, to make a natural bracket to hold the hose that conducts the rainwater from my water butt to do its lawful business on the garden. I just home someone from the TSG doesn't come and cut it - or, more to the point, cut my car's brakepipes.


Anonymous said...

Seems a perfectly reasonable and balanced response to me.

DocRichard said...

For a moment there Anon I thought you were referring to my blog; then I realised you think the Govt is being balanced and reasonable.

Do you not take the point that the police were there ostensibly to maintain the right of John Citizen to go about his lawful, and as it turned out, one policeman saw to it that Ian Tomlinson was not only unable to do so, but also died as a result of that policeman's actions? And can you see the irony of that state of affairs? And if so, are you not surprised that the Govt official who wrote the response applied so little thought to the situation that s/he did not perceive the irony of how s/he expressed it?

Thank you for taking the trouble to comment.

Anonymous said...

I think the point that the Government official is making is that the use of force is covered adequately in law and case law that has stood the test of time. There is no law or policy that can legislate for the action of every individual. This is why individual police officers are held accountable as individuals. This is what will happen in the Ian Tomlinson case. I have yet to accept that he died, however, as a result of the actions of that officer. The first two published PMs were contradictory and the third has yet to be published. The file is with the CPS. When they have decided whether there are grounds to prosecute and the officer has been tried I will accept the judgement of his peers. I understand that is still how justice works? On the issue of general tactics that is being reviewed by the HMIC as the response indicated. I do of course agree that the police must facilitate lawful and peaceful protest without using force without good reason. In the case of the G20 it was not wholly peaceful or lawful though.

On the whole Richard I just see a government official making a factual statement. I do enjoy irony but on this occasion I haven't seen any!

None of the above said...

Anonymous 8:42

What a considered and well-balanced post.

It surely has no place on a blog?

It would be nice to feel that sometimes people appreciate that the police don't spend all day murdering the public but rather dealing with traumatic road accidents, assaults, burglaries and general unpleasantness, 99% of the time in good humour and conduct.

DocRichard said...

None of the Above,
As a a general medical practitioner who began in A&E, I am fully aware that the police don't spend all day murdering the public but rather dealing with traumatic road accidents, assaults, burglaries and general unpleasantness, 99% of the time in good humour and conduct. I have had very good professional relations with individual policemen and women, and if you read this post,
and indeed, look at the pictures at the top of the original post here, you will see that I am not unreasonable in my view of the police. There are good coppers and also there are bad coppers. Or bad apples, as the cliche' goes.

The problem is that the bad apples do not get taken out. The SPG got away with Blair Peach's death, being punished by going through a name change.

I do not expect the un-numbered TSG officer who hit Ian Tomlinson to fare any worse than Blair Peach's assailant. I expect that he will get away with it, just as the bankers have got away with their misdeeds, which is why I will continue to exercise the right of citizens in a democracy to criticise the failings of the dominant powers.