Ian Tomlinson Not a victim of the protestors, who didn't shower him with bottles in order to prevent medical attention getting through. That misinformation must have been given to the press through some unintentional error, at the same time that the police forgot to mention that they'd carried out a vicious and unprovoked assault on Mr Tomlinson themselves.
The other G20 protestor, given a good beating. No-one's allowed to film the police any more, are they? These protestors were a terrible nuisance to those wonderful banks, who've done nothing but good for the country.
Jean Charles de Menezes. Not wearing a bulky jacket, didn't vault the ticket barrier, didn't resist arrest, wasn't alerted by the shout of 'Armed police' which wasn't ever issued, in fact. Some sort of unintentional error again led to all that misinformation being placed in the media.
Harry Stanley Shot in the head for being Scottish and carrying a table leg (they thought he was Irish and carrying a gun, you see). I live on Victoria Park Road, where Harry was shot dead, and I share his nationality and accent. We don't generally have much of a problem with republican gun-running in E9, but it's better to be safe than sorry, isn't it?
Lance Corporal Mark Aspinall. Held down and beaten in a street in Wigan, he was then charged and convicted of assaulting the police, a conviction only over-turned on production of the video evidence, which, to put it mildly, proves certainly that an assault took place. It must have been an honest mistake that the police officers arrested Lance Corporal Aspinall, rather than themselves.
What most sickens the stomach on watching the assault on Ian Tomlinson is that the other officers stood and did nothing. They neither remonstrated with their colleague, nor made any offer of assistance to his victim. In the second beating incident of the G20 demo, I believe the officers covered up their ID. It's hard to feel loyal towards an organisation which permits such behaviour.
The police, particularly in London, appear to have forgotten that they police only with our consent. They are not the armed wing of the state. Some reforms are therefore long overdue:
- All police officers at public demonstration must keep their ID visible at all times.
- No police officers at public events should ever be dressed like a terrorist thug. No balaclavas. Such dress is ridiculous when the officers concerned are upholding public order, not carrying out surveillance.
- Anti-Terrorism must be given a seperate directorate to the metropolitan police duties. Then the latter can be devolved properly to the Mayor and to the borough police authorities. This confusion over who can sack coppers is ridiculous. I vote for the Mayor. I want the Mayor to be able to sack Met leaders who fail.
- Borough commanders should be answerable to a directly elected borough police "sherriff" and be sackable by that elected representative.
- ACPO should be abolished. It's a money-making firm that spends its spare time cheer-leading for the authoritarian wing of the Labour Party.
- Just as the storage of DNA from wholly innocent citizens is an outrage, so is the routine video-ing of members of the public by police officers. This must stop.
- In contrast, members of the public must never be prevented from recording the activities of police officers.
It shouldn't need saying, but none of this makes me anti-police. My brother-in-law is a serving officer whose bravery and professionalism I admire and revere. But I am convinced that matters within the management of the London police cannot be allowed to stand, because the longer the problem persists, the less support the police will maintain. It's not only the stereotypical Guardian-reading liberal left who think there's a problem here, and I think it's time that Conservatives made this clear.