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« Michael Barone: Muslim nations are turning from terror toward democracy | Main | Amity Shlaes: Tax cuts boost revenues »


Cllr Graham Smith

Agree thoroughly with your opening sentence. Also think the whole thing is being blown out of all proportion.

First, let's tackle the communications breakdown issue. Am I alone in thinking that by having separate elite firearms and surveillance teams apparently operating independently of local divisional control, the Commissioner of Police was sowing the very seeds of disaster? One of Sir Robert Mark's greatest contributions to the Metropolitan Police was the way he ripped into the CID (which was then operating as an elite corps, largely independently of local commanders and, some would say, virtually out-of-control), insisting that all officers undertake a probabtionary period in uniform before joining the CID and then further extended periods in uniform upon promotion before being permitted to return to CID. I hope that TPTB will carefully consider what effect the espirit de corps of being in a crack firearms unit has on an individual and how that individual's reactions may therefore differ from the ideal reaction.

Second, I'd also like to defend the shoot to kill policy from a political perspective. Was it just coincidence that the IRA chose to announce its intention to disarm almost immediately after it became apparent that Metropolitan Police officers were prepared to shoot a terririst suspect without warning? Possibly so, possibly not. However the IRA's final capitulation to the forces of law and order is to be welcomed, whatever people may say.

Selsdon Man

I seem to have missed an official declaration of war against terrorism. How do we define the enemy and when the war is won?

If the ITN and newspaper reports are true, the Met may have lied about the death of Jean Charles, delayed the independent investigation and destroyed vital CCTV evidence at Stockwell station.

If our police cannot act in calmly just after 7/7, how can we have confidence in them if there is an even worse atrocity, e.g. planes flown into the Palace of Westminster or Canary Wharf?

We should all be very concerned. Only a public inquiry can get to the truth.

James Hellyer

I agree with Selsdon Man.

The shooting is a terrible tragedy but the seeming lie upon lie upon lie about how it happened and the attempt to blame an innocent victim is a disgrace which tarnishes our police force and our country. It must be examined and the truth must be revealed and anybody complicit in this disgraceful affair must face up to the consequences. The death of any innocent person is a tragedy. It shouldn't be made worse by people using public money to denigrate the victim and turn evil lies into the truth.

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