Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Oh jesus, they killed him.

The bastard police killed Tomlinson. They killed him in cold blood, without provocation, and then they lied about it.

Here's the footage of them beating him, whilst he has his hands in his pockets, minutes before he collapses and dies.

Oh god. With their horrible dogs. Watch the video. Watch the slowed-down version. Do you see any evidence of police medics trying to help him, and being beaten back by protesters, yknow, the official story, the 'natural causes' story? Do you hell. Fucking liars. Fucking liars.

Ian Tomlinson wasn't protesting. He was walking home from work, wearing civvies like he'd been told to so that the protesters wouldn't target him. I don't want to imagine what his family must be feeling right now.

Men die in London every day. But this death was different. This was unprovoked murder, at police hands, and I didn't know this man in life but I am sitting here in tears, because, you know what?

I genuinely trusted them.

That's what bites: I trusted them. I didn't trust them to behave altogether decently, because I'm a frothing little paranoid Red, but I did actually trust the police not to assault unarmed old men with heart conditions, at least until I had concrete evidence to the contrary. I read the reports and I thought: that's dubious, but it's probably an accident. I mean, we should investigate it and everything, but I'm sure it's going to turn out to have been an accident. A man with a weak heart gets caught in the crowd. Tragic, but not police murder. The police don't target innocents without provocation, they don't beat people to death with sticks, not in my city. Not in this country. We don't do that here, I mean, especially not since that cock-up with De Menezes. The police wouldn't do that, would they? Not in this country.

So help me, I actually believed them. No longer. And, do you know what? Never again.

I am bloody angry. I am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more. I am also frightened. I am frightened of what the response of the civil authorities will be when they realise, as they must do now, that they can't get away with this anymore. That covert violence is not an option anymore. Not now we have the technology. Not when we had a thousand wired-up reporters in that police kettle, reporting from the frontlines.

There's going to be a vigil for Tomlinson. Details will be posted here as soon as I get my grubby little hands on them, and I hope you'll join me. Right now I'm going to go into the garden and scream.

ETA: A demo has been called, at 11.30am this Saturday, the 11th of April 2009, outside Bethnal Green police station in London (just next to Bethnal Green tube) Protestors will demand a public inquiry into the death of Ian Tomlinson and express their anger over the police brutality involved.


  1. It's fucking appalling isn't it?

  2. Unfortunately, they'll find a way to worm their way out of this. In the best case scenario some useless thug will lose his job whilst those who ordered this debacle will get a knighthood.

  3. Yep, they fucking killed him and it's terrifying but then I wonder if that isn't a tacit outcome of such police tactics as kettling. Who the hell wants to be penned in a cage, without food or water, or access to a toilet, for eight hours? Enough residue remains of my upbringing to be afraid of the police and frankly I'm a bit scared of having my DNA taken, or being video-taped or feeling like I've done something wrong and that's presumably what they want.

  4. We have the video via youtube for embedding over at PP:


  5. This is how it has always been; hence my somewhat more jaded and less surprised reaction than yours. I bet you any money the outcome of this will be the total outlawing and confiscation of cameras of any kind at protests.

  6. Although my political leanings are probably at odds with most people here and at the G20 protests, I feel sick to my stomach seeing this footage.
    It was a totally unprovoked attack on a totally innocent passer-by.
    Whatever the politics, police brutality like this should be punished as severely as possible and all those responsible brought to justice without delay.

  7. Fucking Furious. Scared. Angry. Confused. Teerified. Mortified. I'm a complete mess of different emotions right now. All I know is cannot continue. We have to reclaim the right to protest peacefully. We have to do it peacefully and through civil disobedience if necessary. I will not allow this country to become a place where citizens are scared of the people who are supposed to protect them.

  8. Don't worry people this officer will get his comuppence.

    Bad eggs like this make every other officers job harder and erode public confidence in the police.

  9. I think it would serve the cause of justice better if people avoided hyperbole.
    Speaking as coldly as I can, he weasn't beaten to death and as he walked away from the incident it appears he had some sort of delayed heart attack.
    Look at the video again, he gets 'tapped' lightly with a baton - possibly twice. He is then pushed violently from behind.
    Yes, I believe that that police officer was guilty of causing his death - I'm no lawyer so it may be manslaughter, murder or even (and I hate the term) unlawful killing and I'm not defending the police for what happened to Ian Tomlinson in any way.
    But if people start talking about the police 'beating him' then you're playing right into the hands of the bastards who are going to try and wriggle the culprits out of this.
    Better to get the guilty by playing a quiet but insistent game than losing public sympathy by getting hysterical.
    You'll find that there's quite a few people like me who initially defended the police last week are beginning to ask questions and demand justice.

  10. Sorry, but let's get the story straight.

    That video doesn't show the whole story - the guy collapsed later and then the story 'forks'.
    One version has him being beaten by police, collapsing and then presumably getting treated by medics - which seems a bit contradictory - and then the other story says he just collapsed and was treated by medics who were pelted with bottles.
    Clearly someone is not telling the whole story, but the only thing that's 100% certain is that video.
    Focus on what can be easily proven and leave conjecture until we have solid facts to back it up.

  11. old men?

    He was 47.

  12. I entirely agree we should resile from the understandable urge to overstate the incident, which is shocking enough in itself without recourse to garnishing it with hyperbole, but a murder charge must be brought.

    We have to arrest our descent down the long slide to an authoritarian state in which to protest is to be corralled into a cage for hours, detained at whim without access to food or water.

    It remains incontravertible that the police have form in this area. From Menezes to Forest Gate, via the laptop libertarians bleating when some of their number got coshed in the Countryside Alliance march, those who are charged with protecting us are apparently incapable of keeping their adrenaline and aggression under control when the heat is on.

    And whilst there are far wiser words to say on this issue than I could ever call upon, perhaps there is something in the character of those who join the police and are found to possess whatever attributes one needs to climb the ziggurat to become a riot officer, that makes this kind of reaction inevitable. I am not here implying that they are all hired thugs, not remotely, but I don't much trust those who seek dominion over others and this incident, which was once again spun to our supine press who willingly swallowed it all without question, is a plenary example why.

    Maybe the scuttlebutt in the precinct is one of contempt for protestors and agitators alike. Did that contempt made it easy to treat Tomlinson in the way they did, to hit and shove him like cattle? Kettle the cattle. Hit the cattle. Shove the cattle.

  13. "Fuck" was my response too. I had believed Ian Tomlinson's death was an accident, but the officer deliberately assaulted him, no question.

    Forget "bad eggs", this kind of casual violence towards protesters is standard police practice.

    Remember, remember, the first of April.

  14. http://labourleftforum.blogspot.com/2009/04/police-murder.html

    I'm sticking my head out of the window and getting mad as well!

  15. The footage is quite shocking, and I'm genuinely surprised that the police seem to have thought it a wise course of action to obfuscate the facts around this.

    On the other hand, it is quite inappropriate for protesters to erroneously claim Tomlinson as one of their own, hold politicised vigils and start to point score off the police and make wider points about the difficult (and in my view generally exemplary) policing of a demonstration in which a minority of violent anarchists sought to bring disorder and criminality to London’s streets, not least by destroying public property which they themselves own.

    Your commentary is little short of frenzied hyperbole. If you really want to have this matter investigated properly - as I do - then I can only suggest that you eschew that sort of hyperbole and press for a comprehensive inquest.

    It may well be that the officer in question should by charged with manslaughter, but that does not mean that there will not in future be a need to secure public order in the face of violent protest, and that this will by its nature require a degree of coercion.

    I presume that you are a member of the Labour Party, as I am. You will have to understand that there are perfectly good progressive reasons to prevent people from running amok.

  16. Police brutality during public disturbances is nothing new. I do however hope that this will go some way towards exposing the knee-jerk alliance between police and press in such incidents.

  17. Utterly disgusting.

    The thing is, Tomlinson looked like a protester in his rather worn-out looking clothes, and the police were gee'd up to see the protesters as "the enemy". His body language also, was dismissive or insouciant, which may have been enough to label him "protester" in the eyes of the police officers (but there was absolutely zero "confrontational" body language that I could see). For all their claims to be treating the policing "softly", it was still a hugely confrontational set-up (I was "kettled" at the Mayday 2001 Oxford Circus protest). And, as we know all too well, the media and police were talking up the chances of confrontations, especially violent confrontations.

    The attack on Tomlinson was caught on camera; how many similar attacks, that didn't ultimately result in deaths, were missed?

    At times like these I find myself wondering if we need a new "New Model Army" to rectify matters.

  18. I don't think having protests in those enclosed areas is a good idea. I hope there is not going to be anymore in the future.

    And i would agree with steve shark on his analysis of the situation... why you need to exaggerate? Yes he was hit by a baton and pushed down. There was just one police man doing this. There weren't any dogs involved in the attack. So there were no 'them' or 'their dogs'. Stick to the facts.

    How can people take you seriously if you are shown to lie just as much as the other side?

  19. Remember that cunt Chav on LC saying the left are indifferent to this kind of thing? He'd be eating his words now, seeing the reactions of the left and right, if he had any sense of shame in the first place.

    I'll tell you what. Remembering the 80s, it fucking IS the rank and file who do this. They aren't just taking orders from above, so they should be punished and held responsible. But it is also the case that their masters have encouraged them in their instincts.

  20. Bachelor of Law8 April 2009 at 08:57

    Under British law anyone accused of intentionally causing the death of another person may be charged with murder. The police officers involved with the assault on Mr. Tomlinson clearly did not deliberately set out to kill him, nor was there any evidence of premeditation on their part. What happened was clearly an accident caused by one or more over zealous constables; I doubt if you could even make a case to charge them with manslaughter under British law.

    Get your facts right Ms. Red.

    And take a chill pill.

  21. Young Conservative8 April 2009 at 09:22

    "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more"

    Words spoken by the actor Peter Finch, playing a man suffering a psychiatric breakdown in the fictional 1976 movie Network. How appropriate that you so often appeal to fiction to support or buttress your inanity.

    Penny Red. You have to realise that you are completely powerless and will have to "take it" as an when the powers that be dish it out as and when they see fit. Get over yourself. As far as the country goes, let alone the world, you and your cohort of riff-raff sympathisers and supporters don't matter at all. Not one whit. Rage against the dying of the light all you wish but night comes anyway.

    You do not know it but you and you're kin are and have lost the battle.

    Your future is extinction.

  22. Be under no illusion that if 'Young Conservative' is representative of the Tory future, then we're all in the shit.

  23. That there may have been "Police Brutality" is entirely believable. Big Brother is watching you - unless your surname is Menenzes - when Big Brother might shoot you instead.

    It makes you question a government that has supported or allowed the following:

    1. Rendition flights

    2. Torture

    3. 42 days detention without trial

    4. Backdoor DNA database

    5. ID Cards

    6. Snooping of e-mails and Internet Service Providers

    7. Use of Anti Terror Laws against Iceland, protesters in Downing Street and to remove an old man at the Labour party conference

    8. Dodgy dossier and an illegal war.

  24. LOL! YC, why so depressed? Is this what all of you are like?

    I'm quite open about the fact that I'm both a writer (and prone to flowery language) and a person with a mental health difficulty. This is the reason I decided not to go into politics.

    But that's by the by. The response to this incident has, as far as I can see, been anger across the political spectrums. How much do the right really want the police covering up killings?

    I believe in the power of little people's anger, of little people's voices, to change the world. I think that when enough people dream of a better world in which this sort of thing doesn't HAPPEN, that counts for something. I think that it's one of the only things that does, actually.

  25. Want to get angrier? Read such delightful comments about the protests and this "incident" made by the Police

    Regarding the footage...

    1)The police appear to be saying something to the man. He may have ignored verbal commands to move.

    2)He's urged from behind by the officers with the dogs and doesn't comply.

    3)He has his hands in his pockets, he may be concealing a weapon.

    4)The baton strike is to his thigh, presumably as a warning strike. The thigh's muscly so the most likely injury is a bruise.

    5)The male still doesn't get out of the way! He's shoved out of the way with a push and is knocked over, there's a low level of force used. I fail to see how being slapped on the thigh and pushed over would cause a heart attack although I'm not a doctor.

    A large crowd of protestors is a potential riot situation. The police have to ensure they have control of it because there are potentially devastating consequences. Given that this male offers passive resistance, does not comply and has his hands concealed a level of force is justified. The level of force used is very low and unlikely to cause any serious damage.


  26. I never believed the police and assumed that because they were so quick to smear the protestors that they had something to hide. We saw exactly the same happen with Jean Charles de Menezes, the first high profile police murder I paid attention to and if you dig through similar cases it's always the same, all the way back to Liddle Towers and beyond.

    The cops will always lie and they'll always close ranks to protect the guilty.

  27. I never trusted them for a second. What Jennie said, essentially. http://andrewhickey.info/2009/04/05/the-british-police-are-the-best-in-the-world-i-dont-believe-none-of-these-stories-ive-heard/

  28. It may not be murder, but at the very least it's assault.

    I'm guessing that a court of law may well have difficulty establishing a causal link between being shoved to the ground by the police officer and his heart attack a few minutes later. It could be impossible to prove that the two weren't coincidental.

    Also, I'm guessing that the officer involved had no intention to kill or even cause serious injury to Ian Tomlinson.

    But that doesn't make it okay. The officer is clearly shown striking to the ground a man who was walking away with his hands in his pockets. At the very least, it's assault and battery, and the officer should be prosecuted for it.

  29. This video is shocking.

    I have also posted about the similarities in the way the police responded following this deathhere.

    I think we on the blogs need to be careful however to respond in a measured way. I think throwing accusations like "Murder" around is not constructive.

  30. (The olsenbloom comment is from Andrew Hickey, BTW. OpenID is irritating at times...)

    Mark, fuck being constructive. Whether they would be convicted in court or not, battering a man around the head, without provocation, and thus causing his death is murder. They are murderers, and should be treated as such.

    Fuck being 'moderate' - if innocent people can't walk home from work without being attacked by the people who are supposed to protect them, then all hope for moderation from those in charge has gone.

  31. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7988828.stm

    Contains further footage.

  32. Ben: The 'protesters' aren't claiming Ian Tomlinson as one of their own; the British public are. Everyone agrees that he was not taking part in the protests; he was attempting to go home after work.

    Andrewhickey: 'Battered around the head'? Evidence, please. The police actions were shocking, but there is no evidence of a blow to the head.

    The police tactics of kettling and mass detention without charge is inhumane and certain to produce a violent reaction. Worse, they used force against a passerby, leading to the death of a private citizen. This was no riot situation. Fuck the pigs.

  33. Watching BBC news last night, there was further footage of him being helped by police medics when he collapsed, while the police formed a human shield around him, and bottles were thrown at the people trying to help him. Doesn't change the initial part, but they did try to help.

  34. G20: The Final Result

    The Police: 1
    Protesters: 0

  35. It's a tragedy for Mr Tomlinson and his family. It's another massive cock up by the Met.

    But we do need a bit of perspective. It probably is assault. It's not murder.

    The consequences have been appalling but in terms of violent intent, this is unlikely to have been one of the ten worst examples of police brutality taking place in the world on the day it happened.

    While this is no use to Mr Tomlinson and his family, in a general sense we're very luckily to live in a country where the police don't do this kind of thing as a matter of routine and are held to account for it when they do.

  36. I’ve spent several hours reading blog after blog of all manner of political hue and I can report that there seems to be a consensus of opinion that Ian Tomlinson’s treatment at the hands of the police, based on the evidence so far, was just plain wrong.
    Hell, even the BBC has changed its approach from ‘appears’ and ‘seems’ to one of acceptance that what happened in that video was the reality of the situation.

    Yes, there are some voices of support for the police but most of these seem to emanate from Nu Labour supporters who think that this crumbling government can do no wrong and the far right of the Tory party who can’t accept that their very existence is an anachronism.

    What really stands out is a common view that such incidents are entirely without justification regardless – as has been suggested by some misguided individuals – of whether Ian Tomlinson was a protester, drunk, belligerent, already ill, etc. etc. No-one with any credibility that I have read says anything other than the police’s behaviour towards him was completely over the top and absolutely inexcusable.

    @Bachelor of Law – if you are such – I hope that I never have to call on your legal services if this incident is interpreted by you as an ‘accident’.
    ‘What happened was clearly an accident caused by one or more over zealous constables’
    At the very least it was assault and I’m sure if it had been you getting charged from behind you wouldn’t dismiss it quite so lightly.
    And over-zealous
    Maybe you take too many chill pills yourself?

    @Young Conservative – I think I’d prescribe some uppers for you.
    Maybe 12 years in the political wilderness has got to you, but certainly there are many people who aren’t prepared to lie down and take the buttfucking you seem to be so relaxed about.

    @Ben – typical Nu Labour response:

    ‘It may well be that the officer in question should by charged with manslaughter, but that does not mean that there will not in future be a need to secure public order in the face of violent protest, and that this will by its nature require a degree of coercion.
    I presume that you are a member of the Labour Party, as I am. You will have to understand that there are perfectly good progressive reasons to prevent people from running amok.’

    And there we have it – censorious, prescriptive, authoritarian...
    Look at the language – coercion, secure, progressive...
    These are the words of someone who is prepared to engage in conflict with their own people if they don’t toe the line.

    @Penny Red – perhaps mental health issues might actually be an advantage in politics? Certainly there seems to be a pathological desire towards kleptomania and lying amongst our MPs.

    What seems of paramount importance in all of this is that everyone keeps their heads and just calmly insists that the full facts behind the death are disclosed and that those people responsible are disciplined in a court of law.

    Of course, this means that maybe we have to work together with people whose political beliefs are diametrically opposed, but we should all share a common concern, that people should not be subjected to physical force by the police for no reason.

  37. What penny is doing here is trying to engage in hyperbole by twisting being pushed to the ground as a "beating"

    This is a beating:


    Basically suddenly a man that had nothing to do the protest is adopted by the left as a martyr in order to vent their V for Vendetta masturbatory fantasies and as somehow a result of kettling tactics by the police.

    This was a tragic death of a man and hopefully the officer will get his punishment if proven guilty in a court of law but this isn't the result of some sorta Orwellian state oppression just a fuck up which the officer will be punished for.

    Don't pretend you give a shit about the man penny, you'll soon find another trendy cause to follow and he'll be just chip wrapper to you.

  38. @David Floyd:

    I'm very much in agreement with you on the need for perspective, but a point which can't be overlooked is how rarely the police officers involved are actually held to account in incidents like these.

    While Tomlinson's death may be classed as indirect or accidental and was not the result of police use of firearms as listed in the link, there still exists an enormous unwillingness in the press, judiciary and society in general to acknowledge the extent of police cock-ups or active misconduct. I hope this goes some way towards addressing that, but if it didn't happen after Menezes, I doubt it'll happen now.

  39. How old are the commentators on this blog? Pre-teen? Mostly idiots, surely? And what's with all this "fuck the police" shit! Five Muslim bombers killed dozens of people deliberately with home made bombs in London not so long ago but I don't hear any of you chanting "Fuck the Muslims!".

    When you're life has been ruined by or you've been threatened by crime who do you call? Well, it ain't Ghostbusters is it? Give the police a break and let justice takes its proper course over the next several months.

    And try to act less like some squalling infant that has pissed its nappy and had its dummy taken away if you want anyone ever to take you seriously.

  40. @ Anonymous
    'this isn't the result of some sorta Orwellian state oppression'

    Maybe not, but looking at the rest of the picture - ID cards, snooping at emails and web activity, collection of DNA at every opportunity, 42 day detention, flights of rendition, government approved torture, the preference by our government to wield a stick and keep all the carrots for themselves - it sure fucking feels like it at times.

    Or are you quite happy to see your civil liberties flushed down the crapper?

  41. @Hangman

    I'm 57 and not an idiot.

    I'm not an idiot because I don't support the police when they break the very laws they should be upholding.

    I leave that kind of idiocy up to people like you.

    Yes, I call on the police if I need to, but I don't expect part of their services to be unprovoked physical assault.

    And what have Muslims got to do with this?

    It's a separate issue entirely.

  42. Sorry, but my feelings here are "too little outrage, too late." Britons have steadily - and happily - been handing all power over their lives to the state for many decades now, and now all of a sudden there's outrage because one cop pushed a guy and then he had a heart attack an hour later? (Which may, or may not, have been directly related. There's no way to really know.)

    The protests should have begun in the late 1940s. It's far too late to be bitching about the obvious end game now.

  43. Penny, you should go into politics! Please do! You'd do a much better job than the bastards that let this happen. Just don't join Bastard Labour - I know you've worked with them in the past, but please, don't think even you are beyond the corrupting power of their structures. People think they can change Labour but I say fuck 'em, let them die.

  44. @steveshark

    'And what have Muslims got to do with this?

    It's a separate issue entirely.'

    Ah so you'll be able to tell what ID cards, electronic surveillance, alleged government activity in dealing with suspected terrorists and DNA collection have to with this poor man's death?

  45. @Anonymous
    Ah so you'll be able to tell what ID cards, electronic surveillance, alleged government activity in dealing with suspected terrorists and DNA collection have to with this poor man's death?

    Sure can.

    The rapid and ongoing erosion of civil liberties.

    And which Anonymous are you anyway?

  46. Penny, you're absolutely right - I sat out the Put People First demo on the previous Saturday because of all the talk of the police being up for it. But I'm not going to be scared of those thugs because that's what they want. I'll be at the next protest I can get to, with my camcorder and try my best to keep the coppers honest.

    They can't be allowed to get away with assault any more. And just a few words for Young Conservative, it doesn't matter what cause it is, a person's right to peaceful protest is something you should protect because as the violence against pro-hunting protesters showed, the police think they can hit anyone with impunity.

  47. A point someone made on my post about this: it's now illegal to take photos of the polis. Wonder if the guy who filmed this will be charged at all??

  48. 'You do not know it but you and you're kin are and have lost the battle.'

    Incoherent rant is incoherent.

  49. Wonder if the guy who filmed this will be charged at all??

    A US citizen - so doubtful.

  50. All I know is that I always feel great after feeling up the collar of a blagger before clipping the bracelets on the felon and running him back to the station where we beat a confession out of the villain with a length of rubber hose. Once that's in my mitts hauling his arse into court to stand before the beak and get him sentenced to serve a stretch of porridge in the chokey at her majesty's pleasure is a cinch.

    There's no such thing as an innocent citizen!

    Watch yourselves! And shut it!

  51. Not nice at all. But I'm surprised you are shocked by this. This is precisely what happens when you let the state get too big and become too powerful.

  52. I didn't know that being a supporter of the government and being on the centre-left was something so dreadful these days, Steve.

    I agree that the right to peaceful protest is a core right in any democratic society. But the ability of police to protect property and the business of those going on about their ordinary day cannot be dismissed either.

    Unfortunately, there is tension between the right to protest and public order - in this instance because a minority of protesters wanted violence. It is difficult to get the balance right. Generally, I think the police do a good job. Here, we clearly need a proper investigation of what happened as prima facie there is certainly a case for the police (whether the individual battoning and shoving or his superior if he ordered it) to answer.

    It is not constructive to go over the top in the way that Penny Red does, however.

  53. "I don't hear any of you chanting "Fuck the Muslims!".".
    Excuse me? "Muslims" as a group were not responsible for the July 7th bombings. Only racists would suggest they were. Terrorists carried out the bombings, and they are scum. I stood with millions of others in a two minute silence for the victims on the streets of London in defiance of terrorism.

    The difference with the police is that their violence is policy. It is deliberate, planned, and institutional. Oppression of protest and violence towards protesters is standard practice. Those police officers believed that Ian Tomlinson was a protester, so one of them violently assaulted him.

    Note a very interesting piece on the official New York Times news blog:

    "Most of the much-photographed violence on Wednesday evening was caused by people who looked like “agent provocateurs,” who “were going from police line to police line baiting the police — and they were the ones who instigated the push against police lines that kicked off the evening violence.” This photographer adds that “There was another guy baiting the police and whipping up the crowd to rush the police, he got a hundred or so protesters to follow him and then sneaked off as they reached police lines.” [A] photographer, who is a reliable reporter, “saw a bunch of protesters trying to stop a guy in black throwing bottles at the police, the protesters had an argument him and then accused him of being a policeman, whereupon he ran to the police cordon, showed some I.D. and was let through! ... I should point out that the only reason that we were able to spot these guys so easily was because the protest at that point was so peaceful, they really stuck out, so we followed them from one police line to another as they tried to start trouble.”"

  54. Young Conservative8 April 2009 at 14:27

    I'm only fifteen years old and I can still whip the arses of you bleeding heart loony lefties with one hand tied behind my back. See where I'm pointing... to a place called "The Wilderness"... that's where you're all going and good riddance to bad rubbish. My Granny could take you.

  55. @YC, we don't normally talk about whipping the arses of those we disagree with politically. But as you've thought hard about this, do you think police officers be allowed to assault anyone they feel like?

  56. A place called 'The Wilderness?' Isn't that where your Night Elf warlock lives? Run along and play, lad, the grown-ups are talking.

  57. Young Conservative8 April 2009 at 14:42

    You people might be chronologically adult but mentally you all seem to be pre-pubescent. No wonder the general public is so easily influenced, manipulated and controlled. I bet you all hum jingles from adverts on commercial television. Pathetic!

  58. That does it, young man. It's the naughty step for you.

  59. The main point in this apalling episode is the lack of moral courage shown by the officer concerned. Suerly there is no way that he can't realise who he is. What does this say about the 'boys (literally) in blue and their keepers. He should be charged with manslaughter at the very least and jailed accordingly. Will this happen? I very much doubt it as if they can get away with shooting onnocent Brazillian electricians on the way to work, what chance of a verdict for 'killing' and Londoner on his way home from work. It'll soon be illegal to be caught 'in possession of loaded camera with intent.

  60. @Ben
    I didn't know that being a supporter of the government and being on the centre-left was something so dreadful these days, Steve.

    The government...let's see...where does one start?

    Why would anyone support a government which has constantly eroded civil liberties, engaged in illegal acts of military aggression, brought this country to the verge of economic collapse, ensured that its porcine MPs have the best and deepest troughs from which to gorge their fill and reneged on virtually all of the socialist principles upon which it was elected?

  61. @Young Conservative aka Tory Boy

    'bleeding heart loony lefties'

    Not me, sonny. I'm 57, semi-retired and hope to be in France away from creeps like you by this time next year. My politics are confused at the moment, but all I know is that I wouldn't trust the Tories to manage a bowel movement, let alone a country. Similarly I'm sick of the current government and its manic drive to control its population through a mixture of fear and strong arm tactics.
    I don't see anyone who offers much hope here,and your puberty-fuelled rantings don't augur well for the future either.
    Now go and polish your acne or - better still - go and masturbate to your framed picture of Maggie Thatcher.

  62. Young Conservative8 April 2009 at 18:56

    You're more than politically confused, SteveShark, you're cerebrally jumbled as well. I attribute this lack of clarity to the ageing process and senescence elderly people suffer as they move towards the "long dark journey" and "almost unnoticed end". But, why leave a great country like this when you're all but eligible for a bus pass and free incontinence pants?!

    If you think France is better you're in for a rude awakening. French police are armed and not afraid to discipline the great unwashed with their batons at every possible opportunity. I know this because I used to holiday in France with my parents twice yearly.

    Get over yourself you geriatric delinquent!

    Daft old bugger!

  63. @Young Conservative aka Tory Boy

    'a great country like this'

    You really ought to stop jerking off quite so much and start thinking for a change, you smug little cunt.*

    This used to have the makings of a great country until a certain Margaret Thatcher started to dismantle its manufacturing base - a manufacturing base politicians of all parties would sell their souls for today.

    Instead, we ended up with a service economy with people who were and still are de-skilled, de-motivated and poorly-paid.

    Not all the Tories' fault, but they started us off on the long spiral downwards.

    *Yes, personal abuse - but when someone thinks like a cunt and talks like a cunt, let's not mince words, they are a cunt.

  64. SteveShark: using the term "cunt" as an insult, on a feminist blog - NOT COOL!

    Other than that, I agree.

  65. Yeah sorry, SnowdropExplodes, but at the time it had to be said.
    Sometimes odious little fucktards like that just have to be told.
    Apologies to anyone offended apart from that cornholed little cocksucker Tory Boy.

  66. DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. The problem with wrestling with a tory is that you both get dirty, and the tory enjoys it.

    This spat with a snotty right-wing child is distracting from more interesting things, such as the quote I posted giving evidence that there were agents provocateurs infiltrating the protests and instigating violence. More interesting than arguing with children, no?

  67. What's this about? What's all the outrage about?

    Obvious. The police role is to protect the public and enforce the law : not break the law and assualt the public.

    This is not only a legislative crime, but an absolute failure of the police to keep the public trust. The Police must, bluntly, be extraordinarily stupid to think that they could lie so blatantly and get away with it.

    Perjury is a crime, is it not?

    Prosecute to the full extent of the law. Make the law do something useful for a change.

  68. @Matt

    Point taken.
    So back on track.
    Late breaking news on the BBC News site.

    "Officer thought to be seen in film striking Ian Tomlinson has come forward, says IPCC"

    Let justice begin!

  69. These are the same police who film peaceful protestors and who cannot be filmed in turn.

  70. Young Conservative9 April 2009 at 08:54

    Pathetic doesn't do you people justice. One fifteen year old public schoolboy can run rings around all of you, leaving you with nothing to resort to but obscenity and filthy language.

    What a bunch of oinks.

    And you, SteveShark, with your obsession with onanistic masturbatory insults. What does that say about the calibre of your character and intellect? While I realise that your sex life probably consists of one off the wrist twice or thrice a year, accusing a teenager of solitary vice is ridiculous. And calling me a "Tory Boy"? I wear that label as a badge of pride you oaf. I don't see that appellation as an insult but as rare praise. You really are a pitiful and sorry fellow to be sure.

    Yet people like you can be useful. Were you to stand in the middle of my parent's spacious rose arbour and vent your spleen, orally, in a manner similar to that you employed chimp-like on this feminist blog; well, the manure and faecal matter gushing copiously from your mouth could manure the sahara desert and make it bloom let alone fertilise our roses!

    A debate should be between equals and obviously you stand far below me socially. People like you are born only to serve their superiors; in my view lowlifes like you should remember their place. I hope you have no children so that your retrograde genetic legacy will not be propagated to pollute and sully any of mankind's future progeny.

    How easy it was for a boy like me to sway and upset you and show you up for what you are: a foul mouthed and ignorant bully whose only response to an alternative viewpoint is by means of violent and incoherent diatribe and semi-literate abuse.

    As I said previously, pathetic.

    What a bunch of dolts you people are!

  71. Someone who constantly tells us they are fifteen years old is most likely to be a thirtysomething!

  72. Anonymous: Be careful .. I wouldn't upset the young dude. You've got to admit he's got a turn of phrase like no other. Please please don't insult me. I haven't said anything bad have I? I am but a measly human being unfit to grace the same comments' page as you. What is it that you demand? That we support the Conservative Party? But why oh why should we bother? Is there any difference between Labour and you .. really? Oh enlightened one tell us the error of our ways and explain why the Conservatives are the ones to vote for.

    PS My age is a secret.

  73. As is my ejaculatory frequency and delivery methods.

  74. Young Conservative, are you a native English speaker? You strike me as someone who doesn't know the language very well and thinks long words like "retrograde" sound good. Style point: they don't.

    It's also possible that you haven't quite grasped an especially English concept, irony. I'll give you a helping hand. Irony would be accusing people of being pathetic after spending quite some time trolling the blog "Penny Red".

    I hope that helps and welcome to Britain!

  75. Young Conservative9 April 2009 at 11:13

    Mr. Neuroskeptic.

    Thank you for your welcome. Oddly, since I expect you get most of your judgements wrong habitually, you are in fact correct in your assessment in respect to my nationality. English is not my first language as you surmised. For the first time in a while you have fathomed a mystery and actually finally got something right. I am by birth a proud Venezuelaian and yet, in my opinion, have already mastered your language in my salad days and can speak it and write it better than any other commentator on this sorry leftist blog. Doubtless while learning your language I acquired a much richer and more expansive vocabulary and tend to use more archaisms than any of you primitive stilted Anglos.

    I have in fact read a lot of Penny Red’s words. For the most part Ms. Penny’s postings are derivative plagiarisms and misrepresentations of other writer’s work, which she seems to have skimmed through but not absorbed or fully understood. If you consider the postings on this blog to be some high water mark that I should aspire to in order to become more linguistically potent, well, you’re on a hiding to nothing, ladies and gentlemen… oh, forgive me… I forgot for a moment what company I am in… what I meant to say was “… you’re on a hiding to nothing, females and males…”. All you backwoods politicos and cod philosophers make me hoot! You have no idea how foolish you all appear when looked down upon, like ants, from the vantage point of the high tower.

    As for irony, Mr. Neuroskeptic?

    Well, I hazard that you are a well educated, gifted and talented individual whose intellect commonly blinds lesser mortals with its brilliance: no doubt you have made sterling contributions to the world in many ways and will be remembered with love for all eternity.

    Ever heard of litotes?

  76. "Young Conservative, are you a native English speaker? You strike me as someone who doesn't know the language very well and thinks long words like 'retrograde' sound good."

    Maybe retrograde isn't that interesting but this: "Were you to stand in the middle of my parent's spacious rose arbour and vent your spleen, orally, in a manner similar to that you employed chimp-like on this feminist blog; well, the manure and faecal matter gushing copiously from your mouth could manure the sahara desert and make it bloom let alone fertilise our roses!" is worth the price of internet connection in itself.

    Unfortunately, my suspicion is that YC is probably a cheeky Oxbridge lefty wind-up but he is funny and he's right about France.

  77. This is bloody brilliant. Keep going, guys, I'm loving it.

    YC, you should have your own TV show. Possibly one in which you and a comedy sock-puppet shout at each other about oiks whilst eating crumpets in a rose garden. It could be called 'Come Whine With Me'. ;)

  78. Young Conservative9 April 2009 at 11:29

    Fuck! David Floyd and Penny Red have blown my cover! "I am discovered!" Ha, ha, ha. I am a little disappointed that Ms. Red saw through my guise and failed to "go off on one" in her own inimitable way but, all in all, I've enjoyed my stint as a right wing troll.

    One of the biggest troubles with left wingers like us - Yes! I am left wing in life! - is that we take ourselves too seriously! Lighten up folks, crack your cheeks and have a laugh for God's sake!

    Best wishes and... farewell!

  79. Young Conservative (but aging by the minute)9 April 2009 at 11:31

    Oh! And I love you really Penny! Bye!

  80. @Young Conservative
    Some great insults were traded...

    More on topic:

    I can't find it now, but there was an amazxing letter to the Guardian (!) in which the writer stated that as Ian Tomlinson had his hands in his pockets this was an act of defiance and so he deserved what happened to him.

    It's very similar to the old rape case excuse - 'she was wearing a mini skirt so she was asking for it' - ie no excuse at all.

    However, I really do think that we have a massive consensus of opinion here with all the papers (from the Torygraph' to the 'Scum') united in their condemnation of this horrific act.

    It really is a time for solidarity, with perhaps a need for the more 'anarchic' factions amongst us to not overreact and the more 'establishment' factions to be a tad more vociferous and proactive.

    Let's not waste what could be a watershed in public opinion regarding the future of the policing of this country.

  81. And how does this square with you being a socialist, a paranoid little red? You, by your stated political beliefs, endorse this behavior. You expect it, you condone it and you must want it, otherwise you wouldn't be a socialist, a paranoid little red. Because, you see, your approved form of government will give you this in spades. Wake up and grow up.

  82. Bill: you could scare a lot of crows with that straw man.

  83. I see the police officer who pushed Ian Tomlinson over has now been suspended.
    What about those officers who were with him?
    They either chose collectively or individually to keep silent for several days whilst the Met kept on saying that there had been no 'contact' between Tomlinson and the police.
    Why aren't they suspended also?
    Surely they impeded the investigation and covered up an act of - at least - assault?

  84. Ian Tomlinson having his hands in his pockets made it very difficult for him to keep his balance when he was pushed. He was also walking in very small steps making it easier to be pushed over ... he had no wide stable base. Also because he had his hands in his pockets he couldn't break his fall by his hands and arms.

    I'm not trying to excuse the policeman but suggesting why he went down so easily and why the fall was so lethal ( the impact was taken by his body not his hands and arms).

  85. I now see that he was possibly drunk, obstructing the police and stayed around for over an hour after originally being told to leave by the police. Thats in various (sometimes questionable) sources of media this morning, backed up by non-police sources. Whilst still abhorrent that he should have died, the tone of some of your instant reactions show that you easily get caught up in poorly thought out witch hunts which is unfortunate.

    Perhaps if you waited for facts and then used them to help comment more thoughtfully on the Police your comments would look reasoned, respectable and well argued. Its unfortunate how many people have been quick to saint the victim which will only weaken (rightly or wrongly) the case against the policeman/thug. Based on some of the details coming out now, your rant which should have merit, could well end up looking a little Daily Mail-esque in nature?

  86. Er, and you know the facts do you too, anonymous?

  87. @Anonymous - the one who posted at 10 April 2009 09:00

    Mentioning that he was possibly drunk is the most Daily Mail-esque thing I've read on here so far.

  88. "Possibly drunk?"



  89. @Daniel

    If he'd been on a cocktail of acid, smack, ketamine and charlie it wouldn't have been any excuse for taking a violent charge that's rarely seen - albeit faked - outside of the WWE.

  90. Anony @ 9am:

    Here's the facts.

    At 7pm Mr Tomlinson was walking along a direct route towards his home, having recently left his place of work.

    At 7:10 he found his way home blocked by a police cordon and was turned back by the police. I suppose this is what you call "hanging around after being told to leave".

    About 5 minutes later he was at the Royal Exchange Passage where he was assaulted; he was trying to find a different way home but was again turned back by the police. Witnesses report seeing him knocked down and attacked with a baton. He turned around and went back down the passageway, and we can see in the video footage that the police officers and dogs are following very closely behind him. He is then attacked again (the incident captured on video). This happened at approximately 7:20pm.

    It is after this incident, when he had already received at least one blow to the head due to being pushed over (in the second video clip of the incident you can clearly see his head strike the pavement hard) that witnesses report seeing him looking as though he was drunk. That, to my mind, is a symptom of concussion, not alcohol. In the video clip there is no sign of drunkenness before the assault.

  91. @ Penny Red

    If you ever hosted a TV show it ought to be called "Left Behind". The opening shot should be a back-shot of a woman who hitches up her skirt, exposes her left buttock to the camera on which we observe a tattoo (in red ink) of a long-nailed, manicured hand giving the world the finger (or the "V" sign") with the words "Penny Pummels Pricks" shown in Gothic letters.

    I think this could be a runner on BBC4... NOT!

    (copyright Gobby Gilbert 2009 )

  92. I'm mad as hell ... helpless and powerless as hell ...

  93. I'm as mad as hell... which is why I got fucking sectioned!

  94. What are you talking about Matt? No straw man here, these are historical FACTS. Every single country that embraces socialism / fascism / communism sees this type of thuggish behavior by the police and the various and sundry enforcement agencies.

    We are seeing more and more of it here in the US as we become a socialist hell hole. What was a rare occurrence in the 1950s is now commonplace, with police brutalizing an innocent person somewhere in this country every single day. Hell, it happens here in my home town of Chicago at least once a week. From killing innocent people during no knock drug raids on the wrong house to an off duty cop savagely beating a small female bartender within an inch of her life for refusing to serve him any more alcohol, this is what it means to live in a police state. Socialism has a record of failure so dismal, only an immature intellectual could embrace it as a form of government.

    Soviet Russia, the entire eastern block, red China, north Korea, etc. all experienced this and worse. This is the naked face of socialism, you better get used to it, because it looks like we are all in for a lot more.

  95. Why does this have to have anything to do with 'isms'?

    I daresay that many people reading this blog consider that what we have at the moment is not a socialist state, whilst many people who are much further to the right probably think it already is one.

    Whether the UK is socialist or not depends very much on your political viewpoint.
    My own political stance - very confused at the moment - forces me to think that if this is socilism then it's not what I used to support.
    I'm being rapidly forced to the point where I think we're having policies that will severely limit our civil liberties and reduce our privacy imposed on us by the back door.

    This is why I'm so concerned about what happened to Iasn Tomlinson, because given the widespread unrest in this country, it could well be that many people who were previously politically inactive could be treated in a similar manner once they start to display their disquiet in public.

    If there is an 'ism' involved here, it's authoritarianism and I, for one, don't intend to sit quietly by whilst it eats away at our basic human freedoms whatever political 'ism' it masquerades as.

  96. Might see you and others at the march; I'll be wearing a rather rakish Sarah Palin mask.

  97. The horrible dogs you mention were wagging their tails.

  98. I survived a car crash at 70 m.p.h. I was badly injured but didn't die. If Mr. Tomlinson died of a heart attack after being pushed over by the police, doesn't that indicate he must have had some underlying condition or weakness? Calling this incident "murder" doesn't do anyone any favours. Least of all the various causes of the Protesters: from anti-globalisation to too little interest on savings accounts! To label this incident as "murder" is to lie. I hope Penny Red will retract most of what she wrote in this unbalanced and hotheaded post; this kind of exaggeration does the cause of the left no good whatsoever and makes us all look like shouty yobs. Shame on you Penny Red for bringing the cause of the left into disrepute.

  99. Snark -

    In law someone's pre-existing conditions don't matter. If you harm them you're responsible for the harm. Legally someone would have to show a cause-and-effect link between the assault and Mr Tomlinson's death - I think such a link is very clear myself - but once that's shown, the nasty little shit who did it is fully responsible for the consequences.

  100. I would agree with Snark with regards to exaggeration. People are put off by obvious exaggeration.. stick to the facts as I mentioned earlier. Look what has happened to John Pilger: to pilgerise means to lie about something. John Pilger has done more harm to the left's cause than good, and I hope Penny Red you're not going to down the same road. There's flowery language and there's lies. Keep your flowers, get rid of your lies.

    Oh yea andrewhickey is correct about the pre-existing condition, but forget about his holier than thou description of the policeman .. he who is without guilt cast the first stone. If it is in your heart to forgive then do so.

  101. I *am* 'holier' than that policeman, because I don't go around assaulting innocent people (or, for that matter, guilty ones). And since it is none of us who were harmed, it is not for us to forgive him.

  102. You are not holier than thou, nor holier than the policeman. The man pushed him. yes he shouldn't have done and yes the consequences were huge. It was a little mistake than had huge consequences but his intent wasn't to kill the person, he was just trying to move Ian faster.. he was frustrated at Ian's speed. We all have made mistakes, you and I included but luckily we are not put in his situation. The policeman is a man who has made a mistake in his job and not some 'nasty little shit'... nobody deserves such a description.

    To tell the truth I do forgive the policeman for his mistake, and I have sympathy for what he is going through. I can decide who I forgive, it does not matter if we are harmed or not.. why do you make this presumption of forgiveness? As a whole nation we can forgive .. it is the way forward.

  103. It is not his job to assault members of the public - and were that to be his job, it would be perfectly reasonable to call him a 'nasty little shit' for taking such a job. It is not 'a mistake' to physically attack someone, it is assault.

  104. Yes it is assault. Yes it was intentional. Yes it was a mistake for him to do it... he was mistaken in his actions. Yes it is not part of his job. He was frustrated and tried to hurry. We've all been frustrated at times when things aren't going as quickly as we would like. And yes we've all tried to hurry it along... we may even verbally abuse other people as a result of frustration.

    It is a matter of opinion if it is perfectly reasonable to call him such names. To me, it shows me that you're a name caller, someone who uses abusive language to describe someone. That's what I call a perfectly reasonable description of your behaviour.

    It is up to you if you want to continue with this type of behaviour. It's a free world. To me its just feels like everyone is laying the boot into the man and there comes a time when you say, "hang on, stop, empathise with all and forgive."

  105. Frustration is not an excuse for criminal assault. It really is that simple. I am someone who gets frustrated very easily, yet I have never assaulted someone in my life.

  106. Mr. Devine's cool and measured approach to this incident is in my view civilised and admirable. To start shouting "Murder!" and baying like a pack of wild animals for a constable's blood before all known facts relating to the aforementioned event have been disclosed and properly considered is in my view unjust and disgraceful behaviour on anybody's part.

    The truth of the matter is that none of us currently know all of the facts regarding Mr. Tomlinson's premature demise. Commentators are inferring what happened based on incomplete and grainy video clips, their own preexisting political and moral affiliations, and, dare I say it, prejudices. Until a proper inquiry has been mounted and has reported none of us have any right to draw any conclusions.

    Let's all calm down, take a breath and allow British justice to determine what actually occurred and mete out punishment to the guilty as, if and wherever necessary.

  107. @Snark
    The fact that Ian Tomlinson died is a total red herring.
    Let's deal with the evidence so far - and that is shocking enough.
    What is at issue - until further facts emerge - is that the police officer in question used excessive and inappropriate force and there is also good evidence to suggest that the investigation into his demise has been impeded in various significant ways, ranging from flat denial, to removing shoulder flashes, to the turning off of CCTV cameras in that area the previous night.
    The officer in question has still not been intervie.wed
    That an officer of the law who swore an oath to protect the public can clearly (the footage isn't that grainy) be seen to violently shove someone from behind in a manner that was likely to cause injury, particularly as Ian Tomlinson had his hands in his pockets and was unaware that he was about to get pushed over and fall face down.
    Yes, I agree that it is of no use to anyone involved to shout 'murder' and regress towards a lynching mentality, however it seems that people of all political persuasions have accepted what happened in that video and are beginning to question what sort of police force this morally bankrupt government is creating under the guise of 'national security'.
    The whole business stinks.

  108. This whole sorry business seems more and more like the Salem Witch Trials. In Massachusetts the cry was "Hang the witch!" while in London it seems to be "The police did murder!". Neither was true: not in 1692: not in 2009. Some of our countrymen are acting in over-emotional and irrational ways whipped up by the media, prejudice and passion of the moment. The tragedies and lessons of history should have taught us to behave much better than this in the twenty first century. When you scratch the surface of a modern man (or woman) we should be greated by something more humane than a slavering muzzle and naked savage cannibalism of the baboon braying for revenge.

    An example of a similar mob mentality occurred in 1982 after Argentina landed troops on the Falklands, a colony that just about nobody in the UK had heard of or cared about before it was invaded. Here, the footballer and Argentinian national Osvaldo Ardiles, previously the darling and toast of Tottenham Hotspur, was repeatedly booed, jeered at and pelted with missiles by British fans while playing a match on British soil as if he were personally responsible for General Galtieri's militarism. What a ridiculous and utterly unworthy display by all concerned. And now a similar collective madness seems to be spreading and infecting many people as a result of Mr. Tomlinson's death.

    I am of the left but:

    I want facts not urban myths.

    I want justice, not the lynch mob.

    I want the truth, not lies.

    If we on the left don't champion the principles of equality, fairness, honesty and justice for everybody, not just the people we are sympathetic towards, who will? If we don't do this what are we for?

  109. *NOBODY* here has talked of a 'lynch mob' except you. There is a huge difference between throwing things at someone because of their nationality and calling for the prosecution of someone who, while supposedly protecting the public,
    assaulted someone who later died, quite probably as a result of that assault.

    I want to see the person who did this tried, and his superiors if, as seems likely, the assault was part of a deliberate policy rather than an isolated incident, precisely *because* I believe in justice. The police should be held to higher standards than everyone else, not allowed to get away with attacking innocent people.

  110. "In Massachusetts the cry was "Hang the witch!" while in London it seems to be "The police did murder!". Neither was true: not in 1692: not in 2009...

    I want facts not urban myths."

    Hang about, you want facts but you're leaping to the conclusion that it wasn't murder? I'm sure there's a term for that, but for now I'll just call it really really silly.

    And now a similar collective madness seems to be spreading and infecting many people as a result of Mr. Tomlinson's death.

    No one has advocated a "lynch mob", and we've seen no generalised reprisals. What we know is that there was a pre-meditated tactic of indiscriminate assault. For example, see this charge, batons striking out gaily...


    As the full Guardian clip shows, Mr. Tomlinson was assaulted despite posing no threat to the Police...


    "...calm down, take a breath and allow British justice to determine what actually occurred and mete out punishment to the guilty as, if and wherever necessary."

    Er, yes, that's why we're calling for a public inquiry; so that justice can be "mete[d] out". The police, and the IPCC, have been overwhelmingly dishonest*, and can't be trusted with an investigation.

    [*] http://backtowardsthelocus.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/accidental-death-of-an-anarchist-2/
    [*] http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/11/video-g20-ian-tomlinson

  111. "I think such a link is very clear myself - but once that's shown, the nasty little shit who did it is fully responsible for the consequences."


    So that's what is considered open mindedness now is it? What about the presumption of innocence until proof of guilt? You people have already made up your minds about what went on. And you are all so literal; you seem to have no subtlety at all when someone uses metaphors or talks allegorically. It is no wonder to me that the left in British politics expired post 1997.

  112. Presumption of innocence is for courts, and I would want any court to presume the innocence of anyone once they were *in* court. However, it's not something that can be applied when you're *calling for someone to be arrested*. "Arrest him! He's innocent!" doesn't work.

    There is video footage of a police officer physically attacking a member of the public, while that member of the public had his back to the police and his hands in his pockets. That member of the public died. It is not 'lynch-mob mentality' or anything like it to call for those involved to be arrested - there is prima facie evidence of guilt.

  113. @Snark
    What about the presumption of innocence until proof of guilt?

    I really don't think that the video in question is unambiguous in any way.
    If that was shown in a court of law it would be clear evidence of assault.
    Yes, until the police officer in question receives a guilty sentence, he's technically innocent and that's a good thing for us all.
    Whilst I admit and have said here several times, shouting 'murder' is unhelpful for everyone, I trust the evidence and I trust my own interpretation of it - that the police used cexcessive force occasioning assault - whether this led to Ian Tomlinson's death is another mnatter entirely and murder or manslaughter charges, if any, are very much in question until a connection is made.
    One last question.
    Take someone like Harold Shipman or Peter Sutcliffe.
    Yes, technically they were innocent until the moment the judge pronounced them guilty, but the vast majority of people thought that they were guilty before that moment and they weren't wrong.
    Why, when the evidence is so strong, should people presume innocence?
    I knopw what I saw - and so did thousands of other people.
    And I'm not a left winger...

  114. @ steveshark

    But we are NOT in a court of law and YOU are not a member of the judiciary and the commentators on this blog are NOT members of an independent and unbiased jury.

    It is NOT for us to judge or apportion guilt to anyone. We live in a country supposedly governed by civil law dating back to the thirteenth century and the drafting of the Magna Carta with its inclusion of the fundamental right of Habeas corpus (ad subjiciendum), which, sadly has been attacked more by our current Labour government than any other in the last seven hundred years.

    We only have a right to an opinion at present and have NO right to make any judgement about culpability let alone innocent or guilt. We live under the law or we don't live under the law and I opt for the former option.

  115. @ andrewhickey.info

    "However, it's not something that can be applied when you're *calling for someone to be arrested*. "Arrest him! He's innocent!" doesn't work."

    Your last comment was so silly I wasn't going to respond but have decided, reluctantly, to do so against my better judgement.

    Based on your last comment are you seriously suggesting that everyone who is arrested is assumed to be guilty until proven innocent?

    I think I'll stick to our messy and organic version of English law! I'm not a medical doctor but I think you are suffering from some sort of fever of the brain, Andrew, my old son.

  116. @Snark

    Of course, I realise that my opinions and judgement of facts have no legal weight, but how many people keep a completely open mind about someone's innocence until they are proved guilty or otherwise in a court of law?
    Obviously, in some cases the circumstances and evidence available is not enough to have a good bet - a mental, not a monetary one - on the outcome.
    But sometimes the verdict seems a mere formality.
    Now, be honest, before he was sentenced didn't you entertain the idea that there was a strong probability that Josef Frizl was guilty of the atrocious crimes of which he was accused?

  117. @ steveshark


    If I'm being completely honest I would say that, in my opinion, Mr. Tomlinson looked as though he had been assaulted by one or more police officers immediately prior to his death. This incident is so grave as to merit the greatest possible scrutiny and thorough investigation as a matter of urgency, although I am convinced that a charge of manslaughter let alone murder could never be made against the police officer(s)involved; I am sure that the officers involved could not be arrested by their colleagues and placed on remand under British. My opinion is based on some grainy video footage I have seen on the web and television, apparently taken on a mobile phone. I couldn't hear what was said by the parties involved nor have I seen any transcripts of testimony taken from actual witnesses present at the scene and therefore may well be mistaken in my views.

    The point I have been trying to make all along is this: matters of this weight should not be judged in the court of public opinion but in a court of law, where all available evidence can be presented logically and chronologically to the court and jury for proper consideration.

    Whatever the truth of this matter the inflammatory language used by Penny Red and some of her commentators is, to say the least, unhelpful. Let's all calm down and see what happens over the next few weeks and months.

  118. @Snark
    You still haven't answered my question...

    Now, be honest, before he was sentenced didn't you entertain the idea that there was a strong probability that Josef Frizl was guilty of the atrocious crimes of which he was accused?

  119. @steveshark

    It did seem to me that Frizl was guilty of his monstrous crimes before he was found guilty because of the vast amount of physical and other evidence accumulated during the investigation, e.g., the testimonies of his daughter and other children as to what went on; the prison he had deliberately and premeditatedly constructed with which to confine his daughter and children he fathered with her; the forensic DNA evidence which established categorically that some of his children were the incestuous product of assaults on his daughter etc., etc.

    But I didn't write any articles on the web or elsewhere publicly stating he was guilty before the German court had found him so.

  120. Tomlinson was clearly a provocative bastard and probably deserved all he got. All you milquetoasts make me sick!

  121. This post is a great resource for anyone who wants to start a discussion on the issue. Police officers did not have sufficient training to tackle public disorder on the scale of the G20 protests. Authorities will be paying for police officers to protect delegates attending the September summit and to monitor protesters who could spawn violence.

  122. Abortion is part of the decay inflicted by the gods in the latter half of the 20th century as we approach the Apocalypse::::
    - Free sex
    - Explosion in gay sex
    - Abortion
    - Legalized greed/immorality
    - The internet. Whereas TV was a phenominally destructive new temptation on the landscape it doesn't hold a candle to the internet. Some people will waste their whole lives.

    So many people don't care about global warming. They don't care about the Federal deficit/debt (outside of partisanship) and they don't care earning $400k for an $80,000/year job will eventually bankrupt the country. They have awarded themselves $400k pay and retirement packages, loading up their friends on the payroll during the boom 90s through the real estate bust while all services which the program were intended to fund now get cut to pay for it.
    These people are often common public university labor. Not Ivy League, not private university.
    This labor isn't good enough to command the salaries they are earning. And they understood this when they applied to the public university they settled on.
    You can't expect a top-tier salary with a second-rate education.
    They think they are going sometime during/at the end of this life, and disregard the poor souls who are left behind.
    These are the people who will be here in the United States when bankruptcy is declared and society deteriorates into chaos. And they will deserve the anarchy which ensues.

    Continuing the push for privatization, reinforced and supported recently with enormous public sector salaries and retirement packages.
    Once achieved the gods will utilize the corruptive predisposition of the private sector economy, as seen with the sub-prime/bailout fiasco, to initiate economic catastrophy and initiate the bankruptcy proceedings of the United States.
    Whether the cure for cancer/diseases or the permanant resolution of economic misery, before the gods remove these motivations to pray we will experience an inordinate deluge of each element, with economic misery being perhaps the dissallusion of the united States with bankruptcy.

    The gods used the Italians to ruin life in the 20th century.
    The gods used the Italians to ruin life in A.D. with The Church.
    The Church controlled Western Civilization. As the largest land owner in Europe they controlled the monarchies. They were responsbile for slavery, revenge for African invasion and rape of Italy. They created religious discontent, ultimately leading to the disfavored dumping ground known as the United States.
    And each generation of these Italians were sold on "earning", only to be reincarnated as a lesser life form subsequently, punishment for their evil.
    "The West Bank, where the end of the world will begin." With xtianity.

    A good example of societal decay and how the gods manage their culpability is birth defects. In the past the gods occassionally punished people by divinely creating birth defects in the womb. Now, with the advent of biotechnology, they tempt the mother with "earning" and compell her to take a substance in utero which deforms the fetus, dispelling the gods of blame and future obligation to the victim. Incidentally, they use liberal policies to pay for these individuals, ensuring a lifetime wasted, for they have no hope for progress. Too often in the past they were mercifully killed immediately and brought back without this handicap, allowing them opportunity to resume their journey of ascention into heaven.
    The gods are washing their hands of culpability. The gods are washing their hands of Planet Earth.

    You don't want to get involved in the abortion battle. You're not "earning". The gods will use this tool to cast people into Damnation. Nothing will save them. Stop wasting your time on others and work on fixing your own problems. If you don't make enough progress to be granted good parents when reincarnated you will waste your next life too.


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