The Ian Thomlinson case and many others tell us police in England and Wales are not subject to the same justice as other citizens. In some other countries this is codified in law, but in the UK the law appears to be made over and again on the hoof by parties interested in preventing embarrassment to themselves, but causing the same by their ridiculous bias and incompetence. That we are expected to swallow this is of particular concern for our democracy. Graham Smith (the articles Google – start at http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a791442442 ) long ago produced a convincing argument that there is a vicious cycle of failing to bring about any real justice in police complaints.
General police responses to these matters show considerable stereotyping and adherence to the chronic paranoid-schizoid position which casts criticism to the position of enemy without any hesitation or reflection. There has been substantial academic and legal debate on these matters, but this has regularly been dismissed by a system that cannot engage in self-criticism in any real depth.
We are in trouble,particularly if we want our police and legal system to be able to take the quicker and firmer actions to rid us of the antisocial crime that blights many ordinary lives. We need both a streamlined system to do this and to protect civil rights at the same time. The excuses given by the head of CPS today align him with the old, old arguments that it is really impossible to complain about police effectively, and that delay and confusion will be built into any investigation in a manner that we do not see as a matter of course in ‘civilian’ enquiries.
I used to hope that our legal system did try to fix itself as it found out about miscarriages of justice, but this does not really seem to be the case. The same kind of miscarriage keeps repeating and no one ever seems to be brought to book. The Tomlinson case has s smell similar to that of Nico Bento about it, in that police used a discredited forensic expert, and that clear CCTV evidence is not accepted as evidence. Officers and prosecutors (judge and defence in the Bento case) all seem to be able to act in incompetent and illegal ways, prepared to put innocent lives at risk without any comeback.
There are many issues that need urgent attention, including why victims are not brought together as a group to establish what they are really experiencing. Police officers watched-on whilst Mr. Thomlinson was being assaulted and did nothing. The list is long and sorry. We are probably moving into something we might label ‘Capitalism 4’ at the moment and I suspect this will require the kind of brutal disregard for civil rights of the 19th century. The very idea that ;police could bring in their own, discredited man, to do an autopsy and then rely on the difference between this and the two later ones to make a prosecution unlikely to be successful because of irreconcilable differences (ie; between a police stooge and independent experts?) is so ludicrous one has to assume sense in our legal system has collapsed, or more likely that the establishment believes it can fob us off with any old tat.