Harwood To Face Trial – Pilkingtons Let Down

Too little too late.  Harwood can barely get a fair trial now and what should be ‘on trial’ is how Ian Tomlinson’s family were treated so badly and why those in our justice system tend so readily to cover-up.  The same is really true in the Pilkington case.  It should not have taken this kind of enquiry to open up the problems and lead to the ‘new practices’.

When the IPCC investigators are ‘let loose’ they are pretty good, something I knew long ago.  The problem is getting them or other reliable investigators on the case – with the further problem is is necessary because ‘local resolution’ is a total con.

The prosecution of Harwood is only necessary, in my view, because the complaints system failed so badly and so quickly became a cover-up through misinformation and use of available bent practice.  He is now likely to be the fall guy for this.  The  DPP’s statement today is thin cover for his own incompetence.  In inquest produced no new evidence, merely the evidence that would have been collected had their been any willingness to do so.

My own preference is for a police force that prevents the culture that allows behaviour like this and quickly moves to remove those who fail decent standards through open review.

Both these cases involve deaths and are likely to be the tip of an iceberg – other cases suffer from the brush-off approach of the complaints system and lack of status of those victimised.  Consider the support of law for Giggs in trying to hide embarrassment, compared with the lack of support for those living near ‘problem families’, or Ian Tomlinson who just wanted to get home.

For each of such cases that fit media criteria, there are many more.  They should be publicly collated and the fact this is not happening only reinforces poor actual quality and waste.  My own solution would be to bring a cheap version of judicial review to bear.  Many of these problems would not exist at all if police performance statistics (as opposed to any procedures useful to practice) were taken out of the hands of senior officers and political manipulators.


Tomlinson Enquiry Failing The Need

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/09/ian-tomlinson-death – the Grauniad.

Ian Tomlinson was killed two years ago because police officers failed to protect a vulnerable man.  They prevented him making his way home, and one of them clearly assaulted him in front of other officers.  The story is now ghastly, and pretty much all of our criminal justice system is tarnished.  Claims that there is no evidence of this, that and the other really only substantiate that no timely investigation was possible, and that only ‘chance’ video evidence has helped bring the grubby story to any light at all.

One can see that police have to be as free as we can make them from malevolent complaint, but here we have all the signs of various bureaucracies operating only to make no one responsible.  Whilst money is being consumed in this manner, we can only fear things can only get worse.

Harwood will almost certainly escape proper prosecution because a trial would bring others and the system itself under belated scrutiny.  And it is in these areas that the great matters of public concern lie.

“Public Argument” is failing all of us (Tomlinson)

One can put a case forward that Mr. Tomlinson would still be alive if there had been no G20 protests.  Beyond this one can argue that the organisers of the protests are responsible for the death if the protest was not justified.  Beyond this, one can argue that those who organise our democracy were responsible because their failings make such protests necessary to protect democracy.  There is no need to agree any of these arguments, just appreciate they can be made, no doubt at tedious length.  We have known this about argument at least since Pyrrho. One can get so pissed off with argument that all that is left to say is to point to the pisswitterers (Sophists, lawyers, pundits) and announce ‘I know nothing, but even this is to know more than them’ (Socrates).  This is only a ‘polite, humerus’ way to chant ‘fuck off you twats’.

Given a more or less white powder, test tube, thermometer and Bunsen burner, and asked to find out what temperature lead carbonate turns yellow, most of us would probably stick the powder and thermometer in the test  tube and heat it up, recording the temp.  I forget the result.  There are more people than you’d think who can’t do this experiment.  They’d be the only ones left if I’d substituted lead azide, which is so massively explosive we transport it in dextrinated solution (carefully).  It’s sort of white to buff as a powder.  Most of us can heat up white powders; almost none of us can spot the psychopath.  Not many of us can do chemistry in a safe manner.  I could write this little exercise up a bit more carefully to make its point – which is that most of us can’t do argument safely either and the results are as disastrous as heating up lead azide or even looking at it aggressively.  I forget, but the stuff is so preposterously explosive in raw form, that the energy to set it off equates to dropping it through six inches, or as Hogday might appreciate, breathing loudly in the distant vicinity of a currently non-hostile Arab mob or Millwall soccer fans.

Public argument is as distant from real, scientific argument as most of us are from being able to make and handle lead azide.  More than this, we keep non-equipped dullards out of lead azide handling, but not out of public argument. That this is blazingly obvious is blazingly obvious – the questions are about how we so easily forget this so regularly.

We send cops (and others), ill-equipped, under-trained (yet burdened by loads of useless training) and more into quasi-lead azide situations and blame them when things explode.

I still like to think, at the end of a 22 hour shift, covered in the blood of my best friend (he survived) and having just fitted my inspector’s head up the exhaust pipe of a Volvo, I would have treated Mr. Tomlinson better than Harwood and the cops who looked on.  And that even in one of my current diabetic states, I would not have been as jobsworth as the DPP  in his pathetic ‘decision-making’.  I ain’t Superman or Plato, just a working stiff.  What has ans is getting in the way or ordinary people doing their best?  That they didn’t for Mr. Tomlinson is obvious.  The energy required to do this amounts to a drip in the bucket of cover-up blather.

Time To Root Out Corruption in Police Complaints

A jury has delivered a verdict of unlawful killing in the Ian Tomlinson case.  I doff my cap in the direction of the IPCC investigator who put such a good case togther.  Sadly, it was all too late, after skulduggery at the Yard, the bent pathology and duck-egg Hardwick at the IPCC, who initially denied there would be CCTV evidence.

Harwood should be put on trial for GBH with intent, but this piece of scum is the least of the problems.  He should have been sacked within weeks.  We have seen civilians (also scum) convicted for substantially less brutality.

I think it’s now time to make some examples of those involved in the skulduggery, and those officers who failed to stop Harwood, or at least arrest him on the spot.  Deterrence is the major reason for the legal system and it is hards to think we can achieve attitude change when one reads Gadget’s contributors and her/him at their worst.

There is no point allowing the same old votaries to investigate or make changes – this has repeatedly produced cover-up, and for police to evade real investigations when the evidence is available.  Decent cops deserve as much protection as we can give them, and there is a serious problem with false complaints.  I believe there are ways forward in this area and that many doing the real work of policing and investigating police incidents would welcome this.

I do not believe we have the best police in the world, though clearly not the worst.  And the police are not the major problem in our justice system either.  The debate needs to be opened-up.  We get poor service and some grow rich in providing it.

Incidentally, what kind of fuckwit thinks a jury of us lot can’t judge between a bent autopsy done by a discredited guy with a record of ‘helping police’ and decent evidence?  The kind we let become a votary is the kind.

Good luck to the Tomlinson family.  Sue the pants off the Met – I won’t begrudge my contribution.  The tedious work done showing “Harwood’s Progress” through CCTV deserves credit.  It is a matter of public interest to put Harwood on trial in order to get as much of the dirty linen into the public domain as possible.  Sadly, Scumboy was only a problem because we won’t address wider issues.