Police Racism Is Crap – Can’t the Met Catch On?

With 10 cases involving 20 officers referred or re-referred to the ludicrous IPCC can’t the Met catch on?  It’s OK for a black MP to slur all white people, but not one white person must  … blah, blah.  We know racism is crap and we know no one is really free from it if we read up on the subject.  We accept rape is wrong and yet the conviction rate is very low.  This is largely because most of the evidence is dubious, with all parties often drunk, stoned or both.  Solomon would have trouble!  The same, of course, is true of claims of racial abuse – often coming from people already discredited by being in police custody and it being so easy to make false claims without much comeback.  Black officers, I seem to remember, are as much as four times more likely to be subject to complaint procedures.

The problem here is that police complaints systems don’t work and are massively prejudiced in investigation and the law.  Cases that get to court follow familiar patterns of taking a very long time and of detailed histories of previous complaints against officers being ruled out as evidence whilst complainants (even if police officers) have their motives and credibility impugned.

Even if the IPCC was any use, referring such matters to them wouldn’t help.  This is a cultural matter requiring strong leadership beyond words in the supervision system and an openness that can’t be other than deterred by criminal investigation.  On the basis of the kind of “research” the IPCC has bought so far, it would poll the whole population on whether police are racist or not when what’s needed is research in the relevant population done by people who can establish trust.

Even the tape recording I’ve heard on television and at the Guardian is not evidence of racism and I’d acquit if that’s all to be found, despite being profoundly anti-racist.  I heard the same advice being given by a black nurse to black hooligans more than 30 years ago,though that was issued in more strident form.  Racism was chronic in the Met back then and they were in denial about it.  All sides in this need to let some independent researchers in so the matter can be brought properly out into the open. My guess is their are faults on all sides.

Half all young black lads are unemployed against a 25 – 30% average.  It’s common to hear this is because they are a lazy bunch and the rest, as it’s common to hear that Asians are bleeding welfare dry and so on.  Crap gossip like this comes about because we so rarely bother to make the truth on any subject easy to access.  Ethnic minorities are generally present in our prisons in disproportionate number.  Some say this is due to racist treatment, but it could as easily be disproportionate engagement in crime.

It is easy to stop your people using words like ‘nigger’ – just sack a few who do.  Works wonders, does a little of such medicine.  It won’t change any attitudes other than those about not being loose-lipped.  I’d like to see the Met engage some researchers prepared to get out in relevant areas with cameras and able to talk in confidence to police officers and the relevant population and make sense of relevant figures and some participant observation.  I suspect their are home truths the Met, our ‘ethnic’populations and the rest of us need to learn and that incompetence is at the heart of all this.  The current situation must be making all officers wary of dealing with BEMs and that can’t help.

The IPCC should get on with more important matters like the buried SOCA report on corruption.

 

Advertisements

“More Met Racism”

The story is probably as complete as a newspaper can make it here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/apr/05/met-officers-restricted-alleged-racist

I don’t like racism wherever I find it.  The problem is that I find it everywhere.  So do scientific tests.  In the latter we find it in the sub-conscious, underneath what we can pretend in rhetoric.  This is true of criminality, sexism, pornography and whatever to ‘push away’ from polite society (a Freudian concept).  The Internet is a mirror for it all.

I saw “police racism” first hand and its language was colourful (let’s face it, PC is so bad it could even make this ‘pun’ a speech crime).  In the Met this included a threat to set a police dog on ‘the Spade in cell 5’, down to ‘what do you call a nigger with a machine gun?’ and assertions the ‘way to deal with blacks’ was to go in hard, ‘knock them about to show who’s who’ and so on.  In all my time, I never saw and behaviour by officers other than speech to indicate normal impartiality was dropped on race grounds.  There was plenty of other stereotyping and gaming.  It wasn’t a good idea to be young, scuzz-looking and driving a Ford Cortina in the late and early-hours when I was working for that matter (scuzz nicked an awful lot of Ford Cortinas back then).

I’m sure cops take far more abuse than they give out.  I tried not to nick people just on this count, tolerate their drunkenness and so on.  I’m not sure how we have come to operate broken windows policy on “speech” – especially what may be said in heated contexts.  We have little clue on what connects behaviour with speech in common action.  In terms of  real racism in action, it is surely worse that we allow capital flight from Africa (through London) that kills people and keeps them in squalor, than any sloppy racist language can do.  And ‘ethnic’ discrimination is colour-blind – as in the Balkan and Rwandan genocides.

I’m quite happy to see words like ‘wog’, ‘nigger’, ‘Paki’, ‘Gringo’, ‘Jihadist’, ‘Crusader’ and the rest regarded as inappropriate.  That the issues remain untouched is obvious, say, when after several months working with Arabs, they announce you aren’t a Crusader.  From Cyprus to the Balkans you can find friendly, even inter-married neighbours quickly at war on old ‘ethnic’lines and disgusting genocides.  OJ was guilty if you were white, not guilty of you were black.  Even those involved in the Rodney King beating were not convicted of any direct crime, but civil rights abuse (google the video).

I’m much more concerned at the lack of disabled people reading the news or having to throw their wheel-chairs off trains and crawl back into them, or disproportionate numbers of ‘foreign sounding’ men driving taxis rather than a cross-section of the local population than any problems in ‘politically correct speech’ amongst or towards police officers.  This doesn’t make the latter right, but it is an indication that our focus remains on ‘espoused theory’ rather than theory-in-action.  I deeply suspect that those pronouncing on ‘institutional racism’ are deep movers in the institution.

You can’t watch news on Sky now without (especially around tea-time) some grim advert on poverty and deprivation in Africa and children starving.  Yet behind the attempt to get you to give a few quid or dollars, capital flight through the well-dressed and well spoken City and its offshore network is growing.  This is the City of “Blue Arrow” convicted by a jury of us, let off by judges who aren’t.  A few Met cops mouthing the wrong stuff are small beer and should be treated as such – quickly rapped knuckles are in order, not protracted legal non-solutions.  Sticks and stones break bones – words can be hurtful but we should be able to give and take these in a tolerant attitude, and more importantly we need to discredit words in favour of analysis of overall actions.

That cops can still mouth this crap is sad.  Yet nothing like as sad as what banksters do.  That kid you see in the advert has malnutrition – but what is the cause of her not having enough to eat?  The words of a few cops or something much deeper and to do with the institutions of ‘money’ and our failure to focus on what really matters and what is really immoral and should be subject of a moral imposition of the broadly democratic human rights that matter?  Tariq Jahan was capable, under intense stress, of saying the right things, in last year’s riots, and yet could still break another man’s jaw for ‘looking at his wife’.  Police officers who spout racism should not, yet they do less damage in this than those who spout ‘learning lessons’ or are incompetent, and a lot less damage than most of those who might hear their outbursts.  This latest case is encouraging, as it seems other officers have felt able to come forward and complain.  Yet surely there are more important matters they should be able to bring to light and cannot – such as the cover-up on hacking, what really happened in the Nico Bento case, and why white collar crime hardly gets a look in.

We Have To Stop Lying

Over the years I’ve been urged to teach British managers techniques from overseas.  The first muck was Management By Objectives (MBO), an American interpretation of Soviet production targets.  Then fashions turned Japanese, with quality circles, just-in-time, continuous improvement and various kwality initiatives (TQM, TPM, TPM) and even poga oke (fool proofing).  German stuff rarely got much mention as it involved such “socialist” dangers as works councils and rigorous training.  There was plenty of British stuff about, from Action Learning, the Industrial Society, MRP1 and MRP2 (manufacturing recommended practice) and ISO 9001 (as amended).  Most of this stuff was found to fail as often as succeed and it was all considered seriously as management fashion.  Utter piss like excellence was popular.  Much was just a rehash of organisational management 101 – like business process re-engineering.

There are decent management techniques and ideas – but they are lost in social effect because the system is based on idiot notions of profit and income distribution.  The underlying spirit of this muck is fascism, with leaders ‘creating reality’ for the rest of us mugs.  Thatcher is often associated with this ‘modernisation’ that has led us down the road to serfdom.  The crass promise, remade by Bliar and Camerooney (merely Bliar 2), is that getting us all super-efficient will allow us to dominate world competition, earn our way in the world and so on.  The truth, of course, is that it set us on the route to Chinese wages and conditions of employment – and probably set a Chinese Empire in motion – giving them manufacturing expertise was the equivalent in geo-politics of selling guns and whiskey to the Indians in the old westerns.  It was traitorous.

I have no doubt we should be efficient  where we can be – the real reason being to make work easier and for there to be less of it and for us to be able to do other things with our lives in a secure environment, not to get swollen ankles and suicidal feelings working for a Chinese gang-master or Indian load shark – or be ripped off by the rich and the offshore empire based around the City of London, Wall Street, Hong Kong and Singapore – or to see the efficiency gobbled up by lawyers and accountants.

I teach double entry book-keeping and various techniques based around profit and loss, balance sheets and cash flow.  The stuff makes sense when you get the hang of it – even derivatives in basic form as insurance (though we could use other instruments).  Most  people can get enough of a hand on the basics for it to be worth teaching the complexities that underlie business information.  Business runs in cycles and there is a need to build up cash and reserves to survive hard times and innovate.  There are ways to cut costs through financial moves (e.g. repos being a cheaper way to ensure cash flow than bank borrowing).

If I can’t get much of an understanding with most students, I can get them to learn to use the systems – the spreadsheets are much like driving and maintaining a car as opposed to knowing how to build one.  The real problem is dishonesty.  Rather than variations on primitive double entry book-keeping, we have systems that look more like the two sets of books Al Capone’s accountant might keep.

Here’s an example of German government debt.  This is as close to the real situation as I can find (it’s from zerohedge somewhere).  All you need to do is track down what should count and do the sum.  Simples!    It doesn’t suit Frau Merkel to have the situation like this, but if she was CEO of a large company, trying to pass off her figures (which exclude a lot of contingent liability) would get her arrested.  She likes it listed at less than 100%.

German Gross Domestic Product (GDP):                                   $3.2 trillion

Official German Sovereign Debt:                                               $2.618 trillion

Percentage of Liabilities at the European Union:                          27%

Percentage of Liabilities at the ECB                                           18.94%

Germany’s Percentage of the ECB Debt ($4 trillion)                    $757.6 billion

German annual cost for the EU budget                                      $46.36 billion

German Guarantees for the Stabilization Funds                          $280.6 billion

German Guarantees for the Macro Financial Assistance Fund      $211.14 billion

German Target-2 Liabilities                                                     $656 billion

German Guarantee for the EIB Debt                                        $157.29 billion

Sovereign Guarantee for KFW                                                 $588 billion

Total German Sovereign Debt & Guarantees                             $5.315 trillion

Official debt to GDP Ratio                                                             81.8%

Actual German Debt to GDP Ratio                                            139.8%

Of course, I teach all my students that there are no prizes for being technically proficient in commercial or public sector statistics and plenty of cash for signing off on dud ones.  This is the immediately transferable skill!  We are now a pathologically lying society and it needs to be stopped.  It’s much worse than the example above as we are not allowed to do any stock-taking and accounts offshore cannot be accessed.  The problem has been known at least since Gresham and concerns the fact that once immoral practices are allowed they expand to become the norm.  My gaming on the sports field always increased against opposition who did it.

Our problem is umpiring (and let’s face it we can’t trust them without all the technology and public scrutiny).  We are currently wasting our productivity gains on highly inefficient finance and managerial non-jobs.  We can’t even argue properly because all the figures are fudged and we are more ideological than even the Soviets managed.

More Nonsense On Rape

Brian Paddick has come out again, this time in support of rape victims – http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/02/brian-paddick-rape-cases-met .

There is no doubt the investigation of rape is in a mess on all sides.  We are presumably clear on outcomes – we want to reduce the offending to a minimum, see victims treated with care and dignity and offenders put out of harm’s way.  The actual situation is as hopeless as wanting decent conditions of living and full employment for everyone in a genuinely democratic society.

Paddick’s puffery won’t help.  Ambush Predator regularly features “rape victims” who were not victims at all but predators making malevolent false allegations.  False allegations throughout our system cause many problems.  It isn’t easy to tell who is telling the truth and, indeed, so many ‘professionals’ have very inflated notion of their abilities to divine this on a personal basis – all the science says they are as useless as the rest of us, with the possible exception of a few.  Our ‘professionals’ have very little training to stop them stereotyping and covering up and in my experience can’t tell who is telling the truth and are as likely to elevate the claims of false complainers and character assassinate someone telling the truth as do the right thing.  It is far too easy for these ‘professionals’ (who often lack any substantial education and/or experience) to make out they have a false complaint in order to evade doing the work needed.

Much we know should be done is not because it costs money.  There are some superb SAFE centres for victims around the country (Lancashire and Manchester are exemplars), yet in other areas facilities are barely better than 30 years back.  This is not just about providing comfort and care, but also safeguarding forensic evidence.  We just can’t “afford” the right care and investigation depending on post code.  This is a disgrace and not just because of the larger failure of our economic system in which we can’t afford this, that and the other while the rich bury talents in ever deep mineshafts of derivative rip-off.

It is true that some of the serial rapists should be caught earlier (and one has to suspect many are missed), but the majority of rapes are not done by strangers, and anyone running a SAFE centre will tell you the big problem for most concerned is being voluntarily pissed or doped out of their skulls.  I’ve heard many competing stories I could not make end or tail out of.  I’ve also seen colleagues, utterly confounded, taking the ‘wrong side’ in zealous determination..  Our courts are no better and need shaking from their complacency.

Our law on drunkenness (and otherwise pissed) have reached the point at which there is a legal fiction of mens rea to enable convictions when people commit acts whilst pissed, yet a woman is held not to be able to consent when pissed.  This is monor in comparison with the problem of reliance on evidence from people with no clue what they or anyone else was doing at the time, and obvious problems with people waking up with a totally fictional account of their own actions.  Been there to some extent, but the question is why any court ever tries to work out what happened from such accounts.  People need protecting when they are pissed or otherwise vulnerable, but our courts show all kinds of sympathy to a claimed rape victim and yet use the drunkenness itself to convict other people who clearly could not form intent in any normal sense.

The Dutch have some better answers than we do at the moment and we should have copied these years ago.  They ain’t perfect, but trying to think you can sort out a barrel of drunken people not generally the most reliable, making all kinds of claims about each other (something cops may deal with every month in one way or another) is dumb thinking – you can only do so much.  Our standard courts are not the place to sort out these drunken messes.  We need an intermediate solution.

Yet across the board in these areas we find men like DSK and the reciprocal exploitation of their failings and sex for rent people.  The Swedes have reversed some of the standard duties of proof in these areas and maybe we should do that.  If you’re daft enough to use prostitutes you should shoulder the risks and not the poor sod renting the body?

I would consider a false allegation of rape more likely to severely affect me than rape itself (other than in violence).  Yet what is the prosecution rate and conviction success on false accusers and what punishments do they get?  On what I’ve seen they suffer less than the poor sods they accused, and some of them I’ve known were capable of weighing this in the balance before deciding to frame someone.

One thing i would consider would be a statistical offence in which anyone ‘cautioned’ (this wouldn’t be the current kind) over engagement in the mix would be subject to summary sanction on a second and remedial incarceration on a third.

What strikes me as appalling is our “professionals” seem as likely to confuse a victim of a very serious serial offender as a pissed up doxy who ends up in a friend’s bedroom smashed out of her brains and then shouts ‘rape’.  That and the fact we could have done a lot to clear this mess up 30 years ago and still haven’t.  In some countries woman (lacking testes) can’t testify – maybe we should go back to that?  No, not really – but a lot of what needs doing concerns evidence and presumptions.  The allegations against Julian Assange are credulous in the extreme, yet courts are prepared to waste time on them.  Yet we have cops prepared to dismiss the 5th victim of a serial killer.

We need straight-talking on this stuff instead of the indexed PC crap.  Rape is crap and this needs to be taught, right down to the gutter or most idiot Ivy League locker room or eastern European gutter.  No fucking about – violence and sexual abuse is so piss you disqualify yourself as a human being if you do it.  We obviously allow some considerable numbers of people to believe other than this from statistical evidence.  Efforts need to improve here – yet we also need to take care not to allow the teaching to be some kind of anti-men shit akin to the diversity training insults of the past.

The pissed up, social mess got out of hand stuff needs separating from violent and predatory behaviour, rape and otherwise.  Gawps who go around saying women don’t make false allegations needs to be told they are gawps and forced to read proper accounts of stuff like ritual abuse.  Police and other training needs to be ripped apart to point more at real problems like stereotyping and gossip that makes them vulnerable to  discounting victims (and worse) – this means an end to all kinds of piss done at the moment.  Our courts need upgrading to 21st century and stripped of the ancient rot and privilege and salary capped to allow only average earnings to be made out of them.  IN the ensuing reorganisation we might get some sensible Dutch arbitration courts and we could  always privatise them to get even more value for money, importing Chinese judges as we now import Polish plumbers.  I digress … bored shitless by a set of problems where we have known the answers (admittedly imperfect) for 30 years and done sweet FA.

 

 

Another Shooting By Police

Details on today’s incident are few.  Apparently some attempted car thief with a large bladed weapon was shot.  In years gone by we had to put ourselves at considerable risk and the likelihood of PTSD dealing with such creeps.  I’m not against them being gunned down instead.

I am concerned that the IPCC haven’t even (because of our dud legal system) told us the evidence on Duggan and this incident may take as long for what truth can be told to be out.  I believe the routine issue of one rifle per car is held back because of fears the complaints system is useless and officers don’t have the speedy back up that should be there for them.

Police Pay Cuts

The police wage bill is £11 billion and this is around 75% of total spending.  The real cuts being made aren’t as advertised – the bulk of the savings are ‘back door’ through the inflation being stoked up through QE and our farcical focus on financial services and the speculative economy.  If we are lucky, two years down the line the average cop wage will be worth 20% less than last year. The cuts themselves are typical of the tinkering done across the public sector.  Wages generally have been in decline since the 1970s.  If one was able to price police pay to market, they would be much lower – perhaps 30% less.  I’m not advocating this, just pointing to the obvious market conditions.  I don’t believe much if any of the pay targeted at the front line will get there.

The situation is almost the reverse of that in the late 60’s when police pay had fallen way behind in an environment of generally rising wages.  We threatened and later voted for strike action then.  Hard to justify in these circumstances.  The only way to get higher wages is it insist on them across the board and for full employment.

The current offer is no or less business-as-usual and doesn’t represent the kind of radical overhaul the CJS needs.  Cops will be less well off like the rest of us except the rich top 10%.  This is what most of them voted for, though one expects they didn’t know as it would have happened if Labour had won.

Our force showed no signs of knowing who its best officers were and who among them was prepared to concoct criminal lies to cover their bad work.  I have no faith in performance based pay when such basics are not entertained.

Another financial wangle

Just a few minutes to spare before I go and kill my lawyer.  He is now claiming to have lost several forms I signed last week.  I’ll let him off if he buys lunch.  Hapless dork foisted on me for a probate transaction.  His general tack is to promise to sort things by next Monday.  This has now slipped to Tuesday.

Re-hypothecation is a word that Robert Peston will be wuckfitting your way soon.  What it means is pawning customers’ assets several times until no one knows where the original bauble or cash is.  The general rule is you can only do this to 140% of the original value, but in the City of London you can do it until the cows come home – and at this point someone turns up claiming the cows are theirs.  It’s all a bit like lending your lawn-mower to a nextdoor neighbour who rents it out to the rest of the street.  It has a long history going back to the times when goldsmiths lent money on gold you deposited with them for safe-keeping.

So watch out for comingled re-hypothecation and get ready to shout ‘Bingo’.  Whenever you hear nonsense like these terms you should ask ‘who pays the bill’?  Which is precisely the question we should ask about the City in general.

More Problems For (I)PCC On Duggan

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/20/mark-duggan-shooting-watchdog-panel

Two people have resigned from the Community Reference Committee set up by the IPCC after the killing of Mark Duggan and the riots sparked off by the event.  The allegations in the post above are dismal if true.

Perhaps the most damning is the statement that the IPCC Commissioner involved told CRC members 3 police officers gave a statement that a sergeant had been seen to throw the gun Duggan was supposed to be carrying to the spot where it was later found and later told them no such statements existed.  It’s more or less impossible to think of any reasonable excuse for the sergeant’s actions or to explain the lack of an arrest of the sergeant.  Quite how you can mislead someone on such a matter is also inexplicable.

We now seem to know that a potential murder scene (almost one of a police officer too) was easily compromised by the taxi Duggan was traveling in being moved and the brought back – flouting everything I know about crime scenes and yet apparently ‘authorised’ by IPCC investigators who hadn’t even made it to the scene, and that Duggan was under some kind of surveillance and allowed to pick up a weapon and travel with it.  Though we can’t be sure.

About the only thing we do know for certain nearly 4 months on is that Duggan’s death and the piss poor handling of the investigation caused riots across our cities.

This is not, as the IPCC would have us believe, a complex enquiry.  The players and the scene have been known since the outset.  A detective sergeant and a couple of jacks plus a SOCO should have been enough.  Early individual statements from officers at the scene (not colluding) should have been a must (the IPCC is so toothless it can’t even do this).  If a cop had been shot by Duggan most of the non-forensics would have been done within hours, statements within 24 and a charge read out the morning after.  The Commissioner seems so hapless she didn’t know even essential features of the investigation weeks into it and made up some that were untrue.

You wouldn’t find me anywhere near community referencing, but you could get me out of the office or bed to talk to a crowd of people in the circumstances of August 4th.  I wouldn’t do the job at all under the obvious remit for pussies in effect.

What I’d suggest is the scraping of elected police chiefs and letting us elect some regional oversight people to direct complaints and improvement with a small number of hardened investigators who would nick any “sergeant seen throwing a gun into a crime scene periphery”.  Of course, some will think we are getting no more than the usual community referencing porkies, but those of us who do think like this from time to time don’t go a-rioting.  I would say though, that police and IPCC people had enough time to spin false tales to the press and this means there was time to put together a truthful story to tell the putative rioters and the wider public.  If the nonsense on an exchange of fire and the rest came from officers involved in the incident, there is more gloom ahead.

Waiting for the storm

I watched the rolling news out of the corner of the eye today whilst doing my admin tasks. BBC, Sky and Russia Today get some part of my attention.  I learn nothing much except I prefer Radio 3.  Sky had some vapid woman who either is of was a police superintendent.  I gleaned little except democracy is not safe in hands like hers.  RT actually spoke to a few protesters about the protest.  The UK clowns seemed to be hoping something would kick off.  What I thought I saw was police over-kill with London closed to traffic and more officers than protesters.

I regard myself as little more than a serial cock-up survivor.  Life as others live it is meaningless to me and allows little moral fellowship.  We do a bit of shopping for elderly neighbours, I cut next door’s “lawn”, clean up crap for the street when I put out our bins and turn up to help next door’s kids when their parents are out if needed (they have replaced a couple of my roof tiles etc.) – but in the wider sense I just see doom.

Gadget’s girlfriend was under attack in Parliament and blamed the previous government. No truth came out other than that the gaggle of clowns in the place aren’t fit for anything but ridicule.  Ms May appears capable of sacking people and I suspect this will lead to more paperwork as people cover arse.  I note that when the clowns present themselves in our roughly five-yearly selection interviews that they don’t say they will do so much of more or less nothing they will still be able to blame the last management two, three and ten years down the line.  Evette Cooper was useless and the point that we can’t muster enough customs people with a reserve army of about 8 million unemployed was never made.

Police will not be able to find enough officers to ‘anti-protest’ at double the number protesting or setting up tents if the actual nature of our plight dawns on enough people.  It’s not good to see that we now mob protests with police and nick people for camping in Trafalgar Square.  But never mind anything serious, FIFA is going to allow our players to wear poppies that rightly commemorate the fallen but also encourage the forgetting of the imperialist nature of wars millions protested against and then died in because we couldn’t resist the banks and commercial interests any better then than now.

I have no real truck with the protesters, but think they should be allowed to protest around Parliament – to discourage the clowns in the place.  The rest of us deserve little as we remain ignorant and apathetic under the current tyranny of clowns.  I’m just waiting for the run on the banks (what I put by is in gold), a collapse in asset prices and then my little pace in the sun.  I’d rather fight, but tell me where or who with,

I’m going abroad because almost all our society disgusts me and I can get cricket and rugby on Sky.  It’s all easier to ignore as an exile, there’s generally less crime and a less threatening drinking atmosphere when I venture out for a few.  And there are none of those awful apathetic English.  I hope to be out before the storm blows here.

Channel 4 News returned a little sanity, soon back to the despair of a young disabled couple who committed suicide in our Brave New World, yet at least some concern with truth.  I half-expect the studio to be dismantled by a flood of Bobbies!  There is still little on the Italian job and what it means.

Those of us who believe the current model of doing things in the world is hapless are rarely motivated by Marxist jargon these days.  I’ve always thought ‘brainwork’ should be unlicensed and free to all with minor exceptions like bomb-making recipes and skills.  the issue for most of us is debt and the way neo-classical economics (of most governments) leaves this out of the relevant management spreadsheets.  This leads us to think we are in another great depression, with the exception that government interventions this time have been massive (QE and such).  And most of us think these government measures are appliatives for a crooked banking sector, not the real problems.  This isn’t hindsight and most of us concerned with debt predicted the 2088 crash or something like it.  You can find most of the argument at Naked Capitalism, Steve keen (including a full academic course of lectures), David Malone and Zerohedge.

My tack has never been one of economics in the standard sense.  I take it that society needs something simple that most people can grasp – this because I’ve taught too long to believe even university students can get over ‘early learning’ constantly reinforced by our vapid media and stifling workplaces.  More people turned out for Jimmy Saville than to protest.  It is no surprise that Berlusconi is off just after agreeing the IMF inspectors can come in.

Learning Lessons From The Mark Duggan Killing

A number of weeks after Mark Duggan’s death we know little of the case.  There are no lessons to learn on the police and IPCC communication following the shooting.  This followed a standard cock-up line that is all too familiar, from which lessons should have been learned in the past and new procedures should already have been in place.  The big lesson to be learned is that the ‘learning lessons’ excuse is just an excuse.  The IPCC has been in place about 8 years and only gross incompetence can be responsible for its repeated failures at Stockwell, the Tomlinson incident and the general course of the discharge of its duties.  It is not trusted by anyone needing recourse to it or the police. Eight years on, it still recruits police to its investigation teams.

The release of misinformation that police had been involved in an exchange of fire and lack of decency by police and IPCC in regard to Duggan’s family is standard fare, as is the press reporting of the dead man as a gangster.  We need better rules for the media and on case material disclosure to ensure a good form of public scrutiny – rules that won’t compromise the prosecution of a case and will help to prevent people gathering round police stations and the sparking of riots.

Currently it is possible to suspect police officers involved of anything from incompetence to murder, as well as the opposite in that they may have been bravely doing their job.  This is all down to lack of information.  There are rumours that the non-police gun found ‘near the scene’ may have been planted, that the taxi in which Duggan seems to have been shot left the scene  and returned, and there are unanswered questions about how the false information on an exchange of fire arose.

We now know the converted starting pistol has no traces of Duggan on it and that the taxi was stopped in an intelligence-led operation.  The cops involved may be guilty of something, but the statistical likelihood is that they aren’t – but they are subject to protracted stress.  The Duggans feel police are operating a shoot to kill policy; unlikely, yet this is not to deny substance to their feelings.  How they come to feel this and be suspicious of the IPCC needs to be brought into the open and compared with others dissatisfied with police complaints.  The non-IPCC story on this is utterly unsatisfactory, as is their engagement in gaming performance management.

The lack of forensics linking Duggan to the converted starting pistol is disturbing.  Crooks, if he was such, are usually careless, and only a fool would chance his arm with such a weapon against the real thing.  Clearly, if this is either a murder or a conspiracy to cover up a cock up we don’t want disclosure that would prejudice future proceedings; yet 3,000 people may turn out to the funeral today believing the worst.

The mistake we’re making is in the belief that information has to be kept from the public domain to allow a fair trial and that this is possible in the modern world,or even desirable. Harwood cannot now receive such a ‘fair trial’, but would not be facing trial were it not for the public scrutiny that forced a proper investigation which police clearly tried to suppress.

It is miserable in extreme that police officers should find themselves under suspicion when they may have been acting diligently and bravely.  I’ve been in the position myself and it still rankles.  My guess is we can’t get round the problem, but could make it more open and get matters over more quickly through procedural changes and a change in attitude on disclosure before trial or likely trial.  The real problem is dated attitudes towards sub-judice and press reporting based on ‘salation’ rather than facts.  This allows the kind of secrecy that leads to conspiracy and potentially, riots.

We might also wonder, in this case, on how easy it was to arrest and imprison a nurse at Stepping Hill on almost no evidence, and the treatment of the officers involved in considerable discourtesy to the Duggans, the issue of misinformation, a man dead and millions and lives lost in ensuing riots.

In circumstances like this, officers involved should not be allowed to collude and should be subject to recorded question and answer as soon as possible.  A long and dark story on police evidence and its place in our system of evidence is involved here.  When officers collude, they produce  versions on the same story, accurate to a degree never found among other witnesses.  This is regarded favourably in court, against all scientific sense which would expect some differences.  Thus we have a court system based on evidence that cannot be accurate and is known to be based on collusion.

All the issues arising in the Duggan case should have been fixed from ‘lessons’ allegedly learned by police and IPCC on many occasions before.  The key lesson is they use learning lessons as an excuse and do little about it.  Another is the issue of police collusion on evidence – the IPCC has been against this since its inception and failed to get change.  Another may be the disdain shown by police and IPCC – an important cultural problem.

I have no faith in the IPCC and most people trying to complain have none.  It’s time they were gone.  We’d be better off with cops under elected control and outside standard operational police work doing the job.