The Jean Charles memorial blog round up
Saturday, November 10, 2007
For two years, my most unpopular blog posts have been about the summary execution of Jean Charles de Menezes. Many right of centre readers are instinctive supporters of the police. So am I, but this was neither British policing as we know it, nor as we should wish to know it.
The Government's tactics have been brilliantly evil. The CPS refused to bring criminal charges, though the guilt or innocence of any of us who had killed Jean Charles under the same misapprehension would undoubtedly have been decided by a jury and even though - in theory - we are all (including agents of the State) equal before the law.
To provide the appearance of justice, the Metropolitan Police was prosecuted - slowly - under Health & Safety legislation. Neither the killers, their incompetent commanders nor their political masters were at risk. The worst that could happen would be that
the Police the taxpayers would pay a fine. They have allowed years to pass without responding to critics under the pretext that the matter was sub judice. Of course this did not stop the propaganda arms of both Government and Met from blackening the dead man's name.
The impending mock trial was also enough to delay publication of the report of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which came to damning conclusions. Not least - incredibly - the report reveals that the arrogant leader of the Metropolitan Police deliberately impeded the investigation.
Delaying all this until the public had "moved on" was news management worthy of Goebbels himself.
The evidence was truly appalling, worse even than my speculations here over the past two years. The police had dithered, allowing the suspect to use public transport. If they believed he was wearing a bomb belt, they should have stopped him earlier. It seems they put their own "Health & Safety" before that of the public. By the accounts of their own commander, the handling of the situation was confused. She disowned the shooters' actions; claiming she had ordered them NOT to kill.
I defy the men in question to sue me for stating the following; the officers at the scene conspired to perjure themselves in stating that warnings of "Police" or "Armed Police" were given before firing and that de Menezes moved towards them in response. Seventeen witnesses, given no chance to collude, all confirmed he was shot dead without warning. Anyone with experience of criminal trials will tell you that such unanimity is almost unheard of. Policemen who give false evidence under oath are not worthy of our support.
The bullets fired were described in evidence as "special." They certainly were. Soft-nosed dum-dum bullets, so vile as to be illegal in warfare. Seven of them exploded in Jean-Charles' head. The framing of the picture above says it all. His jacket was raised not to conceal his head, but its absence.
I have not been banging on about this because I hate the police. I don't. They do a tough job. In my time I have made a citizen's arrest and otherwise aided them. I am their instinctive supporter. I have blogged about this repeatedly - and to the displeasure of many readers - because it matters.
It is not just that the police made a mistake. Not just that they lied. Not just that the orders they were given were illegal. Not just that, chillingly, they accepted them without question. The worst aspect of all has been public indifference. If we will not draw a line at this, our free society is in mortal danger.
From now on, any dissenter can be killed on the say-so of any State agent. All the killer has to say is that s/he suspected the victim was a terrorist. That will be enough, it seems, to satisfy the British public. Please remember that every victim of Nazi or Stalinist terror was alleged by the authorities to be a terrorist, saboteur or otherwise an "enemy of the people". If an allegation, however ill-founded, is enough to still the voice of public opinion we are ready for a police state. On the day Jean Charles was killed and a few lies about him (being an illegal immigrant, jumping a turnstile, wearing "unseasonal" clothes) were enough to bring us onside, a terrible line was crossed.
Our education system has been so thoroughly subverted, that the vast majority of our people are incapable of critical thought. From birth, they have been drenched in the simple notion that private initiative is bad and that State action is good; that the Government is - in effect - morally superior to its people. It is the only political thought in most of our fellow-citizens' heads.
The blogosphere is similarly infected. Mine has been one of few voices consistently criticising the actions of Government and Police for the horrors of that tragic day. As the evidence has finally come out - through the "trial" and the long-delayed report of the IPCC - other voices have joined in. Here are some links to blog posts in the last week. I commend them to you.
17 to 8 - So who do you believe?
Bang Bang (My baby shot me down)
De Menezes: Why was the firearms team delayed?
What would we say if it were the Russian or Chinese police who acted like this?
de Menezes: Blair as mendacious and deluded as his namesake
Any police force is, virtually by definition, intended to defend the establishment. Your right wing critics fail to understand that the establishment is now firmly left wing. Ian Blair is buddies with Ken Livingstone and consequently virtually unassailable.
Those right wingers who still defend the police without question are a mirror of the left wingers who still attack the police without thought. Neither has recognised the changed circumstances.
Posted by: TDK | Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 03:21 PM
Well said, I wholeheartedly agree in both sentiment and detail. This is a grave outcome for British justice and government.
Posted by: Wolfie | Monday, November 12, 2007 at 03:47 PM
The Register has an interesting analysis of systemic hailure here:
Posted by: Ian Grey | Monday, November 12, 2007 at 12:25 PM
I do not condemn the armed police, for they are assassins like the SAS. They do brave and sterling work that we do not have to do, to be such vigilantes. But used by politicians to harm the public, to lie to the press about Charles jumping the station barrier, to lie about the order to "stop" meaning simply interrogate him, shows those who lead the Police Service are corrupt parasites, mandarins of Mainland China.
I am waiting for this government to give petrol-subsidies to Public Servants and Unemployed.
Posted by: Kinderling | Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 11:21 PM
The posts aren't unpopular with me.
Blair should go, his position is unsustainable. If the officers have indeed perjured, they should stand trial.
The report implies that "special bullets" are OK because they are used by Air Marshalls. There is a good reason for that- it isn't to instantly incapacitate the victim by destroying the top of his spinal cord, it is to prevent the risk of explosive decompression should a regular bullet break a window or pierce the fuselage.
Posted by: Ian Grey | Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 08:14 PM
In the past I have castigated you and your profession for not attacking the legislation that has led to the present situation in the U.K.
I appreciate beyond measure the post
you have just written and applaud the stand you have taken.
Posted by: Peter Whale | Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 06:31 PM
Posted by: pedant2007 | Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 08:22 PM
I agree. The officers in question should stand trial for perjury/perverting the course of justice/whatever.
Posted by: Simon Clark | Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 02:45 PM