Thursday, 22 July 2010




PT Barnum said...

One would think that, given how successful Crimewatch et al have been at solving crimes through public assistance, they could film a nice reconstruction and ask for people who Know Stuff to phone in.

Anonymous said...

What did you expecy?

call me ishmael said...

This is exactly what one expected, mr anonymous, that's the point; policeman gets his hat knocked off and it's six months sick leave and a charge of assault against anyone they fancy, policeman kills a citizen and he can never be prosecuted, it's not the surprise one notes, just the monotony of it all. Oh, and the implicit warning to potential strikers and other enemies within.

A misunderstanding of the purpose of Crimewatch, there, I venture, Mr ptb. Nick Ross, himself, it was, pronounced himself wholly satisfied and confident that justcie had been done in the matter of the Barry George fit-up, he has yet to apologise; why should he?

Mike said...

Of all the events that are saddening, and for fuck's sake there's a long list, this one was particularly bad. Maybe its the image of Mr Tomlinson - he looks particularly helpless - or the arrogant thug - he looks particularly menacing. The outcome is no suprise. The effect will be felt, however, in increased disrespect for authority and a further breakdown in civil values. Do the shits at the top of the pile care? I suspect not.

mongoose said...

Nothing changes. The question to ask is what would have happened to you or to me if we had so pushed over and killed a copper? About twenty-five years would have happened. All coppers are bastards and that one is a special category of same.

Verge said...

This is the wikipedia synopsis of what happened to Stephen Waldorf in 1983:

On 5 August 1982 David Martin was caught while breaking into an office in the West End of London, but he escaped by shooting his way out, severely wounding a police officer. A month later he was arrested while disguised as a woman, but during a struggle drew two handguns before being shot in the neck by an armed police officer. On 24 December 1982 he escaped from a cell at Marlborough Street Magistrates Court, and went into hiding. The police were convinced that a Susan Stephens who Martin had met before his arrest, and had visited him in prison, was his girlfriend, so she was kept under surveillance. Police suspicions were reinforced when Martin telephoned Stephens several times, and they met to go to the cinema, and later for a meal, in the following weeks.

On the evening of 14 January 1983 police officers in unmarked cars were following a hired Mini in which Stephens was sitting on the back seat, occasionally looking out of the rear window. The driver was Lester Purdey, and the front-seat passenger was freelance film editor Stephen Waldorf, who the police thought was Martin. When the Mini came to a stop due to rush hour traffic congestion in Pembroke Road, Earls Court, a detective was sent forward to confirm the identity of front-seat passenger. The only one who knew Martin was Detective Constable Peter Finch, who had been one of the arresting officers when he was detained the previous September, so he approached the car along the pavement on foot with his revolver already drawn. Finch later said that at this point the driver glanced at him through the window, then said something to the passenger, who turned and reached toward the rear seat.

Finch opened fire, shooting twice at the passenger-side rear wheel of the Mini, then four times at Waldorf himself. Detective Constable John Deane then ran up to the back of the Mini, and fired five shots at Waldorf through the rear window. During the shooting, Purdey jumped out of the car to escape, and Waldorf attempted to follow him, even though he had already been hit several times, and ended up slumped across the driver's seat. Detective Contable John Jardine then fired twice at Waldorf through the open driver's door. Finch, meanwhile, had made his way round to the driver's side, where he leaned into the car, aimed his revolver between Waldorf's eyes and said, "Okay, cocksucker," before pulling the trigger. Finding that he had already used all his ammunition, Finch then pistol whipped Waldorf until he lost consciousness.

Hit five times and severely wounded in his head, abdomen, and liver, the handcuffed and unconscious Waldorf was then hauled by his arms onto the pavement. Stephens, screaming and protesting, was also dragged from the vehicle.

David Martin was rearrested shortly after the shooting; he was found guilty at the Old Bailey of the attempted murder of PC Nicolas Carr and was sentenced to life in prison. He later committed suicide in his prison cell in 1984.

Jardine and Finch stood trial for attempted murder and attempted wounding of Waldorf, but were cleared of all charges in October 1983. Waldorf eventually made a full recovery and was paid £150,000 compensation by the Metropolitan Police.

yardarm said...

No doubt the copper involved will be promoted, as a further insult.

PT Barnum said...

"Jardine and Finch stood trial for attempted murder and attempted wounding of Waldorf, but were cleared of all charges in October 1983."

Which means, presumably, that if they had successfully killed either David Martin or Stephen Waldorf, that would have been just fine too, just guilty of being a tad zealous, out of grief for their fallen comrade. I wonder if a jury in 2010 would acquit them of those charges. I'm thinking probably not.

call me ishmael said...

Ever the optimist, mr ptb; the odd, poorly-connected copper gets nicked and banged-up but not the high-profile grade A fuckpigs, for whom the CPS, the DPP and if it comes to it His Honour Mr Justice Slag will all perform cartwheels within cartwheels.

However hard-bitten and cynical one is, however much one thinks to have seen it all, this Tomlinson event is, as Mr mike said, riven with pathos; a broken-down heart patient sideswiped contemptuously and killed by one of the Met's very own Raoul Moatistes.

Should there be a serious question in the House, from any of the vermin there installed, we might anticipate Decency's hesitant arrival. But they don't do that sort of thing, independence of the CPS and all that.

In darker moments I taught the children that, axiomatically, there are no good men in public life, how could there be when more people die in UK police custody than in South Africa during apartheid's full kaffir-bashing bloom? Now they don't even have the good manners to drag people off the street and kill them in secret but do it, instead, right before our very eyes.

Where is the tumult from bishops, more concerned with each others' arseholes, than with the poor beaten to death by Caesar? Why are the revolting Thought For The Day rabbis and imams and gurus, their beardy heads filled with ancient, guilty superstitions, silent in the face of Nazism on the streets of the Capitol? The pompous, self-regarding doctors, the sticky-fingered lawyers and the wnining teachers, why do they not surge to the support of the famille Tomlinson; the gobby, time-and-motion chief constables, the Directors and Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors of Health and Social Services and Probation and Parks and Leisure; where, for fucks sake, is the Labour Party when an old, weakened newsboy is publicly murdered by law enforcement?

I have mentioned before George Steiner's dictum that the Holocaust happened because the 1930s Berlin intelligentsia was too busy enraptured by the string quartet in the salon to hear the cry in the street; how many of us must be batoned before, too late, we hear the gates of the camps swinging open in grim welcome?

PT Barnum said...

I have been a tad whimsical with my previous comments, reduced to facile sarcasm in the face of this blatant licence-to-baton case. Two elements of the non-prosecution linger in my mind.

In the immediate aftermath of the death, much disinformation was spread to and via the media about Ian Tomlinson's alcoholism, the subtext being that the drunken lout brought it on himself.

And then there is one Freddy Patel, the doctor who performed the first PM, declaring it to be natural causes, a shining example of modern medical standards since he was under investigation for incompetence at the same time as he was slicing open Mr Tomlinson's corpse. But his judgement, for the Agent-of-Kicking-the-Vulnerable, Keir Starmer, carries as much weight as two other pathologists, neither of whom have yet to be placed on restricted duties.

I'm always more inclined to believe in stupidity and self-interest than any grand conspiracy theory, but Mr Tomlinson's treatment post mortem has something especially nasty about it, a squirming beast lashing out in any direction.

I seem to recall that, when first established, the police were citizens whom the populace consented to grant additional powers to, but their entire authority stemmed solely from that precious thing, consent. They are not the army nor any special entity, they're supposed to be us. Who murdered that fundamental principle?

yardarm said...

Yes, it`s the silence that deafens, Mr Ishmael. All the gob reels, only too quick to lecture us on drinking, smoking, losing our jobs to make the bond market happy, these trash, these prating pontificating arseholes are zipped shut over the increasing and unchallenged ability of the state to fuck us over.

Probably because they stand to benefit from it.

PT Barnum said...

I found what I was hazily recalling earlier:

Robert Peel's Principle

The police are the public and the public are the police.

Principles of policing

1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Those, for Peel, are the key elements of an ethical police force.

mongoose said...

And it's not just the particular events of savagery and horror that we should mention. it's the institutionalised, above-the-law corruption. When was the last time that a copper got a speeding ticket and just paid the bugger and took his three points? Quite. Never. The law is for the little people.

Woman on a Raft said...

I'm going through the CPS public statements and spitting. Does Starmer seriously think this would convince anyone with the basic ability to google a few articles and compare how the CPS act in all other cases of contested medical evidence?

I have rarely read such an insult to my intelligence. Then again, maybe I don't get out enough.

Still, now we know why he was anxious to charge Lord Taylor with false accounting last week to make a splash. It's not coz he iz black or even coz he iz guilty. It was because he was handy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding us of the Peelers' principles, Mr PTB. No. 6 is especially interesting:

"Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient." as in,

"I've asked you once, I've asked you twice, Mr Joe Public, but you still don't seem to be listening."

As opposed to,

"I feel a strop coming on and you look like an arsehole who I feel like walloping, on account of (multiple choice):
My hangover,
My private life,
My prevailing cultural distain for the Citizens who don't look that important but, one way or another, pay my wages via their taxes.
My rather small willy.

The Powers that be need to get a hold of this sort of stuff by the scruff of the neck as it will not, otherwise, end well.

mrs narcolept said...

The string quartet in the salon, Richard Thompson on CDs, my dear mr narcolept's motorbikes. If we were to concentrate properly on what is happening out there we would fill our pocketses with stones and walk into the river.

Dick the Prick said...


Showing my age and the number of pills i consumed but cheap dancey dance music is the way forward!! More cheese the better!

All the best, as always.

Mike said...

"contested medical evidence" - why not get the President of the appropriate Royal Society off his lazy arse and do a third autopsy to put the issue beyong doubt?

I know, I know...I'm missing the point.

call me ishmael said...

No, mr dtp, it's not, the way forward, not for me at any rate, but thanks anyway, I looked at it abd I feel that you can have my share.

I'm not going to read that, Mrs WOAR, it would upset me - and if I can't take your word for it, I can't take anyone's, now, can I? I would, though, be interested in your assessment of Starmer, who presents as such a decent chap.

That's a harsh poetry, mrs narcolept, simlar, well, identical to that I voice to myself, so often. What detains us here, when we should be pulling-up paving slabs?

Is this a vast cyber-nursery, where they let us act-out, confident that here we will get it all out of our systems, short-circuit our rage and congratulate each other on our erudition, passion safely pissed up the monitor screen?

They were good ole boys, mr ptb, Peel, John Bright, Wilberforce, George Cadbury. But not team players, eh?

Anonymous said...

Cybernursery? No, it's smoke for the beehive. Let's do the waggle-dance!

PT Barnum said...

"Is this a vast cyber-nursery, where they let us act-out, confident that here we will get it all out of our systems, short-circuit our rage and congratulate each other on our erudition, passion safely pissed up the monitor screen?"

Our "masters" seem not to have realised this, since the noises, gestures and laws to shut this whole thing down keep on coming. Clegg's Freedom (if I agree) web project appears to have shocked the ruling class with its inconvenient and repeated demands for the impossible and the unpalatable. If it has done nothing else, cyber-raging has shown us we are not one or two lone voices, but thousands. One dissenting voice may be deemed insane, a dozen deemed a cult, but, if nothing else, at least we are screaming at the world, and not just the wall.

It does one other vital thing, this interweb: it tells inconvenient truths, records them for posterity (or next week). Without the widespread reiteration, as if from many mouths, of touchstone moments, like Mr Tomlinson's fall to the ground, Keir Starmer might never have had to decline to prosecute, since the event could have, would have been 'disappeared'. The more diffuse the network, the greater the chance that some holding to account can be done. You cannot raid a thousand websites across a hundred countries simultaneously.

Or, more succinctly, I do not believe this, any of it, is either a waste of time and energy nor a state-sanctioned tantrum room.

Woman on a Raft said...

I don't know Mr Ishmael; the underlying political and legal situation is rolling about like ice tectonics.

We both noticed last summer that the last 'ruling' of the ending HoL was that they were going to leave it up to Starmer to define and publish the law. There have been stupid things since then, like the reporting of Holobone MP to the police for his comments about burkhas and them passing a file to the CPS.

It should have taken about five minutes to point to some checkable law to say "The CPS has no authority on this matter which is governed by the concept of parliamentary privilege which makes proceedings on the floor of the House immune from prosecution or civil action".

Instead, they acted as if they had a choice of whether to prosecute about what the noodle-heads say on the Floor. That, above all, is something the Crown foreswore. We had a civil war about it.

The CPS does indeed have some power. It should always be prosecuting except when there isn't a case (and hence no reasonable prospect of conviction) or, more rarely, there is a case but no public interest would be served by a prosecution. This means their power is that to refrain from prosecution, and they should use it appropriately.


Woman on a Raft said...

What I can tell you is that the CPS is frequently incompetent and incapable of doing the simplest searches on the OPSI website. They often don't bother to look at their own website, which is quite a good prosecuting manual.


You may recall last Remembrance Sunday a fake war veteran (a Walt) marched in Hinkley and the daft array of medals he wore was recognized as nonsense. He was arrested, charged and convicted under the Army Act. The only snag was, that act had been repealed two weeks earlier and the CPS knew it, because the police were told and asked the CPS to check the legal situation.

In court the CPS assured the magistrate that the Army Act applied, which it didn't, with the result that a week later everyone had to go back to court with the Commencement Order which proved the old Army act had been replaced by the Armed Forces Act. The case was struck out under the Magistrates Act.

You may care to contrast the speed with which the Walt was wrongfully arrested, wrongfully charged and wrongfully convicted, with how long it took the CPS to avoid issuing charges in the case of PC Simon Harwood.

So no, I don't think that much of Starmer. He's just not on top of his organization.

call me ishmael said...

Thanks Mrs WOAR, I didn't know about the medals case, but I am not surprised by the incompetence of CPS lawyers, never mind their hierarchy; I was able to bully one into upping the charges against some uninsured drunk who had crashed into my car writing it off and leaving me chasing compensation from the Motor Insurers' Lodge; it was a small victory but one which, dealing with proper lawyers and properly framed charges, I should never have been able to achieve. Cowboys, in my, as we now say, HO.