Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


It seems that in this country today the police must never be seen to be in the wrong. I believe the trust that we the public have in our Police Force is being irreparably damaged by the apparent shift in the relationship between the police and the law. The police are always very quick, sometimes as in the case of the MP Damian Green too quick, to demonstrate that nobody, not even politicians are above the law, while on a fairly regular basis now we are being shown that they clearly are.

I am not trying to imply that the Police are more ‘Gung Ho’ or more violent towards the general public than in the past and they do often find themselves in very stressful situations but when incidents of conflict between the police and members of the public do occur there seems to be a definate trend toward more brazen acquittals, which can serve no purpose other than to embolden those in the ‘force’ who have a tendency toward violence to use it more often.

The first of two cases that particularly concern me is of a very drunk and no doubt troublesome reveller with a very bloodied face, handcuffed by the police and being pinned down over the bonnet of a police car having CS gas sprayed into his face at just a few inches distance, this was a clear breach of the guidelines on the use of this deterrent, which even in exceptional circumstances (which this clearly wasn’t) should not be used closer than a meter. This video shows what happened, you don't have to watch all of it.

Despite there being a clear breach of the guidelines and a lengthy enquiry we were told there was no case for anyone to answer, so just like the three enquiries into the CRU leaked emails the purpose seems to have been to whitewash.

Next the more publicised case of Ian Tomlinson.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has announced that no charges are to be brought against PC Simon Harwood in connection with the death of Ian Tomlinson.

Video available here, if you have not seen it already then you should watch it.

It shows a man walking along with his hands in his pockets being hit first with a baton, then violently pushed to the ground, having his hands in his pockets he could do little to break his fall. After being helped up he walked on for another 100 yards or so then died.

Ian Tomlinson was examined by three pathologists, The first  Dr Patel (who is at present suspended over claims of incompetence) was not given any details relating to the circumstances surrounding Ian Tomlinson's death and concluded that he died from a heart attack. Two further examinations were carried out by seperate pathologists who both concluded that he died from internal bleeding as result of blunt force injuries consistant with his being violently knocked down.

Justice is a process, not an outcome and the decision should not have been decided on conflicting medical evidence alone, there should have been a jury and their judgement should have been based on an assessment of all the evidence, not just the medical opinions.

If a person dies, even from a heart attack just minutes after being assaulted, there should be a case to answer, the IPCC apparently thought so why not the CPS? Just a very quick bit of research on the net shows me this--- Under section 3 of the Public Order Act a person is guilty of affray if he/she uses or threatens unlawful violence against another. That alone would send PC Harwood to prison for at least 3 years.

Or conversely he could have been tried for ‘Misfeasance’, which is an action against the holder of a public office, alleging in essence that the office-holder has misused or abused his power. The video evidence alone shows that there is not much doubt about that.

More recently Ekram Haque a 65-year-old grandfather (in admittedly different circumstances) was knocked down in an almost identical fashion by a pair of intellectually challenged ‘happy slappers’, they received -a much less than they deserved -8 years in jail between them. It might have been said at their trial that they had a record of violence. However, a close inspection of PC Harwood’s record would have shown that he too had been investigated inconclusively by Surrey Police on allegations of excessive force used on another occasion.

Ekram died a week after being knocked to the ground, Ian Tomlinson died just a few minutes after he was knocked down. Yet it has taken 15 months of procrastination, for the Crown Prosecution Service to come out and say that no charges will be brought. They refused to have the case put before a jury and the delays that they have deliberately created now ensure that charges of 'Common Assault’ cannot be brought because the six-month time limit has expired. How very convenient.

In an open and democratic society it must be more important to prosecute police who have broken the law than it is to prosecute anybody else, otherwise any trust the public might have in the police force is destroyed.

Monday, 12 July 2010

What Value the Nobel Prize?

Irena Sendler

I suppose that once upon a time the British Honours system did actually honour those whose lives and works distinguished them from the background noise. Today they are diminished because the modern trend to equalise everyone has meant that a fair proportion of those honoured are just ordinary people who have been selected because they have washed floors, delivered newspapers or seen children across the road for an exceptional period of time. Deeds of dedication certainly, but hardly enough to lift them that far above the rest of us, however their selection along with that of pop stars and other inconsequential celebrities has devalued the system.

The change is not confined to the British Honours, in the last decade or so it has also applied to the Nobel Prize which now seems to have become a mirror of popular opinion rather than a reflection of outstanding achievement. Awarded recently to President Obama, with no obvious reason it was said that it was for what he might achieve than for what he actually had. The following short story illustrates a much worse example.

During WWII, Irena Sendler contrived to get permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Nurse. 
 She had a reason; she knew what the Nazi's were doing to the Jews. In 1942, the Nazis herded hundreds of thousands of Jews into a 16-block area that came to be known as the Warsaw Ghetto. It was sealed off and Jewish families ended up behind its walls, most of them to await certain death. Irena Sendler was so appalled by the conditions that she joined Zegota, the Council for Aid to Jews, organized by the Polish underground resistance movement. As one of its first recruits she directed its efforts to rescue Jewish children from that terrible place.

Able to enter the Ghetto legally, Irena managed to be issued a pass and visited daily, she took in food, medicines and clothing. But 5,000 people were dying each month from starvation and disease, and she decided to do her best to get as many of the children out as possible. For Irena Sendler, a young mother herself, persuading parents to part with their children was in itself a distressing task. Finding families on the outside willing to shelter the children, and thereby willing to risk their life if the Nazis ever found out, was also not easy.

Irena Sendler, who wore a star armband as a sign of her solidarity to Jews, began smuggling children out in an ambulance. She recruited at least one person from each of the ten centres of the Social Welfare Department. With their help, she issued hundreds of false documents with forged signatures. Irena Sendler successfully smuggled almost 2,500 Jewish children to safety and gave them temporary new identities.

Children were taken out in sacks or body bags ,others were buried inside loads of goods. One baby was smuggled out in a toolbox. Some were carried out in potato sacks, others were placed in coffins, and some entered a church in the Ghetto, which had two entrances. One entrance opened into the Ghetto, the other opened into the Aryan side of Warsaw. They entered the church as Jews and exited as Christians.

But the Nazis became aware of Irena's activities, and on October 20, 1943 she was arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo, who broke her feet and legs. She ended up in the Pawiak Prison, but they failed to break her spirit. She was the only one who knew the names and addresses of the families sheltering the Jewish children, she withstood the torture, that crippled her for life, refusing to betray either her associates or any of the Jewish children in hiding. Sentenced to death, Irena was saved at the last minute when Zegota members bribed one of the Gestapo agents to halt the execution. She escaped from prison but for the rest of the war the Nazis pursued her.

She carefully noted, in coded form, the children’s original names and their new identities. She kept the only record of their true identities in jars buried beneath an apple tree in a neighbour's back yard, hoping she could someday dig up the jars, locate the children and inform them of their past.

In all, the jars contained the names of 2,500 children...

After the war she dug up the jars and used the notes to track down the children she had saved to reunite them with relatives scattered across Europe, although most lost their families during the Holocaust in Nazi death camps.

In 2007 Irena Sendler was nominated for the Noble Prize, she didn’t get it, it was awarded instead to the charlatans at the IPCC and one of the biggest con artists and bandwagon jumpers in the world, Al Gore.

Irena Sendler passed away on Monday May 12th, 2008.

Sometimes I get so angry I think my head will burst!