Thursday, 1 November 2007

A Catastrophic Series of Failures

No doubt anyone who is interested will have read up on the news that the Metropolitan Police have been found guilty of endangering the public during the fatal shooting of Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes.

Aside from the actual incident itself, what I find most upsetting about this whole affair is the attempt made by the Met’s legal team to slur the character of the slain man and the attitude of those with a vested interest in defending the Police.

The idea implicit in remarks I’ve read made by everyone from Commissioner Blair to Ken Livingston that supporting the Police in the extremely difficult commission of their duty to protect us from would-be killers somehow removes the necessity to account for appalling failures like this one bears little sensible scrutiny and is frankly nonsensical and offensive.

We cannot descent into the kind of society that allows Police and Security Services leeway to cock up their jobs simply because these jobs are difficult.


Tom said...

The thing that amused me about it was the way the kept insisting that there was actually a threat to anyone that day that wasn't posed by the police in the first place.

One guy, I think a policeman who was giving evidence for the prosecution, insisted that the police were heroes as they were the only ones rushing into the station that day when everyone else was rushing out.

Fraser said...

Well this is it. This whole "we're heroes, don't question our methods" defense is pure unadulterated bullshit. No one is arguing that the Police aren't brave, of course they are - we're just asking them to a) fuck up less and b) show some balls and take responsibility when they do. Its not ungrateful to expect the police not to shoot random folk whenever the mood takes them.

This brings me to Blair refusing to resign. Why? Why won't he go?

People in high public office simply no longer care how they and by extension the organisations they represent are perceived it would seem. I'm old enough to remember when public figures took one for the team when there was a cock up - a gesture to be sure, but at least it showed some vestige of nobility. Now these guys cling to their jobs like a junkie to a crack rock. I mean Blair is just coming across as utterly desperate.

I have a theory that kids look up to idiot gansta rappers and criminals because its become easy to peddle the notion (however erroneous) that they at least live to a code, that they have some sort of honour.

One of the reasons people have become disillusioned with playing it straight is the production line of authority figures who refuse to toe a line they lay down to the rest of us.

Just go Blair, you total fucking embarrassment of a man.