...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 3033: Millennium Elephant discovers the Dark Secret inside the Office of Mr Chris Huhne MP


It is the tub of chocolates that we left for his research staff. He is on a diet – do not tell him, anyone!

Slimming Team
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Along with Mr Lord Bonkers and Auntie Helen and Special Agent George, I have been along to interview nearly-but-not-quite Liberal Leader Mr Chris Huhney-Monster in his office in Parliament.

Mr Chris was very generous with his time and we had a terrific and wide ranging interview, covering: the budget and being maybe only half-way into the recession; how the Conservatories are now neither Keynesians not Monetarists nor any other known form of economic theory-ists; electric cars and other toys-for-the-boys; and who is the best Doctor Woo (the Internet demands to know!).

More seriously, Mr Chris was APPALLED by the decision of Mayor of London Bojo the Clown to break his election promise and cancel the opening of three vital Rape Crisis Centres.

"Probably the most worrying aspect in the entire criminal justice system is the failure to prosecute and convict for rape."

JUST 16.9% of complaints lead to a prosecution, and the conviction rate is even worse at a MERE 6%, far lower than in other countries.

"This is an area of appalling violence against half the population," said Mr Chris. "And it is just completely unacceptable."

We talked extensively about policing, about the way that the G20 demonstrations were handled, why there HAS to be an independent judicial inquiry and what lessons need to be learned. How does a senior police officer's stated policy come to be at odds with practice on the ground? And do the Territorial Support Group share "DNA" with the Special Patrol Group disbanded in the 1980s?

We learned that it is NOT illegal to photograph a police officer… except when it is: possibly one at a railway station or an airport or a power station because the law, muddy and badly drafted, is about not assisting terrorist PLANNING.

And we talked more broadly about the need for MORE police but also BETTER police strategy, the need to police with CONSENT – and how travelling in pairs like Chinese diplomats might mean you talk to each other instead of members of the community.

We asked whether he had any regrets about the Geert Wilders business. He said that he had come to his decision honestly that the "Fitna" film DID incite violence and he stuck by that. But with hindsight, he thought that it might have been better to just ignore the man.

Though, in his defence, he added that by the time he was asked, the Home Secretary had already banned Mr Wilders from the country.

Speaking of the "Second Home" Secretary, I also asked about MPs expenses. A little while ago, Mr Clogg published his ideas on reforming the expenses system. Today a rather-less-consultative Mr Frown issued a Prime Monsterial dictat that MPs expenses WOULD be reformed. Spot the difference, I asked.

The difference, said Mr Chris, is that Mr Frown is setting up an attendance allowance with no need for receipts or bills to prove you've actually incurred an expense. It's basically free money. "It won't do at all."

And we also heaped PRAISE on Mr Chris's Freedom Bill and – by wireless digital laser satellite link-up – Award-winning Auntie Alix asked that Mr Chris update the site to incorporate all the good ideas that have been posted as comments. He said that that was definitely the plan, and that we want to develop the CONVERSATION through the website over the next year so we can use the Freedom Bill very much as our CALLING CARD in the General Election.

Anyway, then Lord Bonkers had to hurry off to the Sky Newswagon of EVIL to do an interview, and we hurried home in time to catch him use at least TWO of the things that Mr Chris had said to us. (And Auntie Helen do a walk-past behind the man who was pretending to be in another studio. Hehe!)

All in all, a terrific interview. Thank you, Mr Chris!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 3032: Hard Labour offer spending cuts; Conservatories offer spending cuts; Liberal Democrats offer Tax Cuts – spot the difference


Can you afford to cut taxes in a recession?

The REAL question is, surely, can you afford NOT to?

Although the BANKING crisis has derailed a lot of businesses and caused a lot of job losses and repossessions, that's not the WHOLE story of this recession: don't forget that there was a BIG jump in a lot of everyday prices last year, in particular FOOD, and that inflation is still going on hurting more people at a time when their bosses may be telling them they can't have a pay rise or that they have to work fewer hours.

Amid increasing evidence that Mr Frown's VAT cut has not stimulated the economical booty – indeed has mostly gone back to big business (how many shops do YOU know where the price went down for a couple of weeks only to be back up to something pounds and ninety-nine pence again after Christmas?) – it's clear that we need to put money directly into PEOPLE'S POCKETS.

Or, more accurately, stop the nasty taxman dipping in and taking so much out!

That is why Mr Clogg and Mr Cable have today announced that Liberal Democrats will not start charging tax until people earn over TEN THOUSAND pounds!

Right, FAQ time:

How are you going to pay for this?

We're going to make BIG BUSINESS and HIGHER EARNERS pay their fair share by closing LOOPHOLES and getting rid of UNFAIR benefits. We're going to return Capital Gains tax to being charged at the same rate as Income Tax so that the well off can't get round tax by being paid in property. We're going to apply aviation tax to PLANES rather than PASSENGERS so that the airlines have to pay it (and get an incentive for not flying empty planes around) and we'll charge it on non-essential flights WITHIN the UK rather than just flight to ABROAD-LAND.

Will people believe this bit about "closing loopholes"?

We do have a list of specific, costed proposals for which loopholes we will close and how much we think we can realistically make. And the money IS there – even the Government say there are thirty to forty billion pounds of avoided tax to be had. So we COULD tell you. On the other fluffy foot, Chancellor Sooty is still scribbling his budget down on the back of a fag packet (probably sold to him by Conservatory Mr Ken Clarke), so why make things easier for him?

More seriously, there is at least ONE and probably TWO budgets between now and Mr Frown's summary sacking, er, the General Election not to mention the fast-changing events of the recession, so we will be keeping our options as open as possible.

There will be – as there always is – a FULL explanation of ALL the costs of the Liberal Democrat budget when we publish our manifesto for the Election.

Isn't this going to hit pensions… again?

Actually, no. It's true that we're going to make higher rate taxpayers have the SAME pension benefit as everyone else, but the way that the HIGHER rate benefit works is DIFFERENT to the way that the basic rate benefit works.

When you make contributions to your pension, the taxman pays over your BASIC RATE benefit DIRECT to your pension, in proportion to your contributions. (That is, for every seventy-eight pounds YOU pay, he'll give your pension back TWENTY-TWO pounds that you paid to him in tax.)

But the HIGHER RATE taxpayer gets a benefit that is simply a bit off their tax bill, so they get a bit more money in their salary. That's money given straight back to them that they do not have to spend on a pension, and most people don't.

So, unlike when Mr Frown abolished Advance Corporation Tax credits, this change WON'T reduce the money being paid into pension pots.

Why not set the tax-free allowance at the level that would mean NO ONE on the national minimum wage would pay tax?

Honestly? Because we worked out all the MATHS and it was just too expensive. It's another one-and-a-half thousand pounds in allowance, but not JUST for people on minimum wage, for everyone right up to people earning a hundred thousand pounds. That's three hundred pounds of tax back EACH, for the vast majority of taxpayers.

We want to make taxes FAIR, by closing loopholes and stopping tax avoidance, but we also want to be CAREFUL and REALISTIC about the amount of money that we can raise from top earners. We are not out to SQUEEZE the RICH; only to ask them to pay what is their SHARE.

Have you seen "In the Loop" yet?

Yes. The review is in yesterday's diary.

Weren't you going to cut income tax by 4p?

Yes! Now we are going to do this instead – it moves roughly the same amount of money, moving around seventeen BILLION pounds of tax burden OFF the lower to middle earners, but this is EVEN FAIRER and EVEN MORE redistributive, because it takes many people out of tax ALTOGETHER. Many people who are on the minimum wage will pay NO INCOME TAX; many people who are students will pay NO INCOME TAX.

Is everybody happy about this?

Daddy Alex is happy; Ms Mary Reid-my-day is happy; Mr Paul Burblings is happy; Mr Liberal Neil is happy; Wicked Uncle Costigan is almost sure he's happy; Auntie Alix is deliriously happy. Yup, that's everybody!


Day 3031: Loop the Loop


Censorship, eh. Apparently Mr Almondy Noochy's film "In the Loop" is TOO RUDE for a fluffy elephant to go and see it.

Did that stop me? What the CAPALDI do you think!

Everyone is RIGHT: it is a VERY FUNNY FILM, although as it gets into the last act, you tend to stop laughing because you realise that it is all too TRUE.

Everyone is RIGHT AGAIN: the funniest bit is the UNINTENTIONALLY PRESCIENT moment about expenses claims and the "adult" channel, although the scene where Mr Peter Capaldi and Mr Tony Soprano go toe-to-toe is AMAZING acting too.

So DO take your baby elephants along to see this movie even IF you have to disguise them as FACE-VELCRO and say: "look at my GREY BEARD, young person on the cinema door, I am CLEARLY old enough to see this movie!"

However, I do have to say something about WHO'S WHO.

It is bad enough that "The Thick of It" takes place in a PARALLEL UNIVERSE where Lord Blairimort's chief of spin, Mr Alistair Henchman, is played by Mr Peter Capaldi under the name of Mr Malcolm Rhyming-Slang (pronounced Bast… Bad-word). But THIS movie takes place in a PARALLEL parallel universe, where most of the same people exist doing mostly the same things but with different names.

So Mr Chris Addison who plays hapless junior policy-wonk Olly in "The Thick of It" plays hapless over-promoted policy-wonk Toby in "In the Loop"; Mr Alex MacQueen plays outclassed baldy special advisor to the Prime Monster Mr Julius Nicholson in "The Thick of It" but plays equally outclassed baldy UN Ambassador Sir Jonathan Tutt in "In the Loop"; and so on. They are virtually the same characters played in almost exactly the same way, but with different names. It is VERY confusing!

For reason of him being convicted of really bad things, Mr Chris Langham is NOT appearing as a parallel parallel universe version of useless Minister for Social Affairs and Citizenship Mr Hugh. Instead this story spins around Mr Tom Hollandaise as not-quite-useless Minister of International Development Mr Simon.

It IS interesting that Minister Simon is allowed to have (just a little bit) more GUMPTION than Minister Hugh. Certainly he is as VENAL and SELF-SERVING and PATHETICALLY NEEDY. But he is also able to stand up to Mr Malcolm, if only very slightly, from time to time. He does at least float the vague idea that he MIGHT consider thinking about resigning over the war, even though he ends up BEING RESIGNED by the Americans and then by Mr Malcolm. And he does, on occasion, dish out a deserved UBER-SARCASTIC ticking off. In short he has his moments.

And speaking of SHORT – he managed to look very TINY stood next to Mr Addison. Which makes me wonder if ALL of the Pirates of The Caribbean were TEENY-TINY too, 'cos he looked NORMAL SIZED in THAT! (Mind you, Daddy says that Mr Hollandaise DID have nicer LEGS. Ooh, what SAUCE!)

I am not certain if the sub-plot with Mr Steve Coogan and a wall was ANNOYING or an important part of the SATIRE, sending up the essential ridiculousness of having the Secretary of State for International Development simultaneously responsible for trying to keep the world from falling into war AND trying to keep his constituency office wall from falling into a granny's garden. And, obviously, failing at either. Or indeed both.

I think it might have been annoying BECAUSE of Mr Steve Coogan, who was doing silly voices acting and silly bobble-hat acting, where everyone else was playing it straight.

On the other fluffy foot, isn't it really a GOOD thing that even our toppity-most ministers still have to deal with real stuff for real people?

In fact, if there was a PROBLEM with the film, it was that it seemed – rather like the British political class (in the film and out of it) – rather too IN LOVE with the Americans and the way the Americans did stuff.

The Americans might LIE and CHEAT and be generally MEAN (even the "nice" ones), but they got stuff DONE. Horrible illegal stuff, but it was what they wanted and it got done. (Even if the "nice" ones didn't get stuff done, there was sense that they COULD HAVE or MIGHT NEXT TIME.) The British failed miserably at everything up to and especially keeping their dignity.

At the end, you wanted Mr Malcolm to SCUPPER the whole illegal war JUST because nasty American Mr Lynton* had been RUDE to him. THAT would have been true to the CHARACTER and to the nature of the STORY (i.e. nothing gets done except for personal reasons). It is like a GODZILLA movie – nobody wants GODZILLA to get beaten by the bigger, nastier American monster, do they?!

(*incidentally everyone else seems to be spelling this Linton, like Clinton with a silent "C"… erm… but I'm sure I spotted his name on the door of his glass office with a "Y" like Anthony Charles Lynton with a silent Blairimort.)

The American system hands vast power over to an ELITE, many of whom – the film acknowledges – are only the same age as ME! And yet, this is allowed to be shown as a MORE EFFECTIVE form of Government than our own. It is, as they say, easy to be CYNICAL. And "In the Loop" is just being a bit too EASY here.

Nevertheless, you have GOT to admire a film from BBC FILMS – from the BBC! – that has the Horlicks to say: "it WAS a dodgy dossier"; "it WAS sexed up by Mr Malcolm – cough cough NOT Mr Alistair Henchman, ooooh no not at all cough cough".

(The only gag that I was expecting but that they DIDN'T do was for American researcher Liza to admit that her nerves about the paper that she wrote – and which her boss was waving about with abandon – were because she had downloaded the whole thing off the Wackypaedia.)

So laugh like a hooting thing and admire it for that. Or failing that, just sit back and admire the EXPLOSIVE EFFLORESCENT EXPLETIVES.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 3029: Mr Oboe's Spending Pledge

Friday (again):

September 2007, just a week before that run on the Northern Rock-and-a-Hard-Place Bank (so "I didn't see it coming" NOT an excuse!), Conservatory Shadow Chancellor, Mr Gideon Oboe, plays his "this proves we've really changed card" with a promise to match Hard Labour's spending plans.

Today he plays his "ACTUALLY we haven't changed AT ALL" card and promises HUGE SPENDING CUTS that will completely implode the economy, just like they did the last two times the Conservatories tried to solve a recession by cutting spending.

So that pledge of eighteen months ago: a LIE or just TOTALLY STUPID?


Day 3029: Cassandra Cable?


Mr Vince "the Power" Cable was on the The Today Programme this morning… just barely.

He was there with an important WARNING about the regulation (or LACK thereof) of Building Societies and they SQUEEZED him in in between Mr Humpy's report on "My Nice Holiday in South Africa" and the funny "Are archaeologists going to dig up Cleopatra's ASP?" story.

Look, I KNOW that the financial crisis is a bit wearisome by now, what with the unrelenting MISERY of it all being a bit, well, MISERABLE.

But really, you would think people would take Mr Vince's warnings a BIT seriously. It's not like his warning about too much DEBT hasn't been QUITE A LOT proved COMPLETELY RIGHT!

I am reminded of the TROJAN PRINCESS Cassandra whose prophetic warnings were ignored resulting in the fall of TROY.

Mr Vince says "Whoa!" to more debt – and they should have said "Whoa" to that WOODEN HORSE too!

(That joke copyright Doctor Woo and the Mythmakers)


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 3025: DOCTOR WHO: Planet of the Dead HD


OK, so my DEEPLY SAD Daddies actually sneaked out of a WEDDING (well, "renewal of vowels" actually) to go and watch Doctor Who. To be fair, they waited until after they toasted the happy couple before LEGGING IT…

But we didn't get to see this episode in SHINY new HIGH DEFINITION until Monday. So Daddy's review is today.

"The Dead Planet" sees Doctor Woo marooned in an alien landscape facing the perils of an implacable army of metal-skinned monsters, whose next stop will be Earth. Hang on, that was the SECOND story… how original can the two-hundredth have been?

If you put your brain in neutral then this is a rollicking ride, beautifully shot with charismatic stars, some standout special effects and an awful lot of sand… but does Doctor Who in 2009 really have no higher aspirations than to put your brain in neutral?

This starts off as "The Pink Panther" and then falls through a wormhole into "Escape from Desert Island". With the budget and effects technology available to them, there is the opportunity to do a truly outstanding version of either, but trying to do both leaves you with the wobbly feeling of a cut-and-shut: it might just fall apart at any moment.

Where to begin – why is this story even called "Planet of the Dead" at all? Beyond the Doctor Who stylings of the title – and let's admit that "City of Death" shows precedent for ridiculously hyperbolic titles disconnected from the story – the story does not dwell on the "dead" of the alien planet. In fact, they only get a look in so that slightly-psychic Carmen can do the running commentary on behalf of the kids-behind-the-sofa audience.

And you have to think that she's only slightly-psychic to make things seem dangerous. (And in order to do that spooky foreshadowing at the end.)

Because without her "great disturbance in the force" moment, there is no threat at all for the first thirty-five minutes. They come through the wormhole; the Doctor tells them how to get home. We need "Ground Force", rather than UNIT.

An actual Planet of the Dead, falling into a world where your dead friends and family talk to you… that would be an interesting Doctor Who story. Even if it turned out to be psychic vampires or the Gelth again or Blake's Seven's sentient sand. The Doctor doesn't believe in life after death, except in his own regenerative way, so it would be interesting to confront him with that, challenge him with that. And, of course, you get the chance to have his own dead selves, or at least Chris or Paul, turn up to haunt him, and accuse him over the Time War and Rose… Having the sand rise up and form into dead people would have been as memorable image as you could want from a Doctor Who story, and certainly within the abilities of The Mill to achieve. And doing horror in blazing sunshine would have been a good twist in and of itself.

But more than that, it would have been an exercise in exploring the characters of the people trapped on the bus. Instead we get a thirty-second whip round – memorise these names, there may be a test later – and a character detail each, as though this makes them "real" people. As though any sense of "real people" hasn't been chucked away once, out of eight aboard the bus, one is a psychic, one is a Time Lord and one is the Notorious Phantom™. The Doctor as good as says: "give me one thing about you that will let the audience at home remember which one you are rather than forget you straight away." But this emphasis on the ordinary just makes Lady Christina's character appear all the more ludicrous.

Lady Christina is pitched to us as a temporary companion, when she ought to be in the league of those morally questionable allies of the Doctor Who "caper" story – like Garon in "The Ribos Operation" or Glitz in "Dragonfire" (though not in "The Mysterious Planet"). She ought to have her own agenda, rather than merely her bag of tricks that just happens to contain the item you need every time the plot comes up against another Tomb-Raider-esque puzzle. Bus buried in sand? Here's my spade! Crystal at bottom of shaft? Here's my flying harness! Two totally incompatible technologies? Here's my golden chalice, that'll sort it!

As for: "There's a reason the aristocracy survives…" That'll be because you are thieves, then, will it?

It seems it isn't good enough that Michelle Ryan is an athletic art thief in a catsuit; she's got to be a nob as well, even though it serves no purpose in the story. It's a bizarre adulation of class that really has no place in Doctor Who. The Doctor himself seems to have taken to dropping in his Lordliness here and there, in a way that would have earlier incarnations nauseated. He rejected the company of "Lords" and went out to experience some real people, not to muckity-muck it over them.

And it unbalances the story, having unbelievable stuff happen to unbelievable people; it reduces the so-called ordinary people to trite ciphers.

Let's look at the fate of the Tritovores. Firstly, they're men in overalls with flies' heads. Right. We got away with the cat-people because, by the year six-billion, humans might just have engineered humanoid cats. We got away with the rhino-headed Judoon largely through the gusto of the performance. But this is getting silly. It is telling that when, in Russell's first series of Doctor Who, an alien that looked like a pig appeared… it was a joke perpetrated by the real aliens*.

It's a very nice fly's head, the prosthetics people have done them proud as usual. But sat on top of those overalls it looks rubbish.

And they're only introduced to get eaten. Worse, they are introduced because someone has got to get eaten and the Doctor has promised that he'll get everyone on the bus home. Very much "Voyage of the Damned" without the fatalities, then. In Confidential, Russell suggests that if they had survived it would make the story "too complicated", UNIT would have to find them a home or something. So "they had to die". This is verging on the Eric Saward level of script writing: kill off anyone as soon as they've fulfilled their plot function. It's a grizzly form of writing, and undignified from a series that has been trying to tell us that all forms of life are of equal importance.

Again like a computer game, the Tritovores are only their so that their ship can provide the McGuffin to unlock the escape route. Never mind that the Doctor can telephone UNIT headquarters but never asks them to, oh I don't know, slowly back one of their mobile command centre lorries into the wormhole so that everyone at the other end can just safely walk home through the metal structure. Or for that matter, just toss through a couple of (metal) barrels of diesel and a new air filter.

It's fair enough that the Doctor wants to have a gad about looking for what caused the wormhole, but the only reason that Angela, Nathan, Barclay, Lou and Carmen remain in danger is because the Doctor cannot be bothered to have UNIT rescue them before he wanders off.

The main threat, he discovers, comes from a swarm of inter-galactic locusts creating a wormhole from a planet they've devastated to their next feeding ground… yes, it's "The Horns of Nimon" without the glam-rock minotaurs.

The stingrays are, again, a lovely piece of computer design but never really live up to their potential. They are supposed to have eaten every single thing on the surface of planet San Helios, but we never see them devouring. They should be chewing up the Tritovores' ship, not just biting the unlucky bug-boys. The threat here should be that they are going to eat the bus… but we never truly feel that. The implicit threat to Earth never becomes visceral. It's a classic case of show don't tell.

Furthermore, here they are starving hungry and desperate to escape to new feeding grounds via their wormhole… and yet offered an all-you-can eat UNIT smorgasbord decline to snack on a single soldier. The "peril" at the conclusion is no more than enough to give UNIT a rousing victory, not enough to be really threatening. Why do just three stingrays get through? There's a long time between them emerging and Malcolm succeeding in closing the wormhole. It would have made more sense, and more drama, for more and more stingrays to be coming through, making the closing of the wormhole an imperative, not just punctuation.

Ultimately, you're left with the impression that the writers started with a blank page on which they wrote "flying bus" and then tried to work the story backwards so that that was where they ended up. The flying bus itself, while occasionally a bit cartoon-y, can also be rather brilliant, in particular the moment it bursts back out of the wormhole.

(Though I have to ask, given that it entered the wormhole at an altitude of several tens of meters, how come it emerges at near ground level? As though someone's forgotten that the hole is supposed to have grown to four miles in diameter?)

But that's "Planet of the Dead" all over. It looks spectacular, and it's certainly worth the upgrade to HD, to show off every gloriously-filmed grain of sand. But, like the Doctor's Easter Egg, it's shiny exterior conceals a thin sweet layer and a hollow inside. If "Voyage of the Damned" was rather linear, it still had a few bits to chew on; this is rather linear and doesn't.

No wonder those sand-sharks are hungry.

(*Yes, we watched "Aliens of London" this weekend too; for what is considered one of the weaker entries in the 2005 season, it's astonishing how fizzing over with ideas it was, and how thin "Planet of the Dead" looked in comparison.)

Next time… Now, that looks more like it. Outer space, watery graves and horrible death. Icy Lindsay Duncan gives us her Lady Thatcher in space. Let's hope it's a Halloween screening for Ghosts of **cough cough** Waters of Mars.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 3024: Conservatory Double Standards, part ten-million and six


Member of Hard Labour admits to spreading GOSSIP and INNUENDO about Conservatories (all very tacky and tasteless, but not CRIMINAL) - Mr Balloon says he is FURIOUS.

Member of the Conservatories found GUILTY in COURT of spreading campaign of terror and intimidation against Liberal Democrats - Mr Balloon silent on subject.

Certainly Mr Frown should apologise on behalf of Hard Labour for their BAD behaviour, smears are no way to conduct politics, it should be about the IDEAS not the people; but equally Mr Balloon should apologise on behalf of the Conservatories for THEIR behaviour.

And perhaps he can explain why he thinks that the rules should not apply to him!


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Day 3021: Top Cop Dropped – Did he jump or was he, ahem, pushed?


Today I am practicing with the word: HYPOTHETICAL.

Here is a HYPOTHETICAL situation: the Prime Monster is VERY VERY cross that his massive photo-opportunity important world summit to rescue his job the planet's economy from the mess that he caused didn't cause, has been suddenly overshadowed by another DEATH linked to POLICE SPIN and COVER-UP.

Hypothetically… HYPOTHETICALLY… his spin doctors summon the crème de Scotland Yard in a hurry to brief them on "operation: LOOK! TERRORISTS!" And, all in a lather, PC Plod comes rushing round with the "who can we bang up" list without thinking to stick it in his briefcase…

No, no, no. You would have to be APPALLINGLY CYNICAL to suspect the police of rounding up a bunch of ALLEGED TERRORISTS just to bump from the headlines the story that another group of police were looking increasingly like LYING MURDEROUS THUGS. AGAIN.

But when someone dies and the police do their best to cover up their involvement it BREEDS cynicism.

When someone dies and it turns out that a policeperson gave the victim a thwack and a shove before he staggered off to have a heart-attack you can't help but have cynical thoughts

Three thoughts:

ONE – we must DEMAND that the law that says you cannot film or photograph the police must, MUST be binned immediately. Eye witness accounts of police behaviour apparently COUNT FOR NOTHING and only video footage can prove when the police lie. In which case, we must be able to gather that evidence.

TWO – while there are MANY good policepeople, it is clear that as a body our police have become POLITICISED. This is hardly surprising, the Labour Mayor Mr Ken Spivington spent years making the Met a branch of his office, and Second Home Secretary Ms Jacquie-boot Spliff has done her best to carry on that tradition.

"Kettling" has been described as a FAILURE. But it's only a failure if you assume that the AIM of the strategy is to maintain public safety and allow a calm demonstration that prevents damage to people or property. If your aim is to provoke people into acts of aggression in order to justify your own hyperbole, then wahey way to go. Instant attack on banks. Though for all we know, they were only breaking in to the Royal Bank of Scotland to get to the TOILETS! The police promised us a "Summer of Rage"; you might start to think that they are going out of their way to ENGINEER that!

The police have an AGENDA, and it is no longer certain that that is the same as serving the public.

THREE – Our news media are all completely COMPLICIT. The reporting of the G20 protests might as well have been dictated from the Scotland Yard press office.

And they seem to have no problem with blithely accepting the policepeople's version of YET ANOTHER "terrorism" story even at the same time as they are (SHAMELESSLY) reporting the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what the police were telling them only the day before. "Hero police tackle terrorist threat" jostles for front pages with "police-state thugs in death attack" with barely a blink.

And the resignation of a policeperson for a silly mistake seems to warrant MORE COVERAGE – the The Today Programme were like kids on tartrazine, so excited were they to have Bojo the Clown announcing live on air that he had accepted the resignation of a senior police man – than the need to address SERIOUS and DELIBERATE LYING about the LETHAL police strategy.

The resignation of Mr Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick CHANGES the STORY again – maybe not to the "successful anti-terrorist heroes" that the government wanted, but it's still not "POLICE-STATE KILLS INNOCENT MAN… AGAIN!"

That's classic SPIN.

So it was JOLLY HANDY that one policeperson was willing to "fall on his sword"…

…in case we started to take a SERIOUS look at all the others.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Day 3019: Put the Police on Notice


I guess this means I'm on another database!

Thanks to Auntie Helen via Facespace, and you can have your own go here.
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