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Thursday, 1 November, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 1 Nov 07, 05:22 PM

MET POLICE GUILTY

blair203x100.jpgThe Metropolitan Police have been found guilty of breaching health and safety laws over the shooting of innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are now calling for the head of the Met, Sir Ian Blair. Before the trial started, Sir Ian said that if found guilty "the implications for operational policing in the UK would be profound". So what went wrong? We'll be looking at the judge's conclusions and discuss what they mean for Sir Ian and the future of policing in this country.

IMMIGRATION

Many Newsnight bloggers were keen for us to look at the effects of immigration. The LGA have said it needs an extra £250 million a year to cope with the added numbers using public services. We've sent Paul Mason to Slough to see what the local feelings are towards immigration and will try to make sense of the many statistics used on both sides of the debate. David Cameron has called for a limit on immigration, but is this practical, or desirable? We'll be debating in the studio.

PAKISTAN

pakistan.jpgPakistani President, Pervez Musharraf, is still waiting to discover the Supreme Court's decision on whether his election win back in October is legal. He's also facing a wave of Islamist violence, the latest being a suicide bomber who killed eight Pakistani air force personnel earlier today. Our diplomatic editor Mark Urban has been travelling around Pakistan and spoken with politicians, the army and ordinary people to ask what impact Pakistan's role in the 'war on terror' is having on the country's tentative moves toward democratic elections.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 05:56 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • David Nettleton wrote:

The LGA request is for a transfer of funds from central to local government and was explained by the leader of Peterbough council on breakfast television this morning. It is not an additional cost in the economy as a whole.

  • 2.
  • At 08:37 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Owais Rajput wrote:

Poor is poor and rich is richer in Pakistan. Poverty, lack of education less employment and on top of that Pakistan facing series of threats from terrorists including those trans-national groups who belongs to organised criminal gangs. Only solution to current situation in Pakistan is democratically elected government and to get a true democratically elected government BBC and other International monitoring bodies can play positive role to make sure future elections in Pakistan will be fair otherwise more problems in Pakistan and in the region. A strong democratically elected Government in Pakistan will be fruitful for International security and for streets of Britain.
Courts of Pakistan should get more innovative powers to balance power sharing so ordinary citizens of Pakistan can get justice and confidence to live freely and fairly in Pakistan.

(re:Post No 1) I'm afraid I didn't have the benefit of viewing how the leader of Peterborough council explained that a request for more funds from central government does not represent an additional cost to the economy. More Weazel Words?

May I still suggest that any extra funds spent by local authorities as a direct result of an increase of immigrants to an area should still be factored into the equation for resolving the issue of whether the past levels of uncontrolled immigration (and social engineering of multicult) have had a positive or negative effect on the economy. There can be no doubt whatsoever about the negative effect of population increase on our environment and public services, and general decrease in social cohesion.

  • 4.
  • At 09:11 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

The absurd conviction of the MET in Menezes shooting which has no meaning since the fines imposed will be paid by the taxpayers to the taxpayers which funds the police recalls to mind the case of Amadou Diallo who was shot on February 4, 1999 by four off duty New York City policemen who tragically mistook him for a wanted serial rapist. 19 of 41 shots fired at the unarmed suspect hit their mark. Here's how it is reported in Wikipedia;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amadou_Diallo

"On March 25 a Bronx grand jury indicted the officers on charges of second-degree murder and reckless endangerment. On December 16 a New York appellate court ordered a change of venue to Albany, New York, stating that pretrial publicity had made a fair trial in New York City impossible. On February 25, 2000, after two days of deliberations, a jury unanimously voted to acquit the officers of all charges."

"In 2001 the Justice Department announced that it would not charge the officers with having allegedly violated Diallo's civil rights."

"On April 18, 2000, Diallo's mother, Kadiatou, and his stepfather, Sankarella Diallo filed an US$61,000,000 ($20m plus $1m for each shot fired) lawsuit against the City of New York and the officers, charging gross negligence, wrongful death, racial profiling, and other violations of Diallo's civil rights. In March 2004, they accepted a US$3,000,000 settlement."

If you are going to have a police force and give them meaningful policing power, they are periodically going to make mistakes with fatal consequences because they are human. The alternative is Mogadishu or Gaza.

Here's how BBC reported it;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/628775.stm

"NY police 'deliberately' killed immigrant"

This is a prime example of why I say BBC is patently anti-American and a bunch of liars.

  • 5.
  • At 11:08 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Liam Coughlan wrote:

Where is the BBC anti-Amecian bias, as alleged by Mark? The BBC reported both sides of the case, quoting prosecution and defence arguments. The State used the term "deliberate", the victim was an immigrant and the change of venue highlights a lack of trust of police by the population of eligible jurors.

Few will doubt that Sir Ian Blair will end up out of his job, though not without the accrued benefits, hence the need for his likely future decision to retire early. It is obvious that the officers who shot Menezes believed him to be a suicide bomber, primed to detonate an explosion. Accountability therefore rests with the system that allowed this to happen.

  • 6.
  • At 11:35 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Ian Betts wrote:

So killing of the innocent is OK if your a policeman. So often there is a cover up or a plain denial. Here there is a guilty verdict and still no one is held to be responsible. While I know mistakes are ineviatable in the police as elsewhere the results of these cases does nothing for the families of the dead of fpr public confidence.

  • 7.
  • At 12:29 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Baz wrote:

If Danny Sriskandarajah is the best that the Government can put forward or that Newsnight can find to defend the present policies on immigration, then it just shows the utter contempt that the Government has for the concerns of ordinary people. Mr Sriskandarajah's contemptuous laughing and smirking throughout the interview did his argument no good whatsoever.

BLAIR

Shooting an innocent man is a cock-up. Defending the shooting and using every shitty trick in the book: premeditated and inept AND ENTIRELY UNDER BLAIR'S SCRUTINY AND CONTROL.
Beggars belief.

Excellent Jeremy tonight (34/10) particularly with Jenny Jones & Dominic Grieve on the John Charles De Menezes shooting verdict, plus the immigration debate with Danny Sriskandarajah & Sir Andrew Green. Oh and the thought of past-it pop star Britney Spears’ new cd review on Friday! Can the Newsnight Review crew not come up with someone successful(and popular) at present and add and interview with them?

  • 10.
  • At 02:36 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Liam Coughlin #5
Did you look at the link? The quote I cited was the headline in big block letters across the top of the page. The other side of the story is the equivalent of the fine print at the bottom of the back page of a contract. That's what I'm talking about. One look at the headline and you are already convinced the New York City police are a buch of racist trigger happy thugs with badges. As a native New Yorker, I can tell you that there's nothing further from the truth and with as many tens of thousands of cops as they have, there will always be a few bad ones but these weren't them. They made an honest mistake in the performance of their duty and both the jury in Albany and the Department of Justice in Washington said so. It is BBC which would have its audience beleive otherwise which brings up an interesting point. The wide variety of subtle techniques BBC uses in spreading its hate propaganda. Its techniques makes the old USSR Tass and Radio Moscow look like amateurs.

  • 11.
  • At 02:57 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Douglas Brean wrote:

'Working together for a safer London,' emblazoned as it is on the side of each Metropolitan police car and van, means that because of this verdict poor Sir Ian could now face, on top of everything else, what he must secretly have been fearing all along: that awful knock on the door from his local Trading Standards Office.

I feel moved to comment on an aspect of the de Menezes shooting; yesterday's interview with the young lady in the tube who witnessed this poor man's final moments.

To me it was telling, especially in light of what still is unfurling about the state of our governance, our law machine... and our media.

First up, it was one of the most compelling pieces of simple TV I have ever seen. A calm, dignified, controlled (though obviously with difficulty) young person recounting what must have been a truly unimaginable series of events.

The majority of the interview was fine, with the questioner also calm and off camera, but I was quite disgusted with the leading nature of the questions towards the end, putting words in her mouth, pushing an agenda and, if I heard right, trying (and failing - good on her) to elicit some morbid discriptions.

What I retain are the facts she recounted. And the simple fact that she felt the officers were 'hysterical' and that no one had a clue they were police leaves to me massive questions on the standard of training and the organisational policies behind them, right up to the top.

Not this nation's finest hour. But why, as always, do I suspect that all who should hang their heads in shame and walk with empty pockets will do no such thing. And hence the cock-ups will continue.

  • 13.
  • At 08:39 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • David Nettleton wrote:

The population of the world has grown since the dawn of time - with one or two blips like the Black Death of 1348 - and civilisation has been the beneficiary.

To suggest that a reduction in numbers is some sort of cure for all our ills, including 'social cohesion' problems, is just wishful thinking.

  • 14.
  • At 10:10 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Michael McNab wrote:

I'm a member of the Green Party and I'm absolutely disgusted by Jenny Jones' response to the Menezes verdict.

Watching her act as an apologist for Ian Blair, complimenting him on his 'bullishness', and casting Domininc Grieve of all people as a defender of civil liberties will have sickened Green party members.

The Green candidate for Mayor, Siân Berry, has called for Ian Blair's immediate resignation, and - unlike the Tories who only seem to care about claiming the scalp of an officer close to Ken Livingstone - an immediate end to shoot to kill. (http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/3223)

Can we have proper Greens like Siân on Newsnight in future, instead of Jenny Jones' reactionary ramblings?

  • 15.
  • At 10:33 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Baz wrote:

With all respect due to the deceased, his family and friends, the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes is caused by the police becoming, not just the enforcer of laws made by government on behalf of the people, but a promoter of dogmatic policies promoted by the government. This is seen most dramatically with the way that the Thatcher government used the police against the miners. Since then the New Labour government has been using it more quietly.

Instead of officers being promoted because of their experience and ability, more and more are 'fast-tracked' for reasons of dogma and demographics. No longer is the best person to do a job someone who has a demonstrable competence, but someone who best fits the dogma or who will enforce it against all common sense. Whole training sections within the police have been closed because they didn't produce officers of the correct dogmatic demographic. That they produced effective officers who stayed with the police up to their retirement or death, whichever came sooner, mattered not one jot, just so long as the boxes to satisfy the dogmatic demographics could be ticked, both for the quantities and qualities of those trained. Policing by numbers had arrived.

The Inconvenient truth of the matter is that the electorate has to decide whether they want a well-trained effective police force working to protect them or a flimsy template for this government's Utopian dream.

'13.The population of the world has grown since the dawn of time and civilisation has been the beneficiary.'


Just a thought, and accepting population and immigration are different, if related (no pun intended). Tonight I am going to the pub, and with eachfloz/cc that goes in the glass I am a beneficiary. However, as it approaches the finite volume that can be contained, there will be a mess unless the tap is slowed and, at some point, reduced to merely allow for evaporation.

  • 17.
  • At 11:09 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I did not read or hear one word about the general mood of the entire population at the time of the incident. As I recall, it was just barely two weeks after the 7-7 bombing and the entire nation of Britain was in a state of near panic. I recall the morning of 9-11-01 myself not knowing at all if the attacks were over or if the enemy whomever they were had more in store for us. The police are no different. Watch the end result of a a car chase and imagine yourself a police officer who has just spent an hour or more pursuing a fleeing driver at over one hundred miles an hour on a highway. Your heart is racing, your adrenalin flowing. You do not know from one second to the next if you will be in a crash and killed yourself or if you can protect the lives of other innocents who might inadvertently get in the path of the perp. When you finally catch up with him, it's all you can do to not use excessive force in dealing with him. It's a normal human reaction. The police believed they were taking drastic measures to protect YOU the British public from another probable suicide bomber. That's what makes the difference between a tragic mistake and a crime, their intent. Now in the aftermath, the logical thing to do is to see what went wrong and take steps so that it is avoided in the future. The illogical thing to do is blame the police unfairly in the way many of you have and give them reason to hesitate next time when it might really be a suicide bomber. What will all of those who criticize them now say then if they don't act? I'll bet the same ones will be on the ramparts shouting the loudest about their failure to protect you.

  • 18.
  • At 11:09 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I did not read or hear one word about the general mood of the entire population at the time of the incident. As I recall, it was just barely two weeks after the 7-7 bombing and the entire nation of Britain was in a state of near panic. I recall the morning of 9-11-01 myself not knowing at all if the attacks were over or if the enemy whomever they were had more in store for us. The police are no different. Watch the end result of a a car chase and imagine yourself a police officer who has just spent an hour or more pursuing a fleeing driver at over one hundred miles an hour on a highway. Your heart is racing, your adrenalin flowing. You do not know from one second to the next if you will be in a crash and killed yourself or if you can protect the lives of other innocents who might inadvertently get in the path of the perp. When you finally catch up with him, it's all you can do to not use excessive force in dealing with him. It's a normal human reaction. The police believed they were taking drastic measures to protect YOU the British public from another probable suicide bomber. That's what makes the difference between a tragic mistake and a crime, their intent. Now in the aftermath, the logical thing to do is to see what went wrong and take steps so that it is avoided in the future. The illogical thing to do is blame the police unfairly in the way many of you have and give them reason to hesitate next time when it might really be a suicide bomber. What will all of those who criticize them now say then if they don't act? I'll bet the same ones will be on the ramparts shouting the loudest about their failure to protect you.

  • 19.
  • At 11:10 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I did not read or hear one word about the general mood of the entire population at the time of the incident. As I recall, it was just barely two weeks after the 7-7 bombing and the entire nation of Britain was in a state of near panic. I recall the morning of 9-11-01 myself not knowing at all if the attacks were over or if the enemy whomever they were had more in store for us. The police are no different. Watch the end result of a a car chase and imagine yourself a police officer who has just spent an hour or more pursuing a fleeing driver at over one hundred miles an hour on a highway. Your heart is racing, your adrenalin flowing. You do not know from one second to the next if you will be in a crash and killed yourself or if you can protect the lives of other innocents who might inadvertently get in the path of the perp. When you finally catch up with him, it's all you can do to not use excessive force in dealing with him. It's a normal human reaction. The police believed they were taking drastic measures to protect YOU the British public from another probable suicide bomber. That's what makes the difference between a tragic mistake and a crime, their intent. Now in the aftermath, the logical thing to do is to see what went wrong and take steps so that it is avoided in the future. The illogical thing to do is blame the police unfairly in the way many of you have and give them reason to hesitate next time when it might really be a suicide bomber. What will all of those who criticize them now say then if they don't act? I'll bet the same ones will be on the ramparts shouting the loudest about their failure to protect you.

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