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Friday, 12 December, 2008

Sarah McDermott | 16:02 UK time, Friday, 12 December 2008

Here's Kirsty with a look ahead to tonight's Newsnight:

It was the worst outcome for the Metropolitan Police. The jury at the inquest into the death of the Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, did not believe the police version of events. So did the police lie? The jury returned an open verdict after they had been forbidden by the coroner Michael Wright from returning a verdict of unlawful killing. But the jurors challenged police claims, specifically that of a firearms officer that he shouted "armed police" before opening fire on Menezes. Tonight we'll be asking what impact the verdict has on confidence in the Met, and the likelihood of the CPS granting the wish of the family of Jean Charles to re-examine the case to see if a criminal prosecution can be brought.

The American auto industry is on it knees, but Congress last night knocked back a bail-out plan. Republicans demanded workers take a wage cut but fearful of the impact on millions of people's lives, now President Bush is considering a handout. But would that simply postpone the day when the uncompetitive and overstocked US automotive industry has to restructure and, inevitably, reform wages?

Join us at 10.30pm.

Kirsty

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Surely the bigger story is the fact that the jury has informed Newsnight that they did not believe the police. I was under the impression that juries were not allowed to discuss the reasons for their verdicts with anyone much less the media. The fact that they jury has been discussing the machinations of the jury room with Newsnight should at the very least be held in contempt of court. Under what circumstances did these discussions with Newsnight taken place? Were the entire jury present? Have you been 'grooming' members of the jury?

  • Comment number 2.

    THIS NEWSNIGHT BLOG POSTING IS HISTORIC - TRUST US

    We want bloggers to understand just what has been achieved. All targets for blogging have been met. Nothing like this has ever been achieved before and we are major players in its achievement. The fact that we are a bunch of small minded hypocrites should not reflect, in any way, on this great achievement. That we, really, agree on nothing, has not stopped us from agreeing to agree, knowing that reneging is implicit in all agreements made between the unscrupulous and devious EU movers and shakers. Today will go down in history; indeed, DOWN is the only way it can go.

    Signed: SARKO BOSO et al.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    The de Menezes verdict is about as close to justice as one can expect in these Machiavellian times. As an expatriate Briton and a former Met officer I despair of what my country has become when I could once proudly tout it as the country all other countries should aspire to be.When did the routinely unarmed British bobby become an unaccountable assassin of innocent people? When members of the public commit "tragic mistakes" the full weight of the law is brought down on them. Drunks drivers are jailed,negligent individuals suffer similar incarceration and public humiliation.But police are immune to that and this state of affairs is sickeningly wrong and destructive to society as a whole. The phenomena of growing and unaccountable police violence is insidious in many western so called democracies, and quite poignantly here in Canada where a recent rash of police killings has shocked the public to its core. These killings are not mistakes.They are acts perpetrated by individuals whom I honestly believe have a deep seated desire to kill with the knowledge of impunity on their side. There is something no less than evil that resides within the culture of an establishment that can sanction such profound killings and then endorse the killers.It sounds like a conspiracy theory that we all love to deride. But I can find no basis for derision in this example. Policing has changed for the worst,standards have declined disastrously, and a chasm between the public and the establishment ,fronted by the police, is ever widening.

  • Comment number 5.

    NO 10's Spinning machine is at it again re knife crime. Its a good day every day to bury bad news. Is there anywhere LEFT for them 2 DIG. come on newsnight unleash the Dog/Groundhog

  • Comment number 6.

    Surely, if as the Police claim, they had to disable a potential terrorist from detonating a bomb thereby needing to quickly empty a bullet magazine into the man's head, then shouting a warning of "Armed Police" would have given the potential terrorist a warning, so that he could detonate the bomb.

    Either the Police were lying to try to save their skins, or they are very inconsistent.

  • Comment number 7.

    How could a verdict of lawful killing even be considered?

    Is it really lawful for the Police to go around killing innocent people just because they are scared of terrorists?

    An open verdict is the best that could be achieved but really "Unlawful Killing" is what actually happened. All those involved should either resign or be sacked.

    I sure don't want them on my train when next I catch the tube!

  • Comment number 8.

    Fear of Crime or the truthfull reporting of

    Wee, sleekit, cow'rin tim'rous beastie
    O, what a panic's in thy breastie R.B.

    Would that b a Right tit. a Leftie tit, a Yellow tit or a Brown tit

  • Comment number 9.

    Put yourself in the old plod's shoes if you can, A very Diffi cull t Call

  • Comment number 10.

    The first second or third (thats Turd in an Irish accent) or Fourth will do.
    In answer to post ate.

    he came forth and his soup was cald,
    called what? see above.

  • Comment number 11.

    #7

    "Is it really lawful for the Police to go around killing innocent people just because they are scared of terrorists?"

    Just plain silly.

    If the police get it wrong 5 times and shoot an innocent person each time that will be five tragedies. If they get it right once it might save 30/40/50?

    The risk exists because there are terrorists. If, on balance, the anti terror police reduce risk, we are better off accepting the possibility of being shot.

    It seems there were serious errors, as I understand it at least some of the officers knew he was the wrong man, and probably one or more of those involved is culpable.

    We should avoid silly generalisations from one case, no matter how tragic that case.


  • Comment number 12.

    dAllan169 (#5,#8,#9,#10) Are you schizophrenic? No problem if you are. I'm just curious.

  • Comment number 13.

    RISING VIOLENT CRIME AND EXPEDIENCY

    In the gang piece last night, one senior police officer was actually asked whether there was any truth to the notion (as stated by one of the Black gangsters) that so long as gang members were just killing each other, the police were not too bothered. Such questins are about as rational as asking whether the police shot Jean Charles de Menezes in July 2005 as a signal to others 'just considering' that the Met don't mess about. Having said that, there was no 'double-tap' or lethal area in Forest Gate in 2006 hence an obvious 'accident'.....and now, 'the war on terror' is largely history.

    It's enough to make some think that some who think of violent crime might think again...but is it?

  • Comment number 14.

    The "shoot to kill" policy sidesteps all the usual controls employed by the justice system. We do not allow hanging any more in part to avoid the possibility of the state killing an innocent person. The idea of the state putting someone to death when they are innocent is a reprehensible idea. The police have adopted the notion that to identify an individual as dangerous and to summarily kill them is OK. I'm not sure how this has come about, but it is state endorsed killing.

    I recognise the difficulty that in a dangerous situation that the police are expected to act on behalf of the public's best interest and that this may occasionally result in the killing of someone who is acting in a dangerous way - brandishing a gun for instance, even if it is fake or replica. We are in a whole new area if execution can be carried out on anyone innocent who are simply thought to be dangerous - by sitting on a tube train or carrying a rucksack.

    The police do say that safeguards have been put in place since this tragedy - I don't think I've heard what these safeguards are. I would find it reassuring to know how an innocent man can be differentiated from a dangerous man when a warning is not given and no questions are asked.

    I think we should all know something as basic as that.

  • Comment number 15.

    The police stood up to the challenge when most of the country was in a state of shock over the rise in terrorist bombs. The police made mistakes but for the mostpart they did protect citizens. Anyone who wants to criticise the police action is welcome to do so. To condemn the police begs the question; what will the terrorists do when they know the UK police have had their wings clipped by the condemnation of their mistakes?

  • Comment number 16.

    C'EST LA VIE

    artisticsocrates (#14) "The "shoot to kill" policy sidesteps all the usual controls employed by the justice system. We do not allow hanging any more in part to avoid the possibility of the state killing an innocent person. The idea of the state putting someone to death when they are innocent is a reprehensible idea."

    Of course. Think Iraq/Afghanistan. Why should it be any different domestically? On rthe other hand, who wants this nation (or the USA) as footsoldiers?

    There is a continuum. So long as people behave rationally, according to the rule of law, we are civil, we are diplomatic. When this breaks down we use sanctions. Where those fail we resort to lethal force.

    Pain, suffering and death are indeed reprehensible - but see 'negative reinforcement'. The latter will be our nemesis.

  • Comment number 17.

    I think that the excellent posting (#14) has hit the nail on the head in regard to the appalling circumstances under which this innocent man had his life cruelly taken from him. In this apparently liberal democracy of ours - even during the exceptional circumstances under which there is a 'terrorist' threat to the public - we should never abandon the moral and legal principle that the preservation of the lives of all of our citizens must remain sacrosanct. Yet, without anybody ever having been consulted, the Metropolitan police now have an official counter terrorist policy that endorses their firearms officers shooting to kill anyone whom they merely 'suspect' might pose a terrorist threat to the public. If their 'suspicions' of a terrorist is based, as in this tragic case, on dodgy and incompetently obtained so-called intelligence, then the lives of innocent citizens who go about their lawful business is now being placed in peril. This is not acceptable or justifiable under any circumstances. Jean Charles de Menezes was just as entitled as anyone of us, on the day that he had 7 bullets pumped into his brain, to the full civil protection of the British state.

    What is important here is that the police are held accountable not only for the injustice of taking this innocent man's life, but also for their continuing arrogant belief that their shot to kill anti-terrorist policy should essentially remain in tact. Clearly, if such a counter-terrorism policy kills innocent citizens, and may do so again (according to their senior officers' frank admissions to the Coroner's Inquest) then it is seriously flawed, and therefore totally unacceptable.

    One of the things that I find particularly disturbing about this case was that Jean was not given any opportunity even to protest his innocence when confronted by the armed officers in the tube car. Why couldn't he have been ordered to freeze and to place his hands in a position where they could clearly be seen by the armed officers, as is standard armed-police procedure in some states in America? If he had been given some chance, any chance proceduraly, to protest his innocence, he might probably still be alive today. Instead he was merely pinned down and executed - and in a particularly callous fashion at that.

    I also must take serious moral issue with posting #11. Here, I also find it disturbing that anyone could adopt such a dispassionate, crude 'cost versus benefits' analysis of this case; one that can apparently so casually brush aside the execution of an innocent citizen. I think that this kind of crude utilitarian approach to the gunning down of an innocent man is inhuman and callous. I feel that no counter terrorism police response can ever be justified in policy terms if it envisages that innocent members of the public travelling on a tube train might end up being 'collaterial damage' - as the Americans would put it. Is the blogger of posting #11 really seriously suggesting that this gross miscarriage of justice is worth repeating itself several times over again in the future, if, eventually, it does lead to the police finally killing a genuine terrorist?

    I think it is very easy to adopt such a dispassionate and cold opinion about another person's death when you are not personally touched by such a dreadful tragedy. But I wonder if, on that fateful afternoon, it had been the loved one or a close family member of the person who blogged posting # 11 who was executed in that fashion, s/he would now be so casualy utilitarian about the outcome in human terms? Any police counter-terrorist shoot to kill policy that could have been so reckless and incompetent in dispatching an innocent man to his death does not in any way protect me from terrorists, and it actually poses a grave risk to my right to life, and to my civil liberties. Here, curiously enough, both the Metropilitan police and the Islamist terrorists actually have something on which they currently and bizarrely agree upon!

  • Comment number 18.

    I think that the excellent posting (#14) has hit the nail on the head in regard to the appalling circumstances under which this innocent man had his life cruelly taken from him. In this apparently liberal democracy of ours - even during the exceptional circumstances under which there is a 'terrorist' threat to the public - we should never abandon the moral and legal principle that the preservation of the lives of all of our citizens must remain sacrosanct. Yet, without anybody ever having been consulted, the Metropolitan police now have an official counter terrorist policy that endorses their firearms officers shooting to kill anyone whom they merely 'suspect' might pose a terrorist threat to the public. If their 'suspicions' of a terrorist is based, as in this tragic case, on dodgy and incompetently obtained so-called intelligence, then the lives of innocent citizens who go about their lawful business is now being placed in peril. This is not acceptable or justifiable under any circumstances. Jean Charles de Menezes was just as entitled as anyone of us, on the day that he had 7 bullets pumped into his brain, to the full civil protection of the British state.

    What is important here is that the police are held accountable not only for the injustice of taking this innocent man's life, but also for their continuing arrogant belief that their shot to kill anti-terrorist policy should essentially remain in tact. Clearly, if such a counter-terrorism policy kills innocent citizens, and may do so again (according to their senior officers' frank admissions to the Coroner's Inquest) then it is seriously flawed, and therefore totally unacceptable.

    One of the things that I find particularly disturbing about this case was that Jean was not given any opportunity even to protest his innocence when confronted by the armed officers in the tube car. Why couldn't he have been ordered to freeze and to place his hands in a position where they could clearly be seen by the armed officers, as is standard armed-police procedure in some states in America? If he had been given some chance, any chance proceduraly, to protest his innocence, he might probably still be alive today. Instead he was merely pinned down and executed - and in a particularly callous fashion at that.

    I also must take serious moral issue with posting #11. Here, I also find it disturbing that anyone could adopt such a dispassionate, crude 'cost versus benefits' analysis of this case; one that can apparently so casually brush aside the execution of an innocent citizen. I think that this kind of crude utilitarian approach to the gunning down of an innocent man is inhuman and callous. I feel that no counter terrorism police response can ever be justified in policy terms if it envisages that innocent members of the public travelling on a tube train might end up being 'collaterial damage' - as the Americans would put it. Is the blogger of posting #11 really seriously suggesting that this gross miscarriage of justice is worth repeating itself several times over again in the future, if, eventually, it does lead to the police finally killing a genuine terrorist?

    I think it is very easy to adopt such a dispassionate and cold opinion about another person's death when you are not personally touched by such a dreadful tragedy. But I wonder if, on that fateful afternoon, it had been the loved one or a close family member of the person who blogged posting # 11 who was executed in that fashion, s/he would now be so casualy utilitarian about the outcome in human terms? Any police counter-terrorist shoot to kill policy that could have been so reckless and incompetent in dispatching an innocent man to his death does not in any way protect me from terrorists, and it actually poses a grave risk to my right to life, and to my civil liberties. Here, curiously enough, both the Metropilitan police's current shoot to kill policy and the twisted murderous strategy of the Islamist terrorists actually bizarrely seem to converge. When I travel on the tube I want and deserve to be protected from both terrorists and an incompetent and lying trigger pulling poice service. The real challenge for policy makers now in the wake of this appalling tragedy is to design a counter terrorism operational policy that incorporates both.

  • Comment number 19.

    Jean Charles de Menezes case:
    it is good news that there is going to be solution to the case.

    BAILOUT:
    It is sad, that it failed in the U.S. Senate.

  • Comment number 20.

    A VERY ODD DISCUSSION

    If he was wearing a bomb, he and it would have been on 'a hair trigger'. ANY challenge, or assault, would have led to an explosion.
    Hence, the least worst outcome would be to challenge him in the open, from whatever distance and cover might be available.
    It appears there was no SAS-style strategy in place for such an event.

    I wonder if the trumpeted changes, now installed, include some SAS input?

  • Comment number 21.

    I got very worried when I watched NN and read this blog. But then I watched the Sky press review last night and this morning and was reassured that at least those intellectuals seem to have a less idealistic take on the JCM incident than NN.

    For me the point is that liberal democracy is worth protecting. I am reminded of Einstein's supposed view of pacifism - that threats such as nazism obviate the practice.

    I believe the threat to our way of life and ideology from terrorism is every bit as serious as nazism and it shocks me how many liberal intellectuals still seem unable to see that terrorism is not some quaint cultural practice but a very determined and well resourced attempt to destroy western ideology and culture.

    If JCM died in the fight to preserve western ideology and way of life - a way of life that he himself voluntarily came over here to participate in - then that is a death not without purpose.

    If children can be persuaded to carry bombs then it seems quite rational to me that the police policy was to not alert a terrorist suspect but to recognise the extreme determination to trigger a bomb.

    There may have been a mistaken identity but I don't think this was a mere idle suspicion, it was unfortunately wrong but the groundwork had been done to investigate the suspicion.

    Did JCM run away from the police or not? Why would anyone do that in the climate of fear at the time?

    It may not be the right way to look at things but if we operated as other countries sometimes do we might even be trying to put JCM's relatives on trial for some trumped up charge or other for daring to challenge the authorities. But we don't do that.

    I am satisfied that the police acted in the country's best interests but the police is a very confused institution these days. The police operate under a political philosophy with so many ideological contradictions that it is no wonder they have 'got it wrong' a few times this decade.

    Thankfully NNR seemed to signal the end of this flawed political philosophy. Boris's culture expert was in a minority on the programme. Many intellectuals are now recognising the flaws in postmodernism and the need to reaffirm a relative preference for some real values - that's the way of the west. Whether or not we survive depends greatly on this struggle for intellectualism.

  • Comment number 22.

    LIBERAL-DEMOCRACY AND THE FREE-MARKET

    doctormisswest (#21) "I believe the threat to our way of life and ideology from terrorism is every bit as serious as nazism"

    Do you think 'the war on terror' after the 9/11 attack on NYC (#5) may have had something to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? After all, nazism ('Islamo-fascism') is very bad for the free-market (and those who do well by it) given that high TFR Islam proscribes usury.

  • Comment number 23.

    One point that Kirsty failed to pursue fully with the barrister representing the Met in the H&S inquiry: the police only had the grainy image of Hussain Osman from his gym membership card by which to identify him (and determine that Jean Charles was *not* Osman) because they failed to effectively work with the DVLA to get a better image from his driving license. "They were doing the best with what they had!"

    Despite the current Government's desire to fingerprint, DNA profile, bug and survell every member of the public, information held in an existing Government database was not passed to the Police in this most urgent, dangerous operation because the Met claimed they did not have and out-of-hours contact number for DVLA.

    I suppose Jacqui Smith's answer to this would be that once every scrap of private information about the citenzenry is held in a giant, leaky database, any police officer will be able to access any information they're after incredibly easily.

  • Comment number 24.

    Just to bring up a theme from previous threads.

    I see Gordon is in Afghanistan, again using the " I know I speak on behalf of the whole world..." routine.

    For me it's gone beyond a joke and it is starting to get depressing.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 25.

    #14

    "We are in a whole new area if execution can be carried out on anyone innocent who are simply thought to be dangerous - by sitting on a tube train or carrying a rucksack."

    And there have been postings in support. You people frighten me more that terrorists and police with guns combined.

    Should police walk up to someone strongly believed to be willing to kill many people, including him/her self, by pressing a button and shout "Armed Police (or perhaps "you have just enough time to detonate your bomb before we shoot")?

    YOU REALLY WORRY ME.

  • Comment number 26.

    #22

    "given that high TFR Islam proscribes usury. "

    They have found a way round that. No interest, just fees (that happen to equal interest but definitely are not). Business as usual.

  • Comment number 27.

    GORDON ALWAYS WANTED TO BE TONY - BRAVO GORDON (#24)

    Its Gordon's holier-than-thou line taken over THEIR cowardice that hoses me off. One I wrote after the London bombing, July 2005, when cowardice was the watchword:

    CRUISE LINE

    Blair’s Holy War came to London today
    a cowardly act, I heard someone say
    no warning - just suddenly all blown away
    so much fairer to use a Cruise Missile.

    You can’t kill your Granny who’s begging to die
    and no fish must suffer, not even small fry
    go slaughter Iraqis on back of a lie
    it’s quite fair if you use a Cruise Missile

    The pre-emptive strike now accepted worldwide
    guilty till innocent - nowhere to hide
    evil-doers can be bombed where their families reside
    but play fair and deploy a Cruise Missile.

    Make poverty history - cancel the debt
    but what of the poverty lingering yet
    in the hearts of those men whose ambitions are met
    as they launch that cowardly Cruise Missile?


  • Comment number 28.

    13thMan (#26) Have they got round to teaser+variable rate sub-prime, securitized, 'fees' which are dumped out onto the unsuspecting international markets though?

  • Comment number 29.

    #25
    I'm sorry to worry you, but I thnk you are missing the point. Ask these two questions:

    How many terrorists have the police shot in the head and prevented a tragedy?
    Answer: 0

    How many innocent people have the police shot in the head thinking they were terrorists?
    Answer: 1

    That's a 100% failure rate.

    The policy does not have a very good track record so far.

    I understand the point of not issuing a warning to a suicide bomber if they are about to blow themselves up. But this guy was a plumber. We went into Iraq on the back of a lie about WMD. Information is everything in this area, it can be used or misused, and so far it's use is looking pretty shakey.

  • Comment number 30.

    I have just watched the BBC news, seeing Gordon Brown shaking the hands of British servicemen and women in Afghanistan...then I saw this story from the Times:

    Title: Taleban tax: allied supply convoys pay their enemies for safe passage

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5327683.ece

    Seems to me anyway that we live in an Orwellian world of 'Double speak'?/

    Why is this not covered by the BBC? WHY?

    I am sickened, saddened and ashamed, as in WW1 or WW2 this would be considered 'Consorting with the enemy'.

    Firing squad duty anyone??

  • Comment number 31.

    "Shoot to kill, no warning"

    The other thing about this policy that we should consider is - does anyone actually believe that a suicide bomber, in place and pumped up on adrenaline with his/her finger on a button, will allow anyone brandishing a gun to get in range and make a certain shot to their head? I doubt it. They would press the button at the first sign of interception.

    I think the police running into a situation would have to be close for a good shot. Let's face it, the public transport system may not provide the police with a decent environment in which to practice their policy and I don't think any terrorist would want to stand in the open waiting for a marksman to arrive. I think the innocent are far more at risk than any terrorist with this policy.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    #28 Barrie

    holier-than-thou

    I had the misfortune to watch the tail end of Question Time on Thursday. It has convinced me even more of we are going to hell in a handcart. The media being culpable in some perverse double standards.

    One cannot put something true in a blog, that is important and the evidence is available to support, without it being moderated.

    Yet the same broadcaster allows celebrities to spout drivel as fact to millions with some inclusive 'we' holier than thou attitude.

    There was a female 'journalist' celebrity on, who suddenly started lecturing on the importance that 'we' had to take climate change seriously and 'we' had to do something about it.

    The 'celebrity' started telling us how 'we' should get a hybrid car to reduce CO2 emissions like her.

    I have spent 2 hours this afternoon researching life cycle analysis, cradle to grave, dust to dust assessments and audits.

    I have read independent engineering forums and even read 'easy conclusions' from RAC etc.

    http://racfoundation.wordpress.com/2007/06/04/manufacturing-c02-to-be-added-to-car-energy-rating-systems/

    Not once have I found one conclusion that shows hybrid cars have a lower energy cost per mile figure than petrol or diesel. Not one.

    This is only on CO2 analysis, some conclusions point out similar to mine. Batteries require toxic heavy metals, large scale mining etc.

    Yet broadcasters allow 'celebrities' to lecture us on what to do, without one shred of evidence to support their 'opinions'.

    The 'celebrity' while lecturing 'me' on 'my' responsibilities on climate change forgot to mention she had just flown to Australia and back to do no more than sit in a jungle car park for a couple of weeks.

    Then in the next question she was referring to a second home she had in the New Forest.

    Why does the media allow politicians and celebrities to make uninformed opinion appear as fact. There is no moderation, no retraction, no message saying the programme contained personal opinion and should not be regarded as truth or fact.

    Some celebrities should stick to rude looking vegetables, otherwise were all going to hell in a hybrid.


    Help I'm not a celebrity get me out of here.

  • Comment number 34.

    HYSTERIA WATT HYSTERIA? (#33)

    Dead right Celtic Lion.

    The phone charger thing got right out of hand. My Physics teacher in the 50s taught us (even when transformers were crude) that consumption while idle was minimal.

    This guy is relevant, though he is selling a book:
    http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/charger/

    My charger never rises detectably above room temperature - nuff sed.

    PS Southern Electric sent a flyer, telling me my charger was equal to an electric fire in consumption (I forget if one bar or two).
    I wrote back in 'utter panic' asking if I needed to rewire the point with a heavy rating and burbling about fire risk. (Signed myself: 'Maxwell') They wrote back to Mr Maxwell saying there had been an error. (:o)

  • Comment number 35.

    PASSING THE BUCK

    Was he doing much that the others on Wall St. weren't doing in other ways?

    No need to state the obvious I guess.

  • Comment number 36.

    The police always protect their own, and it would not surprise me one bit if they lied in court.

    It won't even surprise me if they all colluded to say the same things (especially about shouting 'armed police').

    What would surprise me if any of the police officers will be prosecuted or at least fired, but that is asking for justice which does not exist in the case of the police crimes.

    The police assassins Criminal 2 and Criminal 12, as well as (Specialist Outlaw) Ivor should be named and shamed and put on trial for murder (at the very least), but that does not seem likely as the IPCC (Independent Police Criminal Corporation) and CPS (Criminal Police Service) give the police impunity to carry out similar assassinations of innocent people in the future.

    I would hardly call either of those organisations unbiased when it comes to the police, as the IPCC is full of ex-police, so obviously they will protect their former colleagues. So it seems there are 2 versions of the law one for ordinary people and the other for police. If an ordinary person shot somebody 7 times in the head because they were fearfull that person might explode or kill them, then the shooter will always face prosecution and it is up to jury/judge to decide on their sentence.

    Regardless of whether they shouted 'armed police' or not, or whether JCDM moved or not, they would have shot him what ever happened and they would never face trial even if it was blatantly obvious that their victim was innocent (which JCDM was). Therefore is seems the police have total impunity and immunity to commit murder/summary executing on the streets. I think police should automatically face trial for every murder/killing and it should be investigated by a completely independent organisation with no ex-police as their employees.

    And no person should be above the law especially police. When police make mistakes they should be prosecuted to maximum extent to make sure it never happens again. All SFO's should be re-trained to assess the situation as shooting is a very last resort. And shooting somebody 7 times in head seems to be as a result of irrational fear rather than training. Anybody knows it only takes 1 shot to the head (in most cases) with a JHP bullet to kill them; 7 shots is a totally disproportionate response.

    Anyway the shoot-to-kill policy seems to be used against everybody the police shoots (even if they are a suspected terrorist or not). To disarm a person you do not need to shoot them 6 times, either shooting them in the arm or leg in case of swords or non-vital areas for guns should suffice for most people. But police always aim for the head, heart, liver (all vital areas) and shoot them multiple times in those regions, so it pretty obvious these people are going to die. The police only need to fire once or twice but they usually end up firing about 6 times (this is definitely a disproportionate response) as these people can usually be stopped by other means and a lot of them turn out to be innocent or carrying replica/fake weapons anyway.

    Another thing that angers me that police are allowed to murder innocent people with impunity but suicide or assisted suicide is a serious crime. How can this be? The only way to legally commit suicide is go on the streets with a toy gun and you are guaranteed to be shot at least 4 times in the head by police.

    The police's training and use of firearms should be completely reviewed as I certainly do not feel safe with police carrying and using weapons on the street, because they never seem to be accountable for their actions.


  • Comment number 37.

    #34 Barrie

    Thanks Barrie, I have been suffering cognitive dissonance between what I know to be true and what the media are telling over this climate/environment.

    It's just struck me EVEN IF chargers waste energy. Apart from minor hum, they will give out the energy as low grade heat.

    Most places with a charger will also have central heating controlled by a thermostat.

    The charger then contributes to the 'background heat', even if they delay the central heating coming on by a second.

    When a boiler kicks in, all the energy from the those burners?

    For at least half a year, even if it was using electricity. It is not being wasted, it is contributing to delaying or shortening the amount of time a thermostatically controlled heating system is on.

    If I was on Question Time and a politician started ranting about TVs on standby or chargers. I would ask the question how many thousand lifetimes would I have to live turning my TV off standby to subsidise the CO2 emissions from flying one B52 halfway round the world to drop bombs on children.

    Now there's an environmental audit the politicians, celebrities and media all avoid. To me it's the first and foremost blindingly obvious place to start.

    I might work it out over the next few days if I can find an envelope.

    So how many mobile charger equivalents has the whole Iraqi shooting match cost.


    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 38.

    #35 JJ

    Reply to Huntigdonian second part

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2008/12/thursday_4_december_2008.html

    It was what I was trying to approach but without the evidence.

    It doesn't take many at $50 billion a throw to 'soak' up the trillions Government's have 'poured' in.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 39.

    Tragic shooting of an innocent:

    The police were operating under collective paranoid stress with the western world watching over its shoulder thanks to Islamic terrorism and US engineered hysteria... albeit with some good reason. The Police should have held their hands up when this tragic mistake happened, issued an apology with instant financial compensation for the victims family rather than go down scapegoat road with smoke and screens erected to prolong what has now become a debacle with the only winners been the lawyers public profile and undeserving pay cheques. The only thing i get from this sad story was that within the higher echolons of our police force lies poor quality leadership - Blair and pillock being good examples of bad management. If any lawyer who is aghast at our Police forces incompetence or brutality, can i suggest that they do a stint in Brazil, there they will find many innocents killed daily by the Brazillian police... a policy of keeping the 'numbers down' is a common practice...with no inquiry or compensation offered. We should stop battering our police for their failings as compared to other police forces around the world, the British police is still the model other countries aspire to.

  • Comment number 40.

    ONE NOBEL PRIZE FOR PRAGMATISM (#37)

    No! Have two!! Your point about the micro-watts (of heat) from the charger, delaying the C/H thermostat by a nano-second is absolutely priceless(!)

    The law of unintended consequences is coming home!

  • Comment number 41.

    Post 12 JJ only in my spare time

  • Comment number 42.

    Ben James21 split the atom, in your back yard and see the score.

  • Comment number 43.

    Straw Dog/Pratt rymes with


    Tragic as it was/is blame is being thrown in the WRONG direction, wrong trousers wrong cheese wrong blame, regarding Charlie from Brazil.

    other countries (sensible party maybe) have been warning our STUPID USELESS politicians for donkeys about home/foreign spun muppets, IE human rights for MAD N BAD personages?
    If you want to stick it to somebody stick it on Them or Yourself, You are the Muppet that pays for these clowns in parliment. And you also pay for Legal? fees aswell. ye gotta laugh, I will (your will not mine)pay for that, I am an Idiot. How sweet to be an Idiot


    4 Marines Killed yesterday.

    our brown says they are fighting in the front line against terrorism to protect us,
    Who let the terrorists into our country in the first place and allowed them to grow/ flourish? well thats easy init the old BILL (10 years old now at least)

  • Comment number 44.

    Post 39 YO, spot on

  • Comment number 45.

    Barrie, Barrie, Barrie, Barrie.

    Thanks, but.

    A light bulb has lit up in my head instanaeously when I read #40.

    An 'inefficient' Thomas Alva Edison one.

    Aren't a lot of people now complaining their gas bills have gone up?

    A can of worms? Here is not the place, yet.

    #36 NNfreak

    On the limited evidence I can only deduce you may have had practical experience the theorists have not.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 46.

    thecookieducker (#39) is that "US engineered hysteria" or 'Israeli engineered hysteria'? The 'Israelis' have a bit of a problem with Islamic 'terrorists' as it seems they won't move out of 'their' country.

  • Comment number 47.

    KingCelticLion (#45) You have (inefficient) light-bulbs in your head? Is this a therapeutic breakthrough? [grin]

  • Comment number 48.

    HEAT LOSS HEAT GAIN (#47)

    I think Celtic Lion's light bulb obviates the need for a woolly hat grown on a farting sheep JJ. Now that's what I call ecology.

  • Comment number 49.

    YOU'VE GONE CRYPTIC/IMPULSIVE

    barrie - I suspect farting sheep/cattle really aren't the problem, not that that really matters much, it would seem

    The root problem is that not enough of the critical mass(es) are available to look at the outcome/consequences of what they do..... i.e 'thinking' and act appropriately.

    Sad...

    This can't be helped except through better breeding.

  • Comment number 50.

    barrie (#48) "Now that's what I call ecology."

    I call this nonsense, and until far more people wake up to that and protest/vote for change, our economy and culture (including people's domestic strife) will continue to nose-dive.

  • Comment number 51.

    HUMOUR - THE ANTIDOTE TO HUMAN FAILINGS. (#50)

    The centre cannot hold, the edges are frayed and a bit damp, while the rest seems to have an extra dimension, such that it won't fold neatly nor will it lay flat.

    I have just pushed my sanity to the limit, taking in an interview with Tony Blair about his 'faith'. It encompassed, war, religion, school, leadership and Alastair Campbell; omega to omega.

    If I didn't have a sense of humour (a capacity to enjoy nonsense) I would be suicidal, homicidal or worse.

    Earlier, we had Yvette Cooper explaining why Sir John Major is wrong about the economy - a joke challenging a joke. If 'Dusty Bin' was watching in his cave (with sub titles) he might have died laughing. Result!

  • Comment number 52.

    barrie (#51) "Earlier, we had Yvette Cooper explaining why Sir John Major is wrong about the economy"

    She gets very earnest for a member of such a light touch government which seems to revel in theatrics. In the end, all that really maters is legislation, and I'm not entirely sure that much of that really makes much difference.

    I'm still hoping someone will clear this up for me.

  • Comment number 53.

    #53

    Well JJ it doesn't look like it will be anyone from the BBC. Just read this on t'internet.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/celebritynews/3744077/Strictly-Come-Dancing-twist-as-all-three-remaining-couples-are-put-through-to-final.html

    It seems to indicate that nowhere in the £3 billion corporation anyone had the knowledge to foresee that.

    Though
    1+3=4

    3+1 also=4

    or something equally trivial

    Global economics, climate change, environmental audits. Forget it.

    PS I have got part of the Iraq war worked out in BMCEs, (Barrie's Mobile Phone Charger Equivalents) Just run the calculator over them later.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 54.

    NONE OF IT MAKES ANY SENSE. (#52)

    I have seen Kenneth Clarke, on a public platform, defend his tobacco income on the grounds that people CHOOSE (by inference) to get ill and die degrading, lingering deaths; as if that is top and bottom of it.

    Quite why the benighted John Major did not say (when prompted, on the return of Clarke) "Why would I support such a man to hold high office? If he can profit happily from tobacco, what might we infer about the rest of his scruples?" is there to be pondered.

    But then, we now know what that 'Back to Basics Knight' - Sir Johnnie - couldn't wait to get back to; and its OK, you can't lose your knighthood when it comes to light.

    There is often talk of a need for ethnic role models in Britain. A glance at the ones WE'VE got should give them pause. . .



  • Comment number 55.

    #50 Jaded_Jean et al

    Thanks for making me smile! Sometimes you talk such rot if I was dying of bubonic plague I would laugh!

    You are unsure about whether or not there was a holocaust and like to quote statistics about Jewish survival rates. You like planned economies as implemented by Hitler and Mussolini. You don't like freedom and democracy. But you do assert your rights as of the Magna Carta. Even though your view are diametrically opposed to its substance.

    Most importantly you DON'T support the BNP so there is no home for your views that would accept them. So votes and protest are a futile gesture.

    So perhaps it all makes you feel a little .. well.. like a propagandist trying to make an impact AFTER the war when the battle was long lost.

    You are very very silly. Move to Sark!

  • Comment number 56.

    ON NOT QUOTING OR REPORTING: BUT BEING 'CREATIVE'

    thegangofone (#55) Do you realise when you are 'fabricating/confabulating?

    Reading (like thinking and believing etc) is intenSional. Your postings clearly illustrate the major problems with the idioms of propositional attitude (psychological/mentalistic verbs), in that they are prone to be fabricationist, dramatic, unreal, unreliable.

    You appear to be quite prone to this behaviour. I have conjectured about group differences with respect to this disposition.

    Give it some thought.

  • Comment number 57.

    "FIRST DEFINE YOUR TERMS"

    Yo Gango! Al here. My friend Vera has a survival rate of 100%. Does that help at all?

    How are you defining 'silly'? Are they going to be invaded as well as Sark?

    I have to admit to having no knowledge of the Magna Carta - I can't even fold a small map.

    I can't join the BNP, I am 100% narcissist: can only vote for myself (JJ please confirm). that was why I stood for Parliament in 2005.

    Is a Gango Fone anything like Skype?

    I'll get me tablets.


  • Comment number 58.

    Barrie

    On my first calculation.

    Assuming your mobile charger did consume 500 milliwatts just plugged in.

    I hvae no evidence it would. I do not have a meter here, but the temperature of the case of chargers tested was the same as ambient.

    If it did you would have to have it unplugged for about 350,000 years to offset the energy of fuel costs of the aircraft alone of one (without inflight refueling) B52 combat mission.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 59.

    THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: A WOMAN'S WORLD?

    KingCelticLion (#58) Remember, natural languages are intensional, so not truth functional, so most of what on gets on TV is creative, and not to be taken too seriously. If one starts getting extensional media folk will just get confused/bored, and their eyes will glaze over.

    I'm not joking. They really do go a bit funny. I think it's because their brains can't cope with extensionality.

    It's a different culture. Newsnight Review is taking over Newsnight, and much else besides. This is no joking matter.

  • Comment number 60.

    #58 JJ

    I have found this. If you speak to a science editor on national newspapers. Suddenly it gets 'awkward'.

    Very often they have no science knowledge of the subject at all. One had written about species extinction. When I spoke to him he had no knowledge of evolution, genetics or ecology. All he did was write about what he had been told. We couldn't have a conversation on the implications etc of the article.

    Much of what we read or see on TV is 'rewrite the press release'. No questioning or analysis of the presented material.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 61.

    RETICENCE STOICISM AND SINGLE-MINDEDNESS. (#59 woman's world link)

    Ah yes, Mr Buerk, but when all is said, done, fought and won, WE ARE just sperm drones; few NOW really needed; and expendable.

    The added problem is: give us men any respite from physical struggle (against the elements, or one-another) and we go INVENTING STUFF.

    We men have made the mess the world is now in. The male-female balance is blown away because we freed women from all their constraints, while a subset of them were busy imposing a whole lot more on us. Doh! What a bunch of Homers.

    As I have posted before:

    OF BEDS

    As the oyster yields a pearl
    man invents.
    Neither realises their fecundity
    is rooted in irritation:
    of one - the body
    of the other - the mind.
    Man kills the oyster
    for its pearl.
    And kills his own World
    for that eureka moment of invention.

  • Comment number 62.

    KingCelticLion (#60) Which is why it's so important to see the media first as a facet of the commercial entertainment industry and secondly as a medium for shaping market demand. They don't listen much as they have very short attention spans and are basically only interested in securing market-share/sales to please their shareholders/keep their jobs/funding.

    This is worth listening to in the current climate even though he's an anarchist.

    Like it or not, there WERE very good arguments for National Socialism/Socialism In One Country, it's just that these weren't compatible with the interests of Jewish international finance (the terms 'left' and 'right' make no sense), so at the end of WWII we got a load of propaganda to make statist systems of government appear horrific as this might constrain the liberal free-market. As a consequence, we got more and more naked capitalism/de-regulation. We didn't become more democractic at all, except in a very cynical sense where uneducated people were used to subvert the state which limited naked capitalism.

    This is probably why disgruntled 'activists' like Gangofone regularly have such hissy fits because they now see that 'the jig is up'.

  • Comment number 63.

    barrie (#61) "We men have made the mess the world is now in. The male-female balance is blown away because we freed women from all their constraints, while a subset of them were busy imposing a whole lot more on us. Doh! What a bunch of Homers."

    Was it men or was it a subset of feminised males? This blog may comprise an unrepresentative self-selecting sample, but to the best of my knowledge one has to bear in mind the context, and given that it's females which lead in languages (including English) at all the NC Key Stages, what does this tell one about males who post to blogs or dominate the media? One has to think brain gender rather than genitals.

    The reality is a female world without male guidance is a world headed for decay. Most sensible females know this. Most sensible females know that they are shorter, have less muscle mass, create less, and have smaller brains because nature in her wisdom has selected this in order to reduce opportunity for competition/conflict. Big people picking on smaller people is bullying. Big people are supposed to care for smaller/weaker people, are they not?

  • Comment number 64.

    PROFILE OF THE INVENTOR-MALE

    I think Buerk's 'single-mindedness' as a male marker is present in the inventor.
    I doubt an obsessive inventor type would be readily open to feminisation, but it seems we both recognise the 'subset phenomenon' in both genders - enacting a reversal of dominance.

    However, I get the impression that men were inventing the world toward destruction, long before masculine women (and their pliant sister-converts) saw their chance to get the upper hand to the extent they now have?

  • Comment number 65.

    This is a nice video I found, while viewing the shoe throwing.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=n4HGG_-d9zg

    This the first thing they have posted on You Tube.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 66.

    There is no room for biological determinism in the modern world. Biological determinism is based on absolutes that do not exist. Humans comprise a range of traits and the purpose of modernism is to work with those ranges to the best advantage of all. Only liberalism is a fit method of governance for that task. Without liberalism, society is not worth living in. Liberalism and modernism are inextricably entwined in the same way that traditionalism is tied into repression.

  • Comment number 67.

    doctormisswest (#66) "There is no room for biological determinism in the modern world."

    Too bad for medicine then!

    Maybe this explains the recent rise in 'alternative' treatments (effectively witch-doctoring).

    This is worth a look (see the Government’s White Paper Trust, Assurance and Safety – The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century), for anyone who may not appreciate just how many of those there are out there today, and how they prey (unwittingly much of the time I'm sure), on the vulnerable who put faith in them, because they sound like they know what they're talking about.

    As to your other points, which bit of the trends in our degenerating demography is still not clear?

    You are indulging in creative writing detached from the data.

  • Comment number 68.

    THE DUMB DUPING THE DUMB (#67)

    " . . . the vulnerable who put faith in them, because they sound like they know what they're talking about."

    Hi JJ. Your words fit government as precisely as they fit alternative medicine. In view of this, should either be regulating the other?

    To my mind, the placebo effect and (related?) power of hypnosis, is a resource sidelined by 'symptom/cure' medicine. Even bacteriophages, freely supplied by nature, have lost out to sledgehammer antibiotics made by man.

    I'll get me Culpepper.

  • Comment number 69.

    barrie (#68) "To my mind, the placebo effect and (related?) power of hypnosis, is a resource sidelined by 'symptom/cure' medicine."

    GPs haven't got a lot of tool in their box to deal with the problems of living. In this country NICE regulates for clinical efficacy and MHRA for safety. It's really the DoH doing this as agencies of the government (Civil Service) and they're under enormous pressure from well resourced commercial interests i.e the drug companies as you know. Exactly what is efficiacy? If one shows a statistically signicant difference between an inert substance and a drug, does the MHRA/NICE have to grant a commercial licence, and if not are they legally induced/pressured? If it comes down to 'effect size', what are the precise rules? This is a difficult area, but most of the alternative stuff, including most psychotherapy is, I think, highly dubious ethically, in fact, most is predatory nonsense I fear. Remember most of the Freudian stuff was peddled by Bernays initially. The public needs protection.

    It's now not even clear that efficacy of anti-depressants is all that it seems, but there's a lot of money behind this business.

  • Comment number 70.

    THE ORTHODOX MAVERICK (#69)

    Hi JJ. I think I have posted, before, to the effect that I made decades of 'living' in chemical processing, using observation and deduction (R and D) and extreme inventiveness.

    I actually have experience in the forbidden zones of healing, where I did my best (!) to apply the same discipline to judge outcomes, and though I am not foolish enough to give details, it does, however, inform my comment.

    I currently fend of a set of the usual 'diseases of old age' by strategies that orthodox medicine would pooh-pooh or even blanch at. I take no prescription drugs.

    As I think I have posted: I asked my GP, just before he retired, how many he had sent to hospital from effects of 'alternatives'. He replied 'none'. From memory, Big Pharma fills a lot of beds and not a few graves. Cultural perception wins every time.


  • Comment number 71.

    SPIN, SPIN AND MORE SPIN

    barrie (#70) "As I think I have posted: I asked my GP, just before he retired, how many he had sent to hospital from effects of 'alternatives'. He replied 'none'."

    As they are sold over the counter they are just 'cosmetics' which have no efficacy, so they are hardly likely to put one into hospital are they? The problem is when alternative therapists peddle their snake-oil in lieu of clients going to their GP. They DO do that, and it's irresponsible. It puts people at risk, whcih is why these people need to be regulated. Ideally, many should be presecuted for deception, except, sadly, all too many are so poorly aware of the lack of evdience for wehat they offer as a service that mens rea (intention) would fail!

    Remember Angel-Reading? It's not all as painfully obvious as this, but caveat emptor is no excuse eirther......

    This is freedom and democracy.

  • Comment number 72.

    DOES NOT COMPUTE CAPTAIN (#71)

    The 'highly regulated' pharmaceutical money-machine is deeply unethical; it maims and kills. What good will regulating the amateur tricksters do?

    Perhaps we need to regulate the regulators?

    PS I take it my investigations and applications add up to '0'? Was my business R and D all delusion??

    Ah 'freedom and democracy': at least that has given us 24 hour self-medication we can drink to - and the health consequences are well documented!

  • Comment number 73.

    barrie (#72) "PS I take it my investigations and applications add up to '0'? Was my business R and D all delusion??"

    Thre's a lot of it about Barrie - it's fiendishly complex - see MHRA/NICE and Parliament's inquiry into 'The Influence of The Pharmaceutical Industry' regarding the SSRIs. A lot of the time we are not up to the task, I reckon. Hence my remarks about 'mens rea'. You can (and you have at times) extend that to politicians, academics, and much else besides.

    I didn't say this was easy, especially in our light touch, business orientated, Liberal-Democracies. I fear most regulators are toothless by design.

  • Comment number 74.

    Follow-up to (#73) "Investors will note that regulators have taken long, hard looks at Madoff over many years, and failed to detect fraud."

    Peston's Blog on Madoff

  • Comment number 75.

    I don't define biological determinism as meaning man cannot take advantage of biological knowledge without being slave to it.

    What I understand of your statistics is that we are not reproducing and we are not very clever.

    So, we improve childcare provision to encourage larger families, and we improve education to allow everyone to reach their potential. Plus we import labour and intellect whilst still providing meaningful lives for everyone.

    As for alternative therapies:
    a) some are based on physiological reactions, eg herbalism, massage, in the same way that modern drugs and physiotherapy are

    b) some are based on 'healing', the same effect as a bedside manner or caring, we do have the ability to heal ourselves to an extent and having another person involved can give us the inner strength to e.g. make the effort to diet, exercise, remain calm

    c) some are based on power of thought - we have mind-activated computers now

    d) some are based on chi energy, there are too many theories out there now to dismiss this idea of a universal flow, eg sheldrake, dawkins

    e) some may work for reasons of healing rather than the technique practiced eg homeopathy, angels

    e) some practitioners are underqualified some are highly qualified

    f) some practitioners are fraudulent, eg 'operations' and the jury is out the ability to communicate with the supernatural

    So, I don't think a blanket dismissal of the contribution that alternative therapies can make to a healthy society is helpful

    Alternative therapies are better named complementary, which they are, to modern medicine. And they hold the potential to alleviate strain on primary care.

    At the point of death you might take morphine in a hospital or angel therapy in a hospice. Like childbirth, some people prefer the more structured and clinical approach whilst others prefer something more spiritual

    There's the rub - what do we mean by spiritual? Well, there's something and it transcends the ideology of religion. A choir singing in a catherdral is spiritual not because of the story of jesus but because it is a manifestation of skill, artistry, talent, concentration, determination, beneficence, teamwork and humility to nature - not only in the singing, costumes and organisation but also in the building. I recently heard that King's College accoustics dictate which and how sungs are sung. That's spiritual. And that's why people like Austin Williams reject biologically determinist environmentalist theories of sustainability in architecture, for instance, but I digress.

  • Comment number 76.

    doctormisswest (#75) There is no reliable empirical evidence for any efficiacy attributable to what you assert in the main parts (a-f) of your post. You need to take this assertion very seriously. That you think otherwise is sadly symptomatic of the very sad state which the lowering of standards has brought about in recent times. Sadly, most of the people who promulgate the sorts of things to which you refer are females.

    Your third paragraph is the only part of your post which is, in my judgement, remotely rational, nevertheless, it's a fantasy as it's unattainable in liberal-democracies. It takes a long time to reverse dysgenic/differential fertility, and the basic fact is that there are less very bright females han there are males. Naural Selection has (clearly for reasons currently best known to itself sadly) arranged this along with other phenotypes of sexual dimorphism, for very good reasons.

    I think you need to take what I have been saying far more seriously as it has been the failure to take on board concerns such as those which people like myself (and Diane Halpern, Doreen Kimura and many others) have been saying, which has led to the socio-economic/demographic mess which we are now spiralling into.

 

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