BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
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Wednesday, 15 April, 2009

Sarah McDermott | 14:57 UK time, Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Here's a look ahead to what's coming up on the programme:

Tonight on Newsnight we are looking at the police. Have we got the police we want or deserve?

More images have come to light raising questions about the levels of force police used at the G20 demonstrations. The latest shows a sergeant slapping a woman who has been hurling abuse at him. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner announced today that the tactics used by police to maintain order are to be independently reviewed.

So how damaged have the police been by the images and the debate about their tactics? Has the controversy about the police actions revealed anything new about policing now and about whether police and their tactics have changed significantly in recent years?

Has the terror threat changed the way the police act - are they getting tougher? And with the heightened terrorist threat and mass environmental direct action, does the police response match the threat?

We would like you to tell us what you think about the police, and whether your view has changed after seeing the images from the G20 protests. Please leave your thoughts below.

We will also be talking about what can be done to stop the war in Sri Lanka, and the Courage ad that has been banned.

Plus the second episode of Ethical Man Reborn in the USA, in which Americans tell Justin Rowlatt what would make them use less fossil fuels. Ethical Man gets the Greyhound to Detroit on the first leg of his 6,500 mile journey around the country, and he test drives GM's billion dollar electric car - the Volt. Could this be the car that saves General Motors and how can other corporations be encouraged to develop low carbon technologies like it?

Do join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    I was a local councillor of many years standing and ofen worked quite closely with the police. However I have to say that recent events are starting to shake my confidence in the police and I am alarmed at the way that policing in this country is beginning to change - for the worst.

    It's getting to the stage where we may have to add the police to the list of things to worry about on a day to day basis.

    I put the blame firmly at the door of the government with their constant barrage of 'terror' legislation, macho sound bites and increasing Big Brother goverment in the form of computer data bases and CCTV cameras.

  • Comment number 2.


    The Stanford Prison Experiment is a plausible explanation and illustration of unpleasantness, whether in our Potty Parliament's chamber, or the no-go streets of gun crime.

    Add to that, nastiness is now called 'entertainment' (also 'news broadcasting') piped daily into the HEART of every home.

    Has Susan Watts read 'The Lucifer Effect'?

  • Comment number 3.

    I find it curious that someone was videoing this incident BEFORE the woman was struck! Was this police baiting, pushing a situation beyond the norm for the desired result - which they got. Her "commando" outfit seemed designed for battle more than peaceful demonstration.
    The "protesters" have to take responsibility for the level of abuse they adopt - and the consequences, in a tense environment such as the one we witnessed.
    Police men and women are not superhuman - how many of us might have reacted in a similar way to such provocation.
    If we don't get behind OUR police and support rather than condemn, before the facts are known, then the extremists have won.
    Suspension now? - What happened to "innocent until proven guilty?!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    First impressions count when it comes to communication and media relations as in all things and it seemsw clear that the police have not changed tactics or learned any lessons.

    Accusations of disinformation and criticisms of the mis-information tactics of the Yorkshire Police at Hillsborough still get aired, even on the today programme. Those tactics bear a striking resemblence to those initially used by the Met over the circumstances of the NewsPaper vendors assualt and death and with those used over the killing of the Brazilian electrician.

    Nothing changes except power of technology puts in the hands of mortals and the speed of discovery

  • Comment number 5.

    The Met Terrotorial Support Group are blameworthy...not the whole Police Service.
    Classic the few ruin it for the majority!
    Give `em hell Paxo tonight, or are the senior Police unavailable?
    AND this is about violence and assault, not tatics.

  • Comment number 6.

    good news on the 96 (apparently) too: S Yorks chief constable has accepted responsibility for the Hillsborough disaster 20 years ago. a poignantly good day for police public order tactics and strategies to be reassessed.

    G20 policing: watch out for the inevitable bad apple excuse. the expectation/preparation for violence both endangers the public and provokes violence. but the police have to prepare for the worst, protect the public and property and uphold the law. not easy in a fluid and threatening situation.

    one danger of kettling protesters is that such tactics will be met by more extreme elements with more violence, scaring away peaceful protesters and making calls for peaceful protest less effective.

    also unfortunately violence usually produces the goods (ie publicity, response, Newsnight specials!), of some sort. benign peaceful protest gets ignored.

    waving after banners and shouting What do we want..etc ruffles very few feathers of the powerful and so direct, sometimes criminal violent action seems the only way for some to bridge the chasm between the policies of the political elites and the wishes of the populous.

    the well-reported hollowing out of the Labour party and the mass exodus of members from all political parties, trade unions, mass employers, multi-channel media, the internet produces a disparate fractured society which needs a new covenant between the rulers and ruled.

    the old forms of mass politics become ever-more disengaged from people's lives. Obama has found one way of engaging directly with the populous through his internet campaign but it is yet to be tested in the crucible of a scandal or crisis or U-turn. interesting comparison between the use Obama made of the internet and the crass McBride/Draper/Brown model of cyber-politics. Is it time for the separation of powers at last to create a truly accountable executive and independent legislature?

  • Comment number 7.

    The police have to respond to targets, and are entirely driven by them. The targets are the yardstick by which senior members are evaluated. Therefor, the object is to persue easy crimes or turn non events into possible law infringements. They are certainly totally uninterested in going after such crimes as housebreaking, vandalism or bad behaviour.
    It was very clear from the clips of the G20 demonstration, that the police were nowhere to be seen when demonstrators were breaking windows, entering premeses and destroying contents of a bank branch, but were quite ready to push that poor man to the ground and beat him though he was doing nothing wrong, and slapping a woman and hitting her legs with a truncheon purely because she was prsumebly insulting them.
    A country gets the police force it deserves. It is a reflection of the great decline in standards at all levels in our society.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think generally the police in the UK are amongst the best in the world... but lately, many of them are letting the force down!

    During the G20, I saw a ridiculous event at Hyde Park Corner which was quite shocking. As the Chinese premier was leaving the Mandarin Oriental through the Park road, the police cordoned the road off so that no traffic was allowed. They didn't seem to be very clear as to the pedestrians as some were allowed to cross and other werent. As the Premier approached, a guy on a bike comes out of the park to cross the road and is NOT stopped by the policemen at the gate, but when other policemen see him, they jump on him and take him to the ground. Fair enough, he could have been a risk. But then, as the geezer was totally dumbfounded and shocked, he started shouting at him as if it were his fault. the guy was totally in shock and not even moving and the policeman seemed to be out of his senses screaming at him! totally unecessary and showing how unprepared the policemen were!

  • Comment number 9.

    I am female but I must admit when I watched the clips online and saw that annoying woman I wanted to wallop her myself.

  • Comment number 10.

    I arrived in the UK in 1997. I was amazed when I entered the Police Station in Brighton and Hove to ask something about bringing over my car from Italy.
    A female officer asked me very politely: "How can I help?"
    I was confused, a Police officer wanted to help me, a foreigner?
    Once in Rome I wanted to report to the Police some serious threats I received from a gang and the first thing I was asked at the Police station was my ID card!
    At that time was hard to make people here understand how much the Police was abusive in my country. I had to wait the G8 in Genoa to show to people here what I meant.
    The the Jean Charles de Menezes terrible story happened.
    The Government here can't understand that protecting the public from a foreign threat (like the IRA) is something, as it unites the community, whereas telling everyday, most of the times giving the impression of scaremongering, that we have incredible threats among us, it undermines confidence and trust in the community. I have seen it all already in the early '80 in Italy with our terrorism linked to Fascist and Communist extremism. The country hasn't yet recovered. I see Britain following the same path.

  • Comment number 11.

    5,000 Police versus 5,000 protestors – The Met created the crucible, then wonder why some tempers exploded.

    That said, the G20 protests were on the whole peaceful, friendly and, most importantly, effective at getting the message across. It's a shame however that most of the images of scuffles or violence that have come to light over the past week have generally shown the Police as the undisputed trouble-makers.

    No member of the public (innocent or guilty) should ever be intimidated, threatened or physically abused by Police Officers.

    Revolutions have started that way.

  • Comment number 12.

    How many police officers at the G20 DIDN'T break the rules?

    Although there were a few police officers who should simply be sacked/prosecuted after the G20, generally, the way the police act and behave is so much better than the old days.

    I remember the pole tax riots, the miners, Liverpool, Grosvenor square, Notting Hill, and this last one was an absolute picnic.

    However, one common thread through all the demonstrations which have turned bad, is that the violent element is SO much larger than is reported or admitted.

    I remember during the Pole Tax riots seeing vast amounts of skin heads and others mixing it up. But then, the less obvious candidates (older men in jackets, women with scarves) hitting police with bill boards and then claiming they were attacked.

    I was standing in amongst thousands of protesters and police who didn't have a riot with one another. Strangely, that picture never made it onto TV

    Yes, you will always get some police who are just thugs - but the Media is far too quick to take the protesters side and question the whole police force rather than look at it more logically. And I have yet to see a protest group that didn't exaggerate all statistics like mad!

    So who do I trust? The police trying to do a job and stay non political, or lobby groups who will try and gain any political advantage?

    The Police every time, despite the handful of thugs.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm a copper, a firearms officer as it happens. I've been assaulted trying to do my job several times. Each time the offender has gone to court and been given the lightest of slaps - occasionally not even that - effectively the courts condone assaulting coppers. You can see it up and down the country, week in, week out.

    We have to look after ourselves because the courts, and the Government, don't.

    Videos tell only part of a story but the media portray them as presenting the full facts. We have become the standard 'whipping boy' for the problems of the country. It's our fault if anything goes wrong - ignoring the facts of how people put themselves in situations and then are surprised when they are told that they cannot act in an unacceptable way.

    You think that we can have a discussion about behaviour with somebody who is screaming insults at us?

    Do you think we should stand there and take that level of abuse? Do you really think that? Why? Because you "pay our wages"? Don't make me laugh - if I hold an insurance policy with a company and don't like how they do business, do you think that I should be able to ring their call centre and scream, shout and abuse the call-taker? If so, I'll start doing that to my electricity company, water company, local council, etc. - with any luck I'll get to speak to one of you while I'm doing it and we'll see how you like it.

    We are not paid, and never have been, to take insults. We are public servants, not public slaves, to treat how anybody feels like.

    When did it become acceptable to swear, shout and scream at a copper?

    When did it become acceptable to push and hold onto coppers?

    You do either to me when I'm in uniform and you'll discover that I won't stand for it and that might come as a shock to you. I'll probably be the first person in your life who has stood up to you. I am encountering more and more people like that recently.

    I know more and more officers who are starting to take a firm stand against people who's lessons in decent behaviour appear to have been forgotten, or never taught.

    Some of the public's levels of behaviour wouldn't go amiss in a zoo, yet WE are the ones who have to justify our actions when we attempt to stop it.

    We are all human. Some of us will make mistakes. When we do, it's not like any of you making a mistake at work - we make a mistake and that's on our record for life. We could lose our jobs and our pensions. We are more likely to get the sack than we are to get training to help make sure that we don't make the same mistake again.

    You, the public, appear to demand blood from us. You expect perfection, yet so many of you couldn't stand up to that level of scrutiny yourselves.

    We can't abide armchair coppers. You have all the answers without having any understanding or responsibilities. Anyone can be a critic because to be so, you don't need to give any level of solution.

    We are there to maintain law and order. We are not there to be goaded, cajouled, threatened or intimidated into some sort of action.

    Think about this; we may make mistakes. How we are treated when we make those mistakes is all-important. If 'riot control officers' are going to be investigated for every use of force in every occasion that they are called out (and that is what is currently happening), then how many of those officers do you think will want to volunteer for those roles? Would you volunteer? Didn't think so.

    Decide now, and decide quickly - do you want us to be there or not? Because we'll quite happily put our shields down and let you, with your opinions, vast knowledge and experience, deal with demonstrations yourselves. We'll happily withdraw when being abused, rather than possibly face a criminal investigation for trying to maintain the Queen's Peace - and making the streets safe for you to walk down.

    All posts in the police force are occupied by volunteers. We don't have to do those jobs, we do so because we all have a belief in right and wrong and making the country a safe place to be in.

    Keep on sniping at us. Keep on baying for blood. Keep on demanding that we accept the unacceptable and pretty soon you'll have a completely demoralised force that can't do anything for fear of doing something wrong and being lambasted for it.

    I love my job. I love what I stand for. Moral in the force can't ever have been so low. Keep on going people and you'll soon discover that the thin blue line, that keeps so many of you from the scum of the earth, will become so thin and worn, that it'll break.

    You really have no idea how close we are to being in that state already.

  • Comment number 14.

    robertchale wrote:

    "I put the blame firmly at the door of the government with their constant barrage of 'terror' legislation, macho sound bites and increasing Big Brother goverment in the form of computer data bases and CCTV cameras."


    And you were a local councillor?

    None of that stuff has anything to do with the police and how they handle a crowd. If anything, CCTV (mostly privately owned and not government, by the way) has actually put protesters on the back foot as they know it is more difficult to hide.

    And I cannot see what a database has to to do with a copper loosing his temper and whacking a passer by for no reason.

  • Comment number 15.

    All anti-terrorism legislation made in the last ten years should be reviewed and, where necessary, amended so it only confers extra powers on the police where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion of terrorism. Additionally, all legislation should be amended so that an action is only an offence if it is motivated by terrorism. For example, the new law which may make photographing the police an offence should have a qualification added that it is only an offence if motivated by terrorism, not just if the picture might be useful to a terrorist.

  • Comment number 16.

    Contrast the policing of the G20 with that of the Sri Lankan demonstrations. The difference is that the latter group are demonstarting to make a point whereas a large number of the former are out to goad the police. Innocent bystanders become vistims of the raised tensions. The other guilty party - the media. Colectively you hyped up the G20 demos. I was in central London that day close to the scene of supposed anarchic acivity. The only thing that was unusual was the degree of calm and quiet - but there were no cameras for people to play up to!
    Finally they say there has to be trust between police and the public. most normally law abiding people meet up with police on the roads. Ther their task of implementing nonsensical laws do render them a target. I was recently moved on at Terminal 5 as my partner dropped a passenger off at check in. A very officous and aggressive plod moved me on threatening me with creating an obstruction. as there was not another car in sight I suspect he was on a commission from the BAA. Lest one thinks this unlikely I recall that this was something that used to happen in the 60's - so perhaps the police have not changed - just times

  • Comment number 17.

    WRT Police:
    I am now confused as to what the police is trying to do in terms of their relationship with public. In our area they have re-introduced your local Community Officers (as Liaison)- except when you scratch the surface they are not 'real' police and can not intervene in any disturbance! So, when they are present, they are useless. It appears to be just PR. And I presume we pay for this 'service' from our rates.

    On the other hand, Home office spends over 1Bln (or is it 2Bln) on Police in UK (or is it just England) with the remit including prevention of potential protests that involve commercial utilities (over the weekend the power station in Notts). They looked so well after the young people involved, that they left teenagers and young people (women) in unfamiliar surroundings at night and without money or mobile phone (confiscated)- as a parent I am horrified and find it unbelievable.

    Finally, when it comes to demonstration in London for G20- why would they be so much worse than the ones in 2003 against Iraq war (I was there)? In large measure because the scene was set by the police who frankly looked like thugs ready for battle (and not wearing their insignia) dishing it out willy nilly. As someone said earlier, Zimbado, Stanford Experiment and Lucifer Effect (Abu Ghraib behaviours) explain the psychology.

    Someone has to take responsibility. War on terror is indeed with us, but not the one Government talks about. We as citizens are starting to feel terrorised. That is not a mark of freedom!

  • Comment number 18.

    Any person who has witnessed the Police working for any length of time can testify that they take the same approach and are regulated as effectively as bouncers:

    They use excessive force all the time with the full understanding that when push comes to shove (literally), it is their authoritative word against an individuals.

    This approach was clear with Ian Tomlinson's death. Until the footage surfaced, the information in the public realm was that Police had unsuccessfully battled to revive Mr Tomlinson, while being hurled with missiles from the protestors. No mention of the Police's previous engagement with the deceased which would have surfaced if there was even a superficial inquiry by the IPCC.

    There is no accountability or transparency, only organisations and inquiries that go through the motions.

  • Comment number 19.

    I think we need to be a little careful here. We are criticised for stereotyping other groups of individuals (such as people of certain backgrounds, young people, etc), and perhaps rightly so. But equally, we cannot look critically on the actions of individual police officers and then extend our judgement to apply to all police officers. Stereotyping is either right or wrong - it can't be wrong for some groups but right for others.

    I would also suggest that each case needs to be looked at objectively. Are we in possession of all the facts, or just selected clips? I know police officers are trained and paid to do the job they do, but they are no more perfect than the rest of us. It is all very well being armchair critics, but it is very different dealing with these situations for real in the middle of it all.

    I'm not suggesting that the police should have "carte blanche" to do as they please, and certainly I struggle to see what the poor chap who later died had done to justify getting pushed during the G20 protests. But we do need to be careful before pronouncing too much when none of us contributing to this blog has all the facts.

  • Comment number 20.

    Dear moderator, I posted this on Tuesday's comments by mistake. Please forgive me :o)

    Who are the anarchists?

    Rockers, Mods, Skinheads,Punks, then nothing significant until now with the baton-wielding Blue Bottles...

    Sticks and stones
    can break my bones,
    but call be names that are too rude,
    and I'll turn your thigh into dog food luncheon with my little truncheon...

  • Comment number 21.

    The Police do not deserve the publics trust and respect. They must earn it.

    The excuses that Duncan 916 gives for the criminal actions of the police. Mirror the excuses given by violent protesters. He is trying to justify criminal elements in the Police. There is no justification.

    The Police do not seem capable of understanding that they are or should be subject to the same laws as the protesters.

    The Police are not above the Law and they have no right to tell people what to do if they are peacefully protesting.

    We are close to becoming a Police state.

  • Comment number 22.

    SupremeChancellor are you saying that there may be justification for Police hitting protesters?

    If so are there circumstances under which I may be justified in hitting a Policeman?

    Or is there one rule for the Police and another one for me?

  • Comment number 23.

    The BBC has been towing an establishment line on this right from the beginning and has been trying to downplay the police actions as much as possible. This is even evident in what you have written here.

    "The latest shows a sergeant slapping a woman who has been hurling abuse at him."

    So the Police office just gave a 'slap' whereas the woman was 'hurling' abuse. With your choice of language you have diminished the policeman's attack and accentuated the woman's wrongdoing. You also omit to mention the policeman striking her with his baton, which was clearly the most serious part of the assault.

    The real issue here is that these kind of police attacks on unarmed peaceful protesters are quite routine. Anyone who has been on a protest can tell you this. The only reason the media are taking an interest this time is because someone died. The tragedy is not just a mans death, but also the media's failure to investigate or address the long-running issue of police violence at protests. Instead the media has chosen to demonise protesters instead of reminding the public that protesting is our democratic right.

    You also write.

    "We would like you to tell us what you think about the police"

    Do these opinions have to follow a certain line? I only ask because the people on the "Have Your Say Team" seem to only want to hear certain opinions. They rejected my comment without explanation. Here it is....

    "'How should the police handle protests?'

    They should not assault unarmed and non-violent protesters, something which unfortunately happens routinely at protests in this country. Everyone including the media, knows these assaults are routine, yet it is only hitting the headlines because this time, someone died. Surely in a democracy we should be able to go on a protest without fearing assault by the police with batons."

  • Comment number 24.

    AsTheParadigmShifts - on a point of law, yes; there may be some circumstances when it can be justified, if it is reasonable in the particular situation.

    Where any individual has broken the law they must pay the price for that. But the main point of my contribution was that in just the same way we are told that a few bad teenagers don't make every teenager bad, why do a few bad police officers make all police officers bad? Or am I not allowed to hold that view?

    The second point of my contribution was simply to set out the possibility that we may (and probably do) only have some of the facts, and unless we have all of them we cannot form a balanced view.

    For what it's worth, I find myself quite sympathetic to Duncan916 @ #13. Police officers are there to do a job, but they are no more there to be abused by members of the public than anyone else. It is the politicians we elect who make the laws and if we are not happy then we should take it out on them at the ballot box.

  • Comment number 25.

    To Duncan916
    I would never ever do anything wrong to a Police officer and I would never ever shout at the operator of a call-centre.
    I know that you are out there to protect people like me and you are generally doing a very good job, often risking personally.
    However, what you say confirms to me what I said in my previous message.
    Some passages in your post might suggest that the Police would like to take justice in their own hands because of the frustration derived from the legal system and the Government.
    You are saying that since the Judge has given a lenient sentence to someone, you feel entitled to treat her/him more harshly next time around.
    I would just advice to think again. Police officers are trained (I'd say paid, but let's not talk about money) to catch criminals. It doesn't matter if it was always the same individual. The Judges and the Government elected by the community decide how to punish them. You just have to accept what they see appropriate. If those criminals offend again as soon as they are out, your job is just to catch them again, without question. And I'll always be the first to thank you for that and happily pay my Council Tax Bill for it.

  • Comment number 26.

    Yes, my attitude to the Police has definitely changed. I got questioned by a motorway patrol on Sunday for stopping in an emergency on the hard shoulder, and when the patrolman, instead of trying to be helpful, just gave me the usual line about moving on, I found the words, "What are you going to do, hit me on the back of the legs with your baton?" forming in my mind. And I'm a law-abiding clergyman. I didn't say them, but I was very angry that he couldn't see he was meant to be there to help me, and I probably showed it.

  • Comment number 27.

    Duncan916 wrote:

    "When did it become acceptable to swear, shout and scream at a copper?"

    Of course it's never acceptable to swear, shout or scream at anyone, Police Officer or not. However, one expects a Police Officer above all to demonstrate restraint and diplomacy. If you're saying that you are unable or unwilling to do so AS a Police Officer, then I site that as a prime example of the systemic decline in British Policing.

    However, what I find most worrying is that in addition to carrying such a disconcerting attitude, you also carry a gun.

  • Comment number 28.

    SupremeChancellor - I agree the actions of a few rouge Policemen do not make all Policemen bad and on the flipside the actions of a few rouge protesters do not make all protesters bad.

    My point is that Police and Protesters should be subject to the same Law. If I cannot justify hitting a policeman then a policeman cannot justify hitting me.

    Are you saying there might be circumstances in which it is OK for me to hit a Policeman and for a Police man to hit me?

    If Protesters and Police are to be treated equally then if you sympathise with the Police being abused by protesters you then have to sympathise with protesters being abused by the Police.

  • Comment number 29.

    marcomas2000 - you are right, of course.

    We lock them up, present them to the courts, and the courts release them. It'd be funny if it wasn't so demoralising.

    What I was trying to get at was that people seem to think that we can just talk to people and ask them nicely to behave, and they do.

    It doesn't work like that - particularly when an individual has some preformed prejudice towards us. Oddly I don't find too many people like that who don't already have a criminal record. Law abiding individuals are, generally, a pleasure to talk to and help.

    "The Police are not above the Law and they have no right to tell people what to do if they are peacefully protesting. "

    I agree wholeheartedly. However, you can't look at a small snippet of a video clip and know how peaceful an individual is being, or otherwise.

    As for a clergyman using the hard-shoulder in an 'emergency'. Maybe the definition of the word 'emergency' is different for different people. I've spoken to people using a mobile phone while driving 'for an emergency call' were, in fact, ringing their wife to tell them that they were going to be late.

    As for thinking about telling a copper that he might hit you on the back of the leg if you don't do as requested...............grow up.

  • Comment number 30.

    The UK government can work with the EU and the US to impose sanctions on
    Sri-Lanka, if the UK government is really serious about stopping the war.

    It is a well-known fact that the Sri-Lankan government is one of the worst violators of human rights in the world.

    The reason the Sri-Lankan government is able to kill a large number of innocent civilians and get away with it is because there is very little pressure from the international community.

    What most of the countries (including the UK) have done is to shed crocodile tears over civilians’ deaths and injuries and turned a blind eye to the serious human rights violations.

    Here are some the steps that can be taken now:

    1. Sri-Lanka is seeking a loan (£1.4 bn) from the IMF and trying to get the money on its own terms. The loan can be refused, as the money will be used to fund the war.

    2. Sri-Lankan leaders’ bank accounts can be frozen.

    3. Travel restrictions can be placed on Sri-Lankan leaders.

    4. Sri-Lankan cricket team can be prevented from playing in England.

    5. Steps can be taken to suspend the country from the Commonwealth.

    The international community is either unable or unwilling to stop the killing of innocent civilians. Expressing concerns for human rights violations is easy!

  • Comment number 31.

    AsTheParadigmShifts - I'm not sure we are in as much disagreement as it might appear. In any debate like this, I like to see all sides have a fair hearing. Whilst I start from the point of view that I generally tend to support the police, in this case my desire for fairness applies both to those police officers trying their best to do a hard job AND to legitimate protesters who obey the law.

    As to the point about who can use force against whom, it is a legal fact that a police officer, or anyone else for that matter, "may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large" (s.3 Criminal Law Act 1967). So yes, there MAY be circumstances when it can be justified.

  • Comment number 32.

    gregmatt: "However, one expects a Police Officer above all to demonstrate restraint and diplomacy. If you're saying that you are unable or unwilling to do so AS a Police Officer, then I site that as a prime example of the systemic decline in British Policing."

    We all have a breaking point, copper or not, training or not. To think otherwise is interesting. I'm not saying it's right, it is, however, a fact.

    To think that coppers, in times gone by, have had more powers of restraint and diplomacy shows a staggering naivety or lack of knowledge on the subject that you're talking about.

    I don't recall saying that I was unable, or unwilling, to demonstrate restraint - you have read into my post, presumably because of your prejudice.

    "However, what I find most worrying is that in addition to carrying such a disconcerting attitude, you also carry a gun."

    I certainly do. I passed all sorts of tests before doing so. Psychological, fitness, oh, and you'll be pleased to hear that I'm a straight-shooter - in more ways than one.

    We are not all mindless, hairy, thugs. It does, however, take an unbelievable amount of tolerance to deal with some members of the public.......presumably, as an armchair copper, you'd know all about it, so I'm preaching to the converted.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think the distinction between the majority and the minority is becoming increasingly important in this debate.

    The majority of police officers are professional, honest , well trained and well behaved. The same goes for the British public. In either case though, there is a minority of police who misbehave and of the public who want to disrupt protests or otherwise commit crime.

    I suspect that the more generalised problem affecting all police officers and the public is set much higher up by senior police officers - kettling, disruption of legitimate protests, use of terrorism powers in non terrorism matters. Unfortunately, it is the public and the front line police (such as Duncan) who end up taking the consequences. Ultimately, it is the Home Office and ACPO members who must accept responsibility here.

    Duncan, I suspect on the basis of probability and that he cares enough to join this debate, is in the majority of police officers in the UK who are well trained and extremely professional. He says that he is a firearms officer, which means he is among the best trained and most professional police officers in the world. But he is a police officer and as such has more contact with those who break the law than the average citizen. Could his view, quite unintentionally, be slightly distorted by this imbalance? In any event, I - and I would imagine the majority of the British public - highly value the work he does and I must stress that I have no intention of offending him in posting this comment.

  • Comment number 34.

    This is a hard one, because there are so many factors to look at. First I don't think the Police on the street have the right attitude, they have been conditioned to react in ways that are quite wrong for most people, they are led by Government directives, and I'll make no bones about it, the Government are the big problem, and it all started with, guess who?............Thatcher, she got the ball rolling and the catalyst for what we saw at the G20 Summit in London, was the miners strike, in that year the benchmark was laid down, and over the years technology came into its own, The days of the intelligent bobby have gone, lets face it, the way some of the Police were behaving at the G20 protest seemed rather unintelligent, I shudder to think what might have hppend if the police had been armed....with guns, Then look at it from the vewpoint of all those World Leaders, I call it, the "Orwellian Syndrome" Mr Brown's very own Metropolitan Police Force had to look good and had to be seen keeping the Dissenting Proletariat in order because that's what is expected, that's how the Police in a Police State are conditioned, don't think just keep The New Order, Do we have a Police Force we deserve? No! we have a Political Police State, and all that we hear about how good the Police are and what a fine job they do, is just a load of PR hoggwash, the truth is, the Police Force has become a Government run organization and will do things the way the Government wonts, and we all know what a hell of a mess this Government is in, and if G Orwell was about today he'd shrug his shoulders and say, Told you so, welcome this is 1984. DaveS596-XE1

  • Comment number 35.

    I was at the Climate Camp in the City on 01/04/2009 and have seen the casual and indiscriminate threats, intimidation and violence of the policing on that day in Bishops Gate. Following similar behavior by the Police at Heathrow Climate Camp in 2007 I was not at all surprised by this. The only real surprise to peacefull demonstrators is the poor media reporting and indeed the supine belief that every Police briefing actually contains some truth. When it is well known that misinformation and indeed lies for which there is no time to check the accuracy of Police claims are aloud to pass as informed "News".

    Please let's have fair and decent coverage this evening on Newsnight.

  • Comment number 36.

    I was in London on both Saturday and Wednesday - the police seemed disappointed it was peaceful on the Saturday event and were more up for it at the Wednesday event as the pictures show - its disappointing that they acted as they did - their reputation is in tatters not unlike their government paymasters.

    Sheffield, UK

  • Comment number 37.

    "Could his view, quite unintentionally, be slightly distorted by this imbalance?"

    Er. Yes. Your post rings very true.

    I try to be objective in all debates, but with so many vehemently opposed to what I try to do every day of my life, it's difficult not to become entrenched......

    Lord knows I appreciate every decent member of the public that I meet. They do outweigh, the nasty element by a considerable margin.

    I have known a few coppers who have been, heavy-handed shall we say. They get a notoriety with their colleagues and soon find themselves working alone - they simply are too dangerous to work with and can easily stir up a situation where words will be just as effective. With luck they get moved - but they are more than likely to be sacked, or moved off front-line duties, than given help to deal with their issues.

    I thought that the idea would be to stimulate honest debate. How wrong I was. Some of you think that we go around beating people up on some sort of power trip. That we cover our numbers up to avoid detection. That we are some sort of bully-boys.

    We are more aware than anybody else of CCTV, mobile phone cameras, video cameras, the list goes on. We know that on every incident log there will be records of which team is where on the ground. Sergeants look after the teams, they are, in turn looked after by Inspectors, and so on.

    I don't know a single officer who would lie to cover for another officer who had acted inappropriately. You may believe otherwise, but I'm on the frontline, and you are not.

    I do my job with honesty, integrity and pride. My job means more to me than covering for somebody who shouldn't be a copper in the first place. Take some time to speak to coppers and you'll hear the same thing from them.

    We are doing our best...........the constant barrage of ill-feeling and comments that we are all thugs, grinds us all down.

    No situation is black and white. We are not perfect. We are human, with the same set of basic morals and beliefs as most of you. Our job is hard, but then, if it was easy where would the challenge be? :)

  • Comment number 38.

    I think the majority of free thinking people have lost confidence in the police quite a long time ago. There was a well reseached independent report on police behaviour a couple of years ago and the conclusion they came to was that the police and their behaviour in general was no better than the thugs they are paid to apprehend. This report because of its honesty was soon hushed up by the media because it seems the public must always be fed the opinion of.the honest friendly Englush Bobby.
    I myself have ceased to see the police as anything but a tool of the state and the guardian of the top 10% of the population for a very long time.
    I think after the killing of Jean Charles Menedes and the consequent police defence of this foul act left very few people in doubt what the police stood for.
    The farce of an inquest after the killing fooled no one.
    The time has come for British people to grow up and realise that the police have become a worrying threat to the general public.
    Brian Booth

  • Comment number 39.

    Brian Booth (#38). I will not attempt to convince you of my generally pro-police officer (though not necessarily police chief) views. However, in a polarised debate like this it would be helpful if you would let us have details of the "well reseached independent report on police behaviour" to which you refer.

    Despite my own position on an issue, I am usually willing to consider any reasonable evidence put forward by the other side of the debate and I am quite happy to review the evidence you refer to in order to see if it influences my view.

  • Comment number 40.

    police are the people society allows and licences to use violence for the common good. some people seem to go all vestal virgin over watching several days later from armchairs incidents in the heat of the battle. the police are allowed to use force. get over it.

    remember for some the 'sport' is to do whatever it takes to provoke a reaction.

    my line up would be

    1.The Commission pointed out that the UK had no regulatory body charged with controlling the monitoring of communications by private companies.

    2. Rich kids get better jobs, admits Government

    3.The 22 Royal Marines who took on Argentine Falklands invasion force

    4.The UK's official statisticians have published their annual insight into how life is changing in modern Britain.

    5. MoD investigating British Taliban bomber claims

    6.Peter Rogers

  • Comment number 41.

    Ridiculous! Just look at the control that the London police exacted with the minimum of fuss and agression, against the happenings in Strasbourg, using gas grenades, water cannon etc....? Yes of course it is unfortunate if a couple of those magnificent police officers do not live up to the quality of the hundreds of their colleagues and yes, they should be held accountable for their actions, but for goodness sake, let us be thankful for what we have got and what we are good at.

    Paul Southon, Expat, now of Villemoustaussou, 11620, France.

  • Comment number 42.

    38 hoffmancapote, I think and hope that you are wrong.

    Any lost confidence by the public is with the system, not the people that do the thankless task of ensuring that you have a chance of sleeping through the night without always having a member of your family on guard against who-knows-what.

    After the armed forces, it is the underpaid, unappreciated people that put themselves between the lawless and you to give you the chance of living your life without worrying about safeguarding your family and property every minute of the day.

    Do you really think that you could have your enjoyable, civilised existance without these people protecting your way of life?

    We owe all those people a great thankyou for protecting us.

    No-one is perfect but the people in the police force probably have to endure things that you can't even dream of, and certainly do not happen to you.

    Police are there because we want them to be but that doesn't mean that they have to accept actions and circumstances that any other person would not accept.

    Let's assume that NO police turn up to protect the public and property at the next G20 demonstrations.

    Like to speculate on the outcome?
    Or will you and a few of your friends pop along and make sure all is well?

    I don't think they are all boy scouts / girl guides, but my heartfelt thanks go to them all for doing a job I couldn't be paid enough to do (Jaqui Smith take note)

    13 Duncan916, well written, good case well put.

  • Comment number 43.

    #2 barriesingleton

    "unpleasantness" - now when race "realists" who want planned economies Hitler style and eugenics start talking "unpleasant" you sit up and pay attention as they are very unpleasant ideologically - though they never actually dare declare their ideology.

    But as ever its vacuous nonsense trying to undermine the political process and democracy using unsubstantiated fear.

    But then you are somebody who can dismiss climate change due to your experience in R&D, and you people try to dismiss the Holocaust by using dubious statistics.

    If they finally get Demjanjuk to trial perhaps the race "realists" - who aren't Nazis or the BNP - will appear at the trial and show the world the statistics on Jewish survival rates from the 1930's.

    At the next election you could stand as a Holocaust Agnostic to see how "cerebrally aware" the public are.

  • Comment number 44.

    Protesters should remember that Policemen are just human beings.They don't seem to hesitate to hit, punch or worse.If occasionally they get the same in return--get over it.Do you really want Robots keeping the law?

  • Comment number 45.

    A couple of months ago it became illegal to take a photograph of a Police Officer. I knew nothing about this until it was presented as a fait accompli on the television news. I do not recall reading, listening or watching any debate about it in the Media and yet it was reported as if it was the most natural law in the World for a Labour Government - a LABOUR Government - to pass.

    I was shocked. I still am. It goes to the very core of our democracy.

    When Police Officers Police the protests of last week in the way they did I am now no longer surprise. You pass laws like the one above and Human Nature is such that some Police Officers will begin to think that they are different, that they are separate, that they are special compared to the rest of us. Soon, some will think they are above the law.

    Buy you French power company shares now as in 30 years time they will be worth a fortune once the country runs entirely on electric cars. Problem is, we will need double the amount of the now proposed new nuclear power stations at least if we wish to be able to power them. What angst for the green lobby!

  • Comment number 46.

    having been at the G20 protests for hours, I think its of great importance to state that I, along with many others witnessed large numbers of police who were not wearing tabs on their shoulders.

    the argument that police had garments which covered their shoulder tabs is a spurious one. it is perfectly clear to see the patches where identification numbers should be, and many had clearly disregarded these guidelines and were therefore absolutely untraceable, even with publicly financed state of the art cctv...

  • Comment number 47.

    Two policemen are suspended, yet I gather from my daughter, one of the 114 arrested on Sunday night, that hiding/removing identification is now the norm. These two policemen happen to have been caught on camera. If we the public were allowed to photograph the police, presumably many more would now be suspended. I look forward to the results of the G20 policing review. I am ashamed of our police force and our Government which has encouraged this situation to arise.

  • Comment number 48.

    I must say this police bashing is really begining to grate. What these people have to put up with is beyond belief and if you are purposely baiting the police be sure you are prepared to take the consequences and accept that your actions are your responsibility.

  • Comment number 49.

    Having just watched your debate on policing.....Can I just say 'Thank God that Chris Huhne and his party will never get to form a Government. I hope we never have to suffer the sadness of our own 9/11 before his kind actually wake up and smell the coffee (Decaf of course)

    I bet if he was faced with thousands of people wandering all over his domain he'd be one of the first to demand that the Police act and not care what methods they used. Perhaps we should employ some of our European colleagues to police events in the UK from now on...possibly the same police that acted in Strasbourg at the NATO meeting the day following the G20. They think nothing of using Batons and CS gas! We could then leave our good old fashioned British bobby to wander around checking door handles and saying 'Evening all' Shame on him...for his comments. Let him try doing it for a few 'Events'

  • Comment number 50.


    What the 'ethical man' piece lacked in substance it made up for in - lack of everything else. Did you have Red Nose Day winners put that together?

  • Comment number 51.

    This police behaviour has been going on at demo`s for as long as i can remember! I was on an anti poll tax demo in kettering, only bout 20 of us & we had 50+ cops beating the **** out of us! With the proliferation of modern phones etc evidently the state won`t be able to get away with such abuse of power anymore

  • Comment number 52.

    This is a most interesting debate on policing, and it has for once been a pleasure to read through and think about all the posts. Although many hard-hitting points have been made, there is a notable lack of the personal antagonisms which have been happening recently. Very refreshing.

  • Comment number 53.

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

  • Comment number 54.

    Anarchists provoke police brutalty precisley because they want the media to report police brutaility and thereby weaken the executive arm of the state.

    Anarchists allegedly protesting about bankers are a joke as we clearly have an anarchistic government (and have since 1979 at least).

    Conclusion: public vilification/investigation of the police just serves to further weaken the state and thus make the economy even more predatory.

  • Comment number 55.

    No one should respond to insults and abuse with violence: that is especially the case with the police who should all be trained professionals if they are trusted to deal with people protesting in public because they consider they have a grievance that cannot be dealt with adequately in any other way.

    The photographs appear to be very damaging and should be dealt with accordingly.

    The authorities should be especially careful in the present circumstances: many of those protesting must be very resentful because they have suffered financially and are now getting rough treatment when no action at all has been taken, or seems likely to be taken, against those who benefited financially while creating the present financial situation.
    The lack of public information about the billions that have, to all intents and purposes, gone missing reflects very badly indeed on all those in positions of authority and the professionals and commentators who have the responsibility for keeping the public informed.

  • Comment number 56.

    50. At 11:28pm on 15 Apr 2009, barriesingleton

    Oh dear. Not the most encouraging critique to set the scene. 'Looking forward to' is not quite how I would have put it, but on the same day the details of Dear Leader's £5k 'helping make 'us' 'greener'' electric dreams are shared (in ways only a unique national broadcaster can) this side of the pond, I am interested in any objective information on this transport energy delivery alternative, and what the US can 'teach' us in this regard. Seeing the President lob up in a stretch Sinclair C5 will be worth it.

    As I am an early to bed type, I was just wondering if I have to watch the whole show pronto on PC, or whether it might get uploaded on the blog?

    But I note that at least no airplanes were used in the making of this programme.

    Laudable, or perhaps a pity in a way, as perhaps planet and/or licence fee could have been saved amortising the costs of such 'roadshows' with the amazing number of other Newsnight reporters and entourages flitting across, and hither and thither around the continent.

    With carbon-savings in mind, does Newsnight have a locally-based Presidential pet correspondent yet?

  • Comment number 57.


    jamesthought (#55) "No one should respond to insults and abuse with violence: that is especially the case with the police who should all be trained professionals if they are trusted to deal with people protesting in public because they consider they have a grievance that cannot be dealt with adequately in any other way."

    The same line has been taken by Human Rights and other activists for years with respect to a) teachers b) prison staff c) just about anyone in authority.

    If you look at the consequences you will see an increase in anarchism/offending behaviour.

    "The authorities should be especially careful in the present circumstances: many of those protesting must be very resentful because they have suffered financially and are now getting rough treatment when no action at all has been taken, or seems likely to be taken, against those who benefited financially while creating the present financial situation.
    The lack of public information about the billions that have, to all intents and purposes, gone missing reflects very badly indeed on all those in positions of authority and the professionals and commentators who have the responsibility for keeping the public informed."

    'The authorites'.... As I have repeately pointed out elsewere, if one looks closely at what this government (and their predecessor) has actually done over the years, they've given law and order (along with education) a high profile. Their policy (and legislation) has been surreptiously anarchistic, which in fact comprised the deregulation, anti-statism and economic crisis to which you refer.

    Most people won't think this through. That's taken as a given. The people are used to pull down their own regulation, system of law and order... i.e their own welfare state and protection.

  • Comment number 58.


    By George, Junkk, I think you've got it! Common-touch Obama (Barack to you) must surely take his turn with the poop-scoop; a photo opportunity not to be missed!

    How better to 'cement' the Special Relationship with the UK - where the doggy-bag has taken on new meaning (and a characteristic dangle) in recent years?

  • Comment number 59.

    THE LIGHTER SIDE OF WAIL (add to #58)


    I'm taking this bag of poo for a walk
    The dog's run off and left me.
    He caught waft on the wind of some silly bitch
    So now I'm quite bereft - me.
    As mementos go' it’s not all that bad
    But I feel like some poo-posied bride
    I’ve been left in the lurch by a lurcher - no less
    Though companionship - I’m not denied.
    I'm on my way home with my warm doggy gift
    To be placed on that patch of the lawn
    That I view from the window to see if he's been
    It'll seem like he's never been gorn.
    They say its a wise dog that knows his own
    So I'll wait for a wind change and then
    When he's done with that bitch and he catches the scent
    I reckon he’ll come home again.

    Note to Blogdog: "You DO know what a bitch is - I hope?"

  • Comment number 60.

    JunkMale (#56) "I was just wondering if I have to watch the whole show pronto on PC, or whether it might get uploaded on the blog?"

    The batteries bit was quite funny in places, Justin can put on a good show. A still mega-sized battery (albeit smaller than the 90s version) but costing an arm and a leg with power capacity equal to about half a gallon of petrol was a hoot too!

    Maybe Justin could help interview 'Bull-Terriers' Draper and McBride? In fact, maybe a panel of Wark, Sopel, Paxman, Esler etc all grilling Draper and the Political Panel, each in their own inimitable style would be good? Maybe with Irwin Stelzer as moderator so venality doesn't get confused with illegality?

  • Comment number 61.

    does the ethical man slot have a point? the style just looks like daytime tv to me. i think that lady had it right 'what's that supposed to prove'.

    JR should have his own show. Disaster man visits...

    how many wished he did touch the battery? ;)

    on a day when nuclear sites in the uk are mentioned will anyone talk about the feed in tarriff [or lack of in the uk] and despite the energy prices being low for over 6 months retail energy prices have only dropped 10%. it's a national scandal.

  • Comment number 62.

    Today the government announced plans on the electric cars front.

    But I not:

    "the strategy also includes plans to provide £20m for charging points and other necessary infrastructure."

    I am not an expert on electric cars but I doubt £20m will do more than provide a cosmetic add to try and boost the failing governments popularity.

  • Comment number 63.

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

  • Comment number 64.

    #54 Jaded_Jean

    "Anarchists provoke police brutalty precisley because they want the media to report police brutaility and thereby weaken the executive arm of the state."

    You aren't in favour of democracy so readers should note that is not your objective.

    The BNP who hold similar views to Jaded_Jean aren't allowed in the police.

    Hoo rah!

  • Comment number 65.

    Translation State Secondary School teachers don't want State Primary Schools running Trojan Horse scams (sending them low attainers surresptiously to them)!

    Primary Schools don't like KS 1 (7yrs) and KS 2 (11yrs) SATs because they think these hold them unfairly to task (experienced teachers know ability and progression is largely genetic).

    New Labour doesn't like SATs because the evidence holds them to account for the (dysgenic, based on my analyses) effects of their a) immigration and b) Higher Education policies upon the skill base, social stability and economics of this country.

    No SATs, no hard evidence......;-)

  • Comment number 66.

    It seems the technology for high speed charging of batteries is in striking distance as is far more efficient and lower cost solar electric panels, all of this will make electric cars more feasible. From other replies on the beeb it seems it will be a major challenge to get this across.

  • Comment number 67.

    Brown has said:

    ""I think the most important thing we do is reassure people everything is being done to clean up politics in our country."

    Is this to be like the election expenses where they set new rules, break them and then blame the complex rules?


    If the journalists knew about the smear campaign months before it was not a moment of madness. I would have thought there was a lot more o come out - especially if Draper and McBride were on oath. Could the Tories take it to a civil court?

    Now that would clean up politics.

  • Comment number 68.

    my #63 got pulled and thats not right.

    A re-hash

    Jaded_Jean said

    If you look at the consequences you will see an increase in anarchism/offending behaviour."

    Jaded_Jean is a race "realist" who thinks almost everybody is an anarchist.

    The race "realist" posters on this page want Hitler style planned economies, eugenics etc etc.

  • Comment number 69.

    #65 Jaded_Jean

    "Primary Schools don't like KS 1 (7yrs) and KS 2 (11yrs) SATs because they think these hold them unfairly to task (experienced teachers know ability and progression is largely genetic)."

    Actually I doubt very much that teachers think that race, as opposed to intra-race genes, is a factor.

    They know that genetic variation if far greater within a race than between races and therefore there is no basis for your race "realism".

  • Comment number 70.

    #65 Jaded_Jean

    "Primary Schools don't like KS 1 (7yrs) and KS 2 (11yrs) SATs because they think these hold them unfairly to task (experienced teachers know ability and progression is largely genetic)."

    The BNP hold similar views to you.

    They have a bouncy castle at their annual conference-in-a-field.

    Should children be allowed at race "realist" events? Should people who are "hazy" about the Holocaust be let loose on other peoples children?

    In Germany they banned a far right group that taught children.

  • Comment number 71.

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

  • Comment number 72.

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

  • Comment number 73.

    Further apologies as I want to know why the #63 got pulled.

    Was it because I pointed out people are anarchists if they, in the eyes of the race "realists", "paint Hitler as darkly as possible for party political reasons"?

  • Comment number 74.

    This it worth posting these links on alternative to battery technology :

    There is also the work of Professor Gerbrand Cedar and student Byoungwoo Kang at MIT

  • Comment number 75.

    thegangofone (various)

    Pease look up the term eugenics. Please also see The Galton Institute and its history.

    Look up Fisher, Spearman, Pearson (and Keynes)

  • Comment number 76.

    thegangofone (#73) "Further apologies as I want to know why the #63 got pulled."

    You have been politely informed many times that what you are asserting is factually false i.e. that you don't know what you are taking issue with. Links have been provided to help you but you persist in writing posts which are either not true or obvious distortions of what I and others have posted.

    People should not be prevented from posting what is true simply because some people like yourself can not, or will not, grasp what they are being told.

    The work of members of the Eugenics Education Society was, and still is, central to the science of statistics/biometrics and Individual Differences (psychometrics), in psychology and much else besides.

    You are just wrong.

  • Comment number 77.

    we 'had' a rich tradition in this country where you could demonstrate legally and peacefully and now we have non-accountable police officers who hide their ID, numbers etc., and they black-up as much as any protester so the law side of things goes out the window. The sufferagettes, the miners, all those other workers that had every reasonable offer turned down then had to resort to the streets for justice now are denied even that. What is becoming a fair and pleasant land is now a police state...

  • Comment number 78.

    Re JadedJean 57 - comments re 55 jamesthought.

    Your reasoning seems to be that present anarchism/offending behaviour is a consequence of the lack of violence.
    Would you mention, as examples to follow, a few nations that rule by violence?

  • Comment number 79.

    #76 Jaded_Jean

    "Links have been provided to help you but you persist in writing posts which are either not true or obvious distortions of what I and others have posted."

    You have previously said that I am an anarchist for "painting Hitler as darkly as possible for party political reasons".

    You are a self declared race "realist".

    You are in favour of eugenics - I know nothing of the Eugenics Education Society and frankly if a race "realist" is for it I am against it.

    All of that is accurate.

    You are against anti-fascists and "cultural-Marxism" - that is accurate.

    You have said you are not a Nazi or the BNP. But like other race "realist" posters, some of whom have declared themselves to be the BNP, you would like to see the BNP covered on Newsnight.

    That is all accurate.

    A longish quote from you:

    "Hitler, Mussolini and Roosevelt did what they did in the 1930s (essentially running planned economies) because of the catastrophic financial mess which had been brought about by anarcho-capitalist 'democratic' deregulators peddling the merits of 'freedom'. Yet you and others of your ilk are still naively arguing for precisely this.

    On the other hand, if you want to see history repeat itself, just keep thinking the way that you are." Paul Masons "A slump in confidence in policymakers?"

    People may note the way "democratic" and "freedom" are referred to.

    There is nothing inaccurate about any of that is there?

  • Comment number 80.

    jamesthought (#78) "Your reasoning seems to be that present anarchism/offending behaviour is a consequence of the lack of violence."

    You'll have to be more specific about how you logically deduced that. There were a few typos (sorry) but I'm not sure your inference is valid.

    What I have repeatedly asserted is that for 30 years New Labour/Thatcherite legislation has been anarchistic i.e anti-statist. That is clearly a fact. That there has also been a rise in offending behaviour (bar recent fiddling) is also a fact. In fact, it has risen since the end of WWII, but much more so since the late 70s.

    Police, teachers and other Public Sector workers are expected to deal with this, but they can't because they are crippled by deregulative/anarchistic legislation (Human Rights, Race Relations etc). When the police etc do respond (probably out of frustration), this leads to even more deregulative legislation etc.

    Would you mention, as examples to follow, a few nations that rule by violence?

    Non Liberal-Democracies pass laws demanding more duties than rights of their populations, and are perceived by Liberal-Democracies as being more coercive - for what should be obvious reasons, i.e. those who behave in ways which Liberal-Democracies deem expression of Human Rights they will deem breaches of duty where perpetrators are punished as 'enemies of the state' i.e enemies of other people. One has to look at the entire consitution and judge acts in the conetxt of the laws. Many Liberal-Democracies try to change non Liberal-Democracies into their system using NGOs as this creates markets/expands their consumer base. They use Human Rights....

  • Comment number 81.

    thegangofone (#79) "There is nothing inaccurate about any of that is there?"

    It depends on what the word 'that' refers to. Much that you write above is allegedly an expression of what you personally believe, but how much of that is true? How much of what you believe is based on poor understanding?

    Eugenics means good breeding as opposed to dysgenics. Who, apart form those waging demographic warfare aginst another group would curb eugenics and encourage dysgenics?

    All informed people who know the data to which I refer are 'race realists'. Do you think there are biological/genetic differences between Bull Terriers and Labradors?

    You appear to have strong (and quite odd) emotional responses to basic empirical facts. This is rather odd for someone who asserts he his has two Masters in science.

    You need to do some studying, as you appear to be arguing from ignorance (it's a logical fallacy), which is never a good thing to do.

  • Comment number 82.

    thegangofone (#79) What you fail to do (and it's rather ironic, but sadly predictable) is adequately discriminate. That ability is essential for clear, intelligent, expression, especially in science (which is all about finer and finer discrimination and testing of those discriminations).

  • Comment number 83.

    #81 Jaded_Jean

    You talk about inaccuracy but then try to bluster about interpretations.

    Does the Eugenics Education Society and those "who know the data" use the phrase:

    "we all came out of Africa but lets say some got left behind?". Profound.

    Another phrase of interest was when you have said previously, on being challenged as to why, contrary to your assertion, race "realism" is not even on the scientific agenda you have said that mainstream scientists "are all Jews".

    Does the Eugenics Education Society take the view that there is some profound truth (an odd emotional response?) in the fact that Stalin ejected anarchists and Trotskyites in the 1930's - "and it wasn't because they were going to the synagogue". You have vaguely implied that this explains your attitude to Jews.

    I leave it to the readers to determine whether there are in fact any "basic empirical facts" whatever in your beliefs.

    Genetic variation is greater within a race than between races.

    The UK is happy as a multicultural society and 99.9% of the public and scientists reject what you say.

    Hitler and eugenics tends to bring back historical facts like extermination and sterilization.

    You like Hitler style planned economies and dislike those anti-fascists who "paint him darkly" - but are not a Nazi - and you like eugenics hence you refer to the Eugenics Education Society.

    There is no inaccuracy there at all.

    Are you claiming that in fact the majority of scientists DO believe that race "realism" is a scientific fact?

    If so why have you previously wailed about those scientists who can't get jobs because of their political beliefs? Surely they are in the majority?

    But then if mainstream scientists do believe as you and they are "all Jews" then you imply that Jews believe in race "realism" and eugenics as you do?

    They perhaps like to present statistics on Jewish survival rates from the 1930's when they refer to their agnosticism on the Holocaust also?

    If you believe your statistics have merit I am sure you will want to present them at a war crime trial such as Djemjanjuk - if he gets there. Clearly there are few with your mastery of statistics and if there may not even have been a Holocaust ....

    You talk rubbish!

  • Comment number 84.

    thegangofone (#83) "Another phrase of interest was when you have said previously, on being challenged as to why, contrary to your assertion, race "realism" is not even on the scientific agenda you have said that mainstream scientists "are all Jews"."

    Please provide a link to the post where I wrote any such thing.

    Your postings to this blog are a very clear illustration to others of precisely what's wrong, and all too prevalent today (see the Draper-McBride debacle).

    What is so silly is that all of the posts here are public so anyone can check and quote what is said verbatim.

    So do so.

  • Comment number 85.

    Re Jaded Jean 57 & 80: Jamesthought 55 &78.

    You avoid mentioning one or more countries as examples.
    I suspect that you are playing a game that is a waste of my time and which I will not continue.

    Have fun!


  • Comment number 86.

    I'm an ill bunny at the moment :o( However, I was cheered up, as I haven't laughed so much in ages - Stephen's report on the Courage adverts, and then the hillarious interview with the guy from the ASA and Jeremy. 3 people complained about the ad - don't people have anything better to do?
    :p What is the world coming to when when people can't even take a joke? And the best part was when Jeremy pointed out that alcohol changes your mood, yet the ASA do not allow alcohol to endorse the fact that it does change your mood.

  • Comment number 87.


    thegangofone (various) Try to take on board the facts of life without making sins or virtues of them. What's more, try to discriminate between the facts themselves and the people who inform you about the facts.

  • Comment number 88.

    Why is it that our local Councillors can use the many cameras to find small details, such as litter and dog dirt deposits, yet the Metropolitan police cannot find the cameras?

  • Comment number 89.

    About LTTE support demonstration -
    The programme presented the LTTE supporters view. What it failed to emphasise clearly is that civilians are actually suffering because they are kept as hostages by the LTTE. The program televised a part of speech of Sir John Holmes (UN special envoy) talking about possible blood shed, but what it failed to televise is the part of statement that criticise LTTE for holding civilians as hostage. This fact is also confirmed by joint statement issued by Britain and France (please refer BBC articles, ( , and ,)
    So if the demonstrators are truly caring about the innocent Tamil Civilians they should have protested against the LTTE for holding civilians against their will.
    I believe the international community is clever enough to separate facts from false propaganda demonstrations which are conducted for the benefit of people who had made the war and suffering as a form of living.

  • Comment number 90.

    I am very shy about being photographed. Are those police type cameras on sale that will switch off or disappear when I am in the frame?


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