Boycott the Independent on Sunday

The paper blames the dead victim Ian Tomlinson. No person with a shred of decency should buy or subscribe to Independent on Sunday. If you want to read Robert Fisk or Patrick Cockburn’s reports, do so online. Don’t waste your money on this pseudo-liberal, conformist shit-rag. Editor-at-Large Janet Street-Porter writes an execrable apologia for police brutality in today’s paper where she warns readers that ‘before we put the police in the dock, it might be worth considering what Mr Tomlinson was doing that night, and what state of mind he might have been in’. The situation, she tells us, is ‘a great deal more complicated’.

But what exculpatory evidence does she proffer?

Mr Tomlinson was an alcoholic who lived in a bail hostel around the corner from me in the City of London. He’d tried and failed to stay away from booze, but I make no judgement about that [MIA: What is the relevance, then, of this information to the case at hand?]…Knowing that he was an alcoholic is critical to understanding his sense of disorientation and his attitude towards the police, which might on first viewing of the video footage, seem a bit stroppy.[MIA: So she is making a judgment about that; worse, she feels qualified to pronounce on Tomlinson’s ‘attitude’ from the mere seconds of available footage]… Witnesses say Mr Tomlinson appeared to be drunk, he wasn’t coherent and couldn’t move very well… It had been a long and trying day for the police. Mr Tomlinson wound them up when he didn’t get out of the way. [MIA: Perhaps it had also been ‘a long and trying day’ for Tomlinson and the police wound him up when they ‘didn’t get out of the way’, but this tool is only willing to give the perpetrator the benefit of a doubt]

In short, Tomlinson was asking for it. Not least, because he was a down-and-outer who was ‘wearing a Millwall shirt, smoking a cigarette, and he’d had a few drinks’. Street-Porter inverts the demands of homicide investigation in focusing on the actions and the state of mind of the victim rather than the perpetrator. And she does all that in the guise of actually standing up for the little guy. Her headline blares that ‘Tomlinson was no saint’. Presumably one has to be a saint now to earn immunity from the Police’s abuses of authority.

I would urge all readers to write to the Independent and express your disapproval in the strongest terms possible. I would also encourage other bloggers to highlight this issue and to help end the media’s complicity with the progressive erosion of civil liberties.

This odious creature must feel the heat. She is sick.

De Menezes taught the Met nothing

Duncan Campbell argues that footage of the police assaulting the late Ian Tomlinson, a bystander at the G20 protests, suggests we should be rather less trusting of power. The incident exposes the docile complicity of the mainstream British media.

The last thing either the government or the Metropolitan police wanted, on the day that Britain played host to the G20 leaders last week, was a death during the demonstrations being staged simultaneously in the City of London. So perhaps it should be no surprise that initially the fate of Ian Tomlinson, the man who died in the midst of the main protest close to the Bank of England, was barely noted.

Continue reading “De Menezes taught the Met nothing”

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