Sunday, 22 January 2012

Put The Kettle Back On

Back in April 2010 you couldn't pick up a paper without reading about the High Court deciding that the police use of kettling at the G20 protest in 2009 was unlawful. You could read about it here, here, here, and here, for example.

You may be forgiven if you were not aware that a few days ago the Court of Appeal overturned the High Courts decision and ruled that the kettling had been lawful after all. It was covered in the Grauniad but elsewhere you would be hard pushed to find the story.

Protesters and their lawyers have vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court next and, if they lose there, I suspect the case will end up at the European Court. (Who is paying for all this?! The taxpayer I suspect.) If the case goes against the Metropolitan Police expect to read lots more on the subject. If the police case is upheld you may not hear so much as a whisper.

                              Police to Sue For Being Kettled?


  1. Kettling has been a very effective police tactic in the taunting of wide swathes of the civil population. The induction of 'mass arrest' prompted many critical comments on Gadget's blog which were met with police responses of memorable vulgarity.

    So it is that the myopic view remains unable to focus beyond any legal status afforded to State violence.

  2. Melv, for someone who is so quick to criticise a perceived grammatical mistake you don't half mangle a sentence.

    I can't for the life of me work out what you are trying to say with your final sentence.

    For what it's worth - the only "taunting" that takes place in a kettle is from those kettled abusing those kettling. "Fascist pig" being a favourite.

    As for kettling being state violence, you do realise that the alternative is for the police to go "hands off" as in Europe - are CS gas, baton rounds and water cannon your preference?


  3. Apologies, please substitute:

    'Harmful, longer term effects of kettling may be missed as a result of an obsession with its legality.'

  4. but it sounds like you're just going to have tea...sort of harmless...?

  5. Tango-sniping is his preference. If you ever ask him for an alternative he doesn't give one.
    Monday morning quarterback!
    At least he managed to do a post without using the word "radiator".

  6. Melvyn, you criticised Tnago for his use of English. I think if you said. 'So it is the myopic view that remains unable to focus beyond any legal status afforded to State violence.' It would make more sense.
    I would agree that kettling should not be used generally and that it stifles lawful protest. It does also effectively imprison protesters for significant periods of time.
    The problem we have is that lawful protest is very rare in this country. There are almost always subversives who use protests as a means of using violence and causing damage as some illogical excuse to further their cause. And armchair cretins offer their support perceiving them to be some sort of warriers fighting state tyranny. If only we could send them all to experience the real thing somewhere!
    The problem with the armchair anarchists is they have no sensible alternative to offer. You have seen examples of protests where significant violence and damage has taken place. It is very difficult to regain control once this happens. It requires brutal, no nonsense, force and people will get hurt. You don't like that either, of course.
    So, for now, the kettle will be back on. Tea anyone!

  7. It is sufficient to proof read and edit comments, lex. You are quite right to withhold marks for presentation.

  8. @ lex and Tango

    On the topic of self-inflicted damage to the reputation of police, do check out the gratuitous character assassination of the brilliant Shami Chakrabati, on 'Shijuro'.

    And look at Nature's cruelty here - a fool abandoned to half of his wit and all of his tongue.

  9. Melvyn, I thought Saint Shami of Lambeth would be one of your heroines. In fact, I bet you have her portrait on a wall somewhere.
    As they go, she has been the best thing that ever happened to Liberty and has given it more credibility than it ever had.
    She was a thorn in the side of the contemptuous New Labour Government. I admired her for being so outspoken against the hypocrites in that Government as Labour and Liberty had traditionally been in bed together.
    She may have support regarding opposition of ID cards but I am not sure she will ever gain public support for her views on suspected terrorists and asylum seekers.
    There is considerable work to be done before Saint Shami will convince Joe Public that foreign criminals should be allowed to stay here rather than be sent home, in case someone doesn't give them an en suite cell and Sky TV.