Thursday, 19 July 2012

Simon Harwood Acquitted

PC Simon Harwood - Not Guilty

This afternoon the jury sitting at the trial of Simon Harwood charged with the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson have found him not guilty.

I wrote about this subject last year. I didn't like what I saw but I wasn't there and I hadn't seen all the evidence. Most importantly, was it PC Harwood's actions that caused his death or was Tomlinson a sick man who could have collapsed and died at any time? The medical evidence was still in dispute at the trial.

It is interesting that juries at inquests seem to be quite willing to decide that deaths amount to unlawful killing when there is no prospect of a police office serving time for their decision. When it comes to criminal trials they appear to be a little more cautious. I suspect that if this ever goes to a civil court a jury may be more generous and so no doubt there will still be a settlement for his family.

I have no doubt that Mr Tomlinson's 'loving and caring' family (he was a drunk living in a grubby hostel and barely saw them) will be outraged by the jury's decision. It won't help their compensation case. Some of the media may cover this in editorial tomorrow. I also have no doubt that a small number of commentators will come crawling out from under their stones stating that the police have got away with another unlawful killing.

I said in my previous article that I would let the jury decide. Twelve of your peers have heard all the evidence in detail. They have deliberated for four days and have decided that there is insufficient evidence to convict. That is it. To argue any differently is meaningless.


  1. The only reason this even got to court was that (THREE YRS AFTER) LaJaune took the film and he is an American and cannot be touched. Furthermore, the images were Tomlinson's second encounter with plod, "missing" CCTV/spy cameras showed him being attacked 5 mins before around the corner. Harwood has previous for this sort of thing. Finally you can imagine what I want to happen to Harwood. His address is now known to I bredrin. As plod said to arrested G20 protesters that night "We got one of yours". Waiting. Waiting.

  2. Most folk will fail to grasp the potential for the verdict to further undermine law and order. If ever there was a controversy which begged for silent police tongues, it was this one.

    Still, what do I know? Perhaps greeting this abomination with a shrug can only be marginally less damaging than volleys of police baton-rounds, fired on the hour in every major city.

  3. News just in - Judge Fulford wants news stories of roided out goon Harwood to be "taken down" from the internet.

  4. It is never meaningless to argue further; the freedom to do so is the hallmark of a free and open society, and should be exercised.

    You may be happy to leave it there, but no one else will. Unfortunately there is enough dirt around the case to leave a nasty taste in the mouth.

    The inconsistencies between the medical opinions regarding Mr Tomlinson's death (caused in part by the first pathologist's ineptitude) were such that there was always going to be some reasonable doubt which would be sufficient for the criminal burden of proof in this case not to have been met.

    However, in a civil case, on the balance of probabilities, PC Harwood's actions will be judged to have caused Mr Tomlinson's death. As you said, would Mr Tomlinson have died that day if PC Harwood hadn't attacked him? Well, probably not.

    However, even though we have had a criminal trial, neither PC Harwood nor the police forces that employed him have emerged vindicated.

    PC Harwood comes off as an egotistical thug with anger management issues, who frankly seems to lack the control necessary to do his job properly.

    Both the Met and Surrey Police look like they ducked the many disciplinary issues that were clearly raised in relation to PC Harwood, by his own colleagues amongst others, which in turn left PC Harwood in a job for which he was at best unsuited and at worst a bloody liability. And now, according to the inquest verdict, another man is dead as a result of his actions.

    The upshot of all of this is that it will look like a police officer, whom other police officers have difficulty defending, was for whatever reason protected when he was clearly in the wrong. In turn, public respect for the police will diminish, which in the end will come back on the rank and file who were not involved in any of these decisions.

    Instead of obfuscating the matter by delaying access to police witnesses to the IPCC, coming up with fairy stories about protesters impersonating riot police and generally briefing the press against the victim, the authorities would have done better to have a long, serious look at PC Harwood on day 1. It would then at least have looked like they were interested in keeping their own house clean. After all, PC Harwood's poor disciplinary record in relation to similar incidents could hardly have been a secret.

    We are in the end no further forward than when people first viewed that video. PC Harwood looked like a thug then, he looks like one now, and the public will continue to believe the police protect their own first, even when he's clearly a bad egg.

    Epic and rather depressing fails all round.

  5. mq cb Owned Lex. Which is a pity as he is not 100% bad. Try the less enlightened blogges. Moi meme? Off to source ammo.

  6. mq, cb - you can argue all you like but at the end of the day a jury made up of 12 members of the public acquitted him.
    The media are now making much of allegations previously made against him, but that is all they are, allegations. None have been proved. Some ignorant or bigoted commentators will believe there is no smoke without fire. Police officers will know that any front line officer doing their job will have many complaints made against them. I have dozens of such complaints, none of which have been proven and I can honestly say that none of them are justified. There are all sorts of reasons why people make complaints against the police.
    I saw the video of Harwood and I didn't like what I saw. I now know he has a number of complaints about his behaviour, none of which have been proven. I don't know enough about him to say that he is a thug who shouldn't be a police officer.
    The press will have a frenzy about it. Harwood may be sacked at a misconduct hearing for his behaviour that day. The doting family may get some compensation. A few agitators will not forget this but the public at large will remember that Harwood was acquitted of any crime.
    If you knew how desperate both police forces internal investigation teams and the IPCC are to hang police officers out to dry to prove their 'independence' you would understand why police officers won't speak to them without legal advice. You cannot criticise officers for acting on that advice.
    I am disappointed that you have swallowed hook line and sinker the media campaign against Harwood and decided he is a rotten egg. I don't think large sections of the public are so gullible. He may be. He may not. For clear thinking people, the jury is still out on that one.

  7. And at the inquest a jury made up of members of the public found him guilty.

    And despite what you say the attack has shocked "clear thinking people" just be glad they don't know how voraciously you guys defended a killer.

  8. "a small number of commentators" LOL "media campaign" LOL. Wrong name for this blog.

  9. Tricky one.

    I know that police get false complaints about them all the time, so you can't rely on the previous complaints to be a factor in his character without more serious evidence (some of the comments in this blog would have Lex on a par with Stalin, for instance).

    Didn't like the look of the video personally. I was a marcher at G20 myself, I would have considered that excessive if applied against me but, assault was not the charge brought.

    Everything else aside though... whenever police initial accounts have a serious mis-match with what is proven to have happened later on - that's hugely damaging.
    It doesn't happen as often as some would have us believe, but when it does, it tends to be with very serious cases and it shatters trust

    It's very hard to mend that sort of damage once it's done. It provokes a singular outrage that I think needs to be addressed institutionally. I used to be as suspicious of the police as some of the other commenter's because of that sort of thing and it took me a long time to work my way out of the mindset and compartmentalise the good and the bad for separate consideration.

    I hope that's fair. Is it fair?

  10. Thank you for responding to my comment, Lex Ferenda. I don't think that I've swallowed the media's case at all. I think that this case raises serious questions and it is not wrong to ask them.

    The point is not whether the allegations concerning PC Horwood's record were proven or not, but why weren't they? There seems to have been an unwillingness to investigate them, first by the Met, then by Surrey police and then again by the Met.

    It's worth remembering that we're not talking about 1 or 2 complaints, but over 10 over a substantial period of time, and not made entirely by members of the public with axes to grind but in one case, by a fellow police officer who complained because he felt that he was injured as a result of PC Horwood's conduct.

    Whether or not PC Horwood's conduct was justified, it must be arguable that his employer(s) have breached their duty to him and the complainants in not ruling on them. If he did nothing wrong, he deserves to have that known. And if the complainants were justified, then PC Horwood was at some point guilty of misconduct. But to simply have allowed them to lie on PC Horwood's file whilst he moved from job to job is just not good enough, particularly as the implications this raises is (1) that it didn't matter what he did or didn't do and (2) most importantly given subsequent events, he has a hair-trigger temper that he can not control.

    It is telling that when the evidence of the complaints was put before the coroner's jury, it found an unlawful killing (presumably on the basis of point (2) above), and when it was ruled inadmissible by the court, PC Horwood was acquitted.

    And I apologise if I did not make this clear enough before, but I agree with you that PC Horwood should have been acquitted; the evidence was not good enough to convict. Had I been on that jury, I would not have voted to convict. I also don't think that the evidence of the complaints should have been put to the jury in the criminal case, because as you say they were unproven, and in any case highly prejudicial to a fair trial, as the coroner's jury's verdict arguably shows. But if they had been investigated and decisions made one way or the other, wouldn't we have avoided this whole sorry mess?

    The net result is that some will feel that justice was not seen to be done and, on balance, much as it pains me I'm probably one of them. I have no doubt that with the civil burden of proof, Mr Tomlinson's family will be successful in a civil claim. But that's just not good enough; it's in no one's interests that the only way people feel that they will get justice in the case of a death is by taking civil action.

    I also entirely take your point about not speaking to the police on matters on which you are questioned without taking legal advice, although I'd be interested to know whether you take the same line when you are interviewing a suspect! I don't understand though why that's relevant in this case. If that's the reason why police witnesses' names weren't given to the IPCC in good time, again it's not good enough. It doesn't, or shouldn't, take several days to take legal advice in any case and if it does, you need better lawyers!

    You may feel my comments are overly concerned with the public perception of this matter. But I do think that how the criminal justice system and the police are perceived by the public is vitally important. Justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done. I just don't think that the latter happened here.

  11. @ anonymous 2258 - the inquest jury didn't find Harwood guilty of anything. They decided Tomlinson was unlawfully killed. I have covered this in the original post and below.

    @ Metaldog - I think that is very fair. I have said, I didn't like what I saw but I understand why the jury reached the verdict it did. I don't know if Harwood is a rotten egg. If he is, I hope he is sacked but at the moment what we are seeing is the media and even the disgraceful IPCC tarnishing his name because the jury didn't deliver the verdict they wanted.

    @ mq, cb - obviously I don't know the detail of PC Harwood's complaints. It is interesting regarding the allegation that he assaulted a motorist and falsely arrested them, that this was dealt with as a misconduct matter rather than a criminal one. This suggests that it was not as simple as you might believe.

    Why weren't the misconduct matters proven? Perhaps he was innocent or there was insufficient evidence.

    You suggest that because he has had 10or more complaints over a period of time he must be guilty and the police complaints procedure has failed in some way.

    I wrote an article last year about complaints against police. You can read it here.

    You will read that in nearly 30 years service I have had more than 120 complaints. None have been proven and I can honestly say that none of them are justified. If you are a proactive officer and you arrest a lot of suspects you will collect complaints like confetti. Drunken violent offenders don't like force being used against them. Prolific offenders use complaints as part of a defence strategy. You make a complaint use that in mitigation to try and achieve a reduced sentence and then after the court case drop the complaint.

    Is it telling that the inquest jury was made aware of the previous complaints and decided on a verdict of unlawful killing? Possibly. It is possible that the jury didn't understand anything about police complaints either. Or it may have been because PC Harwood was not represented at the inquest.

    I can't interview any suspect without them having an opportunity to have legal advice. It has been like that for 20 odd years and I work with it. Are you suggesting that the police should not have the same rights as the rest of society?

    I think we all agree we didn't like what we saw PC Harwood do. I think we all agree that this has damaged the reputation of the police. I think we all agree it has given ammunition to the anti police brigade. I don't think the jury made the wrong decision. Who are we to question it? I don't believe that this case will adversely affect the views of the vast majority of right minded sensible people regarding the police, in the medium term.

  12. They found he was unlawfully killed by a baton strike and push. Rather hard to blame that on anyone else.

  13. Thinkers will now concentrate upon the more important aftermath. A view taken some distance from the debris and mayhem, provides the best practical evaluation. The academic version is obtained from the closest scrutiny, an exhausting anatomization and infinite opportunities for stumbling over minutiae.

  14. It is all a media campaign. I take it back. Not the Thinking Policeman's blog but the Ras Clart blog. Jah.

  15. Yet the police blogs so often claim that courts are soft on criminals

  16. Jury's find guilty people innocent every day. I find that frustrating sometimes but that isn't being soft, that is the system we have. Rather nine guilty people walk free than one innocent person found guilty, and all that.

    Courts are soft on sentencing as the whole process is designed to reward rather than punish. The whole justice system is a joke. You can read about it here.

    The question really is why do some people expect a different justice system for the police than everyone else? I believe that because the justice system is such a joke, when high profile cases, such as police trials, get media attention the public see it is so ineffective. I wish they would wake up and realise this is the norm and justice is rarely being done anytime.

  17. True fucking scum! only another corrupt cunt like you could agree with his actions. as you can clearly see he did fuck all wrong and that cunt went for him honestly i hope and prey that this murder get sent to prison I for one woulld love to see him killed but then again however was to do that would get sent to prison unlike that murdering scum bag your trying to defend! fuck you police scum

  18. Very eloquently put to anon above!

  19. Anon at 1604.

    As well as a restricted vocabulary you appear to have limited reading skills.
    Nowhere has lex said that he "agrees with his [Harwood's] actions" - quite the opposite.
    I guess it might be a bit hard for you to grasp the concept that someone can have acted like a thug but still, quite legitimately, be found not guilty of manslaughter.

    Remember the people that made the decision were a jury made up of members of the public just like you (god help us).

  20. Ron,
    Furthermore, the images were Tomlinson's second encounter with plod, "missing" CCTV/spy cameras showed him being attacked 5 mins before around the corner.

    Now that is interesting. Considering that footage of Harwood's movements was provided to the inquest and the criminal trial so it wasn't him - clearly it must have been someone else.

    How unusual to find you on the side of plod - a second assault by another cop means there MUST be reasonable doubt that Harwood was guilty of manslaughter.

    Or else you are talking dribble as usual.


  21. Tango, Plod are scum and desrve to die. I see my blogge hit 2000 in 2 hours. Nice. Pity it is not Pay Per View!!

  22. 2000 in two hours? You have that many different personalities?
    I see they allow internet access in your asylum but I bet you aren't allowed scissors!

  23. Learned Council25 July, 2012 23:44

    2000 in two hours! Your blog shows five readers in the last 24 hours.
    Ras clart - you pathetic little tosser.

  24. Now it's `My blog's bigger than your blog` OMG. See the violence inherent in the system.

  25. Girls, let's all be civil to one another.

  26. Argue all you like over legal points or from your own position

    Society is not just one persons property to play with

    I am now terrified of ever being overheard expressing criticism of establishment or police

    Is that what the police want

    If so you have won


  27. I criticise the police and establishment all the time. Why should you be worried?

  28. To Anon 28 July, 2012 20:01

    'Oi' is one of those fast-acting plods you should fear. He managed four obscenities and emptied his Glock....within three seconds of a request to bleed the canteen radiator.

  29. Dear Philosopher Policeman (or shall I call you DPP?),

    I found this site during researches into bullying and other injustices.

    DPPP, I see that your nom de plume means "What the law should be" in Latin: you put yourself up as an educated, thinking man, wanting a better society for us all to live in.

    Enlighten us, please. What social effects do you expect in the wake of the manner of Ian Tomlinson's death and the disclosure of the way in which Simon Harwood was re-engaged twice by the police? Would you regard a further increase in cynicism towards the justice system by UK citizens as unreasonable? If so, how would you enforce reasonableness?

    How do you view the statement by another blog I found that they could not carry opinions on the trial outcome on the grounds that they could be sued for defamation of character?

    I recall with sadness and anger on every occasion:

    A PC being hacked to death
    A WPC shot in the back by those she was protecting
    A list of black people being persecuted
    A man demonstrating against racist fascists being murdered by a blow to the skull (now admitted, after decades delay)
    At least two major instances of the wrong men being sent down for killings

    and on and on.

    In your educated opinion, is this just a day at the office for a modern state, or is there something wrong with the UK that other countries get right? If so, give us details please.

    I look forward to your considered reply. I, too, like thoughts better than abuse.

    By the way, who DOES police the polcemen?

  30. I am not lex, but...

    I accept that the re-engagement of Harwood by the police was a terrible lapse in either (or both) judgement and selection policies.
    It is understandable that it will undermine confidence in the police - not an unreasonable view.
    There are no means to "enforce" reasonableness. I would hope though, that the general public are not unduly influenced by knee-jerk and rabid anti-police attitudes popular in some of the more main stram media, but instead take the time to consider what has occurred and take a more measured view - as no doubt will the police.

    As for your list of individual tragedies - they have to be weighed against the vastly greater list of successes. It doesn't make the news when a killing is avoided, and it barely makes the news when even a murderer is correctly convicted.

    The CJS we have here is fairly robust and open.
    Whilst mistakes may happen the chance of being acquitted when you have actually committed the crime are immensely greater than the chance of being convicted when you are innocent.

    "is there something wrong with the UK that other countries get right"? I have no idea - perhaps an indication of which countries those are might help?
    I think it is reasonable to point out whilst you do that, that the police system in the UK is only one part of the CJS here, and whilst on occasion we might be at fault, a comparison of the UK "state" with others must also include a comparison of the whole of UK society with other states.


    PS The police are policed by - our own internal complaints departments, external force investigative teams, HMIC, the IPCC, sometimes CPS and ultimately the courts and a jury of the public.

  31. Anon @ 1929h,

    I really want Lex to answer, as it his particular stance (and image presentation) that interests me, but I genuinely appreciate your informed comments. I hope that the more extreme writers note the tone of your answer: informative and well worded, and not at all evasive.

    Just one point: the first 2 on my list were police officers - and I genuinely still feel as sad and angry about them as any of the others (and more unmentioned).

    Human biological dictates that all are NOT equally reasonable. Nature (not malice on the part of some "Demon Group"" ensures that even the political shade of opinions will vary. This analysis is science, not ideology. which means that a truly grown up state (not sure why this usage, common to political philosophers, got inverted commas from you) has to tolerate - difficult at times, I know.

    You are so right when you couple a desire to see mature reflection from both public AND police. I hope politicians (a 3rd corner here?) will avoid the temptation to impose populist measures. It is hard to see how we can expect the public to be measured and mature given the behaviour otherwise.

    Thanks for your reply; now for Lex.

  32. I meant to say

    "......human biological variation.........."

    in para 3

  33. Socrates - sometimes I am philosophical, often I rant.

    I think that I have made it clear that I did not approve of the way in which Harwood behaved regards Tomlinson. A jury has decided that there is reasonable doubt that Harwood caused Tomlinson's death. I respect that decision.

    Harwood will now face a public discipline hearing and I have no doubt that he will be sacked.

    There are questions regarding how Harwood came to be re-employed by Surrey and the Met Police. I have no doubt that the Met vetting system will be found wanting.

    I don't know what you have read regarding defamation of character. I would say that the comments made by the IPCC and members of Harwood's Force prior to his discipline hearing were disgraceful. The comments actually put the hearing at risk in that it may later be judged that he has been unable to get a fair hearing. The public will be upset if as a result of stupid comments he keeps his job.

    I am obviously aware that there have been serious injustices where police officers have been the victims. I am also aware that some police officers have gone beyond the law to gain convictions or to mete out summary justice. Ironically, most of this behaviour is historical and goes back to a time that many people wish us to return to. (Police officers clipping kids round the ear. Etc.)

    Poor behaviour by police officers hasn't gone away entirely. The difference today is that, in most cases, it is officers colleagues who report the poorly behaved ones and those officers are weeded out of the organization. There are some areas, where the old mentality of keeping silent when poor behaviour takes place, which need more work and attention. The Met TSG is one of those areas.

    I have said that in the medium term I do not believe that Tomlinson's death will have a long lasting effect on the public opinion of the police in this country. There will be those that will add his name to a list of those they perceive the police have murdered. The public do not take those people seriously.

    Cont below. (Excess characters!)

  34. If this incident, or any other, causes the public to wake up and realise that the justice system in this country is a farce then that is a good thing. One of the main reasons police officers blog is to vent their frustrations regarding our ineffective justice system. There is hope that one day the media and public will wake up and realise that the police are not just fighting crime but the rest of the justice system as well. I wrote some thoughts on it here.

    Unfortunately, the same type of inertia that means public opinion regarding the police will not change following Tomlinson's death also means the justice system will not change. Public lethargy has allowed the country to sink to where it now is and they seem to be incapable of bringing about political pressure to change. This is probably due to the control that Europe now has on our country meaning we now have three main political parties with little to choose between them.

    I don't think any country has got everything right. In my opinion we do not have the right balance. Liberalism has meant that we have a society full of selfish people only concerned about their rights. Take what you can and use the system to your advantage and give nothing. The USA has this problem but is tougher on criminals than we are. They have over 2 million people in prisons. This cannot be right either.

    Many other countries have a better ethos where citizens responsibilities are above their rights and where behaviour is largely controlled by family, society and peer pressure. Some of these countries have far too many restrictions on their citizen’s freedoms and barbaric practices which belong in history. No one seems to have the right balance.

    Everyone in this country polices the police and the public are not slow in coming forward to complain about the police. Serious cases are investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) who is desperate to prove their independence and do all they can to prosecute police officers. Unsurprisingly, the police treat this organisation with suspicion and contempt.

    That is enough for now. Goodnight!

  35. Dear Lex,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Without irony intended, I am surprised that the defects you and others can see are NOT being put right, with officers like yourself and your Anon friend.

    Justice is a moveable feast, as you imply, never satisfying everyone. I want to leave everyone who follows this with one thought. There have been accusations (not disproved) of lying, witholding evidence and falsification within the CJS over the years. Do you think we could satisfy more people if this were rooted out? Or is the whole issue doomed to remain adversarial?

  36. As I said, bad apples are rooted out and very few remain. There will always be a small number of bad apples where there is insufficient evidence to sack them. These officers are generally controlled and monitored.

    Police officers make mistakes. It is easy to suggest they are lying, corrupt Etc. It is a difficult job that requires a vast range of skills and not all officers will excel in all of them. I don't believe in punishing people for making genuine mistakes.

    I think our whole adversarial CJS is a failure and designed to line the pockets of lawyers. I would like to see an inquisitorial system where the right to silence is consigned to the bin or a genuine adverse inference drawn from it.

  37. Dear Lex,

    Thank you; I see now how you think the law should work. An inquisatorial system would presumably punish any conspiracy of silence.

    If a few bad 'uns remain but are controlled, the police are no better or worse off than every other profession.

    Up to a point, most people would agree with not punishing a genuine mistake, but officer Harwood's re-engagement (twice), and his forward deployment, all seem to have been mistakes.

    Mr Tomlinson's fateful mistake was that he lived in the wrong place. You could object that he should have told the police cordon he was trying to go home, but he was inebriated and unwell. If he had been arrested for drunkenness, he might still be alive. Why was HE not forgiven his mistake?

    You could object that officer Harwood could not know Mr Tomlinson was infirm, but you could may as well say that officer Harwood should have carried a warning light to indicate the red mist he referred to.

    I find that MP's secretaries become threatening, and regulatory bodies declare my written objections outside their remit. Meanwhile, the rich and powerful can use a public position to megaphone their views. Should only they have a voice? If so, you will be the one ordered to defend that principle.

    Human variation is a fact - not dogma but science - so I expect all organisations to be aware of it. Good societies seek ways to deal with the inevitable conflict of interests, short of bloodshed (like listening to objections and explaining decisions). We failed at the G20, and on other occasions, and put out the message that any dissent (from the rich and powerful) is supect.

    But, of course, they know best.

    I do agree that responsibility must apply to all individuals, of course, whatever their position in society. I trust that an inquisatorial system would at least place blame and responsibility more fairly.

  38. Socrates - if you read the article on our justice system you will see I want a number of things. Consequences instead of reward would be a good start.
    I do think our adversarial system is past it's sell by date and protects criminals. Personally, I would prefer to see an inquisitorial system.

    I think we are agreed that Harwood's re-employment in the police was a mistake and the Met vetting dept will have that to answer for.

    We are also agreed Harwood's behaviour towards Tomlinson was unacceptable. A jury decided that it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that Harwood was responsible for his death. He will lose his job for his stupidity.

    It is pointless trying to deal with MP's and other regulatory bodies. This country is now ruled by Europe. Those in charge ensure that liberalism infests the country, making all within impotent. This allows them to fill their pockets secure in the knowledge that objectors will be ignored.

    This Government is so arrogant and useless they won't be around for more than one term and they know it. Consequently they too are lining their pockets ready for their future obscurity.

    The idea that we are all in this together is a joke. The middle classes are taking a hammering in these times of austerity while the rich are unaffected, taking huge pay rises and making use of every tax avoidance scheme.

    Perhaps the worm will turn one day.

  39. Dear Lex,

    I think we drifted off point here.

    Someone died because he was caught up in a protest at the behaviour of financial institutions, and no-one with authority asked why he wanted to reach a certain place (his home). Any factual errors there?

    I am trying hard to be as objective as possible: not even the slightest bit of the most justified outrage, or the most justified defence of actions, will be any help. It just raises the heat, taking us towards some bonfire showdown, which the state will win - at the cost of this country taking a giant step back to the middle ages.

    What is this "liberalism" which you seem to regard as an evil? Wiki gives: "a political orientation that favors social progress by reform and by changing laws rather than by revolution". Which part of relatively peaceful social progress do you not like?

    Nothing in life stands still except to die. Managing change is always a challenge. Should we accept death as a part of this?

  40. I think we are agreed regards Tomlinson and there is nothing more to say regarding that.

    I don't believe that liberalism has brought about social progress. It is slowly destroying our society.

    Liberalism is about freedom and equality but it is naive in that it almost ignores the fact that some peoples freedoms impinge on the freedoms of others who often have to pay for the 'freedoms' of those others.

    Liberalism has brought about fecklessness and irresponsibility as a way of life for a growing underclass.

    Liberalism means we are not even allowed to criticise those peoples 'life choices' despite the fact we have to pay for them.

    Liberalism has brought about a criminal justice system that rewards rather than punishes crime.

    Liberalism has brought about a society where, for some, hard work has been replaced by ambitions to be TV reality 'stars.'

    Liberalism brought about last year's retail riots. The growing underclass are aware of just how thin the blue line is. An opportunity to loot following Mark Duggan's death will be repeated unless things change.

    I do not call this progress.

  41. "Woop! Woop!"

    YES! It’s me again. Hello everyone, Shanky here. You remember me at least, don’t you “Tang0?” Firstly (and just for the sake of background), I enjoyed a little banter with “Tang0” a while ago, and to those who credit him with espousing some vague air of sanity while preposterously elevating him as some shining example of a member of The Snide capable expressing views that ought not to be immediately and contemptuously disregarded, my advice is simply this: you’d better chiggidy check yourself before you riggidy wreck yourself, to lend a phrase…and yeah “Socrates,” I am talking about you. Are you the footballer, the apparition of the dead philosopher, or do you merely burnish yourself with the name because you’re a fan of cavorting like the Greeks of old (you know the ones I mean…)?

    Anyway, the guru known as “Tang0” is a study in cognitive dissonance. Despite furnishing him with the links to a few (but by no means all) articles about American banks laundering billions in drug money for the Mexican cartels and articles about the many extremely well documented cases of CIA involvement in trafficking cocaine out of South America and heroin out of Afghanistan (the latter crop grown with help from the good old depleted uranium firing genocide brigades of the US Army), he still – with the ignorance of arrogance born of egoism – rubbished the entire concept of institutional corruption in the manner of a deluded acne-addled sixth-former with a chip on his shoulder. And now? Now we have cases springing up all the time of British banks not only laundering drug money but also laundering money for terrorist front organisations from Saudi Arabia and Iran, which ought to be considered treasonous in the minds of all those with minds. I understand if the casual reader is scanning over this comment wondering what, if anything, it has to do with Ian Tomlinson’s death. To you, casual reader, in this climate of the “too big to fail” concept, the newspeak of “quantitative easing” and the paradigm of socialised debt servitude, it is clear that Ferenda and pals have NO CONCEPT of what crime, criminals and criminality truly are. This is due to the fact that Internationalists, bankers (technocrats) and politicians are the farmers and we, the great shat-upon masses, are but the sheep in their system. The police are the sheep dogs. Sometimes they go too far. They only know how to take orders and come to heel, but there’s a lot wolf in them too. Never forget that.

  42. Shanky needed more space...

    There’s a memorable quote from a cracking film called The Grifters, which, if memory serves, goes something like this: “You can sheer a sheep many times but skin him only once.” Well friends, I have to tell you, I think the maniacs that have enslaved us are coming for our skins, and yes, there’s plenty of evidence in the foundation of my argument. We have Jean Charles de Menezes, Ian Tomlinson and Mark Duggan as forceful (recent) examples of the new relationship between the police and the policed: they can kill you and they will be protected from on high by their masters, by those who have enslaved us.

    I’ll leave you with links to a couple of songs that are worth listening to. Pay particular attention to the lyrics if you happen to be a member of a constabulary. (Best played in order for full affect. Make a game of it and try to work out what I’m driving at…)

    “Oh, just one more thing,” to quote Peter Falk: Ferenda! Yeah, you. Making comments like: “I have no doubt that Mr Tomlinson's 'loving and caring' family (he was a drunk living in a grubby hostel and barely saw them) will be outraged by the jury's decision” suggests what about you exactly? Still casting aspersions, I see: still denigrating. Are you the man who decides the relative value of human life, you knackered old clown? Like the love-making of the common walrus, you are devoid of all sensitivity. Wow…I just read your final response to “Socrates.” Firstly, we live under the imposition of NEO-liberal socio-economic organising principles, a corporate laissaz faire model if you will. This is corporatism, or, more precisely, the war corporatism of Benito Mussolini’s inflected fascism. The culture (global monoculture) is purposefully engineered to destroy the faculty of critical thought and analysis which does create fecklessness, but it is the unpunished crimes of the elites that create the conditions where monkey see monkey do. When one sees no justice, why should one fear its sanctions? “Liberalism means we are not even allowed to criticise those peoples 'life choices' despite the fact we have to pay for them.” Swing and a miss: that would be totalitarianism, if it were true – which it aint, at least not yet, but that isn’t enough to stop a foaming ideologue from flapping his lip, is it Lex… “Liberalism has brought about a criminal justice system that rewards rather than punishes crime.” Say WHAT? Comments like this should affirm for anyone in two minds on the matter that Ferenda is totally insane, unless he’s talking about the crimes of The Snide, like Harwood et al. “Liberalism brought about last year's retail riots.” Nah, mate: I’m pretty sure that the riots were ignited by the likes of you shooting Mark Duggan to death then hiding from his family while you cooked up a story. If you really are a thinking policeman, why don’t you ask the philosopher’s question that trumps all others: WHY? Why are things the way they are? Any fool can make an assertion, and only a fool would make an assertion without a strong cogent syllogistic argument to back it up.
    Here’s some footage of Lex Ferenda watching the news at home. Enjoy.

  43. It seems that Melvin has a new disciple!

  44. I adopted the nickname "Socrates" because I wanted to see how far any side in this could be encouraged to think ("The Thinking Policeman" - remember), rather than firing from the hip in keeping with the kind of biases we all naturally have. Symptoms of bias include; sneering at the other "side" and name calling, use of private definitions of philosophies we don't like, and open mislabelling of other beliefs than our own.

    I didn't think Wittgenstein or Schopenauer or Hume or Kant would ring the same chord.

    During the next set - up public fight, most of us will be trying to do the small, quiet, boring things that hold civilisation together, like bringing up kids free from drugs and getting home after work without being beaten up. Gangsters in housing estates or in business suits should leave the people alone, or reap the consequences - no society left to plunder or parasitise. A smart parasite does not kill its host (that's nature's judgement, not mine).

    Lex has kept a civil attitude in our exchanges. Something for others to aspire to, even if they disagree with him (which I partly do).

    Thank you and goodnight.

  45. This blog is slowly supplanting my desire to go to the theatres and watch a movie. I could probably plop myself down in front of my computer with a bag of popcorn and read the posts + comments for hours and get good laughs out of it. It's mostly comedic, but occasionally it becomes action themed when the good netizens on this blog start slinging mud around and the bullets go flying.

  46. Shanky - thank you for your contribution.

    Most of us are well aware that the banks are laundering drug money. I don't really believe that billions of pounds is washing around in cash because the drug cartels can't manage to bank it.

    Most of us are well aware that corruption is rife all through our system. Politicians are lining their pockets. The rich are getting richer by hook or crook. Only the middle classes pay their taxes and keep this country afloat.

    This is a police blog and our day to day life is tackling the underclass who use our liberal system to their advantage and contribute nothing to society.

    The MP who claimed 8 laptops in 3 years (Denis MacShane, Labour MP) is no better than the retail rioter who stole 8 from Dixons. But that doesn't make the latter right.

    I would like to see the public make a statement about all this. Why are we allowing politicians to line their pockets? Every MP who fiddled their expenses should be voted out, for example. This isn't going to happen when we have an attitude of 'if you can't beat them, join them,' Sinking to the lowest common denominator (which is what our liberal policies have brought about) does not improve anything.

    My dig about Tomlinson's family probably was below the belt but it is sickening to see these people crawl out of the woodwork when they smell money. Again, we have sunk to a level where every other advert is lawyersforu or some such disgusting outfit.

    I suspect you will find the inquest decides that Duggan was lawfully killed, but let's wait and see. And your ilk suggesting that the police hid from the family for suspicious reasons shows extreme naivity and bigotry. I have been involved in a number of deaths where the police are under investigation. It has always been the investigators responsibility to inform and deal with the family. That is the IPCC. The IPCC have tried to pass the buck in this case, because of their own failings.

    Duggans death may have sparked the riots but they quickly became pure retail looting as soon as people, with your sort of mentality, saw the police were on the back foot.

    If we don't condemn poor behaviour at all levels then society is destined to remain on it's downward spiral.

  47. veritas liberabit vos.

  48. I have also questioned the families motives regarding compensation.I'm not exactly sure how the system works regarding the amount.He was a homeless alcoholic with serious health problems,they really aren't going to get much are they? Especially not now there's been a not guilty verdict.
    Let's see shall we.

  49. A criminal trial jury decided that Harwood was not responsible for Tomlinson's death at the higher standard of proof, beyond all reasonable doubt.
    An inquest jury has decided Harwood was responsible.
    I have no doubt that a jury at a compensation trial will find Harwood/the Met responsible and award substantial damages to show their displeasure at Harwood's behaviour.
    I don't think there will be a Court case unless the family go directly for compensation from Harwood. The Met will settle this out of court with a substantial payment to the family.

  50. An inquisitorial system is a most valid option and overdue. One could argue that The Netherlands is amongst the most liberal of democracies, the founding fathers of probabtion. Yes they have high rates of reoffending and some of their liberalisation of drug laws is of questionable merit (I'm sure many of Lex's contributors have taken great advantage of that, judging from the addled babbled rantings)yet in this liberal land the size of Wales, you won't get a trial by jury, whatever it is you've allegedly done.

  51. Charles de-Menzes – Ian Tomlinson – Pathologist Dr Shorrock – involved in more controversy...
    Dr Shorrock

    It’s being claimed there have been several cover-ups involving the police, the University Hospital of North Staffordshire [UHNS] and the two pathologists Dr Kolar for the prosecution, and Dr Shorrock for the defence who carried out the post-mortem on the body of murdered Glenn Hollinshead back in May 2008. Dr Shorrock concluded a ‘second weapon’ was used to kill Glenn, following the strange case of Sabina Eriksson, the other half of her twin sister Ursula, who in a joint enterprise and suicidal attempt on the M6 motorway on the 17th May 2008, ran out into the oncoming traffic with Ursula being ploughed down by a 40 ton lorry, alongside Sabina being knocked into the air like a rag doll as she dived into the path of a hurtling Silver VW Polo.

    Dr Shorrock states: “...I cannot completely exclude the ‘possibility’ that ‘there was more than one [weapon].’ On page 8, paragraph D, he further states: “...The wounds are all consistent with having been caused by a knife. The ‘only one’ whose dimensions are likely to accurately correspond to those of the causative weapon is (No2).” ‘...the only one’ being wound No 2, is the wound to the heart.

    This evidence wasn’t discovered until recently in August 2012, it was never produced or heard in court and until now. After 16 months of maintaining her innocence for murder, Sabina then pleaded guilty to ‘manslaughter’, due to ‘diminished responsibility’ and received 5 years in prison. She was released after two years and then returned to Norway in early 2011.

    Despite the twins crazed actions, and that they were first arrested under Section 136 of the 1983 Mental Health Act, this evidence was then edited out of the BBC Madness in the Fast Lane documentary in 2010, so was also never known about by the millions or people who have watched this film. More importantly, the Hollinshead family never knew of this evidence, and as a direct result are now taking legal action against the police and UHNS.

    Sabina was released from hospital only after 5hrs following this incident. It’s then alleged Sabina went on to meet Mr Hollinshead after a chance encounter in the street, and that she ended going back to his house and where it’s claimed she then stabbed and killed him.

    Dr Kolar and Dr Kenneth Shorrock come from the ‘same stable’, so to speak; they come from the same office. Dr Shorrock is the same pathologist who incorrectly recorded in his report in July 2005 that Jean Charles de Menezes jumped over a barrier before “stumbling” down an escalator in the moments before police officers shot him. It was then proved this never happened. Shorrock said he was not sure who told him de Menezes had “vaulted” the barrier before he was shot.

    The IPCC released three reports into Ian Tomlinson’s death, written between April 2010 and May 2011. The third report detailed an allegation from Tomlinson’s family that the police had offered misleading information to Dr Shorrock before the third autopsy report was written on the 22ndApril 2009. D.I Eddie Hall told Dr Shorrock, who was conducting the autopsy for the police; that Tomlinson had fallen to the ground in front of a police van earlier in the evening, though there was also no evidence to support this claim.

    In September 2005; a GMC hearing, found that Dr Shorrock had been; ‘unprofessional, inconsistent, unreasonable and inappropriate’. He was reprimanded over his role in a botched trial, which cost taxpayers £5million, when he ‘changed his report’ into the cause of death of a pensioner who died during an operation and which led to her surgeon being ‘wrongly’ charged with manslaughter.

    The above, and much more is claimed by the authors of the new book; A Madness Shared by Two, released on the 12-12-12. They state they believe Sabina is innocent of Glenn’s murder and that the Hollinshead family are calling on a new investigation to be held.

    Contact: - More info: