The American tourist who captured on video what may have been the second assault on Ian Tomlinson by the Police, has done us a great favour.
I have been on several demonstrations in Central London in the last few years, and like everyone else who has done that, I have got used to the experience of being constantly filmed. Central London – and particularly the area around Bishopsgate – is fully covered by CCTV. In addition you had at the G20 demonstration scores of police cameramen filming from every vantage point at a demonstration. I have no doubt that on the recent huge Gaza demo I was filmed every step for two miles.
Let me be quite plain. I do not believe that there was no official footage of the police assault on Ian Tomlinson. Just as the security cameras in Stockwell station and on the train were “Not working” in the Jean Charles De Menezes case, I accuse the Police of subverting the video evidence.
So thank God for that American tourist – and thank God he went to the Guardian rather than to the Police. If unanswerable video evidence had not now been produced, what lies do you think we would now be being told?
A lie can be delivered by innuendo. The so-called “Independent Police Complaints Commission” – whose investigations in this case are being conducted by the City of London Police – had put out a statement saying that “it appeared that Mr Tomlinson had contact with the Police.” If we had not seen the video, what image does that conjure up in your mind?
Mr Tomlinson did not have contact with the Police. He had contact from the Police – they came up behind him when he was just walking down the road, and without warning hit him with a baton. This was in fact Mr Tomlinson’s second contact from the Police – he had already been turned away from his route home by another police cordon, and it is possible he was mishandled there too.
New Labour trolls are active all over the web – including in comments on my earlier post here:
We will see more of these attacks on Mr Tomlinson in the next few days, just as Jean Charles De Menezes’ character was slurred (illegal immigrant, drug addict – all untrue).
The claim that Tomlinson died of a heart attack brought on by alcohol is pathetic.
I hope that the family are now getting good advice, and I for one would be happy to donate to a fund for an independent autopsy. Under New Labour we cannot trust the official one.
We also need a radical reconstruction of a police force which thinks it can attack and kill members of the public with impunity, and of the legal framework in which they operate. The legal system has ruled in terms that police may kill people and then may lie about it in court.
We have reached the stage in the UK where we need a revolutionary change. We have to sweep out the old order of corrupt politicians whose one guiding principle is to keep their own snouts in the trough: of City bankers who are multi-millionaires from their bubble scams and whose lifestyles and jobs the ordinary people are now supporting by a massive tax and debt burden, while nobody guarantees the jobs of those ordinary people who fund it all.
We have to realise that the end of the centuries old prohibition of torture by agents of the state is of a piece with the freedom of the police to maintain the system of power by fatal force, in both cases without consequence. You cannot separate this brutalisation of power from the illegal war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and thousands of our own soldiers, on the basis of a lie but really to secure oil.
The whole system stinks from the head like a fish. And people are starting at last to understand where the smell comes from.