IAN TOMLINSON, VANILLA POLICING? TIME TO WISE UP!
The death of IAN TOMLINSON
given the video footage that has surfaced so clearly showing the cowardly brutal police attacks upon him on April 1
at the City of London G20 demonstration
is focussing a lot of extremely critical attention on police behaviour and the strategies they resort to to beat the heat.
Even Dororah Orr
of the Independent
newspaper appears to have > become unsettled
<. This is she who had the gall to publically criticise in the Independent
elements of those who attended and criticised the police at the Jean Charles de Menezes STOCKWELL COMMUNITY AND RESOURCES CENTRE meeting
held two days after Menezes
had been slaughtered. Why? Because those she criticised had dared to raise political concerns about police strategy and police accountability considerations etcetera etcetera. Anyway she is currently a touch more forthcoming. Deborah Orr maybe
or Deborah maybe not.
It's high time to wise up about policing and wipe away misconceptions that the police are a vanilla organisation. When I worked as a Greenwich Council officer specifically seeking to achieve greater "local police accountability" there was a senior officer who was also a lay preacher - he attended of course the local COMMUNITY POLICE CONSULTATIVE GROUP and behaved with the usual studied traditional decorum. Unforgettably he came into my presence in a far less formal setting and believe me the stream of expletives he gave expression to would have brought the curtain down pronto pronto in a CONSULTATIVE GROUP setting. And would have brought a steeple down within a church setting.
Vanilla policing is a myth. In the mid 'Seventies a very succesful direct action fight back campaign was waged to free fitted-up East Ender George Davis from a 20 year prison sentence. Eventually, with 17 years still to serve, he was let out by ROYAL PREROGATIVE OF MERCY. Police involved in the case were sent bananas by the campaign and by Davis's release.
A year or so later Davis was caught bang to rights as the get-away driver on a bank robbery and it was a great result for policing. Police involved in the original fit-up very soon went into print with "YANKEE ONE and GEORGE DAVIS". This book was actually published by the police, by the POLICE REVIEW PUBLISHING COMPANY. It was very far from a vanilla policing epic. Indeed its pages are absolutely littered over and over with four letter word police expletives. "Vanilla policing" is a veneerial myth - below the surface coppering is far far more raw and unpleasant as indeed the IAN TOMLINSON episode is again so aptly demonstrating.