I have to say that I am baffled about Keir Starmer QC ‘s statement on Mr Tomlinson and the events surrounding it. As you know, The Guardian reported “The Crown Prosecution Service has admitted that the decision not to prosecute a police officer for the death of Ian Tomlinson rested on the evidence of a pathologist who has been officially reprimanded and is facing 26 further charges of sub-standard practices, including incompetently carrying out a number of earlier autopsies.” It seems that ‘Freddy’ Patel, the pathologist, was not terribly good at his job given the astonishing number of charges for sub-standard practices reported in the Press. Why was he engaged to do the first autopsy? Why did the CPS miss the six month deadline? Why was “Advice to charge police officer over Ian Tomlinson death ignored” ? It appears that there is a marked reluctance to prosecute police officers in Britain. The problem with this and the Sgt Smellie case (not forgetting the 30 years it took to get the Police to make admissions on Blair Peach) is that the reputation of the Police will go down. Goodwill works both ways and while I accept that there are many police officers who are concerned about this, there are, unfortunately, many who are not and who seem to regard it as given that they will be able to err without fear of prosecution. How did PC Simon Harwood, who had ‘anger management’ problems with another force, get into the Met? We’re not talking about a desk job supervising bun eating PCSOs here – we are talking the Tactical Support Group, the spiritual successors of the ill-famed SPG of old…in the eyes of some. Is Keir Starmer up to it? Not looking too good.
I see that you covered good old David Davis’ nonsense about Brokeback Coalition. He’s right of course. Many of us are seething that we have to waste time with all these huggers from the LIb-Dems. Clegg doesn’t appear to know the difference between holding personal views and speaking as a Deputy Prime Minister. Given that the Liberals haven’t had a taste of power since the days of Lloyd George I suppose he can be forgiven for not being wholly versed in the machinations of rule and government. I rather lost the will to live after watching Clegg talking about his remarks about the ‘illegality of the Iraq war” on Channel 4.
I rarely spend an evening at the Chien et Canard in Monaco without debating The Boer war with some retail millionaire. Sometimes we even get the odd rich parvenu or fugitive from justice, who didn’t find Spain to his taste or who has decided that the Cotswolds is not a tax friendly environment, who chips in with nothing of any value at all in terms of the conversation.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: You learnt a lesson at the Dispatch Box this week, you can’t really say what you think, you have to speak for the government rather than your own personal opinions on things like the legality of the Iraq War.
Nick Clegg: I disagree on some things as hugely important and divisive as the Iraq war. People are still debating the Second World War, the Boer War. This is a debate that will run and run and run.
I remember when I was at Eton many years ago…..some boys were so eager to impress that they had a certain slightly unctuous and creepy look about them. Cameron has that look and certainly seems to have swallowed much of the public school bollocks. Usually old boys from public school get over their attachment to their old schools within a few years of being mocked by those who came after them when they keep turning up for events at the alma mater. Cameron gives the impression that he is still keen to impress those in authority and hasn’t quite grasped the whole point of being Prime Minister…that he is The Authority. But there we are.
As for Clegg… I thought this quote from Hamlet might amuse…
“In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.”
– William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.1
I suspect that the end game will see Clegg wondering around some television station shouting…
A vote ! a vote! my kingdom for a vote!
Richard III. 5. 4
Good to see that BP has started drilling off Libya. This will, no doubt, irritate those senators issuing invitations to all and sundry – who, sensibly, have declined an invitation to be humiliated in public by the Yanks – and will do wonders for the BP share price. Timing, dear boy.. timing. Timing is all…as every litigation lawyer knows.