#G0468* – HOW CAN WE TRUST OUR SERVANTS THE POLICE
Image by PaDumBumPsh via Flickr
Is there no one of any integrity or morality left in British Governance?
We even have Super Injunctions in place NOT JUST protecting clowns and fools who can’t manage to keep their trousers on but also far more worrying protecting Public Servants who act either morally or legally in a repugnant manner from any Public Scrutiny – it is even an arrestable offence to discuss the matter with your own MEP or MP.
The Police State is becoming an obscenity where the people are bullied, battered, shot and intimidated to permit the criminal establishment to enrich itself, steal and brutalise for their own gain.
At any kind of demonstration the Police taunt and intimidate the crowd even killing some but stand by and take absolutely no action to acquit their duty of protection of people and property. Instead they gather film evidence and since the last London Demo have arrested 200 people they claim to have evidence against – did this action protect people or property?
The unshaven armed yob on the right
Is acting in YOUR NAME
as he intimidates the unarmed,
Much smaller unthreatening
citizen on the left.
NOTE the totally unthreatening situation
casual folk in the background,
kids on bikes.
DO YOU TRUST THE POLICE?
The Sunday Times, cowering behind its paywall, does us all a favour in limiting the reach of its distortions. And that is being kind. In its coverage (print edition) of the Bristol riot on Thursday night, it tells us:
A protest against a new Tesco Express outlet in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol erupted into a seven-hour riot as police clashed with 300 demonstrators. Eight officers were injured and tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage was done to the store.
Readers will find that the copy has been produced by Dipesh Gadher, with additional reporting by Claire Hayhurst and Gemma Meredith. So an ethnic and two girlies combine to write something which is completely untrue. This is way beyond distortion, or getting it wrong. The first, all-important sentence is simply not true. It is a lie.
Then we have the clever-dick comment from Rod Liddle, who piggy-backs on the false story and delivers his own dollop under the heading, “Trust me, you idiots, every little Tesco riot doesn’t help”. Well, we don’t trust you … because your piece is crass. You haven’t done your homework and you are talking out of your backside.
The worst of this though, is that the real story is not being told. In as neutral a way as possible, it can be asserted that the police, on the basis of flawed intelligence, grossly over-reacted to a perceived threat, mounting an ill-considered and provocative action which sparked a completely avoidable riot in which a number of people were hurt and much damage was done.
In the way of things, the police are now covering up their own incompetence, and trying to evade the responsibility for their actions, blaming everybody else except themselves. And, instead of reporting this, the great Sunday Times writes a fictional account, missing the point completely.
Mind you, The Daily Mail headline and the opening to its story is just as crass, although it does give you enough detail for you to be able to read between the lines. But that is the MSM for you – when it comes to serious issues, it is completely unreliable. They are taking money under false pretences.
Tesco braced for wave of ‘tax avoidance’ protests
The company, which is fighting planning battles across Britain, will be alarmed at the prospect of becoming the target of direct action groups
Published: 24 April 2011
Protesters stormed a Bristol Tesco causing serious damage (Jonathan Taphouse)
Tesco faces a wave of nationwide protests from militant activists who claim the supermarket chain is avoiding tax.
Campaigners plan sit-ins and to sweep stock from shelves in some of the 2,500-plus stores Tesco owns.
The company, which is fighting long-running planning battles with residents’ groups across Britain, will be alarmed at the prospect of becoming the target of direct action groups.
A protest against a new Tesco Express outlet in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol last week erupted into a seven-hour riot as police clashed with 300 demonstrators. Eight officers were injured and tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage was done to the store.
Activists from UK Uncut say they are now likely to step up action against Tesco, which controls a third of Britain’s grocery market.
In its campaign against alleged tax avoidance, the group has mainly targeted stores owned by Sir Philip Green, including Topshop, and outlets of Vodafone and Boots, in some cases forcing them to close temporarily.
More recently, UK Uncut has turned its attention to banks, while almost 150 of its activists were arrested during a protest inside Fortnum & Mason in central London last month.
On the same day as that demonstration — coinciding with the mass TUC rally against public spending cuts — UK Uncut supporters also staged a sit-in at a Tesco Metro in Soho.
“Tesco hasn’t really been a focal point of actions so far, but I envisage that changing in the future,” said Kathleen Cassidy, a prominent UK Uncut activist.
“It is up to individuals what actions they plan, but I can imagine them targeting existing shops and new stores.”
UK Uncut accuses Tesco of avoiding about £100m in stamp duty land tax and claims it has dodged a further £16m in UK corporation tax by setting up an offshore scheme.
On its website, the group has produced posters for download which lampoon Tesco’s slogan, stating: “Every Fiddle Helps”.
In a protest against Tesco in January, activists stormed a central London store and removed Walkers crisps and Cadbury products from shelves. They claim that the manufacturers are also avoiding tax.
The rise of the supermarket chain has led to some places, such as Bicester, Inverness and Worcester, being described as “Tesco towns” because of the preponderance of stores. The new outlet in Bristol at the centre of last week’s riot was the city’s 18th Tesco store.
“It’s not come to blows elsewhere, but it does seem as if dissatisfaction has reached a new level akin to the banks,” said Andrew Simms, author of a critical book called Tescopoly.
Yesterday four people appeared before Bristol magistrates charged with offences including violent disorder and assaulting a police officer.
Trouble started on Thursday evening when police raided a house opposite the new store. Neighbours claimed squatters were carrying in petrol bombs.
Claire Milne, co-ordinator of the No Tesco in Stokes Croft campaign, said: “We are starting something pretty amazing — a revolution. It is up to Tesco and councils to decide whether that is going to be a bloody or a peaceful protest.”
Tesco said: “We strongly refute any suggestion that Tesco is not paying its fair share of tax. Tesco contributes and collects £3.3 billion in tax each year which helps fund schools, hospitals and public services.”
Additional reporting: Claire Hayhurst and Gemma Meredith
Posted by Richard Saturday, April 23, 2011
As the dust begins to settle on the Bristol riot, what is coming over with crystal clarity is that this was a botched police operation, and that the police are lying about what happened. The absurd Supt Ian Wylie (pictured below) is recorded claiming that the operation was sparked by fears that residents of the “Telepathic Heights” squat were planning to petrol bomb the local Tesco store, the subject of a local dispute.
The store, however, is a red-herring. Police claims are fabrications. Multiple witnesses, whose stories cross-check and make much more sense, attest to this. All claim that there had been an attempt by bailiffs earlier on the Thursday afternoon to evict the squatters from the building – with no warning, despite they having been there eight years.
Predictably, the bailiffs were seen off, leaving residents puzzling as to why the sudden urgency, and some suspicions that it was not unconnected with the Tesco protest, which was being organised from the squat. However, the issue was not left there as, about 9.15 pm the police arrived in force. Although the following day, the petrol bomb excuse was invented, the actual intent was to complete the eviction, with bailiffs accompanying the police.
Jonathan Taphouse a local photographer reports that police arrived in force in the area on a warm, Easter weekend evening, with people drinking in the many bars and cafes along the street. They then blocked off the main Cheltenham Road, preventing people returning to their homes or moving about the area, and faced off the locals in an aggressive manner, maintaining their presence for some hours.
As Taphouse says, “the latent frustration boiled over” and a riot ensued. It was clearly provoked by the clumsy and insensitive police handling of the situation. Some of that is even picked up by The Independent, which cites Taphouse describing some officers as behaving “completely out of control”. “It seemed that they didn’t understand the politics of the area,” he said. “It was only a few who kicked off, and there was no real need for a riot,” he added. “Residents were woken up and some joined the protesters. This wasn’t inevitable – the actions of the police caused the reaction.”
Also cited is Nick Jones, a primary school teacher, who says that a peaceful protest quickly turned ugly: “Between 2.30am and 4.30am there were bottles and rocks thrown. I saw a police officer get hit in the face and go down – he was taken away in an ambulance. People had weapons. They had swords and shields. It turned from ‘interesting’ to ‘scary’ very quickly.”
Jessie Webb, a barman at The Croft pub, said police were “heavy-handed” towards a crowd which just turned up to watch the arrests. The police caused it [the riot],” he said. “They turned up in large numbers and it attracted a crowd. Then they charged into them.”
A 22-year-old, who did not want to be named, said he was hit with a baton despite not being involved in the protest: “I saw them [police] hitting people who were definitely not involved in the violence. They were doing random charges and cracking people indiscriminately.”
Gus Hoyt, a Green Party council candidate for Ashley ward which includes the site of the Tesco store, said he had been “terrified” as the violence escalated, adding that the scenes reminded people of the riots in nearby St Pauls in 1980: “People who remember the 1980s can’t believe this is happening again.”
Taphouse adds that: “Police in riot vans from Wales turned up and it seemed that they didn’t understand the politics of the area. Pushing the crowd in towards St Pauls didn’t look to be the most intelligent thing to do. Police forcing protesters down nearby streets trying to defuse the scene achieved the opposite, and just ended up agitating the situation. More residents were woken up and alerted to what was going on, and this timed with the local pubs kicking out just added to the masses”.
The Guardian is also beginning to piece together some of the story. It has Lewis Clapham, 22, a customer services worker, who says: “I wasn’t involved in the protest or the squat. I just happened to be down there and I went up to the police and said I was just passing through, but one of them came and hit me really hard with a baton. I’ve got bruising all down my side now with massive swelling on my elbow”.
Clare Milne, who lives in the neighbourhood, said she had witnessed from her bedroom window an unprovoked attack on a man walking along the street with a woman. “An officer whacked him around the lower back with a baton”.
Some of this is corroborated by Bristol East’s MP, Kerry McCarthy, who went down to the scene in the early hours of Good Friday after being alerted to the heightening violence, and was herself shoved by police. “The police steamed in and dogs were used,” she says. “There were people being roughly treated.”
McCarthy, who is a shadow Treasury minister, added: “I question why the police op was carried out in an area where a lot of people were out drinking. It didn’t seem to be a particularly sensible time to carry out an eviction of a squat that has been there for a long time”. And there it is – the local knowledge which gainsays the police alibi. This was a police-supported eviction, badly-timed and botched.
Thus does Taphouse conclude: “I can’t help but feel that with better timing, and being more sensitive to local culture the night’s events could have gone very differently”.
Our own local commentators will attest that the area has a history of inept policing, and the current mood is caught by the Independent newspaper, which talks of anger within Britain’s protest and anarchist movements “mounting”, alongside a willingness by some to fight police given the opportunity, after police in London were accused of aggression in dealing with anti-cuts demonstrators last month.
The real problem, though, is that – like the politicians – the police are in the land of the fairies. Avon and Somerset Police continue to maintain that its officers’ actions had been “fully justified”, and are sticking to their story that the discovery of petrol bombs necessitated the arrest of four “offenders”, who represented “a very real threat”.
Thus, we are not even in the territory of “lessons learned”. Having provoked a full-blown riot, the police are not even aware that they have done anything wrong. So we get plod-in-chief Chief Constable Colin Port visiting the site to condemn “the attack on Tesco and other businesses”, when only the Tesco store was damaged. He then says: “It’s outrageous, completely out of order and will not be tolerated by the people of Bristol or the police”.
This is conveyed to us by the local newspaper, but what Mr Port probably does not realise – and the ridiculous Mr Wylie certainly does not – is that he doesn’t have control of the message any more, and we no longer have to rely on local newspaper pap. A combination of bloggers, forums, local and national newspapers, all accessible through the internet, gives us a much wider picture than he probably had.
This also enables us to see through the frankly absurd headlines, with The Daily Express probably qualifying for the most crassly-written account so far. Then, God help us, they have that buffoon Patrick Mercer writing an “analysis”. This is classic EVM. The man doesn’t have the first idea what he’s talking about.
Contrary to the Express fiction, what we see as “outrageous” is the serial incompetence of the police, their lying, their cover-ups, their arrogance and stupidity, all too often combined with abuse of power. Tied in with previous experience of the breed, this strips away any sympathy or support. I don’t think these people quite realise how much the environment has changed.
Some photos by: Jonathan Taphouse.
Rod Liddle: Trust me, you idiots, every little Tesco riot doesn’t help
People favour supermarkets because the staple goods are cheap. That’s why there are lots of supermarkets, because people like them
Published: 24 April 2011
Listen, I hate Tesco as much as the next pretentious, faux-left-wing, middle-class monkey. I even have nightmares about the company, in which I come downstairs one morning and find that it has opened a store in my living room, with buy-one-get-one-free offers and an insistence that I should take out a loyalty card for my own house, along with acned half-wits lining up the shopping trolleys in the hallway.
Just to improve my credentials, incidentally, I also hate Starbucks for its sinister ubiquity and insipid gallons of infantile milky froth and the way it has pushed out the good old honest English coffee shop and sandwich bar — you know, the ones we had before Starbucks and the rest came along where some surly old git emptied two teaspoons of Maxwell House into a polystyrene cup to accompany your prawn ’n’ botulo sarnie which had been mouldering under the glass counter, regularly enhanced by wasp vomit, since around about the time Abba won the Eurovision song contest. But hell, you tell yourself, at least it was honest and real.
Truth is, I don’t like Tesco or indeed any supermarkets. I have swallowed whole the leftish notion that we should pay more for our food — conveniently enough, I can just about afford to subscribe to this pious and costly eco-sensibility — and lament the end of the traditional high street with its specialist shops.
It is undoubtedly true that vast swathes of the population are now denied the chance to eat decent fresh fish as a consequence of the decline of specialist wet fish shops; they’ve been rendered uneconomic by the likes of Tesco with their brief array of livid pink salmon steaks and partly thawed lachrymose Madagascan prawns. The bloke behind the fish counter in my local Sainsbury’s wouldn’t know a hake from a handsaw, as I discovered when I went there last week.
Yes, I shop in Sainsbury’s sometimes. It’s so convenient, isn’t it? And a few more points on my Nectar card will buy me a flight to Magaluf with easyJet. But I still hate myself for shopping there, for the easy and lazy betrayal of a fashionable principle.
But I am in the minority, and a pretty small minority at that; the overwhelming majority of the population, and particularly the poorer two-thirds, favour supermarkets because the staple goods are cheap, it is a comparatively speedy place to shop, the food tends to be fresh and is always attractively displayed. That’s why there are lots of supermarkets, because people like them.
Perhaps I should go round to the houses of the working classes who cheerfully shop in Lidl and Tesco and Asda and smash in their windows and set fire to their sofas. The single mums, the people on benefits, the working families with four kids and a crippling mortgage, the ones who simply cannot afford the time or money to think how I, uh, sometimes, think.
Stokes Croft, in Bristol, saw an expression of this “direct action” with eight police officers injured in a riot occasioned (indirectly) by the opening of a new Tesco Metro store in the district. It was an outpouring of pre-adolescent and profoundly undemocratic rage by yobs, trustafarians and layabouts, all of whom were suffused with the notion that they were right and the democratic process that allowed Tesco to open its store, quite obviously wrong.
One idiotic woman attached to the Stop Tesco campaign refused to condemn the damage to the store, claiming that the “damage” caused by Tesco “across the world is far huger”. You silly, self-righteous, quasi-Stalinist child.
You look at the website of the people who are opposed to Tesco in that location — it’s called The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, natch — and read the manifesto: it is juvenile, imbecilic and astonishingly presumptuous. They think the local people would prefer to live in a district that has much more graffiti (which they consider art) and no supermarkets at all.
I think I know what the majority of local people would prefer.
A bright future?
Congratulations to the telecommunications company Orange for really getting into the spirit of this new age of austerity.
When it laid off 40 of its night shift workers from a Darlington call centre, it offered them the choice of a severance package, alternative jobs in the UK (with a massive pay cut) — or a relocation package to Manila, in the Philippines, one of the grimmest cities in the world.
If the staff take up this last generous offer, they will be paid £200 a month, plus a useful rice allowance of £14.28 a month and £1.78 a month towards laundry bills. Their flights to Manila and removal costs will not, of course, be paid.
Orange, which is a French-owned organisation, has now said the offer to its staff was a mistake. Interesting to discover how much these scumbags pay their Third World labourers, isn’t it?
The future is neither bright, nor Orange.
“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), Regards, Greg L-W. for all my contact details & Blogs: CLICK HERE British Politicians with pens and treachery, in pursuit of their own agenda and greed, have done more damage to the liberty, freedoms, rights and democracy of the British peoples than any army in over 1,000 years. The disastrous effects of British politicians selling Britain into the thrall of foreign rule by the EU for their own personal rewards has damaged the well-being of Britain more than the armies of Hitler and the Franco – German – Italian axis of 1939 – 1945.
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