Category Archives: Violence

Chris Packham’s house firebombed – because he campaigns for conservation?

Inferno: the exploding Land Rover damaged the gates beyond repair.

At a time of worldwide animal extinctions and potentially irreparable damage to the ecosystem, what kind of psychopath firebombs the house of a conservationist who campaigns to save our wildlife?

Shockingly, masked intruders parked a Land Rover outside a Hampshire house belonging to TV naturalist Chris Packham last weekend and set fire to it. This was the day before he was due to deliver a 100,000-signature petition to Buckingham Palace, calling for the Royal Family to conserve nature on Crown estates and to reintroduce species like beavers and wild boar.

Mr Packham himself has attributed the attack to online trolls:

He said: “These people are angry at some of the things that I campaign against.” He campaigns against the wilful destruction of our natural environment! How can anybody be angry about that?

Sadly, This Writer can understand and sympathise with much of his experience with online trolls.

It is very easy to whip up extreme hatred on (for example) Twitter. I’m currently fighting a court case against another TV personality, who claims that her own behaviour on that platform didn’t encourage her Twitter followers to bully and intimidate a teenage girl with mental health problems. My question is simple: if she didn’t focus her followers on that girl, who does she say did?

Mr Packham says the social media companies have done nothing to enable justice or prevent hatred from being whipped up, and I am (again) inclined to agree.

But the Tory government is (allegedly) putting legislation through Parliament to change that. The Online Harms Bill will propose penalties for such behaviour.

I am eagerly awaiting it. Depending on what measures are finally imposed, it may be the best thing this Tory government does.

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Duncan Smith is attacked with traffic cone – and gets no sympathy

Don’t play the victim, Iain: This is the man who inflicted Universal Credit and the Bedroom Tax on the UK, and whose other benefit policies caused thousands of deaths.

This Site does not approve of violence in any way shape of form; I must make that clear at the outset.

Because it is telling that reports of an assault in which former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith was hit on the head with a traffic cone have been met with applause and humour, rather than condemnation.

The former army officer, whose time as Work and Pensions Secretary led to the recorded – unnecessary – deaths of thousands of people (and, it is believed, the unrecorded deaths of hundreds of thousands more), was branded “RTU” by this site.

It refers to the mark of failure in officer training: “Return To Unit”.

Duncan Smith told the Spectator magazine: “I can’t tell you very much other than they just followed us, used abusive language, attacked us and used a cone.

“I have to say I would have very nearly been done for assault myself. I turned after them and they sort of backed off and I dropped the cone.

“They were shouting all along and then they smashed the cone on the back of my head, and so I turned and grabbed the cone and looked at them, and I took a pace towards them and they backed off.”

Yes, all right RTU, if you say so.

Meanwhile, on Twitter:

Oh, and for those who will insist that any of the above shows that left-wing politics is about abuse and violence, let’s just have a little reminder of something that happened a while ago…

… and that it seems Tory men are behaving in the same way now:

Source: Five arrested after Iain Duncan Smith ‘hit on head with traffic cone’ | UK news | The Guardian

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No justice for anybody as Tories announce blanket amnesty for crimes in NI ‘Troubles’

Northern Ireland: I’ve chosen not to publish a representative picture of the Troubles for reasons of taste.

Boris Johnson’s government has confirmed that it is planning to end all prosecutions relating to crimes committed during the so-called ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland.

The decision has been widely condemned. It seems the government has set out to upset everybody except the criminals among both the security forces and paramilitary groups.

Groups representing the victims, together with representatives of the executive parties at Northern Ireland’s Stormont government, have expressed their opposition.

It seems victims’ groups haven’t even been consulted.

Labour leader Keir Starmer raised the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions today (July 14): “I worked in Northern Ireland for six years with the Policing Board and the police and I have prosecuted terrorists as the Director of Public Prosecutions, so I know how difficult and sensitive the issue is. But a blanket amnesty, including for terrorists, is plain wrong.

“It is absolutely clear that the Government’s amnesty is not supported by the political parties in Northern Ireland and it is not supported by victims’ groups. Last Thursday, I spoke to victims of terrorism at the WAVE Trauma Centre in north Belfast; they have not even been properly consulted on the proposal.

“If things are to move forward in Northern Ireland, any discussion has to start with the victims. Politicians in London cannot simply draw a line under terrorism and other crimes and then force it on those most affected.”

He quoted Julie Hambleton, whose sister was among the 21 people killed in the Birmingham pub bombings, and who said: “Tell me Prime Minister, if one of your loved ones was blown up beyond recognition, where you were only able to identify your son or daughter by their fingernails…would you be so quick to grant their murderers an amnesty and propose such obscene legislation?”

Johnson had no comfort for Ms Hambleton – and admitted it: “Nothing I say or can do now can in any way mitigate her loss.”

But he said: “The people of Northern Ireland must, if we possibly can allow them to, move forwards now.

“There are many members of the armed services who continue to face the threat of vexatious prosecutions well into their 70s and 80s and later. We are finally bringing forward a solution to this problem to enable the Province of Northern Ireland to draw a line under the troubles.”

And he tried to turn the issue into an attack on Starmer by saying the plan had “a wide degree of support, if I may say so, from former Labour Prime Ministers and former Labour leaders who are of considerably more distinction than the right hon. and learned Gentleman”.

Is this true, fact checkers?

Johnson concluded: “Someone with greater statesmanship and clarity of vision would have seen that and given the proposals a fair wind.”

So, politicians who live and work in Northern Ireland – not to mention the victims of the crimes he is wiping off the record – lack statesmanship and clarity of vision, according to Johnson?

Forgive This Writer for putting forward an opinion on this matter, but it seems to me that Johnson is trying to put a stop to prosecutions – along with civil cases and inquests – because they seem too much like hard work and he can’t be bothered.

The BBC has reported that

Northern Ireland’s five main political parties, the Irish government and several victims’ groups have been highly critical of any suggested blanket ban on prosecutions for Troubles-era offences.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the “the proposals for an effective amnesty for Troubles-related crimes are totally unacceptable”.

Sinn Féin president Mary-Lou McDonald said … the move was “an act of absolute bad faith by the British government”.

Victims of the Ballymurphy shootings in 1971 also expressed anger over the reports.

[And] Amnesty International rejected the proposals as showing an “appalling and offensive disregard for victims”.

The only voice raised in support of the proposals was that of Lord Dannatt, a former Army chief, who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles – some of whose officers and men would have been under threat of prosecution if this amnesty does not happen.

And even he admitted that it “isn’t the solution to everyone’s problems”!

This is another back-of-a-fag-packet plan that reeks of Tory corruption. If they can’t make money out of a process, they simply aren’t interested.

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Police ran away from football violence and everyone is saying the same thing

Look at the state of London on Sunday (July 11):

Filthy. Vandalised. Covered in litter. No social distancing!

Not a single police officer in sight.

We’ve all drawn the obvious conclusions:

Perhaps Jonathan Pie put it best in this video clip. WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE:

But this has to be the last word because it makes a clear point about the government too:

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As England’s football team scales the heights, how many of its fans will be plumbing the depths?

Try to take this in:

“If England get beaten, so will she.

“Domestic violence increases 26% when England play, 38% if they lose.”

At a time when the England squad and its manager are winning universal praise for the examples they are setting – in leadership, against racism, and for any number of grassroots causes that, frankly, shame the UK’s fascist government, it shames the entire nation that so-called supporters are likely to respond like this.

It could be argued that people who inflict domestic violence on others are going to do it, no matter what the stimulus – but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

This Writer is no expert on what is to be done, so in the run-up to a match where tension will be at its highest for 55 years, and nerves are likely to be frayed to their limits, I can only echo the advice on the image:

“For help with a protective injunction text ‘NCDV’ to 60777 or call 0800 970 2070.”

If anybody has better or alternative suggestions, please send them in to the comment column.

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Do Israeli airstrikes in Gaza indicate that the new boss is the same as the old boss?

Rain of terror: Israeli bombs land in Gaza.

Was it a forlorn hope, to believe that a new government in Israel might herald a new relationship with Palestine?

Well, let’s not be fooled by appearances.

Contrary to the BBC’s report, Israeli forces aren’t bombing Gaza again because Palestinian terrorists unilaterally launched incendiary balloons.

It seems those balloons went up because far-right extremists were permitted to march through Palestinian neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, shouting, “Death to Arabs!”

(The BBC does mention the march – close to the end of its story, and right after admitting that the Hamas-launched balloons caused fires in fields and appear not to have harmed anybody at all.)

The operative question, then, is whether the new Naftali Bennett government approved the demonstration. I have a doubt about that.

It takes a bit of time to get permission to hold a big demonstration – or at least, it does here in the UK. My understanding is that permission must be sought days – sometimes weeks – in advance.

Was this one approved by the Netanyahu government as a last act of spite against Palestine? I wonder…

Hamas had threatened action if the march went ahead, but the fact that it wasn’t a rocket attack and seems not to have harmed anybody suggests that it was more an expression of protest than a declaration of war.

But this downplaying of causes and effects can only go so far – and Israel’s decision to blow up even more of Gaza with airstrikes is surely going too far.

Did the new government think failing to respond with violence would be seen as a sign of weakness? This seems highly likely.

But now, looking to the future, we need to ask whether this incident will crystallise attitudes in the minds of Israelis and Palestinians.

Also: a little misdirection can cause a lot of harm. Is the mischaracterisation of the cause of the airstrike an attempt by the news media to stoke animosity that may otherwise have died down?

Source: Israel strikes in Gaza after arson attacks – BBC News

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Kidnap, rape and death of Sarah Everard means the police service is BROKEN. Can it be fixed?

This casts a huge shadow over the UK’s police services – not only because of the crimes admitted by PC Wayne Couzens but because of the way police across the country tried to suppress public protest.

Couzens, of Deal, has admitted kidnapping and raping Sarah Everard in a hearing at the Old Bailey (although he appeared by video link from Belmarsh Prison).

He also accepted responsibility for her death but did not enter a plea on the charge of murder.

Ms Everard, 33, went missing while walking home in Clapham, south London, on March 3. She was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4 and her body was discovered hidden in an area of woodland near Ashford, Kent, on March 10.

Couzens…

pleaded guilty to kidnapping Ms Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” on 3 March.

He also pleaded guilty to a second charge of rape between 2 and 10 March.

So now we know that the man who murdered Ms Everard was indeed a police officer.

This fact raises serious questions about the trust we place in our police services – as does the way police across the UK handled the public reaction to this crime.

Remember the Clapham Common vigil that police officers deliberately escalated into a full-on confrontation? They kettled peaceful attendees – most, or all, of whom were women – provoked a violent confrontation and arrested them when they protested.

They were transmitting a very clear message to all of us:

Women in the United Kingdom should fear the police. Officers are able to kidnap, rape and murder them and when this causes protest, the protesters will be arrested.

That is what the police service now represents, and while the Conservative government may not be said to be directly responsible for the criminal behaviour of these uniformed thugs, it is certainly clear that the politicians in charge have done nothing to prevent it and everything to suppress protest against it.

A review of the incident by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) subsequently insulted all the women who took part in the vigil when it cleared the Metropolitan Police of any inappropriate behaviour.

It stated that the force “was justified in adopting the view that the risks of transmitting COVID-19 at the vigil were too great to ignore” and that it was therefore perfectly reasonable for burly uniformed policemen to inflict violence on defenceless women.

On March 14, a further public event – this time a protest demonstration against the policing of the Sarah Everard vigil – attracted a much more low-key police response but even then the officers attending could not hide their priorities.

They clustered around a statue of Winston Churchill that they had (allegedly) been told to protect “at any cost”:

On March 16 allegations emerged that a police officer guarding the scene where Sarah Everard’s body was found had shared an “inappropriate” message about her death with colleagues on WhatsApp.

We were told that it was believed the “inappropriate graphic” contained offensive comments about her death.

The family of Ms Everard were informed of the incident but we were not told whether they had received the grovelling apology that they deserved.

The incident also served as a reminder that only last year, two policemen caused a scandal when it was revealed that they had taken selfies of themselves with the bodies of two murdered women and shared them on WhatsApp.

While we were all told at the time that “lessons have been learned” it became crystal clear that this was not true and that all women could be sure of getting from the police was contempt.

Four days later – March 20 – a serving police officer who assaulted a woman while she was walking home late at night (a direct parallel with what happened to Sarah Everard) using police techniques walked free after magistrates let him off with a fine and a curfew. He was excused community service because his lawyer said it would be hard for him to work with criminals, even though he is now a criminal himself.

The first thing Warwickshire police had done on receiving the victim’s complaint was to ignore it.

The victim then had to undergo an uphill struggle to get that police service to take her seriously, and it is unlikely that she would have had any justice at all if she had not been able to find CCTV footage of the assault.

It showed that Oliver Banfield, 25, hurled a stream of misogynistic abuse at Emma Holmer, 11 years his senior, as he tried to employ techniques he learned from police training to drag her to the ground and put her in a headlock.

I stated at the time: “Apparently this has been described as an ‘unlawful arrest’. I’m sure you can think of a much better description for what is clearly a hate attack against a woman.

“And let’s remind ourselves that Sarah Everard was ‘just walking home’ (the words have been used as a slogan ever since the incident) when she was attacked” by another serving policeman.

I added: “Two incidents cannot suggest that such behaviour is epidemic in the UK’s police. But they are enough to instil fear in every woman who has to walk home in the dark because they know they cannot automatically rely on the police to keep them safe.

“When a trust is betrayed, it can be extremely difficult to win back. Sometimes it is impossible. It seems clear that the police – and the justice system – isn’t even bothering to try.”

It is clear that we can no longer trust the police to uphold the law and protect us against crime. That contract has been broken by the police themselves.

Today, the police are able to commit crimes against us with impunity, with protests silenced by heavy-handed colleagues and suppression by both individual police services and the government, and their actions whitewashed by so-called watchdogs.

This cannot be allowed to continue.

This corruption must be purged. But how can it be done when nobody who is in a position to do it can be trusted to?

Source: Sarah Everard: Wayne Couzens admits rape and kidnap – BBC News

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‘Machete’ attack in Hyde Park brings racists out against Sadiq Khan – but it’s really Priti Patel’s fault

Tory policy: the ‘stock’, to which Patel’s satirical comment refers, are you and me – ordinary people. Tories don’t think of you as human beings like them, therefore crime against you is of no concern to them at all.

The best law-enforcement in the world won’t stop some crime – and the best way to encourage it is to blame the wrong people for it.

So today, after an individual was attacked by a gang wielding weapons that some have claimed included foot-long knives and a machete, the racist right-wingers were out in force on the social media, blaming London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Policing isn’t his primary function. That job went to Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel. And the fact that there are 20,000 fewer police on your streets is the responsibility of a previous Tory Home Secretary (and later prime minister), Theresa May.

Get your priorities right, or a bad situation will get worse.

Sadly, too many people seem to have their priorities wrong – led by a rabid far-right political activist called Darren Grimes.

This product of a broken culture is a former Brexit campaigner who was nearly fineed £20,000 for breaking electoral spending rules and lying on the declaration form – but was let off after he said the form had confused him.

Is he similarly confused about the questionable politics of his internet platform Reasoned, which seeks to attact people who “hide [their] political views for fear of being called homophobic, a TERF (transphobic], [or] racist”?

It seems to This Writer that such a site will attract exactly that kind of person – especially after he published an interview on that platform in which historian David Starkey said slavery was not genocide, “otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?”

Grimes said he hadn’t “caught” the comment before publishing it, which does not excuse him from the fact that it was published. Perhaps he was just confused about what constitutes racism?

Given the considerable confusion in his past, it seems entirely reasonable for Grimes to be confused about who is responsible for policing in London. Fortunately, we have more rational social media users to put him straight:

Sadly the damage has been done and lunatics are springing up to blame the recently re-elected London Mayor (it seems some of them are smarting that the Tory racist didn’t get in) for an incident that he could not have prevented even if he had all the police in the country at his disposal; they can’t be everywhere.

I know Vox Political readers won’t be fooled by any of this nonsense. But for the benefit of weaker-minded souls who might need help, let’s have a few words from people who understand the situation better than the far-right headbangers:

This Writer just hopes that the hysteria whipped up by right-wing racists hasn’t diverted attention away from the politician who should be telling us why she is allowing this violent crime to happen in one of the UK’s most famous public spaces.

So, what do you have to say for yourself, Priti Patel?

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Sasha Johnson: Five arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

Sasha Johnson: she remains in critical condition after being shot in the head at a Peckham house party on Sunday.

It’s good that progress is being made on the shooting of Sasha Johnson – even if it seems to be accidental.

The first arrest – of a 17-year-old boy – came after a stop-and-search process which led to him being arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

This led police to a Peckham address where three men, aged 18,19 and 28, were arrested on suspicion of affray and possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

And a 25-year-old man was later arrested after a police chase, on suspicion of affray and failing to stop for police.

All five were later also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and remain in custody, according to a Met spokesperson.

So these arrests follow what appears to have been a random stop-and-search – a routine that has been criticised for overly targeting black people.

I’m not aware of the skin colour of the people who were arrested but if they were black, I wonder whether the police will try to use this to justify a procedure that is allegedly racist.

And, if these people are connected to the shooting of Ms Johnson at a Peckham house party on Sunday, isn’t it shameful that police could not trace them through – you know – actual detective work?

Of course, if it was them, and if they are black, one major question on our minds should be why they targeted a prominent campaigner in the Black Lives Matter movement at all.

Source: Sasha Johnson: Five held on suspicion of attempted murder – BBC News

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Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson shot in Peckham

Shot: Sasha Johnson.

All the publicity high-profile politicians (and others) have had from announcing the death threats they’ve received, and the one facing the reality of people following through is an activist from the grassroots.

It seems Sasha Johnson, of Black Lives Matter and the Taking The Initiative Party, had received death threats.

She’s a mother of two, and she’s aged only in her 20s.

In a message on their Instagram feed, TTIP said: “It is with great sadness that we inform you that our own Sasha Johnson has been brutally attacked and sustained a gunshot wound to her head. She is currently in intensive care and in a critical condition.”

They said the attack “in the early hours of the morning” came after the mother-of-two, believed to be in her 20s, had faced “numerous death threats”.

I guess she didn’t rate the protection that some other people in politics get.

I wonder if there will even be a proper investigation.

Let’s all watch developments in this story, very carefully.

Source: Woman shot in Peckham named as UK Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson | Evening Standard

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