Tag Archives: Met

Dawn Butler: where’s Starmer’s support for his MP, as campaign to get Cressida #DickOut of Met Police begins

Struck dumb: faced with clear racism against a Labour MP by the police he so staunchly supports, what does Keir Starmer do? He HESITATES.

Public support for Labour MP Dawn Butler is growing, along with a campaign for the removal of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick – but her own party leader, Keir Starmer, is silent. Why?

Starmer – a former Director of Public Prosecutions and a staunch supporter of the police – has been on the social media since the car in which Ms Butler was travelling was stopped under false pretences by police yesterday (August 9). So have many of his right-wing – sorry, centrist – lieutenants. But they haven’t had a word to say about it.

The new New Labour leader has been struggling with his attitude to racism after his many attempts to end the anti-Semitism controversy in the Labour Party came unstuck when confronted by the facts, and after his comments about Black Lives Matter showed him up as a hypocrite.

Now, faced with a clear example of police racism and the racial profiling of his MP, Starmer is hesitating. Would he really rather side with the racists?

Perhaps he would feel more comfortable siding with the liars who have crawled out from the virtual woodwork of the social media to attack Ms Butler with false claims that she “flipped” the video she took of the incident and that her passenger was white (and not black). But these have been shown to be nonsense:

Perhaps Mr Starmer would feel more comfortable siding with Tory London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, who doesn’t seem to understand institutional racism…

… and whose attitude to racial profiling changes according to whatever he thinks is politically expedient:

Starmer’s silence is deafening – and the commentariat is flagging it up:

This is far from the first incident involving the police targeting cars with black drivers and passengers – in fact, black people are far more likely to be stopped and searched for flimsy reasons than white people. One of the excuses offered to Ms Butler was that tinted rear windows may be illegal (the law says they’re not) and this is an old favourite among the Met stop-and-search gang.

Ms Butler herself has pointed out that it is 20 years since the Macpherson Report labelled the Met Police as “institutionally racist” but nothing has been done to change the situation.

So now a campaign has sprung up online to remove current Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick – under whose control the current situation has worsened:

Oh, and are we interested in the difference between the way the police treated Ms Butler – an MP – and the way they treated Dominic Cummings, who is only an MP’s advisor?

UPDATE 5.45pm, August 10: Starmer has finally broken his silence on Twitter – although it really wasn’t worth the wait. You can see his comment here, along with some responses to it.

I’m particularly drawn to the reply that states: “You were too sh*t scared to make a public comment because you hadn’t focus grouped it. Jesus. Spineless.” It sums up Starmer in a nutshell.

Other comments assert that Labour staffers – for whom Starmer has apparently shown support – have carried out racial profiling on some of the party’s black MPs.

This is a pathetic showing from a weak man who is unfit to lead.

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Met police refers itself to police watchdog over stop-and-search of athletes’ car

That was quick.

This Writer only published Vox Political‘s story about the Metropolitan police targeting black athletes Ricardo dos Santos, Bianca Williams and their three-month-old baby for a stop/search a couple of hours ago, and already the case has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct!

If you want something to happen, get me to write about it.

But seriously…

It actually took several days and the threat of a court case for this matter to be referred to the IOPC, and This Writer is concerned that we’ll see another stitch-up.

The IOPC blotted its copy book with its whitewashing of the relationship between Boris Johnson and Jennifer Arcuri, and I fear that any investigation of this case will go the same way.

It occur to me that, if the IOPC – and the police in general – want us to accept any verdict on this, we’ll have to see all the evidence when the report comes in.

That seems the best way to ensure fairness. Don’t you agree?

The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the police watchdog over the actions of its officers in a stop and search involving athlete Bianca Williams.

The 26-year-old Team GB sprinter was dragged from the vehicle and handcuffed in Maida Vale, West London on Saturday along with partner Ricardo dos Santos, a Portuguese 400m runner, in front of their three month-old-son.

The athlete has since accused the Met of racial profiling – telling LBC radio she believes they were stopped because the car is all black and her partner is a black man. “There is no other reason,” she added.

Source: Bianca Williams: Metropolitan Police refers itself to watchdog after stopping Team GB athlete’s car | The Independent

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Are you convinced by the Met police’s excuse for incident with Linford Christie athletes?

I’m not.

The Metropolitan Police say they were well within their rights to stop – and handcuff – athletes Ricardo dos Santos and Bianca Williams while their three-month-old son was left in their car.

Linford Christie – yes, that Linford Christie, the UK’s most successful sprinter, and a mentor of both athletes – posted video of the incident on Twitter. It’s quite disturbing:

He also posted a statement:

“Two of my athletes were stopped by the police today [July 4], both international athletes, both parents of a three month old baby who was with them and both handcuffed outside of their home,” he wrote.

“Can Cressida Dick or anyone please explain to me what justication the Met Police officers had in assaulting the driver, taking a mother away from her baby all without one piece of PPE and then calling the sniffer dog unit to check the car over?

“Was it the car that was suspicious or the black family in it which led to such a violent confrontation and finally an accusation of the car smelling of weed but refusing to do a roadside drug test?

“This is not the first time this has happened (second time in two months) and I’m sure it won’t be the last but this type of abuse of power and institutionalised racism cannot be justified or normalised any long #BLM #MetPoliceRacist.”

Now here’s the Met’s rationalisation:

The stop took place at about 1.25pm and was executed by the Territorial Support Group, which was patrolling the area in response to an increase in violence involving weapons.

The Met said the vehicle had blacked-out windows and was “driving suspiciously”, including being on the wrong side of the road. It said when officers indicated for it to stop, the car sped off. Officers caught up with the vehicle when it stopped on Lanhill Road, but the driver initially refused to get out of the car, the Met said.

The occupants, a 25-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman, were detained for the purposes of a search under section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, the statement continued. After nothing was found on their person or in the vehicle, no arrests were made and the pair were released.

Has anyone seen evidence that these athletes were driving on the wrong side of the road? I haven’t.

And the “blacked-out windows” excuse has been used on black people before – and been found to be false, with the tints found to be within legal levels.

“The car sped off.” Did it, though? If you’re travelling in a built-up area – in London! – and the police turn up behind you, telling you to stop, it seems unlikely that’ you’re going to get too far. Maybe that’s just my impression.

Linford Christie is, of course, intimately familiar with institutional racism, after he won Olympic Gold in the 100m in August 1992 and the press belittled the achievement – he was only the second British athlete to manage it since Harold Abrahams in 1924 – by cultivating an unhealthy obsession with his euphemistically-titled “lunchbox”.

I think there’s more to this than the Met have admitted and the facts should come out.

Why did police really stop this car?

Was it because the occupants were black?

Reports say the couple are seriously considering taking the Met to court and I think they should. Agreed?

Source: Met police deny misconduct after Linford Christie athletes stopped | UK news | The Guardian

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Police who took selfies next to black women’s dead bodies prove the Met is institutionally racist

Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry: after ignoring reports that they were missing, police who attended when the bodies were found took selfies with them and sent the images to members of the public.

I’m sure you all remember the wave of horror and outrage at the double murder of two black women in Wembley Park, London, earlier this month and the utter indifference of the police who had been told they were missing.

No?

That’s because there wasn’t one – mostly because it wasn’t reported.

Now it has emerged that police officers who were directed to the bodies by the boyfriend of one of the victims – who had gone out to find them himself after the Metropolitan police showed no interest – took selfies of themselves with the bodies and sent the images to members of the public.

Read the end of the above paragraph again.

Instead of carrying out their duty in a reasonable and responsible way, police officers thought it would be a giggle to take photos of themselves with the bodies of murdered black women, and to then send those images to friends – and not just friends in the police, which would have been bad enough, but members of the general public.

There is only one conclusion to be drawn: These were racists who considered Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry to be less than human because of the colour of their skin, and that their dead bodies were therefore playthings to be treated with contempt.

Met police commissioner Cressida Dick has claimed her entire force would condemn this behaviour – but that is not what we see.

We see a police service that is racist to the core.

This is not an isolated incident. It is a symptom of a general pattern of behaviour for which Dick must take responsibility. The organisation she heads is institutionally racist and a figurehead of the systemic racism that plagues the United Kingdom.

For those who aren’t familiar with the details – and I imagine that’s most of you – let’s run over them:

The mother of two sisters murdered in a park said her grief had “been taken to another place” after two officers were suspended amid allegations they took selfies next to their bodies.

Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry were stabbed to death at a park in Wembley earlier this month. Ms Smallman, 27, had been with friends celebrating Ms Henry’s 46th birthday at the park on the evening of 5 June. Detectives believe they were killed by a stranger who repeatedly stabbed them in the early hours of 6 June – their bodies were not found until the following day.

Mina Smallman has complained about the Met’s initial response – saying she had to organise a search for her daughters.

Mrs Smallman said she had coordinated a search operation on weekend her daughters died and it was Nicole’s boyfriend, Adam, who found the sisters’ bodies and the murder weapon.

She says the police were “making assumptions” when they didn’t immediately respond when the sisters were first reported missing.

It’s actually worse than that. Did these women die because police refused to take action?

“I knew instantly why they didn’t care. They didn’t care because they looked at my daughter’s address and thought they knew who she was.

“A black woman who lives on a council estate.”

Speaking to the BBC, Mrs Smallman, the former Archdeacon of Southend, said the pictures “dehumanised” her children.

Mrs Smallman said she was told the photos showed the girls’ faces and she fears the images will appear on the internet.

“This has taken our grief to another place,” she said.

“If ever we needed an example of how toxic it has become, those police officers felt so safe, so untouchable, that they felt they could take photographs of dead black girls and send them on.

“It speaks volumes of the ethos that runs through the Metropolitan Police.”

The Met said two officers had been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office and suspended from duty.

No-one has been charged with the murders.

Here‘s what Dick had to say for herself:

Dame Cressida said: “I don’t know all the details but if it is as it appears to be then it is shocking.

“It is disgusting and the whole of the Met would condemn what has happened here.

How has this culture been allowed to fester? I’d suggest it happened in the same way Dick was able to shrug off questions about institutional racism in the BBC’s report:

Asked if she accepted criticism that there may have been an element of institutional racism in the police response to the double murder, Dame Cressida said: “This is a horrible, horrible double murder of two beautiful young women.

“My heart goes out to their family. It is just appalling.

“We have an enormous investigation, very well resourced and using all the expertise not just in London but all across the country and beyond.”

That’s not an answer to the question.

Was she unable to answer it?

We all know that, after she became Met Commissioner in 2017, Dick called for “tougher sentences” to be applied to “teenage thugs” in London who she emphasised as being “black” and “Asian”, although there is no strong racial characteristic to the crimes she was highlighting.

So, if she is trying to claim that there isn’t any racism in the Met, perhaps it’s along the same lines as the subject of this poem:

We need a root and branch reform of the Met. It is no good attacking symptoms – it’s time to rid ourselves of the cause.

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Confirmed: Boris Johnson met ex-KGB agent at party, days after Nato summit on Russia

Boris Johnson: This time it’s more hair-raising for the rest of us that he has been talking to at least one former Russian KGB agent when he was not accompanied by government security experts. What did this tactless and indiscreet man let slip?

How much more evidence do you need that Boris Johnson is a security risk and a danger to everybody in the UK?

I’m writing this hours after publishing an article linking Mr Johnson to the Lebedevs, among other Russians who funded campaigns including his to become Tory leader (and therefore prime minister).

The mere fact that Mr Johnson – a man who is not known for having any tact or discretion – has met a Russian ex-KGB agent without being accompanied by his personal security detail strongly suggests that he may already be harming the UK’s security in relationship with Russia.

The meeting happened within days of his attendance at a Nato meeting in which Russia was discussed. What did he say?

I don’t know. And we cannot rely on Mr Johnson to tell us because it is well-known that he is a monstrous liar.

It seems clear that the safest thing to do is vote Mr Johnson out of 10 Downing Street, to prevent him from doing any (more?) harm.

Boris Johnson met an ex-KGB agent during a highly controversial trip to attend a party two days after attending a high-level Nato summit that focused on Russia.

The prime minister, who was foreign secretary at the time, met Russian billionaire businessman Alexander Lebedev, whose family owns Britain’s Independent and Evening Standard newspapers, following a summit of foreign ministers in Brussels staged in the wake of the poisoning of ex-Russian agent Sergei Skripal.

The two met in Italy in April 2018, a month after the attack using the novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, when Johnson, in what appears to be a highly unusual break with protocol, apparently left behind his personal security detail and flew to a lavish party at a palazzo near Perugia hosted by Lebedev’s son Evgeny.

A spokesman has gone on to acknowledge that the meeting between Johnson and Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB officer, did take place, though he insisted there was nothing was out of the ordinary.

Source: Revealed: ex-KGB agent met Boris Johnson at Italian party | Media | The Guardian

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‘Degrading and humiliating’ – why do police treat disabled people so badly?

Targeted: Is the Met police’s ill-treatment of disabled people part of an overarching policy of discrimination against them?

The Metropolitan Police has been accused of “degrading and humiliating” treatment of people with disabilities who took part in the Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

In isolation, this would be bad enough – but it is just the latest in a series of incidents targeting disabled protesters, by forces across the UK.

Now the Met’s independent advisory group says the bullying that took place may have caused “irreparable damage” to relations with disabled people.

Stop and think about that. This isn’t just a public relations problem – it’s a disaster for the police: “irreparable damage.”

According to The Guardian, advisory group chair Anne Novis said everybody in that organisation – all of them – were on the point of resigning because of the stories they were hearing from disabled people.

This is entirely understandable. The claim is that people with disabilities were deliberately and aggressively targeted by police.

Here’s an example of what police were doing: When a disabled protester outside Scotland Yard needed a carer to adjust her supplemental oxygen and provide other medicine, police arrested both on the grounds that they were an illegal assembly.

They had been there to protest after police had confiscated independent living equipment including wheelchairs, disability ramps, noise-cancelling headphones, specially adapted toilets and other items intended to make protest sites accessible to disabled people.

Another incident saw a blind protester released without his cane. And left to get home without any help at all.

Legal observers for Extinction Rebellion said they had expected violence by police – but had not reckoned on it being almost exclusively directed at disabled people in what appeared to be a “deliberate intimidation tactic”.

The Met has claimed that it does not single out any minority group or community – but this is unpersuasive in the light of the mountain of evidence against it.

And it seems part of a nationwide policy to target the disabled. Remember when anti-fracking protesters in Lancashire were targeted by police?

Those people then faced a secondary attack from the Department for Work and Pensions, who claimed that they did not deserve sickness and/or disability benefits because they were well enough to take part in a protest. Remember that?

We discovered then that the police had an agreement to share information on protesters with the DWP, precisely to help that government department unfairly strip disabled people of their benefits.

Loss of state benefits – for a disabled person – has led to starvation, the worsening of their condition through lack of medication, and – in some cases – suicide.

It may be considered an attempt to pass a death sentence on them, simply for daring to protest against something that is wrong.

Has the Met passed the details of the disabled XR protesters to the DWP, in the hope of forcing them into that fate?

I don’t know. But I feel sure we will find out.

Let us hope that we do so before it is too late.

Source: Met police accused of ‘degrading’ treatment of disabled XR activists | UK news | The Guardian

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Is this an attempt to scapegoat the London Fire Brigade for the Grenfell disaster?

Ruin: Firefighters risked their lives in Grenfell Tower – not just while the building was burning but afterwards, as they searched among the rubble for residents.

This seems extremely sinister.

We know that the Grenfell Tower disaster was caused by a faulty kitchen appliance.

It was then accelerated by the fact that the tower had no sprinkler system because landlords working for Kensington and Chelsea Council did not consider it necessary.

And of course the same landlords had installed “fire resistant” cladding that instead hugely worsened the blaze.

Right?

But no real action has been taken against either the landlord organisation or the council.

And now the fire brigade that handled the blaze has been interviewed under caution by police over potential health and safety breaches to do with the policy to tell people to stay in their flats while the fire raged outside.

But the “stay put” policy had been imposed by landlords the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) and was standard policy for a high-rise building in the United Kingdom. 

It relies on the assumption that construction standards such as concrete and fire-resistant doors will allow firefighters to contain a fire within one flat – which was impossible in Grenfell Tower, which was not built to a standard that made this possible.

It seems clear that firefighters followed nationwide guidelines that were understood to be the best course at the time, and changed their plans when they realised that these guidelines had proved ineffective.

Blame for this ineffectiveness must fall on builders who used substandard materials, the landlord who decided that the proper materials and safety methods were not necessary, the council that employed that landlord, and the Tory government that relaxed safety requirements – making it possible for actions that endangered residents to happen.

I remember the eyewitness accounts of firefighters coming out of that inferno. It was clear that not only had they done everything they could to get as many people as possible out of danger; they had put themselves in considerable danger to do so.

But now it seems attempts are being made to blame them.

Who ordered this investigation into the Fire Service? What was their motivation for doing so?

And shouldn’t they be made to feel ashamed?

London Fire Brigade officials have been interviewed under caution by police investigating the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Scotland Yard detectives questioned the body over its duty to protect the public and its own employees from health and safety risks.

Source: Grenfell Tower fire: London Fire Brigade officials interviewed under caution by police over disaster | The Independent

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If you believed Leave.EU’s claim to be clear of police investigation… think again!

Arron Banks: It seems he and Leave.EU are still under investigation, no matter what that organisation claims.

Eurosceptic referendum campaign organisation Leave.EU has been trumpeting a claim that the Met police has dropped criminal investigations into its behaviour in the run-up to the 2016 vote.

Oh, really?

It seems the claim may have been premature.

While the organisation embarked on a publicity campaign that included showering abuse on its detractors – aided and abetted by its friends in the mainstream media, it seems there was at least one dissenting voice.

It belongs to the National Crime Agency – the organisation running the investigation into Leave.EU.

It issued a statement yesterday:

“This is a live investigation, and we are unable to discuss any operational detail, however we are progressing the investigation as expeditiously as possible and will report the outcome of the investigation at the earliest opportunity, once all matters have been thoroughly investigated.”

So there you have it.

It seems all those enthusiastic ejaculations by the Leave.EU camp have been a little premature.

Read more at: Zelo Street: Leave EU Investigations NOT All Dropped

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Campaigners against disability discrimination need to watch Cressida Dick’s ‘knife crime’ comments carefully. Here’s the reason

Cressida Dick: She made her comments on the radio station LBC.

It is bad enough that Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has admitted there is a direct connection between an increase in knife crime and a fall in police numbers.

It shows that police representatives were right to oppose Theresa May’s cuts to the police service, that were imposed when she was Home Secretary and have led to a shocking increase in crime during her term as prime minister.

Mrs May was warned – and did nothing. She doesn’t care about your safety.

But we knew that already. Tory policy since 2010 has demonstrated that the safety of poor people simply isn’t of any concern to them.

We only have to look at the behaviour of the Department for Work and Pensions towards people with long-term illnesses and/or disabilities – and there is a connection, because the language used by the Tories to excuse their behaviour on both issues is the same.

Look at what Mrs May said about knife crime – I’m using a BBC report but I’m sure any mainstream news outlet will have used her words:

There is “some link” between falling police numbers and a rise in violent crime, Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick has said.

[Ms Dick said:]”I agree that there is some link between violent crime on the streets obviously and police numbers, of course there is, and everybody would see that.”

The commissioner was speaking a day after Prime Minister Theresa May said there was “no direct correlation”.

“No direct correlation” is what Iain Duncan Smith said when he was told that suicide among benefit claimants had increased alongside the increase in the number of rejections of claims after he changed the rules to make it harder for people taking a “Work Capability Assessment” (WCA) to qualify.

After academic reports proved that there was indeed a correlation, he fell back on claims that “correlation doesn’t imply causality“.

Doesn’t it?

It certainly implies that opportunities have been created.

And let’s not forget that Iain Duncan Smith was wrong; when he said the words quoted above, we had already known for nearly two years that WCA assessors had been putting suicide in the minds of benefit claimants by asking, “Why haven’t you killed yourself?”

It’s many years past time we got tough on these homicidal Tories.

For those of us who campaigned against their campaign of hatred against people who are sick and/or disabled, it seemed there simply wasn’t enough public interest because opinion had been whipped up against benefit claimants by the Tory-complicit mainstream media.

Attitudes to knife crime seem different – so let’s make the connection and point out that Tory policies deliberately attack the innocent.


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Met police investigation into alleged anti-Semitic hate crimes in the Labour Party is a welcome move

This is to be welcomed in many ways – although the fact that the file was leaked to police shows that Labour still has an internal security problem.

Information about the allegations of anti-Semitism against This Writer was leaked to The Sunday Times in February – false information claiming that I was a Holocaust denier.

The lies were taken up by others and I have spent the last nine months pursuing the newspapers involved through the press regulator IPSO, with a series of victories to prove my innocence.

I will soon attend a Labour Party disciplinary hearing at which I hope to disprove the allegations. I have launched a crowdfunding campaign for the funds to take my accusers to court and gain compensation for the harm they have caused me. Anyone who would like to see justice done is invited to visit my JustGiving page and make a donation, no matter how large or small.

So there is evidence to show that someone very high in the Labour hierarchy – a member of the ruling National Executive Committee or someone working for that body – is maliciously spreading lies about alleged anti-Semitism.

That is the aspect of this case that is unwelcome.

But hate crime of any kind should be investigated and prosecuted, and I don’t know why Labour didn’t pass on details of any such crime to the police – especially if those details had been investigated and proved according to the party’s own systems.

Is this an admission that what Labour considers to be anti-Semitic activity would not qualify as such according to police standards?

It seems we’re about to find out.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “If somebody passes us material which they say amounts to a crime, we have a duty to look at that and not to dismiss it.”

That’s true – and makes an important point about the so-called Macpherson Principle.

Some commentators, who should know better, have been trying to claim that an allegation that someone has committed an anti-Semitic crime means that they are guilty; if a Jewish person says that they have been a victim of anti-Semitism, that is all the proof that is needed.

It is heartening to see the police commissioner affirming that this would not meet the standards expected of a criminal investigation. Macpherson in fact stated that allegations of anti-Semitism should be recorded as such, but the police would still have to carry out a full investigation and determine for themselves whether such a crime had been committed.

That is what makes this investigation worthwhile.

These allegations will be examined according to the requirements of the law of the land.

If people who have been accused are found innocent – after Labour’s system condemned them – it will raise serious questions about the party’s system.

If people who have been accused are taken to court and convicted, then a hate criminal will have been identified and punished.

This is a win-win situation – in spite, I think, of the person who created it.

Scotland Yard has begun a criminal investigation into allegations of antisemitic hate crimes within the Labour Party, police said.

Specialist officers looking through a leaked internal dossier of cases are begun a inquiry into some of the allegations, the Met said in a statement.

Detectives have already sought “early investigative advice” from lawyers working with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The investigation is centring on a folder of paperwork compiled by Labour Party staff on cases of alleged antisemitism by Labour activists and members.

It was leaked to the LBC radio station, who then gave a copy to the Met Commissioner Cressida Dick after an interview in September.

Source: Criminal investigation launched into ‘antisemitic hate crimes’ within Labour Party | The Independent

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