Tag Archives: Metropolitan

Police are running glacial investigations into #MrBates Fujitsu/Post Office scandal

The Post Office: this former bastion of British trustworthiness has been tarnished by a harmful software system that it insisted was beyond question. The scandal created by this falsehood has caused people to die.

Those of you who have been following the excellent ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office should be delighted that the police are investigating possible crimes by those acting on behalf of Post Office Limited and Fujitsu. But these inquiries are proceeding at the speed of a glacier.

According to the BBC,

Between 1999 and 2015, more than 700 branch owner-operators [sub-postmasters] were wrongly prosecuted for theft, fraud and false accounting, on the basis of faulty information from Horizon software introduced by the Post Office.

Some went to prison. Many were financially ruined. Some have since died.

The affair has been described by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) as “the most widespread miscarriage of justice the CCRC has ever seen and represents the biggest single series of wrongful convictions in British legal history”.

An independent public inquiry led by retired judge Sir Wyn Williams is continuing. Events surrounding the scandal are back in the spotlight because of an ITV drama, Mr Bates vs The Post Office, which has been screened this week.

But there are even more victims, it seems, because:

The Met said it was investigating possible fraud offences from these cases.

It comes as 50 new potential victims of the scandal have contacted lawyers.

The Met Police said the potential offences could have been related to “monies recovered from sub-postmasters as a result of prosecutions or civil actions”.

But here’s the rub: the Met has been investigating potential offences of perjury and perverting the course of justice in relation to presecutions carried out by the Post Office since 2020 – and has interviewed just two people. No arrests have taken place.

So don’t hold your breath waiting for any results.

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And remember: 2024 is the 25th year since the prosecutions of sub-postmasters began – based on an insecure software system that provided data that was either false or was altered by staff at the firm that developed it – the Bracknell-based UK branch of Fujitsu.

Why is it all taking so long to resolve?

Well, perhaps the answer lies in the names of the people involved.

For example:

So the UK’s current prime minister’s family has a financial interest in the well-being of the firm whose softward caused this scandal.

So the firm whose software caused this scandal was being run, at the time, by the husband of a senior Conservative Party member (and subsequent Cabinet minister).

Then there’s Simon Blagden (who is apparently a former chairman of Fujitsu):

The perks aren’t all flowing one way, though. Paula Vennells, the CEO of Post Office Limited at the time of the scandal, was awarded a CBE by Boris Johnson when he was prime minister:

For clarity, it seems the Horizon software system developed by Fujitsu was always known to be faulty and those behind it at the company knew it should never have been handed over to Post Office Limited for distribution to sub-postmasters. But it was.

Sub-postmasters soon discovered that the software was faulty when they realised that it was refusing to balance their accounts – instead producing deficits of thousands of pounds. When they complained to the helpline (as pointed out in the Have I Got News For You clip above), they were told that nobody else had complained. This was a lie.

Worse,

And what happened?

This:

It is understood that staff at both Fujitsu and Post Office Limited knew sub-postmasters were being wrongly accused, but stood by and let it happen. As some committed suicide, that would put blood on their hands, as indicated by the following post, commenting on information from a former sub-postmaster who was (wrongly? – I put this with a question-mark because I don’t know whether proceedings are taking place or have in the past) prosecuted and suffered a nervous breakdown as a result

The TV drama suggests that former sub-postmaster’s union rep (and a prosecuted sub-postmaster himself) Michael Rudkin visited Fujitsu and witnessed staff tampering with the accounts of other sub-postmasters.

Here’s what (it seems) Fujitsu did when an independent investigator inquired about the visit:

The man who played Mr Rudkin on TV has posted on ‘X’ in support of him – but I want to draw your attention to Mark Hirst’s comment:

How many of us are being ripped off by faulty or fraudulent IT systems produced and marketed by unscrupulous corporations?

And here’s the real burn: Fujitsu, now known to have sold rubbish to one of our (formerly) most-trusted institutions – rubbish that has ruined its reputation – is still receiving public-sector contracts from the UK’s Tory government (that has so many members and former members connected to the firm in some way).

Looking at the post immediately below: given the first two facts, is the third any surprise at all?

Consider also this:

And this:

All of the above is happening despite this:

So even when this corporation was known to have bungled a job, it still managed to sue the contractor and come out on top. That in itself should be enough to halt the flow of money from the UK Treasury to this organisation – but it hasn’t.

Conclusion: don’t expect any joy from police investigations or the public inquiry into the Post Office scandal; Fujitsu and the Post Office are too big to take down, and they are too well-connected to government figures. Any corruption – and all the indications are that all three organisations are institutionally corrupt – will be disputed in the courts, where any cases are likely to be delayed continually by the use of a never-ending supply of money from the public purse.

In effect, these organisations will use our own money to harm us.

Oh – on the subject of money: what happened to all the cash that Post Office Limited demanded that sub-postmasters had to pay back? The amounts Horizon said they owed never existed, so if they were forced to pay money to “balance” their accounts, they deserve to have it returned. If it has been sitting in bank accounts, they deserve to have it returned along with any interest it has accrued.

Has that happened? Will it? I’m betting that the answer to both questions is a big, fat “no”.

Last word on this goes to Phil BD, below, who received a curious response when he tried to find out Fujitsu’s current share price:


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Palestine march organisers respond to Met Police: #WeWillMarch

Against genocide: have a visual reminder that the people who oppose the continued murder of innocent Gazans include a large Jewish contingent.

You will have heard a lot of guff from our right-wing politicians (Tory and Labour) and right-wing press, demanding that a march for peace in Gaza should not take place on Remembrance weekend. Here is the response to that nonsense, from the march’s organisers:

We are deeply concerned at the statement released by the Met Police with regards to our proposed march on November 11. We have been meeting with the Police regularly in the past few weeks to maximise public safety in the large scale protests we have been organising. These protests have brought in total over 1 million people to the streets of London marching peacefully, calling for a ceasefire.

We met earlier today with the Police to finalise the route details of the planned march on Saturday going from Marble Arch to The US Embassy – well away from the centre of London and Whitehall. At that meeting the Police made clear, as reaffirmed in their statement, that the marches we had organised had been overwhelmingly peaceful with low levels of arrest.

They asked us to consider not marching this Saturday and postponing for a week because of the sensitivity of this weekend. It is categorically untrue that the Police told us that it was not appropriate to protest this weekend. They raised a concern about the possibility of breakaway groups leaving the march but were not able to provide any evidence as to why this risk would be increased on Saturday 11 November.

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As we made clear in the meeting, we recognise the political pressure being placed on the police by the Government and right wing political groups. However, we emphasise that they had and have a responsibility to withstand that pressure and act to uphold democratic freedoms including the right to protest.

Those mounting pressure are the same voices actively resisting the call for a ceasefire despite overwhelming public support for that call. The idea that it is acceptable for Israel to keep bombing and killing Palestinians in Gaza including over 4000 children, but not for people to protest peacefully against these crimes is grotesque.

We will be holding a protest on Saturday and we invite all people of conscience to join us in peacefully marching, as planned, from Hyde Park to the US Embassy. Despite their statement we will continue to engage with the Police to ensure public safety on this protest.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign,
Friends of Al-Aqsa,
Stop the War Coalition,
Muslim Association of Britain,
Palestinian Forum in Britain,
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Let’s do a little survey.

Please comment below if you hear the above statement – or any part of it – quoted in news reports or mainstream media political discussion of the Armistice Day event – or if you see/hear a discussion and it doesn’t quote the statement.

Source: “We Will Be Holding A Protest on Saturday” – Palestine march organisers respond to Met Police. #WeWillMarch – Labour Outlook


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Was Braverman’s support for accused policeman enabled by Russell Brand furore?

Suella Braverman: this law-maker is also a law-breaker. She seems to think she is above the rules. Is she?

Suella Braverman has spoken up in support of a police marksman who has been charged with murder after an unarmed man was shot and died in London last year.

Strangely, the Met police firearms officer who appeared in the dock on Thursday, charged with killing Chris Kaba, 24, in south London last year, has not been named. Why should this person have his identity protected?

According to the BBC, Braverman said

people “depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us”.

“In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.”

She said that officers have her “full backing”.

“I will do everything in my power to support them,” she added.

Now, it has been said that the circumstances of the Kaba shooting are important…

… although you are advised to check this ‘X’ user’s identification information and make your own decision about his reliability.

But this really is what the following user describes:

The Kaba case is sub judice. Braverman should not be saying anything that might prejudice its outcome. In doing so – if she were not a member of a Tory government – she might face contempt of court charges

But then, look at the controversy around Russell Brand at the moment – in the opposite sense.

Brand has been accused of very different crimes and, unlike the unnamed police officer in this case, has been much-discussed by the mass media, who have almost unanimously condemned him.

Again, it is inappropriate to discuss innocence or guilt until after a trial has taken place.

By all means, lay out the evidence – but the law is clear that everybody in the UK is innocent of any crime, according to the law, until they have been proven guilty. When a trial is ongoing, nobody should be making assumptions about its outcome – least of all a senior Cabinet member.

So Braverman should be facing a contempt charge – but I don’t think she will, simply because she is a Cabinet member.

Do you really think that’s fair on anyone?


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Met police apologises, compensates women arrested at Sarah Everard vigil

Orwellian: police at Clapham Common weren’t actually stamping on Patsy Stevenson’s face, but they might as well have been.

It seems Met Police Commissioner Mark Rowley wants to draw a line under his service’s shameful treatment of women. It may not be that easy.

But while the Met has issued an apology and “substantial” payouts to Patsy Stevenson and Dania al-Obeid, who were arrested at a vigil for Sarah Everard in 2021, both have said they will continue to “speak up about police abuse”.

Ms Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by then-serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens, who is now serving a whole-life prison sentence for his crimes.

Ms Stevenson and Ms al-Obeid attended the vigil on Clapham Common while Covid-19 restrictions were in place in March 2021 because they felt women had been “badly let down”, and the Met has now officially admitted that this was “understandable”.

In letters to the two women from Commander Karen Findlay, the Met acknowledged that even during Covid, their “fundamental right to protest remained”, but noted that the pandemic “presented an extremely difficult challenge for policing and the officers present”. It added: “That aside, I appreciate the anger, frustration and alarm your arrest undoubtedly caused you, exacerbated by the subsequent proceedings.”

Ms Stevenson tweeted:

The Guardian reported,

On Wednesday, Stevenson expressed relief that this chapter of the “tiring” fight was over, but said that while the apology was welcome, it was “half-arsed”. She added that the controversial Public Order Act had “further eroded and undermined” citizens’ fundamental right to protest.

“Every step has been a huge hurdle, so I appreciate what they’ve said, but […] even if you go through a [legal battle], they still won’t hold themselves accountable for what they’ve done. But this is a very big win for us, and for everyone who attended the vigil.”

And Ms al-Obeid was reported as receiving the information in the following way:

Al-Obeid, who was handcuffed and arrested at the vigil, discovered that she had been convicted behind closed doors under the Single Justice Procedure (SJP) only after being contacted by media.

She challenged the conviction on the grounds that she had no opportunity to plead not guilty, and the case was then dropped by the CPS and her “crime” removed from the record. She called the apology “empowering”, but said victims of abuse needed more support that could not be provided by the police.

“The police are not the right organisation to be on the frontline for victims of violence. They just end up re-traumatising them,” said Al-Obeid, herself a victim of domestic abuse. “There is a real need for specialised resources to deal with these situations.

“I will continue speaking out about the abuse that goes on in police forces and their lack of support for victims of abuse.”

The covert conviction under the Single Justice Procedure is deeply concerning in itself.

How many other people have been convicted of crimes without even knowing they had been accused?

That in itself suggests that the apology from the Met is hollow.

Also in the news today is this:

Scotland Yard has admitted overusing its power to strip-search children after four of its officers were told they would face disciplinary proceedings over allegations that their search of a 15-year-old black schoolgirl known as Child Q was inappropriate and amounted to discrimination owing to her race and sex.

Remember this story?

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said three of the officers faced accusations of gross misconduct over the search, carried out at a school in Hackney, in east London, in December 2020. A fourth officer faces lesser misconduct action over the absence of an appropriate adult.

It is alleged that the decision to carry out the strip-search, while the girl was having her period, was inappropriate; that Child Q was treated differently because of her race and sex; that there was no appropriate adult present; and that the officers did not get authorisation from a supervisor.

So disciplinary proceedings are to begin, nearly three years after the incident.

This Writer can’t see the result affecting the careers of those involved.

At the rate the case is proceeding, they will all have retired long before any verdict is reached.

Source: Met police pays damages to women arrested at Sarah Everard vigil | Metropolitan police | The Guardian


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Why did Met Police strip-search so many children – and then lie about it?

Police: was it really necessary for them to strip-search so many children?

There cannot be a good explanation for this:

In 2021, the Met Police carried out 269 “More Thorough Searches that expose Intimate Parts” on children. It previously reported the number as 99.

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said last month the Met had “misused” the power.

The issue was recently scrutinised by Dame Rachel de Souza, the children’s commissioner for England.

She found that across the country, there were “systemic problems with transparency, scrutiny and non-compliance with guidelines when children were being strip-searched under stop-and-search powers”.

Pastor Lorraine Jones, CEO of the Dwayne Simpson Foundation, a Brixton-based organisation that aims to steer young people away from crime, called the misreported figures a “disgrace”.

She asked what kind of aftercare and compensation was given to such children and questioned how the Met could regain community trust over the issue of intimate searches of minors.

It can’t, as far as This Writer can see.

It tells us that the officers who carried out these searches may not be serious officials carrying out a duty, but are more likely to be a bunch of paedophiles who’ve put themselves in uniform to force youngsters to accept mistreatment that they otherwise would not have to.

Can anyone prove me wrong?


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Met police stick to their ‘rape alarm’ claim over ‘Night Stars’ arrests

The Metropolitan Police have insisted that they did find rape alarms on the three ‘Night Stars’ volunteers they arrested on the night before the Coronation.

‘Night Stars’ volunteer Suzie Melvin told MPs in the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee that, despite police claims, “None of us have ever handed out a rape alarm.”

So This Writer contacted the Met and asked for a comment on this development.

Here’s the response:

Three people were stopped by officers and arrested in the Soho area on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance. Among items seized were a number of rape alarms.

The three people – a 37-year-old woman, a 59-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man – were taken to a south London police station, where they were questioned. The 47-year-old man was also further arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

All three have since been released with no further action.

So there we have it. One organisation says one thing, the other says the opposite.

I await with eager anticipation the report of the Home Affairs Committee – and any responses to it.


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MP ‘speechless’ after hearing rape alarm excuse for ‘Night Stars’ Coronation arrest was false

Assumptions about a pre-Coronation decision to arrest volunteers who help vulnerable people on the streets of London at night were shattered when it was claimed the stated reason was nonsense.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee took evidence on the arrests today (May 17, 2023) – including from ‘Night Stars’ volunteer Suzie Melvin, whose comments left chair Diana Johnson “speechless”.

The reason? It had been stated that the ‘Night Stars’ volunteers were arrested for handing out rape alarms which police said could be used to frighten horses in the Coronation Day parade.

There’s just one problem with that: the ‘Night Stars’ weren’t handing out rape alarms at all.

Here‘s the BBC report of what Ms Melvin said [boldings mine]:

She explains to the select committee the work volunteers do and the equipment they use – mostly items to help people struggling to get home during a night out, from sick bags to flip flops.

She describes the night as quiet, with the volunteering team mainly helping people by directing them to taxis in central London.

But as the team – wearing hi-vis jackets and backpacks – approached Soho Square they were told by officers they would need to be stopped and searched.

Melvin says officers looked through their bags. But despite explaining to officers who they were, they were arrested and taken to police custody – where she was held from Friday night until Saturday afternoon.

“I am speechless,” the chair of the committee Diana Johnson says after hearing Melvin’s testimony.

Melvin says that when she was arrested, the police officer told her they were specifically looking for the Night Stars volunteers.

Longhi asks if it could be because they were giving out rape alarms, “which can cause a sudden occurrence to happen amongst the horses that were parading” and a risk to the public.

“None of us have ever handed out a rape alarm,” says Melvin. “I am not sure why we were arrested and detained.”

Suzie Melvin from the Night Star volunteers is asked if she had any dialogue with the police beforehand about the new laws and what it might mean for her operations.

“Not directly no,” she says, “but I am aware that city council members did have a dialogue and were not made aware of any suggestion we might be involved in plans to disrupt the Coronation.”

I’ve seen no comment from police who gave evidence at the hearing on any reason for the ‘Night Stars’ arrest. The claim was that they’d had information suggesting the group’s members were handing out rape alarms for the purpose of disrupting the Coronation celebrations but that does not appear to have been substantiated by any police representative.

So was that their excuse or not? Or are they changing it? I have contacted the Metropolitan Police to seek clarification.

ADDITIONAL: The Met Police responded at 2.12pm as follows:

Three people were stopped by officers and arrested in the Soho area on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance. Among items seized were a number of rape alarms.

The three people – a 37-year-old woman, a 59-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man – were taken to a south London police station, where they were questioned. The 47-year-old man was also further arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

All three have since been released with no further action.

So neither side is giving an inch, it seems.

I await with eager anticipation the report of the Home Affairs Committee – and any responses to it.


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Daniel Morgan murder: should the inquiry into police involvement be re-opened?

Daniel Morgan: two years after an independent inquiry that found ‘institutional corruption’ by the Metropolitan Police, that organisation has again been found to have failed investigations into his death.

If you’d prefer to watch a video of this article (featuring me and Crunchie the cat), here it is:

If officers of the Metropolitan Police have found documents relating to the murder of Daniel Morgan, that should have been disclosed to the inquiry into the way the police handled that murder, then the inquiry should be reopened, shouldn’t it?

The whole business is extremely suspicious.

If you’re not aware of the circumstances of the UK’s most-investigated murder: Mr Morgan’s body was found in a south London car park in 1987, an axe buried in his head. He had been investigating police corruption.

To date, no fewer than five investigations have been conducted into the murder. Nobody has been convicted.

In 2013, then-Home Secretary Theresa May launched an independent inquiry to examine “police involvement in Daniel Morgan’s murder, the role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder from being brought to justice, and the failure to confront that corruption”.

It also looked into “the incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World and other parts of the media, and alleged corruption involved in the linkages between them”.

When the inquiry panel tried to publish its report in May 2021, then-Home Secretary Priti Patel tried to interfere, saying she needed to see it and may need to censor any part of it that she could claim might affect national security or human rights obligations.

She had no right to do so. The panel objected in the strongest possible terms and Patel had to back down. The report was published in full on June 15 that year.

And now it seems its findings may be false.

In January this year, 60 documents, comprising 166 pages of material, were found in a filing cabinet at New Scotland Yard, that the Met is asking us to believe has been locked for many years. Is that credible?

An assessment into the significance of the documents and any potential impact they may have was started in February and, it seems, concluded this week.

It found that 95 pages of material (37 documents) have been initially identified that would have been disclosed under a protocol agreed with the panel – and a further 71 pages (23 documents) that would have been provided to a subsequent inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The Met’s press release is very specific about the meaning of the discovery: “Our assessment is that there are no evidential documents that relate to criminal investigations into the murder.”

What about documents that relate to “police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder”? What about any relating to police connections with private investigators and journalists, and corruption between them?

What about documents relating to other wrong-doing, that has not been suggested previously?

The Met’s press release says it will make any material that should have been disclosed to the Panel available to the family of Daniel Morgan and to Baroness Nuala O’Loan, who chaired the independent inquiry.

But shouldn’t it make all the new material available, so the family and Baroness O’Loan can make up their own minds?

You see, that report, published in June 2021, may have been incomplete or based on false information, but it did make several points very clearly:

The Met’s first objective in its approach to the inquiry was to “protect itself” for failing to acknowledge its many failings since Daniel Morgan’s murder in 1987.

Its handling of the investigation into Morgan’s death was “institutionally corrupt” and placed concerns about its reputation above its duty to investigate the murder properly.

The Met deliberately misled the public and Morgan’s grieving family.

It delayed handing over vital documents to the inquiry panel, thereby hindering its own work. An investigation that was not expected to take long ended up being stretched out over eight years.

Then-Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick – along with her successors after she was promoted – was responsible for refusing to provide access to this information and never provided a reasonable explanation.

So you can see that the Metropolitan Police are not to be trusted in this matter – under any circumstances.

Nor is any politician after Priti Patel’s attempt to interfere.

So let’s have all – and I mean all – the new information handed over to the family and the inquiry which should be reconvened to allow full reconsideration of all the evidence in the light of this discovery.

And one more thing:

Are there any more filing cabinets sitting around Scotland Yard that have been locked since time immemorial? You never know – we may yet find out what happened to Lord Lucan, or learn the identity of Jack the Ripper.</strong


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After police abused the new Public Order Act, above-the-law politicians won’t change it

A reminder: here’s Republic chief executive Graham Smith being arrested for not breaking any laws, by at least eight police officers.

There can’t be any doubt now that the big story of the Coronation weekend is the abuse of the new Public Order Act by police, to arrest and detain people who had every right to protest against a monarchy they do not want.

Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-monarch group Republic, was jailed early on Saturday morning, on suspicion of conspiring to cause a public nuisance by disrupting the celebrations on London’s streets.

He has made it clear that neither he nor anybody else in his group had any intention to break the law.

Indeed, Republic has made it clear that it co-operated fully with the Metropolitan Police before the event even started:

Graham Smith, speaking for Republic on 3 May, said: “We have had two meetings with the Met police, and numerous phone conversations. They have repeatedly said they have no concerns about Republic’s plans.”

Mr Smith was released on Saturday but police retained his phone and luggage straps that they had claimed could have been used for “locking on” – attaching protesters to street furniture to cause disruption.

These items were returned on Monday evening, when officers admitted they were not able to find any reason to charge Mr Smith with a crime. Here are his comments:

Do you believe the claim of regret by the police? Richard Murphy, of Funding the Future, doesn’t:

I do not believe the police. Politely, they are asking us to believe in yet more fairytales if they expect us to think that these arrests were a mistake.

They announced zero tolerance of protest in advance of the coronation.

They got new powers enacted days in advance of the coronation to arrest without reason.

Republic had been completely open and honest about their intentions, I know. I get their emails. And so there was no new “intelligence” for the police to act on to justify their actions, as they and those seeking to excuse them (Ed Balls, I am looking at you) claimed. There was just a police conspiracy to appease Suella Braverman by showing zero tolerance that backfired spectacularly in both the UK and around the world.

And now they have not only had to eat humble pie, because their actions were so obviously unjustified and unjustifiable –  because not only was the protest peaceful but there was never a conspiracy that it should be anything else  – but they have now paved the way for rightful demands that use of this law be restricted until such time as it can be repealed.

The only impediment to that happening is Labour’s support for these laws – which looks most especially crass now.

I fear Mr Murphy’s hope for Labour may be forlorn. More on this below.

This morning (Tuesday, May 9), Mr Smith was interviewed by Kay Burley of Sky News, who did her level best to undermine his assertions – and he made mincemeat of her. Fair play to her for posting the clip, though!

This Writer cannot understand why Burley kept harping on about the cost of the Coronation. I had heard the £250m line too – and whether it cost that much or the more modest £100m figure that has been more widely-quoted, it’s still money that could have been put to better use in a country whose people are struggling financially because the government has sucked all the money out of it.

And she was unable to stop Mr Smith from making his point that “there was no evidence of any intent or capacity to commit any offence” and “no suggestion of wrongdoing… at all”.

While Burley was putting forward a pro-Establishment view, other journalists went very strongly the other way. Here’s Michael Crick – and I know he’s problematic too, but his words are worth hearing – on LBC:

Sadly, it doesn’t matter what the commenterati say about it; the political elite in Westminster have closed ranks to deny that anything untoward happened at all – and they certainly won’t consider revising or repealing the vague law that allowed this scandal to happen.

Here’s prime minister Rishi Sunak. First he said he supported what the police did:

“The police are operationally independent of Government, they’ll make these decisions based on what they think is best,” he told broadcasters in Hertfordshire.

“Actually I’m grateful to the police and everyone who played a part in ensuring that this weekend has gone so well, so successfully and so safely, that was an extraordinary effort by so many people and I’m grateful to them for all their hard work.”

Then he repeated his assertions to TV reporters:

It’s interesting that Sunak claimed the arrests were “operational decisions made by the police at the time”. I wonder if we can have that confirmed? I’ll try to contact the Met and see what response I get.

Meanwhile, here’s Tory MP Peter Bone, who supports his prime ministers point of view, having his derriere turned into burger meat and handed back to him by Marina Purkiss:

So much for the Tory point of view.

And what about Labour?

Lisa Nandy, on the morning media round, made it clear that her party sides with the Tories and repeated the assertion (although not in as many words) that Labour wants to be able to clamp down on protesters just as hard as the Tories appear to have done:

Even Barry Gardiner, usually excellent at presenting his party in a reasonable light, struggled in a discussion of the scandal on the BBC’s Politics Live:

And what does Labour think of Republic, and the right of anti-monarchists to be able to present their point of view?

Admittedly, party MPs have protested:

John McDonnell, the former shadow chancellor, questioned the rules this week, saying: “I can’t see that allowing local parties to participate in groups like these is going to bring down civilisation as we know it.

“A form of institutional paranoia has emerged in the higher echelons of the party’s bureaucracy which has led to a level of control-freakery in relation to the activities of local CLPs which borders on farce.”

Another MP and former shadow frontbencher, Clive Lewis, who will address anti-monarchy protesters staging a demonstration against the coronation in London on Saturday, said he had “serious misgivings” about the rule preventing affiliation with Republic, adding there was a long history of branches having relationships with democratic campaigning organisations.

Lewis said: “It feels wrong, and sits uncomfortably with me. I think a lot of people will find it problematic, even people who are going to be supportive of the coronation and the king. Many of them will also be people who believe in freedom of speech, freedom of expression and having an open, honest political debate about the future of this country.

“If you join the Labour party, you often joined because you want to make a difference to make your country better, and those are the kind of people who will want to ask questions about the kind of democracy we have.”

But Starmer seems to feel he has to act this way because it might win him some votes – despite the fact that it makes him (yet again) a hypocrite:

Labour under Keir Starmer’s leadership has attempted to underline its patriotism in order to reconnect with voters in “red wall” seats. In the past, Starmer had advocated abolishing the monarchy.

Meanwhile…

Yes, littering is indeed a crime, but it seems nobody has been punished for it.

Instead, the police concentrated their resources on persecuting people who had not broken the law at all.

It really is the big story of the weekend: supporters of the monarchy attacked, arrested, and imprisoned dozens of people on the day their icon was crowned – not for any crime, but simply for having a different point of view.


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Is anybody daft enough to believe Keir Starmer’s Labour will reform the police

Keir Starmer: would you really trust this poster boy for the Establishment to remove the corruption from the police?

Keir Starmer has been bandwagon-jumping again.

He’s saying the Metropolitan Police has been a basket case for 13 years under the Tory government and the racism, sexism and homophobia that Baroness Casey uncovered  has shattered the trust of the people of London – and the rest of the UK:

“The racist, sexist and homophobic abuses of power that have run rife in the Metropolitan Police have shattered the trust that Britain’s policing relies on and let victims down.

“For 13 years there has been a void of leadership from the Home Office, which has seen Britain’s policing fall far below the standards the public have the right to expect.

“The scale of change required is vast. But the lessons I witnessed from policing reform in Northern Ireland show that it can be done.

“With my leadership, a Labour government will take responsibility, overhaul policing and raise standards, with strengthened training and mandatory vetting, and the restoration of neighbourhood policing with the trust of communities.

“The Home Secretary must reassure the public that she will do what it takes to address these failings immediately.”

That’s a pretty far cry from what he was saying only 18 months ago – and people are calling him out on it [apologies for the repetition of Starmer’s tweet]:

In fairness, he did try to answer this question at a press conference yesterday (March 21) – but his answer rang hollow:

He retrospectively modified what he said 18 months ago to make it seem that he wanted her to tackle all the faults that have been exposed now. This was impossible because they were not officially recognised at the time.

People have seen this and responded accordingly:

Many more people have criticised him for the hypocrisy of supporting Cressida Dick and then claiming policing standards fell through the floor on her watch (and others’).

Personally, I wouldn’t trust Keir Starmer to reform the police. His own record speaks against him.


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