Friday, 15 October 2010


Murder Inc, or the Metropolitan Police as it is more generally known, appears to be getting away with murder. The Force has never had the highest reputation, When I was doing the background to the infamous Richardson Brothers who had the unpleasant habit of nailing their victims hands to the floor, so many Met policemen were taking backhanders from the Brothers, the investigation HQ moved to the Home Counties.Now they have shown even more alarming developments. Most recently by using fifty-six marksmen to kill one drunken lawyer with an empty shotgun. Witnesses to this over reaction were unanimous in their belief that he could have been talked into submission but a court has ruled that the posse of gunmen were right in acting as they did. It is curious that marksmen fire tranquilisers at animals who have escaped. If you are carrying a suspicious chairleg, just passing through a crowd of protesters, or indeed going to work on the Tube, a death sentence is mandatory. Small boys with toy guns have often brought out Murder Inc in force. I was taking my life in my hands when I bought plastic highwaymen's pop pistols for my grandchildren at Disneyland in Paris. Fortunately I was not allowed to bring them on the plane.
My father, a world war one veteran who joined the police in 1920, had a propemsity towards violence. Nonetheless, he shared the view of most of his fellow constables that it would be a mistake to arm the police. He was himself armed during the pre- and post-war IRA raids, including a siege in Erskine St in Manchester when he was shot in the head. An IRA man called Shaughnessy got life. I was with him in Dublin when he met Shaugnessy who was anxious to apologise because, "Sure,there was nothing personal."
" Don't feel badly about it," said my father. "It wasn't you who shot me; it was my Inspector."
Mind you, that was a different IRA. As the sainted Kevin Myers wrote in the Irish Independent this week:
"Even the misnamed 'Anglo-Irish War' turns out be much less 'Anglo' and far more 'Irish' than nationalist history allows. In 1930, Charlie Dalton, one of Michael Collins' Squad, described to the Bureau of Military Archives how he had spontaneously opened fire on a British army roadblock in Drumcondra, Dublin. 'Brigadier (Dick) McKee sent for me and asked me what was in my mind in firing on the soldiers. As far as I know, this was the first occasion on which the British military had been fired on since the (1916) Insurrection.'
"This was October 1920, after nearly two years of the so-called 'Anglo-Irish war', and though Dalton's memory was at fault here -- Kevin Barry's unit had shot dead three soldiers a couple of weeks before -- the fact remains that British soldiers were not targets for the IRA. Moreover, within 18 months, the violence was about to become purely Irish, as the conjoined traditions of Fenianism -- one violent and conspiratorial, the other cultural and tribal -- united in opposition to the new Free State."
It is odd how tempting it is to play pretend soldiers. Only the fact that Britain is bankrupt has persuaded the police to get rid of its cavalry, though the horse has long since outlived its role in crowd control.
No indication so far to standing down its Air Force which performs with traffic much the same as the role the horse played with crowds and a single policeman on point duty did perfectly efficiently with cars. The Chief Constables in their faux military silver braided uniforms argue that the helicopter would play a vital role in fighting terrorists. Others might have difficulty explaing why and how. Perhaps we will bomb the next furtive jihadist.
If only our bankers could be made to answer for their crimes. Unthinkable. They are responsible for the coming reductions in everything we hold dear. One wonders why we are being punished whilst they are sharing a billion-pound reward for wrecking the country. It is comparable to giving the train driver twenty years in gaol and dipping into the poor box for the Train Robbers' Benevolent Fund. Don't have much faith in our sincerity to pay off that Deficit either. They rifle Mums' purses for the children's allowance, they cut public services, they reduce the Forces to a level that would make it difficult for them to win a game of Housey Housey. And what do they do with the money? They spend £12 billion on the Olympic Games. That is twelve billion to jump over gates, hurl cannon balls and throw spears........................
One important lesson to learn if you are stealing is,Think Big. In Chester, Grosvenor Estates owned the Grosvenor Hotel on one side of a road in the city centre. On the other side was a commercial property they were anxious to develop into a shopping centre. When building began huge screens blocked off the road between the two properites. Their purpose was to protect passers-by from being injured by falling debris.
When the screens were taken down the street had vanished and a concourse joined the Grosvenor Hotel with the new development. Grosvenor Estates, which was the creation of the fabulously wealthy Dukes of Westminster, had stolen the street.


BRUSSELS — The United States is helping senior Taliban leaders attend initial peace talks with the Afghan government in Kabul because military officials and diplomats want to take advantage of any possibility of political reconciliation, Obama administration and NATO officials said ...NYTimes
Remember the Hokey COKEY DANCE...."In Out, In OUT. Shake it all about......." Now it's official US Foreign Policy. They put the Taliban in, they kicked the Taliban out, and now they are shaking them all about.


My oldest friend, a Daily Mail columnist, writes;

Three cheers for Chile. Wonderful effort. The country has come through this exploding with pride and envy from much of the rest of the world.

I mean, let's face it. If it was in this country they'd all be dead. We don't have the expertise any more and for sure any home manufactured machinery would break down straight away. The greatest threat might have come from the police who would want to interfere and completely screw the entire rescue effort. They do it every time.

Tip: When there is a world event like the mine event try watching on US Fox News TV. It is so good it makes the BBC, SKY and ITV coverage look silly.

Another friend of my youth, a Fleet Street editor agreed:

They'd have insisted on a screen around the cage as it emerged from the earth, and they'd have had the rescued miners, and their loved ones, being re-united in private. The next pictures would have been long-tom shots of a fleet of ambulances taking them to a hospital that had a news black-out, and where police guarded every door. Then a hospital spokesidiot would read, stumbling, and haltingly, a statement saying that they were all undergoing thorough tests.

The only good bit is that we would have been saved from a television cretin asking the rescued: "How do you feel?"

Our friend's views on what would have gone wrong in Britain are dead right. They'd all be dead by now. But did you notice that the Drill Boss (that's his title) who directed the rescue drilling, was an American, trained at the Denver School of Mines, Denver, Colorado? "
It used to be worse. When I was working as a reporter for the BBC every programme sent its own reporter on a story. There would be as many as eight radio reporters AND a TV crew, which, in those Union-led days, could consist of twelve people, since every technician had to have a deputy. All of them had to have a three-course lunch and two hours to eat it in.