So, late on Tuesday night, video was released to the media of a now infamous incident from the G20 demonstrations that had, initially, been reported as a purely natural death. And – for all anyone can say from the incident on the video – still is a purely natural death.
But the left wing media and blogs totally lost their collective shit.
Anyone from the ‘right’ of the blogosphere (either self identified, or those considered to be on the right by the left) who didn’t immediately post was castigated for ‘ducking the issue. By a Lib Dem blogger, no less!
Those who argued, once they’d seen the video in question, that other interpretations and conclusions were available, were howled down as the ravening pack descended on their comments section.
Wiser heads who elected to say nothing at all until more of the facts were in were mocked by commenters and pretty much told they should write about what the mob wanted them to write.
Anyone who commented on a thread and didn’t immediately sign up to the ‘all police iz pigs, innit?’ point of view, (or who pointed out what the video didn’t show) was labelled an ‘apologist’, a ‘supporter of fascism’, someone using ‘NuLabour Socialist-Speak’, etc. All those insane descriptions were actually applied to me in my little trip round my usual blog reads. A glance at my blog – not a full reading of every post, but a glance - would have shown the commenters how wrong they were, about that, but facts are, it seems, worthless. It’s how things look at this point in time that counts.
The left didn’t want to know. They had got their outrage on, and they weren’t prepared to hear anything that conflicted with that.
And that’s the difference between the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ (if those terms have meaning anymore). Emotion. With the left, emotion and immediate gratification rules. They react with passionate intensity to what they see, what they feel, and what things immediately look to be. If I’ve read once that Ian Tomlinson was ‘murdered’, ‘beaten to death’, viciously attacked’, I’ve read it a hundred times on blog comments. I’ve read that the police ‘caused his heart attack’ as if this was a) possible, and b) deliberate.
Now, many people claimed that they too were outraged about this, and that they were not ‘on the left’. But in reacting to the emotions raised by the initial video and immediately deciding that you just ‘know’ what it shows marks you out as someone who doesn’t think, someone who reacts to what they are seeing. What does that sound like to you? A child? Or an adult?
Was Ian Tomlinson ‘assaulted’? It looks like it from the video. Whether that constituted unprofessional conduct remains to be seen.
Did the police initially lie about this? They certainly put out a statement that the death was of natural causes and they had had no contact with him, but that’s typical of the PR department in any big organisation. Deny, and get your side of the story out, and hope no-one else has evidence. If not for the media-driven 24/7 news cycle, the response from the police would be ‘no comment until we’ve investigated’. Anyone want to conjecture how that would go down with the tinfoil hat brigade?
So yes, criticise the police for what they do – I do that often enough myself. They are human, and as prone to mistakes as the rest of us. And the wretched influence of the Righteous is responsible for making them what they are today – a sprawling, target-driven, ideologically schizophrenic organisation, who are required to deal with disaster and human wickedness with one hand tied behind their back, and the eyes of the world’s media on them at all times.
But remember why we need them. And remember why they were there that day:
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