Wednesday, 26 January 2011

I Smell A Marketing Opportunity!

Tamsin Allen (partner at Bindmans LLP, which represents the defendants acquitted as a result of information provided by Mark Kennedy) is dialling up the OUTRAGE! to 11:
In an interview in the Guardian last week, a woman described the devastating effects of learning that a man she had two children with was the police officer Jim Boyling; she concluded that this sort of covert operation "wrecks lives".
Really? I’d have thought finding out she was married to a bigamist or a serial killer would be far more ‘devastating’, but still...
Yesterday activists blockaded the main entrance of Scotland Yard in a demonstration…
I saw it on TV – a rag-tag bunch of professional grievance-mongers sitting down on the pavement outside NSY waving placards does not a ‘blockade’ make…
In such circumstances, activists may well have strong legal remedies against the police. The common law right to privacy will protect them from any misuse of their personal information except where there is a clear public interest. Then there is the linked right to respect for private and family life guaranteed under Article 8 of the European convention on human rights. That includes a right to form relationships without unjustified interference by the state. To be justified, interference must be authorised by law, pursue a legitimate aim (such as the prevention of crime or disorder) and be proportionate to that aim. It is difficult to see how forming a deceitful sexual relationship with an activist is proportionate to any legitimate aim.

And the deceit itself may be actionable. The police officers concerned entered into relationships on the basis of false representations about themselves. The shock and distress caused when the officer's identity is exposed may form an additional basis for an award of damages.
So basically, this CiF column is just a glorified advert, telling all these dim women out there that ‘where there’s blame, there’s a claim!’..?
There could also be claims for misfeasance in public office. While the police may claim that they did have stringent policies and that a couple of rogue officers fell in love while on the job, the sheer number of sexual relationships between activists and undercover officers looks like something more than a coincidence.
As Tim Worstall points out, no, it isn’t. Not if that’s the sort of lifestyle they needed to fit in with…
It is surely inconceivable that the authorities didn't know, or that they didn't at least tacitly approve of, sexual relationships as part of the methodology of police spying.
They could hardly forbid it, could they? Even if that’s what they are now trying to claim…
Despite the stress of litigating in the matter of private and sensitive issues, many will be willing to bring claims, not only for the financial remedies, but also to highlight what appears to be widespread and serious wrongdoing.
In other words ‘Step right up, ladies, the state has deep pockets!’.
It seems probable that the police will face at the very least a number of claims from victims bringing civil claims for damages.
It certainly does, with you planting the suggestion in their heads…
But given the shock and concern about what looks like a deliberate policing tactic, the victims and civil society as a whole deserve to know what really happened…
We do..?
We all need to be reassured that the police are under control when undercover; that those in charge are themselves properly regulated and overseen; and that lessons have been learned. That requires nothing less than a full independent public inquiry.
Oh, FFS! This is actually of less interest to real people than the Sky Sports 'sexism' kerfuffle...

10 comments:

Captain Haddock said...

I reckon that any Copper who, in the course of Duty was obliged to shag one of these dirty, unwashed, skanky Eco-Hags deserves a medal for "Services above and beyond the call of Duty" ..

I wouldn't touch any of 'em, even if I was wearing industrial strength rubber gloves .. and using long tongs ..

I'd also advise them to get down to their local STD Clinic .. a bit sharpish ..

PT said...

"And the deceit itself may be actionable."
So watch out all you guys who go out on the pull, claiming to be pilots, firemen or whatever. Ah, sorry, no, as you were. Obviously there's no profit to be had in suing losers like you!

Edwin Greenwood said...

So long as they stay out of the Buckingham Arms on Petty France. That, as I understand it, is a police boozer and crusties are unlikely to be made particularly welcome.


WV: blesses. That's a real word, ffs. I expect something more inventive from Blogger than this.

Lynne said...

If every woman who found that a bloke had lied his way into her knickers were to sue the legal system would collapse under the pressure.

This particular specimen should be pleased her bloke had a well paid regular job and could adequately provide for their kids rather than bum off the taxpayer.

MTG said...

"If every woman who found that a bloke had lied his way into her knickers..."

Behold the verbal economy of modern woman and limited prospects of romance and mystique.

John said...

Surely the problem lies with trying to prove that this officer "copped off" in the performance of his duties to an objective.

To which the defence will surely be that he fancied a shag, and there was an available pool of suitably free spirited women willing to bag off with him.

They're just pissed because he was a copper. Presumably if any old joe had fucked them and dumped them that would have been ok then?

ranter said...

BINDMANS........what a bunch of shysters.

Anyone hear Tommy Sheridan's Lawyer on PM this evening?

Lawyers really are an amoral bunch of parasites!

Lynne said...

MTG, wot, you've never used a chat-up line on a fit bird you fancied? Ever? And you've never met a dumb bird who fell for such a line either from you or someone else?

As for limited prospects, I've been married for over 25 years. Ain't run out of romance yet...

JuliaM said...

"Obviously there's no profit to be had in suing losers like you!"

Although you can get a free house if they shout at you..

"Lawyers really are an amoral bunch of parasites!"

Not while there are still estate agents to compare them to...

MTG said...

Dear Lynne,
'If only I were a tear to be born in your eyes, live on your cheeks and die on your lips'.

There you go - polite, hypothetical and without any reference to underwear.