The hunt for Raoul Moat utterly dominated the national news for a week. In spite of Moat's death on Saturday morning, it is not done yet. Moat's body had scarcely been removed from the Northumbrian river bank where he took his own life before the questions began. Why had the police hunt taken so long? Why did the Tasers not do their job? How was the danger from Moat not acted upon sooner?Those questions. They wouldn’t have been coming from the meejah, would they? Are you sure that’s entirely fair?
The questions are fair.Oh. OK, then…
But it is also important, and not just with the benefit of hindsight, that larger questions raised by the operation do not escape attention either.Such as?
Moat was manifestly a danger to his partner and to other members of the public. He was an armed killer on the loose. He had to be found and captured. Yet, even after he killed one man and wounded two others, was it absolutely inevitable that he should have been treated as though he was an indiscriminate and overwhelming threat to such a large area?Oh, spot on, ‘Guardian’!
It’s not like a man with a shotgun could kill lots of people…over a wide rural area…of Northern Engl…
I’m sorry, I sort of lost my train of thought there. My brain seemed to go into spasm…
Mostly, such operations do not get the accolade of repeated police press conferences, nonstop live television coverage and the scrambling of hundreds of fully armed officers from across many counties. At times the hunt for Moat became a bit of a circus. Was all of it necessary?Well, you had the top hat, the gold-braided red coat and the whip, ‘Guardian’. Why not answer your own question?
Both the media and the police need to think long and hard before allowing such cases to set new patterns of response which are not just disproportionate to the threat, but which may also contribute to the tragic outcomes they are intended to avoid.When even leading left-wing blogs like ‘Harry’s Place’ point out that the media bias is blindingly obvious in its screeching handbrake turn to criticism of the police action, you’ve got a problem:
The UK media have abruptly turned tack, after following the Raoul Moat saga as entertainment for the past few days. The Guardian ran a live blog. Nice. The BBC ran countless interviews with psychologists giving pisspoor insight into the mind of Raoul Moat, and spent lots of time trying to provoke Rothbury residents to emote on the phone.And the media are therefore indulging in the finger pointing we’ve come to know and love…
Now Moat is dead, attention has shifted to how the blame can be put on the Police. Let’s be clear, Moat is dead. No other member of the public was harmed. No Policeman died in the operation. This is a successful outcome, with the regrettable loss of Moat’s life.Not entirely sure about that ‘regrettable’, frankly.
And then, thanks to the internet, we get a look at the ‘thinking’ that emanates from (thankfully unsuccessful) prospective candidates for Parliament:
I was watching the coverage of the Raoul Moat take down and there were some things about it very early on that made me think that Raoul Moat was in fact shot at first contact or shortly after by Police.Oh, good lord! I think Gadget was nearer the mark than he ever dreamed with his comparison to Dealey Plaza….
Principally, I think this for a couple of reasons. He never moved, in any of the amateur photo’s that people were taking. The police watching him were very animated often taking their eye off him. If you have your weapon trained on a suspect, you only do so because he presents a threat to you, and, at no point do you take your eye of that suspect. His lack of animation, and the police’s almost theatrically staged reactions to photographers makes me think that it was the case that Raoul Moat was already dead when those photographs were taken.
Also, the police were constantly asking members of the media to get back, suggesting a distance of about ten miles was necessary. Again, if the media weren’t able to view the situation, that means the police are not being monitored in their actions, thus making a cover-up easier.Well, hang on, you’ve supposedly just spotted the telltale signs of police skulduggery anyway, haven’t you?
You can’t have it both ways. Can you?
Further to that his supposed “time of death” leaves question marks over the matter as well. If he was going to kill himself, several opportunities presented themself over the last week and he stopped himself. Furthermore, if he was going to kill himself he wouldn’t take eight hours to suss that out.If he was going to kill himself, he probably wouldn’t do it while on the run, running rings around the police and thinking ‘Made it, Ma, top of the world!’, would he?
See, two can play the supposition game.
Then we turn to the shot that was fired. It sounded like a pop. When one fires a blank it makes a pop. When one fires a rifle or pistol it makes a bang, and when one fires a shotgun it makes a blast.That’s nicely onomatopoeic, but a quick perusal of YouTube shows that – under different circumstances (distance, wind, etc) – similar weapons can sound, well, totally different…
I’m not sure what sort of ballistics or firearms experience this chap has anyway, beyond perhaps extensive experience on ‘Call of Duty’ on the X-Box.
Certainly, he doesn’t quote any…
A reason why I feel the police will say Raoul Moat turned the gun on himself, is because that tidies everything up nicely. We have to remember something here. A policeman was shot twice by Moat, Moat said he wanted to declare war on the police and to attempt to murder a policeman, must by the police, be seen as something which must warrant a death penalty, even if they do not say that publicly.They might actually say that ‘publicly’, i.e. in a blog post or comment. Pretty sure I’ve seen similar comments over Moat.
But so what?
No-one expects swearbloggers like Obo or Devil’s Kitchen to really do odd and painfully-improbable things with swordfish and fire ants to politicians, do they?
I mean, we shouldn’t take someone’s babblings on the internet as being gospel, should we. Would you like it if we applied the same logic to y…
Finally, he may have had valid reason to dislike the police, and valid reason to shoot an officer.W..T…F..??
When they realised that the public needed a pleasant outcome they started a smoke and mirrors exercise. This involved getting his friend down there, ordering food (as if) and bringing in a “negiotiator” which seems bizarre.Well, he’s right, I suppose. We don’t have ‘negiotiators’. We have negotiators. In all other respects…
We don’t have negiotiators in this country, because we’ve got tazers guns and CS gas to take people in peacefully.
*makes twirling motion with finger at head*
I’m beginning to wonder if we need a sanity test for the people we allow to stand for parliament, not simply an honesty test.