Friday, May 1, 2009

Death of a newspaper salesman: A case of anti-police sentiment gone too far

Previously published on Blogcritics

I've long since tired of hearing about poor ol' Ian Tomlinson. Who's he, you ask? If you were to believe any of the anti-police sentiment surrounding the incidence of his death, you'd think he was a completely innocent man on his way home from work, an angelic bystander who got attacked by the police for no reason.
Well, it's a bit more involved than that.
On the day of the anti-capitalist G20 protests that shut the City of London down on April 1, Tomlinson, a newspaper seller, was standing in the way of a police van in the middle of the road, smoking a cigarette, and telling the police where they could go and what they could do with themselves. After stubbornly standing in their way for several minutes, Tomlinson was forced out of the way by riot officers.

Tomlinson continued to dawdle around the City for a half-hour after the incident, when he was shoved to the ground by an officer, who probably recognized him as a troublemaker. Witnesses say that Tomlinson reeked of alcohol. Tomlinson got back up moments later, after remonstrating with the officer who pushed him, and walked 200 feet before collapsing and dying. Initial reports were that Tomlinson died of a heart attack, though post-mortems revealed internal bleeding or an "abdominal haemorrhage."
So there you have it: This "innocent bystander" was a moron, a drunken slob, a defiant British bulldog type, with his cigarettes, his sweat pants and his "don't you tell me what to do, mate" attitude.
Yet people were outraged at his death, setting up a memorial to him outside the Bank of England and holding a memorial protest march for him on the following day, April 2. Which tells you all you need to know about how downgraded society has become. Our great caring liberal society needs a poster boy on which to hang their grievances against the police and Ian Tomlinson fit their bill perfectly.
Which brings up another loser who was on the receiving end of so much undeserved sympathy. Nicola Fisher, a former heroin addict and someone who hasn't done a day's work in all of her 35 years, attended the memorial "service" near the spot where Tomlinson died. When she started arguing with a police officer, a sargeant with the Territorial Support Group, the officer in question smashed her legs with his baton.
However, this young woman, who believes so fervently that capitalism is evil, sold her story to the newspapers for £50,000, using media mogul Max Clifford as her agent. She felt a great need to tell us of her "ordeal," yet Conservative London Assembly member Brian Coleman remarked that "all right-thinking people will have little sympathy for her," and I entirely agree. But, all too predictably, all you heard from the media was how a large, violent policeman cowardly attacked a 115-pound woman.
We bash the police far too much, and we love it when somebody stands up to them, no matter how much that somebody resembles pond scum. What is it about society and the media, that they will stick up for the criminal elements and scroungers, simply because they walked into a well-deserved instance of police brutality? Why do we place so much trust in these rent-a-mobs and the violent gatherings of The Great Unwashed, society's leeches who criticize law-abiding, hard-working folks for the "crime" of earning (and having) money.
In the case of Nicola Fisher, who waved her finger in the policeman's face, the officer perceived a threat and he acted on it. Tomlinson, who was shuffling along directly in front of the officers moments before his death, was perceived by the officer to be taunting them—which he just might have been—and the officer shoved him out of frustration. How on earth was the officer in question supposed to know that Tomlinson would die 15 minutes later?
The police, alas, are human and what's more, they do a very hard, thankless job and witness things that most people never do nor should ever have to. Except for right-wing tabloids, we never hear of policemen who die on the job, good policemen who took a bullet for a colleague or died in a crash or in any other way to protect the public from thugs. Our reporting on matters of the police is distorted.
As I say, the police are human and they make mistakes. They aren't perfect and a few of them are bad apples. But considering society's approach to them, it's a wonder so many men and women still apply for the job of protecting an ungrateful public.


goddessdivine said...

From what I could tell on TV, that G20 protest was nothing but a bunch of liberal communist bleed-the-system-dry leeches who wouldn't know good economics if it smacked them in the butt. Oh, and crack babies gone wild. They have no credibility as far as I'm concerned.

The police were too nice in my estimation (only because they know these pond scum jerks and their media allies will be relentless with their accusations). They don't get near the respect they deserve.

Anonymous said...

You are right. The police officers were correct in using force to push Ian and Nicola on their way. I have heard that their police training is supplemented with psychic abilities.

I can't really comment on Ian because I haven't heard his story due to the fact that he's dead now. But Nicola. Yes, she's a troublemaker. And Smellie knew that she was a former heroine addict that never worked a day in her life. Hence, she deserved a slap in the face more than us tax-paying citizens. In fact, he was too lenient. He should have beat her ass for her left-wing politics.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

Martin Niemöller

Perhaps not 100% relevant in this case, but, its still a nice piece of poetry.

I don't like what you stand for Nightdragon, but I sure as hell don't want to beat you up (much).