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I’m friends with all sorts on Twitter. Some are members of that puzzling faction who believe that the real problem with the country isn’t deep and abiding police corruption, but protestors and people wandering around un-tased.

During an argument this morning about this example of assault by police officers (for which even the Commissioner of the Met apologised), one of them opined “Never trust a lawyer unless they’re instructed by you” to which I responded “And never trust a police officer unless you are one.” In the eyes of this individual, one of those statements was reasonable comment, the other was bigotry. See if you can guess which was which…

So, here are just some of the reasons that spring to mind that I consider statements made by the police to be not especially worthy of trust.

(I should probably point out off the bat that I was brought up in the era of Brass Tacks, where high-profile miscarriages of justice were exposed weekly in prime time. Lots of my early memories of the news are of Irish men referred to by a city and a number being let out of prisons they should not have been in.)

Ian Tomlinson – Although this is often glossed over as the work of ‘one bad apple’, it wasn’t that bad apple who briefed the press that officers were pelted as they tried to help Tomlinson. Which was a lie. The IPCC told the media that Ian Tomlinson’s family had known him to be in poor health and worried about him. Which was a lie. The IPCC claimed that there was “nothing in the story” that he had been assaulted by a police officer. Which was a lie. PC Harwood, of course, lied about being pushed to the ground and losing his helmet and baton. He also said Tomlinson was ‘inviting a physical confrontation’ when video evidence showed him walking away. Freddy Patel, the coroner, said Tomlinson died of natural causes. He was later struck off for “a catalogue of dishonesty and incompetence” dating back a decade. And the incident was only ever admitted because video evidence emerged that contradicted police accounts. If you want a good reason why people don’t trust the police, start here.

Police ‘Injuries’ At The Kingsnorth Power Station Protests – Remember the Kingsnorth Power Station protests? You should, because no less than 70 officers were injured trying to police the protests there. 70! That’s the kind of violence the police say they have to deal with at protests. Except that those injuries included: “being stung on finger by possible wasp” and “officer succumbed to sun and heat” and “officer injured sitting in car.” In fact, there were only 12 injuries, and only 4 of those came as a result of contact with other human beings instead of possible wasps or definite mosquitoes. In the apology he was forced to give to Parliament, Police Minister Vernon Coaker said:

I was informed that 70 police officers were hurt and naturally assumed that they had been hurt in direct contact as a result of the protest. That clearly wasn’t the case and I apologise if that caused anybody to be misled.

Hillsborough – Now, although the IPCC investigation is still on ongoing, and we don’t know the extent of South Yorkshire Police’s lies in this case, what we DO KNOW is: statements were altered (“Some 116 of the 164 statements identified for substantive amendment were amended to remove or alter comments unfavourable to SYP.”), and the extent of that is only now becoming clear. The Taylor Report, the initial investigation from 1989, was unsatisfied with police evidence. As Lord Justice Taylor said at the time: “In all some 65 police officers gave oral evidence at the Inquiry. Sadly I must report that for the most part the quality of their evidence was in inverse proportion to their rank.”

Mark Duggan – Remember when we all knew that Mark Duggan had shot at police? And we knew because that’s what the IPCC had ‘verbally led journalists to believe’? Yes, quite.

Daniel Morgan – The case is too long and convoluted to reprise in detail here, let’s leave it at the fact that in 2011, Scotland Yard conceded that for 24 years Daniel Morgan’s killer had been shielded by police corruption.

Jean Charles de Menezes – Oddly, the reasons I distrust the police here have nothing to do with their shooting the wrong person. It’s with the way they handled information afterwards. They “deliberately withheld” the information that de Menezes was not one of the 21st July suspects from their initial press release, officers changed their evidence, lied about having shouted a warning (to the satisfaction of 8 jurors, 2 believed them), and – let’s be generous – added to the confusion over the video evidence, making statements that were contradicted by those who operated the CCTV. Which leads us to:

Andy Hayman – There are lots of things to dislike about the Met officer turned Murdoch columnist, including his reluctance to investigate allegations against The News Of The World at the same time as having champagne suppers with News International, and, well, let’s let him speak for himself:

Forest Gate – In 2006, another Hayman operation involved arresting 2 brothers on terrorism charges, shooting one in the process. Now, although we don’t know that it was the police who briefed the media that one of the brothers who shot the other, we do know that the CPS suggested that there was child porn on the computers seized, although there wasn’t.

Plebgate – This tawdry incident suggests that there is no event too trivial for the police to break rules to deal with it. Whatever the truth of the incident at the gate, the very best that can be said about it, even giving all involved the benefit of some quite serious doubts, is that a senior police officer leaked Scotland Yard’s restricted report to the CPS (the CPS was unhappy with the ‘quality and quantity’ of the evidence provided by that report). Believe me, no one wanted the police to be telling the truth here more than me. I make my living mocking politicans, but as the story has developed, and the key witness for the police’s version of events turns out NOT TO HAVE EVEN BEEN PRESENT, the whole thing becomes much more shabby.

And, of course, we haven’t had a report from Operation Elveden yet.

This is just a small taster, cobbled together quickly, of why I fundamentally mistrust the statements of the police. It’s why I think policing needs to be better. It’s why I don’t have problems believing that much of the police urgently needs reform, and it’s why I won’t be browbeaten by apologists for corruption.

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DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN10 - David Cameron, Le...

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Dear Mr & Mrs Cameron,

Why did you never take the time to teach your child basic morality?

As a young man, he was in a gang that regularly smashed up private property. We know that you were absent parents who left your child to be brought up by a school rather than taking responsibility for his behaviour yourselves. The fact that he became a delinquent with no sense of respect for the property of others can only reflect that fact that you are terrible, lazy human beings who failed even in teaching your children the difference between right and wrong. I can only assume that his contempt for the small business owners of Oxford is indicative of his wider values.

Even worse, your neglect led him to fall in with a bad crowd. He became best friends with a young man who set fire to buildings for fun. And others:

There’s Michael Gove, whose wet-lipped rage was palpable on Newsnight last night. This is the Michael Gove who confused one of his houses with another of his houses in order to avail himself of £7,000 of the taxpayers’ money to which he was not entitled (or £13,000, depending on which house you think was which).

Or Hazel Blears, who was interviewed in full bristling peahen mode for almost all of last night. She once forgot which house she lived in, and benefited to the tune of £18,000. At the time she said it would take her reputation years to recover. Unfortunately not.

But, of course, this is different. This is just understandable confusion over the rules of how many houses you are meant to have as an MP. This doesn’t show the naked greed of people stealing plasma tellies.

Unless you’re Gerald Kaufman, who broke parliamentary rules to get £8,000 worth of 40-inch, flat screen, Bang and Olufsen TV out of the taxpayer.

Or Ed Vaizey, who got £2,000 in antique furniture ‘delivered to the wrong address’. Which is fortunate, because had that been the address they were intended for, that would have been fraud.

Or Jeremy Hunt, who broke the rules to the tune of almost £20,000 on one property and £2,000 on another. But it’s all right, because he agreed to pay half of the money back. Not the full amount, it would be absurd to expect him to pay back the entire sum that he took and to which he was not entitled. No, we’ll settle for half. And, as in any other field, what might have been considered embezzlement of £22,000 is overlooked. We know, after all, that David Cameron likes to give people second chances.

Fortunately, we have the Met Police to look after us. We’ll ignore the fact that two of its senior officers have had to resign in the last six weeks amid suspicions of widespread corruption within the force.

We’ll ignore Andy Hayman, who went for champagne dinners with those he was meant to be investigating, and then joined the company on leaving the Met.

Of course, Mr and Mrs Cameron, your son is right. There are parts of society that are not just broken, they are sick. Riddled with disease from top to bottom.

Just let me be clear about this (It’s a good phrase, Mr and Mrs Cameron, and one I looted from every sentence your son utters, just as he looted it from Tony Blair), I am not justifying or minimising in any way what has been done by the looters over the last few nights. What I am doing, however, is expressing shock and dismay that your son and his friends feel themselves in any way to be guardians of morality in this country.

Can they really, as 650 people who have shown themselves to be venal pygmies, moral dwarves at every opportunity over the last 20 years, bleat at others about ‘criminality’. Those who decided that when they broke the rules (the rules they themselves set) they, on the whole wouldn’t face the consequences of their actions?

Are they really surprised that this country’s culture is swamped in greed, in the acquisition of material things, in a lust for consumer goods of the most base kind? Really?

Let’s have a think back: cash-for-questions; Bernie Ecclestone; cash-for-access; Mandelson’s mortgage; the Hinduja passports; Blunkett’s alleged insider trading (and, by the way, when someone has had to resign in disgrace twice can we stop having them on television as a commentator, please?); the meetings on the yachts of oligarchs; the drafting of the Digital Economy Act with Lucian Grange; Byers’, Hewitt’s & Hoon’s desperation to prostitute themselves and their positions; the fact that Andrew Lansley (in charge of NHS reforms) has a wife who gives lobbying advice to the very companies hoping to benefit from the NHS reforms. And that list didn’t even take me very long to think of.

Our politicians are for sale and they do not care who knows it.

Oh yes, and then there’s the expenses thing. Widescale abuse of the very systems they designed, almost all of them grasping what they could while they remained MPs, to build their nest egg for the future at the public’s expense. They even now whine on Twitter about having their expenses claims for getting back to Parliament while much of the country is on fire subject to any examination. True public servants.

The last few days have revealed some truths, and some heartening truths. The fact that the #riotcleanup crews had organised themselves before David Cameron even made time for a public statement is heartening. The fact that local communities came together to keep their neighbourhoods safe when the police failed is heartening. The fact that there were peace vigils being organised (even as the police tried to dissuade people) is heartening.

There is hope for this country. But we must stop looking upwards for it. The politicians are the ones leading the charge into the gutter.

David Cameron was entirely right when he said: “It is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to think that the world owes them something, that their rights outweigh their responsibilities, and that their actions do not have consequences.”

He was more right than he knew.

And I blame the parents.

*** EDIT – I have added a hyperlink to a Bullingdon article after a request for context from an American reader. I have also added the sentence about Nick Clegg as this was brought to my attention in the comments and it fits in too nicely to leave out. That’s the way I edited it at 18:38 on the 11th August, 2011 ***

***EDIT 2 – I’ve split the comments into pages as, although there were some great discussions going on in them, there were more than 500 and the page was taking *forever* to load for some people, and not loading at all for others. I would encourage everyone to have a poke around in the comments, as many questions and points have been covered, and there are some great comments. Apologies if it looks like your comment has disappeared.  ***

Yesterday the Conservative Party, no doubt pissing itself with glee at its own new media prowess, put up a website called Cash Gordon*. It was a pun. Not only was it a pun, but it was a bleeding-edge piece of web campaigning that would reward supporters for various online activities including reading speeches and creating blog posts about ‘Cash Gordon’. It would also take any tweet with the hashtag #cashgordon in and prominently display it in a rolling box on the front page of their site.

That’s right. Any tweet containing that hashtag.

Within an hour of the site going live most of the things on the front page read ‘David Cameron is a cunt #cashgordon’ or ‘All Tories are hateful piss-weasels #cashgordon’. Some people even  made up things that weren’t true.

When the Internet discovered that whoever had written this site hadn’t stopped  people including images or Javascript in their tweets, things got a lot worse. For a while anyone who tried to get to the site was redirected to the Labour home page, later it went straight to hardcore porn**. Shortly after that, the geniuses behind the whole project pulled it from the Internet, claiming that they had meant to do that, and it was a really subtle way of getting their message across to lots of people (seriously).

I took the opportunity of using the hashtag to direct people to this video,That’s Why They Call Us The Blues, of a song I wrote and performed for The Treason Show a few years ago.

So, for a few moments yesterday, the front page of the Conservatives’ newest campaign website pointed you to a song in which I listed all the people Tories hate. It is a long song. (It actually grew two choruses longer after the version that is up there).

And this tiny, inconsequential non-victory actually felt quite good. Because I was sticking it to the Tories. Yeah. In your face, Tories. Except the ones I know and like. You should not put it in your face. Just look at it, and accept that your face is, theoretically, one of the places it could go.

One of the comments on the song I wrote above, reads: “Do a song about Bloody Gordon. Are you a sore loser in the making? You sound pretty Public school/ middle class to this working class Tory. Your f——-g class warfare crap lost you the Nantwich by-election. F—–g Fabian POSEUR,crawl back into yourSocialist hole and play with your mung beans!!!”

To which I smugly responded that “about eight seconds’ research” would have revealed that I had done something similar about Gordon Brown for Comedybox. This was untrue in two different ways.

First, although I did write and record ‘It’s Not Easy Being Brown’ it disappeared from the Internet some time last year, falling down the back of MySpace Comedy. He could have researched it all he wanted, he probably wouldn’t ever have found it.

(If anyone has a copy of this, I’d be most grateful if they could put it up somewhere. *cough* Bob Pipe! *cough*)

Second, I do mainly take the piss out of Tories. Making fun of Labour isn’t the same. Yes, it’s enjoyable; yes, it can be vicious, but it’s never as much fun as really, really laying into Tories. It has a special music that lightens the heart, and a fragrance that perfumes the drowsy night air and swells the balls with proper, old-school vitriol.

Looking back, I’ve come to realise that a lot of the things I do make fun of Tories, and I’m not exactly sure why.

It’s not like I don’t loathe the Labour Party with every fibre of my being. Just the word ‘Blears’ has been known to bring me out in septic hives. From Bernie Ecclestone and Lobbygate at the beginning of their government, through Blunkett’s buying shares for his kids, Harriet Harman’s husband ** UPDATE – It was, of course, Tessa Jowell’s husband I was thinking of. With overtones of Jacqui Smith’s husband… Apologies to Ms Harman **, Mandelson’s mortgages, up to the shower of bastards revealed last weekend, the Parliamentary Labour Party has shown itself to be the most venal, corrupt organisation most of us can bear to think about. And we remember what the Tories were like.

They abuse the public trust and public purse on a colossal scale, and are shameless in their pursuit of personal fortunes with which to feather their mediocre nests. They are sweaty little men and women who bend over and spread their cheeks, whilst peering over their shoulder at the rich and powerful, desperate to be tossed a tip. In other countries Messrs Byers and Hoon would be adorning lamp-posts rather than reporting themselves to the Commons Standards Committee.

So, it’s not like I particularly hate Conservative politicians. I have grown to hate all politicians equally.

But I do hate Tories. The idea that anyone could have lived through the 1990s and would consider voting Conservative is enough to mark them out a having suffered a terrible head-wound in infancy.

There is something profoundly, desperately wrong about someone who self-identifies as a Tory. A dead-eyed, hate-filled sac of poisonous gases, stewing in years of resentment and self-pity. An easy target, but one I can rarely pass up.

Roll on, the General Election…

*I wouldn’t bother clicking on it now, they had to redirect it to somewhere less offensive pretty sharpish. So it’s odd they chose the Conservatives’ main website…

** Either way, the visitor was treated to the site of brazen quims being whored out in exchange for tawdry amounts of money.

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