22 August 2005

Government Criminality

I haven't commented at all on the de Menezes affair. From the very beginning, I felt it wasn't worth discussing it, because 50% of what we read about it would turn out not to be true. It now looks as if that was a massive underestimate, but that just makes it all the more sensible to wait until the whole thing hits the courts and we can start to separate the facts from rumour and misinformation.

I am raising it now, because of the philosophical link with my earlier post on the activities of Neil Herron. What is at issue in Sunderland is the attitude of government to the law. When I read on Neil's blog today:

Sunderland Council had had a meeting with NCP regarding the fact that there were no traffic orders in place for the city's taxi ranks. This meant that issued tickets were unlawful, but rather than admitting this, they covered it up. They knew in October 2003.

It just sounded so much like the Evening Standard's account of the cover-up of the CCTV footage from Stockwell station:

The row over the death of Jean Charles de Menezes took a dramatic turn today.

Senior tube sources have challenged police claims that there was no video footage of his final moments on the platform at Stockwell station.

They told the Evening Standard that three CCTV cameras trained on the platform were in full working order. ...

The Tube sources spoke out after it emerged that police had returned tapes taken from the cameras saying: "These are no good to us. They are blank."

The attitude that tries to cover up illegal issuing of parking tickets is the same attitude that tries to cover up murder. That's why the parking tickets matter.


Neil Craig said...

"These are no good to us. They are blank."

They are now.

I think the cover up is even more serious than the killing. The killing was a piece of heat of the moment idiocy on a par with manslaughter while drunk driving. The cover up has been a deliberate, sustained campaign of lies & disinformation up to the highest level. Both discredit the officers involved but clearly the cover up involves higher officers.

To destroy video evidence is Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice, a very serious offence. Public acceptance of CCTVs correctly depends them being equally available for use against the state as for it, the Rodney King video, for example, enhanced human rights. This seems to be another example of the Brit statement about Watergate - You wouldn't catch our government doing that.

jomama said...

Another fine example of the controlling concept of power.

Accountability gets flushed down the crapper with the endless cover-ups.