Friday, April 12, 2013

Guns v asps

I worked with him. He was a refugee from Thatcher's Britain. He was gay and I never new until after he left work. Sometimes I have to be slapped in the face with things, and then I may pick up the nuances.

He was a protester against Thatcher's rule. I can't recall if it was Brixton but I am sure he said somewhere South London. Thatcher's police targeted him, for no good reason. He was just among the protesting crowd. He ran and jumped over fences but eventually the police caught him and gave him a good beating.

That was his story and when he told me, I was quite convinced.

When conservative governments are in power, the police seem to think they have leave to do their worst, with no repercussions.

Most of my impressions of the British police come from The Bill and I always thought they went a bit far with the portrayal  of how the innocent or the guilty could be so abusive towards the police. Not in Australia and not in America would you get away with talking to cops like that. Yet, from what I have seen on trains shows on the internet, that is very much how it is. People seem to able to question, even abuse police and get away with it or at least have minimal consequences.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Andrew

    These days you can tell the old Bill off with impunity, provided you fit a certain profile. I have done it - and written about it. The last time I did, a friend of African-Caribbean heritage said, 'try being black and doing it.' I knew she was right but I also knew the fact that I was a white woman of a certain age and carriage imposed a responsibility on me to tell the police off if it needed to be done. I was the one with the least to lose, so it was mine to do. And I have done it.

    Your friend was probably talking about the SPG (the Met's Special Patrol Group). They were especially active in the late 70s and early 80s and brutally targeted leftist activists. He may have been referring to the Anti-Nazi League protest against a National Front demonstration in Southall in 1979. The activist Blair Peach was battered to death there, probably by the SPG.

    All coming back vividly now that Thatcher has died.

    xxx

    Pants


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    1. Pants, it has certainly brought back some memories for me. I had almost started to feel benign about her, but talk back radio has reinforced why I hated her. So many memories have been activated and I wasn't even there.

      I think the bloke I knew was protesting against the poll tax, but after looking at the years, that doesn't fit. I also thought it might have been the Brixton riots, but that did not quite fit either. I am thinking I worked with him and he left and then came back a few years later No matter.

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  2. A beating for protesting? That's harsh.

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    1. River, really? Protesters were harshly treated here in Melbourne last year by police. Big world conference a few years ago and protesters were certainly beaten.

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  3. All I want to know is how they will cope when there are no more phone books at all.

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    1. And FC, there are now lifts, with few stairs for them to fall down.

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  4. Isn't it only a year ago that a Brazilian student, suspected of a very minor offence, died following tasering by NSW police?

    Also in NSW, Magistrate Pat O'Shane rarely decided in the police's favour no matter the extent of evidence of provocation they might have experienced in the case before her.

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    1. Victor, that was an appalling business and I cannot understand how such a massive over reaction happened.

      Which is why the police disliked her and gave her relatives a pretty hard time.

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