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Yes we can

Hooray for Obama’s America.

I don’t have enormously high hopes that everything will become groovy, excellent, liberal, etc, and I know that the President’s impact on what happens in the states is somewhat limited – but the fact that the Californians have taken a cop who shot a harmless, unarmed civilian, charged said cop with first degree murder, and refused to let him out on bail is still a rather jolly and heartwarming starting point for the new regime.

Now, if David Cameron were to promise to do the same for all UK cops found in the same situation, that might sway my voting plans…

(backing Ian Blair over Jean-Charles de Menezes’ murder was the one thing that made me seriously consider not voting for Ken at the last mayoral elections. Had any candidate explicitly spoken out againts shoot-to-kill-for-suspected-comedians [*], and not had utterly ludicrous policies on everything else [**], I’d’ve voted for them…)

[*] it flatters the incompetent, trivial jokers we’ve had to oh so bravely struggle against in the UK to refer to them as ‘terrorists’. There’s no terror. The guys in Mumbai are terrifying. Ours are idiots who set fire to themselves [***].

[**] in this context, neither Boris’s nor Brian’s policies would’ve been ridiculous enough to deter me.

[***] and I’m slightly embarrassed when Londoners claim July 7 2005 as a serious piece of terrorism. Cock off: New York had its two biggest landmarks destroyed and 3,000 people murdered; we had the same death toll as four hours’ worth of smoking, plus the same disruption as when Metronet mess up the engineering works. Nothing to see here; trivial nonsense; get lost.

  1. hellblazer
    January 18, 2009 at 8:01 pm | #1

    Generally agree, but some quibbling with closing (satirically overstated?) footnote:

    I’m slightly embarrassed when Londoners claim July 7 2005 as a serious piece of terrorism

    Change "serious" to "major" and I think I'd agree. As it is, "serious" is almost as bad as, erm, "bad" as a not-very-useful adjective for these kinds of things. But point taken there's no point comparing September 11 2001, NY with July 7 2005, central London.

    we had the same death toll as four hours’ worth of smoking

    Specious comparison, surely? Why not e.g. scale up the numbers from the Admiral Duncan nail bombing, or the Omagh bomb, or tried and trusted pedstrians-on-road fatality stats?

    But yes, any notion that the odd bunch of homicidal fuckwits justifies this kind of self-congratulatory rubbish, is risible. I am particularly struck by the article's implication that the judge in that case thinks: "If they had told police what they knew and he had been arrested earlier, the death of Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell on 22 July could have been avoided".

  2. January 19, 2009 at 2:33 am | #2

    I disagree with you here John. That Ken stepped so far out of character on this one shows just how different one's perspective is when one is elected – and when one has to actually make policy decisions on a day-to-day basis.

    I think that George Galloway is about the only London politician who wouldn't have reacted as Ken did if he'd been mayor at the time.

    And it may not have been *terror*, but – like Madrid – failure to deal (disproportionately?) with threats like 7/7 would probably result in a change of government – an outcome that is probably more rewarding to the perps than civillian discomfort would be.

  3. January 19, 2009 at 4:22 am | #3

    I'm disappointed. I was expecting a Bob The Builder-related article.

  4. ajay
    January 20, 2009 at 3:08 am | #4

    Well, 9/11 was the most serious terrorist attack in history. It's hardly fair to compare the Tube bombs to that. They're still the bloodiest terrorist attack in British history, which I think earns them the title of "serious"; not to mention that they had well over 300 casualties. The IRA never managed anything close to that in a single day – or even a single year – on the mainland. It may not have been very terrifying for London, but I'd say it was still serious. (Ten times as serious as, say, Peter Sutcliffe, for one thing.)

  5. January 20, 2009 at 3:41 am | #5

    For values of 'over 300' where 52>300, perhaps.

  6. Richard J
    January 20, 2009 at 7:54 am | #6

    casualties deaths.

  7. January 20, 2009 at 8:05 am | #7

    Guessing there's a silent != there, right? Fair enough I suppose.

    (and do German bombs not count…?)

  8. Richard J
    January 20, 2009 at 8:17 am | #8

    Ah, damn. I was trying for the mathematical inequality. Forgot about bloody HTML…

  9. Richard J
    January 20, 2009 at 8:47 pm | #9

    (and do German bombs not count…?)

    And on further reflection on this point over night, it's best to be careful here, as Germans can quite reasonably point out the reasons that most German cities look like Milton Keynes.

  10. ajay
    January 21, 2009 at 12:58 am | #10

    and do German bombs not count…?

    No. Because then, frankly, 9/11 doesn't count either, because it's dwarfed into insignificance by things like the Blitz and the Milton Keynsification of most of Germany.

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