ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Cameron

Four Policemen And A Wheelchair.

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In the 21st century we are increasingly jaded. We think we seen it all, every weird video, every crime, every shooting, nearly every atrocity and certainly all of the stupidly thuggish actions that the police can take.

Yet they have surpassed themselves.

Four big and extremely fit policemen tackled a wheelchair user.

Yes, that’s correct, FOUR policemen.

Precisely what crime the wheelchair user committed is unclear, and the aggressive interviewer on BBC news shows no sympathy for the plight of the wheelchair user.

Had the wheelchair user had an axe, or a machine gun you might have understood a sense of urgency, but all he had was his hands on the wheels, and as far as I can see was not in any way a threat to the police.

However, it is fairly clear that the Cameron government have let the police off their leash, so be you able-bodied, a wheelchair user, or blind I will bet that you will find nothing but a size 10 boot coming your way, if you decide to oppose the policies of the Tory government.

Update 1: Here’s Jody McIntyre explaining things in the Indy:

“Adding insult to injury is The Daily Mail, which found it appropriate to suggest I’m faking my disability and am mentally inept when it comes to making decisions about my actions. Highlighting a somewhat backwards attitude towards disabled people and their place in society, that over 500 people have already complained about Richard Littlejohn’s depiction of me as Andy from Little Britain (I don’t wear vests for a start), shows whose side the public are on when it comes to what’s acceptable where mocking disability is concerned.”

Update 2: Marko has more on the student that was attacked by the police and the Daily Mail.

Update 3: Jody Mcintyre’s blog is here.

Update 3: CiF Watch strays into the territory of political vitriol and character attacks, all completely irrelevant to the issue of Jody McIntyre’s appalling treatment by four big police officers.

I can’t help wondering if he had held different views, would the attack upon him, as a wheelchair user, instead be condemned?

It takes a certain moral turpitude not to see his manhandling by the police as wrong, it takes an entrenched ideologue to want to use that against a disabled person.

I can only imagine that *if* Jody had been blind then the excuse would have been that his labrador dog was about to attack some riot police, or some such nonsense.

That’s the level of this mindless maliciousness.

Update 4: Littlejohn’s rant against Jody McIntyre produce a reaction:

“The Press Complaints Commission said that they have so far received more than 500 complaints from members of the public, but have yet to make a decision on whether to launch a formal investigation.”

Update 5: I don’t often agree with Sunny Hundal, but his post, Littlejohn & Tories attack Jody McIntyre, and the comments below it make some very good points, particularly Carole-Anne Melia’s:

“As a wheelchair user myself, I’m not surprised to see Littlejohn’s cartoon. For people like me it is part of everyday life to come across such attitudes. I’m forever being treated as having ‘Learning difficulties’ or being shouted at because being in a wheelchair apparently makes you deaf (news to me). The point is that we as disabled people have just as much right to protest as everyone else, though I might not agree with everything that a small minority of protestors got up, but Jody had just as much right to be there. The point is the police dragged a disabled person out of their wheelchair, they had no idea what damage that could have done to him. There was other ways the police could have got him moved, for them it was an easy option. I can walk a bit like Jody but if I was dragged from a wheelchair like that I would have been in hospital with increased damage to my spine. Thank god this didn’t happen to Jody with the what the spineless police did to him.”

Update 6: More evidence is forthcoming, slightly better picture, about 01:16 you can see him being pushed along, then when the camera returns how he’s tossed out of the wheelchair and dragged across the road by the police:

Update 7: This slide show shows how he was pulled about by the police.

Update 8: Pickled Politics has posted on this issue as well, Now Jody McIntyre is being attacked for his pro-Palestinian views.

Update 9: I posed a few questions at Pickled Politics draw out the issues:

1. For those who are critical of Jody McIntyre, would you hold a different view, if Jodie McIntyre held different opinions? In other words, do you view his treatment as acceptable because you disagree with his political views?

2. Do you think it is acceptable for four big and burly policemen to manhandle a wheelchair user in that way?

3. Alternatively, would you think it is acceptable for those four policeman to have manhandled an elderly pensioner in such a fashion?

4. Finally, do you feel that wheelchair users should stay at home and not venture out, just in case ?

I would welcome some engagement with those particular points.

Update 10: Journalism.co.uk has a piece on the Beeb interview:

“An interview on the BBC News channel with Jody McIntyre, the student protestor who was allegedly pulled from his wheelchair during the student demonstrations, has received a “considerable” number of complaints, controller of the channel Kevin Bakhurst said on the BBC Editors blog yesterday.”

Written by modernityblog

15/12/2010 at 18:56

The Shape Of Things To Come.

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Marko has a post on the Police’s treatment of demonstrators in London last night and he knows who is to blame:

“At one level, I was grateful it was the UK rather than, say, Italy or Russia, as individual officers showed a lot of discipline and restraint; things would have been a lot worse if individual officers had lashed out indiscriminately on their own initiative, as police in such circumstances have been known to do. But that is a tribute to the ordinary policeman – not the strategy of the police command, which put its own officers in harm’s way.

The police strategy did not serve to protect people or property from violence; on the contrary. Although there was a minority among the demonstrators that was actively seeking violence, the police strategy of keeping people ketted for hours in the cold, and preventing them from going home, appeared guaranteed to ensure that a riot would take place, and that even some demonstrators who hadn’t been out for trouble would be drawn into it. The strategy of not only keeping people kettled, but then inserting a phalanx of armed police into the kettle was sheer lunacy – what did they think would happen ? The moderate, peaceful majority was lumped together with the minority and treated as dangerous deviants, instead of what they were – citizens exercising their democratic right to protest. Those of us who wanted to move to the second demonstration were prevented from doing so – a violation of the right of freedom of assembly.”

I suspect the Police or their political masters, Cameron and Co, don’t really care about freedom of assembly or other freedoms.

The politicians who call the shots are preoccupied with pushing their policies through and anything else is a distraction. They will, naturally, do lipservice but they probably view anyone who is not a Tory or doesn’t vote Tory as a subversive.

My bet is that Cameron’s government will go down in history as one of the most ideologically bent ones, even exceeding what Thatcher did. They will use the full force of the State against anyone that actively opposes them and we would be naive to assume otherwise.

This is the shape of things to come in Britain.

Update 1: A young student was violently attacked by a policeman wielding a truncheon, AP reports:

“A student was left unconscious with bleeding on the brain after a police officer hit him on the head with a truncheon during the tuition fee protests in central London, his mother said.

Alfie Meadows, 20, a philosophy student at Middlesex University, was struck as he tried to leave the area outside Westminster Abbey during Thursday night’s demonstrations, his mother said.

After falling unconscious on the way to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, the second-year undergraduate underwent a three-hour operation for bleeding on the brain.

Susan Meadows, 55, an English literature lecturer at Roehampton University, said: “He was hit on the head by a police truncheon. He said it was the hugest blow he ever felt in his life.

“The surface wound wasn’t very big but three hours after the blow, he suffered bleeding to the brain. He survived the operation and he’s in the recovery room.”

Mr Meadows and his friends tried to leave the area where protesters were being held in a police “kettling” operation when he suffered a blow to the head.”

Written by modernityblog

10/12/2010 at 13:44

Tories Hit The Poorest.

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There’s plenty of talk about the Tory government’s cuts, but we all know who will get it in the neck, the poor, as the IFS shows.

Even the Torygraph admits as much:

“The total impact of tax rises and spending cuts is “regressive”, where the poor are harder hit than the wealthy, rather than “progressive”, where the rich bear more of the burden, “across most of the income distribution,” Mr Emmerson said. The cuts announced on Wednesday “reinforced that”.

The IFS analysis – which includes cuts to benefits excluded from the Treasury’s models – also showed that the losses of those in the very highest income group were up to twice as much as the Government had suggested.

I am not going to go through it, lest my blood pressure explodes, but I will be away for the weekend, so readers can enjoy this clip:

Written by modernityblog

22/10/2010 at 01:51

Milk Snatching And The Nasty Party.

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There is a very common tactic in politics, if something is moderately controversial then the political party will normally get a junior politician or official to float the idea and see how people react.

If there is sizeable public opposition to the particular idea being floated then the political party can back off or simply claim it was an intemperate remark and not really their true view on the subject.

So it is with Anne Milton’s propose removal of free milk for under fives.

Whilst it might seem uncontroversial to American or European readers the idea of taking milk from the mouths of very young children has a certain resonance with public consciousness in Britain.

For many years Margaret Thatcher, who actually did take the milk away, was labelled the Milk Snatcher, and rightly so.

Even Cameron’s only perceptible skill, PR, let him down in this instance and people are coming to realise that beneath the woolly words, shades of Blairism and talk of the “Big Society” lingers the Nasty Party, just waiting to get out.

Update 1: This is Anne Milton’s letter:

“I am writing to you about our proposals to abolish the long-standing statutory Nursery Milk scheme, which is Great Britain-wide, by April 2011.

There is no evidence that it improves the health of very young children yet the cost of delivering it is increasing significantly, almost doubling in the last five years.

This year, I expect milk provided through the scheme in England to cost us almost £50m – rising to £59m in 2011/12.

It does not provide value for money in difficult times and has become increasingly outdated.

The scheme is the only remaining part of what was known as the Welfare Food Scheme, which was first introduced in 1940 to protect all pregnant women and young children against wartime food shortages.

Over time, the major part of the scheme (milk and infant milk tokens) became means-tested and replaced with Healthy Start.

However, the provision of a free daily drink of milk to any child under five in childcare through the scheme has remained.

As a universal intervention, we think the scheme is out of step with the principle that public funding should focus on the most needy.

Children in more affluent families are likely to be drinking plenty of milk at home.

Children in very low-income families may be less likely to attend childcare, unless publicly funded places are available. If so, they will not be benefiting from the scheme anyway.

I am aware that the abolition of the scheme is likely to he highly controversial, particularly as this will affect some children in low-income families.

Therefore, I am considering increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers from April 2011, which provide a targeted nutritional safety net for pregnant women and children under four years old in the very lowest income families.

However, Healthy Start is yet to be robustly evaluated (results are due in September 2012) and we need to think carefully before deciding whether to increase the voucher value before then within the context of our overall spending priorities.

It could be that we simply increase it in line with inflation (it has been frozen for the past couple of years) with a commitment to consider a further increase if the outcome of the evaluation is positive.

Abolition of the Nursery Milk scheme will be contentious and we can expect opposition from the media, parents, nurseries, childminders and the dairy sector.

However, this should not prevent us from ending an ineffective universal measure – and this would clearly be the best time to do it given the state of public finances and the need to make savings.

The Nursery Milk scheme is a reserved measure and we will need to revoke secondary legislation to abolish it.

However, as you may know, the Scottish Government funds the cost of providing milk to eligible children in Scotland and, therefore, I would welcome your views on these proposals.

To abolish the scheme we would need to revoke secondary legislation and we must move quickly if we want to achieve this by April 2011.

It would therefore be helpful to have your views by Wednesday 18 August.

I am writing similarly to Edwina Hart, the Welsh Health Minister and to Alex Atwood, the Social Development Minister in Northern Ireland, where there is a similar, but separate, scheme to Nursery Milk.

I am also copying in Michael McGimpsey, the Northern Ireland Health Minister.

Best Wishes

Anne “

Written by modernityblog

09/08/2010 at 00:44

Trust The Tories?

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[I have neglected the Tories, probably because of my low opinion of them and they aren’t terribly exciting politically. You almost know what they’ll do if they get power again, but before that they’ll try to be all things to all men and tell people what they want to hear. So if I have the energy and inclination I will post a bit more on the Tories.]

The Tory Party is full of jokers, led off by their head clown, Cameron.

Their latest witticism is to propose that all NHS patient data be managed either by Microsoft or Google, maybe both.

Anyone who has rebooted their Microsoft operating system six times a day or more will fully appreciate the level of diligence which Microsoft does not aspire to.

As for Google, we all use that company’s products, well most of us. Those who happened to be Chinese and living in the People’s Republic of China have greater problems, their government coerced Google into blocking many critical sites, and without much of a murmur Google duly complied.

But there are unforeseen merits to the Tories’ idea, at least you will probably get to see your neighbours, relatives, friends’ personal medical records, that’s after they’ve been leaked across the Internet, sold to every conman and identity fraudster there is.

If you cast your mind back and think about the fairly minor data leaks which have come out of Whitehall, then the raft of information which could be extracted from the NHS database will dwarf those debacles several times over.

And even if, by some miracle, the NHS data is not leaked across the world then it might well be sold to private company’s or portions of it.

No doubt the inventive Tories will try to extract as much money from the NHS data as possible, creating mailing lists of patients’ ailments and auctioning them off to the highest bidder.

If you think the amount of rubbish and bumf that comes through your letterbox is a bit too much now, just wait until the Tories have got their hands on the NHS data.

Written by modernityblog

07/07/2009 at 03:03