THE POLICE, according to a Sunday newspaper yesterday, fear a “backlash in the Muslim community” after the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian electrician, at Stockwell Tube station on Friday. What the police should fear is a backlash from the entire civilised community.So, if you disagree with him, you’re not civilised. No ego problem there. Of course, the disclaimer is all present and correct:
I am a hardliner on the War on Terror and remain a hawk on the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath.
Well, it’s better than ‘some of my best friends are
But if al-Qaeda has created an atmosphere in which an ordinary person can have five bullets pumped into him by the police, and society shrugs its shoulders, then the terrorists have already won a modest victory.Some of us may think that it is not immediately obvious why any number of shootings in London should advance the cause of establishing a global Islamic state. Considering that it was a central tenet of the enemy’s war plans that the West was too decadent to take any form of decisive action, the ruthless destruction of a target matching the profile of a suicide bomber, will hardly please them.
Of course, an absurd argument needs an absurd comparison, and Timmy dutifully supplies it:
I don’t know about you, but if I found myself minding my own business on the São Paulo metro and was suddenly confronted by men wearing no uniforms but wielding weapons, screaming at me in Portuguese, I too might choose to bolt for it. It was not merely the police but their victim who had to make a split-second decision.Except for the not inconsiderable point that the deceased was in London not Sao Paulo, and spoke perfect English. Other than that, it’s a perfect analogy. Anyway, there’s good evidence that the deceased was an illegal immigrant. He didn’t run because he didn’t know they were cops, he ran because he knew they were. No wonder the cops recognised a criminal taking to his heels rather than a ‘panicked civilian’.
Perhaps sensing that these arguments are kind of weak, Timmy comes up with the wartime equivalent of asking if the Police have stopped beating their wife.
There should be three consequences of this terrible tragedy. The first is that every aspect of the investigation that will be conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission should be published. There must not be the slightest possibility that the Metropolitan Police might be covering up its embarrassment by, for example, citing “operational reasons” why the decisions taken last Friday morning cannot be scrutinised.Neat, n’est pas ? Security forces in time of war refuse to open up their files to all and sundry, so they must be guilty. And in a similar vein, I propose that if Tim Hames can’t account for his actions on every Tuesday since August of 1999, it proves he’s a child molester.
The second is that the shoot-to-kill policy has to be re-examined. There is a world of difference between a plainclothes policeman finding himself riding on the Tube and spotting a man with a large bag behaving in a manner that makes him a potential suicide bomber and shooting him, and chasing a person on to a train carriage and firing at him.Like, OK. Police can’t fire if they’ve been informed that a guy has left a known terrorist haunt, is dressed like the Michelin man and when challenged runs straight to the nearest train, but cops can fire if they see a guy acting like a potential suicide bomber. Say, Timmy, you wouldn’t like to expand on that one ? How do potential suicide bombers act ? I mean, those of us what are not civilised might be thinking that they just chug along until it’s button time, then ka-blooey! Do they do a little dance or what ? Or should the cops just shoot anyone rummaging through their bag ? We deserve answers!
The final and most important aspect relates to Mr Menezes and his loved ones. This man was, in effect, as much a victim of the London bombs of July 7 as those who died then. It is inconceivable that he would have been killed by the police if those terrorist atrocities had not happened. His name should be included among those who will be supported by the fund that was set up to help those left behind after those murders. We must be honest about how his awful death took place and be ready to learn the lessons.Yes, that’s the real lesson from all this: Britain is evil. Kind of like the lessons of every other incident that’s ever happened. Pity poor Timmy. There he is waving the flag for civilised warfare, fought by nice chaps with Oxbridge degrees and well-cut suits, and suddenly it turns out that the John Thaw character the public really want isn’t Inspector Morse, it’s Jack Regan. That’s what turned Timmy so screamey. Mass slaughter he can take, massive irrelevance, man, that’s just too much.