Tuesday, August 09, 2011

It Looks Like There Could Be A Major Realignment of Italian Politics In The Near Future

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his chief political rival Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti]


There are at least five good reasons why Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is probably not lying awake at night worrying about how to spring Sollecito and Knox.

First, Perugia’s prosecutors and courts have a very fine reputation for being straight and unbending and doing the right thing.

When the investigations into major misappropriation of funds from the recent winter Olympics and catastrophic earthquake by people in Rome had to be moved out of Rome for that very reason, it was to the Perugia prosecutors and courts that the investigations were moved.

Second, Mr Berlusconi is already among the least popular politicians in Italy, while the popularity of the President of the Italian Republic who is known to dislike and oppose Mr Berlusconi is quite the reverse. His chief rival (image above) is also a lot more liked.

Third, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has more important things on her own mind than using political and diplomatic capital to persuade Mr Berlusconi to intervene to try to reverse a verdict that her own Rome embassy and State Department found quite fair.

Fourth, one of Italy’s firm and unyielding judges slammed Mr Berlusconi a couple of weeks ago and told him that his trial for underage sex had to go ahead soon in a courtroom in Milan. That is only one of four trials that he now faces. 

And fifthly as a prime minister he might not last very long for bad policy moves as this terrific article in the UK Guardian explains

The parliamentary opposition is highly up in arms over what they see as his excessive caving to the demands of the European Central Bank because of his and his party’s weakend condition. .Many of Italy’s economic fundamentals are in fact better than those of some other European countries and those of the United States.  Investment News just posted this.

Unlike Greece and other peripheral markets, Italy is actually running at a primary budget surplus, its net foreign debt to gross domestic product is relatively low, its current account deficit is modest by European standards and, unlike in Spain, there is little evidence of a housing or credit bubble.

Perhaps Knox’s and Sollecito’s own lawyers have it right. They know their clients will be freed by an open and transparent court process in Perugia - or not at all.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/09/11 at 11:03 AM in The wider contexts


Comments

A good comment by Posodas below that Guardian article by John Foot which seems to be worth reposting here - he too objects to the unfruitful demonization of Italy which we are very much against.

****************

Can we have a discussion about the problems with Italy’s economy that go beyond racist stereotypes about Mediterraneans being lazy, unproductive etc etc. Because (a) statistically it isn’t true and (b) this line of critique has been used towards Greece and has obfuscated the true causes of this crisis.

From what I can see, European banks, mainly French and German but some British, keep increasing the interest on the loans they are giving out to these economies. The 19% interest rate on £300 billion of Greek debt is greater than the entire public sector of the country. And that’s just the interest!

I think there should be European regulation of these credit rating agencies, because it is not right that unelected bureaucrats within one these organizations can crash an economy and cause misery and hardship for millions of people.

I also think that the banks that are lending at these extortionate interest rates, and getting incredibly wealthy off the back of this crisis, should be told by the EU that they either lower their interest rate to 2% or face severe consequences.

We cannot continue like this. Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain and Portugal will all be left destitute if this continues. It is impossible for these countries to pay off their debts, and expecting them to pay off their debts AND pass austerity measures is simply trying to get blood from a stone. It is just like reparation from World War 1 to Germany, either cancel the debts or watch Europe spin into chaos.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/09/11 at 12:05 PM | #

Right now, London is burning, riots are taking place all across the UK, people are protesting in Tel Aviv, and, I am convinced, this will happen in the US as well. It’s only a matter of time.

It has nothing to do with race, or a few anti-social elements taking advantage of a shooting incident.

There is deep public anger all over the world, at right wing lies and policies that have destroyed whole economies. Power has moved from the people to non-accountable or regulated financial elements. Even President Obama had to capitulate to his Wall Street backers. If this doesn’t change we will next have a Republican President.

Yes, Berlusconi is on his way out. Sarkozy of France is next. But the changes I foresee are going to be too horrible to contemplate.

Posted by Ergon on 08/09/11 at 02:02 PM | #

The Italian political situation has been described in the past as follows:  “In England the situation is serious but not hopeless.  In Italy the situation is hopeless but not serious.”

Italy always manages to muddle along somehow.  And life there is still good for the average Italian.  They learn not to take politics as a matter of life and death, although they love to talk about it.

Italy always has had some sort of pending dire crisis since 1870 when it became a nation.  Nothing is new here.

The dynamic between Berlusconi and President Napolitano is driven by the fact that Berlusconi represent the Center-Right and Napolitano is of the Left.  Naturally partisans line up accordingly.

In any event, one could spend tons of time on a blog devoted to Italian politics, but it is probably largely irrelevant to the Knox and Sollecito appeal.

Posted by Toto on 08/09/11 at 04:03 PM | #

I live in central London near Regent’s Park, and at midnight I had gangs roaming down my street with weapons, damaging cars. They were all just kids.

I thought this link at the bbc shed some light on the mentality of at least some of them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14458424

Posted by Spencer on 08/09/11 at 04:19 PM | #

Reposted for Hopeful from the thread below where it did not show.

***********

It grieves me to see riots in England. May public order soon be restored and criminals prosecuted. I hope the underlying causes of anger can be solved, too. David Cameron and Ed Miliband both had sensible words calling for justice and peace.

Hopeful.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/09/11 at 07:44 PM | #

8/9/11
Thanks, Peter, for moving my post. I just saw Steve Moore a minute ago on Jane Velez-Mitchell. He is commenting on today’s case of another blonde woman who has gone missing in Aruba like Natalee Holloway.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/09/11 at 09:19 PM | #

Speaking of the riots in England, amen to what you say hopeful. I wanted to add, if I may, the way the police spokes people (commissioners etc) are handling the situation IMHO is only making matters worse!
1- a man is shot dead by police in some very peculiar circumstances
2- we have to remember this is not the first time a met officer has made a fatal mistake, there have been too many

In these circumstances the public are understandably angry, the kids are always more likely to be the hot heads rioting but I imagine there is a lot of anger nationwide

So why do the met insist on coming out and saying they are in control, they are well trained, they are capable etc? They are clearly not! IMO if they were to be a little honest and say that there may have been a human error, that needs investigation that the officers in question are being investigated etc would that not cool people down? As opposed to having a met commissioner pointing his finger at you like a school kid and telling your parents to keep you in? Which teenage rebel is not going to be even more adamant to get out?

I hope the riots stop tonight, it doesnt look like it though….I just hope those in charge take a bit more time to address the nation (a few of the right words could be better than thousand of police)

Posted by Giselle on 08/09/11 at 11:56 PM | #

Hi Giselle,

The rioting, the looting, the violence and the deaths of the three people protecting their homes have got nothing to do with anger. There are no excuses for this wicked behaviour and no mitigating circumstances.

Posted by The Machine on 08/10/11 at 08:54 AM | #

Nothing has come of Judge Heavey’s efforts to intervene in the Knox case except a reproof from the Judicial Conduct Commission.  Senator Maria Cantwell hasn’t been active on this lately.  Nothing has come of requests to the State Department for diplomatic intervention.

The Italians have had a good grasp on the case from the beginning when Judge Micheli kept Knox & Sollecito under arrest for trial.  Already then he was going by evidence on the knife & by Rudy Guede’s conviction.

An Italian policeman, “ISP Battistelli” refrained from breaking into Meredith’s room because he was not authorized for that, but when one of the boyfriends forced the door, he closed it at once on sight of the dead woman & forbade anyone to enter.  Right protocol & immediate care for avoiding contamination of the evidence.

Amanda would have to break from her parents as well as face up to her vile & cowardly murder of a roommate for no good reason—she has neither insight enough nor strength for this (it would take heroic strength.)  Sollecito’s is the only chance for a reduction in his sentence, as I see it, but to obtain that he would have to place himself at the scene as a participant. Small chance of that but maybe (in his family’s desperation) not entirely unthinkable.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 08/10/11 at 09:03 AM | #

Hi Hopeful and Giselle. BBC World News (seen on its own cable channel here) has had UK commentators saying that the police have been trying to play it very cool. One of the reasons is that these days every move they make can end up on YouTube.

Police could apparently read the tweets and anticipate the assembly of some of the flash mobs but they could not read the instant messaging on Blackberries. (The Blackberry company offered some sort of help but it has been a sales point that their messages cannot be hacked even for good reason.)

Interesting that what could have been three powerhouses in the UK situation - the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) and the prime minister and the media - were all sitting there on global TV less than a month ago looking weak and foolish and disempowered when the Rupert Murdoch media was under the microscope.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/10/11 at 09:58 AM | #

Good points Ernest. I sometimes wonder whether knox realises her lawyers are meant to be exclusively working for her as their client and she has the power to guide them.

But with that sort of pressure at the moment from a whole movement she is left with very little wiggle room. They have her captured in an all-or-nothing roll of the dice where the odds are astronomically against her.

My guess is she will be delusional for the rest of her life and all hope of her confronting her role in Meredith’s death is long gone. 

This post below suggested that Sollecito on the stand might be able to credibly distance himself MORE from Knox and her obvious presence at the time of the murder. Say he was foolish to have got involved soon after and really sorry.

http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/tenth_appeal_court_session_might_todays_testimony_give_sollecito_more_/

Sollecito is already somewhat distanced by a final alibi that does not match any of Knox’s and the Sollecito family pressure and Giulia Bongiorno’s frustration could help engineer that.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/10/11 at 10:18 AM | #

Thank you Peter, I was by no means referring to the police on the street, rather the commissioners and other public figures who have been addressing the youth through the media.

Machine, I do not claim that this is an excuse, I maintain that in the circumstances and given the young audience there should be more caution how these people address these rioters. The acting commissioner appearing on tv, waving his index finger at the screen and giving these out of control teenagers a lecture, followed by telling them they are competent and in control and well trained etc is not helping the situation. Again IMO if they were to identify their audience and stop alienating and threatening them (which almost never works for an out of control teen) - if only they took some more time to think about who they are addressing - they would have many of these teenagers loose interest in rebelling. Hollow threats which half of them don’t care about Is not making the situation any better. These kids are expressing their anger, justified or not - it is no excuse for their actions - but it’s their motivation. The grown ups should handle the situation not add fuel to the fire.

Posted by Giselle on 08/10/11 at 11:34 AM | #

Hi Giselle, the police force in the UK has the insurmountable task of being expected to adhere to government edicts regarding pandering to every minority (racial and otherwise), taking into account every special interest group’s needs, to speak only in the jargon of political correctness, to withhold judgement on any lifestyle choice however pernicious. They have been emasculated and stripped of their powers to maintain order. They are no longer able to reprimand youths in case they cause offence.

The same applies to schools. Gang culture, violence and misogyny has been allowed to flourish in British schools unchecked by teachers (they don’t dare) and so we shouldn’t be surprised that this has happened. Successive governments have guilty of ignoring this violence. Their response is to view it as an economic rather than cultural problem and have just thrown more money at it.

It would be far kinder to socialise and discipline our children with a firm hand early on than have to floor them with water cannon when it’s all far too late. The police have certainly made mistakes and where guns are carried mistakes will always be made. The gang member who was shot did not discharge his weapon. Maybe the police should have waited until he got shot first before killing the guy, maybe he panicked when he realized the gangster was armed.

The police have executed a number of people by mistake because they have panicked. I wish we could go back to the days when our police were the envy of the world and unarmed but such is the level of gun crime on our streets that it seems unlikely to ever happen. If unjust shootings were the reasons behind riots they why isn’t there a riot every time a gangster kills another on London’s streets? An almost daily fact of London life now.

No: apparently it only counts when it happens to one of them. I don’t think it is right to make a false analogy between the initial execution by the police and the desire for a new pair of trainers and a tv as some of the rioters have attempted to do. Sorry to rant on but here in London I think many of us are feeling helpless and angry at the sheer inevitability of the last few day’s events and very sorry for our police, firemen and ambulance services.

Posted by pensky on 08/10/11 at 11:52 AM | #

Gotcha Giselle. Great suggestions Pensky. As so very often, the way forward seems to be better systems. On the vacancy for the head of Scotland Yard, take a look at this offer.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/06/bill-bratton-interview-former-new-york-police-chief-says-he-d-lead-scotland-yard.html

If I was a London resident I would take that offer very seriously. Bill Bratton may be the smartest cop in the world. He did amazing things with the New York police and then with the Los Angeles police.

I havent ever encountered any Los Angeles police but from my occasional chats with New York police (usually when they are high on their horses around Times Square) it is obvious they have been encouraged to reach out.

We see a lot of police horses here now (there are big stables in Manhattan) and they are a calming influence for sure.

So far not a single horse seems to have been shown on BBC TV as part of the effort to contain the mobs.

In fact Liverpool seems to be the only UK city where police horses are on the increase and this looks to me like quite a mistake.

Look at what the chief of the Merseyside mounted police had to say in their favor - astonishing.

***************

http://tinyurl.com/3umz7tx

It is no secret that Merseyside’s Chief Constable, Bernard Hogan-Howe, is a keen horseman and very supportive of the section.

“It’s certainly helpful that the chief likes horses,” says Mark.

“Our bread and butter work is football matches, which obviously we have a lot of here.

“The horses are very cost- effective, as in crowd control situations they do the work of six to 12 foot officers.

“Being high up, you can see potential problems and also direct foot officers to them.

“Also, horses are huge ice-breakers, whether with individuals or in crowds.

“Research revealed the public are 10 times more likely to approach a policeman or woman on a horse than one on foot.

“Not only are we more visible, but the horses’ presence has a calming influence on crowds who like to see them there.

“I know personally that, at a match, 20 to 40 people will come up to pet the horse and talk.

“Police horses are natural labour-saving devices. No machine can match their physical and psychological functions.

“Even on civil protest websites, people are told not to harm police horses. We’re still basically a nation of animal-lovers.”

Horses are also ideal for dealing with social behaviour issues at night-time city centre patrols, or daytime patrols in parks and Liverpool’s Loopline, or the Wirral Way.

“At Cotgrave, in Nottingham, police horses entirely turned around a youth disorder problem,” says Mark.

“After horse patrols came in, instead of running off, youths gathered to meet them and talk.

“A 2006 study showed a 55% decrease in violent city centre crime with mounted patrols.”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/10/11 at 12:05 PM | #

I get many emails from my old para vets concerning the goings on in the UK. the gemeral consensus is the there is a great groundswell of anger at many aspects of government, particularly the decision to open the UK borders to muslim immigrants who seem to be on for the most part on welfare. It’s getting very bad I fear and I’m told that sooner or later the entire country is going to rise up. These riots would be a symptom of what is to come

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/10/11 at 12:16 PM | #

Hi Grahame. It is tough for muslims to make it anywhere. The entire GDP of the Arab world including Kuwait and Saudi and Dubai is only about the size of the GDP of the Netherlands.

Mosr recently I did work in Kuwait and Dubai and everyone is interested in new ways, the women especially. I love working there.

But their oil wealth is a huge headache because it pushes up their entire value equation to where no other industry makes economic sense.

Another is the traditional hierarchy with the mullahs or their equivalent moving in. Across the region there is a net capital outflow. The second biggest investor in the Rupert Murdoch empire is Saudi Prince Alwaleed.

The UK has devoted a lot of its foreign aid to moslem areas (many of which are its former colonies, such as Egypt and Pakistan) but what is REALLY needed is a growth equation that works for all of the populations.

The US has faced a similar problem to its south. Now that those economies are starting to roar while the US economy cools, many illegal immigrants are headed home again.

By the way, its pretty well established that immigrants actually work harder and consume less welfare than those already there. That “work harder” can seem a threat.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/10/11 at 12:28 PM | #

I agree with Pensky, TM, Peter, and Giselle - Watching Cameron threatening and pontificating this morning on TV made me sick to my stomach. Who was responsible for this great Sick Society we now find ourselves? Thatcher and then Blair that’s who, with total surrender to corporate interests. We need moral leadership now, not a return to growth. When will they learn there is more to life than global economics?

Posted by Spencer on 08/10/11 at 01:39 PM | #

Yes Peter you are right of course. The trouble is the UK mindset is such that any perceived threat is taken very seriously and it’s easier to blame outside influences rather than looking inwardly for solutions.

If the majority of Americans are xenphobic then it is a learned reaction from their English counterparts. I was over there for a reunion with my old Army Regiment just about three weeks ago and the frustration is just below the surface. Xenophobia might be one thing but I’m sorry to also say that race discrimination has the same British roots.

Spencer is right also. God knows where it will all end up with politicians giving in to the vocal minority within their parties (Both US and UK) in order to gain votes and consolidate their political positions.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/10/11 at 02:13 PM | #

Pensky, I completely agree with you and although the execution by the police may not be the reason behind the riots, it was the trigger or spark. I must emphasise that I by no means cheer those gangs, but then again I dont expect anything more from them.

We must remember the old man with the broom that was shot, the Brazilian at the tube station, the Evening Standard man who was hit hard enough to die etc etc. Then we must think that these are the same teenagers who will now have to pay more tuition fees and are faced with insane tax rises and ultimately not a very secure future.

I dont know who you are in society writing this (I mean this in a very objective way, just generally) but some people out there have nothing left to loose! So its not right to trivialize their anger to wanting a pair of trainers or a new tv. At the same time what they are doing is terrible and unacceptable. Again, I am not defending them - I am just shocked by how the people in charge are addressing the issue through the media!

And may I add, where are the famous Royal couple now? As young people who are so well respected and admired by their generation, I would imagine a speech from one of them would have convinced at least 20% of the young ones to stay at home…

Peter, your point about the horses is brilliant! I have seen police on horseback in London, but only very rarely. As you point out horseback police would be great in the riots which need calming….I ride partially as a sport and partially as a way to deal with depression. The sense of calm that horses create is invaluable. I would imagine people are generally less likely to attack a horse - which is an added bonus.

Grahame, your comment makes me think of what the world is coming too?! Its obvious that things are changing - the whole world seems out of control. I wonder if Nostradamus was right about WWIII in 2012, it seems like a possibility at this stage :(
I wont comment about Muslim immigrants - there is good and bad everywhere. My personal opinion is that any immigrant should become part of the country s/he moved to and this doesnt seem to happen as often as she should….

Spencer, the problem is none of these lot have ever been down in the streets, they have not a clue how hard life is for some citizens. Cameron from his Eton childhood!? Does he know his people when he “threatens and pontificates”...I think not.

Apologies for being long winded, these matters do stir me up quite a bit!

Posted by Giselle on 08/10/11 at 03:32 PM | #

Giselle please don’t apologies because, not just yours, but everyone else s input here is thoughtful and concise no matter what the subject matter.

From time to time I read some of the posts on the FOA site. One thing that stands out is the comparison of ‘True Justice for Meredith’ to anything to do with Amanda Knox. The differences are quite frankly astounding (Bruce Fisher/Steve Moore for example) when you consider the erudite and thoughtful input here as opposed to the hysteria there.

Speaking of Steve Moore I see today that he has jumped on the disappearance of Robyn Gardner in Aruba band wagon so perhaps the offer of media appearances on behalf of Amanda Knox are growing
thin.

In any event I thank you for your comments and insight into a troubling phenomena.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/10/11 at 05:54 PM | #

Pensky, we need to add this obvious dilemma to your ‘Problems facing the London police’ file.

If the police were to have used force earlier we would probably have less property damage, but they would also have hurt a lot of people (including themselves). They could have then been accused of reacting too fast and with too much force – esp. when you consider the damage being done was principally to property alone. 
Alternatively, if they held back, waited a few days, let the riot take its course, let the rioters steal everything, and eventually run out of puff – basically letting the property take all the damage and not the people,  then as we have seen, the police are still criticised, even though far less people are hurt.

Giselle, I totally agree, there seems to be such a vast gap between those in power - and the background they’ve had, and the disaffected youths on TV (and outside my door) - and the background they’ve had, that I really can’t see how one side will ever be able to communicate with the other - both look at each other with contempt.

Posted by Spencer on 08/10/11 at 06:42 PM | #

Giselle - As far as I understand them, William’s politics are entirely conservative, so any ‘connection’ would only be for show.

Posted by Spencer on 08/10/11 at 07:21 PM | #

Hi Giselle,

You wrote:

“Pensky, I completely agree with you and although the execution by the police may not be the reason behind the riots, it was the trigger or spark.”

You’re not in a position to claim that the police executed anyone. Your comments are irresponsible and possibly libellous. You should wait until the IPCC have concluded their investigation before making any comments about what happened. According to the IPCC, Mark Duggan was carrying a loaded gun when he was shot. Have you considered the possibility that the officer who shot Mark Duggan was acting in self-defence?

This video should give you a better understanding of the people who have been involved in the various acts of lawlessness of the past few days in England:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14487982

Posted by The Machine on 08/11/11 at 09:08 AM | #

Hi Machine,

This is a blog. None of us is in any position to claim anything. What we do is talk freely about our perceptions. Giselle´s comments (plural) are not irresponsible overall, in my opinion.

Posted by Helder Licht on 08/11/11 at 09:19 AM | #

Hi Helder,

Giselle doesn’t know that the police executed Mark Duggan because she wasn’t present at the time and she hasn’t read the findings of the IPCC. Giselle is a respected poster on TJMK and on the whole I agree with her comments.

Posted by The Machine on 08/11/11 at 09:32 AM | #

Hi Machine,

Thanks for the nuance, And I highly respect your efforts! grin

Posted by Helder Licht on 08/11/11 at 12:36 PM | #

Grahame, thank you for your kind words. You are spot on when you say they look upon each other with contempt. I just hope that those in charge will be the bigger person…

Spencer, yes I gather that William nor Kate will get involved, but should politics get in the way? They are public figures and their country is being burnt down - I probably dont understand the political issues enough, but it just seems a shame…

Machine, I should clarify that; 1- I do not know what happened with this particular case, however I do know that there were people out there who believed this to be the case and that was what sparked these awful riots. 2- Given the past actions of the police with other examples of executions that I provided and many other ‘mistakes’ the police have made and never truly owned up to, IMO these people have valid grounds to believe that this may have been another ‘execution’ by the police. I borrow the term from Pensky.
As for myself, I do not know - nor will the IPCC’s conclusions necessarily reflect the truth of the incident. As Helder points out this is a blog - I hope that even if you do not agree with my opinion you can see where I am coming from. We all have different experiences in life and different opinions, perhaps I have been unlucky, but my brush with the police has left a bitter taste in my mouth - I find London police to be seriously lacking in training.

Posted by Giselle on 08/11/11 at 01:09 PM | #

Hi Giselle, Machine: the police have the thankless job of being the barrier between the haves and the have nots, but they also are there for me and you.

Giselle, I do know police tend to be rougher with some groups than others.

But, even though Anarchist (non-violent) I am, I do appreciate that there should be some order in society. If some mob of thrill-seeking ASBO’s tried to invade MY home, I would prefer the American model of having a .45 and short barrel shotgun handy, just in case smile

And I note comments on Another Web Site (a pathologically pro-Amanda Knox one) about “the police and law enforcement being not too intelligent, otherwise they’d be doing another job” and all I can say is wow, the cops I know probably are more intelligent and educated about the human condition than many other groups I could name, and I have a great deal of respect for them and the job they do.

So there we have it, if we can’t respect the system of justice, how can we expect justice to be done for Meredith Kercher? I suspect the Other Side is the one that doesn’t respect law enforcement at all, which is why they’re so convinced the system in Italy is crooked.

Having said that, it IS fair comment to speculate on what happened with Mark Duggan. A gun was found on the scene. Was it Mark Duggan’s, and more importantly, did he fire it? Is it not possible that one officer accidentally shot another? I know that in situations like this the cops are afraid of the armed black man, and black men are afraid of the armed police. The first reaction, to start blazing away was more likely, and based on past episodes, that the police fired first.

But that’s individual police officers, and I still, respect them, collectively as much as I do fire fighters. We have to respect what they do.

Posted by Ergon on 08/11/11 at 04:46 PM | #

Hi Ergon

I do sincerely agree with you, yet as I mentioned my personal experience with the Met has thought me that a lot of London police are not trained properly. (I make no reference to their intelligence). When I had my brush with them I was 24, with an LLB doing an MBA - I do not fall within any of their stereo types of a trouble maker at all (I won’t go into detail because I find these stereo types offensive). So when you say police are rougher with some groups rather than others, I fail to see how a female victim of violence by an Arab man had to appear in court 5 times until the prosecution themselves said that the case files police had given them evidenced me as the victim - there had been a mistake! Well I think it had to do with the arab’s deep pockets or very shabby police work. There is so much more that I could add that shows how the police failed me, so I do not trust them. But I do respect them. They have a hard job, perhaps I was an easy target…at least I was not shot dead because I had a broom or because I had a backpack etc.

It is the Met and only the Met I have this opinion about, perhaps it’s due to spending years in London - but in new Zealand the police are excellent and I trust them with my life. As I said before it may be my personal experience and observation, it is nonetheless my opinion.

As for respect, I completely respect them - and I am very partial to the English courts who IMO are excellent! As long as you have descent representation. Since this site is somewhat devoted to justice and to Meredith, I should say, 50% of the reason I believe AK and RS are guilty and reserve doubts about RG amount of participation is because the former had very good representation - the best money can buy. There is no way they would be in jail unless they were guilty, which they are. A shadow of doubt and those lawyers would have them out in a blink of an eye.

Again, I don’t know nor speculate what happened to Mark Duggan - but it’s human to draw on experiences in order to form an opinion, based on former police mistakes I can believe this may have been another one…

Ergon, I hope I have been clear - I do respect police as a whole, yet they make too many mistakes it seems, I blame this on training, wouldn’t you?

Posted by Giselle on 08/11/11 at 10:58 PM | #

Hi, Giselle, I am sorry if anything I said may have caused you distress. When I said that people tend to treat some groups differently that was an observation but not a explanation of specificity.

I agree that police are not fully trained in human relations, and your example, sadly, is reflected in the treatment of many women who experience sexual or other forms of assault.

Poor and homeless people, blacks, indigenous populations, and the mentally challenged also are treated differently, and part of that is due to lack of training, and part a reflection of the engrained prejudices and socio/economic imbalances of society.

But in my work I have also seen the stresses police go through as well. The number of injuries they suffer as a result of attacks by drunk and drug fueled rowdies. The daily stress, the mind numbing paperwork, the alcoholism and drug use THEY take to handle with their stress.

Society is breaking down, and the answer isn’t more prisons and police. We need more community based local police, not isolated in cars and fortress like monstrosities. They also need to be seen as people too, and we are also, not perfect, nor are they.

Having said that I believe the killing of Mark Duggan was an overreaction and I do NOT believe he was ‘reaching for his gun’. I do not even know if that was his gun, but will wait for the enquiry and cabbies testimony.

Posted by Ergon on 08/12/11 at 02:56 PM | #

Ergon, not in the least. Your comment are always well received and I very much respect your point of views. Police in NZ have it down well I think. They are widely respected and within their authority they demand respect through being respectful.  I was probably spoiled there smile

You’re correct about society breaking down, it’s a sad world we live in.

Posted by Giselle on 08/12/11 at 05:49 PM | #


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