“The Met does not spin information”

30 03 2010

At the meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority the other day the Civil Liberties Panel presented its report on the policing of last year’s G20 protests. Most at the meeting were pleased with the report and praised its contents. Dave Hill has a couple of interesting stories about the meeting, the report and the Met.

Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin, filling in for Sir Paul Stephenson, took exception to suggestions that the Met had spread of disinformation about its handling of the events during the G20 protests. “The Met does not spin information,” he declared with feeling, conceding only that “sometimes we make mistakes.”

Cynics should remind Tim Godwin about the misleading press release issued by the Met three hours after Ian Tomlinson’s death and the days of evasiveness that followed. They would surely alight too on Commander Simon O’Brien remark that “all officers performed very well” and Commander Bob Broadhurst’s that “I am happy with the way the day progressed,” both made to Jane’s Police Review.

Perhaps Deputy Commisioner Godwin would care to explain the £40 million that police forces spent on ‘PR’ (or spin to you and me) in 2008.

Perhaps deputy Commisioner Godwin should also read Climate Camp’s legal team’s report of the G20 fiasco:

Police spin is overstepping the mark.
The police briefings start before the protest making it hard for the protestors to be heard 
on the issues they actually want to protest about. Once again, in the lead up to the 
Climate Camp and the G20 protests, there was increasing concern that the police were 
talking up the potential for violence in their press briefings. Justly, there are significant
concerns about the motivation for such activity and its appropriateness. Interestingly, 
at the Climate Camp the satellite TV vans were moved on before the significant escalation 
in police violence occurred. The next day embedded camera crew entered with riot police 
during police raids of two places where G20 protesters had been sleeping (many because they had not been allowed to leave the Climate Camp until after the 
Underground closed). The police reports on Ian Tomlinson’s death are typical of the 
disingenuousness of police briefings. Police media spin is not compatible with any 
reasonable notion of institutional accountability in a democracy.

Lets not even mention the Metropolitan Police’s outrageous lies and spin over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes which the doctored photo below is ample evidence of:

Metropolitan Police Manipulation of Jean Charles de Menezes photo

When will the lies, deceit and spin end, when Deputy Commissioner Godwin, when?


Secret London

28 01 2010

Shhhh... it's a secret innit


Secret London seems to be all the rage now, so much so that its lucky we live in such a rich, diverse, myterious place densely packed with sub cultures, undergrounds, ethnic mixologists, secret societies and hidden histories, lets just hope that the supply doesn’t run out any time soon. 

One of my lastest discoveries is a whole Guardian series of interactive guides on London Knowledge, not so much hidden as obviously placed on a website. still there are some interesting themes discussed. The latest one is London locations from films. There’s also hidden architecture, punk in Notting Hill, cycling in South East London and food in Dalston. So Fashionable are ‘hidden’, ‘secret’ places like Dalston that even the Evening Standard is promoting them, using a series of photos of preposterously dressed people as evidence.

Not so secret any more


Have a sneaky peek at the Secret London website. Now if you want to go public with your love of all things secret in London you can also join the inevitable facebook group.

Green London?

9 12 2009

In the week when tens of thousands marched in London to ‘encourage’ world leaders to decide not to condem us all to environmental collapse,  poverty and death (why does anyone need encouraging about that?), I came across an article in the newly free Evening Standard, which now gets left on trains for the likes of me, about how London is one of the Greener Places on Earth, can it be so?

According to the article, research published in a new book called Green Metropolis, by David Owen says that city living is more ‘green’ than living in the countryside: 

Owen’s book is mainly about the US and New York City, but the messages of his book apply in cities elsewhere. He says that we should use the land area that is already built over in high density living rather than spreading new settlement across valuable acres of carbon-rich countryside.

The prevailing image is of cities as ecological disaster areas, covered in concrete and tarmac, full of fume belching traffic and throbbing central heating. In contrast the image of the country dweller is of people living in a virtuous Hobbit-state of woodland cottages, digging potatoes, singing folksongs and cycling everywhere. This is fantasy…

Owen claims that it is cities that are the ecological paradise. The residents of Manhattan travel in their city with 10 times the energy efficiency of average Americans. When Owen and his wife moved (briefly) to the country, they found their electricity consumption went up eight times, they had to buy a car and drove 30,000 miles a year on ordinary household trips.

Londoners are much like New Yorkers. They use space intensively and energy efficiently, they mostly occupy long-constructed buildings, sharing walls, roofs, ceilings and heating systems with others. They also share transport, street lights and entertainment. They walk, cycle or use public transport (mostly electric) to get to work or play. Londoners crowd roads, shops, restaurants, theatres, pubs. They do not heat, light and cook in isolated homes, where almost every journey requires the carbon emissions of an internal combustion engine.

CS Monitor Review