Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Old Steve Bell

There's something I thought I would never write !

However I have recently been following a lot of the cartoonists in the mainstream quality newspapers (Times, Telegraph, Guardian and Independent) and have been coming to realise the power of them as a means of expression.

The one below is simply brilliant, not to mention tragic and saddening. Good old Steve Bell- there I go again !

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Neda: A martyr for freedom (everywhere)

A natural reaction to the sad and shocking of Neda Soltani is to try and give her a purpose far bigger than she would have had if she had lived and far bigger than all of us who are currently still living.

That seems to be an attempt to bring a shred of moral justice to a situation that is so wrong, so at least those who have died young and violent deaths can be elevated above the rest of us who live on in this troubled world.

One thing that is worth noting about her death is she was not a hard core activist but a hesitant participant, little more than an observer who when getting out of a car for fresh air paid the ultimate price that can be paid in the pursuit of freedom.

There is much talk about the harm that meddling can do the cause of freedom in Iran so as someone from a country with a less than perfect past in the region I will not comment this time on the specifics of the election and the key players. At its heart, this crisis is about a people who want freedom that has been denied to them for so long. The regime seems set on retaining power by cheating, lying and ultimately by killing those who appear to pose a threat to them.

Neda was in the wrong place at the wrong time but she is only dead because of the brutality of the regime she lived under.

Without burdening her memory with a host of meanings she would never have intended, let her be remembered for a very long time as someone who paid with their life in the pursuit of freedom. She was someone not very different from most people; not a street fighter but a nervous supporter of freedom.

May she be a symbol of the price that sometimes must be paid for freedom whether in Iran or in any country of the world. Sometimes these struggles end in greater freedom as in Eastern Europe in the 1980s, but sometimes they end in further repression as in China in 1989.

Even in countries that think of themselves as free such as Britain can still experience moments of repression where the innocent get killed at the the hands of rogue elements of the state such as the victims of police brutality in London.

Neda, in her death has transcended the borders of her country and is a face recognised around the world. May she be a symbol of freedom everywhere in the same league as the man who disappeared after standing in front of a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989. More specifically may she advance the cause of freedom in her own country.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iran: Old and New media compared



33 minutes ago
Protesters beaten, tear-gassed in streets


Iranian police have used water cannon, batons, tear gas and live rounds to break up protests over the presidential election, witnesses in Tehran say.
A BBC reporter said he saw one man shot and others injured amid running fights.
Defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi repeated calls for the election to be annulled on the grounds it was rigged.
US President Barack Obama urged Iran's government "to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people", saying the "world is watching".

NEW The dreadful reality of repression that is so much more than teargas and water cannon Incredible and disturbing scenes from the streets of Iran.

Tehran Bureau Twitter Feed

Conf'd Iran Fatemiyeh Hospital Tehran: 30-40 dead as of 11pm; 200 injured. Police taking names of incoming injured. #iranelection from HootSuite

Omid07 says Basij base burned by protesters at Navab St. (South Tehran) from web

Omid007 says: Security Forces attacked Khomeini Hospital to arrest injured protesters, it is said at least 30 injured are there... from web

according to same private listserv source, "People from all around Tehran are gathering to march into the city later at night." from web

unloaded massive amounts of guns for more than 500 basijies whom had been sent there several hours earlier to confront the demonstrators. from web

Reports from Tehran, Azadi St., Sanati Sharif University indicate that more that 10 helicopters landed inside the university, from web

Fatemiyeh Hospital Tehran: 30-40 dead as of 11pm; 200 injured. Police taking names of incoming injured. from web

directly from source who spoke to someone at hospital: from web

omid007 reports at least 10 protesters shot By Basij, Bassij opened gunfire on people at Haft Hooz SQ. from web

good source: Hospital close to the scene in Tehran: 30-40 dead thus far as of 11pm and 200 injured. Police taking names of incoming injured. from web

pray for us... u can be a great help to spread the news..." end quote from web

From FB: u aren't here in iran to see what's really happening to us... they are just hitting and killing our people freely... from web

Iran Twazzup page

RT @sissyto4 SO VERY TRUE! RT @ObamaResistance : Obama has been more critical of Fox News than the Iranian govt! #tcot #Iranelection #obama

In short, the new media is proving itself far more adept at covering an unfolding story that the world should know about. It is clear dreadful events are happening on the streets of Iran tonight.

The Demonstration

Most major news outlets are still reporting that a large opposition demonstration will go ahead at 16:00 Tehran time (12.30 London).

There is an air of foreboding about this following the remarks by the Supreme Leader of Iran that:

"The candidates in the election should be very careful what they say and how they behave," he said. "If they want to break the law, they will be responsible for the bloodshed, for the riots taking place and for any form of unrest."

Having had nothing to do with Iran in my life, my interest in this is simply a recognition that a growing number of Iranians want freedom. What passes for democracy in Iran seems anything but and the irony of a state that claims to be based on pious principles is that when an election does not deliver the result it wants, it seems more than willing to fix the result.

We can only hope that the people of Iran in some way prevail against the elite forces that seek to repress them. This may be an Iranian issue to be settled in Iran but it is a cause that all those who value freedom can relate to.

Here is a link to Zahra Rahnavard's facebook page. She is the wife of the opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi. The history of this man is far from spotless but if he recognises the need for greater freedom he is probably the best hope the people of Iran have.

My hope for today is that the forces of repression do not triumph. It is something that seems far from certain. Whatever happens today it is certain that the seeds of freedom have been sowed in Iran and the internet has taken a significant part in that. What harvest is reaped remains to be seen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Of mice and men

Just for a change, a rather more light hearted look at recent events...........

Picture Credit to

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The real face of the Iranian government

Alleged film this evening of a raid by Basij miliitia on university dormitories:

Twitter's moment ?

Up until now I have always been rather sceptical about the merits of Twitter. Who wants to know what X-celebrity is thinking at this moment or that Y is currently visiting Tescos ?!

However the uprisings in Iran may turn out to be Twitter's moment. Twitter offers the opportunity to distribute information, photos and videos in the most convenient way and people can do it from mobile phones and on the move.

The Iran Unrest Twazzup Twitter page is thoroughly recommended. It includes contributions from Iran and around the world and includes constantly updating advise on which proxy servers to use to evade the censors as well as collaboration on cyber attacks on Iranian government websites.

The outcome of these events is very far for certain but it seems that Twitter is offering a tool to the man in the street in the ongoing fights against big and repressive governments everywhere.

If they are brave enough to take these videos

............ the least we can do is to circulate them

June 15th, 2009Tehran Streetsخرداد ۲۵ ۱۳۸۸تهراننیروهای بسیجی‌ با تیر اندازی به تظاهرات صلح طلبانه ۸ نفر را کشته و صد‌ها رازخمی کردند.Shootings in Tehran streets.Pro-government militia troops reportedly opened fire on a previously peaceful election protest in Tehran, killing at least 8

koshtar havali meidan azadi dar yek padegan basij

Monday, June 15, 2009


As the Iranian authorities seem to be moving to block key internet sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as jamming some satellite transmissions, I thought I would include links to a few of best blogs and internet sites related to the uprising in Iran. Very powerful collection of protest photographs Updating blog of photos and videos from Tehran Constantly updating twitter feed of information, photos and videos National Iranian American Council translation of Farsi twitter messages into English. Huffington Post - live blogging of the uprising

UPDATE: A Flickr user is compiling a record of photos of the uprising as they are received via Twitter Photos on Daylife site

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A desire for freedom

From a country where barely 30 % turned out to vote in the recent Euro elections, the scenes from Tehran are a reminder of how those without real freedom will take enormous risks to try and gain it.

The Iranian election results are to say the least dubious. I found this clip which looks like it was shot on a mobile phone. The film-maker seems very brave. It is premature to talk of another revolution but 30 years after the Iranian Revolution, it is clear a desire for freedom remains amongst a significant proportion of the Iranian people.

UPDATE: Here a brief clip from the same youtube contributor:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

UKIP's Spanish MEP

One of the main stories of last week's Euro elections that has largely been overlooked by the mainstream media is the fact the UK Independence Party (UKIP) came second in a national election for the first time.

A remarkable detail of UKIP's results is that one of the 13 UKIP MEPs is one Marta Andreasen, former Chief Accountant at the European Commission. When trying to exposure the corruption at the heart of the EU, Marta Andreason was first suspeneded (by Lord Kinnock) and subsequently sacked. The failings she exposed were incredible. With a £100 billion annual budget the EU was not even using proper accounting software but relying on Excel spreadsheets. The EU's accounts have not been signed off for 14 years giving an indication of massive problems in its accounting records. When Marta Andreasen tried to expose this, she paid with her job. Lord (Neil) Kinnock got her suspended on trumped up charges. The main issue was that European taxpayers should not find out how their money was being misused.

Those who have reservations about the EU are often accused of being "little Englanders". This is patently untrue as those who challenge the EU often have an international outlook that extends beyond the confines of European. However Nigel Farrage, the leader of UKIP, is to be congratulated for his imaginative choice of candidate. Having an Argentine-born, Spanish accountant in their ranks does UKIP no harm whatsover. Someone with Marta Andreasen's background will stand more chance than most in exposing all that is wrong at the heart of the EU.

Below Nigel Farrage, Marta Andreasen and Paul Nuttall, all newly elected UKIP MEPs address a press conference.

Flight 447

This story is not yet being covered widely. It is on Sky News but not the BBC or any of the main newspaper sites. There is a good deal of mystery about flight AF447 between Rio and Paris. In the modern world planes do not really fall out of the sky without so much as a mayday message. The authorities may not want to alarm people with talk of terrrorism but if this turns out to be true, it should be known.

In case it disappears I am copying the text from the Sky News website below:
Two passengers with names linked to Islamic terrorism were on the Air France flight which crashed with the loss of 228 lives, it has emerged.

Debris from Air France flight AF 447 has been recovered from the Atlantic

French secret servicemen established the connection while working through the list of those who boarded the doomed Airbus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 31.

Flight AF 447 crashed in the mid-Atlantic en route to Paris during a violent storm.

While it is certain there were computer malfunctions, terrorism has not been ruled out.

Soon after news of the fatal crash broke, agents working for the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), the French equivalent of MI6, were dispatched to Brazil.

It was there that they established that two names on the passenger list are also on highly-classified documents listing the names of radical Muslims considered a threat to the French Republic.

A source working for the French security services told Paris weekly L'Express that the link was "highly significant".

Agents are now trying to establish dates of birth for the two dead passengers, and family connections.

There is a possibility the name similarities are simply a "macabre coincidence", the source added, but the revelation is still being "taken very seriously".

France has received numerous threats from Islamic terrorist groups in recent months, especially since French troops were sent to fight in Afghanistan.

Security chiefs have been particularly worried about airborne suicide attacks similar to the ones on the US on September 11, 2001.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mishandling the BNP

Ever since the Euro election results were announced on Sunday evening, there has been much hand wringing by the establishment that two of the 72 MEPs came from the BNP.

While this is not a party I support, there is no doubt that they were fairly elected. As has been pointed out by many, including Daniel Hannan, the BNP are incorrectly described as a "far right" party when in actual fact most of their economic policies place them firmly on the left. They do focus a lot on immigration as an issue but taking the whole package they are broadly a left wing party.

The BNP has come along way since the early 1990s when they won their first council seat in Tower Hamlets. Then it was often associated with skin heads and rather grubby East Enders who ferried supporters around in old Transit vans. Under Nick Griffin, who studied Law and History at Cambridge University, the BNP has become a more sophisticated operation.

The establishment seems totally inept at handling them with Labour politicians last week telling people to vote Labour to prevent the BNP getting in. The government seems so out of touch that it fails to realise that such appeals by unpopular MPs will actually boost the BNP vote.

There is also a patronising snobbish view of BNP voters as uneducated "white trash". Again such views if badly expressed may actually increase BNP support. The establishment fails to realise that a BNP vote is not really an aspirant choice but a form of rebellion. The more establishment politicians criticise this, the more attractive it becomes for a certain segment of society.

Today Nick Griffin was attacked with eggs outside parliament by protestors who chanted "nazis" and "fascists" failing to recognise the irony of their actions in physically assaulting a democratically elected politician. Despite being one of the most heavily policed areas in the country, no police intervened. Contrast this to the policing of the G20 protests in April when Met Police used their battons on anything that moved.

I do not suppot the BNP but I feel that scenes like those in the clip below will only lead to them being seen as martyrs and increase their support in future. Far better to let the BNP run their course, much as similar parties have in France and elsewhere. Ultimately such parties normally run out of steam. They are beaten not by egg throwers but by reasoned argument and by their own incompentency once they get into a form of office.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Internet Radio: The future ?

Full credit should go to Iain Dale and his Labour blogger co-host Hopi Sen for an excellent radio programme covering the Euro election results last evening.

In contrast to "state media" (the Beeb and to some extent Sky) they actually proved very efficient at getting results out as quickly and in as much relevant detail as possible. Operating on a shoe string via PlayRadioUK, they managed a good mix of informative commentary, opinion, real time results and interviews with politicians and members of the public alike. Compared to the clunky BBC with Dimblebore et al lining up a group of overpaid and predictable talking heads, Iain Dale proved light footed and agile in his approach.

There were gently amateurish moments such as when Tommy Boyd (of Children's TV fame when I was a boy !), the owner of PlayRadioUK offered everyone a coffee. There was also the odd minor technical glitch.

However overall these only added to the charm of an otherwise professional operation where the knowledge of and interest in politics put the overpaid BBC to shame.

This was a real eye opener to me. I had rather dismissed the idea of internet radio programmes by individual bloggers or activists before. However I think Iain Dale's coverage goes to show that the technology now exists to effectively broadcast to people over the internet. Clearly the content has to be there and people have to want to listen. However for someone with an established following like Iain Dale, there is a great opportunity there. He seemed to attract a number of listeners from around the world from Australia to Costa Rica. It would be interesting to get some figures on listenership. Iain Dale said between 1,000 and 2,000 but I feel for an event like the Euro Elections that is probably a modest estimate. If the quality of last night's programme is repeated numbers of listeners can only rise.

Well done Iain for a wonderful show. I particularly liked the phone in by the Hamiltons !

When will Gordon go ?

Despite Labour winning barely 15% of the popular vote in the nationwide Euro elections, still Gordon Brown seems to want to cling to power.

Labour has faced its worst results since its establishment as a national party in the 1920s. The election results are a triumph for right of centre and Euro sceptic parties. Here is the inimitable Daniel Hannan calling for Gordon Brown to go in the early hours of this morning in Southampton as he resecured his seat as an MEP in the South East of England.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

UKIP's night

That seems to be the theme of the European Election results coming in so far (as at 11pm).

The Conservatives have come top which is as expected. However UKIP look as if they may come second which is extraordinary in a national poll.

Labour, as the governing party, is doing disastorously and may come fourth across the country as a whole. In Cornwall they were beaten into sixth place behind Mebyon Kernow, the Cornish nationalists !

However the most startling result is the strength of UKIP which goes to show how unpopular Britain's membership of the EU is (in its current state).

As well as a change in Prime Minister, the people of Britain seem to be sending a message that they have strong reservations about the EU.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Remembering D- Day

Today is the 65th anniversary of D-Day.

The preparations for this year's commemoration turned into something of a diplomatic shambles after it was initially planned to be a "Franco-American affair" with no offical presence from Britain or any other countries despite the fact that Britain and other countries played a significant part in D-Day. Without dwelling on the lack of historical knowledge, Prince Charles was invited at the last minute to represent Britain today so the issue can be seen as closed.

I visited some of the Normandy beaches a few years ago and struggled to imagine the possibility of landing on vast open beaches under machine gun fire. Nonetheless a near impossible task was achieved that was essential for the liberation of Europe. Without D-Day, western Europe would have faced two grim possibilities:

- continued Nazi occupation or
- eventual absorbtion into the Soviet bloc.

D-Day meant that France and western Europe enjoyed their freedom once again, a privilege that many parts of Eastern Europe had to wait over 40 years for. D-Day was only possible through the sacrifice of thousands of men who never made it off the beaches. We remember them today.

The clip below was posted by Iain Dale on his website this morning. It is the words of a gracious man who honoured the fallen of his country as well as honouring the contribution of all those nations who took part in events on D-Day. There was no "diplomatic shambles" at this D-Day commemoration, 25 years ago. It is difficult to imagine a more crafted and inclusive speech honouring all the allies who took part.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Kate Adie Returns to Tiananmen Square

If anyone has a spare hour and an interest in contemporary China, this progamme comes highly recommended.

Katie Adie reports from Beijing where 20 years ago she reported live from the massacre perpetrated by the Chinese People's Army in Tiananmen Square.

It is available on this site until 10th June.

Programme description:

Kate Adie returns to the scene of one of her most memorable assignments: reporting the massacre of hundreds of civilians in Beijing on the 3rd and 4th June, 1989. She was one of the few Western reporters out on the streets then, and witnessed the killings at close quarters. Now she has to travel undercover to meet other eyewitnesses and victims' families to hear their moving and shocking testimonies.

Broadcast on:
BBC Two, 9:00pm Wednesday 3rd June 2009
60 minutes
Available until: 9:59pm Wednesday 10th June 2009

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

God shall wipe away all tears

Despite the horror of the act of suicide and the pain it causes those left behind, it is difficult not to feel sympathy with Neil and Kazumi Puttick, the couple who flung themselves off the vast cliffs at Beachy Head with the dead body of their son Sam.

Sam had died of meningitis after spending most of his 5 year life disabled by a car crash. The website maintained by his parents is a testament to their love and a clue as to why they felt they couldn't live without him.

Although suicide is regarded as a sin and for the pain it causes, with good reason so, it is difficult to view this family as other than tragic victims. For those who believe in a forgiving God, the following words from the Book of Revelation seem quite fitting:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21: 4

Of course there are other routes that Neil and Kazumi Puttick might have taken but the path they chose leads to no other feeling than sympathy. May this family all rest in peace together.

Tiananmen Square 20 years on

Aside from the elections, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

China is reported to be shutting down hotmail, Flickr and twitter to prevent any attempt to commemerate the event.

I visited mainland China for the first time in March and have a slightly different but fundementally unchanged perspective as a result.

What I had not really understood before is that most comtemporary Chinese don't appear to want to remember Tiananmen Square. In a dreadful way, for now at least, the Chinese government has succeeded. They have convinced people that their destiny is to work hard, gain some material luxuries and the government will take care of the rest.

China is keen to present itself, as it broadly managed during the Olympics, as a modern dynamic country. When I first arrived at the airport in Shanghai in March I was presented with the sight of a vast and spotless airport. Most memorably all the immigration officers were smiling. It was slightly eerie as they smiled on taking each passport, carried out their checks (still smiling) and then handed the passport back with another smile. At the immigration counter there were 4 buttons giving the option to grade the immigration officer on a scale of "very effective" to "very ineffective". I, like I think most of my fellow travellers, gave the immigration officer the highest rating for their smile fearing the kind of trouble they would get into if they were graded lower.

I was met by a smart taxi. There was an option of a super-fast magnetic train but as corruption had meant that the terminal for this was several miles out of the the centre of Shanghai, it was not a particularly useful option.

I arrived in my hotel and went for an evening stroll hoping to see the Bund, the colonial heart of old Shanghai. The Bund was actually in the middle of redevelopment so I had a walk around scaffolding, roadworks and back down some rather quiet streets. Three times I was offered "sexy massages" from "beautiful women". The offers were made by dark suited men who scrurried in and out of the shadows. I moved away from them quickly as they tried to show me photos. I saw a man without legs sitting on a low trolley with wheels as he begged. Across the water, from what what I could see over the road works rose the now famous skyline of modern Shanghai. 100 storey buildings sprouted from what had been paddy fields 10 or 15 years ago.

In the office I visited, the local Chinese were proud of Shanghai and its development. They were welcoming to me as a foreigner but their outlook seemed a little shallow. All the talk was of careers, of new apartments and of material wealth. Maybe this is not much different to Britain but their was something pre-prepared about their conversation as if they were talking from a script. They wanted to impress with tales of wealth because they thought that is what they should want rather than necessarily actually wanting it themselves.

In a country with a young population, 20 years is a very long time. For those who know anything about Tiananmen Square, it is generally a bad memory best forgotten. Those who fell, so the thinking goes, probably deserved it or were misguided. Either way, things have moved on and people just don't talk about it.

To raise the subject is to criticise China and to criticise China is seen as insulting for a foreigner and downright dangerous for a Chinese.

Therefore I am now no longer sure how many people in China will be remembering the anniverary tomorrow. I am not sure many will even know and those that do will be keeping their heads down. Twenty years have passed but from what I have now seen as China, the years of propoganda have worked. A lot of people don't actively want freedom. They want the status quo and as long as the economy keeps growing this will not change.

Nonetheless I am certain that one day those who fell in Tiananmen Square on June 4th 1989 will be honoured in China. Their cause was noble, in search of freedom. They deserve to be honoured and maybe in another 20 years this will be possible in China too.

UKIP, the Greens, the BNP and "Others"

Tomorrow is the European elections and although in many ways they do not really matter (the government remains the same whatever) they will be real test of the country's political leanings.

These have been extraordinary times. Not only is a tired discredited government clinging onto power and almost certainly in its dying moments. but the expenses scandal has meant that Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians are all widely mistrusted.

The real contest tomorrow seems to be between UKIP, the Greens and the BNP. The traditional three parties will be aiming to hang onto as many of their supporters as possible but they all seem likely to lose some ground. The Conservatives will be doing badly if they are not the party with the most votes.

As for the three newcomers:

UKIP- an eccentric but broadly harmless party with strong reservations about the EU. Their expense claims in Brussels look far from angelic but do you begrudge them the money more than some other politician who would have done the same ? They seem likely to do well from a protest vote although they lack the structure and discipline to be a serious political force in national politics.

The Greens- Green supporters always seem a little too pleased with themselves for my liking. However for the Euro elections a vote for them may be relatively harmless. They are relatively "nice" people and as long as they don't get too much power it doesn't hurt to have a few of them as MEPs. Likely to do well amongst Waitrose shoppers and other slightly smug characters.

The BNP- less savoury but potentially a force to be reckoned with. They are far more visible than at any time I can remember. Certainly in our part of London you are just as likely to bump into a BNP stand as a Salvation Army band on a Saturday morning in the High Street. Unlikely to score as highly as the above two but may win their first MEPs. Increasingly popular with white working class voters who are fed up with the educated middle classes telling them what to think. That is not a reason to vote for them but for put upon people they do represent the ultimate two fingered response.

The overall winner is likely to be the Conservatives but the result will show they cannot take people for granted. I very much hope to see independent Conservative voices like Daniel Hannan re-elected.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The vastness of the deep blue sea

The disappearance of flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris has a peculiarly haunting feel.

Not only is there a sudden loss of 228 souls and the pain of their families who were waiting for them in various countries of the world. There is also the realisation that in 2009 when the earth often seems very small and it seems possible to see everything with a satellite; that it is still possible for a plane to simply "disappear" with no radar trace, no message and no explanation. When I fly with work or on holiday I often keep an eye on the journey maps that show the route of the flight. When crossing an ocean these are largely useless as there is simply the sea beneath. It is only over land that you can feel like you are charting the progress of the journey. The sea covers the majority of the planet and is vast. The loss of a whole airliner is a reminder of how vast.

Wreckage is now reported to have been sighted hundreds of miles off the Brazilian coast. The seas is said to be as deep as 12,000 feet in places. In such circumstances mankind remains helpless and it is a reminder that the feeling of control we have is often nothing but a veneer. The forces of nature remain vast and our lives are uncertain.

I remember those who perished over the mid-Atlantic and who now rest at the bottom of a vast sea.

Ian Tomlinson: Not (totally) forgotten

Every day as I walk to my office on route from the station, I pass by the Bank of England.

I find myself wondering what is happening about the various enquiries into the death of Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper seller beaten to the ground by the police during the G20 protests in April.

For those who remember the details, he was minding his own business and a video showed him as a rather vulnerable figure posing no threat to anyone. He was attacked from behind by the Police and died a few minutes later of unproven causes.

The whole incident and the aggressive approach of the Police that day shook my faith in an institution that I had been brought up to trust. Many investigations were promised but everything seems to have gone very quiet.

Ian Tomlinson did not come from a wealthy or well educated family and it seems that less is now being heard of the investigation than if a stockbroker or banker had been killed that day.

A quick "google" shows it is only the New York Times that has written anything about the case in the last few weeks. What a pity that the domestic media has proved so fickle and has moved onto the obsession into MPs expenses.

I feel there is little I can do personally on this but everytime I walk past the Bank of England I remember Ian Tomlinson and realise his death has not been adequately explained and he has not yet had justice.