It wasn’t all fun and games for Boris yesterday, despite the patriotic St George’s Day celebrations across the city; the Mayor also wound up at a private meeting with the Metropolitan police authority in order to discuss the fallout from the G20 summit. For those of you who’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks, video footage of an unnamed policeman pushing an innocent bystander over, causing what is now believed to be a fatal case of internal bleeding, has lead to the Police Complaints Commission taking a good look at the events with an eye to severely disciplining those involved. However, Boris gave an interview before his meeting in which he stated that:
I worry that there are large sections of the media that are currently engaged in a very unbalanced orgy of cop bashing.
I think it is wrong, it is wildly overdone … everybody understands that there are serious questions to answer about what happened to some of the protesters at the G20, and particularly Ian Tomlinson, and thoughts are with his family, but you have to get it into proportion.
Now it’s beyond dispute that some members of the police force were well out of line in terms of their professional conduct and behaviour while on crowd control duty, and as such a full and frank investigation is necessary. Having said that, of course, you can’t (and shouldn’t) throw out the entire crop because of a few bad apples, and the media is indeed guilty of stirring up anti-police resentment among the masses — resentment that makes it very difficult for the hard-working bobbies out there to do the jobs they need to do. Additionally, police morale has nosedived in recent weeks, which can’t be good for anyone.
Is Boris right? Has the media unfairly tarred and feathered the whole of the police force in order to drum up sales, or was it a justified response to the tragic death of someone who wasn’t even involved in the protest? Let us know in the comments.