It’s somewhat ironic that the man who ousted Sir Ian Blair should rally to the defence of the beleaguered Metropolitan Police, but London Mayor Boris Johnson:
insisted that the public backed the police’s overall conduct in providing security at the G20 demonstrations earlier this month.
He said: “I would not necessarily accept the premise that confidence in the police has been [damaged]. On the contrary while people deplore deeply what happened to Ian Tomlinson and whilst they want to see an urgent result to the IPCC investigation, I think the overwhelming majority of people in this city and this country understand the particularly difficult situation they face when being asked to provide security in a demonstration such as the G20.”
Except most people do not agree that the Met did a good job during the G20 summit. Appreciating that the scale of their task that day is one thing, acknowledging how bad a job a significant number of them made of it is another – they’re not mutually exclusive positions. I won’t bore you with the evidence yet again, but he’s trying to reframe the argument to absolve the Met of responsibility for widespread abuse on the ground, which from the scale of it could only have been with the approval of those higher up. The fightback continues – don’t buy it.