Circumstances in which Ian Tomlinson may have been asking for it

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 8, 2009

Category: The War on Stupid

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
9:48 am and is filed
under The War on Stupid.

“Not a lot in tomorrow’s papers. Oh well, I suppose it’ll be Jacqui Smith’s turn for a battering again…” Iain Dale (at 11pm last night)

“I hadn’t seen the video until I went to Sky last night to do the paper review.” Iain Dale (this morning)

No, he’d just read the reports and made his initial judgement (and a ‘funny’ joke or a Freudian slip of epic proportions) based on his prejudices.

Well, the damning nature of the video evidence may have dragged Iain closer to centre ground, but the doubts still continue from three of his main comment contributors, who appear to cling to some dim hope that Ian Tomlinson might have been strangling kittens moments before that policeman gave him a playful shove:

“The video clearly shows someone not co-operating with police requests to move on. Whether due to his incipient heart attack, drink or anything else, we can’t say.” – JuliaM

“You say he was ‘attempting to get home’, but the facts (i.e. the circuitous path he was taking on his way home) don’t seem to support that. You say he wasn’t abusing the police but how do you know? If a policeman is getting suspended/prosecuted for that shove I’d better turn myself in for some of the tackles I made playing football yesterday.” – PragueTory (Dominic Fisher) (more)

“The video said Ian Tomlinson was ‘attempting to get home from work’ – oh, really? So he just happened to be wearing plain clothes and accidentally found himself in front of a police cordon that was clearing the area of protestors during a mass gathering around the G20 summit? Please, don’t insult our intelligence. This was nothing more than a deliberate attempt to portray Ian as an innocent bystander when in reality he was very much part of the protest.” –
Letters from a Tory

(See also: Quaequam Blog! – Does the right really value freedom? The acid test. For the record; I’d like the freedom to walk down the road and mind my own business or attend a protest without being attacked in this way.)

UPDATE (10.20) – No word from Iain about what may or may not have been meant as a joke. He deleted my first question about it, and has ignored the second.

Meanwhile, Paul Staines is clearly in a joking mood, but not of a mind to speak about this issue specifically.

UPDATE – (11.20) – Also, do read Mr Eugenides on the above Quaequam post.


  1. cheeks says

    I find it almost beyond belief that some people are trying to spin this as if it's Mr Tomlinson's own fault.Perhaps if the police ever admit culpability for this we could ask the above commenters to put their hands in their pockets and be shoved to the ground by a copper as penance.

  2. Larry Teabag says

    Another one:"As for the 'hands in his pocket' aspect, we have the benefit of hindsight there. We know that there was nothing sinister it. To a policeman at the time, though, this could have suggested that he had a weapon."From Chas Newkey-Burden, in the comments at Harry's Place:…[mod- link fixed and quote tided. No HTML in comments here, Larry, but URLs will automatically generate a hyperlink, just as they do in an email. Sorry to be so Old School.]

  3. oyebilly says

    Hands in pockets = terrorist then.Must be more careful walking home in future.

  4. mikkimoose says

    Clearly he was asking for it because he looks a bit working class. Should have worn a suit. That's the best protection against police brutality. (Police advice to bank workers to dress down was poor for this reason.)

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