Man Shot in London Tube

This news is just in:

Police shot a man at a London subway station on Friday, a day after the city was hit by a second wave of terror attacks in two weeks. The circumstances of the shooting were not immediately clear, nor was the man’s condition….

Passengers reported a man ? described as South Asian ? ran onto a train. Witnesses said police chased him, he tripped, then they shot him.

“They pushed him onto the floor and unloaded five shots into him. He’s dead,” witness Mark Whitby told the British Broadcasting Corp.

Whitby said it didn’t look like the man was carrying anything but said he was wearing a thick coat that looked padded.
Sourced From Associated Press

Sky is also reporting hat a mosque in the east of the capital has been surrounded by armed officers and residents told to stay indoors. The Times says it’s East London Mosque in Whitechapel and has the whole story.

This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, Terrorism and tagged by Edward Hugh. Bookmark the permalink.

About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

41 thoughts on “Man Shot in London Tube

  1. @ Carmen

    Oh yes, this would be the reason. British police don’t normally pump five straight rounds into a man they are holding on the ground.

    Hi there by the way, from one part of Spain to another (assuming Catalonia *is* a part of Spain 🙂 ). What is happening now reminds me rather of Leganes, especially the surrounding of the Mosque.

  2. BTW Carmen, I’m still pretty dead set convinced there is some (to be ascertained) European-wide connection in Al-qaeda that links Madrid and London. This sort of thing will only become clearer with time. Britain has yet to find its ‘Garzon’.

  3. The Mosque bomb seems to have been some sort of sick hoax:

    A hoax bomb threat at Whitechapel?s East London Mosque at 10.25am this morning led to the evacuation of 200 people ? half of them children ? while police sniffer dog units scoured the building for suspect packages.

  4. British officialdom tells the world they pumped five shots into a “suicide bomber”.

    British officialdom had also told us that Satan Hussein was about to nuke London and that Iraq had to be invaded to stop his dangerous regime…

    What to believe ? Could this have been an innocent man today killed by British inteligence because he knew too much ?

    Why kill an helpless unarmed man lying on the ground ?

  5. Of course, the MCB wants an explanation:

    “The Muslim Council of Britain called on police to explain why the Asian man, reported as a “suspected suicide bomber” by Sky News, was shot dead at Stockwell station in south London.”

    Hmm. Perhaps failure to stop on police orders, wearing a thick coat in summer, and RUNNING into a subway station. Oh, and this whole suicide bombing thing. Is that explanation enough? Perhaps we should defer to the obviously idiotic HerrHelmut, whose childish usage of the pejorative ‘Satan Hussein'( How about Colon Powers while were at it? ) says all you need to know about leftish Euro irrationality. Bah.

    The MCB is only echoing sentimenets amongst the wider muslim community, who in the face of overwhelming evidence that they have a deep problem in there midst, want explanations that already have an obvious answer. This is only going to get worse, methinks.

    How do you protect British citizens, when the perpetrators are of an obvious identifiable group? Is there any doubt that what the policeman did was logical and proper?

  6. Helmut, I’m beginning to think you are computer generated. Are you trying to suggest that they made up this shooting?

    Eyewitnesses describe seeing some people, subsequently admitted by British officaldom to be policemen or similar agents of the state monopoly on violence, Wrestle someone to the floor and shoot him five times.

    I’m not sure whetther or not it applies in this case and I would like events to be properly examined but if the man was a suspected suicide bomber they might well want to be sure that he didn’t set off a device or shoot people in a crowded train station. At this stage we do not know that he was either helpless or unarmed. Even Tony Blair didn’t say that they were about to nuke us. I’m sure that when they do kill people they try not to do it on train station platforms.

  7. Asking rhetorical questions without providing additional information to back up your claims doesn’t make anyone much wiser. This is one of those moral dilemmas police officers face.

    The only thing I know for certain so far is:

    1)This man was believed to be involved with the terrorist attempt yesterday. This isn’t some small time crook that robbed the local supermarket. He could be another suicide bomber and was being followed by the police.

    2)For some reason this man was wearing a thick coat, in the summer.

    3)After the police ordered him to halt he instead led, running towards a train FILLED with people.

    Reviewing point 1,2 and 3 and not forgetting you only have split seconds to act what DO you think the police officers should have done?

    Now what would you have done if you faced this moral dilemma?

  8. “Why kill an helpless unarmed man lying on the ground ?”

    Because – as independent witnesses reported on the BBC radio – the man shot had a padded coat, which could have concealed a suicide bomb.

    One witness, who by his own account was sat in the tube train close to where the man was shot “five times”, remarked that the coat seemed rather heavy for the warm weather we are having right now.

    There are several reports in the news of the shot man being challenged by the police at the entrance to the tube and making a run for it to the extent of leaping over the ticket barrier at the top of the escalator and then running for a train stood with doors open on the platform. I don’t think we should rush to judgement about this – and I’m certainly no apologist for the Blairite ascendancy or the Iraq war:

    “UNITED NATIONS, July 11 (Reuters) – Some 39,000 Iraqis have been killed as a direct result of combat or armed violence since the U.S.-led invasion, a figure considerably higher than previous estimates, a Swiss institute reported on Monday. . . ”

    As a born and bred south Londoner who lives there now, all this comes close to home and reminds me of where I came in:

    On 27 July 1944 at 1:44, a V1 flying bomb, the precursor of cruise missiles, fell at one end of the road in London where I lived then, demolishing 12 flats and 40 houses. A few months later, on 26 January 1945 at 10:45 in mid winter, a V2 ballistic rocket fell at the other end of the road, demolishing 4 houses, severely damaging 8 houses and with slight damage to c. 100 flats – according to the archive I found on the web.

    “On 13 June [1944], just over a week after the Allied landings in Normandy, the first of the flying bombs (or ‘dooblebugs’), launched from German bases in Northern France, began to explode in the London area. These were small pilotless aircraft which, when their engines cut out, crashed to the ground and produced explosions of such power that they damaged houses up to a quarter of a mile away. . . By early September the 2,350 V-1s which had fallen on London had killed 5,000 and injured 15,000 others. . . [The] rocket attacks by V2s, the first of which arrived on 8 September while the end of the V1-s was still being celebrated. . . By the end of March [1945], when the rocket launchers were withdrawn from Holland, 518 had hit London and killed 2,724 people.”
    Francis Sheppard: London – A History (OUP 1998) p.337-.

    Curiously, the parts of London worst hit by the V1s were “Croydon (where over a 1,000 houses were completely destroyed), Lewisham and Wandsworth” which includes places where I lived then and where I live now.

    As I recall it, after the V1s and V2s landed, the emergency services looked after the injured and recovered the bodies of those killed, teams came round to patch up damaged houses, people swept up and life went on. On 7 May, the war in Europe ended. We were pleased about that.

  9. @ Rupert

    “Is that explanation enough?”

    Well I may be a touchy-feely kind of guy, but on this issue I don’t have any doubt. If the lives of innocent people are at stake, and there is reasonable cause for concern, then you do what you have to do to protect people. I don’t imagine the policeman concerned felt especially good after either. Clearly, if a mistake was made this will come out later, and due legal process is important to preserve, but from the info we have now, this had to be like this.

  10. The fact of the matter is that the highest levels of the British government where involved in fraudulently inventing evidence about WMD’s in Iraq; an entire propaganda campaign was conducted at the highest levels by both the English and American governments to justify an invasion of Iraq and thereby confiscate its oil wealth.

    Recently hard evidence was brought forth about this deceipt and Tony Blair was under heavy public pressure about his lies and deceit in the illegal attack against Iraq.

    Now unarmed people wearing sweaters are getting shot on the London underground and the entire British populace is under collective paranoia and is rallying around the corrupt lying Tony Blair who has found new life with all these strange bombings in London.

    The British government cannot be trusted- they have been engaged in massive deceit before and this entire hoopla about dark skinned people with thick jackets getting hunted and culled in the London tube should be carefully analyzed before anybody believes these official announcements from the British officialdom about suicide bombers running wild around London.

  11. Disregarding your baseless assertions claimed as fact, and my strong tendency not to dignify you with a response…how could this have helped Blair? He was happy where he was going, Iraq was largely sidelined, and he’d emerged in a surprisingly strong position to push for his priorities for the G8 and EU. Forgive me for putting it so bluntly or disrespectfully, but from that standpoint 7/7 was an embarassment directed at him. It overshadowed and distracted him from the rest of the G8 summit, and he couldn’t push as forcefully for debt forgiveness and the like. And now it’s overshawdowed or pushed off the radar his agenda for making the EU more competitive and modern.

    Additionally, it’s put the focus back on Iraq with all the reports of the bombings being “inspired” by UK policy there.

    If Bush and Blair could keep so many secrets and plan so much so successfully so far out, do you think that somehow such a high profile institution as RIIA somehow was “uninfiltrated”?
    I know it must be simple and comforting for everything to seem so easily explainable by cabals and conspiracies for you. But the world is just not that simple a place.

  12. James, thank you for that.

    When confronted with conspiracy theories of such extreme order I often wander down to the kitchen and switch on the tap. If the water is still running I conclude that something at government level must be still working. I then go over to the window and check that the same buildings are there as the last time I looked, and if this is the case I walk back to my computer while practising the Rutherford test: just to make sure that I still don’t fall through the space between the atoms.

  13. On the issue of the police shooting. I agree with Ian Blair (not Tony) that any death is deeply regretable. In the worst case this man might not have been a suicide bomber, let’s imagine that just to see how we feel for a minute.

    I still think the police have little alternative. Protection of innocent life is their main responsibility, and if there is ‘reasonable doubt’ that they might be dealing with a suicide bomber then they have little alternative. That five rounds, not one, were used, may seem excessive, but if the first one killed him, the other four hardly constitute ‘excessive force’. They may indicate a release of nervous tension, which simply shows human beings are not perfect.

    I have never killed anyone, and don’t want ever so to do, but I don’t think we should make the mistake of thinking that these things are easy. The policeman may have had a wife and family, killing brutalises, anyone, they will have to live with this. They should have our sympathy and support too.

    On the more general issue, I think those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones: this ammnesty international report on France in 1994 is to the point. Especially the section SHOOTINGS AND KILLINGS BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS:

    The 11 cases of shootings and killings by law enforcement officers described below took place in the 18 months up until June 1994. Amnesty International stated, in its August 1993 letter to the Minister of the Interior (see above), that it believed that the force used had not conformed to the minimum standards of international law.

    A national outcry followed the shooting at point blank range by police of three unarmed young men in separate incidents in the pace of four days in April 1993. All three youths — Eric Simonte, Makome M’Bowole, and Rachid Ardjouni — died from their injuries. Two of them were minors. Makome M’Bowole, aged 17, was shot through the head during interrogation in a police station. After apologizing to their families, Minister of the Interior, Charles Pasqua, reminded the police that they were given arms to defend citizens, not to attack them.

    What happened in London yesterday was tragic (it is tragic to have armed police on the streets in this way, and it is always tragic to kill) but it was something very, very different.

  14. Helmut – Your cheer leading for Saddam Hussein and his Ba’athist mafia is to put it mildly – contemptible.

    The attack on Iraq wasn’t illegal at all, it followed on the heels of repeated UN resolutions calling on the tyrant to disarm. Moreover there was nothing “legal” about Hussein’s grasp on power, that would make ousting him “illegal”. He murdered his way into power and held the country by means of intercine terror. There was nothing legitimate about the reign of blood which enabled him to screw the Iraqi people.

    The extent of his weaponry has never been tabulated because a lot of it mysteriously disappeared. Even UN inspectors on the ground have reported that large amount of military hardware was moved.

    Both the Iraqi government and US/UN investigators have uncovered evidence that Russian special forces colluded with Iraqis to remove high explosive materials from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad. The Russians were involved in moving 380 tons of RDX and HMX – material used to manufacture high explosive and nuclear weapons. Other weaponry displaced is believed to have been ferried to Syria and the Bekka Valley in Lebanon.

    How dare you sir, accuse Bush and Blair of being liars while giving comfort to the psychotics and criminals of the old Ba’athist regime, who are currently slaughtering Iraqi youth and children in unprecedented numbers. I think you are mentally unbalanced and deluded, not unlike certain members of the German government.

    As for the British police taking down a clear security risk in the subway … what the hell are you complaining about? This man was observed leaving a house in Stockwell, London, that was actively under security surveillance. He was wearing a thick, padded coat in the middle of summer and refused repeated calls by the police to stop. A mere 24 hours after the near slaughter of British civilians – what in the name of God do you think the police should have done – tempted him with candies?

    Helmut, you’re simply wrong about these issues. But what is even worse than being wrong, is being ignorant – and apparently proud of it.

  15. “The attack on Iraq wasn’t illegal at all”

    That is not what these guys were saying before the Iraq war started on 20 March 2003 but what would they know?

    “We are teachers of international law. On the basis of the information publicly available, there is no justification under international law for the use of military force against Iraq. The UN charter outlaws the use of force with only two exceptions: individual or collective self-defence in response to an armed attack and action authorised by the security council as a collective response to a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. There are currently no grounds for a claim to use such force in self-defence. The doctrine of pre-emptive self-defence against an attack that might arise at some hypothetical future time has no basis in international law. Neither security council resolution 1441 nor any prior resolution authorises the proposed use of force in the present circumstances.

    “Before military action can lawfully be undertaken against Iraq, the security council must have indicated its clearly expressed assent. It has not yet done so. A vetoed resolution could provide no such assent. The prime minister’s assertion that in certain circumstances a veto becomes “unreasonable” and may be disregarded has no basis in international law. The UK has used its security council veto on 32 occasions since 1945. Any attempt to disregard these votes on the ground that they were ‘unreasonable’ would have been deplored as an unacceptable infringement of the UK’s right to exercise a veto under UN charter article 27.

    “A decision to undertake military action in Iraq without proper security council authorisation will seriously undermine the international rule of law. Of course, even with that authorisation, serious questions would remain. A lawful war is not necessarily a just, prudent or humanitarian war.”

    Prof Ulf Bernitz, Dr Nicolas Espejo-Yaksic, Agnes Hurwitz, Prof Vaughan Lowe, Dr Ben Saul, Dr Katja Ziegler
    University of Oxford
    Prof James Crawford, Dr Susan Marks, Dr Roger O’Keefe
    University of Cambridge
    Prof Christine Chinkin, Dr Gerry Simpson, Deborah Cass
    London School of Economics
    Dr Matthew Craven
    School of Oriental and African Studies
    Prof Philippe Sands, Ralph Wilde
    University College London
    Prof Pierre-Marie Dupuy
    University of Paris

    Letter to The Guardian 7 March 2003 at:,2763,909314,00.html

    “The government yesterday tried to suppress evidence that the attorney general believed war against Iraq was illegal less than two weeks before British troops joined the US-led invasion of the country. . . ”,3605,1444455,00.html

    I agreed with Mr Blair when he said in a keynote speech to the Chicago Economic Club in April 1999:

    “If we want a world ruled by law and by international co-operation then we have to support the UN as its central pillar.”

  16. BTW

    “International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal. . . ”,2763,1089158,00.html

    But then as Adolf Hitler had noted in Mein Kampf:

    “The great masses of the people … will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”

  17. The UN is a venal and corrupt caricature – please! If you want quote “experts” to help give retroactive legitimacy to the fasscist regime of that genocidal thug Hussein then have at it. You are clearly out of sync with realites on the ground.

    In Iran many progressive students and activist are BEGGING for the Americans to invade and get the despotic Islamic regime off their collective backs. Christopher Hitchens was recently in Iran for Vanity Fair and in Qom dined at the home of the grandson of the late and infamous Ayatollah Khomenei – founder of modern Iran. The grandson of the old scoundrel is quoted in the Vanity Fair article calling for an American intervention and an end to the theocratic state his grandfather founded.

    The majority of Iraqis are glad Saddam is gone and wanted rid of him.

    What the hell is wrong with you people? You quote “experts” and point to the UN – a discredited institution if ever there was one in order to bolster Saddam’s case! How many young girls have been sexually abused by UN operatives? I’ve lost count. How extensive and far reaching weas the Oil for Food scandal? How many were butchered in Rwanda? It goes on and on.

    Try listening carefully to the people on the ground who are prisoners in these dictatorial prisons. For a lot of these people freedom via American intervention is their greatest hope, but one they can only utter under fear of persecution.

    All you Saddam enthusiasts are stuck in neutral. Sometimes moving foward means attrition and sacrifice. Sorry the world can’t be some UN Disneyworld with “experts” for caretakers.

  18. @ Alex

    “All you Saddam enthusiasts are stuck in neutral”

    just one detail: Bob is no Saddam enthusiast.

    All this crazed ranting – and I think here the extremes of both right and left fuse into one appauling cacophony – will get us nowhere. If we are to defeat terrorism we need subtlety.

    You and Helmut obviously have a lot in common – especially the need to insult, and plenty to discuss, but maybe another venue would be more appropriate.

  19. Finley:Both the Iraqi government and US/UN investigators have uncovered evidence that Russian special forces colluded with Iraqis to remove high explosive materials from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad. The Russians were involved in moving 380 tons of RDX and HMX – material used to manufacture high explosive and nuclear weapons. Other weaponry displaced is believed to have been ferried to Syria and the Bekka Valley in Lebanon.

    If this evidence exists, please produce. If not, shut the f**k up. As far as I know, the only source for this absurd tale was one John A. Shaw, an US politician who said so to the Washington Times at the peak of the RDX row and election campaign. He did not give any sources, reasons, or evidence, merely his own, far from disinterested, assertion. He was later quietly sacked from the Department of Defense (or State, I’m not now sure) post-election.

    It is quite risible to suggest that 380 tonnes of material could have been shipped away from a facility presumably under continuous satellite and aerial surveillance by systems designed specifically to monitor the movement of large numbers of road vehicles, such as JSTARS, Globalhawk and the rest. If you really believe Iraq was lousy with WMDs, you also have to assume that a major mission for coalition find assets from mid-2002 on was to monitor suspect sites for force protection reasons, or accept wild logical inconsistency.

  20. A poster above observed that “This man was observed leaving a house in Stockwell, London, that was actively under security surveillance. He was wearing a thick, padded coat in the middle of summer ”

    I do not reside in London and do not know where “Stockwell” is located but if this dangerous animal was already under surveillance and was seen leaving his house in Stockwell with what looked like a padded coat to cover explosives he was probably wearing then why did the police who were camped around his house not shoot him there in the street in front of his house far away from masses of people ?

    Why wait to kill him with five bullets when he is almost sitting down on the tube train reading The Sun tabloid ?

  21. Edward: I supose british police doesn’t kill every man they think can be related with terrorism; but for me it is different that yesterday’s incidents were because of the situation, or were orders. And it was a surprise for me reading that police is following a shoot-to-kill policy, ’cause it means that the fact may happen again, and I think this kind of policy has a lot of risks; though at least I understand the situation in London is an extreme situation, an that the decisions to protect the city are a consequence of it.
    So you’re living in Spain! I hope you like this country, I love yours (I supose you’re from England).
    I’m sorry because my english is not as good as I wish, so if there are mistakes in my comment is because of it. 🙂

  22. Edward, come on … debate sometimes gets heated and if any time is THE time for heated exchanges it’s now. You can’t impose a stiff upper lip when people don’t feel that way.

    Let me add a little aside here … I find it supremely ironical in retropect that the idealism and ardor that led thousands of young socialists worldwide to go on a crusade to Spain in years past in order to overthrow a fascist tyrant, has now been replaced by a willingness to aid and abet tyrants who make Franco look like Santa Claus.

    Apparently it’s okay to leave peoples in chains and under the jackboot of fascists, as long as we can all avoid rocking the boat.

    This is one punter who will never agree with that cringing and sycophantic world view.

  23. No Alex Finley. It is not “okay to leave peoples in chains and under the jackboot of fascists, as long as we can all avoid rocking the boat.”

    But whatever the USA claims to do in Iraq, is negated by the way they have behaved there. I remember an humorous vignette published in Spain some time after the invasion of Iraq, that said that maybe we were lucky that the USA did nothing to free us from Franco. And then the worse had still not happened.


  24. From THe Guardian:
    “The number of faith hate crimes has risen fivefold in the fortnight since the London bombings, the Guardian has learned. The Metropolitan Police has recorded 800 race and faith hate crimes since the July 7 attacks.

    The number of faith hate crimes, predominantly directed at British Muslims, has passed the 200 mark. In the same fortnight last year, 30 faith hate incidents were reported by the Met.

    Nationally, the figure for hate incidents directed at Muslims has passed 1,200 as a backlash continues. ”,16132,1534518,00.html

    It seems that self-criticism is not at work here.


  25. “debate sometimes gets heated and if any time is THE time for heated exchanges it’s now”

    I think now is the time for cool heads and clear thoughts, think tanks and as many real ‘experts’ as we can get our hands on. We will crack this with science. That, I’m afraid, is the British way.

    What we won’t do is go thrashing around in the dark, inevitably doing more harm than good. Or do you still try mending a bust telly by giving it a good kick?

  26. @ Carmen,

    “And it was a surprise for me reading that police is following a shoot-to-kill policy, ’cause it means that the fact may happen again, and I think this kind of policy has a lot of risks; though at least I understand the situation in London is an extreme situation, an that the decisions to protect the city are a consequence of it.”

    I think we need to be careful with languege here. There is not a blanket shoot to kill policy. There is a policy – or the press is talking about a policy – of shooting to kill when dealing with suspected suicide bombers. I think really there is no alternative here, I don’t think you can ask a public servant to perform a flying rugby tackle on a suspected suicide, and risk getting blown up, noone can ask that of another citizen, and I don’t advise you to try apprehending someone in this way yourself to avoid the dilemna.

    That this has risks, it clearly does. And each and every time there is a case of someone being shot it will be investigated by a coroner with a jury (I was on one of these juries once in a case of someone who died in police custody). So I think there are checks and controls.

    In the end it depends whether or not you believe that Britain is a democratic society with checks and balances.

    Clearly this is not the same as the suspicion of a ‘shoot to kill’ unofficial policy in say Northern Ireland, or the Basque country etc.

    And don’t worry about your English, it’s fine.

    I supose you’re from England.

    I’m not from ‘England’, I’m from Britain. I imagine you can guess the difference :).

  27. As most people probably know by now, it has been announced that the the man shot dead in south London on Friday is not connected to attempted terror attacks in London. Obviously I think we should still reserve judgement pending the inquiry. It is still not clear that they had any real alternative, tragic as the outcome may have been. The FT reports

    The police now face inquiries into their actions that could hit morale, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the Stockwell shooting. Sir Ian Blair, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said the force was confronting what he called its ?greatest operational challenge ever?. They faced ?previously unknown threats and great danger,? he added as he appealed for ?the understanding of all communities?.

  28. So now we have confirmation- the menacing man with the “padded jacket” shot 5 times by the British was an innocent Brazilian electrician.

    I wonder what else we will find out in the coming days- maybe he was just wearing a T-Shirt and there was no “padded” jacket…

  29. The police should just release the CCTV videotape of the shooting of this Brazilian so that the world can judge wether this was an overreaction or not by the British authorities

  30. Accoding to British police the name of the innocent Brazilian shot 5 times is “Jean Charles de Menezes”.

    “Jean Charles” is not a Brazilian name- “Joao Carlos” would be more like it.

    So what’s his real name ? Is is the French “Jean Charles” or is it “Joao Carlos” and are we dealing with incompetent police who not only go about shooting innocents but then also misspell the name of the victim ?

  31. Helmut, in South America it is quite common to put foreign names to children. There too is the possibility of a French family origin.

    BTW, I don’t think that could be a misspelling, too many differences…


  32. Helmut,

    where are you on British officialdom now? Is the killing of a Brazilian electrician all part of the propaganda effort you hint at above? While this episode hardly shows Britain in a good light, it is about as inconsistent with your previous comments as it possibly could be.

    If you think that London has been gripped by mass hysteria I think you should consider how you are being influenced by the media. Why not make a visit and find out what it is like for yourself?

  33. “where are you on British officialdom now?”

    I have to go with you on this one Jack. You need to go to a very perverse version of conspiracy theory to imagine that the British police intentionally shot an unarmed – and innocent – man five times in the head in front of a large crowd of onlookers, just to convince people it was important to invade Iran. This will make strong policing less, not more, easy. So which is it, the highly efficient British secret state machine at work, or a cock-up (in my language a tragic error)?

  34. You know the beautiful thing is Britain *is* a democracy:

    Asked if the instructions were to shoot to kill if police believed a suspect was a suicide bomber, he said: “Correct. They have to be that.” “It’s still happening out there, there are still officers having to make those calls as we speak … Somebody else could be shot,” Blair added.

    “To give license to people to shoot to kill just like that, on the basis of suspicion, is very frightening,” said Azzam Tamimi of the Muslim Association of Britain.

    “They had to kill someone to show the whole population they are working and make the country safe,” Alex Pereira, Menezes’ cousin, told BBC Television. “I ask the people to ask the Metropolitan Police and (Prime Minister) Tony Blair and everybody responsible for that: ‘What kind of job are they doing?”‘

    All these statements are valid, and I understand in each case why they were made. The great thing about Britain is that they all have been, and publicised together, without the need to judge one over the other.

    Britain – the whole – is greater than the sum of its parts. Anyone who wants to understand how a modern democracy needs to function should go read Max Weber: balances and couter-balances. And if this sounds like me getting patritiotic, it isn’t, but this capacity to combine multiple perspectives within one common vision is one of the things about the UK that I really like.

  35. Here’s another example of British democracy ‘in action’:

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair has spent more than 1,800 pounds (US$3,130) of taxpayers’ money on makeup and cosmetic artists over the past six years, according to the government.In a written answer to Parliament, the government revealed Blair’s Downing Street office had spent 1,050.22 pounds (US$1,826.66) on cosmetics for the prime minister’s media appearances since 1999. In the past two years, a further 791.20 pounds (US$1,376.14) had been spent on makeup artists.

  36. Voltaire would hate R?seau Voltaire. Distrust of power is not a reason to trust anything because it annoys those in power.


  37. So: he wasn?t guilty of having wires sticking out of his jumper, he wasn?t guilty of being Muslim, he was guilty of being slightly brown.

    It?s a cock-up all right. I?d like to know why they didn?t shoot him in the legs before he ran into an underground station. Perhaps the station should have been guarded, if his entry there was the trigger for killing him rather than following him. Police training and guidelines seems not to have laid down precisely how to deal with this kind of eventuality, which is lax.

    I feel sorry for the officer concerned, but not half as sorry ? and deeply apologetic on behalf of Britain – as I feel for Mr de Menezes? family.

    Let’s hope that it won’t happen again, that there’s an analysis of how it could have been avoided, and that it doesn’t inhibit the police from taking appropriate lethal action when it really is unavoidable.

  38. “I feel sorry for the officer concerned, but not half as sorry ? and deeply apologetic on behalf of Britain – as I feel for Mr de Menezes? family.”

    I would like to endorse completely these sentiments John. Looking at the photos I feel so sad. Such a loss is irreplaceable. And another innocent young man has lost his life. Such difficult days.

    I think rather than speculating now, we should come back to this when we have the results of the inquiry.

  39. “I think rather than speculating now, we should come back to this when we have the results of the inquiry.”

    Well, never say never. I still can’t get over what happened to this poor boy. Possibly this is because I have a son of almost the same age, and any parent must feel something special.

    There is more news coming out. The Guardian have a good piece today:,16132,1535565,00.html

    I think the natural and first reaction is to defend those who are trying to defend us. But that doesn’t mean that as time passes questions won’t need to be asked.

    I am convinced now that there are sufficient grounds to justify a thorough Inquiry into the whole sequence of ‘incidents’ from July 7, if only to see what we can learn for the future.

    On poor Jean Charles de Menezes the following thoughts occur.

    1/. What training was given to the people who were conducting the stakeout? Shouldn’t they – being specialists – have been able to recognise a Latin American from a South Asian, or a North or East African, which is what they were apparently looking for? Has any Latin American at any time, anywhere been associated with Al-qaeda terrorism (this is a question, since I may have missed something, but surely there aren’t many cases, if any)?

    2/. The decision to let him get on the bus may not have been a decision, he may simply have surprised them, but having risked public life and limb once, shouldn’t they have apprehended him on alighting if there were really strong grounds for susp?cion?

    3/ What was the relation between those who identified the ‘target’ and those who ‘executed’. Obviously the second group carry the responsibility, but they can only take decisions based on prior info from the former. That something didn’t work as it should have seems to have been the case. We need to learn from this before more innocent people die.

    A piece of conjecture. Was the really suspicious thing he did to jump the barrier? Is it not common for young people in major European cities to do this for no more sinister motive than to avoid paying the fare? Certainly this is socially reprehensible (I wonder if my son, or one of Tony Blair’s sons, ever does it?) but is hardly a capital offence. Yet if he imagined he was being chased by London Transport security police he may have decided to run and see if he could get away on a train. Imagining he was avoiding a trivial fine, he may never have imagined what was to come next, and really the question of whether he understood English or not wouldn’t have been relevant.

    I think it is very important that all these kinds of points are investigated – with transparence – for we surely can understand that many UK minorities may now feel insecure simply because of the colour of their skin.

  40. “I think the position of the British and Italian troops in the South is relatively uncomplicated: you just turn it over to the elected Shia representatives, and if they chose to call Iran in to help build their strategic forces, then I think that is their call.”

    The US would be boxed in if the British leave. Can’t be done.

    ps. Haven’t they already been asked to leave

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