- Dear Sir/Madam
- I would like to register a complaint regarding Jody McIntyre interview presented by Ben Brown. Jody is the cerebral palsy sufferer who was pulled from his wheelchair by police at the student protests. Ben Brown seems to have no interest in listening to Jody McIntyre's opinion. He interrogates Jody about not making a complaint, even after he has given his sensible reasons.
- Ben Brown also, ludicrously, attempts to interrogate Jody for "rolling towards the police". Jody refutes the idea, pointing out that he could not even be physically capable of this. Brown then changes tact completely, not even registering Jody's answer, and moves on to say The Observer described him as a "cyber-radical" who wants to "build a revolutionairy movement". The implication is that, if Jody had admitted to these, then the police would be justified in their actions of pulling a man with cerebral palsy from his wheelchair. And even though Jody asks how he could possibly be a threat to any policy officer, Ben Brown completely ignores him. ]
- I put it to you that this interview had nothing to do with establishing a meaningful dialogue between the mainstream media and protesters, and everything to do with goading a disabled person who has been through a traumatic experience by interrogating him with pointless questions.
- In this sense, the questioning by Ben Brown resembled the police tactics that Jody describes to eloquently - if you goad someone enough, they'll crack and become irrational, meaning that the police/media can be justified using outrageous claims to smear the protesters. Fortunately for the protesters, Jody was courageous and articulate, and did not succumb to Ben Brown's bizarre, irrelevant and accusatory questioning.
- The BBC, in this case and throughout the entirity of the coverage, completely failed to provide "an impartial coverage of events". Jody - and all the protesters who have been victims of violence by the police who have received politically dubious coverage - deserve a full and frank apology.
- Yours sincerely Paul Case
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Friday, 10 December 2010
Mum always told me:
“Police are there to be trusted”.
Their boots on the beat
around provincial high streets
all sparkling brass that would never rust
and every bust they made
was a must and utterly correct.
So whenever I forgot my watch
I wouldn't hesitate to ask them the time.
Wouldn't think twice about stepping out of line,
wouldn't even so much as dodge a train,
take the wrong change in a club
or fill up my pint glass with a can in the toilets of a pub.
And yet I'd still get
a reddening, itching, burning guilt
every time a police car seeped past
but I figured unarticulated fear
and respect is due to those who protect.
A few years later,
hanging in one of my friend's bedrooms
killer punk tunes rebounded
with the sound of the speakers screamed:
“All coppers are bastards!”
through stolen cigarette clouds,
fitting perfectly with my out of tune fury.
Armed with only a degree
and confused ideas
I wander the streets
while others march for things
I'm still chewing things over.
It all seems so abstract -
this protesting against war in far off lands.
hands balled up into tight collective fists.
I'm drip fed edited images
of clashes with police
their faces strained with mysterious
rage and fear and pride.
I feel the tingle of skin memory
wrap around all the punk gigs:
so much sweat and so much bruising.
So much singing and so much boozing.
There was so much unity and collective purpose
that my heart untightened
and for a few hours I became a little bit less frightened
as I shouted along to someone else shouting:
“All coppers are bastards”.
But this is still all second hand,
Electrician Jean Charles De Menezes
is shot seven times in the back of the head
by the police at Stockwell tube station.
The poet Angry Sam takes a lift
from the words of Linton Kwesi Johnson
at the time:
“First they said he was running
Then they said he was not
First they said he had a backpack
Then they said he did not
They said he was a drug addict
Although he never was
And then they said someone went for a piss at the wrong time
And now nobody talks about that time anymore.”
All my grins and tears
of the past four years
are bound up in Londontown.
And the G20 are here.
They're not in Ottowa.
They're not in Beijing.
and sometimes I might fuss about the buses
or the soul draining towers
but I burningly know this is mine,
this is ours,
and I'll be damned if the powers
are going to warp our future
within our sight
without us putting up a fight.
The city centre is tense,
stretched, fragile and read to break
and I break into a run
I feel the twinge of a stitch
I frantically text my friends
but they're kettled
behind a faceless wall of helmets and shields.
I glimpse the people flickering and flitting behind it,
lost, angry and panicked,
and I can smell the piss and the sweat.
Eventually, my friends turn up.
They lift up trouser legs
and show me truncheoned bruises.
They display them with a weird kind of pride
and I stare with a weird kind of jealousy.
This is made real by red dents on the shins
and I can see now, for the first time,
what we're voting in:
something swollen and bruised
on something of natural use.
I flick through digital snapshots
that'll document this forever,
tethering it to our histories:
Frozen faces caught mid-shout.
Bandanas covering faces.
Smashed glass tinkled on the road.
Traffic lights that've ceased their civilian use
and become lookout posts.
Treasured moments of pure visceral emotion.
Blank eyes police security camera.
I look up from the camera
and I realise
we're in the middle
of one of the world's most important cities
Hippies rolling joints from split open fags,
soundsystems got on the blag pump out
earth shatteringly heavy dub.
The streets vibrate with joy and feet and bass.
We crack open cans,
feeling like nothing can touch us,
feeling like we're grinning,
feeling like we're winning
a game we don't know yet the rules of.
Then a long shadow of riot cops slowly line up
even though there's no riot
and we try to tie it
to logic but can't
and so bond hopelessly,
despairingly as the shadow creeps closer.
I get home late,
my head spinning
and find out later that someone died.
A newspaper vendor named Ian Tomlinson.
His final moments immortalised
in a looped, shaky video of a policeman
smacking him in the back of the legs
causing his last tumble.
They terminated one life short
but it could've been any of us.
Real lives are at risk here.
However, some faith still remained,
still retained by my concrete conditioning,
still occasionally reminiscing
on childhood ideologies
now slowly hazing away.
Wandering with a semi-stagger
back from the pub with a friend
we take a short cut through a council estate.
Through the dim orange orbish streetlights
cut blue lights and hear shouts
bounce off the dark edged walls around us.
We turn a corner and see the source:
two police vans
and ten white police shoving
around few black guys.
Faces to the wall,
the twist of wrists,
and the click of cuffs
and dull slams are coming from
inside one of the vans.
Now I don't want to judge why they were there:
could've been drugs, guns...
maybe just bored uniforms looking for kicks
but the force they were using -
sticks waving, chests puffed out,
challenging all on-comers -
was out of line.
We stand on the fringe and cringe,
feel the sudden violence singe our skin
and I get flashes of the movie Do The Right Thing.
We ask what's up,
and immediately we have a plainclothes officer
screaming in our faces:
“BACK OFF! BACK OFF! BACK OFF!”
I ask him to calm down and explain
but we get nothing but the same refrain.
Just aggression and orders.
I look down, slightly scared,
then glance across and to say something to my friend
but she's not there.
She's not there
because another officer
(who has at least a foot and half on her)
has shoved her down some steps
Scared, meekly, soundlessly protesting
I help her up.
We move back, still watching.
The violence continues in a flurrying strobe
of black and white and blue.
My friend edges a touch closer.
I'm about to join her...
and then I remember the hash I've got in my pocket.
I'm about to say “shall we go?”
when a bearlike policeman storms up to me,
grabs me by the scruff of the neck,
marches me round a corner,
spins me round,
and shouts in my face:
“What part of fuck off don't you understand?”
and then threatens me with arrest.
I try to mutter some calming words
but realise that he probably isn't in the mood
for an anger management session.
A policewoman comes into view
frogmarching my friend next to me.
the rage steaming our faces,
the rants choking our throats.
And it was that evening
my faith in them finally died
because I realised
for every one of em that smiles
and gives you the time
in another situation will be on a different side,
and prejudice burning their face.
For all they claim to be serve the public
it's nothing but a cheap trick
and when it comes down to it
they don't pay much attention to laws they impose.
If I thought, wrongly, someone was a terrorist
and gave chase
and emptied my chamber into their face
I'd be a murderer.
If I smashed someone in the legs
and they cracked their skull on the pavement
and if that meant they died
I'd be done for manslaughter.
For Jean Charles De Menesez, no police officer was found guilty.
For Ian Tomlinson, no police officer was found guilty.
And for my lack of faith in them?
They're all guilty.
Because if I were in a job
where my colleagues were found innocent of killing
due to their blood over-thrilling
I'd walk the whole world with a shameful stalk
making sure I couldn't be complicit
in any of their talk.
But police don't often do that.
They look after their own
in a taped-off zone.
And if you haven't had trouble with them yet:
your time is on loan.
And police can help with a lot of stuff
but when you get to the crunch
and something's a threat to their boss
you know which side they're on.
I've seen them prioritise government windows over people.
And yes, of course they're people too
with families, husbands, wives and friends.
Police are not exempt from society,
but it's not about good cops v bad cops.
and the right to use violence following orders
make anyone lose their humanity.
But we have the chance to keep ours
and feel empowered.
Individually we may cower
but collectively we can face them
with eyes of raw steel
and we can battle back.
Learn from my personal history
and the history of the people
stretching back a millenia
and with the past as a foundation
we can stand and we can fight.
Then ring your Mum,
explain why you did it
and make her proud.
Friday, 19 November 2010
DON'T GO OUTSIDE
Because there's kids
all scissorheads, blade-eyes,
and skin impervious to your reasonable begging
as they wave the pre-cutting knife
in a goodbye to your drained face.
They're behind every corner,
in every shop,
unstamped shouting on every high street.
And there's concrete abode blocks
hammering your daymares
and roughly fucking your nightmares...
They fester there:
brains pinching violent,
they'll leave you hangtwitching down as a
They've got no topdown,
felt no crush we've mustered,
brains rusted away to the core of primeval war.
DON'T GO OUTSIDE
Because metalled eyes
are tracking your every atom's shake,
controlled by the tentacles
of the bored and the sleepless.
A ceaseless, unforgiving, frigid gaze.
A coldly objective narrative
that squeezes everything you dream
into a storyline where nothing ever happens.
You're their target practice,
because a CCTV camera that fires bullets
is better known as a sniper rifle.
DON'T GO OUTSIDE
The every day bill boards,
advertising with big-titted, six-packed retinas
that laser into your very soul.
knowing all your fears and insecurities
so you drop to your knees
to touch self-appointed gods
and every time you stare into the mirror
you look at the fatness,
the pus globe spots,
the yellow tinged teeth,
the crooked nose,
the ugly, sexless future
and you fantasise about smash-fist-bloody
and wiping the tears away with the broken glass.
DON'T GO OUTSIDE
because there's black Jewish jihadist terrorists
crawling towards your lawn
with broken fingers
and a battered, jealous homeland
here to steal
everything you've worked for,
everything you love.
They'll pull their plug,
drain your taxes
then stick that plug in your daughter
and she'll fucking love it.
DON'T GO OUTSIDE
Because in the faceless warehouse in the ashen field
where all your secrets and dreams are kept from you
the hard skinned finger tips
are flicking through your file as we speak,
brushing off the dust,
a grin leering over your mug shot,
pawing at the photo of you leaving your house,
coldly debating the tests they've run on you
when those pale guys came over and
did something with your water supply
while you pick at the mysterious sores
and wonder where they came from.
DON'T GO OUTSIDE
No, not even for a little bit.
There's something muttering just outside the door.
The psychodisco lights are swirling and blinding.
The police stop you in the street,
search you all over,
legal rough brown fisting and
hand you a receipt and all it says is
'DON'T GO OUTSIDE'
written in your own handwriting.
Take the advice.
The contamination's fucking rife,
burning everything in its path:
the firestorm of everything that isn't you.
Red cross signing the plague
replaced by crosshairs.
One pull and you're quarantined forever.
Keep the lights on.
Tuck yourself in.
and sleep tight.
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Anyway, this was my entry - it got booed off after 90 seconds because the audience couldn't handle the sheer eroticism of my language. So, here it is, unedited, uncensored and bursting with raw, primal sexual energy:
I first saw her over the meat counter of Morrison's.
Our eyes met.
She was working there, working hard
sweat dripping from her brow
as she handed the long, hot meat products
She called out my ticket number:
Her voice was so hot.
The kind of hot that could melt polar ice caps
and drown all kinds of indigenous populations
living under sea level.
Yeah, that hot.
In my shopping basket, I had my hands on two melons
I won't say what they looked like,
as the erotic tension is best left up to suggestion.
She picked up a sausage that was on special offer.
and arched her gorgeous eyebrow.
“Big isn't it?” she said with hushed suggestivenessnessness.
“Yes,” I replied. “Like my cock”.
My moustache bristled with excitement,
and so did hers.
The sexual energy built and built and built,
as if Bob The Builder was put in charge
of building a brothel that was meant
to house only well fit prostitutes.
And, suddenly, she leapt over the counter
like a horny, big breasted frog,
and we kissed so hard it almost made me
swallow my bubble gum.
She pulled down my shellsuit bottoms,
got on her flamingo-like knees
and proceeded to suck on my semi-on
which grew into a three-quarters-on,
shrunk to a two-thirds on,
and gradually stabalised at a seven-eighths on.
I pulled my fleshy love dong
from between her beautiful yellowing teeth
and began pulling down her knickers from under her Morrison's uniform.
which looked almost exactly like the mouth of
a grinning toothless monkey,
was splayed in front of me
and l began to lap away
like a horse, like an ox,
like a jihadist terrorist getting it on with the first
of his 72 virgins while Allah films it.
I could tell by her moaning
that she was going to fake an orgasm pretty soon
so I stopped my jaw-aching oral technique
and slid my Dr. Nobble into her fleshy swamp.
I flipped her over and began rooting her from behind.
She was screaming bloody murder:
“That feels slightly above average!” she wailed, excitedly.
I rooted, and rooted, and rooted,
and after three and half minutes
of ecstacy I withdrew, came,
and gave a salty blast of manfat on to her uniform.
We lay back, panting, she turned towards me,
and gave me the best sexual compliment I've ever received.
“That was alright” she said.