Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Jody McIntyre Interview, and my subsequent complaint...

Watch this interview with cerebal palsy sufferer Jody McIntyre. And then you can get angry and complain too. You can make your complaint here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/

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

Friday, 10 December 2010

Poem: The Police & I

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

equals respect

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.

Fast forward.

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.

Intimidatingly confident

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,

hand-me-down anger...

Cut to:

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.”

Cut to:

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.

They're here

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

being squatted.

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.

Fade out.

Fade up.

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:


I ask him to calm down and explain

but we get nothing but the same refrain.

Just aggression and orders.

No rationale.

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.

We leave,

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,

baton raised

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

(the State)

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.

Uniforms, weapons

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 righteousness

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

Poem: Don't Go Outside


Because there's kids

all scissorheads, blade-eyes,

machete hoods

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:

squmbed, illiterate,

brains pinching violent,

they'll leave you hangtwitching down as a

blood-faced alarm.

Wake up!

They've got no topdown,

felt no crush we've mustered,

brains rusted away to the core of primeval war.


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.


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

and pray

to touch self-appointed gods

and every time you stare into the mirror

you look at the fatness,

the thin-ness,

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.


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.


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.


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


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.

Protect yourself!

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

My Anti-Slam Entry: Meaty Encounter

For those who don't know, the anti-slam is the opposite of a normal poetry slam. In the latter, the best poet wins. But the anti-slam, in a stroke of genius, awards the prizes to the weakest, shittest, most awkward, horrific poetry that night... it was so so much fun.

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

to customers.

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.

Her vagina,

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.