By Dave Woodhall.
I recently commented, here, on the idiocy of a legal system which seems preoccupied with enabling the rich and famous to maintain their lifestyles without fear of recrimination. Today comes news that makes me realise hope is not completely lost after all.
PC Simon Harwood is to be charged with the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in April 2009. The case has been covered in enough detail and I don’t need to go into any more here. PC Harewood’s behaviour before, during and after the incident has been cause for much comment, and will no doubt be examined in detail during his trial.
The events leading up to Ian’s death were caught on film and the footage has been seen around the world. In contrast to the superficial nonsense of Twitter and the superinjunctions, this is the positive side of the information overload we sometimes suffer from.
Whether the full circumstances surrounding Ian Tomlinson’s death would have ever emerged in the days before widespread filming and streaming isn’t known. Neither do we have any way of knowing how the trial will be resolved. However, I do feel confident that Pc Harwood will be tried fairly.
He will neither be a scapegoat, nor will the affair be covered up. British justice, like many other things in this country, might not be the best in the world. It can in turn be farcical, oppressive and downright unfair. But in a global league table it comes a lot nearer the top than the bottom, and we should remember this in our rush to condemn the institutions that have served us well for so long.