Monday 24 June 2013


The Guardian (backed by Channel 4's Dispatches - a programme which puts the BBC's clapped-out Panorama to shame) has scored yet another scoop with its explosive story of alleged police misbehaviour vis-à-vis the family and friends of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence. 

An undercover police officer has told the paper that he was part of a spying and smearing campaign against the Lawrence family and against Stephen's friend Duwayne Brooks. If true, this would be a truly extraordinary case of shameful wrongdoing by the British police which ought to take everyone's breath away. We're a democracy with a police force that's meant to be on the side of right after all.

If the Guardian's whistle-blower is truly telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth then the  Guardian reporters behind this story (Paul Lewis and Rob Evans) have vindicated British investigative journalism and deserve an award. No amount of whataboutery could possibly excuse such police behaviour. 

The story, understandably, has dominated the news headlines today - on Sky, ITV, the BBC, and many of the newspapers (the Mail and Telegraph included). They all know a scoop when they see it. I can't see how anyone could reasonably criticise any of them for making such a big deal of the story today.

Some of you may be fed up about hearing about Stephen Lawrence and his family and may ask 'whatabout?' other murder victims whose stories are covered far, far less than that of Stephen but, surely, even you must be concerned by the suggestion that the British police deliberately set out to smear a murdered teenager's family and friends. It would constitute a clear case of corruption.

Time will tell where this story leads. The Met commissioner at the time, Sir Paul Condon, is denying all knowledge of a smear campaign tonight. The current Met commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, says "If these allegations are true, it's a disgrace, and the Metropolitan Police Service will apologise. Smearing the family of a murder victim would never be acceptable to me or my officers."

Nor, hopefully, to anyone else. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.