Friday, January 28, 2011


Well. Hasn’t a proper shitstorm brewed and boiled over on the whole Secret Police (who do not exist) fucking up the cops whilst trying to screw the environmental movement. Now that’s what I call blowback. I’ll leave to one side the way that metaphors and slang for sexual activity and negative interaction are interchangeable. Isn’t getting fucked up supposed to be fun? Anyway…

One of the little details that has squished out amongst the torrent of steaming cack that has been the response of various arms of the State, most of which it seems had no idea what the others were up to, it seems, is the way the cops have maintained the line that the planned direct action to stop Ratcliffe on Soar power station emitting CO2 by shutting it down was in some way dangerous. Specifically, that it would have caused great inconvenience to the public, trashed hospitals and killed grannies and the like as the East Midlands was plunged into some kind of Gotham City style Dark Age of chaos death and violence. Or something. I exaggerate a little, but you get the idea. It’s the idea they want you to get.

I’m going to look at one of the cops involved in putting this position before you, gentle readers. Hugh Orde, ex shiniest uniform and chief sparkly cap at none other than the Police Service for Northern Ireland, who know a thing about disruption and more importantly terrorism - which is what they want you to associate the Ratcliffe action with, if you hadn't twigged. Hugh now sits as chair of ACPO, the private company that not only acts as a lobby group cum trade association for top coppers, but also sells its expertise in public control, sorry, security, to private companies. It was itself set up as a private company so it could do just this, and handily also avoid all that tedious parliamentary oversight and freedom of information law stuff that the less important parts of democracies have to put up with. This bunch of law on order privateers also, for some reason, decided to act as the operational controllers for various black ops (which don’t exist) such as using secret police (who don’t exist) it infiltrate and, it seems, have a good time in, various political organisations. All at some considerable expense. The people on the hit lists for this cabal of shadowy units with James Bond acronyms like NETCU and NPOIU included, it seems, Vince Cable, MP and Minister of the Crown, and Caroline Lucas, MP. Because they once went on a demonstration. The list is apparently very long…

Now, accuse me of overreaction if you like, but this is the kind of shit we had cruise missile based at Greenham Common to liberate Eastern Europe from, no? This is the fucking Stasi. And, yes, you are possibly sleeping with, or maybe even married to one of them. Very possibly if you are an environmentalist or actively oppose Fascism. Which I believe we once fought a war to stop, citing the evils of the Gestapo and, but you get the message. It’s blunt enough.

However. Hugh Orde. In his position as head honcho at ACPO, Hugh gets to sit on COBRA, not the bad guys from GI Joe, but the governments extra special emergency and contingency committee. Basically, the group of suits and uniforms that get to sit in a bunker and call the shots when the Shit hits the Fan. They know all about the resilience of things like the National Grid, and how it works to keep the lights on and plans for the possibility of power stations like Radcliffe going offline. It’s part of their job to. Without getting technical, the position is that if the action at Ratcliffe on Soar had gone ahead, there would have been no effect on the electricity supply to the East Midlands or for that matter anywhere else. The Judge and the Prosecution both agreed this was the case during the Ratcliffe trial. Heck, even the guy who was actually running the power station on the day said so. In court. Under oath. And I doubt that either of these three were actively seeking to win the case for the defence.

So, Hugh Orde. He must have been exposed to all this info in his position as a senior cop and ACPO chair and member of COBRA. As he was thinking of actually commenting on the case, I suppose he would have brushed up on the facts a bit. Yet, he went on the record to say that the action would have caused disruption and endangered life. This leaves us with a tough call to make. And I’ll leave you to reach your own conclusions as to which is true, and which is the more disturbing.

Is one the the nations most senior, powerful and unaccountable police officers an idiot or a liar. Or both.


I’m going I circles on a bus, looking for it’s bay in the new and spectacularly bad at it’s job bus station. It’s the in-between nameless days of Christmas and New Year, and the rotation is making it hard to type. I’m going to a party, which is not unusual. I’ve been to less this year than most, but have had the equivalent of about 4 Big Dinners, to the extent that I may even have gained a big of gut, which is very unusual. The named days were the usual itinerant selection of eating drinking and present opening for a number of very kinetic and noisy children, which is what it’s all about, after all. Ho ho ho.

It brought to mind, as these events tend to, the past. And just how much stuff we have as compared to then. No really, this isn’t just old person whinging. We, as in my folks, really do have more stuff now. And, so do we as in the wider we, in general and on average. Thing is, as I sat and watched a particularly kinetic small child pile into a heap of wrapped boxes, that whole value vs. worth vs cost equation played out in my head. I remembered all the things, many of them old and second hand, that I valued as a kid, and how they all got broken by other kids, or out grown or given away in turn. Of course, I’ve forgotten all the rubbish presents (well, I assume I have) and the ones I didn’t value. But as the wrapping trashing avatar of acquisition exposed each new present, and casually set it aside un-inspected with a cry of ‘more presents’, I did recall how we would open our presents. There was a ritual. Basically, one of us three kids would fetch a present from under the tree, and hand it to the recipient, after reading the label. This way, everyone knew what everybody had got, and from who. And, it meant we tended to eat dinner quite late. But, even when we were small, there was no uncontrolled or unsupervised orgy of paper ripping.

Not that his means that that child valued those things any less than I did mine. He’s one of my nephews, and I know he certainly does value things highly. All it means is that he, and his branch of my family, do a certain ritual in a different way. And that I quite possibly value the ritual over the actual presents.


And that I have lost a little more of my very low reserve of childlike joy and wonder.