The face of our cause isn’t my brother Charlie Gilmour, but Alfie Meadows


11:20 am - December 13th 2010

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contribution by Heathcote Ruthven

A Facebook hate group summed up a brother of mine quite well – “Charlie Gilmour is a Cnut”. Charlie is far more likely to harmlessly scream commandments at the ocean as King Canute famously did, than to maliciously offend or disrespect .

Another dear friend of mine, the humble and witty Alfie Meadows, spent three hours in brain surgery after his skull was bludgeoned in when peacefully protesting in Parliament Square. The media at large have ignored these facts – the first drunkenly, the second morbidly.

There is a fundamental inhumanity in the British media’s decision to spotlight Charlie Gilmour over Alfie Meadows.

Even David Cameron has condemned Charlie’s actions, yet not one politician has apologised for Alfie who was struck “the hugest blow he ever felt in his life” around 4pm on Thursday. He could easily have died.

Jody Mcintyre, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was twice dragged from his wheelchair trying to escape a kettle, harshly struck in the process. The cult of patriotism and the aristocracy of fame have eclipsed our values of social justice, and even our respect for human life.

It must have been scary for the families of the kettled when they saw a BBC News presenter, for the sake of his own safety, ordered out of Parliament Square by police. Thirty thousand people went to the demo, many of them were kettled, some for up to eleven hours and until 1am. All who tried to leave the kettle were beaten.

They were kept not only without food, toilets and freedom but, ironically, without any of the public services they were trying to defend: policing, health care and eventually for many of the younger protesters, education.


(picture by Max Colson – more excellent pics here)

Having spent two weeks living inside UCL occupation where people congregated, almost around the clock, in work groups such as media and outreach, activities, escalation, ‘The Techie desk’ and many others. Some spontaneous, some permanent. Twice a day at 9AM and 6PM we had general meetings with the entire group in order to to discuss the day’s agenda.

We hosted events with Johann Hari, Billy Bragg, Jon Cruddas, Razorlight and many others. As the students succeeded and worked harder, the paradigm of the broadsheets appeared more distant and stale.

Take for example the issue of violence. Most students I have met are not overly enthusiastic about preaching vandalism, though they recognise it was Millbank that escalated this movement. However morally confusing that first day of action was, it found a new way of forcing the government to seriously weigh in potential student activism as a cost of it’s policies.

Many feel the peaceful Iraq war demonstration achieved so little in such numbers because of its passive obedience.

Many will look at the poll tax riots and media’s coverage in the months following it. In the short term the press reported the movement as a simply few vandals leading a crowd too far, but years later, history has written ‘The Poll Tax Riots’ as a united and successful class war that signalled the end of Thatcher.

Maybe the same institutions are once again taking a while to catch up with what is becoming one of the most viral and dynamic movements in our recent history.

What is for sure is that however pretty and loved, it is not Charlie Gilmour’s face that the students will feel representative of them and their cause, it is the face of Alfie Meadows.

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Reader comments


“Many will look at the poll tax riots and media’s coverage in the months following it. In the short term the press reported the movement as a simply few vandals leading a crowd too far, but years later, history has written ‘The Poll Tax Riots’ as a united and successful class war that signalled the end of Thatcher.”

Actually what signalled her end was the impact of the poll tax on middle class floating voters and Tory supporters who were horrified by the increase in their tax bills. The Tories proceeded to bomb in the polls and got trounced in the Eastbourne by-election.

Please also correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t the poll tax riots dominated by middle class students? If so, hardly class war.

Heathcote Ruthven. A most excellent name.
Are you a devotee of Savile Row also?

“however pretty and loved” – hahaha

Meantime the IPCC are investigating what happened to Mr Meadows and Mr Gilmour has been arrested.

So far so good.

The poll tax was replaced by the council tax, which still exists to this day.

The student protests have already failed, so why the need for more hand-wringing?

It would be wrong to ignore poor Alfie, who has become a political pawn for the left, but equally wrong to not condemn the disgraceful actions of the Millbank Mob, the Churchill Pisser, and yes, the Cenotaph-swinging Student Grant Trustafarian Rebel Hero, Charlie Gilmour.

How about a bit of balance?

A good piece, by and large, but…

Many feel the peaceful Iraq war demonstration achieved so little in such numbers because of its passive obedience.

I doubt they’re right. The problem with Iraq is that not enough people nationwide were angry enough to threaten the government’s power. No amount of broken windows from the marchers – much as I respect them – would have changed that. If they’d stormed the Houses of Parliament and held Blair hostage, maybe…

5. the a&e charge nurse

[2] “Meantime the IPCC are investigating what happened to Mr Meadows” – which virtually guarantees that no officer will be ever be found culpable for nearly killing a young man, even though a secondary brain injury may well have been exacerbated by Police Officers denying Alfie Meadows prompt access to medical care.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/12/police-injured-protester-hospital

‘IPCC investigation’ – an oxymoron, surely?

Reporting of the student demos by the MSM harks back to their coverage likes of the Hillsborough disaster, and the miners strike – in other words pro-establishment.
The focus on Charlie and his missus in the back of the limo exemplifies this bias.

6. the a&e charge nurse

[4] “If they’d stormed the Houses of Parliament and held Blair hostage, maybe…”
I know it’s a bit late in the day but at least WikiLeaks is finally shedding light on the mountain of bullshit that was fed to the public over Iraq?

Incidentally, isn’t it today that the axe falls on local authority expenditure to the tune of 10%?

Maybe the gutsy students are the start of something much bigger?

Meantime the IPCC are investigating what happened to Mr Meadows and Mr Gilmour has been arrested.

After their performance over the deaths of Tomlinson and De Menezes I have full confidence in their abilities. Which abilities, though, you’ll have to guess yourself.

I think I am right in saying that anyone who entered Parliament Square after the barricades were torn down had diverted from the agreed route. In other words, anyone caught in the kettle shouldn’t have been there anyway.

Incidentally

Accompanied by a friend called Ruthven, he joined the main demonstration in Parliament Square.

Your name’s really Heathcote Ruthven? Nice.

I love posh “anarchists”.

I absolutely love them.

I don’t see why both Gilmour and Meadows stories cannot be representative of the student protest. I think drawing on the stories of Meadows and McIntyre rightly highlights the brutality of the police and the consequences of brute force. On the other hand Gilmour’s image is a disaffected generation who may not have as deep an attachment to British institutions. To me the Cenotaph represents the ‘glory of war,’ the inscription of ‘the glorious dead’ does not sit well with me so Gilmour swinging on the Union Jack might read differently for someone who is uncomfortable with how war and empire are commemorated in the UK – but that is an argument for another day.
Perhaps these narratives aren’t the only ones of the student movement, I was kettled too and I saw students getting beaten but they kept on protesting, every single time that police have charged at us and kettled us, students have come back to protest another day and every single student who has demonstrated (not those young people out for a fight with the police) are my images of the protest, in addition to the ones discussed in this post.

“On the other hand Gilmour’s image is a disaffected generation who may not have as deep an attachment to British institutions.”

A f8cking spoilt generation that have no idea of the sacrifice of the WW2 generation.

With Gilmour – public school and Cambridge – the perfect exemplar; Savile Row suits and all.

“Friends have claimed he may have taken the hallucinatory drug LSD during the protest.”

Acid isn’t what it used to be. (sigh).

14. Cheesy Monkey

The lesson from the mammoth 2003 antiwar protests was that polite protesting will get you nothing except the establishment of a far-left front group with a hidden agenda to sell more papers.

Notice the identikit coverage of ‘troublemakers’ ‘enjoying’ or ‘revelling’ in ‘violence’, rather than pissed off pupils and students reacting against a government of privileged wimps making ‘tough’ choices safely within the Palace of Westminster and the direct antagonism of Her Majesty’s Loyal Stormtroopers outside.

This is the equivalent of a boxing match where one participant has their hands bound together and is forced to wear clown boots, while their opponent is permitted to use any weapons of their choosing. This battle will be lost unless, sadly, you give students shotguns.

@12 Chris Carter

Do you only troll here, or is there somewhere we can go to read your more constructive opinions?

A f8cking spoilt generation that have no idea of the sacrifice of the WW2 generation.

Yeah, he’s very representative. Oh, hold on, my tailor’s calling…

The police once again brought this on themselves.

They thought lets kettle these young arrogant students into one place and hold them there for 7 hours in the cold without food, and refuse to let them leave even when they ask nicely. “That will teach um…… We are the Met, and we crack heads.”

Well if you treat people like thugs don’t be surprised that people behave like thugs. The police in their riot gear and ridding their horses into young people, because they wanted to protest the aristocratic global elite govts policies. The same govt by the way that at the drop of the hat bails out the incompetent Irish banks because the govts mates have fucked up again.

Once again the police show themselves to be nothing but an unaccountable rabble manned by thugs in helmets who no longer act as a police force but a private army for the global elites. The Mets record at beating people up and shooting innocent individuals is not that great.

Oh and to cap it off , Charlie, nice but dim, the biggest welfare scrounger in this country is all dressed up like the dogs dinner and driving so environmentally friendly in his big Rolls Royce with his tart. (Dim Charlie has not quite mastered this green business) finds it all terrifying. Never mind that his private education and wasted time at university was paid for by the tax payers.

Welfare for the global elites and their own uniformed thugs to police it. Happy days.

[deleted]

[deleted]

Hopefully the prosecution for “attempted criminal damage” will falter on the point that swining from a union flag doesn’t automatically imply attempted vandalism.

Making fun of his name cjcjc? What next? You’re going do an imitation of a posh accent too? Aren’t you the one who comes here squealing against class war? Immature twat.

Good article btw. Your brother did wrong and it was good of him to apologise. But the way the media focuses in him over Alfie Meadows makes me sick

“A f8cking spoilt generation that have no idea of the sacrifice of the WW2 generation”

Unless they are studying History.

@ 6. the a&e charge nurse. I hate to be a spoilsport but no good will come of this. It will all finish in tears, recrimination and disappointment. It will of course be someone else’s fault, never those who purposely put themselves in that position.

It might come as news to Mr Ruthven and anyone inside the student protest bubble but Charlie Gilmour is not generally “loved”, he’s now one of the most hated people in Britain.

I note that the article rightly regrets the injuries suffered by Alfie Meadows but as yet we do not know the full circumstances in which they occurred.

What we do know is that he was somehow caught up in widespread rioting in which it’s fairly safe to say that Charlie Gilmour was an enthusiastic participant and instigator. Had people like Gilmour not done what he had, Mr Meadows might never have been hit.

Let’s take a quick rundown of the things Gilmour was seen doing while not trying to “maliciously offend or disrespect”:

– swinging on a flag on the Cenotaph presumably with the intent to damage it: charged with attempted criminal damage;
– seen handling rocks while wearing latex gloves: charged with violent disorder;
– seen preparing to light a large pile of newspapers in the doorway of the Supreme Court;
– seen removing a lady’s boot from Top Shop;
– videoed exhorting the crowd in front of Parliament to break through the police lines.

When some people act like thugs on a demonstration, often other people get hurt. It’s really no more complex than that. Gilmour is a thug; Alfie Meadows got hurt. It’s not an exaggeration to say that people like Gilmour have effectively removed people like Alfie Meadows’ right to protest safely.

Hector, the reason your brother is the tabloid face of the protest is because he perfectly exemplifies the stereotype of a Student Grant-type trustafarian. You couldn’t make him up. “Forward, forward, break the lines – forward unto death” FFS.

Alfie (and I hope he recovers) just doesn’t ring the kind of mental bell that makes the front pages.

And as for Jody mcIntyre, he’s a professional protester and not a student. Is it true he was removed from the chair because the police were about to drive the protestors back, and didn’t want him knocked over ?

“Hopefully the prosecution for “attempted criminal damage” will falter on the point that swining from a union flag doesn’t automatically imply attempted vandalism.”

How about trying to set fire to the Supreme Court building? (and one or two other things)

Gilmour don’t need no education anyway.

@26 Very good, I missed that one!

Adrian –

Ah, so, because some people were acting foolishly it’s natural that another person was clobbered so hard it put him in emergency care? Indeed, because some people act foolishly it removes others’ right not to be clobbered. Now, it seems, is not the best time to start making cuts to philosophy degrees: logic and rights theory are just as relevant as ever.

Laban –

If someone’s in a wheelchair that suggests, does it not, that it’s proper for them to be moved with the – y’know – wheels. If they were so keen to charge couldn’t they have – I don’t know – given him a push?

@28 Yeah, but the brakes are so much better these days, and equality legislation means they can’t treat people differently just because they’re in wheelchairs. It’s political correctness gone mad, I tell you!

@22 – “Unless they are studying History.”

Presumably this is intentionally ironic.

Anyone who studies the subject knows that ‘The Received Version Of WWII-Era History’ is a load of old bollox. (Which is, of course, why most universities appear to largely ignore it – safer to feed it to GCSE and A Level students…)

@ BenSix,

We’re not talking about people “acting foolishly”, we’re talking about people rioting and using extreme violence. What we’re looking at isn’t folly, it’s malice.

If you don’t think that there’s any connection between the rioting and some innocent protesters getting hurt I really can’t help you.

I am concerned about the standard of comments here – if we are going to start picking on people’s name (or using someone’s real name rather than their user name – a sort of petty display of power on your part) then we are all commenting at the level of sally.

The original post is flawed – it seems to assume that protests can legitimately go where they like for example – but it is perhaps understandable, as this was apparently written by a friend of someone who was injured. As such, their viewpoint is likely to be quite strong but also not particularly balanced.

I am not in the habit of arguing with people who have experienced a fresh personal pain like this (even if they clearly have an agenda), but could I suggest that whatever your view respecting this might be an idea.

Adrian –

No, I think the two might well be connected. Responsibility, however, isn’t dichotomous: the fact that police might not have used violence were it not for the actions of some protestors doesn’t mean that (a) that violence was justified, (b) they’ve no responsibility for it or (c) the demonstrators, such as Meadows, lost their rights as citizens.

(I wasn’t poking fun at the guy’s name, by the way. Sad though I may be, I really think that it’s a good ‘un.)

@ 24. Adrian Short. That crime sheet is good enough for 25 years hard labour in my book. In some of the countries I’ve been in he would be charged with treason if found guilty. Even today in one or two countries it’s seen as offences against the people. Perhaps we’ve gone soft and need a provisional military regime for a few years ?

[deleted]

[deleted]

“That crime sheet is good enough for 25 years hard labour in my book. In some of the countries I’ve been in he would be charged with treason if found guilty.”

Yes, never mind that the global elite started a war which killed a million people, and injured many more and all the supporters are getting rich on the back of it, lets lock someone up for 25 years for swinging from a flag,

Ted the brownshirt wheels out the old brownshirt favourite of treason. If we are going to start with treason then pop along to the city of London there you will find the real traitors.

‘No, I think the two might well be connected. Responsibility, however, isn’t dichotomous: the fact that police might not have used violence were it not for the actions of some protestors doesn’t mean that (a) that violence was justified, (b) they’ve no responsibility for it or (c) the demonstrators, such as Meadows, lost their rights as citizens.’

This is exactly right. I oppose the initiation of violence but just because members on one side might have started it doesn’t mean those who retaliate are free of responsibility. Self defence is legitimate but it has to be proportionate and targeted selectively.

sally,

You do realise that just because the metropolitan police have in the past had incidents of violence does not mean everyone hit on the head was attacked unprovekedly don’t you?

It is assuming that this happened as a statement of fact, rather than saying it was likely, that is effectively appointing yourself judge and jury, which is a wonderful touch from someone who regularly accuses ‘trolls’ of arrogance. And poor fashion sense…

But to you the soundbite is queen isn’t it – something you think is funny and cutting is more important than reasoned debate and the rule of law. I do wonder whether you get your inspiration to write from a bottle sometimes, considering how often you repeat the same tired mantras. Is it worth considering that at a protest where some protesters did attack police (not many, but that is not the point here – not many protesters were attacked by police either) this might be the result of this? Or would you prefer to just blame the police and punish the lot of them for upholding the law rather than bending to your will?

I note that the article rightly regrets the injuries suffered by Alfie Meadows but as yet we do not know the full circumstances in which they occurred.

What the hell is this supposed to mean? That he ‘accidentally’ fell down and injured his head?

This is absurd – if you’re more obsessed by how hated Charlie Gilmour is, over a young man with minor brain injuries, then you need to get a sense of perspective. The British media lost it ages ago.

@ 36. sally. See posting 37 – you’re going to do well.

Sorry to disappoint, I’m no tory but I have got a hard line on law and order. I’m not that keen on today’s police either. Too many over educated “yes minister” creeps nowadays in that lot – all looking for their next promotion and pension. Personally I would only recruit ex servicemen into the police – they (most) at least have a solid grounding in self discipline.

@ Sunny,

Don’t put words in my mouth. Thank you.

I’m not in the slightest implying that Alfie Meadows might have been the victim of an accident. I was alluding to the more general situation in which he was presumably hit by the police, or as the media like to say, “hit by a police baton”.

Contrary to what BenSix seems to think I’m saying, I agree with him entirely that the existence of a riot doesn’t give carte blanche to the police to do whatever they like. Their use of force must be necessary and proportionate in the specific situation as well as the general one. And that’s what the IPCC will be looking at, not just the overall context of disorder but whether the police’s use of force in that specific time and place was defensible or gratuitous.

Oh and Sunny, I’m not the one obsessed with Charlie Gilmour. You’ve decided to give an article by his brother minimising his apparent crimes your top billing on this website. I trust that we’re allowed to discuss the merits of his case accordingly. Or should we just take his brother’s word for it?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1338187/Charlie-Gilmour-pictured-trying-set-Supreme-Court.html

“Fresh pictures have now emerged of him piling newspapers outside the Supreme Court and attempting to set fire to them with a lighter.

“Gilmour was also pictured clutching a rock for use as potential ammunition against the police and allegedly boasted of ‘taking so many batons’ during the violent clashes.

“Unlike impoverished students campaigning peacefully against the fees rise, Gilmour is unlikely to face money troubles since his adoptive father is estimated to be worth £78million. Yesterday Mr Gilmour said he had ‘no comment’ about the behaviour of his son.

Mr Gilmour attended £9,000-a-term Lancing College in West Sussex.”

Like it or not, sally/Sunny, Charlie Gilmour is now the face of the student movement.

ah..the daily mail. Journal of record.

I’m sorry if I misunderstood you, Adrian, but if you think that perhaps you’d agree that – contra your post at 24 – it “really [is] more complex” than “Gilmour is a thug; Alfie Meadows got hurt“.

Watchman did you have any friends at the protest? How do you know notmany were hit? Ould the right wing media tell us the fair truth? Because that is what they do?

You seem intelligent but your right wingness blocks your ability to put a fair argument across when your ideology is been taken apart.

On some posts you’ve been objective as well as showing some evidence based facts to prove your argument but here, in a situation that is so obvious and not that original-protests have been happening for decades-you claim that the police are the victims, they are not usually violent nor do any wrong and well who knows really?

Really? I guess it’s all selective isn’t it? We understand what we want to understand and argue our own agenda’s. Fun times indeed. I wonder if you found wikileaks to be a lefty anarchists govt plot and your beloved govt here or across the pond would never really say those things?

Anyway, Sally, keep on doing what you’re doing because it’s spot on and so true it’s depressing.

But t’is is all getting far too predictable and until these guys work mores strategically-start their own lobby organisations, build up membership orgs that work as think tanks-then this will all be for egotistical glory and narcissistic ideology.

And who does that really help but the history writers?

Watchman “I am concerned about the standard of comments here ”

Watchman “The original post is flawed –”

Talk about kettle and pot. Who elected you to decide what posts are flawed?

We know from your other drivel that you will defend the tory police through thick and thin. It is because of peole like you that the police get away with it over and over again, so spare us the concerned troll routine.

Sunny “What the hell is this supposed to mean? That he ‘accidentally’ fell down and injured his head?”

Which is what I was saying but you removed my post on this troll.

The troll sites the Daily Mail…… Priceless.

The Mail only gets worked up about the police if a tory front bencher gets held without trial.

50. James from Durham

@42

Is this meant to be ironic? I mean, after the reports of torture and shooting of civilians etc in Iraq…

“Like it or not, sally/Sunny, Charlie Gilmour is now the face of the student movement.”

Well in your pea sized brain maybe, but that does not really amount to anything.

That’s it then, peaceful and noisy demonstration is fine, illegal behaviour deserves a public flogging by anyone who happens to be available. NB No investigations need follow as this only wastes public money.

“Personally I would only recruit ex servicemen into the police – they (most) at least have a solid grounding in self discipline.”

Oh yes ex squadies roaming the streets, trained to kill. What could go wrong?

@ 53

So what is the intent of these lunatics who attack innocent and less able people ?

@ BenSix,

At 24 I said,

“When some people act like thugs on a demonstration, often other people get hurt. It’s really no more complex than that.”

It seems fair comment to me.

Contrary to Sunny et al, it’s not about whether Gilmour or Mr Meadows is the “true” face of the protest. Each of them encapsulates a truth: That some people went up to riot and others went to protest peacefully and got hurt. To lament the latter without condemning the former seems to be wilfully hypocritical.

So having abandoned the “dichotomy of responsibility”, let’s reassert the rule of law: People have a right to protest and a responsibility to abide by the law. The police have the right to use force lawfully within their responsibility to prevent crime and keep the peace. There’s no shortage of scrutiny here on the police’s tactics and behaviour, and rightly so, but there needs to be similar scrutiny of the students too.

But it is more complex than that, because it omits the question of whether the hurt was avoidable.

@ BenSix,

It depends whether you’re taking the general or specific case.

In the specific case of Alfie Meadows, we don’t know. Regardless of what the IPCC find, people will probably have to make their own judgements on that.

In the general case, when riots occur on demonstrations, innocent people tend to get hurt. The only way I can see this not happening is if the police are either prohibited from using force and does not do so or if every single officer in every single case uses force lawfully.

I think you and I know that neither of those things are likely.

55. Adrian Short

With the exception of a few, you will rarely find social responsibility amongst students, Most are just spoilt middle class brats who are aspiring to be something they never will – they make the best candidates for a career in politics, religion or yogurt weaving.

Proper students rarely have time for this nonsense. They’re too busy studying and doing part time work. Conclusion, far too many people being sent into higher education. More need to be pushed out into the real world to earn a living first.

I don’t see why you defend this cosseted little moron, this posh boy that’s used ordinary people’s real anger as an excuse to run riot in the town centre. He’s given conservative middle England some of the ammo it’s required to dismiss your cause. He’s set you back. If Meadows isn’t getting the media attention that he deserves, then your ‘brother’ and the other vandals are as much to blame as the media for this situation. GOOD JOB.

Oh and Sunny, I’m not the one obsessed with Charlie Gilmour. You’ve decided to give an article by his brother minimising his apparent crimes your top billing on this website. I trust that we’re allowed to discuss the merits of his case accordingly.

Obsessed? I think you’re the one obsessed with trying to minimise the effects of police brutality and their attempts to ‘control’ the crowd.

The article doesn’t excuse what CG did – he has already apologised. The point is here is about why some people, especially the media, are more obsessed by one man’s actions than they are of another man’s grave injuries.

If that were a policeman in hospital with brain damage – I suspect people like yourself and dmob wouldn’t have quite the same blase attitude.

@ Sunny

Police were injured – 10 hospitalised with 6 serious injuries.

62. the a&e charge nurse

[41] sorry to be pedantic but 3 hours of neurosurgery in no way constitutes a ‘minor’ brain injury – there may well be residual neuro-deficits as a result of such a significant cerebral bleed – otherwise I agree entirely with your comment.

@ Sunny,

Charlie Gilmour’s apology has been noted, albeit one that didn’t cover 95% of the mayhem he caused on Friday.

If the police officer that hit Alfie Meadows apologises too can we call it quits?

I’m looking at the situation in the round. You’re getting into ever more ludicrous contortions trying to defend “your” thugs and condemn “their” thugs.

The antidote to right-wing media bollocks isn’t left-wing media bollocks.

Having been on the sharp end of a fair bit of police violence myself it’s ultimately been down to people like Charlie “so sorry” Gilmour and media apologists like you who can’t see the connection between one group starting a fire and another getting caught in the flames. It’s only due to the principled stand of some demonstrators on Friday against Gilmour that this is just a metaphor. Shame on you for giving him moral cover for it.

64. the a&e charge nurse

[63] there is a bigger issue.

Lets begin by agreeing that the personal qualities of CG are irrelevant?
Who he is as a person says nothing about the thousands of other student protesters, and certainly nothing about the bigger issue driving this conflict (vandalism of our higher education system).

CG is simply being used as a cypher to portray students in a certain light – i.e. an unruly mob of over privilged toffs throwing their toys out of the pram, even though Mummy & Daddy have deep enough pockets to cover a three fold increase in fees.
Anyway, why bump the fees up a mere three-fold since it is only a ‘loan’ (compound interest anyone?) surely there is scope for much higher charges, but I digress.

Meanwhile a young man is rushed to have life saving neurosurgery, yet even though this injury was inflicted by a police baton, the cops still do their best to deny somebody with very serious injuries immediate medical attention (thank goodness for the assertive ambulance crew member and A&E sister who took AM to resus).

Now imagine if poor old Charlie, or princess C-P-B suffered a similar injury and was barred from the nearest receiving hospital – can you imagine the furore THAT would have caused? (yes I know Charlie swears by homeopathy, but that is a separate matter).

The British MSM has form when it comes to reporting civil disobedience – I suspect it will near impossible for most of them to portray this dispute in a balanced way, exactly as the OP suggests?

“I suspect it will near impossible for most of them to portray this dispute in a balanced way, exactly as the OP suggests?”

So a spoiled brat swings from the Cenotaph, tries to light a fire outside a government building, ie screams “hey everybody, look at MEEEEEE!!!” at the top of his voice.

Then his brother criticises the press for, erm, doing exactky that.

Priceless.

@65 – [From link:] “The officer, who is now recovering at home in Dartford, has been visited in hospital by Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson to congratulate him for his bravery.”

Clearly there was violence on both sides.

However, whilst protesters practice ‘thuggery’, the police only demonstrate “bravery”. It is obviously unacceptable to react when you’re being clobbered with a baton. Injured students are almost denied emergency treatment (@64), whilst police officers are visited in hospital by the commissioner…

And the media coverage?

Fucking joke.

67. the a&e charge nurse

[66] talk about missing the point – a young man has one of these
http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/figures/1472-6815-5-2-3-l.jpg

Yet the press get their knickers in a twist over the son of an aging psychedelic guitarist for acting like a prat – a prat who has not physically harmed anybody.

Now do the MSM run with the story of a young protester who has been badly injured or press the outrage buttons because Chaz + CPB are peripherally involved.
If you seriously think members of our press give a toss about the significance of the cenotaph then I fear you may be deluding yourself.

In fact the only authentic media report I have come across concerning the cenotaph is this one;
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-%26-entertainment/dave-gilmour-to-write-48%11hour-long-rock-opera-about-cenotaphs-201012133342/

@ the a&e charge nurse [64]

Gilmour is obviously unrepresentative of students in general given that his father has tens of millions stashed away. But he’s a good a symbol as any of the significant number of people who caused mayhem on Friday. Rich or poor, he’s a student who thought that violence was the best way to grab the headlines. And in that, of course, he was exactly right.

As cjcjc says, if Gilmour had a slightly deeper insight into the way the world works he’d have gone out of his way to support the cause without drawing attention to himself. As it was he got the demo onto the front pages but not, we presume, in the way he’d like.

The media chases the exceptional rather than the ordinary. That’s the nature of the business. When the son of a massively-wealthy rock star outrages at least half the country by swinging off the Cenotaph you can hardly be surprised when it bumps a serious injury to an “ordinary” person off the front pages. It’s notable though that the Cenotaph incident was getting huge coverage even before the culprit’s identity and other activities was known.

Likewise we hear those on lamenting that the Charles and Camilla incident usurped the demo’s coverage. What on earth do you expect? Were they surprised when Diana’s death got more coverage than all the other road fatalities that day?

As for this particular article, if you want to have a serious discussion about media values the best thing to do isn’t to commission the brother of the current media hate figure to write the piece and start it with the most mealy-mouthed character defence possible. You might as well ask Ian Huntley’s mother to write about prison reform. He obviously doesn’t realise it but Sunny is guilty of exactly the same thing he deplores in other publications–putting celebrity before the issues.

“You might as well ask Ian Huntley’s mother to write about prison reform. ”

How many people did Gilmore kill , troll? You defend the police thuggery, (quite common on here for right wing trolls) and you think swinging from a piece of cloth is the same as a mass murderer.

“The media chases the exceptional rather than the ordinary”

No the media chases what bestt fits with the bullshit they are selling.
You just spout MSM media talking points so your not really in the position to be taken seriously about the media.

@ sally,

My point was about the suitability of particular authors for certain topics, not to suggest any kind of equivalence between the apparent crimes of Gilmour and those of Huntley.

But then I think you know that already.

No I don’t know that.

“As for this particular article, if you want to have a serious discussion about media values the best thing to do isn’t to commission the brother of the current media hate figure to write the piece and start it with the most mealy-mouthed character defence possible. You might as well ask Ian Huntley’s mother to write about prison reform.”

Seems pretty clear to me that you equate Gilmore with Huntly.

If I were to equate Gilmour with Huntley I’d say something like:

“What Gilmour has done is just as bad as Ian Huntley.”

I trust that this clears up your confusion.

I am not confused, I have just called you on your idiocy of comparing Gilmour to a mass Murderer.

Which is exactly what the MSM and you would like you us to think.

@ sally,

I have made my position perfectly clear. I will not restate it. Accept it or not.

Adrian Short: If the police officer that hit Alfie Meadows apologises too can we call it quits?

If he did? So now you’re accusing his mum of lying too?

And no, I’m sorry we can’t call it quits. There are videos of police hitting women unprovoked, dragging out paralysed people from their wheelchairs, charging on horses and much more.

You want to know the true face of policing at protests? Read this:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/sheffield/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9276000/9276699.stm

You’re just sanctimoniously passing judgement via mainstream media coverage and then accusing us of ‘left-wing bollocks’, without looking at people’s experiences. I bet you’ve never been kettled or a demo or been hit by the police unprovoked, and then found how difficult it is to get any justice.

I am not confused, I have just called you on your idiocy of comparing Gilmour to a mass Murderer.

Hello??? The Division Bell, remember?

Sunny,

And no, I’m sorry we can’t call it quits. There are videos of police hitting women unprovoked, dragging out paralysed people from their wheelchairs, charging on horses and much more.

Please switch off the hyperbole. You can make your point without extrapolating from single events into the plural.

#12:

“A f8cking spoilt generation that have no idea of the sacrifice of the WW2 generation.”

Yes, I’m sure that my two uncles who spent years in Japanese PoW camps really were fighting for the right of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be fscked over by the same type of land-banking parasites and mercantile spivs who did for their prospects in the thirties, eh?

The fake outrage of the right works better than any proprietory emetic. Like with the Churchill statue business; if he’d ever gone to the Rhondda, they’d have done a bit more than piss on him – although they might have had to set him on fire first.

And as for poor Mrs Parker-Knoll being poked with a stick; well, it’d be the only thing I’d ever want to poke the ould hoor with.

@ Sunny,

I’m sure that if you read more carefully you’ll see that I’m not accusing anyone of lying.

And my question was a rhetorical one to which the obvious answer is “no”.

The “left-wing bollocks” is nothing to do with anyone’s “experiences”, which I don’t dispute. It’s to do with you conveniently ignoring the rule of law when it doesn’t suit your agenda. It’s precisely because I’ve been on the end of police violence stirred up by the likes of Gilmour at otherwise peaceful demonstrations that I take such a dim view of you giving him cover here.

Three demonstrations–three riots–and all you can do is add a few more storeys to your monument to whataboutery. When did “liberal” become synonymous with a complete lack of self-awareness and introspection?

I suppose one way of looking at it is that if you spend a little bit more time fanning the flames you might have a real dead protester to get outraged about. Won’t that be exciting?

76

Must you raise past grievances here, Mr Waters?

Sunny; what exactly are you claiming? That there are no circumstances in which a police officer might legitimately use his baton? Or that it’s inconceivable that a baton strike aimed at another part of the body might have accidentally hit the head instead?

Or maybe that it’s inconceivable that he might have fibbed about how peaceful he was being?

Sadly it was ever thus – the media honing in on a ‘story’ rather than ‘facts’. I say this as one who was brought up in the household of political journalist/activist married to another political activist. To this day, after their stories when demonstrating against the blackshirts in the 1930s of being chased by mounted police, I am terrified when on a demo of police on horses – it is too easy for even a highly trained horse to lash out with its hooves and cause terrible damage.

On any demonstration – anywhere, anytime – there will be a mixture of personalities with different agendas. This is unfortunate when the majority of most demonstrators who are peace loving and law abiding to the extent that they want to show their serious disapproval by demonstrating in a law abiding manner – if the police will only let them.

Charlie Gilmour may have been over the top in his behaviour. The policeman who battered Alfie Meadows was a thug and a bully. No comparison.

78

10 out of 10 for The Judge.

Could not have put it better.

BTW:

“Many feel the peaceful Iraq war demonstration achieved so little in such numbers because of its passive obedience.”

I was on ALL the Iraq war demonstrations. Sadly all of us on those marches knew that we were not going to stop the warmongers Blair and Bush from their course. However we were there because we wanted our government to know just how many of voters disagreed with the leadership of the country so that it could never be said that the ‘British People’ in general were backing the war. The government might have been at war but ‘Not in Our Name’. The fact that those marches are still being spoken about shows that they did achieve something.

And another BTW. The first march took place 6 days after the Countryside Alliance March in September 2002. Despite the propaganda in the media at the time, the police and press at OUR march repeatedly told me that the Stop the War march was much larger than the CAM march. The true size of our march was not reported in the press, yet talking to a BBC journo on the 15th February 2003 she was quoting the size of the September march. Odd how much bigger the figure she gave them was to the one she had reported five months earlier….

85. henry corbin

wake up sally; you’re a self-hating misogynist – otherwise you would never refer to any woman – whoever she is – as any man’s ‘tart’.

Let’s be clear here – a lucky young man with plenty to look forward to, well educated (Lancing and Cambridge although this does not indicate levels of common sense or indicates his level of naivety) and with a rosy future. He is studying History. But also – swings on the Union flag on the Cenotaph (he claims he did not know what this is so where has he been for at least 10 years on Nov 11th) attempts to light a fire outside a public building (unsuccessfully) and is photographed wearing latex gloves and carrying a rock during a protest – as an extra bonus he is also seen near the car of the Prince of Wales when it attacked. Love to see his CV in a couple of years time but as far as I am concerned is now untouchable in any capacity. Perhaps a substantial donation to a serviceman’s charity plus a fair amount of voluntary service would be a kind gesture but I’m not going to hold my breath.

The other side of the coin – a friend of mine – a lucky young man, well educated and…….. Hardworking. At university, has 2 jobs and uses his breaks to gain additional experience in any way he can. Love to see his CV in a couple of years time and as far as I am concerned – highly employable. What did he do during the protest – attended his lectures.

Two young men – two different routes.

@ 69. sally. You appear to understand very little about anything other than spewing abuse at those you disagree with. Are you in need of professional help ?

I understand tory trolls.

I can smell them!

@ 88. sally

Only under my armpits and crotch after a day’s real work. Land of hope and glory etc etc ………..

90. Daniel Factor

Yes Alfie Meadows is a victim and the police’s officers responsible for his injuries should be prosecuted.

But this does not vindicate those minority of protestors who were acting like twats!

Guest suggests that the media ignored the situation that befell Alfie Meadows. This is untrue – how did I discover what had happened to him – why, the media, of course.

92. Chaise Guevara

“But also – swings on the Union flag on the Cenotaph (he claims he did not know what this is so where has he been for at least 10 years on Nov 11th) ”

Possibly somewhere other than the Cenotaph?

Just, y’know, putting it out there.

Chaise

Clearly, but with the knowledge that his family has strong connections with WWII plus some of the music his Dad was involved with had clear war references etc it seems very very unlikely that this misguided man did not know the significance of this stone monument complete with a reference inscribed on it giving even the dumb some idea of what it was for. A potential history graduate – I would now hate to be his university history tutor!

94. Chaise Guevara

@ 93

Fair enough, that aspect of his defense sounds a bit dodgy. I though you were making on of those I’m-more-patriotic-than-you attacks. Apologies if not.

Chaise

No, just trying to use known information to make fair deductions and then conclude if this guy has any value. Contribution to society so far – limited. Potential contribution – plenty, but not holding my breath.

96. Chaise Guevara

@ 95

On the other hand, has he done any real harm? Genuine question, as I haven’t been fully following his story: did he actually do any damage.

97. Chaise Guevara

*?

Chaise

No, he didn’t. But in our law he certainly conspired to do so and that should be enough to have the law check this out. Latex gloves, combustable material, matches or a lighter, hiding his identity all suggests intent. Creeping about at night with a crowbar is not illegal but certainly suggests something, for example.

And what would have happened if his ‘fire’ caused casualities amongst those with nothing to do with the protest as well as the time the fire services may have spent dealing with it. What if his rock had been thrown and hit a child, nurse, policewoman, cleaner, unemployed person etc, etc? Who will pay to replace the flag if it had been damaged?

Still a foolish, misguided and immature young man with poor values in my opinion.

99. Chaise Guevara

@ 98

I’m not going to judge him overall, because I don’t know enough about the situation. Agree with you re setting fires, though: you don’t know what’s going to happen, and you could easily hurt protesters, cops or bystanders.

Our actions of the past will affect our lives in the future so we really ought be aware of what we do in the present.

101. Chaise Guevara

“Our actions of the past will affect our lives in the future so we really ought be aware of what we do in the present.”

True enough, but now you’re berating him for harming himself, which is essentially his own business, rather than for putting other people at risk. I agree he’s a prat, what I’m questioning is whether he’s a prick (if you follow my very complex and mature metaphor).

I don’t think anybody has mentioned yet the link to contact details for anybody who witnessed the Alife Meadows incident:

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news/pr_101210_witnessappealmeadows.htm

Very good! I like your train of thought. He is certainly a fool and, judging on his overall performance, probably more of a danger to himself that to anyone else. But he attempted to commit harm to some and, arguably at present, broke the law. Even he he only harmed himself there was still intent in his mind to harm others. For this I condemn him and his foolishness. He should, like the majority, simply attended a protest march, shout a bit and home. He appointed others, via his vote if he used it, to make decisions of a political nature on his behalf.

104. vicarious phil

Is it possible that neither Mr Gilmour nor Mister Meadows are representative of the protests? Is it possible they’re noteworthy because they’re so extreme? And like I said, not really representative.

105. Heather Kai

An excellent write up about society and its double standards, I ask in regard to Charie disrespecting the war dead, what is more damning and disrespectful than a bunch of parliamentarians who fawn at the Remembrance Day service, those amongst them with blood on their podgy hands, of young soldiers sent out to this mess created by Bush and Blair. Charlie had a moment of madness, but every day these wretched hypocrits add to the tragic list of loss of life and every day they are the ones who purposely insult the Glorious Dead.

I feel bound to point out that King Canute’s action was totally rational. He wanted to show that he could *not* stem the tide. On the other hand, in a democratic country shouldn’t we believe that, if enough people involve themselves with enough passion, we can hold back the neoliberal tide which aims for nothing less than the total destruction of social democracy and the welfare state?

Heather,

Come on! He did not have moment of madness – more like a whole day of madness which means that he knew what he was doing and can then hardly claim to have “got caught up” in the moment. He went with intent – we can all see that.

By the way, whilst I do partly agree with politicians and Rememberance Day you and I voted these guys to represent us – which they do whether you and I feel the system is right or not. If you object to politicians representing us at this event then you are free to attend yourself – do you? If you don’t then your objection is not quite so fair.

108. Chaise Guevara

@ 103

“He appointed others, via his vote if he used it, to make decisions of a political nature on his behalf.”

In fairness, assuming he voted Lib Dem, he was effectively conned out of his right to a vote after the fact.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m aware (unlike many, it seems) that you can’t blame a party for not upholding its full manifesto when it becomes part of a coalition, and I think it can be a mistake to hold parties to the letter of their manifesto even when they have majority control, because circumstances can change. But in this case the Lib Dems signed a specific promise not to support increases in student payments even as part of a coalition. They won people’s votes by making a cast-iron guarantee that they have no justification for going back on other than “we changed our minds”.

Chaise

Hard to disagree with you on this one although, and a rather weaker argument coming here, he can use his vote next time to express his disappointment. It’s the political system we have at present and at least he does have the opportunity to participate unlike so many others from around the world. He can vote, he can protest, peacefully, he can lobby his MP, he can write to newspapers, he can write in on political web discussions, he can even stand for parliament. The vast majority of us do some of these things and stay within the agreed law of the land.

None of this alters the fact that he and others like him need to behave with more responsibility and respect – I wonder if he has really learnt anything.

110. Chaise Guevara

Agree with you there – I’m not defending irresponsible behaviour.

FFS this stupid science graduate knows that the Cenotaph was built for “The Glorious Dead” of The Great War (i.e. World War I).

Many more men would of died for King and Country however by 1917–18 only 36% of men examined were suitable for full military duties, and 40% were either totally unfit or were classified as unable to undergo physical exertion.

I’m going to offer Charlie Gilmour a fiver to go and spit on the tomb of the unknown soldier in Moscow. Russian police are very easy going, open minded, tolerant and kind. Not like ours. Moreover, the elite soldiers of the Prezidentskiy Polk who guard it fix bayonets before their hour in attendance. In Charlie’s case, they’d probably use them to stop bystanders from beating him to death.


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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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    RT @smileandsubvert: The face of our cause isn’t my brother Charlie Gilmour, but Alfie Meadows http://pulsene.ws/vBpT #demo2010

  67. Aaron Peters

    RT @libcon: The face of our cause isn't my brother Charlie Gilmour, but Alfie Meadows http://bit.ly/gWY6A1

  68. Nemesis Republic

    Worth reading: (by C Glimour's brother…) http://tinyurl.com/32y6txz Alfie Meadows & other things #demo2010 #ukuncut #dayx3

  69. Nemesis Republic

    Worth reading: (by C Glimour's brother…) http://tinyurl.com/32y6txz Alfie Meadows & other things #demo2010 #ukuncut #dayx3 #solidarity

  70. Mike Nodding

    RT @NemesisRepublic: Worth reading: (by C Glimour's brother…) http://tinyurl.com/32y6txz Alfie Meadows & other things #demo2010 #ukun …

  71. Lee Hyde

    RT @NemesisRepublic: Worth reading: (by C Glimour's brother…) http://tinyurl.com/32y6txz Alfie Meadows & other things #demo2010 #ukunc …





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