Socialist Worker

OK to swear at coppers!

Issue No. 1746

Inside the system

OK to swear at coppers!

THE WAY that the police whipped up scare stories and tried to intimidate people from attending the London May Day protests makes you want to swear at them. Fortunately it is now ok to do so.

Three appeal court judges in Scotland have ruled that it's ok to tell police officers to 'fuck off', as long as you say it and don't shout. Kenneth Kinnaird, a 43 year old man, was followed and stopped by two officers in May 1998 because they thought there was a warrant out for his arrest. When he was told this Kinnaird said, "Fuck off. I've no warrant." When the police repeated this he again said, 'Fuck off.' He was then arrested for breaching the peace and later fined �100 for resisting arrest. But last week his conviction was quashed by the judge Lord Prosser who said Kinnaird was only using the 'language of his generation'.

Conversation

"While the words 'fuck off' were spoken, they were not shouted," said Lord Prosser. "It does not appear that this was anything but a conversation. The appellant was not gratuitously hurling insults at the police. It was they who had been following him. It was they who asked him to wait."


An own goal

PLAYERS FOR Brentford Football Club get lots of perks-or some of them do. The club has signed an exclusive deal with a company called Stratstones giving the "Player of the month" use of a �35,000 Jaguar car. But when Gavin Mahon, March's player of the month, turned up to collect his car it was unavailable.

The difference in attitudes obviously has nothing to do with Mahon being black. Jaguar is owned by Ford, renowned for removing a group of black people from an advertising campaign. Stratstones has been forced to apologise. Gavin Mahon now has the use of a top of the range Jaguar for two months.


Poor Charles

STRIKING WORKERS at the Hotel Saskatchewan in Regina, Canada, gave us all something to cheer about last week.

They forced Prince Charles to downgrade from his �450 a night VIP suite and move to another hotel's measly �99 a night Jacuzzi Suite. He made the switch because the workers were threatening to picket his arrival at the hotel.


IF YOU want to celebrate the horrific legacy of the British Empire, Inside the System has found the perfect destination for your holiday.

La Villa Kerasy is a unique four star hotel in France whose charming theme is the epic story of the East India Company, the company that bled India dry.

Between 1757 and 1858 the company and its private army put down local revolts against its rule, controlled huge areas, and exploited millions of people. Each room in Villa Kerasy represents one of the old trading posts of the East India companies (English, Dutch, French) Enjoy the convivial atmosphere, Japanese garden, home made pastries and marmalades, delicious curries, chocolate and spices. But just make sure you don't mention the suffering caused by the company.


Beyond the final frontier?

DO you want to be an astronaut? If the answer's yes, all you need is dedication, fitness, a strong will...and �14 million. That's how much Ferrari-driving US business tycoon Dennis Tito gave to the Russian space exploration project to join its team on the Alpha international space station orbiting earth.


Great Place to Work

CAN YOU imagine working for a company that has a few more than 300 employees and the following statistics:

  • 30 have been accused of spousal abuse.
  • Nine have been arrested for fraud.
  • 14 have been accused of writing bad cheques.
  • 95 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least two businesses.
  • Four have done time for assault.
  • 55 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit.
  • 12 have been arrested on drug related charges. lFour have been arrested for shoplifting.
  • 16 are currently defendants in lawsuits.
  • 62 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year.

Can you guess who this list of employees are? It's the 301 MPs in the Canadian parliament.


THE bus company Stagecoach North East recently sacked Dean Matthews of Sunderland for taking time off after the birth of his second child. So who owns Stagecoach?

Brian Souter, the multi-millionaire anti-gay bigot who attempts to portray himself as a pro-family man. Dean Matthews won �2,000 compensation at an industrial tribunal last week.


E-commerce is no liberation

DON'T BELIEVE the hype about internet shopping liberating us from our everyday lives. A new report on the impact of e-commerce on transport and logistics by the University of Bradford says it will just lead to more cars and vans on the road and the development of e-road rage.

Any benefits of e-commerce are offset by the greater use of air-freight, extra delivery van traffic and an increased demand for warehousing at strategic locations, it says.


Things they say

"THE POLICE have to justify what they do. Putting out several thousand police onto the streets-a lot of them in riot gear-to some extent has to be justified in a democratic society."

  • ENNY JONES, member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, on the police's warnings of 'violent rioters' hitting London on May Day

"I THINK more than two Tories in a room should be illegal."

  • LESLEY BAIN from Ayr where the Tory MSP wants to ban group sex in Scotland

"WE EXPECTED it to be a very difficult mission, and we met some people we believed were the outpost and we killed them. Then we went on and took some fire, and we returned fire, and when the firing was over, all we had was women and children dead."

  • Former US Democrat senator and presidential hopeful BOB KERREY. He led a mission in the Vietnam War in which more than a dozen women and children were killed. Kerrey says it was a tragedy and he has been haunted by the incident since

"WE HERDED the villagers together before killing them."

  • GERHARD KLANN, a member of Kerrey's commando team

"THEY LINED them all up and shot all of them from behind."

  • PHAM TRI LANH, a survivor of the massacre

"IN ANY self respecting democracy it would be unthinkable that the man assumed to be on the verge of being elected prime minister would recently have come under investigation for, among other things, money laundering, connections with the Mafia, tax evasion, and the bribing of politicians, judges and the tax police."

  • Right wing magazine the ECONOMIST on the right wing politician and businessman Silvio Berlusconi, who is leading in the polls in the run-up to Italy's general election

"THE TORIES' 14-pint skinhead has unwittingly become the BNP's second best recruiting sergeant."

  • NICK GRIFFIN, leader of the Nazi British National Party, on William Hague

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Article information

News
Sat 5 May 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1746
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