It is with great regret that I confess I have become rather too interested in online comments. Hours of my life have vanished gazing in slack jawed astonishment at the remarkable comments on various newspaper websites.
The Guardian comments in particular are a source of constant bemusement. Take for example their reaction to the assault on Ian Tomlinson.
One has to wade through the comments claiming the police officer concerned is clearly guilty of murder or that we are now living in Nazi Germany and so on which are as predictable as they are absurd, to get to the real belters. It's all there -the outrage at the general concensus, the more in sorrow than anger tone, the air of superiority of the folk who are defending the police officer involved.
So to save you the job of ploughing through hundreds of comments I shall tackle the case for the defence of PC Push by making snide comments in the usual style.
One of the most tireless defenders of the policeman concerned asks us all to remember that the man was under stress. I have no doubt that he was and have a degree of sympathy for him in that respect but I am also led to understand that police get training in that sort of thing to help them cope in stressful situations. Furthermore I'd suggest that someone who has difficulty controlling their violent urges when their job causes them stress might be better suited to lighthouse keeping than police work. One wonders if it was also 'stress' that prevented his colleagues from restraining him? Of course I'm sure those who are defending him on the grounds of stress would be quite happy to be assaulted by anyone under stress.
The same tireless defender goes on to argue that the policeman will have to live with what happened for the rest of his life which is punishment enough. Christ I thought I was liberal! On that basis why punish anyone at all? Gosh what a beastly society we are -locking up poor old Mareck Harcar for twenty-five years when the poor lamb will have to live with being a nasty, murdering, rapist scumbag for the rest of his days. God I feel such a crumb for hoping a few of his fellow inmates beat him to death, ideally having sodomised him with a broken bottle first. Still I'll have to live with having thought that for the rest of my life. Pity my anguish.
I'm also quite intrigued by the notion that PC Push may have thought the fellow was drunk or stoned and responded to this by pushing him over. Honestly I've thought about this one all day and I remain puzzled. Why in the name of all that is sacred and holy would anyone let alone a police officer push someone over because they were intoxicated. If the man was causing a problem would it not have been more appropriate to arrest him?
Similarly I'm baffled as to why people keep implying rightly or wrongly that Mr Tomlinson was homeless or sneering at his occupation as a newspaper seller. I do realise that for some folk anyone earning less than them is inherently worthless but they could at least try and hide it. Of course I think what they're trying to say that the police only attack people not like us therefore it doesn't matter.
Then there is the hoary, old chestnut that all the protesters were middle class/ dirty/ stupid/ left-wing/anarchists/students/benefit claimants so therefore deserve everything that's coming to them. Isn't it remarkable that such lovers of the police have exactly the same outlook as the average Glasgow ned? I expect I'm alone for being terrified that people with the mental capacity to use a keyboard are still so alarmed that there are people that are different from them.
I could go on, there are other belters in there -the demonstrators as good as killed him, he wasn't dressed like someone coming home from work, he walked to slowly, the police abroad are worse, you can't criticise the police unless you're prepared to join the force and so on. And increasingly on. I warn you click the article link at your peril -days of my life have been lost forever.
Anyway I shall leave you with a prediction from my loony left perspective. PC Push will be hung out to dry and we shall all move on. Meanwhile his superiors who allowed officers to conceal their numbers, wear balaclavas (why?) and contributed to a general atmosphere of agression by issuing inflammatory statements to the press about being 'up for it' ahead of the protests will get off scot-free. If there's one thing Push can do to at least partially redeem himself it's to refuse to be the only one carrying the can.