Friday, 12 August 2011

I may have been misled

It is easy to forget last week's trigger for the riots in London and elsewhere. Businesses have been closed some have been destroyed by fire. It is not just business that has been affected and one of the lasting memories will be the personal attack on the Malaysian victim. Even worse, people have died. Most of the violence has been criminal, or at least mindless rather than a calculated response to injustice. The trigger is almost a sideline but remains significant, especially to the family and friends of Mark Duggan, the man who was shot dead by the police.

The Police watchdog, The Independent Police Complaints Commission has admitted that it may have misled journalists into believing that Mark Duggan may have fired on the police. We were told initially that there was an exchange of shots but both were fired by the police.

What struck me was the phrase "may have misled journalists". What does this mean? This is spin at its best (I would say worst). Which journalists were not misled? Can you talk of misleading information and then expect some listeners not to believe it? The only journalists who would not have been misled are those who are cynical of any press release by the police.

"May have been misled" strikes me as signifying that I should not believe anything this commission tells me.

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