Protester ‘deserved slap’

A disgraceful piece appeared in yesterday’s Yorkshire Post.

Brutal truths about protest

Commenting on “The female protester allegedly assaulted by a police officer during the G20 protests.” Bill Carmichael (whom henceforth shall forever be known to Tiberius as ‘Bad Bill’) claims that much of what has been written about the video of the incident constitues “propaganda being put out by the protesters and their friends at the BBC and left-wing newspapers.”

However, Bad Bill insists that it if we “take a few moments to look at the video” then:

Instead of the sanitised version of injured innocence, what you’ll see is an aggressive-looking young woman – as yet unidentified – hat pulled down over her eyes, mouthing obscenities into the face of a police officer, who is trying to ignore her.

Let’s indulge him then shall we, Weary Surfer?

“Hmmm,” say Tiberius, “What I appeared to see was a police officer assaulting a young woman. How about you?”

The point is, that even if the woman was annoying or (heaven forefend) ‘mouthing obscenities’ , the police generally deal with annoying people all the time – drunks, drug-users, etc; this  is part of their job and they are trained to do it.

As citizens we expected our officers to rise above provocation – not to casually decide to exercise their own form of retribution.

Bad Bill, however, does not see things that way:

If anyone ever deserved a good slap, this woman certainly did.

Instead of being suspended and investigated, I believe the officer involved should be commended for his forbearance.

And, though the piece ends with Bad Bill getting ‘serious for a moment’ and acknowledging that “unnecessary violence by the police cannot be acceptable and if any officer is found to have broken the law…they should face the consequences”, he also qualifes this by saying:

If this young woman behaved like that in any city centre on a Saturday night, she would be lucky to escape with a full set of teeth, but – quite rightly – we hold our police to higher standards.

“Yes, Bill” says Tiberius “We do hold our police to a higher standard than hitting a young woman in the face, and smacking her on the leg with a baton because she is annoying . Call us idealistic, but the idea of police taking it upon themselves to break the law, doesn’t sit well with most of the British public”.

Tiberius finds it ironic that such bile can be published on the same day that another Johnston Press-employed writer, the YEP’s Aisha Iqbal, reports on 10,000 West Yorks women battered in a year:

TEN thousand women and girls in West Yorkshire were victims of domestic violence in the past 12 months.

The shock figures based on incidents recorded by West Yorkshire Police reveal most of the victims were between 18 and 45.

What Bad Bill fails to realise is that his notion of people ‘deserving’ to suffer violence for some perceived slight towards those holding more power, is one of the main factors generating such ‘shocking figures’. The excuses of  ‘they earned it’ or ‘they had it coming’ belong to a bygone darker age and, thankfully, should have no part in modern society.

That such antiquated views should be printed by one of the region’s most widely circulated papers cannot be tolerated and, in this regard, it is YP’s editor Peter Charlton who must be held to account for allowing the grievances of this misogynistic dinosaur to be published. Comments and complaints can be made here.


1. Bad Bill (aka. William Carmichael) is currently employed by the The Univeristy of Sheffield’s Deparment of Journalism Studies. He was formerly the Yorkshire Post’s long-running news editor.

2. This story was brought to Tiberius’ attention by an excellent article on today’s Leeds-Bradford IndyMedia Newswire by JimDog*- you can read it here.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Having read a few of Bill Carmichael’s columns I soon came to the conclusion that they amounted to the so-bad-they’re-almost-risible ravings of a ‘hateful bigot’. But I really took offence to this latest offering. That such neanderthal, misogynistic bile was allowed to be published in the Yorkshire Post is deeply disturbing. Whereas ‘Bad Bill’ seems determined to make light of the situation, the Met took this assualt seriously enough to refer it to the IPCC, and we can but hope that their inquiries will be free of such Carmichaelian notions of ‘justice’. Another (longer) clip on YouTube

    also captures the incident (at about 3mins 10), and shows the officer in question – his serial number deliberately obscured – milling about just moments before the assault took place – rubbishing Carmichael’s claim that the woman abuses the officer for ’several minutes’ before he finally ’snaps’. I have to agree with Chris Huhne, quoted in the Guardian today, when he states “there’s only one motive for a police officer disguising his identity and that’s because he thinks he’s going to be doing something reprehensible.” And I wholeheartedly agree with Tiberius’ point that regardless of any verbal provocation or annoyance on the part of this short, slender young female (who can clearly be seen to be holding a drinks carton in one hand and a camera in the other – thus highly unlikely to pose any actual physical threat) the officer had no legal grounds for slapping her and then, in quick succession, striking her with a baton. He should be severely reprimanded for his actions.
    As for Bill Carmichael, his comments have annoyed and provoked me. However (perhaps rather unfortunately) that wouldn’t justify me beating him with a big stick.

  2. Thanks for your reply.

    You’re right, Bad Bill does have form for producing this kind of hateful rubbish. Sadly, it seems there must be some market for it around here.


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