back to article Cyber cops crush plod-snapper site following Millbank riot

The Metropolitan Police have tried to ban an anti-police website in the wake of the student protests against spending cuts last week. The Met's public order branch, CO11, contacted web host Just to request the site be removed because it was: "being used to undertake criminal activities". The host was then contacted …


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  1. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Anyone who assists offenders to avoid arrest is breaking the law, no matter how they do it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is where it starts to get silly

      So there's this law against terrorism that's been interpreted by the plod to implicate "too long photographers". By your reasoning anyone "harbouring" or "sheltering" overlong photographers suddenly will also become GUILTEEEE. Such as the pub where some long guy with a photo camera walked into for shelter from the rain and a cup or a glass or two. Because, you know, he's keeping out of public sight where the plod might spot him so they can arrest him. Because he's too long to not be an offender, you see?

      You can argue until you're blue in the face that the law is the law, but if nobody but the plod cares, then the plod loses more face, and will have to face an even more plod-hostile crowd next time.

      This isn't to justify anything. It's to inform you that if the law and its upholders are making asses out of themselves then they're not doing their job properly and we might as well do away with them. Because they've just become irrelevant and liberty-infringing nuisances, or worse.

      1. Steven Jones


        The AC's comment rather proves the point that you should stay away from keyboards and the Internet when under the influence of intoxicating substances.

    2. Martin Milan

      Yeah, but...

      Fitwatch are also concerned with the fact that the police (in the form of Forward Intelligence Teams) are also compiling a massive database on the activities of PERFECTLY LAW ABIDING members of the public engaged in peaceful protest. It's not just the nutters smashing windows and throwing Fire Extingishers that the police are going after.

      When you can me labelled as a "Domestic Extremist" merely for attending a church meeting, then maybe the likes of FitWatch et al have a point.

      As for advising people I lie in court, I haven't personally seen that advice, but if it truly does exist then there is absolutely no excuse for it. Tell the truth in court - not only is it the moral thing to do, it's also the SMART thing to do...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    what criminal activities?

    standing up to heavy handed/intrusive policing is wrong?

    plod, you go too far sometimes.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      What criminal activity ...

      Perhaps that none too subtle suggestion of lying in court, incitement of perjury -

      "DONT assume that because you can identify yourself in a video, a judge will be able to as well. ‘That isn’t me’ has got many a person off before now".

      That goes well beyond 'know your rights' and 'don't tell them anything, admit nothing, make them prove their case'.

      While I have no doubt that policing probably was heavy handed (been there, done that, got the blood-stained T-shirt), could you explain to me how criminal damage, smashing up a building, dropping fire extinguishers from a great height, is 'standing up to the police'?

      Not only plod but demonstrators sometimes go too far. That's their right, and it is the police's right to pursue them for that.

      1. Raumkraut

        Criminal activity...

        "Not only plod but demonstrators sometimes go too far."

        And don't forget plod "agitators", disguised as demonstrators.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What criminal activity...


        Perhaps that none too subtle suggestion of lying in court, incitement of perjury -

        "DONT assume that because you can identify yourself in a video, a judge will be able to as well. ‘That isn’t me’ has got many a person off before now".


        I can't see anything there that is incitement. It is just quoting 2 facts:

        "DONT assume that because you can identify yourself in a video, a judge will be able to as well."


        "‘That isn’t me’ has got many a person off before now"

      3. Graham Marsden


        Or just Presumption of Innocence?

        The only thing I would have worded differently is "That isn't me" which should, of course, be "Prove that *is* me and not some other bloke who looks similar to me.

        1. Steven Jones


          "That isn't me" would, in that context be a lie, and lying under oath in court is, by definition, perjury. Of course you don't have to testify, so you don't have to lie about whether you were there so the prosecution has to prove it (and the defence can still present evidence it wasn't you without testimony). Only the defence can call the accused, but if you do stand and lie under cross-examination then technically it would be perjury. Also, any lawyer who advised a client to lie under oath would be in very serious trouble indeed.

          In general, perjury cases in England are rare and normally only prosecuted where a proven lie has resulted in a miscarriage. Mostly lying under oath as a defendent in a criminal trial in the UK will get you a longer sentence compared to pleading guiltly in the first place.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Met

    The Met still think that the internet is the little blue e symbol on their desktops.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Nah, don't be silly

      It's the 'X' icon with the word 'Mosaic' under it.

  4. Steven Jones

    Legality of advice

    I'd be interested to know if they ran any of that advice past a lawyer before posting it. I rather suspect there's a big difference between what would be normal advice not to incriminate yourself, legal rights and those items which essentially were instructions to interfere with evidence and perjure yourself in court.

    On a few of the items of advice then I suspect they are getting close to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree

      I would think that the Met have every right to ask for this website to be taken down. Aside from the legality of the advice, the comment "Goldsmiths lecturers union has publicly commended the students for a ‘magnificent demonstration’ ." is an incitement.

      Personally I find the behaviour of this mindless mob just because they may have to pay a more realistic cost for their education offensive. This is criminal behaviour, and should be prosecuted to the best extent of the law.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: I agree

        There certainly is an awful lot of mindlessness about this. Most people seem to switch their brains off the moment placard hits window, but just because a protest turns violent it doesn't necessarily negate the original point.

      2. akicif

        Miss the point, much?

        The first point is that it is not current students who will be hit by the increase, but those who have yet to start. Even our current lords and masters wouldn't be able to get away with changing the cost of a course after people had already started it - so your depiction of the demonstrators as a "mindless mob" activated only by self-interest is wrong on that count at least (or do you think the right attitude is pulling the ladder up behind you with a cheery shout of "Well, I've got mine, thanks!"?)

        Secondly, as you'd know if you got your news from outsideMurdoch's walled gardens, the vast majority of demonstrators had nothing whatsoever to do with the events at Millbank.

        And finally, the comment quoted from the lecturers' union at Goldsmiths was by no means incitement.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Revolting Peasants

        Should bloody well do as they told. Clearly, master knows what is best for them!


        "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. "

      4. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        realistic cost for their education

        Perhaps T.T. will be happy for us to abolish the NHS system whereby your treatments are paid on your behalf by the NHS. Instead, they should just force everyone to pay for their own treatment?

        Of course this will make no difference to T.T. who paid for his or her own education directly, and only uses private medical cover anyway.

        I'm not saying that they had a right to act like a mob, but they had every right indeed to protest.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          They do indeed have the right to protest. It is the destruction of property during that protest I consider to be without any justification. These are supposedly 'educated' students surely they would have achieved a much better effect on the government if they had put pen to paper and written to their MP?

          Given that illegal acts were committed during this demonstration I can see nothing wrong with the Police using all reasonable measures to pursue these hooligans.

          1. CD001



            These are supposedly 'educated' students surely they would have achieved a much better effect on the government if they had put pen to paper and written to their MP?


            Really? Like BT/Phorm you mean?

            If you want anything to change you CANNOT work within the system - from the American War of Independence, to Ghandi, to Martin Luther King ... writing polite letters to the powers that be does not, and never has, achieved anything.

            The closest you can get within the system is voting the buggers out (pithy political comment courtesy of Starship Troopers):

            "When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force my friends is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived."

            That's the charm of democracy - it gives people the illusion of choice while only letting them play with loaded dice. Sometimes playing within the rules only gives you the choice of death by crocodile or death by piranha - if you want to live you need to break the rules.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Titus Technophobe

            >surely they would have achieved a much better effect on the government if they had put pen to paper and written to their MP?

            I nominate Titus as comedian of the month.

          3. Anonymous Coward

            Property Destruction is *NOT* Violence!

            ‎"People long in our history have gone to marches and held banners and made protests and made speeches and that's part of our democracy. What is not part of our democracy is that sort of violence and lawbreaking.

            It's not right. It's not acceptable and I hope that the full force of the law will be used." David Cameron, ...PM, 2010

            "There is something that Governments care for far more than they care for human life, and that is the security of property, and so it is through property that we shall strike the enemy. Those of you who can break windows—break them." Emmeline Pankhurst, Suffragette, 1912


            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Property Destruction is *NOT* Violence!

              If political progress can only be achived by peaceful means, why the need for the Iraq invasion?

            2. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

              Of course it's bloody violence.

              Kicking windows, throwing fire extinguishers off a roof, smashing car windows - not all of it is viokence against a person but it's violence. It was when the suffragettes did it too, even though they had a just cause.

              Just because you may not think much of the fuzz's handling of this, and just because the students may have a fair point, doesn't absolve the yobs. Wishing won't make it so.

          4. IanPotter

            @Titus Technophobe


            These are supposedly 'educated' students surely they would have achieved a much better effect on the government if they had put pen to paper and written to their MP?


            Maybe they didn't because they all voted Lib Dem and have watched "their" MP sign a pledge not to raise tuition fees only to drop that pledge in a naked piece of political betrayal.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              Then why didn't they vandalise the Head Quarters of the Lib Dems? However I think a written or a peaceful protest would be much more effective.

              1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

                Re: @IanPotter

                To be fair a) I doubt very much the violence was planned as such, and b) the war protests were almost entirely peaceful and they weren't very effective at all. It's not really a matter of effectiveness. What makes an effective protest? Numbers and coverage and attention, I'd say. They rarely effect change on their own. That's not the point.

                1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

                  Re: Re: @IanPotter

                  I mean, you have to define 'effectiveness'. I think the most you can expect is attention. It's like advertising in that way - it's not about getting people to like your stuff or agree with you, necessarily, it's about making your idea known and planting it in people's consciousness.

                2. Steven Jones

                  Planning - including for life...

                  I'm sure the NUS didn't plan the violence, but there's usually some who will be planning for it if they think they can get away with it plus a few more hot-heads who get sucked in.

                  Anyway, it's about time that we had a proper review in this country over tertiary education. For far too long sloppy thinking about the merits of university education had it that economic success would come by just putting more people into that form or education. As it is now, we just have a large number of disappointed graduates who find that they can't get the career that they thought they'd get and have large debts as well. On R4 on Monday the head of Majestic Wines proudly boasted that almost all their staff were graduates. So is that really the sort of job where you need a degree, or just a filtering method Majestic use to select people that at least have the motiviation to complete such a course?

                  It's a telling point that the major European country with probably the best trained workforce (Germany) sends far fewer people to Univerisity than its major competitors. In fact not much more than about 60% of the OECD average. In fact the growth in tertiary education in the US has coincided with a decade in falling livving standards for the average worker (the very rich have done very well, the middle classes, much less). This mantra of education, education, education fails miserably when it's education without purpose. Fair enough, but that's a hobby - not an education.

                  However, what the Germans do have is a superb system of vocationally orientated training and some proper careers. What we need is an education and training system that offers young people some hope, career prospects and, frankly, not just a place people go for 3-4 years because we can't think of what to do with them. Extending adolescence for several more years is all very well, but I know far too many disillusioned young people who have been failed by this system.

                  Of course the University lecturers have an interest in maximising numbers, so are hardly a disinterested party.


                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    @Planning - including for life... @Sarah Bee

                    I have to agree with the point about reviewing tertiary education. Is there much point in producing graduates of people who really are doing education because they can't think of anything better, even if they do make superb till operatives for Majestic Wines.

                    By effective I mean likely to raise the point of the fees without providing politicians a 'get out'. As somebody has already mentioned above the Murdoch media are now jumping on this, and David Cameron doesn't have to justify the educational policy anymore, he can just do outraged talk about violent protests etc. etc.

              2. IanPotter

                Lib Dem HQ?

                "Then why didn't they vandalise the Head Quarters of the Lib Dems? "

                Either they don't know where it is (I certainly don't) or all they might think all the Lib Dems are busy serving tea at Millbank.

                "David Cameron doesn't have to justify the educational policy anymore, he can just do outraged talk about violent protests etc. etc."

                Amazing how quickly a supposedly moderate centrist coalition has managed to polarise things to the violent protest stage. That normally takes years.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @Lib Dem HQ

                  > Either they don't know where it is (I certainly don't) or all they might think all the Lib Dems are busy serving tea at Millbank.

                  They could look up where the HQ of the Lib Dems is on the internet? You may be right on the second point, still at least they would have been doing some sort of useful parlimentary business.

                  >> "David Cameron doesn't have to justify the educational policy anymore, he can just do outraged talk about violent protests etc. etc."

                  >Amazing how quickly a supposedly moderate centrist coalition has managed to polarise things to the violent protest stage. That normally takes years.

                  Nope I don't think that this was the government, this was a bunch of idiots who thought they have a 'right' to education. These kids know all about their 'rights' but little of the associated responsibility.

                  1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

                    Re: @Lib Dem HQ

                    You haven't read much about it, have you?

                    There are going to be more protests like this, and it doesn't surprise me at all. Ask your doctor for some diazepam.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Re: @Lib Dem HQ

                      I have read that Security has been stepped up for the Lib Dem HQ on account of there being more protests? Students to target the Lib Dems etc? Is this the reading to which you refer?

                      Like you it doesn't surprise me in the least. As an aside I in fact declined the opportunity for SSRI's when offered them by the Doctor.

                      You are missing the point, as in, is David Cameron going to -

                      a. take into account the strength of heart felt feeling in the student population and retract his policy on student fees?

                      b. grasp with open hands the PR opportunity handed to him on a silver platter, ignore the students, play up to the rising tide of anti student violence feeling in the Murdoch press. Use this to implement the increase in fees anyway but without any of the inconvenient debate that might take place otherwise? (I think the phrase from a previous government was ‘Today is a good day to bury bad news).

                      You have more faith in our Tory leader than I do Sarah.

                      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

                        Re: Re: Re: @Lib Dem HQ

                        c. Throw money at cracking down on protests until someone dies, subsequent police investigation exonerates officers, etc etc.

                        I don't have more faith in him than you.

                        I'm still not sure what your point is, precisely. I was just taking issue with your insistence that the protestors are just a bunch of idiot kids, and pointing out that it's not that shocking that people are reacting in such a way to these pretty severe measures from the new Tory government that didn't actually get voted in in the first place. I don't know why you can't understand the reaction, but I expect you will in the end.

                        Diazepam is more fun than prozac, and only slightly more completely addictive.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Re: Re: @Lib Dem HQ

                          Here is hoping that your point c. doesn’t take place.

                          The protestors may not be a bunch of idiot kids, but those that chose to vandalise the Millbank are to my thinking idiotic. I can understand the demonstration. I cannot understand the violence, it is neither justified nor does it add value to the demonstration.

                          It is perhaps a moot point that the New Tory government didn’t get ‘voted in’, I personally think that they have more of a mandate than the preceding Old Labour government.

                          It will not have escaped your notice but the country does seem to have run out of cash, that being the case things need to give. Which means severe measures all round, I too am affected by these cutbacks, and if I thought there was any point would protest. I have found fax your MP to be an effective way of raising these issues.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Violence has Murdoch's seal of approval

                            In The Times today there was a piece proclaiming violence to be justified in achieving political goals. For some of us, the political goal of "a fairer distribution of wealth" is better than the political goal of "killing brown skins".

                            I have found that faxing my MP is a waste of time and paper. Throwing a fax machine through his window might actually get his attention.

  5. Riscyrich

    Fail of the day - Met Police

    Earlier that day in Scotland Yard:

    Top Copper: "Get that blog taken down right now!"

    Copper: "Errm ok, how?"

    TC: "Get the e-crime unit on it"

    C: "Roger that boss"

    Later that day...

    E-crime boff: "But that's pointless"

    C: "Just do it"

    E-crime boff: "Ok, but...."

    C: "Just freaking do it or it's my ass"

    E-crime boff: "Fine"


    TC: "What do you mean they hosted it in several other places?"

    C: "As it turns out boss there are a lot more places on the internet you can host things"

    TC: "How many?"

    E-crime boff: "January 2010 stats show about 900,000,000 listed internet domains alone"

    TC; "So what you're telling me is that not only did we let these students hoof the door in on the Conservative HQ but now they are making us look like chumps on the internet - god dam it man"

    C: "Yes boss, that would be the long and short of it"

    TC: "Shit"

    E-crime boff, "Can I go now? I need to get back scamming noobs on WOW"

    TC: "Before you go I've brought my wife's laptop in, can you ensure there's no trace of any internet activity on there?"

    E-crime boff: "But I'm a network specialist I don't really do desktop supp....."

    TC: "Just do it nerd"

    E-crime: "No problem boss, you can trust me...."


    All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    My Concern

    Is that the hosts took down the site without judicial oversight.

    The Mets views on the site are just opinion until proven in a court.

    If I were the hosts I would politely decline and request that they return with a court order.

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Paris Hilton

      Good publicity for fitwatch though

      Good point! They should write to Amazon too and tell them to unhost their site as it's probably helping offenders by selling stuff they might use to break the law with!

      Good publicity for fitwatch though, no doubt the sites name will confuse some though, thinking its some sort of attractiveness rating service or dating site!

    2. CaptainHook
      Thumb Up


      The police can request a site be taken down, the proper response to such as request is of course

      " will be happy to take down the fitwatch site as soon as the appropriate court documentation is provided"

      If I was using for any hosting at the moment, I would be making arrangments for a new provider PDQ.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      @Jim Booth, 16th November 2010 10:35 GMT

      I understand where your concern is coming from, but what you have missed is that, it wasn't some random idiot from the street that contact the host, but a legal authority have contact the host and asked them to take the site down. It is _not_ up to the host to decide if the site is legal or not, nor do I expect the host to hire a lawyer who's job is the read every page on the site before approving the take down notice.

      As far as I am concerned I'd rather suffer from a false positive instead of allowing an illegal site to remain online while the paperwork is finished.

      1. FoolD

        @ AC 12:12 GMT

        >> It is _not_ up to the host to decide if the site is legal or not

        It's not up to plod either ; it's up to a judge. If the law states a court order is required then it is required - otherwise the site was unlawfully taken down.

        Plod does not constitute a legal authority by themselves - they are there to *uphold* the law, not *be* the law. Therein lies a very slippery slope.

      2. Matt Hawkins

        False Positives

        "As far as I am concerned I'd rather suffer from a false positive instead of allowing an illegal site to remain online while the paperwork is finished."

        Let's hope you are never a "false positive".

        If you ban the whole internet you will remove 100% of illegal material. So what are we waiting for?

        Why not ban people leaving their houses? That would wipe out crime!

      3. Restricted Access
        Big Brother

        RE: @Jim Booth, 16th November 2010 10:35 GM

        "As far as I am concerned I'd rather suffer from a false positive instead of allowing an illegal site to remain online while the paperwork is finished."

        Guilty until proven innocent. I like the way you think.

        1. Just Thinking

          Their choice

          A web host, like any other business, has a right to choose who they do business with. If they don't want to get involved in other peoples' battles that is up to them.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            RE: @Jim Booth, 16th November 2010 10:35 GM

            Jim, was Juan Charles de Menezes an acceptable false positive as well?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              It was not me who stated the false positive case.....

              1. Goat Jam

                The Irony

                It is delicious though, is it not?

      4. Gordon861

        Random Idiot

        "it wasn't some random idiot from the street that contact the host"

        Correct, it was instead a highly paid idiot that went above his authority by implying that there was no need for him to get a court order to get the site removed.

        The MET should have asked for the page to be removed whilst they got a court order to remove the offending post, insted it just seems like it was an excuse to remove an unhelpful site.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          police knowledge of law - lack there of (in several cases)

          I'll start by saying i'm not a lawyer. However, even a cursory amount of research kicks up the applicable case law.

          In my personal opinion, the above case would demonstrate that there is no grounds for Attempting to pervert the course of justice. as attempting requires you to DO SOMETHING.

          D.Ip. from the met would have have better arguments under incitement, but having read what is available, I don't see how CPS could ever achieve "beyond reasonable doubt" with a jury (that being what is needed for a criminal case).

          If the met could cook up some civil offence, they may have a shot at "balance of probabilities", but I would personally judge that as slim, the contra argument being that the advise was being given to innocent people who thought they would be harrassed by the Met, and if some guilty people happened to read it, then they are responsible for their own actions. (hence why you would be hard pushed to prove conspiracy)

          I have to say the action of the police is not unusual, you ask a senior officer at a security conference a question that should result in an instant response of "violation S1, S2 CMA90", and you get a long pause followed by "err, criminal damage"

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    too few to help, more than enough to stoke it up

    I could have sympathy for the police if it were not for the fact that they must have clearly wanted the material distributed far and wide.

    Anywho, can't wait for the investigation in to the whole mess (extinguishers aside, it was hardly a riot).

  8. Syntax Error

    Plodding about

    Plod plodding about on the internet. Always behind the curve... LOL

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real criminals here

    Are the sort of people who use the phrase 'de-host' in cold blood.

  10. JaitcH

    What a wussy host - Plod has no rights to censor web sites-no court process now?

    What sort of host is this that falls over when Plod comes knocking? How about some court paperwork to start the proceedings?

    Ask Plod under what legislation do they think they have the right, the Act - chapter and verse.

    The web site registrant should get a .com/.net/,org registration then get hosting on someone LIKE BigDaddy who can handle obstreperous Plods from other countries.

    Guess they can kiss goodbye to support from the government, seeing whose furniture was re-arranged.

  11. Tempest

    Marbles! Horses loooove marbles!

    Unhappy vocalisers in Toronto, Canada have found the Mounted Plod can best be dissuaded by marbles, those glass round things kids play with, scattered on the ground.

    Nothing in the law about marbles, yet, I guess.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Welcome to the 1980s

      That was discovered by the Coal Miners and Wapping demonstrators back in the 1980s...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Born yesterday?

        Not forgetting the anti-Vietnam-war demonstrators outside the US embassy in the 60's. And probably the Suffragettes even earlier. Some people around here seem to have been born yesterday!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Probably goes back even further...

          Try ball bearings... Just as effective and they tend not to break up when put under crushing stress...

          If you really wanted to upset the police then ....., no, I can't say. Incitement and all that...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            RE: Probably goes back even further...

            "If you really wanted to upset the police then ....., no, I can't say. Incitement and all that..."

            You were thinking caltrops weren't you? Naughty...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Thumb Down


              These are particarly nasty little things, that if made correctly (and two wires twisted together correctly I understand works quite well), can serve as a defense against both mounted and foot opponents. Certainly some of the more modern ones will easily go through the sole of a boot and even crapy ones will damage the hooves of horses.

              That said I cannot under any cirucmstances recommend their use, as they are a particuarlly nasty and slow way of destroying a horse, and are generally easily swept away by foot opponents. Also, carrying them might just get you done for going equiped (hence the change to marbles I believe)

              1. william henderson 1

                visit your local zoo

                i understand that tiger shit will scare a (plod) horse like nothing else on earth.*

                *exept a tiger.

      2. John Lilburne

        Actually ...

        .. Battle of Cable Street 1936.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Say hello to the Streisand Effect.

    On another note, why didn't the hoster hold out for a warrant? Is it time to take note of this particular hoster and move away, quick like?

  13. NB


    Clearly the Met haven't got their heads around the Streisand effect yet. Fucking idiots.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Been there, seen that

    Ecrime oficers get sent on a 10 day "how to use the internet" course.....Ecrime seniors do not, they just get placed there because there's nowhere else that needs a senior officer or such at the time....add to this that Ecrime are not Police, but a seperate SOCA unit and presto, one gathers intelligence, the other arrests....neither really knowing how the internet or it's users work.

    Your average 10 year old gets more internet teaching than any Ecrime noddy.

    I still agree that most peaceful protests would be just that, but always rent-a-mob will ruin it for the masses and UK.Gov will ignore any reasonable argument against things due to that issue.

    Before you start at the "he doesnt know shit", I have two offspring at Uni and three at College so the fee thing DOES affect me

  15. Gordon861

    Sue the Host?

    I hope Fitwatch decide to try and sue the host for acting illegally.

    Also if the police don't now try to get every other site that has posted the information closed down it will prove that they were just looking for an excuse to his this site rather than just acting on the evidence of this one post.

  16. Rogerborg

    They just need iCID who can multitask

    Fire up the Quadcore!

  17. Mark .


    Steven Jones: So we should be expected to run our blog posts past a lawyer now, in case they get taken down?

    As for comments about the legality, not really the point anyway - it doesn't matter what the post was, the worry is that it gets shut down at the request of the police, not the courts. When you also consider that Fitwatch is a site that monitors police "FITs" (the ones that photograph people at protests), you can see it worrying that the police were able to do this.

    As for the post - yes, some of the advice was rather dodgy, but so? It's one thing debating whether it should be legal to post information on how to make bombs etc, but this was nothing like that. It wasn't even advice on how to commit a crime, it was rather advice on avoiding arrest. Some of that advice would be entirely reasonable for a defence lawyer to give (e.g., not answering whether you're in a photo, if they have no other evidence of you).

    It's all very well asking whether censorship is justified in things like terrorism where life or limb is endangered, but we're talking about smashed glass. I don't condone vandalism, and yes those responsible should be charged, but we don't need to trample our freedom and hand over control of the Internet to the police just because of this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Legality

      >As for the post - yes, some of the advice was rather dodgy, but so?

      I would argue that the advice was aimed at the many peaceful participants who don't want to be identified and then harrassed by police just because they happened to be caught on film.

      A future career as a teacher, doctor, nurse or indeed policeman might be snipped in the bud if the police came knocking and took your DNA based on nothing more you may have been present at a demonstration.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    UK right wing press "name and shame" youth accusing him of throwing a fire extinguisher towards police, publishing photo of offender as evidence.

    Turns out he's a Cambridge student from a respectable background with a father who is friends with the local Tory MP.

    U-turn by UK press who now accuse more suitable villain of throwing fire extinguisher publishing a new picture of a long haired hooligan type as evidence of their "error".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      source references? I missed this..

      1. Wayne


        1. Anonymous Coward

          Illegal Blog? You decide...

          So on the one side you've a political blog advocating citizens rights censored following a takedown request by Police.

          On the other you've a collection of right wing nut jobs freely using their blogs and columns to publicise accusations of attempted murder - seemingly without the slightest evidence to backup their claims.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Telegraph, Daily Mail et al (run a google news search or look at web archives) ran story of 23 year old Cambridge student arrested and charged with attempted police murder - accompanied by photo of smart, short haired youth in red tshirt on tory hq roof brandishing fire extinguisher, clearly leading readers to associate arrested would-be murderer with youth in photo.

        In later versions it turns out to be a case of mistaken identity. Of course real suspect is -

        "Extinguisher thug an ‘anarchist with dreads’ - The thug who hurled a fire extinguisher 70ft off the roof of Tory headquarters is thought to be an anarchist with strawberry-blond dreadlocks in a black jacket"

        Followed by more stories and photos (sans fire extinguisher) of long haired "hardcore anarchist" suspect -

        UK press, arbiters of justice!

        As the censored blog incoveniently pointed out -

        "DONT panic. Press photos are not necessarily conclusive evidence, and just because the police have a photo of you doesn’t mean they know who you are."

    2. David Neil
      Thumb Down

      Not a u-turn

      It came to light on TV footage that there was more than one person on the roof with fire extinguishers and the stunning realisation that they may have tried to finger the wrong person.

      Doesn't exactly fit your little conspiracy theory does it?

  19. Lottie


    ... They were looking for an excuse to take the site down. Have been for a while.

    They don't like criticism.

    As for the info, I say it could also be interpreted as advice on how not to get fitted up. "We know you were at the demo and saw someone in a blue coat throw a fire extinguisher. You have a blue coat don't you?"

  20. Richard Jukes


    The education sector is the last industry in Britain that we can monetize. Its one of the best educational systems in the world, and its quite simple - you get what you pay for. Why on earth should Uni's not charge market rates? Combine this with burserys and grants and I cannot see why we can not have Uni's for dumb rich people, and Uni's for smart poor people.

    Dumb poor people, well they are just fucked aint they - but Im guessing that university is perhaps not the best place for them.

    1. Magnus_Pym


      Dumb rich people run the country that's why. They choose who gets the top jobs.

      Market forces being what they are we will have (as we had in the past) our lords and masters paying huge fees for an Oxbridge degree for their little darlings so they can follow mummy and daddy into Banking, Law and Politics. Those who can't muster the cash are kept down in their rightful place. Parents wealth becomes the arbiter of social position. The country moves from meritocracy to a feudalism.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Because...

        "our lords and masters paying huge fees for an Oxbridge degree for their little darlings so they can follow mummy and daddy into Banking, Law and Politics"

        Or if they are so catastrophically stupid even daddy's money can't buy them into Oxbridge there's always St Andrews to do divinity (or Art History if they're a Royal)

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Web Host Fail

    They need to get a better web-host.

    When the MET police objected to content on one of my sites they contacted my web host. The host contacted me and asked me to contact the police. They did not give up my details. I verified the phone number and contacted the police and resolved the issue.

    I was pleased to know my host wasn't going to give up my details to any old person who requested it without a court order.

    A letter or phone call doesn't prove who someone is so the web host should not have caved in so easily to what could have been a scam.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    nothing to see here

    15.11.2010 19:38

    Resisting the Forward Intelligence Teams - the cops who harass protesters

    Fitwatch website has been suspended for "attempting to pervert the course of justice" after host were contacted by the Met. Pass On PLEASE This is all we know at this time.. If you saved know any one who saved any content please please get in touch..

    Blog was suspended on request of Acting Detective Inspector Will Hodgeson from CO11 as part of Op Malone

    More information and new web address to follow soon.

    Fitwatch - e-mail:

    The remarkable and brilliant student action at Millbank has produced some predictable frothing at the mouth from the establishment and right wing press. Cameron has called for the ‘full weight of the law’ to fall on those who had caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage to the expensive decor at Tory party HQ. Responsibility is being placed on ‘a violent faction’, after the march was ‘infiltrated’ by anarchists.

    There are an encouraging number of intiatives to show solidarity with the arrested students – something that is vital if they are to avoid the sort of punitive ‘deterrent’ sentences handed out to the Gaza demonstrators. A legal support group has been established and the National Campaign against Cuts and Fees has started a support campaign. Goldsmiths lecturers union has publicly commended the students for a ‘magnificent demonstration’ .

    This is all much needed, as the establishment is clearly on the march with this one. The Torygraph has published an irresponsible and frenzied ‘shop-a-student’ piece and the Met are clearly under pressure to produce ‘results’ after what they have admitted was a policing ‘embarrassment’.

    51 people have been arrested so far, and the police have claimed they took the details of a further 250 people in the kettle using powers under the Police Reform Act. There may be more arrests to come.

    Students who are worried should consider taking the following actions:

    If you have been arrested, or had your details taken – contact the legal support campaign. As a group you can support each other, and mount a coherent campaign.

    If you fear you may be arrested as a result of identification by CCTV, FIT or press photography;

    DONT panic. Press photos are not necessarily conclusive evidence, and just because the police have a photo of you doesn’t mean they know who you are.

    DONT hand yourself in. The police often use the psychological pressure of knowing they have your picture to persuade you to ‘come forward’. Unless you have a very pressing reason to do otherwise, let them come and find you, if they know who you are.

    DO get rid of your clothes. There is no chance of suggesting the bloke in the video is not you if the clothes he is wearing have been found in your wardrobe. Get rid of ALL clothes you were wearing at the demo, including YOUR SHOES, your bag, and any distinctive jewellery you were wearing at the time. Yes, this is difficult, especially if it is your only warm coat or decent pair of boots. But it will be harder still if finding these clothes in your flat gets you convicted of violent disorder.

    DONT assume that because you can identify yourself in a video, a judge will be able to as well. ‘That isn’t me’ has got many a person off before now.

    DO keep away from other demos for a while. The police will be on the look-out at other demos, especially student ones, for people they have put on their ‘wanted’ list. Keep a low profile.

    DO think about changing your appearance. Perhaps now is a good time for a make-over. Get a haircut and colour, grow a beard, wear glasses. It isn’t a guarantee, but may help throw them off the scent.

    DO keep your house clean. Get rid of spray cans, demo related stuff, and dodgy texts / photos on your phone. Don’t make life easy for them by having drugs, weapons or anything illegal in the house.

    DO get the name and number of a good lawyer you can call if things go badly. The support group has the names of recommended lawyers on their site. Take a bit of time to read up on your rights in custody, especially the benefits of not commenting in interview.

    DO be careful who you speak about this to. Admit your involvement in criminal damage / disorder ONLY to people you really trust.

    DO try and control the nerves and panic. Waiting for a knock on the door is stressful in the extreme, but you need to find a way to get on with business as normal.

    Otherwise you’ll be serving the sentence before you are even arrested.

  23. John G Imrie

    It advised anyone who had already been arrested to contact the legal support team.

    For gods sake you can't tell people *that*. No wonder the site was taken down.

    Next you'll be telling people its up to the Police to fine evidence and that threatening their job prospects by adding the fact that they where detained to the CRB database unless they co-operate is unlawful.

    England Prevails.

  24. Chaosechoz

    Pork joint?

    What is the problem with the police. I mean sure so a load of students got out of hand big deal. They have the right to be pissed off. This country was founded on the principals of being a "free" country.

    Whats free about it....

    Unless mommy or daddy has at least a £60,000 job forget about going to uni (bunch of scam artists anwyay) (yes I did go to uni for 5 years so I know what a load of crap they all are)

    Education should be FREE its our god given right to want to better ourselves without the need to get further in to debt doing it...

    I say stuff the british police.. they dont do crap all anyway. (i know that the met are watching me right now so hello out there!!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Glad my taxes

      ..went on educating you then. I seem to remember going to University. I quite enjoyed it and haven't been out of work for > 2 months in the last 25 years. Quite worthwhile I think. Still, I didn't do media studies/environmental sciences or the suchlike.

      And for free education, perhaps you could get a few book from the charity shop and teach yourself, if you can read that is.

      Perhaps since the UK is such a free country all shops should therefor be free. Perhaps at last i will be able to get that cool car I always wanted. For free. Or that excellent desktop O/S, oh, hold on, already got that....

      1. LinkOfHyrule

        Okay then

        Okay then, why the hell should five to sixteen year-olds have free education then? According to your logic they shouldn't.

        Why is the air we breath free? Lets charge for it!



        Oh and LOL at "glad my taxes" - such a classic Daily Mail readers turn of phrase that! Are you sure you went to uni?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    Wake up, smell the coffee…. and if you want another Heinlein quote TANSTAAFL. Back here this country has faced a financial crisis in part caused by the reckless actions of the banks, but largely because of the spending of the government. S&P were on the point of downgrading the UK bond rating. You are probably right letters to MP’s may in this instance have no effect, because the country cannot afford the levels of spending that have happened over the last 10 years. The government have no choice but to cut back.

    The examples of civil insurrection you quote above are not the same as the situation in the UK. In all instances (maybe not Martin Luther King, but I think this could be argued) the protestors were dealing with an oppressive regime, not a democratic government. The example of BT/PHORM is being addressed by the European courts.

    As Bristol Bachelor points out above there are choices to be made, do you choose the NHS, or maybe the continued expansion of higher education? Personally I would rather pay my taxes so that somebody who is ill can go to hospital. As opposed to funding some kid (who perhaps should get a job) so that they can waste 3 years studying media studies, sitting around and watching Hollyoaks and learning how to txt real good……….. leaving them then to spend the next 50 years claiming benefits.

    Some of the young people of today have an attitude of entitlement, but you get what you work and pay for, smashing up other people’s property when this doesn’t happen is just vandalism. At least writing a letter might keep some sympathy for the ‘point’ in dispute.

    @AC 13:28 GMT and I nominate you an ‘Anonymous Coward’.

    1. John G Imrie

      Personally I would rather pay my taxes

      I don't mind paying my taxes either. I just get pissed when the likes of Vodafone get let off a £6B tax bill because they had the head of HMCR over for dinner.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      > Wake up, smell the coffee…. and if you want another Heinlein quote

      I don't. His books are dreary politics-goes-sci-fi extravaganzas. Give me an Arthur Clarke quote instead.

      > Back here this country has faced a financial crisis in part caused by the reckless actions of the banks, but largely because of the spending of the government.

      It's an economic recession, dummy - everyone's in debt because everyone spent too much (, although you have to wonder who these countries are in debt to if they're all in debt and who exactly this debt is serving. Don't believe everything you read in the press / see on TV / hear about economics: It's a made-up science, with real simulated experiments.

      > The government have no choice but to cut back.


      > In all instances (maybe not Martin Luther King, but I think this could be argued) the protestors were dealing with an oppressive regime, not a democratic government.

      Suffragettes were campaining against a democratic government where "democratic" = 'voted in by some people'. True it wasn't all the people, but if that's going to be your criterion then our society isn't fully democratic - where "fully democratic" = "anyone can vote" - because certain people are exempt from voting (cf. Sure the coalition was voted for by some people, but a) a majority of the people who voted didn't vote for either party in the coalition and b) even if they did nearly everyone who voted would have had to have voted for the same party because only 65.1% of the population turned out to vote (source: The goverenment hasn't been voted in by a majority under either criterion and therefore has no mandate whatsoever other than the fact that some people voted for them.

      > As Bristol Bachelor points out above there are choices to be made, do you choose the NHS, or maybe the continued expansion of higher education?

      It's not a question about what you or I choose - it's a question of what the government chooses and what you can do to persuade them otherwise (if, that is, you want to do so).

      > Some of the young people of today have an attitude of entitlement, but you get what you work and pay for

      Unless you're rich, in which case you usually get what your daddy worked for. And there's no-one with a sense of entitlement quite like the rich, wouldn't you say?

      > smashing up other people’s property when this doesn’t happen is just vandalism.

      Sometimes. Sometimes it's valid response to having no other means of expression your utter frustration with a system where the losers always win. What's the point - one might ask - of feeding kids the idea that "you can do it if you try" only for them to find out that you can't do it even if you try really hard. Might as well tell them "Don't rock the boat - just do what we tell you". It would be less frustrating and lead to less anger in the streets when things went wrong.

      > At least writing a letter might keep some sympathy for the ‘point’ in dispute.

      I couldn't care less if my MP sympathises with my views: He's my representative.

      1. PT

        Re: @Responses

        "I couldn't care less if my MP sympathises with my views: He's my representative."

        +1 for making that important point.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Titus is cute, can we keep him?

    Lazy students watching bloody Countdown using up my taxes HURF DURF. Daily Mail subscriber are we?

    Funny how he thinks writing to an MP will do anything at all. Sometimes I wish I were that naive, ignorance is bliss after all.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "Ignorance is bliss..."

      ...until they take your bliss away" (Them Crooked Vultures)

      Just you wait.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      RE: Titus is cute

      Of course we can keep him. He'll have to be neutered first though...


  27. Anonymous Coward

    Sitting on the fence

    I have a lot of problems with these protests. On the one hand, sponging students. I was one once. I actually paid for my own education though - none of this sponging off the state. Those protesting should understand that a lot of British universities, especially the highest quality ones, currently make a loss from every EU student they teach. At Oxford for example, a medicine undergraduate course costs over £26000 per annum, but they receive fees of £3000. This makes top universities put a lot of effort in to getting international students to fill places so they make less of a loss. That denies places to British students. Increasing tuition fees will end up increasing the number of places at top universities available to British students. Have a look at the fees of the top 10 universities in the world. US universities wouldn't think twice about charging $50000 per annum.

    On the other hand, everyone in the UK should have the right to demonstrate about things. Poll Tax protests, the Countryside Alliance protests, the Iraq War protests. These were all, in one way or another, important protests. If you think the protest needs violence to be heard, then you can always claim connection with the anarchist protesters of the past. Whether that be suffragettes, or anti-apartheid, or civil rights, etc. My suspicion is that history will be a little harsh. In 50 years time, I doubt anyone will consider the increasing of tuition fees to be even remotely similar to the great civil rights movements of the 20th century. But that is not for me to decide. Just remember that the people involved in these great civil rights demonstrations suffered incredibly for their civil disobedience. Emily Davison - dead. Nelson Mandela - 27 years in prison. Malcolm X or Martin Luther King Jr - dead. If you want to take part in civil disobedience as part of your protest, consider the consequences first!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What price education?

      Putting top american universities' tuitition forward glosses over the fact that those private universities don't differ all that much in teaching quality from american state universities that you pay a small fraction of the money for. The extra is mainly the joys of an expensive brand name and the network that goes with it. Useful, but not really comparable to a one-fee-for-all system. You could debate the merits of copying the "system" of having cheap "generic" and very expensive "brand name" universities, but that's not what this protest is about.

      Personally I don't have a problem with subsidising education because of several side effects. First is that universities do education and research both, and the cost is hard to impossible to separate, exactly because research is so unpredictable and sometimes you need a freshman's eyes for that breakthrough. Second is that once educated, the benefit isn't limited to straight up bigger salaries for the educated. Educated persons tend to be a benefit for all around, directly or indirectly, and not just in money.

      Education has always been the gateway to climbing towards prosperity. That goes back to at least Charlemagne in Europe and perhaps even farther back elsewhere.

      And, since in this sense the UK is just one more part of the EU including tax monies flowing back and forth, also in the form of research grants and education subsidies and such, it's not entirely fair to complain about EU students pushing out the UK natives. British students could go study abroad with equal ease, and there are places where the tuitition is far lower or even free. Though I would agree that if the rules create an incentive to game the system like that then the rules probably need a bit of a shaking up. Which is a fair bet since academia tends to be full of silly rules, some of them quite costly, perhaps even needlessly so.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    This is a post, my gawd bless all who sail in her

    Well it looks to me as though the Tory lead coalition are intent on smashing the hopes, dreams and aspirations of most of the population - not just future students. In return they got a few windows smashed. They got off lightly, IMO.


    Students smash some windows = anachy, broken society, appalling behaviour.

    Bullingdon Club smash up resturants = jolly japes, what ho.


  29. Magnus_Pym

    It's not education that you pay for.

    It's opportunity.

    "US universities wouldn't think twice about charging $50000 per annum"

    That's not the cost of the education it's the cost of joining the club. The right law degree gets you a chance at the right law firm. The right law firm gets you a change a the right career ladder. etc. ad nauseum.

  30. Juan Inamillion

    @Pork joint?

    Well that was five years wasted then...

    Just remind me who contributed to the cost of your 'education'?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem is,

    That the demonstrations have been effectively hijacked by the less reason-rich attendees.

    People who think any increase in tuition fees is absolutely wrong will still think so - and will at worst see the violence as rogue members or unfortunate but necessary for publicity.

    People who think students are lazy/worthless/lefties scrounging off the state will see this as simply re-inforcing their deep held views.

    People who think students get a good deal with respect to the cost of education versus the related career based financial rewards will have fallen into two categories: those that think £9Gs per year is too much and those that think it is fair. It is unlikely that anyone in this camp who thinks that 9K was fair is suddenly going to change their mind based on the TV pictures of vandalism, destruction and whatever you think is a fair description of teh act of lobbing a fire extinguisher off a tall building into a crowd. It is possible some sympathy may well have been lost from others though.

    The rest of us, look atthis as a mix of many, not necesarily related issues and aren't so stupid as to focus on one to the extent of all others.

    -Fees increases - look, as a country we have no fucking money left. Labour would have increased fees and so would the Tories. Between them they received an overwealming majority of votes in England at the last election. Clearly the majority of voters either wanted fees raising (unlikely) or just didn't care (likely) - however welcome to democracy, ain't it a bitch? Clearly not every university will be able to raise fees to 9k a year and the ones that will are the ones you shouldn't want to go to anyway.

    -Demonstration police, especially FIT are a bunch of bad people who should be controlled more and held accountable by government and teh people, the same government and people they represent. This does not, however excuse criminal behaviour such as vandalism and lobbing fire extinguishers. You could argue it excuses certain forms of affray though.

    -The right to peaceful demonstration - I think we are all happy for this, even though it causes disruption and costs public money (which we ar erunning out of - hence the plan to raise tuition fees amongst others)

    -Shutting down FITWatch website - it was going to happen at some point - they just gave plod plenty of excuses to do it now. No ISP is going to argue that hosting material telling people to destroy evidence is crossing a line. Even if it is obvious advice that anyone would take if they could get away with it. Thsi doesn't mean we have suddenly entered a police state. I have respect for most of what FITWatch do but they got stupid and picked the wrong fight here - if they stuck to calling out plod they would be fine but they overstepped a mark any fool could see would lead to this.

    -The violence inherent in the system. Or at least in the protests - this should be condemned - this is not some civil rights issue or matter of freedom, it is just a protest about whether higher education is paid for predominantly by the recipients or society in general. I am sure Martin Luther King, Ghandi and the Pankhurst sisters would be so proud of this direct action.

    This is not a big thing by any means, it is not a sign that students are revolting (in any sense of the word) nor is it proof that we have entered a totalitarian police state. The government pissed some peopel off (which is inevitable for a government), a demonstration turned violent (big surprise) and plod used every excuse to exert as much authority as they can get away with (just as they have done since Bobby Peel's day).

  32. serviceWithASmile

    did nobody think

    that perhaps the Prime Minister describing a political protest as "not right" is not conducive to a healthy democracy?

    not saying we ever had one in the first place, but they do try hard to appear that we do...

    slightly more on topic - I'm partway into a degree in computing, and so far thankfully been able to pay my course fees with help from

    if you think I'm sponging, consider that I've been in full time employment for nearly half my lifetime.

    My total sponging of course fees totals £400, and apart from a single rebate I've had the arse taxed off me the whole time.

    How much of "your" tax money do you think your average politician spends on phreaky online porn subs or cleaning staff for their second home per year?

    point is, if course fees were to go up too much (read:30% or higher) and I couldn't get gov to help, I'd probably have to spend the rest of my LIFE working towards this degree, purely in order to improve my knowledge / skills to make me more employable, rather than just 6-10 years (yeah it's an OU degree, no time for anything else).

    So I totally sympathise with these guys. needs to know when we don't like something; it's not like they ever cared if they broke a few eggs when making the omlette.

    That would keep poor plebs like me in my place, wouldn't it?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Millbank Police response

    Great that the Police have lept into action after someone threw a fire extinguisher in their direction, but I'd feel more comfortable if they had the same reaction to the death of Ian Tomlinson, rather than the major cover up.

    In that regard, why not join in with my SPOT THE DIFFERENCE at;

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next stop

    Extension of the IWF's remit.

    You read it here first.

  35. nichomach
    Paris Hilton

    Seems as though the Met are...

    ...having a John Gilmore moment:

    "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."

    I can't decide - FAIL or BB for Met, thumbsup for Net, Black Helicopter because they're coming for us all...ah, screw it: PH for no readily apparent reason.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Problem is too many go to uni.

    My lad did the calculation.

    Unimpressive A levels but he could have scraped into a crap Uni on a crap course, come out to no job after 3 years with £30k debt.

    He'd had enough of school anyway, got the brains but not the motivation. Signed up for McDonalds. He's "'lovin it", likes working there, varied work, responsibility, free training, a career path. Even if he were to get no promotion, after 3 years he'll have earnt £30k + , got work experience to put on CV and some extra qualifications.

    Rather than increase the retirement age we should re-introduce the opportunity for non-academic kids to go into apprenticeships at 14 and retire at 60, not start work at 21 and retire at 70. Teenagers can learn a real trade from people in the trade, not from teachers (those who can, do those who can't, teach). Who knows, maybe instead of having non-academic Brits on the dole while having to import Eastern European tradesmen we could train our own plasterers, builders, plumbers... And wouldn't it be great if when I phoned my bank I got to speak to someone who knows English! Why export those jobs ot be done badly when we have graduates on the dole?

    Uni should be for the academic, increasing the numbers means over supply of graduates not bigger earnings for all, it means dumbing down Uni courses so the thick ones get a degree too. Secondary schools are crippled by the presence of loads of 14+ who really don't want to be there and not only don't benefit but also reduce the effectiveness for those who do want to learn. If "Free" uni education for the brightest 10% plus grants like our generation got results in graduates getting into the 40% tax band and, in effect, repaying the cost of Uni.

    BTW Bliars "education, education, education" mantra has a close equivalent in Lenin, not a precise translation but close enough.

    1. Magnus_Pym


      Employers don't want to pay for apprenticeships.

      They don't like investing in the future. Buy now pay later is the modern way.

      They don't trust the government to prevent boom/bust.

      They don't trust the apprentices not to jump ship at the first opportunity.

      They don't know if the skills required now will still be relevant at the end of the training period.

      They don't like to compete on service rather than price.

  37. Mark .

    Re: Don't like the Police?

    Andy Fletcher: If you don't like living in a country where organisations like Fitwatch exist, why don't you go off to Somalia?

    And why do you need the police - I mean, with your logic, if you get assaulted, mugged, or burgled, you just say to yourself "Well that's okay, it's better than Somalia where I'd be shot", right?

    Bob H: "but having read some of that site I see that these are just the usual neo-anarchists who use barrack room lawyer tactics to serve their own devious purposes."

    If you don't like it, don't read it. That's not an argument for granting censorship control of the Internet to the police.

    "There is no moral high ground when you advocate destruction of evidence"

    Well, if growing a beard or cutting your own hair counts as "destruction"... they were not however advocating violence, vandalism or interference with the police.

    Peter2: "I call that lying under oath, legally known as perjury or perverting the course of justice."

    Er, advising someone not to answer being in a photo is entirely the kind of reasonable advice a defence lawyer might give. Remember also that being in a photo doesn't constitute a crime - people may have been at the protest, and risk being accused, even if they didn't smash any windows.

    Moreover, you're missing the point. Even if you think the advice is wrong, it shouldn't be illegal to give the advice. If the advice is childish (as Stephane claims), it's far more childish for the police to shut it down. Why aren't we criticising that?

This topic is closed for new posts.