The officers who pumped seven bullets into Jean Charles de Menezes as he sat in a Tube train in Stockwell station on 22 July believed he was a suicide-bomber about to detonate a bomb. They were wrong, and may now face trial for murder.
Whether or not they are prosecuted, however, it is almost certain that the Metropolitan Police’s policy of killing people who its senior officers believe are about to detonate bombs will remain.
Through all the changes of the past decades, Tiananmen Square still sums up China. I was there last week and the first thing that strikes you is its size. Like many things in China, it is the biggest of its kind in the world. China also has the largest population and the biggest army, produces the most cement, and has put much of this into the world’s largest dam. Combined with the world’s highest rate of sustained economic growth, this makes China both the greatest threat to British economic complacency and the biggest opportunity for UK exporters.
The ideology of multiculturalism is theoretically meant to build a more tolerant, inclusive Britain. But in practice it is a deeply racist concept, one that judges people by their ethnic origin and thereby promotes division in our society. The very basis of multiculturalism is a contradiction of the democratic principle that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of their background or skin colour.
About halfway through our interview, Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, lets out a snort of exasperation. It had been building up for quite a while, I think; every time I quoted some good old leftie shibboleth about race relations I sensed a hidden snort or a stifled guffaw. Eventually the man could hold back no longer. ‘Look,’ he said. ‘You can’t make people love people of other races.
The weeks since the death of Robin Cook have seen an unwholesome squabble concerning who will inherit the ‘legacy’ of the former foreign secretary. Chancellor Gordon Brown made an instant smash-and-grab raid, while allies of the Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain have been furtively suggesting that he is the true inheritor.
There is a respectable case to be made, however, that the backbencher John Denham is the only mainstream Labour politician who has a legitimate claim to step into Robin Cook’s shoes.