Pc Harwood walks, but police still have questions to answer
Opinion digest: the Ian Tomlinson case, Wall Street pounces on City, and the housing crisis
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THE POLICE CANNOT POLICE THEMSELVES
THE INDEPENDENT ON THE TOMLINSON CASE
There was never any question that Ian Tomlinson was hit with a baton and then knocked to the ground, says an editorial in The Independent. There is CCTV footage of the incident. The question was whether riot policeman Pc Simon Harwood could be held responsible for the homeless newspaper vendor's subsequent collapse and death. A jury has decided he is not guilty of manslaughter. But the matter does not end there. After the trial it was revealed that Pc Harwood had a history of 10 disciplinary complaints against him in 12 years for violence and misconduct. This raises questions as to why he was deemed fit to still be in uniform. More disturbing is that Pc Harwood was able to dodge the most serious charges against him by quitting his force and then rejoining. Pc Harwood may have been acquitted yesterday. "But the police service has more to explain than ever."
WALL STREET IS READY TO POUNCE ON THE CITY
FRASER NELSON ON LONDON'S FINANCIAL CENTRE
To Wall Street chiefs, the success of Britain's financial centre has always been galling, says Fraser Nelson in The Daily Telegraph. "America is supposed to be the leader of the free world, and yet somehow it was London that emerged as the true global capital, a magnet for the smartest financiers on the planet." For two decades, London has seemed indomitable. But today the City is vulnerable as the Americans, the Japanese and even the Swiss launch their own investigations into the Libor rate-fixing scandal. Their collective ambition is clear. They see a chance to bring down not just the Libor fixers, but the whole City. This pursuit of the City is being driven by a mixture of justified anger and rank opportunism. "The City has had spectacular problems, but what is rotten about it is outweighed not just by what is good, but by what is truly extraordinary." We must defend it.
CAP PRIVATE RENT AND BUILD MORE COUNCIL HOMES
KEN LIVINGSTONE ON THE HOUSING CRISIS
The Government's response to the housing crisis has put tenants in a vulnerable position, says Ken Livingstone in The Guardian. The lack of new council housing "has left half a million households to rot on London councils' waiting lists, while the city's population has increased by 1.5 million in 25 years". This has vastly increased the demand for private rented homes, pushing up rents and making it harder than ever for people to save for mortgages. Even people earning £70,000 can't afford to buy. Tenants not only face high rents and fees, but often "crooked landlords" who won't carry out essential repairs or return deposits. "It doesn't have to be like this." In France and Germany, half the population live in well regulated private rented accommodation, offering tenants stability and owners a reasonable return on their investment. We should follow their example, but we must also start building council homes for rent again.