We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

It’s not like anyone needs to know what a killer still at large looks like

The biggest UK news overnight was this:

Birmingham stabbings: Manhunt as one killed and seven hurt.

That BBC report dates from last night when the man who had already randomly murdered Jacob Billington was still at large. It reads:

A knifeman who killed one man and wounded seven other people in a two-hour stabbing rampage across Birmingham city centre is being hunted by police.

The first stabbing was in Constitution Hill at 00:30 BST then the killer moved south, apparently attacking at random, officers said.

The stabbings did not appear terrorism related, gang related or connected to disorder, West Midlands Police said.

Murder inquiry detectives said they were hunting a single suspect.

The force urged anyone with CCTV or mobile footage to contact them.

One man died, another man and a woman suffered critical injuries and five other people were left with non-life-threatening injuries.

Ch Supt Steve Graham said the attacker went on to stab people in Livery Street, Irving Street and finally in Hurst Street, where the city’s Gay Village meets the Chinese Quarter, at about 02:20 BST.

Police said there was no evidence the stabbings were a hate crime.

I expect they were the non-hateful sort of stabbings. The BBC article continues,

Ch Supt Graham said officers – some armed – remained across the city centre to reassure people.

He added they had received a number of descriptions of the suspect but would not be releasing any details for the time being.

So while a man who had already killed one person and murderously attacked several other men and women was still on the streets looking for more victims, the police felt the need to issue a statement about his motives, about which they could not possibly know. They did not feel the need to tell the public what he looked like, which they did know, being in possession of multiple statements from the surviving victims and other witnesses, plus CCTV footage.

To be fair, anyone familiar with modern policing could deduce what the absence of a police description actually meant.

*

A related post from six years ago: Politically correct evasiveness fails on its own terms.

84 comments to It’s not like anyone needs to know what a killer still at large looks like

  • Stonyground

    Whenever I come across a story that simply seems to defy all reason, my immediate thought is that there are some important details missing. These generally turn out to be details that would have made the story pretty mundane and boring. By missing them out the journalist has made the story into something totally outrageous. I’m now left wondering what could possibly be the real reason for the police to be withholding the description of this dangerous loon.

  • pst314

    The killer is a Person of No Description.

  • Nullius in Verba

    They released the pictures later.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/06/multiple-stabbings-birmingham-city-centre/

    “I’m now left wondering what could possibly be the real reason for the police to be withholding the description of this dangerous loon.”

    There could be all sorts of reasons. One common reason is that they don’t want the perpetrator to know how much they know. Another is that if they’re part of a gang, they don’t want the rest of the gang warned. Another is to protect witnesses – if the description allows a perpetrator to figure out who grassed them up. Another might be that the descriptions are vague and not very useful, or possibly wrong/inconsistent, and they don’t want to either start a witchhunt against any of the thousands meeting the description (especially if it’s the wrong description), or let the miscreant know how little they know. They might claim to have a better description than they do, so the criminal goes into hiding instead of walking the streets, stabbing more people. Orthey might have vigilantes out, and don’t want random members of the public accosting them before the police get to them. And so on.

    It’s easy to think of reasons, unless you’re fixated on the politics.

    Anyway, given that the footage has been released now, we can eliminate some of the possibilities.

  • bobby b

    From NiV’s linked article:

    “When the first, frantic calls were received by the police control room shortly after 12.30am, there was nothing to suggest it was anything out of the ordinary.”

    My, how we’ve prostituted the concept of “ordinary.” One guy knifing a few people – ho hum. But then he knifed more . . .

    If just one person along his route had a handgun . . . But, no, that would be uncivilized.

  • APL

    NiV: “Another is to protect witnesses – if the description allows a perpetrator to figure out who grassed them up.”

    The Police issuing a description of the perpetrator somehow allows him the perpetrator, to know what multiple potential witnesses ( to what currently appear to be random attacks ) look like.

    Is my mind being destroyed reading this individuals comments, or is that is an insane statement?

  • APL

    The stabbings did not appear terrorism related, gang related or connected to disorder, West Midlands Police said.

    Killing one man and scaring the bejusus out of the general population is not terror related.

    Nor was it disorderly, because the Police assure us it wasn’t related to disorder.

    I think I know where NiV earns his crust, West Midlands Police public liaison office.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The Police issuing a description of the perpetrator somehow allows him the perpetrator, to know what multiple potential witnesses ( to what currently appear to be random attacks ) look like.”

    If only one witness sees the perpetrator’s face, then a description of the perpetrator’s face reveals who talked to the police. If the perpetrator was wearing a blue hat at one site and a green hat at all the others, a description saying ‘blue hat’ tells him where the witness was. etc. It’s not hard.

    “Is my mind being destroyed reading this individuals comments, or is that is an insane statement?”

    I’m not surprised your mind had difficulty understanding that. But it happened long before I came along!

    “I think I know where NiV earns his crust, West Midlands Police public liaison office.”

    That’s the sort of bizarre unlogical deduction that makes the police unwilling to provide evidence to the public…

  • Itellyounothing

    Niv’s are all reasonable speculation based on the lack of information in the public domain.

    This stuff used to come out in courts of law.

    It could still be a PC PC but there
    Are many stabby people with varying motives in Birmingham…. It’s a s*** hole.

  • Fraser Orr

    I have to say in defense of the police that it may very well be that there were multiple descriptions that were extremely inconsistent (as is usually the case.) And to put out a description, something like “a black male in his 30s” describes so many people that it is both useless and counterproductive overwhelming them with bogus tips. It seems from some of the linked articles that they do have a photo, which is much more useful.

    But I also have to say that you Brits are pikers. Here in Chicago over the past weekend we had forty people shot including a couple of kids, and so far five of them have died, all of them, AFAIK, black. Five dead, forty shot is what we in Chicago call “a quiet, low crime weekend”. It makes you wonder why the mayor of Chicago doesn’t feel the need to resign immediately. I guess, given her reaction to her own “hairdresser controversy” that chutzpah is her primary qualification for the job.

  • APL

    Itellyounothing: “Niv’s are all reasonable speculation based on the lack of information in the public domain.”

    I’m interested in the nexus that exists between multiple witnesses giving a description, and I’m fine that they may vary, one witness to another, but the assertion is that the Police releasing a photo composite image of a suspect, will identify one or more witnesses who provided their version of the description to the Police.

    Presumably for that to actually be a thing, the police are going to release the image, and footnotes to the image will enumerate; Mr Blogs described the nose, Mrs Smith recognised the curve of the mouth and Michael Tribblewith said the left ear was set a quarter inch higher than the right.

    No, it’s a bollocks proposition put forward by someone who is fixated on the politics.

    It’s a s*** hole.

    No dispute there.

  • bobby b

    Ah, Fraser, Ms. Lightfoot, like many of her fellow big-city mayors, is right now completely trapped. They tried to mousetrap Trump into becoming the Federal Dictator – i.e., they encouraged rioting and crime so that Trump would send in the fed troops to quell it – but he didn’t take the bait, and so now they’re stuck with the creature they built.

    I’d feel some sense of schadenfreude over this were it not for the many innocents who are paying the price. It staggers my mind that so many people there in Chicago will likely re-elect her the next time she’s up, until I remember that 100 is the average IQ.

  • Eric

    The stabbings did not appear terrorism related, gang related or connected to disorder…

    Clearly the assailant is German.

  • Gary

    So NiV, how do you explain the police announcing the (lack of) motive for someone they haven’t apprehended yet?

  • Flubber

    Jesus Christ, NiV have you ever found an evil scumbag that you wont run interference for?

    I mean seriously, your moral compass must be stuck up your arse.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “So NiV, how do you explain the police announcing the (lack of) motive for someone they haven’t apprehended yet?”

    The most obvious explanation is that they don’t have any evidence of the person’s motivation, yet!

    “Jesus Christ, NiV have you ever found an evil scumbag that you wont run interference for?”

    I’m not running interference. All I’m doing is arguing for basing police actions and judgements about them on actual evidence, rather than politics.

  • Flubber

    So whats the “evidence” for the police

    1) Not swarming the area when the first reports came in
    2) Withholding a description of the suspect?

  • Nullius in Verba

    “So whats the “evidence” for the police …”

    We have no way of knowing. We have no evidence.

  • NiV – I am beginning to think you like arguing.

  • Flubber

    “NiV – I am beginning to think you like arguing.”

    yeah like dogs like their own vomit.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “NiV – I am beginning to think you like arguing.”

    I do!

    And it’s clear that so does everyone else here, or they wouldn’t spend all this time arguing with me!

    Although this one is scarcely an argument. An early news report didn’t mention the criminal’s description, the police appealed for anyone with CCTV to get in touch. People who put their politics ahead of the evidence apparently jumped to the conclusion that for reasons of political correctness the police didn’t want anyone to know the criminal’s race. But a quick search quickly reveals that shortly afterwards they did in fact release CCTV footage of the criminal once they had it, revealing the criminal’s race. So they obviously weren’t trying to hide that. Hypothesis falsified, or so you would have thought. Somebody said they couldn’t think of any alternative reasons why the police might withhold a description. I offer some. That upsets people. They seem to think I’m “running interference” for the criminal, when in fact I’ve said nothing at all to defend them. All I’ve done is point out that the police weren’t trying to hide the criminal’s race, there are lots of innocent non-political possibilities, and we’re jumping to speculative conclusions based on no evidence. I don’t consider that observation to be particularly controversial (except to the political conclusion-jumpers) and it’s not worth arguing over. But every time I say anything that doesn’t accord with the political zeitgeist, I get some very annoyed people start arguments with me.

    Which I don’t mind! But wouldn’t it be so much easier and more peaceful to just say “Oh, yeah. So they did.” and move on?

    I think my offence is not so much that I like arguing, but that I hold a different opinion. 🙂

  • Flubber

    Yeah this situation was so unique that at no point did Coulters Law kick in..

    And NiV, I come here for the likes of Paul M. And so on.

    Your shit I either skim or ignore.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    I’d feel some sense of schadenfreude over this were it not for the many innocents who are paying the price. It staggers my mind that so many people there in Chicago will likely re-elect her the next time she’s up, until I remember that 100 is the average IQ.

    Not sure about the IQ thing, but you have to remember that the Chicago machine invented the idea of vote early, vote often, and they have always considered the local cemetery a major constituency. (And it looks like Biden/Harris is taking it nationwide.)

    BTW, have you noticed that people always talk about Biden/Harris, never just Biden? I mean when did you last hear about the Trump/Pence ticket? (With no disrespect to Mike Pence.)

  • polidorisghost

    Ellen – He seeks attention and he has found a forum that provides it.
    He is not interested in arguing as such, he just wants you to respond to him.

  • John

    So many intelligent posters are unable to resist replying which only encourages him.

  • William H. Stoddard

    APL: Killing one man and scaring the bejusus out of the general population is not terror related.

    It just struck me how very odd it is to say that “scaring the bejasus out of the general population” is not related to terror.

  • Do you think the public will be happy to provide information to the police in the future, seeing how they have handled this incident? And with what’s coming out about the warnings given by members of the public about the Manchester bomber?

  • ’And to put out a description, something like “a black male in his 30s” describes so many people that it is both useless and counterproductive…’

    Not entirely. It does tell you who to avoid while the perp is on the loose.

    But it’s probably ‘heightening racism’ or something, so better to let people who might have avoided danger get stabbed. That won’t stymie a career in the cops, after all.

  • Gary

    NiV

    “The most obvious explanation is that they don’t have any evidence of the person’s motivation, yet!”

    Exactly! so how did they know the crime was not motivated by Hate then?

  • Penseivat

    It will be decided that the offence is not terror, or religious hatred, related. The poor man will he found to be suffering from a mental illness brought on by the BBC failing to show “Somali Comedy Hour” or something similar. Rather than being sent to a prison or secure mental institute, he will spend several years under a carefully thought out ‘care in the community’ programme where he will be regularly monitored by social services (and we all know how successful they are at that). Meanwhile, the BBC will increase the licence fee to cover more programmes from Somalia. They will also give Gary Linecker a pay rise because. Just because.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Perhaps it’s accidental. The perp has a knife accidentally superglued to his hand, and wounds people who come too close…..
    Or ‘he’ could be an alien from a warrior culture.
    Don’t you watch movies any more?

  • It’s easy to think of reasons, unless you’re fixated on the politics. (Nullius in Verba, September 7, 2020 at 7:55 pm)

    And it’s even easier to see how silly the ones Nullius came up with are – unless, of course, one is fixated on contrarian politics. 🙂

    If anything could be more when all is most, I think

    to protect witnesses – if the description allows a perpetrator to figure out who grassed them up

    is more ridiculous still than any of the others. A stabber strikes repeatedly in public in front of witnesses and our ubiquitous security cameras. The guy was maybe surprised and hurt his moment of identikit fame was withheld so long – or else far too far gone to notice. Either way, the idea that he would somehow deduce from the accuracy of the pic that it was the man in the raincoat in the corner of his vision in Edgbaston road who had described him, not the old lady in the hat on the bench in Brumagen park, and then attempt (how? 🙂 ) to locate and silence them (why? 🙂 ) has a comedy about it that certainly lightens the mood of this grim incident.

    The comedy continues at the meta-level. In this 2020 world of banning haircuts lest you get the dread virus, and harsh remarks lest they offend, Nullius asks us to believe that our safety-crazed culture would withhold self-protection information from the public out of a high-minded concern that it was not yet fully verified, or a dread of vigilantes (chance’d be a fine thing 🙂 ).

    Anyway, all good clean fun (and usable prep when confronting the PC in power, who do not practice Nullius’ civility in language and are even less sensible in argumentation). It does not, however, advance anyone’s understanding of the OP’s important point, so I think any further comments I make in this thread will be on other matters.

  • Do you think the public will be happy to provide information to the police in the future, seeing how they have handled this incident? And with what’s coming out about the warnings given by members of the public about the Manchester bomber? (JuliaM, September 8, 2020 at 7:44 am)

    It’s a good question. My own opinion, FWIW, is that people will continue as long as it seems safe to do so, even if it also seems somewhat pointless – as long as the penalty is only that they’re likelier to end up saying “I told you so” than “I helped you know to stop him”. People don’t entirely and merely resent being able to say, “I told you so!”

    However, on the day that telling the police about the molotov cocktails being prepared by your XR-fanatic neighbour on one side runs even a slight risk of your being called out for the bigotry of never having reported any hate-speech remarks of your church-attending neighbour on the other side, then any perceived lack of point in reporting (because the authorities PCness may not allow the police to act on it) will take effect.

    In non-terroristic crimes, this effect is established. It is well-known – but not from watching the BBC – that the intimidation of the Rotherham witnesses in the court halls by friends of the accused during the so-long-delayed trials was open and ill-controlled. People remember these things. As Natalie points out, if the authorities genuinely and rationally wished to avoid racism, they would address it.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “He is not interested in arguing as such, he just wants you to respond to him.”

    Are you claiming to be a mindreader? Because if so, I have to tell you it’s broken.

    I don’t particularly want anyone to respond to me, unless they have something interesting to say. I express my opinion, or make observations, and if you want to ignore them, that’s fine. If you want to agree with them, that’s good. And if you want to argue with them, I’m happy to argue and defend the point. It’s entirely up to you.

    Personally, I don’t want to live in a political echo chamber, only talking to people who share my opinion about everything, and becoming intolerant of disagreement or dissent. I don’t want to be part of a political faction that sees supporting the ideological party line as more important than truth, evidence, or logic. I don’t agree with partisan hypocrisy, where it matters ‘whose side’ someone is on more than whether what they say is true. The left do it, and you clearly express your contempt for them because of it when they do. You ask yourselves how can they not feel shame and guilt? How can they sit there and watch someone on their own side talk like that, and not say anything about it because of political loyalty? How can they think such a political side worthy of such loyalty? And so, given my expectations of honest leftists, how can I do any less?

    You no doubt don’t agree with me on many topics, and I don’t particularly expect you to. I value a diversity of opinion, and free speech, and tolerance of dissenting viewpoints. The evils of suppressing views that are ‘politically incorrect’ are surely one of the major themes here. That such matters are the subject of reasonable debate here, rather than the enforcement of doctrine, is surely something you would want to boast of. *We* don’t enforce a common party line. *We* are not intolerant of any differences of opinion. *We* value evidence-based truth and reasoned debate over lockstep conformity. We are capable of disagreeing with someone and still being friends.

    And *we* are not upset or annoyed by debate, or the request to defend our views with reason and evidence.

    “I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.”

    “It does tell you who to avoid while the perp is on the loose.”

    You can just avoid everyone, if you think the risk is that great.

    “Exactly! so how did they know the crime was not motivated by Hate then?”

    The quote given at the top of the page was:

    Police said there was no evidence the stabbings were a hate crime.

    I would expect that until they have evidence about his motivations, they are not going to draw conclusions either that it was or it wasn’t. And even if they did, they’re not stupid enough to say so in public because that would hand the defence lawyer an easy stick to beat them with, possibly resulting in the guy getting off. Everyone has a right to a fair trial. Even criminals.

  • APL

    Niall Kilmartin: ” ubiquitous security cameras “

    ubiquitous ‘security’ cameras.

    JuliaM: “Do you think the public will be happy to provide information to the police in the future, seeing how they have handled this incident? And with what’s coming out about the warnings given by members of the public about the Manchester bomber?”

    The British Police are no longer if they ever were, concerned with the protection of the Public. The ‘Public’ are on their own, as implied by bobby b if the chances of meeting a well armed public minded citizen in the UK were higher, this type of incident might be drawn to a close with fewer casualties and less mayhem.

    And is it just me that’s noticed a striking similarity between this attack and the Reading incident?

    This strikes me as the same modus operandi. But it’s still a inpenetrable mystery as to motive.

  • APL

    APL: “But it’s still a impenetrable mystery as to motive.”

    “the attacker went on to stab people in Livery Street, Irving Street and finally in Hurst Street, where the city’s Gay Village meets the Chinese Quarter” –Ch Supt Steve Graham.

    Ah! Just angry about his sweet and sour chicken, then.

  • Gary

    @NiV

    “Police said there was no evidence the stabbings were a hate crime.”

    There was no evidence of sexual assault either. Nor drug misuse. Nor arson.

    From the vast list of potential offences that had no evidence, what’s the simplest explanation for picking Hate and Terror? I’ll give you a clue: the public are not as dumb as the commentariat think. We knew that, probabilisticly speaking, this wasn’t likely to be an old women of Caucasian descent. And we were right. Again.

    Yet the sophists like you deny the obviously correct answer, seek to memory hole this, then tell us its actually white supremacists we should really be worried about.

    Nobody’s buying this sophistry any more.

  • Ferox

    In the United States, the habit among the Left-Media of omitting demographic details which embarrass the Narrative™ is so ubiquitous that the omission itself is now widely seen as a useful demographic descriptor.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Gary
    Yet the sophists like you deny the obviously correct answer, seek to memory hole this, then tell us its actually white supremacists we should really be worried about.

    I don’t think it is obvious at all. There could be a thousand reasons why someone is running around the street stabbing people. My honest guess is that he is probably some person with serious mental health issues. But I could be wrong. However, there is one big difference: I am not the police; I am not the front end of the criminal justice system; and it is not my responsibility to try to alay the public’s fears about public safety.

    I think in the rush to judgement here about the police being overly PC, we are forgetting what the police are actually for. To me it seems inappropriate to rush to judgement about the motives of this man when there is a criminal justice action pending, except insofar as to calm public fears about the things the public worry about. Two of these things is a general concern about terrorism, given some of the things that have happened recently, and secondly to calm to fears of the gay community that there is a maniac on the loose targeting them. The first is a concern from any mass and seemingly random act of violence, and the second because it took place in a gay neighborhood.

    FWIW, I think the police acted pretty reasonably here. It reminds me a bit of “Black Lives Matter”. It is not that other people’s lives don’t matter, but there is a history of concern there. So too, the reason it is worth mentioning terrorism and hate crimes is because there is an existing history of concern.

  • Lee Moore

    To be fair, anyone familiar with modern policing could deduce what the absence of a police description actually meant.

    Just so, though it goes much wider than the police. It is a general principle of government.

    I remember back in the 90s, a very impertinent fellow called Peter Coad used Home Office statistics to show that, contrary to the conventional wisdom based on duff statistics, “prison does work.” The Home Office responded by stopping publication of those statistics.

    Nor is the principle limited to the government. It applies also to the media, in spades.

    Inferring the facts from the gaps in the story has, of course, the highest deductive pedigree, deriving from that curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

  • Ferox

    I would expect that until they have evidence about his motivations, they are not going to draw conclusions either that it was or it wasn’t.

    Do you suppose that the police/media would have been as baffled about motivations if a white man had gone out and stabbed several black people?

  • Gary

    @Fraser Orr

    I agree; the Police should not have rushed to the judgement that the crime was not motivated by hate, terror or disorder. The question though is why they rushed to those particular judgements, but not others?

    That answer, my friend, *is* obvious.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Do you suppose that the police/media would have been as baffled about motivations if a white man had gone out and stabbed several black people?”

    Haven’t you been arguing that they should have inferred a hate crime in that case, and you’d support them if they did?

    You can either have the police infer motive on the basis of political racist stereotypes, or you can require them to look at the evidence. I’m on the side of them waiting for the evidence. I’m on the side of waiting for the evidence whether guilt would conform to my political stereotypes or the political stereotypes of my opponents. You, on the other hand, appear to be arguing in support of the position that it is legitimate to infer guilt based on political stereotype, which therefore presumably means you don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with the police applying political stereotypes against white people, either. Political policing is fine, right?

    I suspect, though, that your position is really that political policing is good when they’re applying *your* racist political stereotypes to black people, but intolerable when they apply your *opponents* racist political stereotypes to *you*. You support political policing – the better to smite your political out-groups with – when your sort of politics is in control, but don’t like being the target of your own methods when the Cultural Marxists get hold of the same tool!

    So which is it? Do you support:

    1. The police should wait for evidence, no matter whose ‘side’ the suspects and victims are on.

    2. The police should be able to apply any racist political stereotypes they like to fit people up for crimes without the need for evidence.

    3. The police should be able to apply *your* racist stereotypes to fit people up in groups you don’t like, but wait for evidence when it’s someone in a group you support or are a member of.

    My position is 1, and I’m sticking to it. It’s safer not to have such tools lying about where the authoritarians can get hold of them.

  • bobby b

    Sometimes it’s helpful to play the odds, especially in instances of a public threat of death or dismemberment.

    I think it’s valid to ask “in all of the past instances where some person has run amok stabbing and cutting multiple people, has there been any factor or characteristic commonly found?”

    It might not end up being accurate. But, if my analysis reveals to me that, in almost all such instances in the past, the stabber was wearing a lime green hat, then I think I have a valid basis for being careful of people I see in that area wearing a lime green hat.

    This might be unfair to an innocent bystander who happens to be wearing a lime green hat. But if the result of my analysis is merely that I am more wary of lime green hat-wearers until I have more information, I count that as a low cost.

    Obviously, this logic fails if my chosen response is to prophylactically attack wearers of lime green hats. But that’s a different issue.

  • Ferox

    You can either have the police infer motive on the basis of political racist stereotypes, or you can require them to look at the evidence. I’m on the side of them waiting for the evidence.

    Yeah, me too. But I would like them to do that all the time, not just when the events run with, rather than against, the grain of their precious Narrative™. Right?

    So now, do we have to pretend that your (1) is how things are currently run? Or can we acknowledge that the policy of the Narrative™ of perpetual racism and white-male-baddie-ism is in full force?

    And how does your (1) square with not releasing the demographic info on the at-large suspect? Again, if a white man had attacked several black people and then fled the scene, do you suppose they would have failed to mention his demographic details at the very first press release?

  • Gary

    @NiV “My position is 1, and I’m sticking to it”

    We get that and we agree. But that’s not what we are debating here. The point is that the errors reliably fall in the same direction; so Nick ‘is a credible witness’ when he attacking someone who is not part of the protected classes, whereas a member of the protected class is explicitly given the benefit of the doubt (‘not motivated by hate or disorder’).

    We are edging towards rule by law, not rule of law.

  • William H. Stoddard

    Nullius: 1. The police should wait for evidence, no matter whose ‘side’ the suspects and victims are on.

    2. The police should be able to apply any racist political stereotypes they like to fit people up for crimes without the need for evidence.

    I don’t think that’s the point of the discussion. It’s not about what the police should do. It’s about whether the police should make information available to the general public that will enable the public to take such actions as notifying the police that they have seen someone who resembles the suspect, or avoiding people who resemble the suspect, or being ready to defend themselves should such people take hostile action. That could be done without turning the general public into a lynch mob.

    And you should also note that if the custom of the police is to release descriptions of suspects of certain ethnic or cultural backgrounds, but to be silent with suspects of different ethnic or cultural backgrounds, that very silence will lead the general public to say, “Oh, it must be one of THEM,” and put people of the disfavored background at increased risk. Refusing to communicate can itself communicate, and the message may not be the one you would like.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I think it’s valid to ask “in all of the past instances where some person has run amok stabbing and cutting multiple people, has there been any factor or characteristic commonly found?””

    Sure. About 90% of people arrested for committing crimes are male. So would it be OK if the police simply identified him as a man, so we could avoid all men? It’s a significantly more relevant criterion than race in the UK. The arrest ratio is about 3.5-to-1 on race and 10-to-1 on sex. (As we previously discussed here last year.) Any stereotypes we can apply about race can be applied with even more justification about sex. Are you three times more scared of men than you are of black people?

    “Yeah, me too. But I would like them to do that all the time, not just when the events run with, rather than against, the grain of their precious Narrative™. Right?”

    Right.

    “So now, do we have to pretend that your (1) is how things are currently run?”

    No.

    We look at the evidence. If the evidence shows the police are politically biased, we shouldn’t shy away from talking about that. (And again, it makes no difference whatsoever whether the bias is anti-‘us’ or anti-‘them’.)

    We only have to say (1) is how *we* think things should be run.

  • bobby b

    “About 90% of people arrested for committing crimes are male. So would it be OK if the police simply identified him as a man, so we could avoid all men?”

    If that’s all the information the police have, then, yes, because it’s better than nothing. We’re down to 50%.

  • In the United States, the habit among the Left-Media of omitting demographic details which embarrass the Narrative™ is so ubiquitous that the omission itself is now widely seen as a useful demographic descriptor. (Ferox, September 8, 2020 at 1:46 pm)

    This ‘media silence that speaks volumes’ has also been observed in Sweden and Austria (and doubtless happens elsewhere), but I do not know whether it has the same predictable effect on the public mood there as Natalie correctly reports for the UK in her six-years-old post, and that Ferox (correctly, I believe) implies for the US.

    The effect is perverse as regards the ostensible motive for the silence, but while some PC supporters of suppressio veri have viler motives, I also think the ostensible motive stupefies itself. Once the authorities and the MSM decide to think that anyone making the deduction-from-silence is biased and bigoted, it is hard for them to see (and, amid cancel culture, much harder to dare to discuss amongst themselves) how to phrase things not to elicit it, even in minor matters.

    As a very trivial example (that would doubtless need work in real life), suppose that, instead of the PC boilerplate about “no evidence of motive” which we have heard before, and heard justly mocked before –

    “it’s origin and purpose still a total mystery”

    – the authorities had contented themselves with implying a similar idea by saying:

    “These attacks do not yet show any clear pattern of age, sex or ethnicity in victims. We urge all members of the public to be equally cautious.

    This might have sounded more like a fact the police could actually know at that moment in time, and more like concern for the public than for the authorities’ public image. It would soon be mocked if it became clear they routinely said it when knowing there was a clear and obvious pattern, but meanwhile these people do not seem even to know they need new phrases.

  • bobby b

    “Are you three times more scared of men than you are of black people?”

    I’m ten times more scared of men than women, in line with your numbers. Due to my history, I am easily three times more scared of black men than white men, again, in line with your numbers. Each piece of information they gain is pertinent to me.

  • Ferox

    To expand on Niall Kilmartin’s idea above, wouldn’t it be great if the authorities didn’t take it on themselves to try and make sure people didn’t think bad thoughts, but instead simply gave the public the information they had so far? So much simpler.

    “There was a mass knife attack in Birmingham earlier today. One assailant stabbed several people during the hour-long attack. There is at least one fatality, and several serious injuries. At this time we do not have a confirmed motive. The attacker is described by witnesses as a black male, small to medium build, around 5’6″ in height, wearing a dark jacket. We will provide further information as it becomes available. Thank you.”

    The police should in no way be parsing their public information through the lens of “let’s not say anything that might make people think improper thoughts”.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “To expand on Niall Kilmartin’s idea above, wouldn’t it be great if the authorities didn’t take it on themselves to try and make sure people didn’t think bad thoughts, but instead simply gave the public the information they had so far?”

    If that was their reason. Do we have any evidence yet what the police’s motives actually were?

    As I pointed out, they released CCTV showing the person they were looking for shortly afterwards. Why did they do that, if they were trying to hide the race of the suspect from the public?

  • Ferox

    Do we have any evidence yet what the police’s motives actually were?

    We have some evidence only if this isn’t the first time the police have been “uneven” about releasing the demographics of an at-large suspect to the public. Is it in fact the first time?

    Or has a noticeable pattern emerged?

  • Gary

    @ NiV “Do we have any evidence yet what the police’s motives actually were?”

    Well they chose to go light on facts (we are looking for a black man in his 20’s or 30’s and we are working on a more specific description) and choose to go heavy on how we are supposed to think about this (not motivated by hate or disorder).

    How many probable explanations are there? As in more probable than “This is counter-Narrative. Let’s stay vague and give the Guardian something to hang their hat on until this blows over’.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Is it in fact the first time? Or has a noticeable pattern emerged?”

    That’s an interesting question. I’ve not seen any actual statistical surveys looking into it. You would need to do something like picking a particular month to look at, collect all the police statements, categorise them on the basis of what characteristics they mentioned, what characteristics they knew, what characteristics were relevant to the crime’s motive or implications, and what the background rate of each characteristic was during the month in question, and then see if any relationships show up, and what the police’s explanations for each of them are.

    I’ve seen some anecdotal examples being cited (on both sides of the argument), but since they tend to be selected for presentation based on the presenter noticing them as examples of what they’re trying to prove, the sampling process is biased and unrepresentative. Anyone can do a search for examples fitting a pattern, present a list, don’t present any of the cases that don’t fit the pattern, and give the desired impression. But that’s not worth much.

    I’m not saying the police and press don’t. Humans do do that sort of thing. (As I’ve pointed out!) It wouldn’t be surprising. But there are people firmly convinced that the police today are still like Constable Savage, biased against black people, and there are people firmly convinced that the police today are slaves to political correctness and apply all the old biases in reverse. Both sides see a pattern, but a different one in each case. Neither side, it seems to me, presents a lot of non-anecdotal evidence for their contention. It’s just an unquestionable political dogma, on both sides.

    But I agree in part with both sides that neither sort of bias is acceptable. And I’m interested if anyone does actually have any statistical studies on the question. Just because I’ve not seen one doesn’t mean they don’t exist!

    “How many probable explanations are there?”

    Well, in my first comment above I was able to come up with half a dozen without even trying! I’m sure if I made the effort I could invent dozens more. I guess it depends how hard you’re looking?

    We don’t know the circumstances of the initial statements, we don’t know what questions the police spokesman was asked, we don’t know what their reasons were. Maybe it was something as simple as the copper talking to the press wasn’t in the same department as the coppers chasing the badman, they hadn’t had time to get properly organised, and he didn’t have all the details on the bit of paper he’d been handed. Maybe he was asked specifically if it was a hate crime and he said he had no evidence of that. Maybe it was the journalists who scrambled the message, or left things out. Who knows?

    I don’t think there’s enough information available here to decide. We can all speculate, but it’s only speculation.

  • Ferox

    You would need to do something like picking a particular month to look at, collect all the police statements, categorise them on the basis of what characteristics they mentioned, what characteristics they knew, what characteristics were relevant to the crime’s motive or implications, and what the background rate of each characteristic was during the month in question, and then see if any relationships show up, and what the police’s explanations for each of them are.

    Sometimes it’s enough to simply open your eyes.

  • Gary

    @NiV “Well, in my first comment above I was able to come up with half a dozen without even trying!”

    Nope – you speculated why they might not reveal they were looking for a black man. That’s not what I asked. I asked why the police speculate that the crime was not motivated by Hate or Disorder? And why do they only spin positive speculations for the protected classes and never for say Cliff Richard?

  • Nullius in Verba

    “That’s not what I asked. I asked why the police speculate that the crime was not motivated by Hate or Disorder?”

    They didn’t. All they said was there was no evidence the stabbings were a hate crime. Not the same thing at all.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Gary
    That answer, my friend, *is* obvious.

    Yes, it is, though apparently not to you. The reason they assessed and dismissed terrorism and hate crimes as potential causes is because these are the things most significant to public order, the things most likely to cause people to panic. The first thing people think of in these situations (and perhaps rightly so) is terrorism, and the first thing gay people think of in these situations is hate crimes. It seems very obvious to me why the police would want to tamp down such fears.

    However, it seems to me that you and others are so focused on the many faults of the police to fail to recognize that occasionally they do their job right.

  • bobby b

    Fraser, if it’s terrorism, or if it’s an anti-gay crime and I’m gay, then isn’t there a valid reason to panic and leave the area?

    I guess I’d vote for the system that allowed me the agency to know pertinent information and then choose my own response. The day my hired guards start withholding information from me “for my own good” is the day I fire them.

  • Gary

    @NiV “They didn’t. All they said was there was no evidence the stabbings were a hate crime. Not the same thing at all.”

    There was no evidence of sexual assault either. Nor arson. From the vast list of potential offences that had no evidence, and all things that could immediately affect the public, what’s the simplest explanation for picking Hate and Terror?

    It’s staring you in the face mate.

  • Gary

    @Fraser “The reason they assessed and dismissed terrorism and hate crimes as potential causes is because these are the things most significant to public order”

    But how could they know?

  • Paul Marks

    Contrary to the statements of Nullius, the reason for the behaviour of the establishment is plain – the establishment regard certain OPINIONS as worse than violent crime, indeed worse than murder.

    Tolerating some opinions is “repressive tolerance” according to the establishment (who get their ideas, second or third hand, from Herbert Marcuse and co) as it leads to “exploitation” and “oppression” – the “structural crimes” of the “power structures” of “whiteness” – which is vastly worse than a few stabbings.

    To the establishment the opinions they call by such names as “racism” must be discouraged at all costs. For example, every few months the Economist magazine goes on a rant (led by “Lexington” or other Nullius types) against “nostalgia” – according to the “liberal” establishment elite it is very bad for Westerners to look back to the past with fondness, as the past was less “diverse” and so “nostaligia” is disguised “racism” and blah, blah, blah…..

    So everything from America in the 1950s to Birmingham, England, in the 1930s must be shown as horrible (in every way) as otherwise the public will get “nostalgic” and be guilty of “racism” and other crimes against the sacred doctrines of the Frankfurt School of Marxism (how Marxism is “liberalism” would have baffled real liberals such as Prime Minister Gladstone – but there we are). Big Business is just as guilty of this as West Midlands police – for example Big Business actively supports (including financially supports) Marxist groups dedicated to mass looting and destruction – as Corporate managers have been taught (at school, university and business school – “Social Responsibility”) that this is somehow liberalism and “tolerance”.

    In terms of violent crime the top priority for the left establishment (which now controls such things as West Midlands police – via training and “policies”) is to discourage such things as “Islamophobia” and “racism” (Islam is a system of ideas, not a race – but do not bother trying to explain that to them) – with violent crime being seen as a lesser evil.

    In the United States police forces (even when most police officers and the police chief are BLACK) have been pulled back from wide areas of Democrat controlled cities – this has had the predictable result that very large numbers of black people have been murdered.

    But no matter how many black people are murdered “racism” (read CAPITALISM) must be destroyed – vast numbers of black people being murdered is a price-worth-paying to destroy “racist” capitalist society.

    Big Business certainly thinks so – as it has given vast sums of money to openly Marxist (and savagely violent) movements such as “Black Lives Matter” which only cares about the lives of criminals (who it regards as Socially Friendly Elements) and regards murdered honest black people as guilty of cultural behaviour the universities call “whiteness”.

    “Whiteness” being not a skin colour, but such things as honesty, hard work, belief in objective truth, logical reasoning …… all hated by the education system and the Marxist “Critical Theory” establishment generally. Including the people who were up to very recently in charge of “training” the people developing American nuclear weapons (I have to say “up to very recently” as President Trump finally seems to have been shocked into action – the sort of action he should have taken on January 20th 2017).

    If it has not already fully arrived – all the above is coming to Birmingham, London and so on.

    After all even as far back as the 1970s the Home Office had openly Marxist senior academic advisers – eventually the poison works its way down to the police (and so on) as the “Diversity and Inclusion Agenda”.

    Indeed it was made the law under Prime Minister Blair for all public bodes (including police forces and local councils) to promote this (Frankfurt School) agenda.

    Conservative Central Office is fully on board with it – so we have gone from Marxism being liberalism (which would have baffled real liberals such as Gladstone – as I have already pointed out) to Frankfurt School Marxism being Conservatism (“statement of principles and values”) – “it is a funny old world” as Margaret Thatcher (who would now not be allowed to be a member of the Conservative Party= “swamped”, “Clause 28” other violations of Frankfurt School principles) once said.

  • Paul Marks

    All rather grim – so I will end on a more optimistic note.

    I suspect (strongly suspect) that cries of “Racist!” “Islamophobe!” “Homophobe!” (do not try explaining to the establishment that Muhammad was a pale man, who did not like black people, and who taught that homosexual acts were terrible crimes) and other Frankfurt School of Marxism stuff, would not be wildly welcome in POLAND.

    “Let us burn and loot the shops, and homes, in order to create a better society from the ashes of discrimination, exploitation and oppression!” may make sense to Big Business (yes I know that some Big Business types such as JEFF BEZOS, do not believe a word of it – but they still FINANCE these movements) – but I suspect the Polish authorities would take a dim view of such conduct.

    So perhaps (just perhaps) Poland may still survive long after New York, London, Birmingham and so on are just ashes and dried blood.

    As for cutting off (or cutting out) the sexual organs of children and filling them with chemicals (the latest fashion in the West – anyone who opposes it being denounced as a “Transphobe” by the Frankfurt School establishment elite dismissed from their jobs by Big “Social Responsibility” Business), I suspect that this would be seen as Satanic.

    Because it is Satanic.

    The perfect society emerging out of the ashes of the old? No that will not happen because Marxism is just WRONG – its ECONOMICS is just wrong (the basic truth that Cultural Marxism has bee trying to escape from since the 1920s).

    But the physical land will remain – and other people will use the land.

    Perhaps Islam will claim the lands of the West – real Islam, not the demented mixture of Islam and Marxism pushed in places like Minnesota.

    Real Islam has clear doctrines taught from the days of Muhammad – which CAN NOT BE CHANGED.

    So the efforts (in Minnesota, California and so on) to mix Islam with abortion, the sexual mutilation of children and the other practices of the modern left, will FAIL.

    Who knows – perhaps Hungary will survive as well. After all Hungarians remember that the Marxists were trying all this stuff (including the sexual corruption of young children) as far back as 1919 – the regime of Bela Kun (a person’s whose later sadism in the Crimea is supposed to have shocked even “Lenin”).

    Keith Ellison (Attorney General of Minnesota and number two in the Democrat National Committee) and Congresswoman Omar, have nothing to teach Bela Kun and co – they knew it all a century ago.

    Come to think of it – Bela Kun and co might shock West Midlands police and even the Met!

    The average policeman might think “this training I have been getting – if it leads to this sort of thing, perhaps the training and policies are WRONG”.

    If enough people just REJECT the training and policies of the Frankfurt School establishment elite – then perhaps the West will NOT fall into ashes and dried blood.

    “Racist! Sexist! Homophobe! Islamophobe! Transphobe!”.

    If enough people just replied F*** OFF COMMIE – it would be over.

  • Fraser Orr (September 9, 2020 at 1:12 am), your argument is revealingly self-limiting.

    You defend the authorities hastily saying ‘no evidence of terror or hate crime motivation’, while not saying ‘no evidence of sex crime or robbery motivation’ by explaining that the public, hearing early reports of this crime, will think of terroristic and/or group-targeting motivation, not of sex crime or robbery motivation. That is to say, you defend the phrasing ‘no evidence’ by explaining that the public will rationally perceive the currently-known facts of the case as evidence of one crime rather than another – weak, statistical, pattern-matching evidence that emerging details will in the majority of cases confirm though in a given case they may well instead correct it.

    In short, the very reason you justify a PC spokesman saying ‘no evidence’ is that the public see that there is. The authorities are unable to see this absurdity because political correctness demands they perceive this statistically-rational public perception as prejudice. They therefore cannot see that, as I say in my most recent comment above, they need new lines in the short term and a greater commitment to strict honesty when using them in the longer term.

    [An amusing and informative analogy is in Guido’s final paragraph in the post on Simon Clarke’s resignation “for personal reasons”:

    UPDATE: Guido learns the reason is truly personal – not him bowing out ahead of a scandal. Simon is well-liked among the Tory benches and many expect to see him back in government next year.

    Everyone sees why that needs to be said – and why only because Guido says it, not just the appropriate party office, should we think it is (very probably) true. People do retire from government for personal and honourable reasons. (Norman Tebbit retired because, after the IRA’s attempt to murder Margaret Thatcher injured Norman’s wife instead, she needed his constant care.) And for all I know, the number who just get fed up and drop out may compare ‘respectably’ ( 🙂 ) with the number felled by scandals. But we all (or almost all? 🙂 ) see why that was wise to be said.]

  • Nullius in Verba

    “There was no evidence of sexual assault either. Nor arson. From the vast list of potential offences that had no evidence, and all things that could immediately affect the public, what’s the simplest explanation for picking Hate and Terror?”

    The most obvious possible reason is that it was the question the journalist asked.

    Other possibilities are that the police predicted that it was a question the public would ask, or that it’s a question they’ve been asked in previous cases like this and so put it in the briefing, or that there’s a standard tick box form somewhere for the contents of police briefings with a tick box for hate crime. It’s possible the copper doing the briefing thought as you did, and asked his/her colleagues, got ‘no evidence’ as an answer, and passed that on. Or possibly they’d been getting a lot of enquiries from the public and the businesses in Manchester and the authorities and it was by way of a set of answers to ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. It is also possible, as you suggest, that they didn’t want this incident to kick off another bout of inter-racial hostility in the city. We don’t know.

    But I think the most likely explanation is that the briefing went something like:
    Copper: Now, are there any questions?
    Journalist: What was the motivation for the stabbings?
    Copper: We have no evidence about the perpetrator’s motives at this time.
    Journalist: Was this Islamic terrorism?
    Copper: We have no evidence about the perpetrator’s motives at this time.
    Journalist: Was it gang-related?
    Copper: We have no evidence about the perpetrator’s motives at this time.
    Journalist: Was it related to the BLM riots?
    Copper: We have no evidence about the perpetrator’s motives at this time. There was no unambiguous pattern to the victims or locations selected. We’re currently treating it as random, pending further evidence.
    Journalist writes down: “The stabbings did not appear terrorism related, gang related or connected to disorder, West Midlands Police said.”
    Journalist: Was this a hate crime?
    Copper: There is no evidence that it was a hate crime.
    Journalist writes down: “Police said there was no evidence the stabbings were a hate crime.”

    It reminds me of a recent incident where there was rage starting to erupt over a story that Boris had used the phrase “Black Lives Matter” in his latest pandemic briefing, and wasn’t it terrible how even Boris had succumbed to the urge to spontaneously affirm support. I remembered watching the briefing, and I didn’t think he’d said that at all. So I hunted down the video, found the section in question, and transcribed what was said. It turned out it was in response to a journalist’s question, specifically asking whether he supported the protests, and Boris’s response had been that of course black lives matter because all lives matter, but that was no excuse for breaking the coronavirus quarantine.

    You know what it’s like when journalists are interviewing Trump. They ask leading questions about controversial topics based on their own preconceptions, get a quote to report, but don’t give the context in which he said it, so the reader gets the impression Trump had come out with some bizarre context-free assertion about a raging controversy spontaneously. When journalists report a briefing, you can’t always assume that it was the briefer’s decision to bring the topic up. It’s usually the journalist. Especially if the answer is something along the lines of “We don’t know”.

    Journalism is a game of Chinese whispers. It always scrambles the message.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Gary
    But how could they know?

    By assessing the evidence.

  • Gary

    @Fraser “By assessing the evidence”

    Indulge me – what evidence could they have seen (before they had even apprehended the accused) that would allow them to safely dismiss potential motivations?

  • APL

    Niall Kilmartin: “You defend the authorities hastily saying ‘no evidence of terror or hate crime motivation’ “

    In my opinion that is incorrect anyway.

    This appears to have taken place in Birmingham’s ‘Gay village’ area, which suggests to me an intent to target gays.

    His attacks appear to have been indiscriminate but he stands a higher chance of stabbing an homosexual individual ( male or female ) there, than say, had his attacks had taken place in a crowded Marks and Spenser.

    Suggesting to me evidence of a ‘hate crime’, although in my opinion trying to kill somebody is a sufficient indictment.

    Then there is the matter of indiscriminate attacks, it’s unlikely this perpetrator knew all the people he attacked, or that even if he did, all his acquaintances were out in the ‘gay’ area of Birmingham that night. Chances are most of his victims didn’t know him, nor he them.

    Violent attacks against random individuals in my opinion is the very definition of a terror act.

    Then you’d need to ask: Did he profile his attacks such that he had the correct ethnic makeup of victims. If not, that would be another slam dunk indication of racism.

    So, Plod seem to have a clear cut wet dream of a charge sheet, Racist, homophobic hate crime.

    What’s the betting they can’t manage it in this case?

  • Mr Ecks

    Despite NiVs endless tripe it so far has turned out as a sensible observer would gauge.

    The individual was not white or his name and mug would have been everywhere. This has now been confirmed.

    He is a follower of the RoP. Not yet confirmed–which is more reason to believe that is the case. If he was a follower of any belief system not associated with the left’s client groups that also would have been noised abroad.

    They will try to hide this if they can or minimise it with “mental health” bullshit.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Gary
    Indulge me – what evidence could they have seen (before they had even apprehended the accused) that would allow them to safely dismiss potential motivations?

    I’m not a police detective, but based on my long addiction to “Law and Order”, my guess would be interview with witnesses and victims, massive amounts of video tape from Britain’s surveillance state and analysis of behavioral patterns as compared to other crimes that were characteristic of terrorism or hate crimes.

  • Gary

    @Fraser there is no amount of video and interviews that tell you the motivations of a third person. What’s the evidence?

  • Fraser Orr

    Gary
    @Fraser there is no amount of video and interviews that tell you the motivations of a third person. What’s the evidence?

    How precisely do you determine someone’s motivation? An MRI? You can’t read people’s mind, and what they say is definitely very unreliable. You determine people’s motivation by looking at what they do and derive from that why they did it. This is what we all do every day, and detectives are specifically trained to do that well.

    For example, if someone runs in a restaurant shooting up the place yelling “Alluah Akhbar” you have a pretty good idea what their motive is. If someone runs down the street yelling “Faggots must die” you have a pretty good idea of his motives. If someone goes on a stabbing spreed wearing a tin foil hat and the witnesses hear him muttering something about aliens from Mars, or CIA mind control rays you know you are probably not dealing with a terrorist or a gay basher.

    Honestly, this seems patently obvious to me. But like I say, I am addicted to “Law and Order”, so maybe I learned something (or maybe I am living in a fantasy — that is always possible too.)

  • staghounds

    “Oh, I’m so glad you didn’t kill me for my ethnicity” were no one’s last thoughts.

    My favourite is when our Betters in the newspapers give the domestic citizenship of a criminal- “Police have arrested a British man”- as code for the fact that all his grandparents, if not he himself, were born outside Britain.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Indulge me – what evidence could they have seen (before they had even apprehended the accused) that would allow them to safely dismiss potential motivations?”

    Indulge me – what evidence is there that they dismissed any motivations?

  • APL

    Mr Ecks: “He is a follower of the RoP. Not yet confirmed–which is more reason to believe that is the case.”

    Of course the Reading attacker, same modus operandi.

    BBC identified Khairi Saadallah as ‘from the town’, had arrived in the UK in 2012 as ‘a tourist’ but claimed asylum while he was here, by 2019 he was already ‘known to security services’.

    It was put about at the time that Khairi had attended a local church and converted to Christianity.

    In Court, the prosecuting council said: Saadallah stabbed his victims while shouting words to the effect of ‘Allahu akbar‘ – the Arabic phrase for God is great, not really the form of words many Christians would likely choose.

    So, I guess the media bollocks about Saadallah being a recent convert to Christianity, was …. just an opportunistic propagandist lie.

    We’ll have to wait and see if Mr Ecks is correct. Currently I’d say, it’s ‘odds on’.

    Note: It wasn’t always the case that the Police were so backward in coming forward to identify their suspects.

  • APL

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    That’s new?

    And Poof! My comment is gone. Huh.

  • Gary

    @NiV “Indulge me – what evidence is there that they dismissed any motivations?”

    Cos they said so.

  • “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” (APL, September 9, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    And is now back again immediately above your comment on its absence, an alerted human having corrected the sometimes-oversuspicious autobot. To paraphrase a recent post title,

    “I know that I will not be able to avoid suspecting legitimate comments.”

    It happens to me too, occasionally. I approve that now we get told that our comment is not yet visible elsewhere (or to us if we close the browser and reopen) – no shadow-banning.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Cos they said so.”

    Where?

    Quote, please.

  • Gary

    @Fraser “You determine people’s motivation by looking at what they do and derive from that why they did it. This is what we all do every day, and detectives are specifically trained to do that well.”

    Maybe that’s where we part ways on this. In my experience, people are normally not even clear about their *own* motivations, never mind reliably ascertain the motivations of another. And it does need to be reliably done in this context.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Maybe that’s where we part ways on this. In my experience, people are normally not even clear about their *own* motivations, never mind reliably ascertain the motivations of another. And it does need to be reliably done in this context.”

    Sorry, are we talking about the police saying nothing about the motivations of the stabber, or the people here making assertions about the motivations of the police?

  • The police had more than adequate evidence to say quite a few things. There were a bunch of people being stabbed, in a limited time, in a limited area. The pattern of stabbings indicates it was not personal – if the stabber wanted to kill certain specific individuals, (he) would have had to search them out, which would have taken time. None were raped, nor robbed. (I’m assuming the last two, because being thus occupied would have slowed things down significantly, which would have been mentioned.)

    What does this randomness leave? Hate, terror, drugs, or insanity. The others have been ruled out because the dog did not bark in the night. That should give them something to say, at least, even if they hadn’t collated the camera images and witness statements yet.

    In a somewhat different matter, look at the way our US media reports the sins of politicians. If the politician was a Republican, this is mentioned in either the headline or the first paragraph of the story. If the politician was a Democrat, it’s mentioned near the end of the story – if at all. If the criminal was white, it’s mentioned immediately. Until the race and ideology of the criminal is known, the crime is attributed to far-right white supremacists.

    You can’t take these things to court, but you can rely upon them. It’s political correctness all the way down, because somewhere in the chain, telling the truth can get you fired unless it fits the narrative.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Gary
    In my experience, people are normally not even clear about their *own* motivations, never mind reliably ascertain the motivations of another.

    And yet you are apparently quite sure of the motivations of the police based on vastly less data than the police had about this horrible stabbing spree.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>