This is a reworded posting originally from last week - apparently I totally jumped the gun in making the announcement.
In addition, I get the feeling that INQUEST would like me to point out that I wouldn't really punch Sir Hugh Orde just because the opportunity suddenly arose, as I may have suggested when I first wrote this last week.
I enjoy irony as much as anyone, but committing an arrestable offence in front of the elite of the penal reform establishment would be taking things a little too far. As those who regularly read this blog will know (all 15 of you, I suspect) , not everything I write is entirely serious. Often it's more... aspirational.
I didn't originally make a bigger deal of this but I do stick by the (cough) 'entirely personal view' that a charitable trust celebrating the work of a campaigning organisation like INQUEST, one that supports families who are repeatedly ignored by the state, has taken leave of its senses in inviting the President of ACPO to speak at the same event. That smacks of trying to have it both ways: patting the campaigners on the head whilst sucking up to the powerful (and in Orde's case, wholly unaccountable).
Oh, maybe I should avoid words like 'smack'...
Anyway, hopefully that has got me out of the shit. Back to the good news....
I am delighted to pass on the news that INQUEST, whose board of trustees I am a member of, has won the Longford Prize for 2009 "for its remarkable perseverance, personal commitment and courage in an area too often under-investigated by the public authorities, and especially for its support for the families of those who have taken their own lives while in the care of the state".
The prize-giving will take place on tomorrow at 7pm at Church House in Westminster, immediately before the annual Longford Lecture. Just one day after tonight's candle-lit vigil for ian Tomlinson. You remember, another innocent man killed and then lied about by the police.
Unfortunately Sir Hugh Orde, who is President of a powerful, conservative, unaccountable organisation called the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and formerly the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, is giving the Lecture, which means that, board member or not, there is absolutely no possibility that I'll be attending.
Orde can spin as much bullshit as he likes about victims of crime being "a key part of our work", but as recent events have shown, such fine words never, ever apply to the cover-ups experienced by victims of police crimes like Ian Tomlinson's family, or the relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes, or any of the other families whose loved ones have died at the hands of the police.