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Does it look like a cyclist "fell off" his bike?
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Yes, everyone's been an idiot at some point in their lives, and I wouldn't expect the cyclist to be given much in the way of the punishment. However, I was brought up to understand that security cordons are a reasonable indication that people don't want you to go to the other side of them, and I managed to grasp that concept without too much difficulty. But the fact remains he acted like an idiot to get on TV/in front of the crowds. It's been shown time and again that the best way to discourage this kind of showing off is not to keep telling everyone about it. (Which is why streakers aren't shown on TV any more.)
The article is about what the police said regarding the incident. If there were no other evidence, talking to the cyclist would have been a good idea to get the other side of the story. But in this case we have a video showing very clearly what is going on. I genuinely don't see what can be gained from the New Statesman making the kid feel even more important and famous than he already does as a result of his idiocy.
>"But why do you want to give more publicity to the idiot on the bike?"
Because back in 2005, it was a guy who was supposedly a suicide bomber, over time downgraded to 'acting suspiciously' and vaulting the barriers at Stretham tube station, later shown to have been a complete fabrication by the police.
Last year, it was a an armed gangster in a car, shooting police, downgraded to an armed gangster, later shown to be that the guy was in fact unarmed.
It shows that the police have a propensity to fabricate lies and obfuscate the truth.
Yes, this kid may well be an idiot but considering that he looks about 12 years old, I am willing to give him some room with that. The officer could well have got on the inside of what looks like an over exuberant, excited to get in front of the torch procession, instead of doing s crappy rugby tackle on someone a third of his size.
As for giving it more 'air'/publicity? Yes, we should. Considering the amount of taxpayers money invested in the games, the freedoms that are being taken away from us for the duration (and lets see if we get them all back afterwards) as well as the militarisation of London that is going to happen, yes, everything should be put under intense scrutiny.
I don't have any issue with the examples you have stated. I also think individual events should be distinguished. This is hardly in the same league. A policeman saw somebody had broken through a cordon and stopped them in a manner that seems unlikely to have caused a great deal of harm.
Regarding the publicity: Yes, the discrepancy between what the police said and what actually happened can and should be discussed openly if people want to. But what I said was that the *cyclist* shouldn't be given the extra publicity for doing something idiotic. There's a difference.
What was the kid doing, seemed a bit stupid to me? They just got him away and no-one was hurt. Why all the fuss?
"Quite why the Met thought it was acceptable to give a statement when they weren't yet sure of what had happened is unclear."
Par for the course these days, isn't it? I'm pretty sure every statement from the Met is supposed to be accompanied by a massive, theatrical wink and nod.
Alex Hern is a staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.