Les Gray, who recently retired as chairman of the Scottish Police Federation was on BBC Newsnight Scotland spinning like a spider on Speed. Quite frankly Mr Gray came across as a petty minded man churning out the party line with no real substance to his rent a gob statements.
Below we will debunk some of Mr Gray’s fantasy remarks with cold hard honest facts.
LG: The police where left with absolutely no choice.They informed them it was an illegal procession.
TCN: The Police did have a choice, the very same choice they had to make when they policed an illegal gathering by anti fascist protesters in Glasgow hours earlier when they chose to stand off and make no arrests even although the organisers had been served with a letter from Campbell Corrigan Assistant Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police informing them their gathering and march was illegal. The Green Brigade and we fellow protesters did not receive anything like this.
LG: This incident had nothing to do with the offensive behavior at football act.This is merely a public order incident.We have a crowd of people who have gathered and decided to have an unofficial Protest.
TCN: Massaging the fact’s here. Myself and others were there as a direct consequence of the Offensive Behavior at football act. If we did not feel your former colleagues were abusing the powers of this act then we would not have been there. You now say the protest was unofficial? So what is it Mr Gray ‘unofficial’ or ‘illegal’ ? Maybe you want to refer to our first reply.
LG: What if we have other organisations Doing that ?
TCN: We do, every week. In fact that very morning as it happens.
LG: There is a huge Health and Safety issue with These People who decide to do this week in week out. First of all the Police could not cover it, secondly there’s a huge Health and Safety issue with these people who walk down the street? …People may get knocked down and what if there was a secondary demonstration?
TCN: Who are ‘these people’ ? Are you referring to people who would like to peacefully demonstrate against what they perceive as injustices ? Ah and the old ‘Health and Safety’ patter ? Well there was NO counter demonstration and there never was going to be. I’m sure your ex colleagues already knew that or if not Police intelligence is in fact just an oxymoron and a waste of public funds. As for people getting knocked down there was a danger from that as young boys and members of the general public ran away from Police wielding batons. Oh and before we leave your favorite topic of Health and Safety we have to mention the fact that an innocent OAP in his seventies was caught up in and held in your former colleagues ‘Kettling’ while standing in freezing driving sleet. Aye health and safety right enough.
LG: The incident we seen the other day there was a serious threat to public order.
TCN: Totally agree with that Les. There would have been a serious threat to public order if Celtic fans had not ignored aggressive Police tactics and remained peaceful.
LG: This wasn’t a crowd of people who turned up and gave out flowers and deciding we’ll just go for a wee walk here. They pulled their hoodies up and put scarves over their faces so they could not be identified….This wasn’t a peaceful protest…
TCN: I don’t think anyone was expecting flowers, as you’ll remember Valentines day was last month. So flowers were not high on our agenda. Since when has it been a crime to pull on a hood which comes as part of a garment for that use or cover your face with a scarf ? I’m beginning to agree with Lwords that this seems to be an issue for the fashion Police. You also seem to have a miraculous talent for mind reading especially as you don’t appear to have been present at the incident. However you are right it wasn’t a peaceful protest..well it was really until Strathclyde Police turned up and started a game of ‘Let’s kid on it’s North Korea’.
LG: I can assure you that Strathclyde Police nor any other Police force in Scotland has the manpower or the will to just target people willy nilly.
TCN: We’ll take that as an admission that the operation on Saturday was pre planned by Strathclyde Police. Thank you Sir.
You can see Mr Gray’s intellectual musings on the ‘Gallowgate Tea Party’ (kettle supplied) and other fine points of a free society here http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rhdc7/Newsnight_Scotland_19_03_2013/ Link no longer availible
Warning- Nae hoodies, hoods, brollies, rainmates, scarfs, walking on the public highway or singing. Thanks