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Just like Life on Mars...?

BcpBcp Posts: 1,163
edited June 2007 in Campaign
Recently we had a thread on here in which a lot of forummers praised 'Life On Mars', said how realistic it was in recreating the 1970s and (in some cases) extolled the virtues of policing then.

I suggest they try reading the book, Nationality: Wog which recounts the life of a black man with a history of mental illness, whose body was pulled out of the River Aire near Leeds in May 1969. Nobody asked too many questions about the circumstances of his death. A police charge sheet from three months before had 'UK' scored out, and his nationality replaced with a handwritten 'WOG' - hence the book title.

A year and a half later, rumours that the Nigerian man had been subject to a lengthy campaign of abuse from two police officers led to the opening of the grave and a difficult criminal investigation in which the police officers were found to have routinely abused this man for over a year and were convicted of the assault which led to his death.

All this was just four years before the idealised 'Life On Mars' was set (1973) and happened just up the road from Manchester. The good old days eh....[;)]

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  • trustysteedtrustysteed Posts: 1,490
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by B</i>
    The good old days eh....[;)]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    yup, things have really gone to the wogs, i mean dogs, when you can no longer count on the coppers beating up furriners like grandma used to. [V]

    today's baby elephants are tomorrow's circus heroes

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  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Andrew Marr currently fronts an interesting tv history prog, and the last chapter dealt with some of the 1970s.

    It touched on the disgusting racism which was commonly abroad during that period - The odious 'Enoch race hatred fermentor Powell' featured, along with some racist clips from Speight's Alf Garnet, and a variety of people being interviewed complaining about black people (niggers everywhere..) etc.

    That particular aspect of 70s culture was shameful, and Marr's program today allows us to recognise just how appalling many things were.

    Thankfully, through a joint process of general enlightenment (what the forum fools label 'political correctness'), political activist opposition, and a general unwillingness of young people of colour to tolerate that awful and undignifying oppression, things slowly improved.

    But the police often stood in the way, and tragically people like David Oluwale (and many others) were the victims of this particular aspect of that deeply reactionary culture. The police need to hang their heads in deep shame about their involvement, but above all, the civilised need to remain vigilant.

    Never Again.

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  • Tourist TonyTourist Tony Posts: 8,628
    Yes, Powell apparently said there would be riots involving other cultural groups. How wrong he was.

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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by B</i>

    Recently we had a thread on here in which a lot of forummers praised 'Life On Mars', said how realistic it was in recreating the 1970s and (in some cases) extolled the virtues of policing then.

    I suggest they try reading the book, Nationality: Wog which recounts the life of a black man with a history of mental illness, whose body was pulled out of the River Aire near Leeds in May 1969. Nobody asked too many questions about the circumstances of his death. A police charge sheet from three months before had 'UK' scored out, and his nationality replaced with a handwritten 'WOG' - hence the book title.

    A year and a half later, rumours that the Nigerian man had been subject to a lengthy campaign of abuse from two police officers led to the opening of the grave and a difficult criminal investigation in which the police officers were found to have routinely abused this man for over a year and were convicted of the assault which led to his death.

    All this was just four years before the idealised 'Life On Mars' was set (1973) and happened just up the road from Manchester. The good old days eh....[;)]

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    so it was a different decade, a different county, a different police force


    lots of connections there then

    22nd March can't come soon enough, neither can 26th May 2007

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  • papercorn2000papercorn2000 Posts: 4,517
    To be fair to LOM, the Gene Hunt character WAS rascist (and just about every other -ist you can think of: "I once punched a bloke for speaking French"). The Sam Tyler character was there to confront and challenge his (for the time) acceptable behaviour.

    God told me to skin you alive.
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    God told me to skin you alive.
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  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    Please, punching someone for speaking French is simply stupid or at a push xenophobic. It is not under any circumstances even remotely racist by any stretch of the definition. Good that word is so worn out these days.

    I don't see what point this is making, police malpractice was well known in the decade that brough you the Birmingham six, Guildford four etc. The show was a tribute to the cop shows of the day which make our current ones look, shall we say somewhat anemic. It's also an excuse to for people of a certain age to wallow in nostalgia and enjoy some great (an not so great music). I don't think it was making a political statement, nor was it particularly realistic from the props to some elements of the language used, it's just an extension of those "do you remember spacehoppers and sherbert dips and weren't flares hilarious" programmes.
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  • The RoadsterThe Roadster Posts: 579
    Interestingly Andrew Marr in his programme on the 70's was running around in a brown cortina just like Gene Hunt on Life on Mars
  • papercorn2000papercorn2000 Posts: 4,517
    It wasn't meant as an example of anything, it's just my favourite Gene Hunt quote!

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    God told me to skin you alive.
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  • rustychiselrustychisel Posts: 3,444
    and I thought I was the only one [in the world] who used to listen to Uriah Heep albums.

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  • "Friday night in Birmingham"....

    from a Heep live album as I recall.
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    They reckon that in the era when Dixon of Dock Green was on telly, when coppers were portayed as homely friendly characters, was the time when it was common for a suspect to be taken back to the cells and given a serious kicking until they confessed.
    Whereas The Sweeney, where they were portayed as violent and abusive to prisoners, was when the rules had changed this wasn't how suspects were treated.


    Yes, I was amused by 'Life on (Andrew) Marrs' on Tuesday night - brown Cortina, ruined mill locations, racy hand-held filming : liked it.

    Time to dig-out the Summer bike (why's it just started raining ? Is it something I said ?)
  • Kev67Kev67 Posts: 2,351
    The Metropolitan police was rotten to the core during the 60s, if books like He Kills Coppers, and Our Friends in the North are to be believed.
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  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    The reason why people like the racist, homophobic, brutal, alchoholic, confession-extracting Gene Hunt is not that they think that these are desirable characteristics in a cop, but because Philip Glenister is a superb actor.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • BcpBcp Posts: 1,163
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Kev67</i>

    The Metropolitan police was rotten to the core during the 60s, if books like He Kills Coppers, and Our Friends in the North are to be believed.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    My grandfather was in the Met from the 1930s to the 1960s. He died before I really knew him but he believed the Met was full of corruption and bent coppers. He used to tell my Dad that during the Blitz when Hatton Garden, the jewellery centre of London was bombed the area was cordoned off and only police and firefighters were allowed in. Despite that, when the fires were out the shops had been looted - and it could only have been those in the emergency services. He also used to say that policemen looking for promotion would happily fabricate evidence - he started and ended as a PC so never felt the need - but it was common.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by andy_wrx</i>

    They reckon that in the era when Dixon of Dock Green was on telly, when coppers were portayed as homely friendly characters, was the time when it was common for a suspect to be taken back to the cells and given a serious kicking until they confessed.
    Whereas The Sweeney, where they were portayed as violent and abusive to prisoners, was when the rules had changed this wasn't how suspects were treated.

    ...<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">




    Nope the police never gave anyone a serious kicking in the 1970s (time of the Sweeney) did they?

    The powers that be were not compelled to introduce a completely new set of rules for dealing with the treatment of suspects called the police and criminal evidence act were they?

    22nd March can't come soon enough, neither can 26th May 2007

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  • simoncpsimoncp Posts: 3,260
    Not everything has changed since the 70's. In those days the BBC made down-market dramas about cops and robbers and it still does today.
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