I'm back, but I'm not entirely firing on all (or indeed any) cylinders at the moment, so I hope you can forgive me if I take a while before I get going back at this malarkey. I think you can also appreciate that in a delicate and jetlagged state I haven't been able to get up the courage to even venture onto the Mail's website yet. I just can't do it. Oh, I thought about it. But something was stopping me. It was as if the poison had been removed from my body, and I didn't want it back in there, not just yet anyway. So that will have to wait.
But in the meantime, I just have a couple of thoughts, which are linked in a way. The first concerns Ian Tomlinson, who died during the G20 protests.
The interesting aspect is that people - including journalists - seem unwilling to believe people's accounts of events nowadays, unless there is categoric and incontrovertible proof of their existence. Eyewitnesses can say he was struck from behind while walking away with his hands in his pockets, but so what? No-one will believe them. It's only the fact that we have a video that proves it that makes it into anything approaching a story - otherwise those in authority just deny, deny, deny and deny - and journalists bravely do nothing, shrug their shoulders and give up looking for the story. The police say they did nothing wrong, so that's the story. So what if a few much-denigrated protesters say something else happened - so what? Who's going to believe them?
Which makes it all the more vital that citizens are entitled to take photographs, both still and moving images, of police officers. And that police officers should not be able to seize cameras or recording equipment, nor destroy footage or photographs which may potentially incriminate them. But that's the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. And no-one seems to be willing to do anything about it.
Newspapers seem less interested in an innocent man being whacked by a copper and subsequently dying than they are in one of those spectacularly uninteresting political 'scandals' which mean nothing whatsoever to anyone outside Westminster yet which attracts billions upon billions of column-inches from snorting red-faced former public schoolboys who smell of wee. That's where the stories are - nice, safe things about goodies and baddies where we can pontificate and gossip like old battleaxes over a garden fence to our hearts' content about who's right and who's wrong, and whose careers are finished by Drapergate, or Sleazegate, or whatever fucking gate it is this time. Death by police... police lied about it... investigators denied access to postmortem results... who cares? Mr X says something naughty about Mr Y... ooh yes please!
Having just returned from Sri Lanka I am naturally interested in the protests taking place at the moment. And here's another example of where the MSM are so dismally ineffective. Right outside the big Gothic cock, in obvious view of all those Crispians and Tarquins so slavishly wanking themselves into a frenzy over email nastiness and frightful beastliness, are people who genuinely give a shit about something, and who are protesting. Shall we bother covering it? Or shall we just give up? Shall we care about other people who passionately care about something? Or shall we just fill our papers with tittle-tattle and the usual guff about politics, opinion polls and the usual drivel? Sadly, the answer's pretty obvious.
Anyway, look, there'll be more soon, and I'll get around to it.