A common denominator

Via the Ambush Predator.

On Friday I will be attending the funeral of my friend, Mark Duggan (Ed: truly, the Funeral That Taste Forgot…). Five weeks after he was shot dead by the police in Tottenham, at last the community will get a chance to say a final farewell to the man who was not “yardie gangster Starrish Mark”, as the media would have you believe, but simply Mark, the nice guy from Broadwater Farm…
[…]
I have fond memories of Mark. In the clubs he was the proverbial raver, dancing freely. But he also played an integral part in peace initiatives that sought to bring the community together – like the “midnight football” that was held in the Broadwater Community Centre (and which included players such as Emmanuel Frimpong, now with Arsenal).

Awwww, I’m welling up!

From The Times (not paywalled but reprinted in The Aussie):

When The Times was invited in yesterday, three callers embraced Ms Duggan before turning to say emphatically that her son was “a good man” or words to that effect.
[…]
“He is no gangster,” Ms Duggan insists, still using the present tense. “He would rather sit at home and play the PlayStation with his kids. He didn’t carry no gun. Mark was very into himself, very quiet. But he was definitely a family man.

Via the Fuel Injected Moose:

For reasons that only he can understand, [Kallan Richardson] threw a brick through a van window, which then hit the girl in the picture, knocking her out and smashing two of her teeth. For that he was sent to a young offenders institute for one year.
But according to his mother he’s a little angel.
[…]

‘He’s a very good lad – he’s very loving and caring.

Indeed? Because that’s what very good lads get up to these days. They throw bricks through vehicle windows, with no regard for safety or other peoples property. They do it just for kicks and their vile, imbecile mothers stand up for them.

Ringing bells? Now Mark Duggan wasn’t convicted of a crime as far as I remember, but this post isn’t so much about him as what’s been said about him – all the good boy who loved his mum and was respected by the local people stuff. It’s just that I was suddenly reminded of that when I saw something on the news here a couple of days ago.

[Carl Williams’s ex-wife], Roberta Williams, also told the court [trying his alleged murderer] that Williams was the most quiet, placid person “you could ever come across”.

Since I doubt either of my readers (hello Mum) are that familiar with Melbourne news and current affairs and unless Underbelly made it to British TV won’t know who Carl Williams is, perhaps I should refer you to the Wikipedia page on the guy.

On 28 February 2007, Williams pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Victoria to the murders of Lewis Moran, his son Jason Moran and Mark Mallia (whose name was initially suppressed by the court).
Williams also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder gangland rival Mario Condello. A suppression order prevented the media from reporting this until the day of sentencing. Under a deal with police, Williams was not charged for his alleged involvement in orchestrating the murder of Mark Moran, Jason Moran’s half brother.
It was also revealed that Williams was serving a sentence of 21 years for the 2003 murder of Michael Marshall. The outcome of this trial had previously been suppressed.

And he was beaten to death with part of an exercise bike in HM Barwon Prison by another prisoner (the man now on trial). But the most quiet and placid guy you could meet, and probably loved his mum à la just about everyone good, bad or indifferent since the Kray twins.

Whether people are criminals is for juries to decide and where they already have I’m not second guessing them, though Richardson admitted throwing the brick and Carl Williams pled guilty to more than one murder. But I reckon someone somewhere has written a booklet of stock phrases to give the media whenever their rough diamond makes news for whatever reason, and the words ‘peaceful’, ‘loving’, ‘family’ and ‘good bloke’ all appear in chapter one.

5 comments for “A common denominator

  1. September 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Maybe we’re all criminals in God’s eyes. Only God can judge us.

    • September 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm

      God can’t be bothered. That much should be painfully obvious.

  2. September 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    ‘someone somewhere has written a booklet of stock phrases to give the media’

    Or else there’s some low-life Max Clifford out there feeding them the lines.

    I did fond myself wondering how the neighbours really feel about these paragons of virtue; I can’t imagine that Kallan Richardson, ready to lob a brick at a van for kicks, has much respect for the property of those living nearby.

    As for Duggan, how much ‘respect’ would have been demonstrated had there been no such thing as TV coverage?

    • September 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

      “As for Duggan, how much ‘respect’ would have been demonstrated had there been no such thing as TV coverage?”

      No, no, according to Hugh Muir (and he should know, with his extensive street knowledge, right?) we’ve got it all wrong, and it was actually a religious salute:

      “Frimpong-Manson, a Haringey police chaplain, urged the mourners to stretch their arms towards the carriage as he prayed. About 60 did so. As did another group, when the cortege stopped on the Broadwater Farm estate, again at the urging of the cleric. Thus they were surprised to see themselves pictured on Mail online under the headline “Gangsta salute for ‘a fallen soldier’”.”

      Hey, stop laughing! There’s nothing funny about a man of god unwittingly generating a 1000 gangsta Hitler salute, is there?

      😆

      • September 16, 2011 at 9:09 am

        Julia, you have infinitely brightened my day!

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