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Monday, October 11, 2010

Who polices the Police?

Interesting article in this morning's Daily Telegraph in which Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson claims that money is being wasted fighting speculative law suits by civilians alleging brutality or wrongful arrest. He has also urged the Home Secretary to load higher costs onto officers and other staff suing police forces at employment tribunals over claims of discrimination or unfair treatment.

In addition, the Commissioner wants members of the public to be charged a fee for making Freedom of Information requests, which he says are burdening police forces with unmanageable levels of paperwork.

Quite why the Police should be exempt from these important rights is difficult to understand. After all their recent record in terms of policing demonstrations, misinterpreting the law on civil liberties and in employment terms suggests that they above any other body need to be subject to legal remedy. If the government stacks the odds in favour of the police then I believe that these abuses will multiply.

As James Welch, of the civil rights group Liberty, says: "The ability to challenge police misconduct in court is a vital constitutional safeguard against abuse of power. Under current rules, if you lose a case in the civil courts you can expect to be ordered to pay your successful opponent's legal costs."

"A service bound to uphold the rule of law should not attempt to carve out an exception for itself."

I can if needbe
Completely off topic, but I warned that Welsh universities MUST pick up the pace turning research into job creating patents. Despite all the rhetoric this STILL hasn't happened.

We have blind mice running the show who have no genuine motivation vis-à-vis job creating patents, who are riding the WAG gravy train of handsome government salaries and pensions, who have no fundamental understanding of international IP matters, and who lack a real connection between what they do and the MASSIVE need for the sake of Wales for Welsh universities to boost the Welsh economy and all they do is essentially pass the buck, make excuses or claim Wales is doing well compared to some UK region or other ‘north of Watford’.

The facts speak for themselves, the GVA rating of Wales is in the pits. Not a single Welsh university in the THE World Ranked Top 200 list (Scotland has four). A pathetic issued patent rate wherein, for example, Wales’s largest university which has more students than MIT is totally outclassed by MIT in terms of issued patent output, spin-outs and heavily cited publications in learned journals.

Let me give you a working example of what’s possible, just a few days old:

"MIT news" has just published an article entitled: 'Express lanes for Ions'; (MIT News is published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)

Here’s the URL: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/energy-harvesters-1008.html

An MIT scientist working in collaboration with a team of electrical engineers from Pennsylvania State University discovered that electrodes containing aligned carbon nanotubes operate at a higher efficiency compared to conventional (prior art) electrodes.

What did these guys do apart from publishing their findings?

Why! They filed a patent ("Controlled-Orientation Films And Nanocomposites Including Nanotubes Or Other Nanostructures', published on August 5, 2101 as US 20100196695 and no doubt there will be numerous foreign filings too).

Was that so hard: not for MIT, but it seems VERY HARD for Welsh universities to do the same thing.

WAG compares Welsh IP output to other UK regions when in fact WAG should compare Welsh IP output to other nation states – particular states that see job creating patents as the way to go. Even the Middle Ease awash with oil has woken up, but not the WAG.
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