I awoke this morning to the news that Doreen Lawrence, mother of the murdered teenaged Stephen Lawrence, is to meet the Home Secretary today to receive assurance that the two (yes, two) inquiries currently underway will not be affected by fresh allegations that police officers secretly taped the chief prosecution witness at the time of the initial inquiry.
Now, let’s cut to the chase here. Yes, a teenager was murdered and like all murders, it was a terrible thing. But we are talking about something that happened 20 years ago and whilst there is no doubting that this particular murder became important for all kinds of reasons and proved to be the catalyst for much needed and long overdue change in the way the police operated, can it really be right that our Home Secretary drops everything to meet the victim’s mother simply because of accusations made on a TV programme?
Does she not have more important things to deal with? Like the fact that we have a war in all but name going on within our own borders at the moment? Or that the country is teetering on the edge of a civil explosion?
No one can, nor should, ever belittle the loss a mother feels at the death of her son but has the time for bending over backwards to appease the Lawrence family not now passed?
More importantly, given the amount of money and time (both police and government) which has and is still being consumed by this particular case, not to mention the changes to policing which have already been brought about as a result of previous enquiries, should the family not be confident enough to know that whatever needs to be done is being done?
Or has this case, as many people increasingly suspect, now become more about retribution than it is about justice?
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