Eighteen year old Stephen Lawrence was murdered in an unprovoked knife attack while waiting for a bus in Eltham, South London, in April 1993. He was stabbed by one member of a six strong gang. The murder was witnessed by a number of people, including the victim’s close friend Duwayne Brooks. Five youths were arrested for and charged with the murder, primarily on the basis of two anonymous letters and the innuendo that they lived in the general area and were the sort of people who would have done it. The case against them collapsed due to insufficient evidence - a police/prosecution euphemism for no evidence whatsoever, or at least no evidence that should be put before a jury.
That notwithstanding, they became the victims of an orchestrated campaign, including an unsuccessful private prosecution by the victim’s parents, and public vilification by a national newspaper which branded them murderers. Allegations against the police of racism, corruption and incompetence - completely unfounded in this case - led to the newly elected Labour Government setting up the Macpherson Inquiry, ostensibly to investigate the failure of the authorities to bring the killer(s) to book, but in practice with a sweeping remit that covered all aspects of so-called racism, including institutional racism.
The Macpherson Inquiry led to the issue of a white paper (1) known colloquially as the Macpherson Report. (2) Among its ludicrous recommendations were that the use of racist language should be made a criminal offence in private places, and that the double jeopardy rule should be abolished.
The fact that the victim was black and that one of the gang had used the dreaded n word at the time led to Macpherson concluding that “Stephen Lawrence’s murder was simply and solely and unequivocally motivated by racism.” (3) Never in the history of race relations has so much inference been drawn from so little evidence.
The person responsible more than any other for the Stephen Lawrence campaign and for the official inquiry was the victim’s mother, Doreen Lawrence, who has been unremitting in her criticism of all and sundry and who has almost single-handedly succeeded in emasculating the entire Metropolitan Police, no mean achievement.
The case of Damilola Taylor was even more tragic than that of Stephen Lawrence. On November 27, 2000, this ten year old son of a Nigerian civil servant was stabbed in the leg, probably by one member of a three strong gang of slightly older boys, all of them black but of Afro-Caribbean origin. Tragically he bled to death within minutes. Like the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the killing of Damilola Taylor happened in South London. At the time of writing it has now been well over four months since the killing, but although there have been a number of arrests, no one has been charged with any offence in this connection. (4)
In contrast with the Lawrence murder, which happened on a dark night, Damilola Taylor was stabbed in broad daylight, and in view of the ongoing hysteria over racism, the police have allocated massive resources to the case, yet to date they have less to show for it than they did in the Lawrence case.
Ironically, the lack of progress made in this case totally refutes the myriad claims levelled at the police in connection with the Lawrence murder, particularly by Doreen Lawrence. But whether or not anyone is eventually brought to book for either of these crimes, the cry of racism by Satpal Ram and his lapdogs has absolutely no basis in fact, while the often made comparison between Stephen Lawrence and Ram is another irony.
Stephen Lawrence was the victim of a totally unprovoked attack by a stranger.
Clarke Pearce was the victim of a totally unprovoked attack by a stranger.
Immediately prior to the assault on Stephen Lawrence, one of the gang, possibly the killer, made a racially offensive remark. (5)
Immediately prior to the assault on Clarke Pearce, his killer made a racially offensive remark. (6)
The killer(s) of Stephen Lawrence disappeared gloating into the night.
The killer of Clarke Pearce disappeared gloating into the night.
The killer of Stephen Lawrence was never brought to book.
That, fortunately, is where the analogy ends.
April 16, 2001
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