The fight for justice for the Lawrences
In their search for justice the Lawrence family would be better served by prosecutions of those responsible for allegedly corrupt police behaviour, rather than endless public inquiries.
Such public inquiries are much more constrained by their terms of reference than proper criminal investigations at getting to the truth. And while it is true that the police officers investigate the failings of fellow officers with little enthusiasm, the criminal justice system is the only way we have of properly dealing with corruption and immorality amongst those who are supposed to serve the public.
The reason politicians constantly resort to public inquiries to deal with cases of public corruption is that they have to be seen to do something. The trouble is that public inquiries into the Bloody Sunday shootings, Hillsborough, the Stephen Lawrence killing and press malpractice have all spectacularly failed to a greater or lesser extent in getting to the truth.
The problem is that people who propose public inquiries apparently seem to believe that corruption and injustice can be done away with at a stroke. If only we had perfect regulation then the police, the press, the political classes would magically behave perfectly. While it is true that our rules and systems of accountability can make it more difficult and unrewarding to engage in corrupt practices, it is simply not possible to do away with corruption and criminality entirely. The advocate of the public inquiry says that this must never be allowed to happen again. A more realistic and honest view simply states that those guilty of wrongdoing must be brought to justice.
The task of making sure that our laws are enforced with no fear and favour is what true public service is all about.