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London Tonight Tonight Thursday 28th August

London Tonight Tonight Thursday 28th August

Good afternoon.

"You can't always get what you want. But if you try, sometimes, you get what you need" is a refrain from one of my favourite Rolling Stones tracks. But what if you try, and still don't get what you feel you not only want and need, but deserve? Admit you weren't up to it and press on? Claim all the world, and his friends, are against you? Or explore, legally, which of those two might be true? I am not rambling, I assure you: this is precisely the dilemma facing the most senior Asian Police Officer in the Met'.
Tarique Ghaffur had done very well and had even been asked to head up the 2012 Olympic security unit. Suddenly he claims, he was put aside. He claims Sir Ian Blair, and a "Golden Circle" of intimates, conspired against him and that the institutionalised racism, identified by Sir William MacPherson in the wake of the lack-lustre Stephen Lawrence inquiry, was alive and well and still causing harm and hurt to ethnic minority coppers. It is a bold move on Tarique's part and a defining moment for the Met: not some bitter and twisted young Asian or Afro-Caribbean lad, whingeing in the canteen, with or without cause. But a grown-up intelligent man with as much silver on his shoulders as a Brinks Matt deposit box, pointing a damning finger of accusation at the heart of the body charged with our impartial and honest protection. It is day one of a battle that will run and run. We have the details, some of the players and will ask why some of the others are still lying low.
Eighteen months ago, around Valentines Day, I stood in the bitter cold outside a block of flats in Clapham, reporting on the murder of Billy Cox. I said it was a worrying sign of a growth in a pointless and tragic loss of life among our young people. Little did I know how awfully it would grow. Less did I realise, though I ought to have, how indelible would be the bitterness felt by his parents - not an atom of emotion has evaporated from their souls in the intervening year and a half. Tonight they talk to us and tell of their continuing sense of loss and disbelief.
Two people off on their travels for rather different reasons: Ken has got a job with President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela - they have elections coming up and Ken is going to help out. (Hasn't Victor seen the outcome of the last Mayoral race? Only a question.)
And Gary McKinnon is off to the USA to answer charges over the most spectacular "hack" since my 15 year old ordered a rather fine electric guitar on my lap-top only to come up with the most spectacular explanation since Eve said she just thought Adam looked peckish and in need of one of his five fruit'n'veg.
Mr. McKinnon looks set to have rather a lot of time on his hands to peruse his fascination with UFOs, albeit it in a non-expanding universe.
A terrific story from what was once the realm of sci-fi: nano technology has fascinated me since I read my Eagle comics as a child and saw miniaturised submarines being sent into a man's bloodstream to repair his heart. Now, as you know, they can do it - except they don't need to worry about not being able to miniaturise the men anymore. It is all done by machines that make a pin-head look like the size of Richmond Park, or Hyde Park depending on whether you come from North or South of the River. We've the tale of the first beneficiary of this medical breakthrough about which Arthur C. Clarke might have said "Yeah? And then...?" Whilst we, and his family, say "Hurrah!".
We also have the tale of an urban fox who smiled at his hunter.
Three blonds from an Olympic boat are with us, all of whom are lovely , as is Faye - although she has just said this is an essay - what does she want? Microfilm and short-hand?
I conclude by warning you Les Dennis - a Scouser - tells us about London's North South divide, good casting, eh?
Papers, weather and whatever you think about Tarique Ghaffur. Do listen to the arguments first and then e-mail us.
If the arguments we've been having on the story are anything to go by, it should be fascinating.
See you at 6.
Alastair and Salma