The Metropolitan Police have admitted that they are still struggling to get to grips with health and safety rules, after mobile phone footage revealed that innocent bystander Ian Tomlinson was attacked for no apparent reason by a police officer, minutes before he collapsed and died in the general vicinity of last week's G20 protests.
The video clip shows the unsuspecting Mr Tomlinson casually ambling past a line of riot police with his hands in his pockets, until a highly-trained officer suddenly rushes up behind him, strikes his knees out from under him with a baton and knocks him to the ground.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Kim Jong-Stephenson said he was very concerned about the battering his force is receiving in the press at the moment. "We are currently studying this footage to see if perhaps it has been faked in CGI by some anarcho-terrorist with access to a Silicon Graphics workstation. If we can't duck out of it that way, then it is clear that our officers are still experiencing great difficulty in negotiating the minefield of silly health and safety regulations which they have been forced to observe since we shot Jean Charles de Menezes - who, it should be remembered, won't be committing any more visa-related offences."
"Obviously my thoughts are with the family of the officer concerned, who is probably a bit difficult to be around right now as he considers the prospect of having to cry his eyes out and act like he cares at some pointless, annoying inquest a couple of years down the line," he added.
The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, Peter Smyth, told reporters: "Sometimes it isn't clear, as a police officer, who is a protester and who is not. I know it's a generalisation, but anybody in that part of town at that time, the assumption would be that they are part of the protest. Basically, in case you hadn't noticed, we can twat anyone we want to and get away with it. We're the Met, we're above the law and we know where you live."
The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, took time out from deleting her husband's porn collection to say that it may be possible, at some unspecified point in the future, that she might think about setting up a public inquiry to declare that the police had done a fantastic job under very trying circumstances.