The Pop Group – Justice

• “Justice” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to The Pop Group.

7.5 “Great Post-Punk from England”

From their album “For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?” (Rough Trade ROUGH-9), released in 1980.

Putting the punk in funk in a Captain Beefheart meets George Clinton kind-of-way, this jam was the big stand out on the second Pop Group record.

“A man had to have his balls removed!/After being kicked by the SPG!/Doesn’t look like justice to me!”

Ouch. Having your balls removed is pretty grim it must be said, but not quite as bad as actually being murdered. Liddle Towers and Blair Peach spring to mind right away.

The anti-fascist protester Blair Peach was almost certainly killed by the SPG at a demonstration in 1979. The Met resisted publishing any material relating to the death of Peach for almost 30 years, but the confidential 130 page report produced at the time by Commander John Cass was eventually leaked in 2010. Sneaky bastards.

• Peach was almost certainly killed by an officer from its elite riot squad, known as the Special Patrol Group (SPG). A number of witnesses said they saw him being struck by a police officer, and the report found that “there is no evidence to show he received the injury to the side of his head in any other way”.

• Despite concluding Peach was killed by a police officer, Cass said there was insufficient evidence to charge any officer over the death, a decision echoed by the director of public prosecutions, to whom his report was delivered. An inquest into the death later returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

• Suspicions centred on the SPG carrier U.11, the first vehicle to arrive on Beechcroft Avenue, the street where Peach was found staggering around and concussed. Cass said there was an “indication” that one officer in particular, who first emerged from the carrier but whose name has been redacted from the report, was responsible.

Read more of the 2010 leak via the Guardian report.

Doesn’t sound like justice to me.

You can check my favoured album reviews from 1980 here.


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