I expect my Father is spinning in his grave. He’d be 80 is he were still alive and he would have despaired at the happenings in the UK over the past few weeks.
The thing is where to start? How about the M6 toll road on Thursday? As you will be aware a passenger saw a puff of what they thought was smoke and phoned the Police to alert them to the possibility that something might have been awry on the bus.
A guy was using a fake cigarette, which is perfectly legal and does not produce smoke. Put money on it that the clamouring for those to be banned will increase to fever pitch. Some will be very grateful for this episode, which will allow them to have further controls placed on non-smokers who use the faky fags. Why? Because those seeking the ban will feel as if they are being useful and saving people from themselves.
My Dad smoked. Pretty much all men smoked at that time in the 60s and 70s. My Dad smoked almost all of his life, even following open-heart surgery. Smoking didn’t kill him.
The Police want people to be vigilant. If you see anything suspect phone them. Don’t think it’s too trivial or it might be wrong just phone them. But don’t be lulled into thinking that they’ll come speeding round, they won’t. They will do if you mention “terrorist” etc. Real stuff like threats, burglary, attending a minor car accident where no one has been hurt etc.? No it’s got to be something that they’ll need guns, lots of police officers and equipment.
The passengers were held on the bus for three hours! Three hours! Then the bus driver was promoted to officer at the scene, or on the bus anyway, and he had to send out the passengers one by one who then had to sit on the ground cross-legged. They were then processed one by one. What exactly did processing require? I shudder to think. It took a lot of time during which the road was completely closed.
Over reaction? Well isn’t that the way of things now a days in Cameron’s Britain? The precautionary principle rules supreme. So the Police can say that they had to respond because… If they hadn’t have responded accordingly something much worse may well have occurred. I suppose that in the world that police live in, everyone is a criminal, terrorist or pervert and they have to take that into account at all, times. Whilst things happen, in my world and your too I bet, it’s usually pretty mundane.
My Dad spent a few years as Special Constable. He went out on various occasions but very little happened. He was also a Justice of the Peace and he signed warrants as required. He believed in justice. The coach business? He’d have been very annoyed with the Police. He wouldn’t like the way the Police have been used and complicit in so many actions for political or financial reasons.
Then there’s Roger Hayes. Arrested, tried and imprisoned within nine hours. A secret court. No jury. No legal representation. Why? Because he was “with-holding his council tax. Not declining to pay which is different. The Council Tax is pretty ropey. We have no contract, we have no service level agreement for the services it is supposed to pay for and the way in which the tax is collected is obviously illegal. Roger didn’t like the fact that some of the money was being used for activities which he didn’t support and considered illegal.
At this point my Dad would have refused to believe that this could happen in the UK. Things like this could only happen in Russia, China, North Korea etc,. Yet it does happen here
There is also the policeman, currently on trial for pushing over Ian Tomlinson who then died, who claimed that he had not intended to push the Mr Tomlinson over. He claims the man was interfering with police lines. He may have been however the response was inappropriate and greater force was used than was necessary. Like the response to the bus incident, like missiles on the roofs of buildings in London, like stationing an aircraft carrier on the Thames. Like sending policemen armed with machine guns to a peaceful demonstration by NHS staff.
Police officers recently marched to show their feeling about cuts to their budgets etc. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have the army march along side them to act as the police for the day, since the police were busy protesting as is their right as individuals. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the army got a bit heavy handed and nasty? Wouldn’t it have been nice if they’d kettled the demonstrating police and held them for hours? Wouldn’t it have been nice if the police demonstrators were handcuffed and led away one at a time to be interviewed, had their belonging and themselves thoroughly searched etc.?
The country has gone to the dogs I tell you.