“We live in a police state? No such luck… The Idiot Left are wrong: the police are powerless to stop our lives being blighted by rogue males.”
Arterial blood clings to Farrow & Ball paint as well as to any other. I learnt this one recent Saturday night.
At or about 8.05pm, having answered our front door to urgent knockings, I found myself simultaneously applying a tourniquet to a deeply slashed arm, calling 999, trying to keep the blood off ye olde F&B paintwork and attempting to marshall a swooning drunk (whom I knew to be just out of prison for a serious assault) away and on to the pavement, so that he could bleed there rather than in our garden - while all the while shouting to my partner and our three boys, in tones as seasonal and unstressed as I could muster, that no, it was not carol singers actually and that they should all just keep on watching The Incredibles (darling, just keep them inside, it's the neighbours again!)
Now, anyone exposed to the after-dinner jeremiads common at the groaning tables of our chattering classes might be forgiven for assuming that Britain is fast becoming a quasi-police state.
It is an article of belief among certain folk that the cops, given half a chance, would gleefully strip the hapless citizenry of its few remaining liberties (that there is no empirical evidence whatever in our history for this rather thrilling notion is neither here nor there to them).
The much more alarming truth is that in Brown's Britain, there is practically bugger-all that the police, however swift, helpful and sympathetic they are (and they are), can do to stop ghastly neighbours ruining people's lives.
Ours is the perfect middle-class nightmare. When we bought the place (from a smiling C of E cleric, no less), we paid the sort of buck-per-bang that, even in the Home Counties (which we're not), would normally guarantee that all-important child-friendly location, complete with parks, cafés, delis and suchlike in toddling distance.
All that we have.
Sadly, we also have, near by, a nest of bachelor alcoholics “well known to the police”.
Their house is privately owned. If the owner-occupier, a free-born Briton, wishes to lay out his benefits in drinking himself noisily to death there, that is his right. If he chooses the company of violent ex-convicts, who is to say him nay? If they appear at our door, blood-spattered, begging for policemen and ambulances to protect them against each other and their own stupidity, but thereafter elect neither to press charges nor mend their ways, what business is that of the overweening State's?
In less blessed countries, some local version of the Napoleonic Code would be swiftly visited upon them, citing the General Good - but not here.
My consolation is that this may all be poetic justice for the years I myself spent (horrid to admit, but true) insulting policemen, shouting Troops Out, baying at Arthur Scargill's every word and generally lambasting the Bourgeois State that had so viciously subsidised my four years at Oxford.
Dear God, if there is no special circle of hell reserved for we amoral young trots of the Eighties, divine justice is mocked!
But if our troubles are rare among the middle classes (and in my own case arguably deserved), for millions of decent working people the nasty proximity of rogue males, benefited up to the eyeballs, structurally violent, functionally illiterate and virtually beyond legal sanction, is a daily fact of life.
Pace the Idiot Left, “the Workers” and “the Minorities” are not different moral species, to be idolised or slummed with when the fancy takes one, whether in 1960's Notting Hill or modern Whitechapel (my dear, how unbourgeois, how real, how too, too vibrant!).
Decent working people of all colours and creeds are treacherously non-entertaining.
They want exactly the same as you or I would want in their places.
They want more police in their streets. Lots of them, freed from red tape, backed by courts that will ensure that dangerous males are swiftly convicted and effectively removed.
Well, that Saturday night one of our neighbours was indeed arrested pursuant to the arm-slashing of his ex-con drinking buddy. I doubt the charges will stick. The arterial blood did, though.
By the time the police left, regretfully but helplessly leaving us to what sounded like a convention in honour of that foul old priest from Father Ted, it had coagulated awkwardly within the mid-19th-century mouldings of our front door. A bugger to gouge out, F&B high-gloss finish or no. Arterial blood is hard to get off your path, too, until swilled and brushed away with copious buckets of hot Flash, when it takes on an extraordinarily neon-like pink colour as it steams away in the midnight gutter beneath the streetlights.
An unusual experience, as I say, for a middle-class person. But one all too familiar to millions of hard-working, child-rearing people living in unentertaining, unthrilling, unexotic communities far from NW3 that are daily blighted by the brutes within them - brutes that our own social policies have engendered and whose alleged rights our idiot commentators are so intent on defending.
Friday, 16 January 2009
I am, by dint of past employment, biased towards the police view on things. That is why I post the following that came from a serving police officer: