Sometimes short and punchy blog posts are the best, as evidenced by Richard North at EU Referendum.
“Anyone who has so much as glanced at British policing policy over the last two decades would be hard pressed to argue which party on the streets of London, the thugs or the cops, is more irredeemably stupid”, writes Mark Steyn.
There is not a person with a brain who would disagree with that, yet the politicians are planning to give the plods still more powers. Are our politicians themselves really so stupid that they cannot understand that the police are part of the problem and that, given new powers, they will abuse them in exactly the same way they abuse their current powers?
Mark Steyn’s piece linked to by North, as uncomfortable as it may be for some Britons to read and take on board, represents the reality of the British condition – the one created and nurtured by the politicians and the social engineers who replaced self reliance within a once confident nation with dependence on the State.
Instead of merely providing a safety net for those who need a hand up, or are too vulnerable or unable to provide for themselves, the desire among the political class for ever more control saw them facilitate the development of an alternative to playing a productive role in our society, with government controlling the purse strings. Instead of a desire to escape from this entrapment, the opportunity for some to sink into a cycle of dependency and covet a sense of entitlement proved too tempting.
Successive governments, with their desire to be seen to be ‘doing something’ and their pathological need to leave a ‘legacy’, have fuelled the welfare dependency while at the same time creating ever more offences – designed to exert control by criminalising ever more people in the squeezed middle whose tax pounds finance the wasteful and damaging policies. Yet perversely the establishment seeks to excuse the criminality among the client class, which is energised by that corrosive sense of entitlement and refusal to accept responsibility for their actions, instead treating them with kid gloves, soft sentencing and devoting to them ever more resources.
Then there is the police. It is all well and good talking about policing by consent. But the reality is the police do not currently see themselves as part of the community they are supposed to serve and whose consent they are supposed to require. The ‘them and us’ mentality has been solidified by an ever more authoritarian state creating ever more offences designed to criminalise ever more people and thus make the war on crime look as it it’s achieving something. But treating everyone as a suspect and demonstrating an arrogant and high handed approach has angered not just the hardcore criminals but also a huge number of people who had done nothing of consequence yet who have been treated without courtesy or respect by the significant number of overbearing and over powerful officers in the ranks.
Is it any wonder that over the years the bad apples in the police have alienated a good number of people who were formerly their natural allies? Is it any wonder that so many people now reject and resent the authority of the establishment, and by extension the police that are the most visible symbol of that authority?
That is why it wasn’t just the selfish criminal element on the streets last week who were looting and burning, but also previously law abiding people who sought to stick a middle finger up at the establishment and riot simply because the circumstances made it possible.
As there was a wide range of differing rationales for the lawlessness, so there are a wide range of actions required to correct the situation. They include the implementation of a respect agenda. Not for the people, but for the police. It is time to restore the police to the position of public servants rather than further empowering them to the level of a remote paramilitary outfit. It is time to refocus them on serious criminality while rebuilding relations with the many parts of the community that have been alienated and insulted, and ignored when police assistance was needed.