Blame is easy, blame is cheap. Blame doesn’t really achieve a great deal. As a society we are all to blame for the Frankenstein’s monster of a country that we have created, but rather than waste too much time on blame we need to understand how things have gone badly wrong, and set about trying to create a better life for everyone.
Since the Tories have been in power we have seen a great many people covering a wide range of socio-economic groups taking to the streets. If they’ve done nothing else the Tory cuts have managed to get a lot of people off their arses to show their disapproval as best they know how. One thing that struck me when I went on the TUC march on the 26th of March this year was how friendly and sympathetic the police en route seemed to be. I suppose it is understandable really. They were no doubt bruised by the criticism over kettling and concerned over how the cuts would affect them.
I was born into an age when Dixon of Dock Green epitomised the British bobby on the beat and we all wore rose-tinted spectacles. The police force, I suspect never was or never will be like that. Today’s police force is an entirely different animal. I think one thing that tends to get forgotten is that the police force is a public service. They exist to maintain the rule of law to the best of their ability; a rule of law that can only be maintained with the co-operation and consent of the public. The police aren’t perfect, as I’m sure that many amongst their ranks would agree they are human like the rest of us but given the tasks that are expected of them and given the resources at their disposal I think they do a pretty good job. Clearly the recent revelations about the News International/police cosy relationship, trigger-happiness episodes, continued racism and some examples of thuggery during recent disturbances don’t do anything to enhance their reputation, and need to be addressed. But policing isn’t something to be done in a vacuum. The police are as much a part of society as you or I, we need to work with them and they need to work with the population as a whole. Using them as scapegoats is neither productive or will it serve any purpose. The government are just adding to the divisions in society by blaming the police for the extent of the destruction in this week’s riots. Yesterday’s comments by Cameron and May weren’t helpful at all and are a perfect example of what is wrong with our ‘me, me, me’ society.
This BBC internet news report Riots: Police chiefs angered by Cameron criticism highlights the stupidity of the Tories and concerns that a battle weary police force are having:
Full story here.“A row has erupted between police chiefs and the government after David Cameron criticised the number of officers deployed to combat this week's riots.
The PM also said the wrong tactics were used - while Home Secretary Theresa May said it was her decision to cancel all police leave to boost numbers.
Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said she had "no power whatsoever" to do that.
It was police, not MPs, who had restored order, he insisted.”