Despite occasions like this there was, nevertheless, a healthy respect for the local police, combined with a sense of awe when it came to greater police matters that fell upon our ears. It was a two-way thing as well, for the local Bobby had a friendly respect for the people, including the children, and was a popular figure as he made his rounds. He was a very visible presence on the streets of my home town.
Generally speaking that has changed drastically. Even amongst the most model citizens there is little respect for the police, and perhaps that has much to do with the fact that many people don't feel that they are respected by the police. Cry for help these days and often your cry will either go unheeded altogether or be placed at a very low priority on the list of things that need to be done. Additionally, the lack of respect for the police is as much to do with the fact that they are perceived by many as considering themselves often above the Law that they are supposed to represent, as the rarity of their presence on the streets. To many growing up in today's world the presence of the police is represented only by flashing blue lights and screaming sirens when there are chases going on. In the Media we hear of people being killed by speeding police cars and find the drivers get meagre punishments meted out. Reports of senior police officers caught speeding on motorways and being let off or handed down a petty fine do little to beef up the image either.
Now we have so many new laws that have been introduced over the past decade that give the police unprecedented powers. Laws that purport to be for one purpose are worded loosely enough to be interpreted for other purposes, a classic example being the arrest and detention of Damian Green MP. His real crime was to make public matters of public interest and concern that the Labour hierarchy wanted to keep secret.
The manner of his arrest, the manner in which the raids were carried out, the treatment meted out to Mr Green, and the apathetic excuses that have been, and no doubt will be again, offered in an attempt to justify the actions, all smack of a POLICE STATE.
The police are there to uphold the Law, and the lawmakers are the politicians who are elected to represent the people --- in other words the Government. Damian Green was subjected to an act of political intimidation at the hands of the puppets whose strings were pulled from Westminster. It is a situation that should scream out a wake-up call to every citizen of this country, for next time it could be anyone of us. What it tells us about those who have the responsibility of governing us is that they are more concerned about getting away with things than of being open-handed. When those in power work with a veil of secrecy cloaking their actions then there is a very real cause to believe that we are living in a Police State. This sorry episode demonstrates to all of us that none of those whose task it is to protect us can be really trusted --- not the police hierarchy, nor the civil service mandarins, and especially not the government ministers.
Over the past decade this government, many of whom in their early political careers had shady connections to totalitarian policies and political parties, have introduced a variety of draconian and totalitarian measures that often appear to the general public to be more about protecting themselves from prosecution from corruption in office, than about promoting the well-being of the ntion and of the electorate that was responsible for getting them their tickets for the gravy train.
New anti-terror laws were introduced because the laws that already existed were not being applied. Islamic Fundamentalism was given a virtually free hand to flourish in this nation and now, having sown the wind we are reaping the whirlwind, not only here but across the world, as Islamic terrorism increases its grip of fear on nation after nation. Had the laws that were already in place regarding public order been correctly and timeously applied then the terrorists that have been allowed --- and continue to be allowed --- to foment their brand of hatred against any who dare to differ in belief, then we would not be in the situation that exists today.
It is time for common-sense to prevail!
Yes, we need the law to afford protection, but it needs to be administered and upheld by a non-political police administration. One most urgent task is to throw out of the country all who are known to be connected terrorism, and to cease immediately any public benefit towards their families. If, due to their nefarious activities in the country of their origin, they are likely to face imprisonment or even death, then so be it. They are the authors of their own destiny. They know the risks they take when they embark on their acts of outrage, whether it be to act first-hand or to encourage others to perpetrate them.