In the 70’s, before the ethics people had any power, it was possible to conduct fascinating experiments on all sorts of people including small children. Evidently my dad decided he would see how much a 4 year old’s mind could be disturbed just by his immediate environment. So he decided to paper my new bedroom with this wallpaper. Now, it was the 70’s I grant you, but this is straight out of The Wall. Observe the scary spikey bits. Regard the brown background. See how the whole is more evil than the sum of its parts.
As bad as this wallpaper clearly manages to be, my dad didn’t think it was evil enough on its own to really cause mental scarring on his son. So he hung it upside-down. Hence the peculiarly sinister tentacles. It remained on the walls of my childhood bedroom until last week…well…some of it remained on the walls. This is probably the last time you’ll ever get to see a photo of the wall of satan’s lounge.
There have been 2 documentaries about the Metropolitan Police on TV in the past week or so. Another Peter Oborne Dispatches and then a nice 30-minute “Inside Out” with Stephen “Shagger” Norris. For those that don’t know “Inside Out”, it’s a sort of Happy Shopper version of Tonight with Trev McD.
Anyway, the essence of both programmes was very similar: The Police are at best crap, but more frequently more interested in nicking innocent people for stupid shit rather than doing the stuff they’re supposed to be doing. Lots of anecdotal evidence for this was provided involving scenarios with which most Londoners are more familiar: burglary and rape victims being ignored; people getting shot in the head for evading their fares etc etc.
Now, it’s obvious to me, and many others, that this is exactly what the Police in London are like. However the programmes both took an odd turn whereby they tried to portray these problems as modern issues, and imply that there was a time when the police were “public servants” rather than opressors.
This irritated me because, despite not having a good education, I know how the Police came about and I know why they still exist. As the Met website explains:
The word “Police” means, generally, the arrangements made in all civilised countries to ensure that the inhabitants keep the peace and obey the law.
Or “shut up” and “do what they’re told” in plain English. Nothing there about protecting the opressed and defending the rights of man you’ll notice. The Police have never been there for any other reason than to protect the rich; that’s what is meant by “keeping the peace”. It actually means stamping on those rowdy hooligans who question why people can be born into privilege while others starve.
There have been several news items over the past few years where people get mugged/burgled/attacked and the police tell them that there’s nothing they can do. Yet, the next morning, there are about 60 of the fuckers at the station helping the “revenue protection officers” protect the revenues of the private companies by nicking the poor sods who can’t afford the outrageous train fares.
Whilst this is all true, just don’t forget it’s nothing new! The police were created to protect the rich, and thats what they’re doing. All that’s new is the league tables (where they have to outdo their mates in terms of number of nicks) and the new “anti-terrorism” laws which simply help them improve their averages.