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Reposted from My Telegraph, as being too important not to repost. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Reposted from My Telegraph, as being too important not to repost.


Mark this, for it is rare.  I was wrong.


It happens with statistically improbable infrequency, but I am, upon occasion, wrong.  When it does happen, I admit it, if only for the novelty of the thing.


Some days ago, two of my favourite correspondents [here at LJ, I can name them: carlanime and tree_and_leaf], who are also amongst those who follow me and are followed by me chez Twitter, said something along the lines of, ‘Isn’t it awful, the police were responsible for the death of that poor man at the protests’: to which I, naturally enough, answered, ‘Indeed it would be, if one believed a word of it’.  I did not.  Despite my suspicions of our increasingly politically-corrupted police, I could not then believe the allegations.  They were, after all, based upon the unsupported claims of bong-ponging protestors, a group of people whom no sane person would, without more, believe upon their oaths, and reported in the Grauniad, that Daily Mail – no: The Sun – for school-leavers, a fish-wrapping rag notoriously as devoid of izvestia as wass Pravda and of pravda as was Izvestia.


But now there is footage.


Yes, I know that seeing is not always well-advised to be believing.  Yet the conclusion is inescapable: just as the police who attempted to assist the injured Mr Ian Tomlinson were prevented by the swine who make up so preponderant an element of our lovably fragrant protest-bugger scum, so too was it one or more swine in uniform who injured the man in the first place, with no shadow of cause, right, or reason.


I was wrong.


I trusted the police, despite ample reason over the past twelve years not to do, when they issued a statement that combined in exquisite proportion suppresio veri and suggestio falsi.  Despite their killing of that unfortunate Brazilian chap – and their lack of candour regarding it, afterwards; despite their having been the politicised enforcers of Labour for yonks; despite their deformation into the politicised arm of the social-bureaucratic Left; despite their having thrown up as their leaders such crawling things as Ian Blair (I refuse to remember that he was at the House when he was up at university: it hurts too dreadfully to admit); despite their jackbooted thuggery over the Damian Green affair, which I see is now, appallingly, to have still worse consequences, and their institutional and instinctive reaction to criticism, which was to be as economical with the truth and as avid of spinning some whole cloth to cover their arses as was the ghastly Gorbals Mick … despite their having form, I, like a novice curate listening sympathetically to the practised justifications of an old lag, actually believed them.


I was wrong.  And it shan’t happen again.


Anyone who has had the honour of serving in HM Forces, or has studied the history of warfare, or has attended at all to the events of the century just past, must be aware that there is a difference between an army and an armed mob.  That difference does not inhere in organisation, or the possession of natty uniforms, or a structure of rank and command.  What distinguishes an army from a highly-organised criminal or terror enterprise, a Waffen SS, is, simply, adherence to law.  The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to a police force.


I never thought to see the day when it could no longer be denied that the police in the United Kingdom had rendered themselves, by consistent and institutional behaviour, an armed and uniformed gang, defiant of the law they are sworn to uphold and from which alone they derive their powers and authority; when they appeared more like Krays than coppers.  I never thought to see them in the role of Yezhov of the Yard, of Heydrich of Dock Green.


I was wrong.  And I will neither forget nor forgive.


There are many reasons why what happened – and what happened is no longer in doubt – happened.  There are many reasons why I was unwilling to believe that what happened, had happened.


There are many explanations.  There is no excuse.


In every society, in every class, people may be broadly divided into two tribes: Aristocrats Behaving Badly, and Service Families.  This is as true, in their several ways and fashions, of the lowest underclass in the poorest Third World country as it is in what is left of the upper classes and the County in England’s green and pleasant land.  Grandees or gangsters, dukes or drug lords, all may be Aristocrats Behaving Badly in their own spheres; peers and peasants, navvies and naval officers, colonels, constables, and cowmen, all have the capacity to act in the traditions of the Service Family.  Only the proportions and the scenes and the modes of expression differ.


By birth and training, by sentiment and conviction, I, despite my manifold and manifest faults, am a member of the latter tribe, that of the Service Families.  Because of that, and despite both their own record and my own libertarian-Tory, Classical Liberal suspicion of the State, I was inevitably to believe, at the first, the police over the protestors. 


I was wrong.  And that is an omen.


That the police have managed off their own bats to blacken the name and reputation of the police in no wise whitewashes the protestors.  Yet to whom much is given – notably, power and authority – of them is much required.  And the police have yet again failed the test.


Why they have degenerated to this level is easily enough explained.  It is natural that, in any body of men, some few, so soon as issued with weaponry – even nonlethal weaponry – and given rank and its outward attributes, will behave badly.  Moreover, much tried troops, left unsupported by the ministers who sent them forth, do tend to snap: after being forced back and hobbled in any response when confronted, in previous months, by the sort of mobs with which Lord Ahmed threatened the Lords, and having seen the policing they were restricted to, fail outwith the Royal Bank of Scotland, it is not surprising that some constables were ready to snap.  When previously reliable troops – and again, this holds, mutatis mutandis, for the police – become unreliable, one does not pin the blame for the change upon the Other Ranks, but upon inadequate officers and failed commanders, including, where apposite, their political masters.


It is natural, I repeat, that, in any body of men, some few, so soon as issued with weaponry – even nonlethal weaponry – and given rank and its outward attributes, will behave badly.  In the past, however, in addition to the formal correctives provided against the occasion, there has been a compact, to which the law-abiding public and the government of the day, whatever its stripe, have been necessary parties.  That compact is broken now, and has been for some time: another unintended and short-sightedly unforeseen consequence of the squalid twelve years of Labour’s statism, incompetence, and unremitting attacks upon tradition and history, which they hate passionately, instinctively, viscerally, and incurably.  Targets, social engineering, petty partisan orthodoxy, promotion upon political reliability rather than upon competence: these were bad enough in all conscience (that being another organ the Left does not possess).  But in the last, dull, brown years, the Bully State has so far succeeded in its project of creating a partisan police structure that they have realised their old cherished dream, dating back three centuries and a half: a new rule of the godly major-generals.


The United Kingdom will never again accept that politics may put on a uniform.


The peculiar Labour combination of nosiness, bullying, hatred of liberty, and a curiously anomalous cowardice, has poisoned the police, and, worse yet, the relation of police and public.  The criminal element, so long as it hews to a party line, has comparatively little to fear from the neutered, red-rosetted Old Bill; the most egregious cheats, thieves, and fraudsters, less still, for they set the party line and are to be found, not in any den or rookery, but in Westminster and its local reflections and its quango doppelgangers.  But the law-abiding subjects of the Crown, particularly those of the middle classes, must tread warily.  Is it any wonder that the law and its representatives are no longer trusted by the majority?  A previously well-behaved subject causes a crash through inattention, and texting or nattering away whilst on the motorway, and is gaoled good and hard.  A real stoat in highly artificial ermine who, whilst bailed, threatens to summon a mob to cow the upper house of parliament, commits just such an offence, leaving a man dead, and is released from what was already an insultingly light sentence on no discernible legal ground whatever.  Laws created to combat drug cartels are turned with apparent glee upon honest fishermen who have contravened the undemocratic diktats of Brussels, whilst actual drug lords walk the streets with impunity.  Terrorists are allowed to stay on forever, despite entering illegally, and are placed indulgently upon the dole; disagreeable but duly elected Nato parliamentarians are banned from the realm.  Commons is honeycombed with corruption, its grave and ancient music only a fiddle now; yet the only pending prosecution is of a Tory MP who was doing his job, and whose arrest and the search of whose papers is the gravest threat to parliamentary privilege – and the liberties of the subject – since the days of Speaker Lenthall’s defiance of Charles 1st. 


Mr Tomlinson was not a protestor.  He was in London going about his blameless business.  He committed only two errors: he accepted the supine advice to dress down, and he placed his trust in the wrong people.  Given the protestors, no one, however courageous, should have wished to go about the City in boots from Jno Lobb and a good, City suit from Anderson & Sheppard, to be ruined, bespattered, and besmeared; yet dressing down in trackies and trainers, rather than, say, stout tweeds, protected him, by camouflage, only from one of the two lawless mobs gathered there.  For that was Mr Tomlinson’s other error.  He trusted the police.


I too have for many years instinctively trusted the police.


I was wrong.  I shan’t do so again.  And that is a portent.  I have my faults.  Moreover, I am not wholly of or in any easily quantifiable ‘demographic’, as the pollsters and the marketing spivs like to say.  But in my way, I make a fairly good incarnation of Middle England.  It is difficult for the police to carry on without the confidence of government.  It is almost impossible for a government to persist without the confidence of the police.  But neither, I am rejoiced to say, can continue without wholesale reform and replacement when they have lost the confidence of the public.


They have lost that confidence, and deservedly so; they ought to have lost it well before this, even amongst and amidst a notoriously patient people.  I was wrong on this issue, the responsibility for the killing of Mr Tomlinson: I was in error.  But they, the police and the government of the day, are in the wrong: and that is an error from which they cannot recover without being remade for the better, and increasingly soon.  And the sooner, the better, say I: and I am not wrong on that score, at least.


Felix culpa. Mr Tomlinson shall not have died in vain.

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From: tree_and_leaf Date: April 8th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
For the record, I wish I had been proved wrong.
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