Despite Killing, and Beating, and Smearing, and Lying the Police Still Think That They Are Our “Masters”

May 15, 2009

Unless I’m very much mistaken, this article suggests that attendees at the Police Federation conference down in Bournemouth believe that the proper role of the police in society is as the people’s master, not as their servant.

Correct me if I’m wrong, and there is another way of reading this.

Addressing the Police Federation conference in Bournemouth, [Home Secretary Jacqui] Smith stressed that the video and television pictures of the G20 protests had not shown the hard work involved behind the scenes in staging such a large-scale police operation.

But she defended Nick Hardwick, the chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, who warned the police in the wake of the G20 protests that they had to remember they were the servants, not the masters, of the people.

Smith was asked, to loud applause: “Home secretary, what are you going to do about Nick Hardwick?” She said the “small number” of allegations of police brutality had to be properly investigated.

“I think it is pretty important in this country for the confidence we have in policing that we also have an Independent Police Complaints Commission. That does mean sometimes, the chairman will say things that I do not like and sometimes the police do not like.”

Too bloody right. The IPCC has been unmasked as a complete joke by the Ian Tomlinson affair – having enlisted one of the two forces involved in his killing to investigate the other. And still the police are throwing tantrums when the IPCC’s head makes an utterly uncontroversial statement such as that the police “had to remember they were the servants, not the masters, of the people.”

Now they are demanding of the Home Secretary – who is taking policy advice from the Daily Mail’s risible Michael Winner on this one – that “something is done” about the chairman, Nick Hardwick.

Smith defended the “hard work” that went into beating Tomlinson and many other innocent people on 1 April, trying to inject some jollity into a force which is headless, hapless and in disgrace.

How else should we view it, when a totally innocent protester like Chris Abbott, tells the Home Affairs Select Committee that:

If I am sitting on the floor talking to my girlfriend in a peaceful protest and had been knocked back onto my back with my arms clearly in the air – under what circumstances is it justified to punch me in the face?

Having dragged me up and pushed me back onto the camp – what circumstances are there for smashing me in the side of the head with a shield as a weapon?

And what about the IPCC enquiry now being mounted against the Metropolitan Police after Tomlinson’s family complained that “the Met released misleading information about the level of contact with Mr Tomlinson until some video footage, which appeared to contradict the Met’s account, was published on 7 April”?

I fail to see how it is inappropriate to “bash” (where bash means criticize, as it surely does) the police, when they behave in such a disgusting manner.

But there you go. Apparently they still see themselves as our “masters” – and we’ve got a lot of bashing to do before they realize that they are, unless the whole notions of democracy and the rule of law have been suddenly jettisoned, our humble servants.

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