I paid a flying visit to Bristol yesterday and encountered a sit-in in the middle of the road at the bottom of Park Street.
They had a banner reading, ‘Priti Shit’, which does deserve some recognition for a new twist on an old gag, and another which read, ‘this is a peaceful protest’.
This tickled me because it evoked memories of the student protests in France during the 1960s when hippies would hold up signs proclaiming, ‘étudiants en colère’.
Yeah, we’re angry students.
Anyway, in the midst of this pissant performance, there was some masked, less-than-urbane-guerrilla with a load hailer ranting about Priti Patel in terms of f-words, c-bombs, and configurations of which sounding even harsher. In the background, assorted lickspittles scurried around, handing out Labour Party flyers.
I wonder what former DPP but current dipstick Clearly Barmier would make of it all?
He’d probably be a lot happier than the motor cyclists who were roaring round the protestors onto the pavements, and the protagonists in the road-rage incidents that were bubbling over, who were fast losing their cool.
Meanwhile, our old buddies, the cops, stood by with their thumbs in their stabvests and watched it all unfold.
Try telling me that less than 5 miles away, some hapless but upstanding, model citizen was not being mercilessly ticketed at 24mph in a 20 zone by some psycho hobbycop secreted in a rosebush, Dad’s Army-style twigs adorning his helmet.
Or the helmet, so to speak.
Now, I’m neither condoning nor excusing speeding, but this is after all a police service that will boot down your door at 5 a.m. and taser you in your smalls for tweeting something a lot less harmful at a female MP than what these workshy pipsqueaks were spewing up yesterday.
Pat and Carl from Road Wars would have doubtless spat out a ‘Section 5, Public Order, fella’ before the ragamuffin chanters had hit their second c-word, but the world has changed.
At times like this, 21st century UK life can seem confusing – oscillating between a far-right state and just a right state.
The greatest problem with our police service is that the organisation seems to exist for the benefit of its members. They simply go with the flow and do whatever maintains their continued ability to shovel up their salaries and benefits.
For them, successful policing is defined by the strength of their subsequent PR splash. If they can dodge the flak, it’s all good, and they can collect their monster salaries, pensions, and Kellogs cornflakes medals.
Today, all that those cops had in their locker were the bricks they were doubtless pooping out into their padded trousers. It was like Colston all over again.
Perhaps the cries to defund the police are not that unreasonable, after all. It might just push them to do their jobs properly and stop them from simply going through the motions for a weekly pay cheque.