The police are too powerful. They are also too feeble. Unless we put both these things right very soon, this will become a very dangerous country.Britain's bobbies have, in short, become the guardians and enforcers of the state ideology: multiculturalism, white guilt, "root causes" sociology, etc.
We are all less free than we used to be. We have to be careful what we say, especially if we work in the public sector. We are under constant surveillance, from CCTV cameras, and thanks to snoopers who monitor our calls and internet use. If, for some reason, the authorities take against us we can be plunged, in an instant, into an unexpected underworld of highly publicised suspicion that can last for years and ruin us with legal fees, even if at the end they sullenly drop the charges.
Nobody is safe from this. If a field marshal in his 90s can be raided at home by 20 officers at breakfast time, and subjected to questioning and searches on the basis of the wild fantasies of an unhappy nobody, then so can you. And though the police themselves will insist they have not released your name, don’t be surprised if this Trial By Plod somehow becomes very public, very quickly.
Yet, at the same time, ordinary crime and bad behaviour – the things the law now regards as trivial – grow unchecked around us. Who now lives in a town free of graffiti and vandalism, or one where Friday night has not become menacing, drunken and loud?
Years ago, when I first noticed that something had gone badly wrong with the police, readers would write in and chide me for being rude about a force they still trusted. I get very little of that now. Respect for the police has largely disappeared among the law-abiding classes, and seldom survives any actual contact with them . . . .
The police have been subjected to a 30-year inquisition and revolution, in which old-fashioned coppers have been pushed aside (and into retirement) by commissars of equality and diversity. Deprived of their proper occupation, preventive patrolling on foot (long ago abolished), they have become officious paramilitary social workers. These new police are obsessed with the supposed secret sins of the middle class, and indifferent to the cruel and callous activities of the criminal class.
They are also in the grip of a dogma that excuses ordinary crime by blaming it on bad housing and ‘poverty’ (in one of the world’s most advanced welfare states) . . . . [The British bobby is long dead - but we have one last chance to bring him back by Peter Hitchens; Daily Mail, January 24th 2016.]
I've been hearing this for years from friends and relatives in Britain. Law-abiding working- and middle-class people over there now hate and fear the police.
This was not the case during my own childhood and youth there in the 1950s and 1960s. Our overall impression of the bobbies was that they were dimwitted—like Mr Plod—but benign.
When pressed, my British acquaintances often point to the Stephen Lawrence case of the mid-1990s as the start of the rot. Lawrence was a young black man whose street murder in 1993 triggered something like our own current Black Lives Matter movement, although with a much higher component of white liberal guilt.
You might, I suppose, argue that the police are always enforcers of state ideology. It is only that the former, reality-based and comparatively sane, state ideology—respect for the law, primacy of bourgeois values, ethno-national solidarity—has been replaced by postmodernist fantasies about power, oppression, "the psychic unity of mankind," and the white race as the cancer of human history.
If that's right, and the parallel between the Stephen Lawrence case and recent highly-publicized killing of blacks by whites in the U.S.A. is sound, this country is probably headed towards British-style anarcho-tyranny.
Look for a trend of the police giving up on traditional crime-fighting, turning instead to more harassment of law-abiding citizens, especially in regard to violations of multicultural orthodoxy. It makes things Easier For Them.
Look at it from the cops' point of view. Which would you rather spend your working day doing: chasing dangerous criminals down alleys, or sitting in a pleasant air-conditioned office trawling through a database for 30-year-old misdemeanors? [The Hidden Hand of EFTA by John Derbyshire; National Review Online, Febriary 26th 2002.]