He summed up the situation way back then and since then no improvement – only worse. I think. Right? Or wrong? You see some improvement? You see some evidence that the threat is, after all, really large enough to warrant the death of a nation ? Let me know.
“I mean the tradition of policing in this country is that policemen are citizens in uniform they are not members of a disciplined hierarchy operating just at the government’s command. “
Exactly. Police are meant to be, in our tradition as I see it, citizens first and foremost. Not ‘arms of an authority that stands over us’. The latter is certainly what they were in the days of the formation of Australia.
But arguably, I suppose, not so in the England they came from. For though it may look like the police were decidedly the oppressors and mere ‘weapons’ of a brutal governing regime in fact the ‘Peelers’ of Robert Peel and early forces were clearly much desired by and much cooperated with by the citizenry because of the increasingly dangerous lawlessness.
This grew into perhaps the kindest era of British history at the end of the second world war when peace descended on the land, largely and the ‘british bobby’ became that placid and helpful reassuring figure strolling his beat with his admonitions ‘ello, ello, what’s going on ‘ere then?’
One has thought that our current police forces grow out of that ethos and in fact their publicity seeks to make that impression while their buildings, their arms, their uniforms and their conduct point in a different direction.
Point towards and American model of gun and brute force loving machismo, swagger, overwhelming force and clear and wide separation between the police and everyone, anyone else being as they’re claimed to be ‘officers of the law’ and serving this inhuman abstraction ‘the law’ which ‘service’ apparently gives them the right to break any and all laws at will.
Yes. So Lord Sumption’s remarks are very fitting. On a daily basis. Should be breakfast reading for many.
This is youtube vid but really there’s only a still photo to look at – the thing is really an audio recording. But it is good.