RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: This is the police – step away from the Creme Egg…
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The judges of the prestigious Mind How You Go Awards have convened an emergency meeting over police handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Since the announcement of the Government lockdown, nominations have been rolling in at an alarming rate.
Normally, they meet in December for a leisurely eight-hour lunch to decide the winners of the awards, which celebrate the most outstanding examples of police stupidity, incompetence and abuse of power.
Are we going to see balaclavad armed response teams abseiling down the sides of buildings, bursting through windows and snatching chocolate bunnies from the trembling hands of terrified children and OAPs?. Armed police are pictured above in London
But because travel restrictions and self-distancing rules have forced members to stay indoors, this week’s extraordinary meeting will now take place by video-conferencing app — provided the judges are sober enough to work out how to use Zoom, whatever that is.
Our regular panel has been supplemented by the appointment of a number of distinguished, retired career coppers, who are horrified at the excesses of the police under the leadership of the new breed of fast-track, jargon-spouting, virtue-signalling senior officers.
They will consider creating a special Covid-19 category, for sheer bloody-mindedness beyond the normal call of duty. Drawing up a shortlist will not be easy.
Even before the new curbs on movement and assembly were given parliamentary assent, some police forces were already pulling on their jackboots — shouting at individual sunbathers through loudhailers and setting up roadblocks.
Kinnock tweeted a picture of himself delivering food and a birthday cake to his 78-year-old father Neil and mum Glenys. Even though Kinnochio Jnr was keeping a proper distance from his parents, the South Wales Stasi warned him that his behaviour was ‘non-essential’
Britain’s top police officer, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, yesterday promised that enforcement of the rules would be through persuasion, not punishment.
Yet while Dick of Dock Green is undoubtedly sincere about policing by consent, and the vast majority of officers are behaving proportionately, a power-crazy minority have inevitably seized the opportunity to throw their weight about.
One of Dick’s own Plods threatened a North London bakery owner with an £80 fine for ‘criminal damage’.
Her ‘offence’ was drawing chalk lines on the pavement outside her shop to help her customers follow the Government’s social distancing guidelines. Others have been going out of their way to harass people walking their dogs on remote parkland, even though this isn’t illegal.
People have been warned not to drive their cars so they can exercise away from the madding crowd, despite the fact that not only is this sensible, there is also nothing in the rules to prohibit it.
No wonder ex-MPs, lawyers, civil liberties activists and even former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption are adamant sections of the police are behaving unlawfully — thus proving yet again this column’s dictum: if you give anyone any modicum of authority, they will always, always, always abuse it.
Yet while Dick of Dock Green is undoubtedly sincere about policing by consent, and the vast majority of officers are behaving proportionately, a power-crazy minority have inevitably seized the opportunity to throw their weight about
Newspaper letters pages are filled with evidence of bullying, including a harmless middle-aged couple in Ipswich ordered to leave a bench in a deserted park. Labour MP Stephen Kinnock fell foul of iPlod, who are patrolling the internet for corona crimes.
Kinnock tweeted a picture of himself delivering food and a birthday cake to his 78-year-old father Neil and mum Glenys.
Even though Kinnochio Jnr was keeping a proper distance from his parents, the South Wales Stasi warned him that his behaviour was ‘non-essential’.
Who the hell are the cops to decide what’s ‘essential’ and what isn’t?
There are even reports of police officers trying to stop sweet shops and convenience stores selling Easter Eggs because they’re not essential.
For heaven’s sake. After another couple of weeks of lockdown, eating Easter Eggs will be one of the few innocent pleasures left to us.
Are we going to see balaclavad armed response teams abseiling down the sides of buildings, bursting through windows and snatching chocolate bunnies from the trembling hands of terrified children and OAPs?
Step away from the Cadbury’s Creme Egg!
Some of this stuff may seem trivial, but when it comes to genuine abuse of power, Derbyshire Police take the Jaffa Cake.
Most people by now will be familiar with the Chief Constable’s demented decision to fly drones over the Peak District to intimidate and shame perfectly innocent dog walkers and ramblers.
His force followed up this insanity by tipping dye into a ‘Blue Lagoon’ at Buxton to discourage people from taking selfies. Wouldn’t you have just loved to have been at the committee meeting which came up with that madness?
‘Right, so we’ve sent up the drones, established roadblocks everywhere, seized all the Easter Eggs, and we’re going to Taser anyone out jogging or taking part in non-essential activity, which pretty much covers anything we say it is. Any other business?’
‘Why don’t we tip indelible black dye into the Blue Lagoon at Buxton, chief? Then if they fall in while they’re taking a selfie, we’ll have no trouble tracing them and nicking them.’
Home Secretary Priti Flamingo should read him the riot act — publicly. Better still, remove him from office pour encourager les autres. Priti Patel is pictured above
Anyone else vandalising a beauty spot by deliberately polluting the water would be charged with criminal damage, as a basis for negotiation.
The Chief Constable of Derbyshire — aka The Creature From The Blue Lagoon — has either taken leave of his senses or is using the virus crisis to establish a police state. He’s behaving like a gauleiter, not a public servant.
Home Secretary Priti Flamingo should read him the riot act — publicly. Better still, remove him from office pour encourager les autres. And there are plenty of other police forces behaving in a similarly outrageous fashion, everywhere from Devon and Cornwall to Yorkshire.
The most sinister development has been the establishment of dedicated police hotlines, in Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Avon and Somerset, urging people to grass up their neighbours . . .
‘Thank you for calling the Coronavirus Narkline. For English, press 1. For Polish, press 2. For all other languages, including Scribble, press 3.
All our operators are self-isolating at home. Your call is important to us. To be scared to death, press the red button on your TV remote.
If your neighbour has been walking the dog more than once a day, press 1. To report the reckless sale of non-essential chocolate products, press 2. If you want to shop that shameless hussy at No 27 for sneaking out without a face mask to meet her fancy man, press 3 . . .’
This year’s judges are going to have their work cut out picking the winners — and we’re still only a few days into the lockdown.
Mind How You Go!
The PM is writing to every home in the country warning that things can only get worse. Why?
What was I saying about joined-up thinking?
The PM is writing to every home in the country warning that things can only get worse.
It’s not as if the text hasn’t featured prominently in every newspaper and on every TV news programme.
So what’s the point of sending a letter to 30 million households at a time we’re being told that the virus can be transmitted on any flat surface, envelopes included?
Let’s just hope that Boris hasn’t signed them all personally.
A copper in Bideford, Devon, has taken to dressing up as a police dog called Bravo and walking the streets, barking at people to stay in their homes. Either that or they’ve run out of proper surgical masks and a giant Alsatian’s head is the next best thing.
I’ve heard of Juliet Bravo, but this is ridiculous.
Incidentally, I wonder if social distancing applies to the dogging community.
In my recent Dad’s Army spoof, I joked about wartime rationing coming back unless panic-buying stopped.
As usual, I should have known better.
Some supermarkets are already restricting what customers can buy and there are noises coming out of Whitehall that formal rationing may be inevitable.
The good news is that impressionist and voiceover artist Christopher Gee liked the Dad’s Army sketch so much he’s turned it into a podcast.
You can hear it at Mailplus.co.uk and on Christopher’s website: christopher-gee.com/voice-overs-1
In my recent Dad’s Army spoof, I joked about wartime rationing coming back unless panic-buying stopped. As usual, I should have known better
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