« | Home | »

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Tags: | | | | | |

The Orwell Prize committee this year introduced a new prize for political blogging. It has been won by an anonymous ‘English detective’ who calls himself ‘NightJack’. His posts are a mixture of general comment and diary accounts of apparently typical days in the lives of English policemen. They are vigorously written and sometimes perfectly reasonable. NightJack regrets that the police today are kitted out as imperial stormtroopers, he has little nostalgia for the old canteen culture, he laments the mass of paperwork that has been foisted on the police (like everyone else in the public sector) and fairly argues that if plea-bargaining is to become entrenched it ought to be formalised.

Thereafter, however, reasonableness ends. The police are surrounded by bad people who are constantly protected by political correctness, social workers, hypocritical greens, defence counsel and the legal system generally. Bad people practise innumerable legal dodges whose efficacy NightJack recommends to genuinely innocent persons (get your accusations in first – especially accuse the police of racism and homophobia). Above all, the system protects the ‘evil poor’, denizens of sink estates who have no morality. They are destructive parasites who contaminate all they touch. They are like the cast of Shameless without any of the redeeming features. In their dealings with these and other malefactors the police are perpetually inhibited.

You would never guess that the ‘evil poor’, whether called the ‘residuum’ or the ‘underclass’, have always been a favourite category of the political right – particularly those who think redistribution of income is a waste of time and money. Nor would you guess that the police (like the society from which they are drawn) have a long tradition of racism and homophobia, nor that they are probably the most coddled and legally protected of all our public services, nor that there have been a number of spectacular miscarriages of justice in the last thirty years. And did those policing the G20 demonstrations look very inhibited? The police do indeed have to deal with nasty people – some of whom escape the law – but NightJack’s tone of complaint has little to justify it.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • fbkun on Justice for Théo: Polls show that more than half of French police(wo)men vote for the Front National. Quelle surprise...
    • jcscott on The Deep State: How we get rid of Trump is at least as important as whether we get rid of him. The best would be a progressive landslide election in 2020 repudiating ...
    • Oliver Miles on Shambles in Court: A very difficult problem, almost insoluble. Many people are quite unaware of it and just assume that if there is an interpreter there is no problem. I...
    • michael bosley on Arguing with Strangers: Meanwhile, in the UK, cuts in sexual health services are being made by stealth, with hardly any public/political debate. As a report by the Advis...
    • Mat Snow on Not So Innocent: Agreed. But I suspect that when Trump does meet Putin, such pressing issues as international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, drug trafficking and ot...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement