RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: What would my ex-cop dad make of police violence?
RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: What would my ex-cop dad make of police violence against women like his granddaughter?
This was the Met’s George Floyd moment. Pictures of police officers pinning a young woman to the ground during a peaceful protest have been beamed round the world on TV and social media.
No one died, fortunately, but I defy anybody to look at those disgusting images without being overwhelmed by a stomach-churning sense of revulsion.
What the hell were they thinking? Who authorised this heavy-handed brutality? Does the Commissioner of the Met really think this is a legitimate way for her subordinates to behave?
At the risk of coming over all Chris and Glenn from Squeeze, we never thought this could happen to a girl in Clapham.
Scotland Yard is a disgrace. Operation Midland, the deranged ‘historic sex crimes’ scandal, and Hyphen-Howe’s vendetta against journalists . . . need I go on? Now they’ve sunk to bashing innocent women protesting violence against women on Clapham Common
How on earth did a demonstration by women abhorring violence against women morph into a shocking excuse for gratuitous police violence against women?
Television footage shows Patsy Stevenson being slammed against a tree before she is forced to the ground and handcuffed.
Miss Stevenson was one of an estimated crowd of 1,500 largely female demonstrators who had assembled on Clapham Common for a vigil to commemorate the heart-breaking murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard.
Others were also dragged away in shackles. During her arrest, one officer is seen throwing a punch. Among those who had gathered earlier to pay their respects to Sarah was Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
Her presence was testament to the depth of feeling, particularly among young women, incited by this horrific killing. So you might have expected the police to handle the event with extra-soft kid gloves.
Especially as the man now charged with Sarah’s murder is a serving police officer, part of the elite parliamentary and diplomatic protection squad.
Proud of your troops, Cress? After all, they don’t usually favour putting the boot in at demos. Don’t forget this is the same police ‘service’ which took the knee and ran away from Black Lives Matters thugs
We can argue until the cows come home about whether the protest should have gone ahead while Covid social-distancing restrictions are still in force.
As a cynical sixty-something man, I couldn’t see what the demo was supposed to achieve in practice, particularly as horrific murders such as this are rarer than lunar eclipses and the main suspect was already in custody. London remains one of the safest cities on earth.
But having spoken to my daughter, who works in London, uses public transport and often has to walk home from the station in the dark, I gained a different perspective.
The dreadful killing of Sarah Everard, allegedly by a copper employed to protect the public, has released a tsunami of demons normally suppressed by women of Georgina’s generation and younger.
These horrors have been allowed to fester during lockdown. Which one of us hasn’t worried we are going slowly bonkers over the past year?
So if young women, almost all of whom are at no risk from coronavirus, wish to gather on Clapham Common for a candelit vigil, let them get on with it.
Protest, provided it is peaceful, is an essential safety valve in a civilised democracy.
So, too, is a democratically accountable police force, made up of citizens in uniform whose first duty should be the preservation of life and the protection of the general public.
Sadly, the second part of that bargain has long since been ripped up. The police now see the public as the enemy, a rabble to be bossed around, beaten up and generally harassed on a daily basis.
As regular readers will know, it pains me to write this. My late father joined the Met after the war, ending up in CID at Fulham, and I was brought up to respect the police.
Under Dick, the reputation of the Yard has disappeared further down the sewer, submerged in a culture of cronyism and cowardice, coupled with random brutality and institutionalised stupidity
Even though I’ve never been a crime correspondent, I seem to have spent half my career drinking, eating and laughing with coppers. Confidences have been shared, but never betrayed.
I’ve been honoured to speak at annual dinners thrown by retired detectives, once as the warm-up act for Lady Thatcher.
Another guest that night was Graham Cole, the brilliant actor who for years played PC Tony Stamp in The Bill.
During lockdown, I’ve been rewatching old episodes. Stamp is the epitome of the kind of copper we were brought up to believe in —selfless, compassionate, and hard as nails when he had to be.
I like to believe there are still young PC Stamps out there, putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. But they have to answer to an officer class which holds the rest of us in contempt.
They see themselves as our bosses, not our servants. You can’t get on in the modern Old Bill unless you have been brainwashed by the Left-wing freemasonry Common Purpose.
This involves signing up to all the fashionable shibboleths. The result is a police ‘service’ which combines wokery with authoritarianism.
Years ago, I described Scotland Yard under Ian Blair, a social worker with scrambled egg on his hat, as the Paramilitary Wing of New Labour.
These days, it’s ten times worse after the disastrous tenure of jumped-up provincial Plod Bernard Hyphen-Howe, who brought his philosophy of ‘total policing’ — based laughably on Johann Cruyff’s 1970s Holland football team — to London.
In theory, it was supposed to mean that all bets were off when it came to tackling organised crime.
In practice, in meant that Gestapo tactics were used against blameless men and women falsely accused of phone hacking and ‘historic’ sex crimes, with Hyphen-Howe’s stormtroopers ransacking homes and terrorising families.
As Lady Brittan, widow of the shamefully traduced former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, told the Mail’s Stephen Wright, the Met police ‘lost their moral compass’. Under Hyphen-Howe it was stomped into the dirt.
The blessed Cressida, Dick of Dock Green, was supposed to reassure us that this reign of terror was at an end, and we could look forward to a new era of Gentle Touch policing. Fat chance.
Under Dick, the reputation of the Yard has disappeared further down the sewer, submerged in a culture of cronyism and cowardice, coupled with random brutality and institutionalised stupidity.
Police have embraced Covid as yet another stick to terrorise the paying public.
After the Peterloo-style tactics on Clapham Common on Saturday night, Dick took a leaf out of her sponsor Mother Teresa’s book and did a disappearing act behind the sofa.
A hapless stooge, one of a seemingly unlimited number of deputy assistant, assistant deputy commissioners was sent out to peddle the usual patronising garbage about ‘lessons being learned’.
Turns out this woman graduated to high office at the Yard via the Parks Police, dealing with litterbugs and flashers.
Maybe she would have taken a different approach to the gathering on Clapham Common. Instead, true to form, the Old Bill sent in the stormtroopers, trampling over defenceless women.
Proud of your troops, Cress? After all, they don’t usually favour putting the boot in at demos. Don’t forget this is the same police ‘service’ which took the knee and ran away from Black Lives Matters thugs.
Oh, and was seen skateboarding and singing alongside a pink yacht in Oxford Circus with Extinction Rebellion anarchists who brought London to a standstill not so long ago.
Scotland Yard is a disgrace. Operation Midland, the deranged ‘historic sex crimes’ scandal, and Hyphen-Howe’s vendetta against journalists . . . need I go on?
Now they’ve sunk to bashing innocent women protesting violence against women on Clapham Common.
Lucky for them, the Duchess of Cambridge wasn’t handcuffed and dragged off to the Tower, too.
In a Saturday Essay in this newspaper only last month, I said the cleansing of the Met’s Augean stables is long overdue. Dick of Dock Green is a dead woman walking, but her resignation would change nothing, especially as she may be succeeded by another Common Purpose puppet.
If Priti Flamingo wishes to keep her job at the Home Office, she has to bite the bullet and send the dogs of war into Scotland Yard.
And, forgive me for quoting myself yet again, but as I wrote here on Tuesday in regard to the ‘lessons learned’ from the Met’s Colin Stagg fit-up 27 years ago, it’s time to clean house once and for all.
After Saturday night’s casual brutality in Clapham, and while the current rotten regime at the Yard is allowed to continue, we have no grounds for sneering at the Minnesota cops for their treatment of the late George Floyd.
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