Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.





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Monday, 9 January 2017

BRITISH TRADITION

Sometimes events widely separated in distance but with a common theme appear almost simultaneously to throw us into deep thought over our own convictions or opinions.  Last week a suspected villain was shot dead by police in West Yorkshire.  As per the British way an investigation was immediately put in hand notwithstanding the publicity given by media to local ethnic compatriots screaming for "answers".  The comparison between such police actions in the U.K. and America are striking.  Nevertheless the Metropolitan Police Federation is surveying its members as to whether they wish to be armed.  Many such exercises over the years have consistently indicated that police officers do not wish to be routinely carrying guns. Whether the British public wants its police officers armed is a moot point. Some polls say yes and others indicate a resistance to such a change.  Whether the traditional bobby on the beat syndrome can survive is IMHO doubtful.  Police are by all accounts deserting the concept of "the beat"  becoming a reaction force similar to the Fire Brigade which in certain areas is being brought into a joint command. From my own experience a few months ago waiting on the platform at Lille train station for my TGV connection to the South I was not disturbed, indeed I was comforted by the sight of an army squad of eight soldiers patrolling the platforms as a reaction to the atrocities in France. 

Such changes in this country are often done by stealth incrementally.  I will be surprised if routine arming of police does not become reality during the life of the next parliament.  

On a lighter note I have often wondered why non sentient beings such as dogs are credited with so called "bravery".  They are creatures of instinct and training yet we still have them being awarded medals or commendations.  It does no harm and of course reflects well upon the trainer. Like our unarmed police this is just another typical example of British tradition; like it or not.

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