The Thin Blue Spine

According to a recent article in ‘i’, a survey of over 3,000 police staff indicated that morale is at an all-time low, with almost 70 per cent citing an increased workload as the main reason.

When I read this I couldn’t help but picture the scenes outside St. Paul’s Cathedral when the police moved on the Occupy London demonstrators some time ago. Now bear in mind that this demonstration began precisely because of the fact that bankers had been gambling not just with their own money but with the future of the entire economy, because a number of extremely high worth corporations were avoiding paying a fair rate of tax, because the government does relatively nothing to chase fat cat tax evaders when compared to the poor when they unlawfully claim basic benefits, and because if the government did do something about all of that, the cuts the country has had to endure would not have been necessary.

So maybe I should respect the police for putting self interest aside and carrying out the orders they are sent from on high, ending a demonstration which may have helped convince the government not to continue with such cuts. But I just don’t have that much faith in the police. I genuinely don’t think they are smart enough to realise the connection between increased workload and budget cuts. Between the budget cuts and the economic manipulations of the rich elite. Between those manipulations and the protests against them which the police are sent in to smash. I don’t think they make those connections, and I don’t think they realise that when they forget that they are The People too, and act as something higher, they lose the right to feel hard done by.

The police have repeatedly made it clear that they are not on the side of protesters or strikers of any kind, they chose their sides when they were smashing demonstrations, kettling protesters, or charging picket lines every single year for as long as I can remember. They acted not just as agents of the state, but as fully signed up members of the elite. It’s too late now to claim righteous indignation at the way they are treated by their bedfellows. If they had wanted to do that, they should have grown a thin blue spine.

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