If the police had any sense, they’d be all over this before it gets out of hand.
It’s the job of a responsible government to not let these grievances fester, and to identify potential flashpoints and intervene to snuff them out before they turn into something serious. As with most things, Theresa May’s government and what passes for a police service are failing in their duty miserably, leaving the British public feeling increasingly ignored, insulted, and bullied while certain protected groups are free to do as they please. If they don’t get a handle on this situation developing in Hither Green quickly, the burglar might not be its only casualty.
Well, I needn’t have worried: within hours of posting, the authorities swung into action. So did they remove the tributes from the nearby property? Of course not! This being Plod, they came out in favour of the travellers, issuing this statement:
My officers have a responsibility to provide reassurance to local residents so they can go about their daily lives, while also respecting the wishes of family and friends to mark the loss of a loved one.
“They are not there to safeguard or facilitate the laying of floral tributes; we are liaising with the local authority who are considering appropriate management of the floral tributes.
“I do not want anyone to feel intimidated or that they are not being allowed to respond in a dignified way to a tragic death.
“We would urge members of the public to respect the wishes of those who choose to place flowers and other tributes in the area.
In case anyone is concerned this whole fiasco is an exercise in intimidation, don’t worry, Plod has that covered too:
People laying flowers in tribute to a suspected burglar who was fatally stabbed should not feel intimidated, a senior Met Police officer says.
Yes, clearly it’s the people laying the flowers who are feeling intimidated, not the pensioner who knows he can never return home and is now forced to sell his house. And don’t you love the BBC’s language here? “Suspected burglar”, eh? What was this career criminal doing in someone else’s house? Checking for damp?
With the authorities making it quite clear whose side they are on in this conflict, the travellers have decided tributes to their relative’s untimely demise are not enough; now they’re putting up balloons and flowers celebrating what would be his birthday:
Flowers and tributes for stabbed burglar Henry Vincent have been moved from the street where he died to a local community garden.
It comes after his family marked what would have been his 38th birthday on Sunday by leaving balloons and flowers at the scene in Hither Green, southeast London.
At the request of the police, they left their tributes approximately 100 metres away from the property where he was fatally stabbed by pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78.
How lovely for those in the actual community who perhaps wanted to use this garden for its intended purpose, which I presume isn’t to honour a dead burglar. A year ago I wrote this:
At the rate they’re going, the British police are going to be awfully surprised when one day in the near future they are called upon to restore law and order and find the population treating them very much as part of the problem.
Judging by the reaction on Twitter, both from the public and police, I’d say that was rather prescient.
I’ve said on many occasions that I don’t know whose side the British police are on, but I am confident it is not that of the general public. This incident only serves to cement that belief. I don’t think the police are on the side of the travellers per se, but this dead burglar situation has made unlikely allies of the travellers and the police in that both see ordinary, native Brits as their adversaries. The police are the enforcement arm of the ruling classes, and for now the interests of they and the travellers are aligned. Should the travellers start causing the ruling classes trouble – as opposed to heaping misery on the plebs – they’d be squashed like flies, but that rarely occurs.
There are some positives, though. I’ve said before the sooner the public understand the nature of the British police and abandon the romantic Dixon of Dock Green image, the better. This farce can only serve to accelerate that process.