What do I find more repugnant than general anti-police sentiment? Very little. Whilst I am not anti-police, I am no huge fan either. Yet I fully and totally support and admire those who don the uniform until they give us reason not to. The hypocrisy of those who slate the "filth/pigs/feds/" etc is what bugs me. The egregious double standards are laughable. Let us look at why I hold such chagrin.
Young ones...okay, NWA....ok, a bit harsh but they were either equally self-abasing or had suffered true oppression. What is not okay, a mess like Lily Allen singing gleefully that "The filth took away my licence". For a good reason I am sure. Someone who has got where they are because of who they are and not what they can do, probably applies an equally slippery logic to responsibility and accountability.
Please do not put me in a box as a public-service licking gleefully servile tory/labour spineless wankboy. Sat here waving a "Support the Troops" flag and a "Help for Heroes" ringtone.
I am pretty suspicious of almost any widespread defence procedure. That includes Special Branch, MI5, and the countless things us oh-so-clever public folk don't have a fucking clue about!
Whilst I say suspicious, I should add in the word "grateful". These guys sit around planning how to, and then going out to, protect us, and keep our sovereignty safe (close to hyperbole and jingoism there...soz). Seriously though. Nothing irritates me more, than some smug, beardy left-wing celebrity panty-bulge, cripesing on about what GCHQ have been doing with our telephone calls. Let me ask you this, you self-important, incredulous dickhead. What in the name of George Smiley makes you think that the spooks at Cheltenham give a doughnut-rimming about your phone-calls? If they need to hear someone waffling stupid low-level psuedo-intellectualism, and spouting terrible script plots masquerading as conspiracy theories they would just go and see your last (and first) film. Seriously, commenting on politics DOES NOT make you political.
After all, you do not see the head of the flying squad writing about how awful the cinematography was on The Bodyguard. You do not see the head of SO19 making a terribly ill-informed comment on the plausibility of the main characters arc in the last Avengers movie. They stick to what they know. So should you Mr Brand.
Still, that is a diet version of what I mean. It is irritating, but what I mentioned first, I consider to be a lot more malign.
Let us go back to the mid nineties. Yes. Let's. An interview (I have been unable to find in archive) with, I am sure, Q. The journalistic powerhouse that dominated music in that time, and quite frankly, regardless of what the hipsters say, deservedly so. I loved it It was revelatory, informative, and very much of the zeitgeist.
Anyhoo. It was a round the table chat with a few of the contemporary stars of the bulldozer British music scene discussing current music biz. I seem to recall the girl from Elastica/Republica was there, snogging some member of an equally interchangeable Britpop clan. Maybe a weak attempt to emulate Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence. Anyway, I digress. The subject came up of Chumbawumba. The oh-so anarchic pop-chart topping act famous for squabbling with John Prescott.
The ubiquitous Shaun Ryder started off with a characteristically verbose tirade about one member of said band who had claimed they were; happy every time a policeman dies.
Shaun, a man who has had more police trouble than most, who has lost an enormous amount of money in the Abbey National due to seizure and fund appropriation after being caught with a car full of Ecstasy, has more reason to hate the police than most. He however, quite rightly rebuffed and very aggressively rubbished what the 'wumba had said. his line of what would they do if they found their mother was being gang raped by a gang of crazed youths? Who would they call. He finished by re-issuing the original statement of how he was happy every time a Chumbawumba died. So nice one to Shaun Ryder for seeing the disgustingly immature, and recklessly idiotic rambling, for the moronic trash it truly was.
After all, Chumbawamba's justification was pretty pathetic. Really. Saying that if you are working class they don't protect you. Well, what the fuck are you talking about people? I am working class. The police protect us. Ever been to a football match, or a big concert, or an airport, or a large bus terminal? My mother was mugged, we suspected a dead body in one of our neighbouring flats. The police always came. They did a job, they moved on, then they did another one.
Now there ARE bad apples. There are also self-aggrandising low grade proles (maybe that is what they mean by working class?) who will straight away, when the police arrive, start acting smart, misquoting famous cases of justice, loudly proclaiming that they would have got here a lot quicker if it was (insert affluent area here).
If I was a copper, and after rushing like hell to get somewhere - after maybe having to make notifications, or recover a body, all for rather a low wage - and then some disgusting specimen accuses me of not having commitment, well, I would be inclined to let them rot. However, the police, however much they should, do not do that.
Also, it is sad. Chumbawamba (God, I feel so stupid writing that) have done some really admirable stuff. They increased action against fascism, homophobia, and political apathy. They gave voice to the struggle of the Liverpool Dockers. One of the most inspiring cases of worldwide worker solidarity in history. The justification of leaving the indy label they were on for big evil EMI was dealt with in very intelligent terms. These were smart guys, talented. However, they were also, sometimes imbecilic.
"Nothing can change the fact that we like it when cops get killed " Alice Nutter, Melody Maker, August 1997
What about the other time. Which I am much less philosophical about. When that twerp from Skunk Anansie: "Skin" -*is that your real name?- went on stage wearing a "Condon is a Cunt" t-shirt. Allow me to explain. It was the time of the Stephen Lawrence murder trial...I need say no more there. We all know about what happened, and we all know the filth such as the Acourt family, Dobson etc, and we all feel the glee of them thinking they got away with it for so very long....and then there was a knock at the door! HA! A perfect example of "best served cold"
(click here for an expanded look at this phenomenon.)
Another, less appalling, yet negative side of the Lawrence affair was the stream of self righteous celebrities used it as a platform (black ones would have been okay though) and Skin was no exception. Wearing a 'Condon is a Cunt' shirt to protest how he did not allow a protest march.
Well Skin, I must say, you are amazing. You do not only find time to be a mediocre singer, also you clearly know all there is about trading laws, local events, through routes, contraflows, sports timetables, working hours, local delivery schedules, police attendance stats for the time, historic occurences on the date, schools and nursery schedules, confidential police and civil defence procedures currently occurring, airspace restrictions, weather, sunset times and all the other things required to make a decision on allowing a protest in the capital city. Things that laypeople like me, don't have a clue about.
She, and her ilk, would do well to remember, that the UK does not claim to be a country of free speech. I would love to see her prosecuted, lose all revenue for the tour when she wore that shirt, and privately sued into bankruptcy and mediocrity (tick) by Sir Paul. Now I do not think much of SPC, but he protected a city of London for many years as top-cop. He deserves some respect.
Protest is a valuable thing and a magnificent right to have. So it is a shame when it is wasted on vain, immature, ignorant, and foul-mouthed garbage like this.
So where do I end? I end on saying to just show the police some courtesy. Ask yourself this, if I was attacked in my home and my wife raped a la Clockwork Orange, would I call the police? If you say no, then hats off, say what you like. I admire your steadfastedness sir. If you would, then remember that.
Go down the library. Look at Charles Dickens reports at what the police went through when they were first formed by Robert Peel. They are still going through it now, in its modern equivalent. Now I bet in your office you bitch if they change the brand of biscuits, or if you are made to feel uncomfortable by someone being a bit mean on the phone. How would you like being insulted day in and day out for probably less money? Snap out of it.
Either that or move to Kosovo and try it with the police there, Skin. That is a vlog of yours I will watch.
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