Well can they? I’m mean, I’m not so stupid as to try myself, but I’d certainly contribute to a fund to help pay for someone else to launch a private prosecution. I’ve grown up both hearing and believing that no-one is above the law, and if indeed that is the case, then shouldn’t that apply just as much to the police as anyone else? Additionally we’re meant to take some comfort in the assurance that we’re policed by consent, although quite when that consent was ever asked for or given escapes me. And given that the claim is made by both the police and the very people who make the laws the police enforce, it’s not exactly a comforting thought, is it? Well, maybe to you it is.
I was ruminating on this point this morning to try and focus on something other than the noise one of the neighbours was making as he was sweeping up his patio’d garden at 7.30 am. Thankfully, I was already awake. His daughter, who I presume is a toddler based on the fact she utters no sounds that could be interpreted as words, compensates for this by sounding like a very loud and very angry Donald Duck. She began her animated ear bothering at 7.20, her parents having thoughtfully opened their garden doors, clearly unaware that other people might have a tinsy-winsy problem with this. But as she’s be doing it some months now, and no-one has yet succumbed to the temptation to record their daughters dulcet tones and play it back to them at midnight, they must think not.
Anyway, I wasn’t thinking of infanticide. Instead I was thinking about Darren Brady, who was arrested for sharing a meme on social media that had caused someone to feel anxious. Even though it isn’t an offence in England and Wales yet, the police did what they always do – in my experience anyway – when challenged to legally justify something for which there is no legal justification, they simply made something up. So basically, someone had reported this, and instead of the police not saying ‘go away’, they dispatched two officers to visit him twice, the first time to tell him someone had complained, the second to arrest him. Between those two visits you would’ve hoped that sense would prevail, that the police would see the trumpery moonshine for the trumpery moonshine it was.
But no. It was either a slow day or it was nearing the end of the month and someone hadn’t reached their arrest targets, but either way, the police were wasting their own time. It got me thinking of angry Donald. She makes me anxious. If I wake up and if it’s early morning and I can’t hear her, I know it’s a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’.
One of the ‘whens’ being when I’ll hurl the contents of my chamber pot at her.