Once again the Metropolitan Police are in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Over the next few days you’re going to read a lot of angry comments, accusing this city’s foremost public defenders of everything from victim blaming to closet racism to good old-fashioned straight-forward incompetence. We’ve written some of them ourselves.
But we at Londonist like to celebrate London, and everything in it — and, for all its flaws, the Met is the only* police force we’ve got. With that in mind, here are some very good reasons to forgive them everything.
- Public consent is necessary if the police are to effectively fight crime. Scandals regarding police behaviour damage that consent. Therefore, by even thinking about this story, you are helping the criminals.
- If you had to wear that hat, you’d be in a bad mood, too.
- They’ve had a stressful time of it of late, what with the phone hacking scandal and the 2011 riots and the Simon Harwood trial and Andrew Mitchell’s bike. Cut them some slack.
- Without the police, those nice EDL people might have got beaten up by those violent anti-fascists. Poor lambs.
- Someone breaks into your house and steals all your stuff. You’re not gonna call the fucking Guardian, are you?
- The Met are the only thing standing between us and the tyranny of left-wingers in wheelchairs.
- This latest mess relates to events from 20 years ago, and was the work of people who don’t even work there any more. Okay, the Met doesn’t seem sure exactly who those people were, and they haven’t really investigated. But why would they lie? They’re the police.
- A functional police service makes for really dull television. Would you rather have The Sweeney or Heart Beat? The Wire, or Dixon of Dock Green? No contest, is it?
- Who are the real racists? The racists, or the people who call them racists? Think about it.
- The police genuinely — and now we’re not being sarcastic — do a very difficult job. It’s physically and emotionally draining, they get shouted at and abused, they often have to put themselves in the way of danger to protect the rest of us, and no one feels much gratitude towards them for any of it. We don’t envy them this, and from the protection of our smug, media ivory tower, we can only be grateful that we don’t have to do any of these things ourselves. In that situation, who wouldn’t want to smear the odd victim, just to let off steam?
- You try having the likes of Michael Howard, John Reid, and Theresa May as your boss, and see what it does to your sanity.
*Yes yes, we know, the City of London Police and the British Transport Police are also hard at work in this town. But you try reporting a burglary to one of them and see how far you get.
Photo by snaphappysal via the Londonist Flickrpool.