Monday, 2 April 2012

When rioters, protesters or squatters get hurt by the police, it’s self-harm

Over the weekend, twenty police in full riot gear evicted 35 squatters from a large house in the Clifton area of Bristol, which they’d occupied for two months (full story here). Squatters claimed that the police behaved “horribly” while evicting them, breaking a 17 year-old’s nose and dragging a pregnant woman from the house. Well, excellent!

In my trilogy of seminal posts about the many crazy things lefties believe (“Twenty-one weird left-liberal beliefs”, “Twenty-six more weird left-liberal beliefs“, and “Another 30 inexplicable left-liberal beliefs”) I inadvertently forgot to include one of the craziest of the lot, namely: any harm that befalls anyone due to their own criminality, intransigence or stupidity is never their fault – and if the source of that harm is the police, then the authorities somehow engineered the whole thing with the express intention of punishing them for holding really brave, cutting-edge left-wing opinions.

My response is the same as that of the man in the old Tommy Cooper joke who goes to the doctor and complains that every time he raises his arm above shoulder height, it hurts, and the doctor says, “Well, don’t do it.”

Just as I don’t give a flying one what happens to squatters, I take a similar view of people who hang around the edges of riots or “protests” and then bleat when they get a truncheon on the bonce or get called nasty names or get pushed to the ground by over-adrenalised police officers. It’s the tone of amazed, self-righteous indignation these “victims” (or their “families”, if the “victim” happens to die in the fracas) adopt afterwards, as if they were just wandering innocently along, minding their own business and – wallop! – plod suddenly appeared out of nowhere and attacked them for absolutely no reason, yeah! (Even more annoying are those silly old middle-aged, middle-class females who go along on these things because it makes them feel young and vibrant again, and then grass up the cops with charges of police brutality on camera afterwards.)

This is still, just about, a democracy. You have the right to peaceful protest. And you get a chance to vote for a new council every three years, and a new MP every four or five years. If you were unlucky enough to live in a country the rule of law and the concept of private property didn't apply (i.e. the kind of fascist state you'd like Britain to become) - well, that's different. 

But here, where the principle of private property and the rule of law still apply, If seventeen year-olds don’t want their noses broken, and pregnant women don’t want to be dragged out of houses by policemen – they really should try to resist the temptation to break into properties that don’t belong to them. Just as, if you don’t want householders beating, knifing or shooting you – stop being a thieving bastard. And if you don’t want plod getting medieval on your posterior, stay away from areas where large numbers of people have gathered with the express intention of provoking the authorities into doing something violent (or, worse – gasp!using RACIAL EPITHETS!).

Grow up, you silly sods. Unless, of course, you're already dead, in which case it's the members of your - usually estranged - family who need to grow up.


  1. Marta Koulakandris, Neasden Womens' Collective.2 April 2012 at 17:56

    I have had just cause to report this blog to The Collective before. Where is your conscience, your heart, your hope for mankind? Oh sad and sorry Scott. The occupying forces at Clifton are but a taste of what is to come as we person the barricades against the forces of reactionary revisionism who would deny us the right to affordable property, respect for ethnic integrity, jobs, state help for those who have less than the average wage and the suffering tube drivers and petrol tanker drivers, and the right not to have jobs in the massive capitalist middle class work conspiracy. Benjamin ZZ speaks for us all of us., in a very real sense.

  2. Having read Benjamin ZZ's latest poem, Marta, I now agree entirely with you - I have turned over a new leaf. Promise! What a blind, sad fool I've been!