THE following transcript is taken from a BBC Panorama interview between Jeremy Vine and Home Office minister Anthony McNulty and is one of the most revealing made by this government concerning their attitudes towards the citizen’s role in maintaining civil order.
Jeremy Vine: ‘You see something happening in the street. Do you step in?’
Anthony McNulty: ‘I think the general line must be to get in touch with the authorities straight and make sure that if things are as bad as you paint the police will be there as quickly as they can.’
Vine: ‘You see a young man looking aggressive, shouting at an old woman, what do you do? You retreat and ring the police?’
McNulty: ‘I think you should in the first instance. It may well be the simply shouting at them, blowing your horn or whatever else deters them and they go away.’
Vine: ‘He's now hitting her and the police haven't come, what do you do then?’
McNulty: ‘The same the same, you must always ...’
Vine: ‘Still wait?’
McNulty: ‘Get back to the police, try some distractive activities whatever else.’
Vine: ‘What jump up and down?’
McNulty: ‘But I would say you know sometimes that that may well work.’
So this, then, is official government advice: if you see an elderly woman being kicked to death by some snarling, speed-addled, tracksuit-clad reprobate then don’t dare intervene, other than to try and distract the culprit by shouting, beeping your car-horn or jumping up and down (or, presumably, a mixture of all three); simply withdraw to a safe distance and call the police (one imagines you'd have to stop leaping about and yelling to do this) and ‘if things are as bad as you paint’ the upholders of law and order should arrive shortly, hopefully before the victim has sustained any serious injuries.
Alongside behaviour like that of MP Andrew Dismore's shameful filibustering which blocked the Criminal Law (Amendment) (Protection of Property) Bill (a Conservative Private Member's Bill) in 2005, the above extract encapsulates perfectly the undying contempt elements of New Labour harbour for law-abiding citizens, who are scorned as the bourgeois upholders of the detested status quo, and their near reverence for the criminal class, who are regarded as the long discriminated-against martyrs of Britain’s economically-defined social order. In the actualisation of these prejudices common law has been ruthlessly snatched away from the common citizen and is now the sole preserve of the state. Crime-wise, a future as rosy as South Africa's awaits.