26 October, 2009

Protesters aren't domestic extremists, they're extremely bored

Police state latest: turn up at a few demonstrations (say, against nuclear waste being dumped in your wheelie bin*) and your mugshot could turn up... on an "Eye-Spy" style police 'spotter' card.

Now, don't misunderstand me, I'm as fed up with the authoritarian, database-enlarging, memorystick-loving, Guardian-gagging mess our Government, police, and legal system have gotten us into, but I'm not one of those people. I  mean, I care, but not enough to actually do anything much about it except maybe vote Green.
And that's a British trait, isn't it, whinging into our newspapers but ultimately wishing we could hibernate in a nice fluffy ball of our own self-pity until the storm blows over and we can go back to complaining about buses.

But the thing is, the police really should leave "domestic extremists" alone. For a start, there's rarely anything extreme about them. Shaven-headed chavs are extremists. Circus performers are extremists. But left-liberal, vaguely pro-environment serial protesters? Let's face it, in other circumstances they'd be having literature readings at Starbucks. Let them have their fun. And secondly, there are quite enough actual criminals for them to be sorting out. And if they run out of them they can also serve as replacement postmen, ones who actually get your eBay purchases to you (albeit by kicking your door down à la Jack Bauer).

*Which would probably not make much difference from the current state of affairs in Leeds.

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