A couple of people have asked me why I have said nothing about the forthcoming General Election as yet. What can I say? We are all being subjected to a daily diet of lies, counter lies, empty promises and a barrage of earnest-sounding Twonks appearing on the idiot box and explaining how they intend to feed the five thousand with a few loaves and fishes.
I m sorry but I regard it all as a load of garbage and beneath commenting on at the moment. Let’s see – God help us – what happens on the twelfth of December.
One thing I do rant about fairly frequently is the abject state of the criminal justice system in this country and I would feel happier about the forthcoming election if our political clowns would promise to do something about that. They won’t, but one case this week made me shake my head in vaguely amused bewilderment. If it wasn’t so costly in time and money while serious crimes and misdemeanours go unpunished, it would be laughable – and we are nowhere near the first of April..
Let me explain the circumstances briefly: last September, Samantha Mead was travelling on an early morning train from Chelmsford in Essex, to London. She is said to have pulled a ‘bad face’ at the smell released when fellow passenger Erika Stoter opened her Tupperware container to eat the boiled eggs it contained.
Okay, we have all experienced that sort of thing from time to time on public transport but this one gets worse. Ms Stoter (she with the eggs) said Ms Mead moved towards her ‘quickly and aggressively’ and leaned into her face, reportedly saying: ‘You are disgusting’, and telling her to ‘be careful.’ At this, Ms Stoter replied: ‘Don’t you think you are quite old to be doing these kind of things?’
That should surely have been an end to it — an unpleasant but harmless clash between two stroppy commuters. But no. Ms Stoter was ‘so upset’ by Ms Mead that she marched in to the nearest police station to inform the Plod that she had been made to feel ‘intimidated and vulnerable’ by what had happened. She suggested that because she was born in Brazil, there was perhaps a racial element to Mead’s criticism of her egg-munching. Aha! That must have made the cops sit up. Specifically, it was alleged that Ms Mead called Ms Stoter ‘disgusting’ — not her breakfast. Now could that possibly be a hint of racism?
In the days when common sense was the norm among cops, before political correctness overtook us all, things would have gone rather differently? Any old fashioned desk sergeant would have first clarified that no lasting harm had been done, and then said: ‘Oh dear, Madam, sorry to hear that. But never mind, worse things happen at sea,’ and sent her on her way.
Today, with people in a perpetual state of outrage, that approach is simply not good enough. This week, more than a year later, Mead was found guilty of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress following a trial at Blackfriars Crown Court. She was fined £750 and also ordered to pay £750 in compensation, but she was cleared of a racially aggravated public order offence.
Why oh why did a minor squabble like this even get to court, let alone the Crown Court – and at tax payers’ expense? Crown Court has always been a court for offences that are extremely serious, not an argument over ruddy boiled eggs.
Blackfriars Crown Court, for example, has recently heard cases including prosecutions for sexual assault, firearms possession — specifically, carrying a loaded gun on the London Underground — and slavery. We can also compare this preposterous waste of time over a petty and rather pathetic argument on a train with those which never make it to court at all.
Because this is just the latest example of a criminal justice system that is absolutely broken and a disgrace to the entire country.
Only last year an official report found that two in three burglaries are not investigated, while in some areas, nine cases out of ten are closed with police taking no action at all. The police no longer bother prosecuting for cannabis possession, and, as many experts predicted would happen, this tolerance has proved a slippery slope.
At least four British police forces have now said that even possession of the hardest drugs, like heroin and cocaine, will be treated the same way and not prosecuted. And that’s before we even come to the epidemic of knife crime in London and the scourge of ‘county lines’ drug gangs.
Perhaps the police don’t have the manpower to enforce the laws anymore, thanks to all the ‘funding cuts’ that they never stop bleating about. Then again, they aren’t short of staff for their exciting new ‘national online hate crime hub,’ which monitors social media for inappropriate material.
And, of course, they are always have time to be photographed skateboarding with Extinction Rebellion protesters, attending gay pride marches and dancing in the streets at the Notting Hill Carnival. That must be pretty time-consuming damnit!
In which case, it does seem odd they pressed ahead with the Case Of The Smelly Eggs. If only our police forces would divert their resources away from investigating risible arguments on trains, and instead focus on tackling real crime, they would surely find it a better use of their time and it would help restore public trust in the law.
The police and criminal justice system need to learn some perspective and do their jobs accordingly. The political buffoons currently promising us the world should ensure that they do.