I have just returned from ten very soggy days of house sitting in the Cotswolds and for once, even the Princetown weather seems almost benign. At least we are not likely to be flooded.
But the world outside still seems to be a troubled place. The royal family keep trying to tear themselves apart. Prince Andrew’s shenanigans continue to shock as it is now revealed that he is/was friends with and accepted lavish hospitality from yet another serial paedophile. The Royal Biscuit and his Yank have been preparing to make squillions with their ‘Royal Sussex’ brand company, but thankfully Queenie seems to have put a stop to that and over the past month or so there have been a string of divorces among minor members of the Firm.
Lisa Nandy, the prospective Labour leader has said that she would support a vote to abolish the monarchy and at the moment, I don’t suppose poor old Queenie would mind.
Then there is the coronavirus or whatever fancy name they are calling it now. What a shambles it is proving. Russia seem to be the only nation showing any common sense by banning anyone arriving from China. If this virus is as deadly as it is purported to be, then surely draconian measures have to be taken, regardless of anybody’s human ruddy rights.
And I see that the Extinction Rebellion lot are up to their tricks again, this time in Cambridge. The local branch of these nutcases took offence at Trinity College’s decision to sell farmland near Felixstowe, which developers want to turn into an industrial estate.
To punish the college, the anarchists invaded Trinity’s lawn, ripped it up, carted the mud off to a Barclays Bank branch, and chained themselves to an apple tree, waving the usual flags and chanting the traditional inane slogans.
They claimed this was an ideal way to protest against the ‘destruction of nature.’ How ridiculous is that? Are Cambridge colleges not allowed to sell their own property? Should all industrial estates be shut down, despite the local economic damage? Is tearing up a lawn the best way to defend nature? Isn’t it simply a childish act of self-promoting vandalism, for which the perpetrators should be prosecuted?
For me, the astounding thing is Extinction Rebellion – and they can’t all be morons – seriously believe such antics advance their cause. In fact though, like their attempts to block highways, and airports, this sort of stunt simply turns ordinary people against them. One poll for the Cambridge Evening News’s website found a staggering ninety four per cent of local readers thought the protest was ‘nothing more than vandalism.’
So much for raising environmental awareness.
And as so often when virtue-signalling brats decide to lecture us all about their consciences, it is hard to miss the smell of hypocrisy. When the spokeswoman for these people, Sarah Lunnon went on the radio to defend them, she reportedly travelled to the studio by car. But shouldn’t she have walked or taken a bike? Shouldn’t her half-baked comrades tear up her lawn, too?
And as on previous occasions, the protesters seemed not to care that they were putting public services at risk. Contrary to their dishonest claims, at least one ambulance was forced to turn around when faced with XR’s roadblocks, and there have been accounts of other ambulances making long detours. Britain has seen antics like these before, from the radicals of the 1960s to the Greenham Common women in the 1980s. Self-appointed activists and posturing protesters will always be with us. Every generation has them. The real question, therefore, is not why XR are so stupid but what on earth were the Cambridgeshire cops doing?
After all, they had plenty of opportunities to stop the vandals. Yet they stood idly by and watched. These latter-day Dixons of Dock Green actually made the protesters’ task easier by putting up roadblocks to deter the traffic! What madness is that? At first, police spokesmen claimed they could not intervene because the Human Rights Act guarantees the right to peaceful protest. Does that not sound horribly familiar? But it is complete nonsense. Since the law forbids people from obstructing the highway and damaging private property, the constabulary would have been perfectly entitled to step in.
In a video released on Monday, Superintendent James Sutherland admitted that the issue was not ‘black and white.’ The police could have intervened if they thought the protest threatened public order, Superintendent Sutherland said. But he went on, ‘it’s a peaceful protest, there’s no disorder.’
I am willing to bet that if I hopped over the fence and dug up my neighbour’s lawn or better still Superintendent Sullivan’s before dumping it in my local post office – we don’t have a Barclays – I would be hauled in front of a Beak before I managed to get back. Would the local Plod defend my human right to smash up his garden? Would they reroute the traffic to make my life a little bit easier?
Of course they wouldn’t. Unlike the Cambridge protesters, I am not a spoiled, entitled, middle-class brat. Quite apart from my own actions, would kids from a council estate get away with similar actions. Of course they would not.
The police were too craven to intervene because senior figures were frightened to stand against a ‘progressive’ cause. So desperate to appear ‘woke’ are modern coppers that this lot lacked the guts to enforce the law.
And this reflects a wider picture. Like so many public institutions, from our universities to the BBC, the police force has been contaminated with a lazy, uncritical, knee-jerk political correctness. Dare to question the fashionable transgender dogma of the day on social media and you can expect a visit from the local constabulary. Poke fun at the holiness of ‘diversity’ and you might be facing a night in the cells. But rip up your neighbours’ lawn? If it’s for ‘environmental awareness,’ (whatever that may be) then fair enough.
To me this is a perfect example of the growing gap between the vast majority of ordinary Britons who recognise cant, dishonesty and vandalism when they see them and the people who run our public institutions, whose instinct is always to grovel and appease.
But it has to be stopped damnit! If there’s one institution that cannot fall victim to the cult of hectoring ‘wokeness,’ it is the police. Their job is not to promote diversity, encourage inclusion, stimulate eco-awareness or any other of the lazy, second-hand phrases that pass for political discourse among the slow and simple-minded. Their job is to uphold the law and arrest wrongdoers.
If they don’t do this, they let us all down and are at serious risk of forfeiting public confidence. Faced with vandalism and disorder from fashionable eco twits, the police’s instinct seems to be to grovel. So how can we trust them to keep us safe?
No wonder, then, in Cambridge there is now talk of a ‘counter-protest’ against the XR extremists. For if you can’t trust the police, why wouldn’t you take the law into your own hands? That way, of course, lies anarchy so the local constabulary simply must get a grip.
Clean up the disorder. Arrest the vandals. Let ordinary residents get on with their lives and have some respect for people’s lawns. That surely can’t be too difficult, can it?