Bonjour, Bonjour, Bonjour

Now here’s a bloke who’s apparently world famous in France. He appears to be hell-bent on upsetting the rozzers. He must be black & blue from the beatings he takes, all in the name of been rather funny.

Je suis non parlez le Francis very good, but it seems to be this is an advert for an upcoming movie or tv show. If I knew anyone who lived across the Channel who could actually speak the language, I’d ask him.

Til then, enjoy Remi Gaillard and his never-ending quest to annoy coppers. Shame on him !

I caught by the fuzz once, but that’s another story.

The Lock-Up

I’m supposed to exercise my right tomorrow and walk up to the local school, The Paul Gadd Comprehensive, and put a cross beside the name of the individual who I want to become Kent’s first Police and Crime Commissioner. Frankly, and not for the first time in my life, I am absolutely clueless. I suppose I should have paid more attention to the election broadcasts, pamphlets and canvassers which haven’t passed my way over the past three months.

For someone like me who is known for, and occasionally criticised for, taking an active interest in politics and the police, it is shameful that I have no idea who is indeed standing for this, doubtless, very important post. I suppose I’m taking the view that if the powers-at-be aren’t interested (which seems to be the case, judging by the lack of info flying about) then I’m not either. In fact, if I hadn’t cast a cursory glance over the runners and riders for a previous post, I’d have no idea that at least one of the candidates is called Steve Uncles and he is representing the English Democrats. So at least that narrows down the field of those I might vote for, having already crossed off his name from my mental ballot.

And please don’t think I’m un- or even dis-interested in the election. Crime is at the forefront of my mind at the moment. They say tell me that four, count ’em FOUR houses in the nearby vicinity have been broken into over the past couple of weeks. This is rather unsettling and has quite rightly, worried the goolies out of The Incumbent. Measures need to be taken. Actions need to be acted upon.

I consider it a given that, no matter who gets elected as Civvy-Plod-in-Chief tomorrow, it will be asking a lot to see a dozen or so Bobbies plodding their size-nines up and down Margaret Moran Way, keeping a keen eye on the Potting Shed, making sure  that, not only me and the Incumbent are safe, but that no-one lays a latex glove on my complete set of Columbo DVDs, my Gilbert & Sullivan LP collection or, any of the 1,538 unsold T-shirts in assorted colours (get em while they’re hot, they’re lovely).

There is a porch attached to the front of our abode. It has nice double-glazed windows and double-glazed door. It’s main purpose is to house a couple of pairs of wellies, my walking stick and as a place where delivery drivers can leave parcels, should we ever be away from our posts. It has never been locked – well, not for the two years I’ve been living here it hasn’t.

More recently it is where the Gabor the milkman, a new addition to our cast of character, leaves his dairy goods and the odd loaf of bread, they having been ordered by the Missus online the night before. We never had a milkman before a few weeks ago. But a man (who we now know is named Gabor) knocked on the door a while back pleading with us to buy milk etc from him and not from “them fuckers” down at Sainsburys. “My milk might be a little bit more expensive than theirs, but it’s much fresher, and you’ll be keeping me in work” said the Magyar Milky. It was a decent enough argument (especially the “them fuckers” bit) and so we felt good with ourselves when we ordered a pint every third day, and a loaf at the weekend (we know how to push the boat out). Long live Serfdom, thought the Socialist.

Well that was a month ago. Ever since that day, every third day (and/or every Saturday) we are awoken at 3.45 am, (yes, that’s ZERO THREE FORTY-FIVE ACK EMMA) by Gabor and his ghostly gold-tops, coming down the driveway like an annoyed Panzer Division, whacking open our porch door til it nearly Houdini’s itself from its hinges, then three seconds later slamming closed the self-same door before, like a plague of rattling Stukas, Gabor and his crate of milk bottles (deficient to the tune of one), retrace their steps up the driveway and on to the next and ,up until now, slumbering household.

So today I went looking for the key to the porch, while The Incumbent firstly wrote a note to Gabor telling him he was one slam of the door away from waving our £1.80-a-week goodbye, then off she went looking for a plastic/other* box to leave outside and into which Gabor could put our orders next time he came a-calling.

3.45 am is fuckin early, even for an old insomniac like me. I have wondered if we were the only ones on his route. I can’t place where the nearest dairy is. Must be miles away. If we’re half-way along on his round, some people must get their milk before they go to bed of an evening. Probably just after Countdown.

So anyway, after a lot of faffing about, I found the key, then had to wait 3 hours til the long squirt of WD40 took its toll on the rusty old, seized up lock. After which the lock actually still works. The porch door now locks, keeping Gabor out, and becoming another line of defence against Dave the Burglar, and his Burglar friends. Not satisfied with that, I found in a cob-webby corner of the Potting Shed my never-been-used-successfully set of golf clubs, from which I have extracted my trusty 5 iron with which to keep under the bed, just in case I come up against an intruder in the middle of the night. Or worse, though possible a little less likely, a medium-length par 3. Let’s hope for the burglar’s sake, he has a head which looks like a golf ball. I’ll never manage to hit it.

I’ve Got a Golden Ticket

It seems like it’s taken ages for notification to come through, but finally my ticket to the big event has been dispatched, apparently.

The application process was quite the most frustrating and long-winded process I’ve never been through. The website was never down and never told you until right near the end if the tickets you were hoping for were available.

I know it’s a bit expensive, but what’s money when you know an event like this will never be in your country in your lifetime again ?

I’m told security for the event is tough, apparently the police have already murdmanslaughtaccidentally not killed anyone at all. Honest. Thank god there’s no newspapers to sell anymore.

Anyway, I’m off to catch the boat. Only £790 quid for a -twenty-minute return journey, which I didn’t think was at all bad.

My only worry is that since the cuts, the postal service round here is terrible. I only hope the ticket arrives in time for the event.

Can’t wait.

Stephen Lawrence. Anyone Really Surprised?

It’s very laudable, even easy to moan about the “Institutional Racism” in our Police Force. You don’t need to be a ranting left-wing loony to know just how differently the ethnic minorities are treated by the police compared to their white fellow citizens. The hilarious “Constable Savage” sketch of Not the Nine O’Clock News in the 1980s doesn’t seem dated, even though it’s more than 30 years later. Racism in the Met didn’t end with the disbandment of the SPG. Far from it. Savage holding someone for “possession of thick lips and curly black hair” would raise a giggle from many were it shown again tonight. (though the BBC wouldn’t now show it – far too un-pc for the sensitive audiences of today.)

Not that Atkinson or Rhys-Jones wrote it as a racist sketch, but as an attack on the (then) horribly racist Old Bill. Everybody laughed though (well we all did anyway), whether at the Police or the racist charges which the characters discuss within the show. But for many in the black community the skit was merely a reminder of the sort of shite they were putting up with every day on the streets of our cities. But the rest of ‘polite society’ laughed. Well it was farhking funny, wonnit ? Like Alf Garnet or Archie Bunker, their humour was often enjoyed by the very racists it was attacking. But that was years ago. Last century. A long forgotten time.

Really ? What about the poor Indian student Anuj Bidve shot in the head in Salford last week by someone with the self-anointed monicker “Psycho”. How about the overwhelming attitude and apathy of the white middle-classes to the news of anyone of colour shot by Her Majesty’s finest. Or John Terry‘s alleged racist abuse of a fellow professional sportsman. “SAVE OUR JOHN ! ” “But he’s England Captain !!!”” You can’t have a go at him !!”

At the other end of society I stood in a boozer a couple of months ago next to two men, ADULTS (and up to then assumed by me to be vaguely educated men) who used on three occasions the word coon in reference to a football player. And it’s not the only time I’ve heard the term recently. I know a bloke (I used to play rugby with him) who still uses the word, or derivatives of it. He finds it funny and has the cheek to presume I do too. He seems oblivious to the fact he is being offensive of the highest order. When you approach these people, protesting that you are offended by such language, they invariably roll their eyes, laugh at you and accuse you of taking it too seriously. (I can hear them doing it now, reading this).  I understand that the Chelsea skipper isn’t denying he used the language against Anton Ferdinand, but that we are in the wrong by taking it the wrong way. Oh I see: He called Anton a Black Cunt out of context. Silly me.

So who are we, the general public, to pin the badge of Institutional Racism on the Police? Granted, it is clear the original investigation was either bungled or was hindered by monumental racist-driven neglect. So the coppers were either criminals or morons. Probably both. But until we refuse to stand by and allow our mates, fellow commuters, drinkers and colleagues to systematically use foul and racist language; until we refuse to accept as a joke or irrelevant trivia the continual stereotyping and abuse of black people who the hell are we to point the finger at the Old Bill ?

The Met Police have a lot to apologise for (wouldn’t it have been nice for Acting Deputy Commissioner Cressida Dick to have taken the opportunity to say sorry to the Lawrence family outside the Old Bailey tonight ?) but they hardly stand alone as a predominately racist institution. They do, after all, take their new recruits from members of the public. It’d be nice to think if it happened again society wouldn’t protect, consciously or subconsciously, the killers as many have done (and are still doing) in this case.  It’d be nice to think, but by no means certain.