By Ian Hamilton QC
Glory to our Chief Constables!
Glory to our Superintendents of Police!
Glory to our devoted constables, man and woman, who kept the students in order!
Wherever three or four are gathered together in protest our vigilant police are there to kettle them in.
BUT WAIT A MOMENT.
Our democracy sometimes fails. Sometimes it even takes us to war on false pretences.
Our banking system has failed. It will only be propped up by the dismissal of hundreds of thousands of people. A penury is coming none thought possible. Mortgages will go unpaid. Children will suffer. Marriages will break. The salary-earner will find his, or her, ‘secure job’ has gone with the wind.
WHAT IS SUCH A PERSON TO DO?
He, or she, can listen to the Prime Minister.
He, or she, can take to the streets in protest marches.
OR CAN THEY?
The police have now found how to stop any protest march. They call it KETTLING.
It may be a new word but we all know what it means. If we have not ourselves been kettled we have seen it on TV.¬
It means the police form a violent cordon round the protest marchers and keep them in one spot for hours. It denies them the right to march in protest.
Where did the police get the power to act like this?
The answer is from nowhere. Ours is a democracy. A democracy means rule by the people. Neither the Scottish nor the English people gave any such power to anyone and certainly not to the police.
They have taken this power to themselves. The police are there to protect our rights. These rights include marching in protest. In the past these marches were part of democracy. They made it known to our rulers that there was discontent.
Now there is no way we can tell our rulers there is discontent. When the unemployed, the new unemployed, the people who until now have always held down good jobs………when the unemployed take to the streets in protest they will be violently kettled.
What is our Lord Advocate doing about these policemen? Prosecuting them for breach of the peace? Don’t make me laugh.
What is our Minister for Justice doing? He doesn’t control them but could utter a word of condemnation.
The answer to both questions is therefore ‘NOTHING’.
To whom are the police responsible? Nobody knows.
It suits any government to have police that make the public conform to ideas of decorum set by the police.
The greatest danger to our freedom comes from those who are there to protect it.
The greatest danger to our freedom comes from the police.