..."will thoroughly alienate Police and public"
I grew up in Kent, where to have long hair was morally equivalent (70s) to being black; i.e. you were clearly some sort of latent deviant and ripe for a regular and thoroughly invasive collar fondling. Getting patted down, your pockets turned out and papers (address book, not Rizla) rifled and notes made was a regular thrice weekly or so ritual. As a result, me and my early twenties mates thought of the police as pigs, filth etc etc. The enemy.
I moved to London, but while I was no better or worse a citizen, I was no longer a target for wanton harrassment for no better reason than looking different - so was everyone else. Until the last few years I was never searched or hassled again, my only contact with the police came when reporting crime. As a result, my opinion of the police mellowed, and they tended to be referred to as coppers rather than thugs in uniform and given at least a grudging repect.
Now, twenty years on, it's no longer necessary to be black, long haired scruffily dressed or anything else to merit police suspicion - we're all suspects. Whatever shape, size, colour creed or religion we are all now seen as threats to public order or the will of government, potential terrorists, murderers, rapists or benefit fraudsters. We are pushed, channeled, searched, questioned, scanned, profiled, warned, fined and ASBOed for the slightest percieved offence. To object in any form is considered an offence in itself meriting further black marks. And every day they are turning up the heat.
So as a largely blameless, normally attired adult, I am once again beginning to think of the police (and government) in terms I had thought were long gone. The police once again are pigs, filth etc, and accorded the same lack of respect they mete out to myself and others. The chances of me reporting a crime witnessed are close to zero or of giving the benefit of the doubt when the pigs are found wanting in "terrorist" investigations. I feel little suprise when people fail to step forward after shootings/stabbings - could anyone trust the police to protect them? Mutual trust is long gone.
The very politicised police now appear to the public as little more than the enforcement wing of government policy, often at a trivial level. Their core function is distorted by a constant stream of targets and poorly considered headline grabbing "initiatives" that look great announced on the 10 o'clock news, but are little more than political sticking plaster punted by intellectual pigmies.
And the cycle stokes itself; the more we resist, disapprove and fail to co-operate, the more further invasion, suspicion and poor policy is justified as necessary by the Whitehall Puritans simply because we must be hiding something.
Twenty seven years on from the Brixton riots, I wonder how long this can go on before fuses start popping, and not necessarily in the places we've come to expect?
Alien, cos I feel like a stranger in a strange land