Criticise the police and many people close their ears. You can see why. British police probably are, ultimately, the best in the world. In the same way that we return home from holiday full of appreciation for the BBC, Brits in Europe and America quickly come to appreciate the moderation and humility of our police force.
This did not occur because the British are somehow innately superior. It happened because we hound the police. We criticise them, we regulate them and we monitor them. The police are the most dangerous thing in the world. They are the mechanism the state uses to interfere with what you do. They are to be tolerated, not loved. It's by vigilance, not praise, that we keep them decent.
Our reaction to the riots has been understandably draconian and with that a newfound respect for the Met has developed. The Met leadership can be a canny political operator when it wants to be and that pro-police sentiment - in parliament, the press and among the public - is starting toRead More »from Don’t let the police off the hook