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An Englishman’s Home… The Bitch!

Article by Michael Knell

Well Darlings,

It seems that what the police cannot manage to do for a reasonable wage plus a pension and all the perks, the public may soon be expected to do for nothing. We’re told civilian volunteers could yet be asked to patrol the streets of their crime-ridden estates for themselves, keep a watch on the activities of suspects (most likely to be the dangerous gangs of teenage hoodlums – that’ll be fun! Where does Health & Safety stand on this one?), and even go so far as to check the tax discs on their friends’ and neighbours’ parked cars.

There is never a dull moment with New Labour, is there? We have already been conned into sorting out our own refuse – with all the prospects of paying for the service twice fast looming on the horizon too! – and now whilst we will still be paying for our streets to be patrolled by the police, they actually want us to get out there and do the job for ourselves. It puts a whole new meaning to: “the land of the free”, doesn’t it?

No! No, don’t! Please don’t! After reading that I had to start on my medicine early. I’m quite giggly now – something to do with the lack of tonic, I suspect. A nation of alcoholics? I’m not surprised, are you? We shall just have to have a quick joke here to take our minds off all this stupidity. Question: What do the Poles do in Poland? Answer: Hold up the telephone wires. Question: What do the Poles do in England? Answer: Hold up the housing queues. No, no – it’s not racial – it’s perfectly alright. Really, it is. Michal Garapich, a social anthropologist at Roehampton University wants the British people to make jokes about the Polish people in order to help them to blend into UK society. I am only doing my bit for them.

Michal, a Pole himself, has told the Polish media that his countrymen needed to lighten up – that they were far too sensitive. An obviously important man, he reckons how the Polish people react to being the butt of English humour would be the real test as to whether or not they were actually integrating in Britain. He says: “If the Poles can learn anything from the British, it’s not to take themselves too seriously.” Really? Well, I am sure we are only too happy to oblige the man, aren’t we? Serious? No, of course we’re not!

Thankfully I was not born a Catholic otherwise that might have been a Hail Mary at least a dozen times and…

I see Ken Jones, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, tells us the country urgently needs to wake up to the epidemic of binge-drinking among teenagers and the misery it causes. Citing police data which shows that up to 50% of the kids are getting it from their parents (the alcohol, I believe. At least, I hope so!) he has rebuked both them and the drinks industry. “Why is it we have got ourselves into a position where lager is being sold cheaper than water? Why is it we have got huge entertainment and drinks companies marketing alcohol to children?” he questioned.

Er, pardon me, but I think the country woke up to all this a very long time ago – at least those still alive and able to; those who had not yet been slain by the drunken young hooligans that terrorise our streets. But it is nice to see the police are, at last, beginning to acknowledge the true scale of the problem, isn’t it? Now all we have to do is to convince the government. They, apparently, are looking to make extensive cuts in police manpower – whilst we are all screaming that we do not have enough police now to maintain law and order. Isn’t the very fact they need us to patrol our own streets enough evidence of this? I know our standard of education has plummeted dramatically these past ten years, but in government circles too? I think I need another sip – and to Hell with the tonic!

Do you know, I am beginning to wonder if some government snoop has been in here, actually within the Royal Mews, and taken my tonic away for testing? I mean: it was only last October that under pressure Gordon Brown was forced to admit somehow we had arrived at the State having 266 powers they could use to enter our homes and premises without permission. He promised then to crack down on such laws that infringed our privacy – however obviously not before another 13 powers became law, which are only now currently making their way through Parliament. I wonder if I should offer them their own set of keys? It might save having to have a new front door fitted, mightn’t it? Have you seen those things they bash them in with?

In the best New Labour tradition of: “an Englishman’s home is a Whitehall thoroughfare” a new quango, the Homes and Communities Agency, has been set up to enter and survey any home without the owner’s permission to assist in the compulsory purchase of it. These State Officials will also be able to break into our cars should they suspect we are evading our road taxes – it must be something to do with the education thing again, I guess they simply cannot read the tax discs in the cars’ windows! – and if we are unwilling or unable to pay those penalising new refuse bin taxes and fines, they will soon be able to bring the bailiffs inside as well. Hmm… I must remember to leave a couple of teabags and a few biscuits out for them, just in case. Well, you never know – they might treat me more favourably! Though I do hope they remember to turn off the lights when they leave, electric is so expensive these days, isn’t it?

Never mind! The government tell us we shall be staying at the forefront of space technology, and we may even be launching our own manned missions. That will be dependent on the British National Space Centre, which co-ordinates the UK’s civil space activities. They are to consider the costs and benefits of manned missions against the existing strengths the UK has in robotic exploration – like, I suppose they mean, the British Beagle 2 that went missing as it landed on Christmas Day 2003. Ah, if only they hadn’t skimped on the batteries. They should have known: you can never buy a battery on Christmas Day, not even on Mars!

Ooh, I say! This gin is rather potent. Does it show? Soldiering on as I must: I think it will be an excellent idea for us to send someone into space – especially if we are allowed to name the person. I nominate Gordon Brown. Can we send lots of people? I nominate the whole government – send them to Mars. They should be happy enough there. After all, it is the Red Planet.

Labouring on: the government’s own figures published in the House of Commons library last week show that more than 2.2 million British children are currently growing up in households which are dependent on state benefits. That is one-in-five of all children, with the problem being much worse in some inner-city areas. You know, those places where we have to suffer a lot of that drunken behaviour and the kids go around in stupefied gangs killing one another, and sometimes us too. I guess when they are not out mugging for the money to buy their drink – the parents are only acquiring it for the youngsters – it will be us, the taxpayers, who are really paying for it and all the misery we have to suffer. Who said the British spirit had gone? It is still there – only now most of it is in the gutter.

Now, back in my old stamping ground Chief Inspector Dicks (I love it!), speaking on crime, has been reported as saying: “Nationally Swindon is one of the safest places to live. Thankfully knife crime in Swindon is a rare event and nowhere near as common as in larger areas.” And then somebody kindly worked out the knife crime figures for us. Based purely on the crimes that the police know about, possibly about half of all those committed, a person faces being stabbed in Swindon every two and a half days.

I guess whoever it is must be getting a bit peeved by now! Sorry! It’s just the medicine kicking in.

In this “one of the safest places to live” in Britain we find that violent crime has risen by 16% in the past two years alone. The police suggest robbery was the motive for one third of the attacks, with another 31% being put down to “disorder”. The remainder is anybody’s guess, but with a young father, Carl James of Park South, being horrifically stabbed to death and more than 1,930 other victims facing violence (143 with knives, and 1 with a samurai sword) in this “safe” town last year, we can only wonder what the odds are of a person’s safety in any town not so safe as this one.

Where the police have failed, is the government really expecting volunteers from the general public to make a difference? I suspect the only difference we may see is far more corpses on our streets. I nominate the Home Office’s adviser on policing, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, for the “Idiot of the Year Award”. It is he who has said it is not necessary for us to have so many police officers, suggesting that many of their jobs could be carried out by civilians instead. Yeah, right! But who is to be employed to carry out all those carrying out these tasks – in their body bags?

“Land of Soaps All Gory…” Sorry, you’ll just have to sing amongst yourselves until next week – it’s all too much for me. I’m off to find another bottle, if those government snoops have left me one!

“The Bitch!” 14/02/08.

About the Author

“The Bitch!”, a weekly UK News Review column, is hosted by the author and columnist Michael Knell. These articles appear on the Blackpool Gay Directory website, but are not usually specifically gay in content. More information on the author: and on the directory:

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