Wednesday, 6 July 2011

In the dock, green

"Evenin' all. You know, when I started out as a bobby on the beat, there was something we used to call "the long arm of the law". What it meant was, however smart your average criminal might think he was and whatever lengths he might go to to evade arrest, there was one thing he could always be certain of: We would always catch up with him in the end."

"Of course these days the old long arm of the law has turned into what people might call a prosthetic limb: You never know if it's going to work properly, let alone what its reach is going to be. That's how the old business of policing has changed since I started out. It's no longer about simple detection and finding your man and then putting him behind bars. A lot of other things now enter into the equation that make it much harder to make an arrest.

"But even if that is the case, I have to say I still sometimes find myself wondering why it took so long for the force to investigate this "phone hacking" that we're hearing so much about nowadays. An old bobby thinks to himself that when those private detectives and those newspaper reporters started poking their noses into the affairs of important members of government, somebody in the force - or somebody elsewhere perhaps - should've sat up and taken note. I think to myself, why didn't anyone act earlier? That's serious business, that is, when it comes to people in government being affected. No two ways about it.

"I don't know, maybe nobody wanted to believe it was really happening. Or maybe they knew it was happening, but wanted to see just how far it would go if they carried on doing nothing about it. But that doesn't really make much sense to me. I mean, what reason would they have for acting like that? One thing I do know is that it's very strange for something like this to go on for so long, without anyone in the force being asked to investigate it both thoroughly and properly. And that's what really stumps me."

"Blimey, maybe this was all the fault of certain people in power who simply wanted to replace good old fashioned policing with that other approach they used to call "softly softly". Or then again maybe it was the fault of those people in power who wanted to show that "softly softly" doesn't work and who actually wanted any old excuse to come down "toughly toughly" on the newspapers and shut them up or even shut them down for good. Well anyway, let's just all hope they don't come down on the newspapers so "toughly toughly" that we never find out the real reason for all of this happening in the first place. Now that really would be a shame, wouldn't it?"

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