1 December 2013

Some truisms regarding the police

Here are a couple of points about the police which tend never change.

The police, even in the most liberal state, are the means by which the state physically forces its will onto human bodies. They may carry out subsidiary functions, such as helping children cross the road, but that does not contradict their main role in society.

Police forces everywhere attract authoritarian personality types and attempt to expand their remit. Everywhere and always the police ask for more powers.

In a healthy liberal democracy (which currently Britain is not), government, legislatures, the courts and public opinion together prevent the otherwise inevitable slide into an authoritarian state riddled with police excesses and corruption.

The police can and should have their institutional say although it is widely known in advance what the police will say. They always want more powers, and if they get them they want more. It is up to the people to say no.