When law-makers & law-maintainers & are law-breakers, who upholds the rule of law?

By Daviemoo

TW: Domestic abuse, sexual assault.

Last week, the country was treated to more frustration as the long awaited Grey report became the imminently released, redacted, gutted of substance Grey press release- grey is an apt colour for the report, stripped of the colour needed to understand just how deep the rot runs beneath Westminster. And the Met finally came forward to step up to the challenge of upholding it’s already tenuous reputation as investigative officers- but today, a damning report into the institutional misogyny and open disrepute of Met officers casts an even deeper shadow into whether those we are meant to entrust with the rule of law- both to create and to uphold law- can be trusted with those jobs.

“I would happily rape you”

This is a message sent from a serving met police officer to a female officer. Many would ask that we request context- but unless the context is “here is something I would never say to a woman”, nothing can justify this.

It’s been too long and widely known that misogyny is the bedrock of the police force- from a high rate of officers who have committed domestic assault (reported in the US though similar studies mirror this in the UK). Even in this report, officers confess – one stating that he needs to “take the missus out as an apology for backhanding her”. Another officer proudly declares “if you hit a woman they love it. Biologically programmed lol”.

These are the men we expect to enforce the law on fellow citizens who commit these heinous crimes. Another officer makes a joke about how easy it is to get a woman into a bed using a knife instead of a credit card. And of course, we’ll be told “context”, “banter”… but reports by psychologists show demonstrably that misogynistic jokes lead to increased hostility towards women. This culture of “lads jokes” perpetuates it’s own outcome. Women in the force have spoken out about men protecting each other, daily casual sexual comments and inappropriate behaviour- last week, reports of a university lecturer who was misogynistically abused during her arrest… and this very day of publication, a woman stripped naked and left dejected in a cell who was arrested wrongfully.

I’ve long puzzled over why men who claim to love women would also speak about them in these terms. The disturbingly high propensity of men who look at women as nothing but sexual gratification machines is a societal problem and must be dealt with- two years of social distancing has worsened this mindset amongst men already susceptible to these disgusting trains of thought.

But even this deep, dark layer of misogyny and casual admission of lawbreaking is only the surface: Should a force systemically infected by the foetid pus of bent coppery be the ones to hold the shining light of truth up to a government similarly infested with islamophobia, misogyny, racism and of course a derisive attitude to compliance towards safety laws? If the met, too, scorn laws behind closed doors, how does one divest them of the authority granted by the corrupt state?

There exists in depth a wealth of reporting and evidence into how police corruption is obfuscated behind legal loopholes, created in camaraderie with other officers willing to bend legality for others that they simply do not believe applies to them. Similarly, hot off the press is the scraps of the Gray report, which no doubt in the fullness of time will bolster the claims of top to bottom corruption, rulebreaking and a culture of intimidation which allowed the Conservatives to flout the laws that they themselves implemented for public safety- after all, this is not a government known to adhere to legality.

The rot of rulebreaking runs how deep?

The conservatives, like the met, are become the face of corruption already suspected, now confirmed. The entitlement of both civil servants and officers of the law, who feel that they need not treat other’s safety with the seriousness of we mere mortals is a worrying indictment of ageing institutions in need of either an urgent shakedown, a root deep clearout- or an imminent scrapping, to be replaced with those who are willing to uphold the laws they are bound to create and uphold.

It’s a very societally typified fear to dilly dally over changing failing or failed institutions. Politics runs through our every aspect of life, from pricing of goods to working hours and wages- it’s inextricable from the lives we’re currently leading and therefore must be approached cautiously when looking to change it’s facets, to ensure that we do not accidentally create more problems than we solve. But when it comes to the met, policing is becoming a more obviously not fit for purpose drain on public expenditure- record numbers of officers refusing vaccine mandates both in the UK and stateside, the BLM protests and subsequent exposure of systemic racism to people who had previously been allowed to hold the shield of ignorance with impunity and this report which shows an indifference towards public wellness- the huge expenditure of public funding to an institution as archaic as the police when it’s members are so keen on ignoring the laws they are employed to maintain… it hardly seems a good public investment.

Many members of the public support our style of policing without listening to experts in prison abolition- this, of course, does not mean a lack of policing, but a reform of a system that is designed only to punish those who have (or are found guilty of, to be more precise) committed crimes- recidivism (the tendency to commit crime again if you have done so already) is disgracefully high because there is no element of rehabilitation that works functionally in our prison services, and rehabilitation must come forefront in the efforts of law enforcement to actually deter offenders from committing further crimes and to make their lives better, otherwise a vicious cycle is maintained which will only worsen the strain on the system, and those subject to it’s failings.

 But indeed, turning from the police force and it’s deeply ingrained failings to the government, do we not see the parallels? A system created long ago, maintained in its archaic presentation (from lingo to the preference of parliament as the seat of power), a system now subject to the weathered scrutiny of a public who have watched with increasing horror and anger as our elected officials desecrate the office. And powerless are we to change this decomposition of our political probity… or so we are led to believe.

Perhaps there is a reciprocal nature between our institutions – from a royal family scandalised by accusations of racism and sexual assault to a government slowly disappearing into it’s own salacious reports of ineptitude, on to a police force crammed with officers who close ranks on fellows who commit the crimes they are tasked with investigating. And here, at it’s roof- the dislocation we do not wish to acknowledge. Where does that invisible gap between “us” and “them” start and finish- what would we have to do to escape investigation into coronavirus law breaches? Who would we have to be descended from to escape scrutiny for sex abuses? Is it money? Name? Influence? Or simply the you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours of one group of corrupted individuals propelling forward more corruption by protecting another, back and forth like blades of grass, rotting in the same field? And again beckons the urgent question- how do we deal with it?
Let us be honest here and everywhere- let us shine our own lights into the dark and confront it together: we must not be burdened by institutions that do not protect us, that do not enhance our lives.
What is good for society? Institutions that serve to make it better- not maintain, not enforce- improve.

Until we overhaul our institutions, until they work for us, we continue with the foot-on-the-neck obedience of rule by oligarchy.

Police- corrupt

Politics- corrupt

Monarchy- corrupt

And so I ask you reader, as I run out of road- what comes after?

Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.

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politicallyenraged

34 years old and fed up of the state of UK politics.

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