Set tasers to stun, Jacqui

November 24, 2008

My earlier advice about recruiting Pikey police has clearly fallen on deaf ears. The nation was stunned – not literally, yet – by today’s news from our own Sarah Palin, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, that 10,000 tasers would be issued and 30,000 police trained in their use. Amnesty International report that 300 people have died as a result of tasering since 2001, not entirely surprising given that these playful plastic guns deliver upwards of 50,000 volts via barbs. Since the government has not tired of telling us that crime has dramatically fallen on their watch, I for one am puzzled as to why we need to restyle (un)PC Plod as Judge Dredd. Ms Smith, who incurred general ridicule after confessing herself fearful of walking the streets of South London then issued a sound bite to say that she had bought a kebab in Peckham, might consider carrying one herself, except it would be illegal. Let’s hope against hope that none of these weapons of mass electrocution go astray or are left in Starbucks’ toilets by forgetful officers (Thus passim).

Mace, tasers, coshes, whips, canes, tear gas, rubber bullets and other weapons of severe corporal punishment in routine use by police forces conjure up images of a fascist police state, which of course is the opposite of our happy, freedom-loving democracy. It’s a very sad day when escalating violence on either side of the criminal divide is given a shot in the arm – or, in this case, 50,000 volts in the chest – by attention-seeking authoritarian wierdos. And I don’t mean the BNP. Please think again. Don’t give plod these nasty toys, which he’ll start testing out on drug dealers (black people) and suspected terrorists (Asian kids) or gangs (white underclass). It’s crass and desperate. And we don’t think it makes you look hard, Jacqui.