Saturday, 22 September 2012

Brothers In Arms

Andrew's packing continues apace and we are almost done. I couldn't find my spare tin opener so had to nip out and get one but apart from that it seems to have gone smoothly so far.

Today started off with a bit of a disappointment. I bought a new bath bomb and decided to try it out this morning. I really hope there is something wrong with mine and it doesn't normally smell like this one did. According to the description I was meant to be immersed in the smell of lemon grass and avocado instead there was a distinct waft of farm yard animals about it, not only that but it seemed to leave my skin slightly greenish. I thought it was just me until Peter muttered something about cows and the Incredible Hulk's sister, at which point I dived into the shower. It also leaves a bright green scum mark around the bath which is incredibly difficult to shift. That is absolutely the last time I buy something called Avobath, you have been warned.

Don't you wish that computers would sometimes take the hint? I foolishly allowed an update on mine and now I'm getting nagged every ten minutes or so to 'restart' my computer. You'd have thought that after the fifth or sixth refusal it would just leave you alone until you are ready but no, this thing is more persistent than Tarmac demanding breakfast. It is going to be a case of who cracks first.

The killing of the two female police officers in Manchester has opened a huge debate in my house about whether police officers should be routinely armed in this country.

My personal view is no they should not. Our police force is admired world wide for being largely unarmed, other countries just can't understand how law and order prevails without the help of heavy fire power. Despite shocking episodes such as Manchester, gun crime here is still very rare, which is probably why such a fuss is made when something involving a gun does happen. Having guns would not have saved these officers, according to reports it all happened too quickly, they did have tasers but didn't have time to use them. In fact none of the officers that have been killed or wounded in recent times would have been saved by them carrying a gun simply because they did not have time to react.

I personally would feel much less safe if our police routinely carried guns. We have all seen the reality cop shows from America and other countries where the police randomly fire at everything that moves. And we have all heard or read about the horror stories when innocent bystanders are caught in the cross fire or an innocent person is shot by mistake when an officer wrongly identifies them as the criminal. Do we really want to be reading about similar events in our own country?

Then there is the tricky situation of what happens if a police officer does shoot someone, will he then be charged with murder himself? Again we have all read about how officers are treated if they do shoot someone, quite often it is deemed justified and the officer is allowed to carry on his duties, However there are times when the officer's actions are deemed to be not justified and then the officer not only loses his career but can also end up doing time himself. Whatever the outcome the subsequent investigation takes up time, money and resources that would be much better spent elsewhere. Of course, as in every profession, there are bad officers who do go too far, take the recent G20 death for instance but if that isn't an argument against routinely arming police I don't know what is.

Finally my biggest fear is making the police a bigger target than they already are. It is known that the officers in Manchester were targeted, not personally, just the uniform. Raoul Moat openly said he was 'hunting' police officers, again it was the uniform he was after, not necessarily the person inside it. Put a gun with the uniform and people like Moat and Cregan will not be scared, they will just see it as a bigger justification for their actions and I suspect we would soon be seeing more officers killed on duty. And as these things always do situations will escalate until we end up having shoot outs on our high streets.

I like our British police force. On the whole the people behind the uniform are polite, helpful and approachable. Do we really want to become 'like everyone else'? I'm pretty sure we don't and if you asked a policeman, which you can still do without fear in this country, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want that either.

Gosh that's rather serious for me on a Saturday!

Back to the joy that is my holiday, one week gone and still two to go. I am now fully rested and am looking forward to getting out and doing something. I already have a couple of day trips planned specifically with photography in mind and of course there is my trip away to look forward too but first there is this afternoon.

Laurence is coming to tea so that he can say farewell to Andrew. I am so excited, both my boys around my table for the last time until Christmas. It will be lovely but sad at the same time. I have planned their favourite things and am going to attempt  muffins, practically the only cake I can get to rise.

Tomorrow there will not be a blog as we are transporting Andrew to university. All the up's and down's will be fully reported on Monday.