Friday, July 4, 2008

Collective punishment, Authoritarianism and Police Incompetence

Mysterious party lovers on Facebook have tried to organise a beach party in Torbay this weekend. I suppose it beats just turning up at someone's birthday party en masse and trashing the house. However, Torbay Council and Devon and Cornwall police are up in arms about it.

They do have a point. If you have a party with four to five thousand people drinking, its a good idea to have some sober presence to weed out troublemakers, pick up the passed-out and try to stop some of them drowning themselves (high tide on Saturday evening is 20:06, so there will be no beach from about 7pm till after dark anyway). It may also be a fairly good idea to have a few portapotties around, you know, just in case someone needs a piss and can't find a handy doorway. Parking facilities may be useful, and some first aid, courtesy of St John's Ambulance or the British Red Cross, is always handy should someone drink too much, pass out and try to inhale their own vomit. I don't know about you, but people dying in the midst of a party always seems to me to put a downer on the proceedings.

But, and its a big butt (snigger), this is still, despite Gormless Frown's best efforts, a free country, with the legal right to free association. It is also illegal to punish someone for someone else's crime (or indeed, potential crime). So why, therefore, am I not allowed to park on an otherwise legal parking bay on Saturday, under threat of having my car towed away? This means I cannot take my daughter to the beach to build a sandcastle. Why am I not allowed to purchase a beer on Saturday? In short, why am I being directly punished for the possible actions of persons unknown?

The reason, I have to assume, is the rank incompetence of the senior management of Devon and Cornwall Police. If they had any idea whatsoever about what it is to be a police officer, they wouldn't be trying to punish everybody, they would attend this event and punish only those who have committed a criminal offence.

But they can't do that, because the party takes place outside of office hours, and all of the management don't work outside of office hours (they don't do anything productive inside of office hours, but that's another story). I mean, it must be ever so taxing to have to compile all those stats, and to think about running yet another diversity course.

And god* forbid that anyone else can have a good time.

* or Allah, or Buddha, or Unity, or Omega, or the Cosmos, or whoever the fuck cares**
** Just trying out my knowledge from the latest diversity course!

Update: If you are planning to come to Torbay for the party, don't bother. It's pissing down!

Update II: Looks like the police really are killjoys, and not just in relation to this weekend!

Torbay police commander Supt Chris Singer told a press briefing yesterday: "We are going to stop any party from happening.

Courtesy of the Herald Express

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