By Norman Tebbit Last updated: March 14th, 2011
'Pc nipples' and her colleagues taught the boys a lesson (Photo: Alamy)
Although it is tempting to speculate on exactly how Nick Clegg will oppose the NHS reforms to which he has put his name and given his support, I think it might be wiser to wait and see how he gets on at his next appearance in the Commons to answer questions in his role as David Cameron’s loyal lieutenant.
I remain of the view that he will be given enough scraps to persuade him to stay at the cabinet table rather than return to the scruffy mob of no-hopers from which he came.
I have been wondering if there is a common thread to some of the absurdities perpetuated or allowed by our public authorities. For example how has it come about, as the Telegraph reported on March 10, that a bunch of 13-year-old schoolboys’ [laughing]* reference to a woman police officer, out of her hearing, as ‘Pc Nipples’ could take a police sergeant, two other police officers, a deputy head teacher and four sets of parents to attend a “restorative justice conference” lasting an hour and a half?
Come to that, how has the public been protected by the court ruling reported in the Telegraph of the next day, that while a “warlock” charged with carrying a five inch bladed knife should be confined to his home by a 7pm to 7am curfew, that curfew would be suspended on the nights of a full moon? Either the man is dangerous at night or he is not.
Then in the Spectator of March 12 I found a list of £50 penalties exacted recently by our courts, among them that imposed on the gentleman who burned poppies at an Armistice Day ceremony in order to insult our war dead, and on the pipe smoker in Chesterfield who dropped a match while lighting his pipe. What happened to the Islamist’s match, or the burned poppies is not recorded, but surely they were worth £50 a time too.
It might be said that these are trivialities. So they are. But they are not only just a sample of thousands of such irritating trivialities, they betray a mindset among those charged with upholding the law. Even worse, they risk undermining the confidence of the rational normal majority in those institutions which are under sustained attack from the political left, the drunken yobs who contaminate our streets at weekends, the squatters who steal property, the travellers who seem virtually exempt from the planning laws and the yobs protesting on the streets against the idea that they might be required to earn a living for themselves.