As I pass by the newsagents on the way to my house, I always enjoy trying to make sense of the curt headlines that are posted outside. "Binmen Lorry Chain Protest" for instance.
Usually these headlines are worthless except in a fun "spot the verb" kind of way. Last week, however, I was intrigued by the following headline:
"Anarchy Attractive Says Yard Chief"
The "Yard Chief" in question is Police Commander Brian Piddick of Lambeth who has already shown a forward-thinking attitude to the drug problem in Brixton. It turns out he’s been taking part in the online discussion forum at Urban 75, a rather good strictly non-profit youth e-zine.
So, basically he’s talking and listening to the people who really count - the young people most affected by crime and policing.
Is he getting credit for being so open and honest? Far from it:
"Although Mr Paddick has not broken any disciplinary codes, some at the Met believe he is "too honest for his own good" and needs to be persuaded that there are occasions when, for the sake of the force, his maverick views are best kept to himself."
That’s what you get for trying to improve community relations.
Oh, and as for the anarchy thing, all he said was "the concept of anarchism has always appealed to me". I think it would have been more constructive if the press has paid more attention to these comments:
"We need to educate people as to the effects drugs will have on them short term/long term and allow those old enough to make their own decision about what they do to their bodies. The bottom line is, screw the dealers, help the addicts."