Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Electrocution Solution

A smart guy from Le Monde tells me he covered the Heathrow protests. Arriving at the scene, he saw dishevelled hippies turning up to be greeted by 'bobbies' - the French like that word - with a cheery 'Good morning, sir.' In France, he explained, such protests would be cleared in a couple of hours and dishevelled hippies would turn up in the sure expectation of being beaten up by the CRS. In spite of my low opinion of the British police, my chest momentarily swelled with pride. The reason the French can beat up dishevelled hippies is the electorate basically approves. We're riddled with guilt and uncertainty - qualities with which, in my weakness, I readily identify - so we give the dishevelled ones the benefit of the doubt, often in  the case of terrorism-inclined immigrants, with disastrous consequences. I'm all for the way the French look after their country, but I find their reflex authoritarianism disgusting. Once, in a hurry in Aix, I parked in a disabled parking space. A woman marched over and shouted, 'In France, we do not do that!' She shouted it in perfect English, having spotted my halo of guilt and uncertainty. 'Yeah, but in England we beat the Germans!' I thought of shouting back ten minutes later. 'She probably voted for Le Pen,' chuckled Le Monde guy when I told him the story.
Anyway, now that our bobbies are going to get lots of Taser toys for Christmas, I bet they'll be electrocuting first and saying 'Bonjour, monsieur!' to quivering, stunned, middle-class, law-abiding bodies soon after. 


  1. I've just come back from Paris and my overall impression of their bobbies is they could probably beat our bobbies. Despite the kepi, the big boots and the pantalon tucked into these a la James T Kirk, they look younger, fitter and more alert, with a big side stick one side and a pistol the other.

    what's happened to our beat cops now? they look like they've prepared for a lot of walking simply by studying a Millet's catalogue. Human versions of the Swiss army knife - and about as effective, I would imagine

  2. I understand that sometimes when you are in a hurry you feel the need to park in a handicapped spot. I hope you appreciate that slashing your tires and carving expletives in your door with a pocket knife is just something that those of us with disabled loved ones feel we need to do. Nothing personal, of course.