Some of you oldies will never believe this, but London is no longer the place of The Blue Lamp and other black-and-white golden oldies that were made in the Shepperton and Elstree studios by the great Rank and Korda organizations. During the postwar years, with rationing on and the empire still unraveling, England made some of the best movies ever. They were intelligently scripted, underplayed, and beautifully acted by thespians who had learned their craft on the stage. The one thing I remember was the portrayal of the fuzz: Cops were always shown as honest, polite, and trusted by John Q. Public.
Well, that was the movies, not real life. But was it? Unfortunately I am old enough to have lived in London back then, and the police were, along with the Church and the Monarchy, an institution every British subject proudly looked up to as incorruptible and unique. But times change, so you can imagine my surprise when I read about something that took place in London during the last week of August, and is the reason I brought up The Blue Lamp and the fuzz of yesteryear. Two bobbies, a male and a female, were trying to arrest a suspect, a powerful black man whose name turned out to be Nanikutomisa Mpelenda, 25, in East London, while a large crowd watched. As the cops struggled, the largely white crowd cheered the suspect on with cries of “Go on, son,” encouraging him to escape. The man possessed a firearm, whereas the cops did not. He was a drug dealer.
My only reaction was, so what else is new? The psychic debris emanating from America and Black Lives Matter is now firmly attached to British life. The mythical Dixon of Dock Green, the avuncular policeman who is universally loved and respected by citizens and bad guys alike, is no more. Thanks to Hollywood, the television studios, and the media, the cops are now the bad guys and the criminals the good ones. And it gets worse. British police officers are promoted because they obey sociological jargon so-called experts throw at them, things like “hate crimes”—whether a wolf whistle in the street or an offensive tweet. Political correctness is now far more protected by cops than innocent people going on about their business. (Shoplifting, incidentally, is now hardly prosecuted, and has become an open invitation to break the law.)
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