RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: The Force is with you? You must be joking!

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: The Force is with you? You must be joking! Once again, Mr Plod has lost the plot

Contrary to the view from the upper echelons of Scotland Yard, it gives me no pleasure monstering the police.

My dad served as a copper. He joined the Met when he was demobbed from the Royal Navy after World War II, pounding the beat in Fulham and later working for the CID. As a boy, I was brought up to trust the police and respect the law. If you want to know the time, and all that.

I’ve had the honour of being invited to speak at the annual dinner of the retired detectives’ association and watched in awe as young officers have been honoured for outstanding acts of bravery.

This column’s regular Mind How You Go Awards may take the proverbial but they are written with affection, if not always admiration. I know from my postbag and emails that coppers, and particularly ex-coppers, enjoy them as much as other loyal Daily Mail readers.

Contrary to the view from the upper echelons of Scotland Yard, it gives me no pleasure monstering the police (Pictured: Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service Cressida Dick)

During my extended and occasionally thirsty career in journalism (50 years in January) I’ve spent many a long lunchtime and late night lock-in eating, drinking and laughing with policemen.

Some of you will be familiar with the song I’ve Danced With A Man Who’s Danced With A Girl Who’s Danced With The Prince Of Wales. But, trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve danced with the wife of the head of Strathclyde CID to Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes on the Renfrew Ferry in Glasgow.

That’s a story for another column. This time it’s for real.

Yes, there are some bad apples in the Old Bill. But there are some bent hacks in my trade, too, even if there aren’t as many as Leveson and Hacked Off pretend.

Martin Bashir, anyone?

So, I reiterate, I don’t enjoy having to pour a bucketload of the brown stuff over the heads of the police on a regular basis. It’s a dirty and not particularly dangerous job, but someone’s got to do it.

Over the past 30-odd years, since I started writing this column, Mr Plod has lost the plot. In fact, Mr Plod Has Lost The Plot was the headline on one of the first columns I ever wrote.

I forget what that was about, but it’s been downhill ever since.

The sad reality is that the police are no longer citizens in uniform, as I wrote last week. They’re not on our side. At best, they’re neutral when it comes to crime. At worst, as is increasingly becoming apparent, they are enthusiastic agents of an oppressive, politically motivated State. Under Commissar Ian Blair, a social worker with scrambled egg on his hat, Scotland Yard became the paramilitary wing of New Labour.

Under Commissar Ian Blair (pictured), a social worker with scrambled egg on his hat, Scotland Yard became the paramilitary wing of New Labour

Under one of his successors, Obergruppenfuhrer Bernard Hyphen-Howe, they morphed into a British Stasi determined to stamp out free speech, criminalise journalists and pervert the course of justice through deranged witch-hunts against blameless men falsely accused of ‘historic’ sex crimes — for which Hyphen-Howe has never properly apologised.

(Listen to my colleague Stephen Wright’s heartbreaking interview with the son of the horribly traduced war hero Lord Bramall on Mail Plus if you have any doubts.)

Both of these goons were rewarded first with knighthoods, then peerages. Hyphen-Howe is now a Cabinet Office adviser on Brexit and coronavirus — another one of those outrages I don’t know whether to file under Mind How You Go or You Couldn’t Make It Up. The so-called ‘Conservatives’ are just as culpable as Labour. We thought we were electing a liberal Tory government.

We’ve ended up with an irrational, authoritarian dictatorship, consumed by insanity over Covid.

And the police, especially the Met under Dick of Dock Green and whichever Muppet is in charge of Greater Manchester this week, are their willing accomplices.

Look, I don’t blame the boys and girls on the beat for this lunacy. This is down to the brass hats, brainwashed on training courses run by the Left-wing freemasonry Common Purpose, which infests every public institution these days, and is largely financed by taxpayers’ money.

That’s how you become head of the Met, or director general of this quango or that government department. If you don’t come over all Jarvis Cocker, you don’t get the job.

Sing along with the Common Purpose . . .

Under one of his successors, Obergruppenfuhrer Bernard Hyphen-Howe (pictured), they morphed into a British Stasi determined to stamp out free speech, criminalise journalists and pervert the course of justice through deranged witch-hunts against blameless men falsely accused of ‘historic’ sex crimes — for which Hyphen-Howe has never properly apologised

They’re all in thrall to every madcap woke notion, from Black Lives Matter to Extinction Rebellion.

The frontline troops — those I saw referred to by Trudie Goodwin’s wonderful WPC June Ackland on The Bill: The Early Years reruns this week as ‘plods and plonks’ — have to go along with it or commit career suicide.

Try getting away with ‘plods and plonks’ these days. Your feet wouldn’t touch.

It’s how we end up with police turning a blind eye to XR extremists defacing the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day.

We should thank ourselves they didn’t take the knee, or run away, as they did during the BLM violence in the summer.

Pity they didn’t deploy the same response to the bagpiper who, admittedly, deliberately provoked them during the locked-down Remembrance Service on Sunday. They flattened him, unceremoniously.

Still, he was only an old soldier who had served his country, and wanted to honour our war dead, not a spoilt middle-class anarchist who aims to defund the police, and destroy capitalism and the nuclear family.

What else should we expect? This is the skateboarding police force — sorry, ‘service’ — which connived in enabling the shutdown of bridges and Oxford Circus. I’m only surprised they didn’t turn up in a pink yacht, rather than a Black Maria.

This is the same police ‘service’ which can’t be bothered to investigate burglaries, assaults or thefts because of ‘lack of resources’, yet can rustle up a Grunwick-style response to a fitness club opening during lockdown.

On Saturday, I wrote about Essex Plod sending 13 officers to close down a gym in Harlow. They were out again team-handed yesterday when members decided to stage an open-air exercise class outside the club.

If you thought that was over the top, think again. Anything Essex can do, the Met can do better.

TheY sent 30 — yes, thirty — coppers to shut a gym in Wood Green, North London, opening in contravention of the lockdown. Half of them looked as if they could do with a few of hours on a Peloton themselves.

Couple that with the clowns in Humberside who handcuffed a 73-year old woman for the crime of taking her 97-year-old mum out to a garden centre last week.

Oh, and Greater Manchester’s Dibbles who boasted on social media this week that they had nicked a man for the heinous offence of having a cup of tea in a friend’s house.

Frankly, I can’t imagine my old mate, the late Mike Todd, former Greater Manchester Chief Constable, stooping to fatuous stunts like this.

Nor can I see proper coppers like the redoubtable Paul Condon, Peter Imbert and Captain Beaujolais (aka Lord Stevens), all ex-Met Commissioners, going along with such nonsense.

Days like this, I also wonder what my late father would make not just of what was once the world’s finest police force but of the country Britain has become.

And if I’m not here on Tuesday, you’ll know I’ve had my collar felt. For ‘hate crime’ probably.

Mind how you go.

Once you’ve compared the Prime Minister to Patty Hearst, the kidnapped Californian heiress, as I did last week, there’s pretty much nowhere else to go.

But the story about a man in a chicken suit who you’ve never heard of resigning from a job you didn’t know he had just about sums up the state of play in Boris World these days. BoJo’s the Prisoner of Zenda, buffeted by those around him, no longer in charge.

Once you’ve compared the Prime Minister to Patty Hearst, the kidnapped Californian heiress, as I did last week, there’s pretty much nowhere else to go

I suggested that his captors, The Two Ronnies of Doom, should dance together on Strictly to the Specials’ Ghost Town. Mail reader Tina Bartlett, from Southport, has a better idea. Howsabout, guys’n’gals, another track from ex-Specials Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding, The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)? Sounds good to me. They could round up Downing Street’s answer to Bananarama, Carrie Anne Symonds, Munira Mirza and Austin Allegro, as backing singers. Laydees and gennulmen, I give you Johnson, Whitty and Vallance — The Fun Boy Three!

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