Peter Rhodes on another US massacre and advice from the cops

As Covid-19 rages in North Korea, leader Kim Jong Un has denounced the “irresponsible work attitude” of some officials. Although he is the supreme, omniscient and unchallenged leader of the nation, not a shred of blame attaches to him. The buck starts here.

Peter Tatchell
Peter Tatchell

Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old racist who allegedly killed 10 people in the Buffalo massacre, could have been stopped at any time in the past few years. As one official told the local newspaper: “This very troubled young man had made statements indicating that he wanted to do a shooting, either at a graduation ceremony, or some time after.” Someone in this fragile mental condition may require a variety of new interventions: more attention, counselling and possibly medication or even detention. Instead, US kids like Gendron tend to get the same old thing: an assault rifle. It's the American way.

Andy Cooke, the new HM chief inspector of constabulary, says: 'We’re not the thought police, we follow legislation and we follow the law, simple as that. Policing is busy enough dealing with the serious offences that are going on, busy enough trying to keep people safe.” What a great breath of fresh air.

But Cooke is fighting an uphill battle. Some police forces and their bosses, having failed to solve the crimes that bedevil society, decide it's their job to re-engineer society instead. Take this month's little homily from the police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall which urges the media to use different words in reporting sex offences. The wicked press stands accused of referring to offenders as sex beasts and paedos.

The new guidance, drawn up with the help of something called a "lived experience adviser,” states: “When we give those who harm others salacious titles, we create a culture which separates ‘them’ from ‘us’.” It rambles on in much the same woke vein, leaving the reader pondering this question: what planet does the commissioner live on?

Peter Tatchell, the veteran gay rights campaigner, is a lifelong republican who denounces the Queen as anti-LGBT and the Platinum Jubilee as “propaganda for the anti-democratic system of an unelected and unaccountable head of state”. So what clot decided to invite him to join in the celebrations in a pageant of 100 “national treasures”? Tatchell naturally declined. So that's two stamps wasted.

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