Saturday, 25 April 2009

An Introduction

'By Conservative principles we mean the maintenance of Our Settled Institutions in Church and State and also the preservation and defence of that combination of laws, of institutions, of usages, of habits and of manners which has contributed to mould and form the character of Englishmen'.

Hello, and welcome to my blog, 'The Thinking Policeman'. I do hope you enjoy it. I do hope someone reads it in order to enjoy it. Actually, I don't really mind if it is read and not enjoyed, just so long as it is read by someone other than my wife.

The opening quote was written by Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the world's first professional police force, the Metropolitan Police. I have always loved this passage, because it succinctly summarises my admiration for the British constitution and its development throughout the ages. I am very much a conservative with a small 'c', in that I do not align myself to any political party. By being a conservative, I mean that I adhere to the philosophical principles of unbridled pride in the nation's established customs and institutions, organicism, and a seething contempt for abstract theorising.

So how does all of this fit into my role as a police officer? Well, it's for the above reasons I joined the police, because I believed it to be a manifestation of those principles. Unfortunately, the Communitarianism theory behind New Labour (sounds a lot like Communism don't you think? Coincidence? I think not), has systematically set about deconstructing much of what I have cherished. Many of the gradual responses to change that had been met by men and women in positions of practical political experience throughout history, and which had stood the test of time, have been replaced with disastrous experiments based on New Labour's speculative predictions and theorising.

So what on earth is this blog about I hear you ask? Is it a blog about philosophy? Is it a blog about policing? Well, it's both. It's a blog about the Philosophy of Policing. I will be commenting on contemporary issues and media responses to policing but, in order to fully understand why the police services of the UK have lost their way, I will at times be introducing concepts from the great philosophers and politicians I admire such as Hooker, Hume, Halifax and Burke, as well as those of Locke, Rousseau and Hobbes, whose concepts I don't necessarily agree with, but who have all somehow contributed to our perception of the state and how it should be policed.

I hope that my first blog will begin to make sense of all that I have written in my introduction but, as with most things to do with policing in the UK, I doubt that any real sense can be made of it at all! I shall certainly try. Of course, I shall have to share my experiences of encounters with the marvellous public who live within the city of Utopia. They have their own unique perspective on many issues, which have largely been imparted to them by that great daytime television philosopher, Jeremy Kyle.
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