Full credit to Bernard Hogan-Howe in his ‘not me, guv’ response to sleepy old fossil Alexander Chancellor’s article on the ‘Mersey Tunnel man arrested for laughing’ story that did the rounds last week.
Bernard not only washes the hands of Merseyside Police’s involvement in the affair, but also manages to get in at least one motoring-related pun.
He also backs the notion that I put foward a while ago that scouse humour is pretty famous and unique, though he makes no mention of ever having conned a Man U fan into sucking a dildo or travelling to Aberdeen to have sex with a non-existent internet cocktease.
Re Alexander Chancellor’s piece about the motorist stopped for laughing at the wheel (G2, 6 March), I want to put the record straight for residents and visitors to Merseyside and reassure them that this action was carried out by the Mersey Tunnels police and not Merseyside police.This force is firmly focused on taking action against those committing offences, and putting lives at risk, on our roads. As a result we have seen a reduction of 30% in our fatal/serious casualty rates over the last four years. Merseyside police adopts a fair, firm and friendly policing style.It would not be for us to put the brake on people having a laugh in a place renowned worldwide for its humour.Bernard Hogan-HoweChief constable, Merseyside police
On a slightly more serious note I was pulled over a few months ago when driving on a friday night in Mossley Hill. The police officer in question explained that he was on the lookout for people driving under the influence, and since he could tell I hadn’t had a drink he bid me a pleasant evening.
It struck me as a good example of the fair and friendly policing that Hogan-Howe speaks of above, unlike an incident a few years before when a couple of Merseyside Police’s finest screeched to a halt like The Sweeney and demanded to know what a small group of friends, mainly academics, were doing talking to each other on a street.
I found that incident pretty ridiculous, but wrote off the episode as a couple of frustrated cops acting out some action-film fantasies and looking for an excuse to crack some heads together.
Similarly, the Gary Saunders story is just daft. It doesn’t strike me as proof of a police state or political correctness gone mad, just a couple of officious people not using any common sense.
Not so the blogosphere, which is awash with the kind of ‘this country is going to the dogs’ drivel that is as tedious and ill-informed as it is prevalent.
Oh well, at least Bernard’s retained his sense of humour.