Friday, 15 June 2012

When the lunatics hit our streets, should our streets hit back?

The story which so amused me in my last post continues to tickle my ribs.
In fact, last week’s announcement of a new godbothering initiative (where police turn a blind eye as ‘Street Angels’ pester evening revellers) was even briefly a topic for discussion in my social circle. Unlike an online discussion which revealed just how ‘streetwise’ Johnston Press readers are not (see ), ours was a purely intellectual exercise and focused on weightier issues.
These days even the desperate shun what is still laughingly referred to as Douglas nightlife, but there is an important principle at stake here. What have things come to when you cannot ease the tensions of the working week with a quiet pint in a half-empty tavern, then take an even quieter stroll down the seafront without being harangued by some garishly hued bible-wielding thug?
Where are the police when our privacy and right to blissfully stagger about in the fresh night air are at stake?
If they really are condoning midnight muggings by tooled up Methodists and Presbyterians then just who are the gendarmerie serving? Judging from this announcement it certainly isn’t the hardworking taxpayer.
And if the island is going to the dogs - all moral values abandoned, the government and police force firmly in the pocket of unscrupulous, workshy ruffians, confidence tricksters and tax-dodgers - then is it time for we decent few to take action?
For example, often we see the bewildered coming out of churches and wonder if we should offer a word of comfort –just assure them there IS a better way, because they look so lost and miserable. The dazed and terrified looks in their innocent eyes as they stagger into the sunlight, desperately clutching empty wallets, can be heartbreaking. True, their strange predilection for pastel polyester clothing, flowery prints and startling headgear is also quite worrying, but that is a lesser problem.
Our aim would be to support those who may be fearful of the criminals and disturbed, to comfort victims and separate them from those who, through their egotism, hypocrisy or just plain wrongheadedness, are putting others at risk. And if that sounds familiar it is because, rather than going to all the trouble of calling a public meeting, forming a steering committee and working out aims and objectives, it was faster to lift them direct from the Street Angels’ own press release, then correct it.
Some would ask, “But isn’t that offensive, isn’t it intrusive on the rights and sensibilities of our fellow citizens – even if they are mentally challenged?”
Dear reader, in an age when witless, super-annuated prodnoses, armed only with junk science, get public subsidy to preach about our alleged overindulgence in any small pleasure, from alcohol to fairy cakes, such sensibilities are already under full frontal assault. So, please, no more hand wringing.
In fact, the only serious question to be settled here was what colour high-visibility jacket would one wear? We briefly considered how long the Street Angels must have spent on this before they decided on yellow.
We concluded it was an easy choice, even for them. Given how difficult it is to get the Ulster ex-pats who run local Batwit concessions into the same room as a Catholic, lime green tabards are a definite no. In turn, Day-Glo orange would be rejected if even a token Catholic presence was needed to gloss over any worries about sectarianism which might occur to the odd DHA employee (and they would be very odd, possibly even secretly nursing a three figure IQ and soon to be redundant, if it occurred to them). Pink, of course, would be right out, for reasons revealed loudly and often by leading exponents of open-minded Christianity ranging from Ian Paisley to John Sentamu to Cardinal O’Brien.
Pink it is then.
(Bangs gavel)
Now, moving swiftly on to possible corporate sponsors………

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