I’ll Be Good

I'm leaving for the UK today, but I won't be going to any parties — especially not any all-night parties.

I'm aware that US cops can use excessive force in busting up a party — a political fund-raiser at that! — but the difference is that by all accounts the US cops were acting illegally and used excessive force. It appears that the UK cops were just a little enthusiastic about enforcing a pretty draconian law.

Even so, it's instructive to recall that although the civil liberties situation in this country is in many (but not all!) respects at an ebb, things are in fact worse in several other liberal democracies. I'd take French health care, but not French cops or treatment of minorities. I'd take British tolerance for middle-class dissent and eccentricity, but not the intolerance for young people enforced by ASBOS. According to the worn notices tied to lampposts in the part of Manchester I visit there was, and maybe still is, an ASBOS order in effect which pretty much makes it an offense for groups to congregate on the street in the evening. In practice, I imagine that it's a license to arrest young people, at the cops' whims.

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4 Responses to I’ll Be Good

  1. I love how the rave breakup law deems it neccessary to amend the definition of “music” to include “sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”. So, what if we just set up in a field and play white noise? What about randomized beats? Warbling sirens?

  2. plebian says:

    What exactly is “middle-class dissent and eccentricity?”

    Seems to me the only thing the British are tolerant of right now is Islam and sharia law. Isn’t Rush Limbaugh banned from entry into the UK?

  3. Just me says:

    “According to the worn notices tied to lampposts in the part of Manchester I visit there was, and maybe still is, an ASBOS order in effect which pretty much makes it an offense for groups to congregate on the street in the evening. In practice, I imagine that it’s a license to arrest young people, at the cops’ whims.”

    Sounds like the juvenile curfew in effect in Miami-Dade county.

  4. michael says:

    I don’t like juvenile curfews. But isn’t a general curfew (with some listed exceptions) in some ways fairer than one that leaves arrest up to the nearly unreviewable discretion of a police officer?

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