By Rab Bruce’s Spider

Last week I put out a Tweet mocking the inaction and subsequent action of the Metropolitan Police over the PartyGate scandal. In that comment, I mentioned that I thought it must be a coincidence that their actions are helping support a Tory Government which had made their Commissioner a Dame. Needless to say, Twitter being what it is, someone took me to task over this sarcastic remark, Quote Tweeting my original Tweet with a list of previous Met Commissioners which included their lordly titles as Sir So-And-So. He ended with the comment that, after all these examples of Met Commissioners receiving knighthoods, it was ridiculous of me to cite Dame Cressida Dick’s reward as suspicious. It was a reasonable comeback to my initial remark, but it missed the point I was trying (and obviously failing) to make.

My comment was not at all having a go at Dame Cressida Dick on a misogynistic basis. If she is capable of doing the job she was appointed to do, then I have absolutely no issues with her being a woman. Others have made plenty of comments as to her competence in the role, and she has certainly made some very controversial decisions, but again that was not the point of my Tweet.

The point I did want to make is that, whether the incumbent of the position of Met Commissioner is a Sir or a Dame, they are likely to be very loyal towards a system which rewards them with this exalted rank. This is, after all, the point of the Honours System. The Establishment dishes out baubles and trinkets which are designed to make individuals feel they have succeeded in some aspect of their life, and to make them feel more a part of the system.

The problem Cressida Dick has is that she is Commissioner at a time when the Government of the day is so blatantly and outwardly corrupt that her every move is instantly pounced upon as evidence of her loyalty to Boris Johnson. And, as I remarked in my original Tweet, her actions do have all the appearance of being designed almost solely to protect Boris Johnson in his role as Prime Minister. Some of her predecessors may very well have performed actions which assisted the Governments of their day; indeed, I would be astonished if they had not. But former Governments were not as openly corrupt as the current one, so those actions would have gone largely unnoticed by the public. Social media has also had an undoubted impact as people now have a forum to highlight what they may perceive as inappropriate actions.

Do I feel sorry for Dame Cressida Dick for finding herself in this situation? No, not at all. She has willingly aligned herself with Tory authoritarianism and, on the face of it at least, done her best to help Boris Johnson avoid the consequences of his uncaring and Hypocritical actions. My criticism of her has nothing to do with whether she happens to be a female Commissioner. I’d be equally critical of a Sir who behaved in the same way. Mostly, though, I want everyone to realise that the real fault lies with the entire UK system which attempts to bind people to the Establishment through the offer of knighthoods, medals and other rewards. Far too many people are impressed by such things, although it must be said that the UK media has, over the years, done its best to promote such beliefs. The class system is still very much in force in the UK, and this lies at the heart of many of the current problems.

It is long past time that Scotland made its own way, leaving such archaic and corrupting systems behind.