The British Republicans
No Monarchist Bias Says Police Complaints Commission
Only Criminals Required To Be Joyful
Metropolitan Police Commander Christine Jones was speaking to criminals when she gave her instruction that the 2011 Windsor wedding was to be a day of joy. That is what the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has ruled in its response to a complaint of police anti-republican bias by JP of the Centre for Citizenship.
Commander Jones told the news media shortly before the feudal wedding celebrations that she wanted to make it clear that the wedding day was to be one of "joy". The IPCC claims that this did not indicate any monarchist bias. Rather it was a warning to criminals who might infiltrate republican protests!
The IPCC ruled that Mr. P had not been personally affected by the behaviour of Commander Jones and therefore his complaint could not be considered. This was because Jones’ comments were "clearly directed at any criminals who might seek to disrupt the day", not at “law abiding members of the public”.
"Her words (Commander Jones') were clearly directed at any criminals who might seek to disrupt the day." The Independent Police Complaints Commission ruling.
The Commission did not explain why Jones did not limit her comments to an insistence on lawful, rather than joyful, behaviour if they were aimed at criminals alone. Or how an insistence on feelings of "joy" for the wedding could be anything but monarchist in sentiment.
A number of republicans were arrested on or before the wedding as police abused their powers in an apparent attempt to stop any expression of opposition to monarchy anywhere near the streets closed for the procession. One was picked up by police at Victoria railway station because he carried a banner with a pro-democracy statement. Three were arrested a day before the wedding on a charge of conspiracy to cause a breach of the peace. They had planned anti-feudal street theatre.
Where there is a true understanding of free speech it is the job of the police to protect citizens who are saying what they think from those who want to shut them up. But the British understanding of this civil right allows the police to remove citizens who are expressing their opinions to prevent a "breach of the peace" by those who do not like what is being said. In other words, when there is a risk that a monarchist will get upset and aggressive because opposition to monarchy is being expressed, it is the republican who will be arrested, not the monarchist. The peaceful republican is the problem because they have provoked the aggression, not the irate monarchist!
"Breach of the peace" is a catch-all charge used by the police as a means of removing citizens from a public place when no other charge is available. But is rarely used to preempt free speech. In January 2014 the Court of Appeal ruled that the police were entitled to make the arrests.
The rejection of the complaint should cause little surprise. There is systematic discrimination against republicans in Britain. They are barred from the legislature and from serving in the judiciary and most armed forces. Commander Jones would have been obliged to swear an oath of allegiance to hereditary head of state Windsor.
The Metropolitan Police has been much criticized recently for failing to thoroughly investigate telephone “hacking” by newspapers. Many decent citizens whose telephones had been “hacked” were told by the police, in effect, to “get lost”. But the "hacking" of Windsor clan telephones was thoroughly investigated and those responsible were jailed.