Time for re­spect We must do all we can to up­hold ‘Queen’s Peace’

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Martin SURL Po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner

IDON’T want to be de­fined by where I put a cross in the 2016 ref­er­en­dum. I don’t want to have to sec­ond guess what you, my fam­ily and friends did, ei­ther.

While there will be a myr­iad of views and maybe – by its very na­ture – it will di­vide us, why does it have to be so un­pleas­ant?

I don’t be­long to any po­lit­i­cal party, nor do I favour one above an­other; I never have and for that I’m grate­ful, but I do have friends in most of them and I’m sure many are as frus­trated and dis­ap­pointed as I am.

His­tory will tell us who lied or who de­ceived us, who played with a straight bat or maybe even who broke the bats, but leav­ing the pros and cons of our re­la­tion­ship with the Euro­pean Union to one side, what sad­dens me is the rude, un­pleas­ant, un­pro­fes­sional and, on oc­ca­sions, nasty be­hav­iour of some of those who have been en­trusted to rep­re­sent us.

As far as I can tell, our Glouces­ter­shire MPS have shown re­straint, which can­not be said for oth­ers.

In Par­lia­ment, you can’t be sued for what you say even if it’s un­true or li­bel­lous; you don’t get a de­ten­tion for rude­ness or ar­rested for ‘abu­sive words and be­hav­iour.’

How­ever, the ex­am­ple now be­ing set all too fre­quently is be­yond the pale.

Par­ents surely teach their chil­dren to be re­spect­ful and abide by the rules and law, not to find ways around them? The ex­am­ple we set them is im­por­tant.

Would a head teacher tol­er­ate such rude­ness? If the things shouted across the House of Com­mons were said in the lo­cal pub, the land­lord would most prob­a­bly bar those re­spon­si­ble and maybe even call the po­lice.

Of course, out­side Par­lia­ment nor­mal rules ap­ply and MPS can be sent home with a note if they get above them­selves.

If the anger does spill out of the cham­ber, the back­stop will be the po­lice, the thin blue line. They will ap­ply the law in a fair, in­de­pen­dent and pro­por­tion­ate man­ner. I just hope not too many of them are hurt do­ing so.

The po­lice have a duty to keep ‘The Queen’s Peace’ but ev­ery one of us has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to do all we can to up­hold it.

It’s a very Bri­tish value and wher­ever we end up in the next few weeks, one we should hold dear.

The ex­am­ple now be­ing set all too fre­quently is be­yond the pale Martin Surl

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