"It's No Good, You're Surrounded, Now Put the Can Down and Noone Gets Hurt"

Well its been one of 'those' weekends and entertaining as it has been I have fallen deeply into the mire of sin. It's a wonder I dare to show my face at Mass somedays, but then on Sundays it is obligatory and God wants us there whatever we have done. There are only three moral goods that can emerge from falling into sin, even though we should never promote it and should hate sin. Firstly, falling brings humility in realising one's great and urgent need for God and for His salvation. Secondly, falling means once again we can experience the forgiveness of God through the Sacrament of Penance, because God brings good out of every human evil. Thirdly, having an attachment to sin and falling into it makes one more compassionate about the weaknesses of others. God knows, I try not to go looking for trouble but every now and then trouble finds me, takes me home etc...I hope I don't sound like an heretic, I'm only trying to show the compassionate face of Catholicism: Reconciliation with God and Reparation for sin.

Unfortunately, all this has been lost on the Community Support Police Officers who wander through Brighton pouring away the drinks of beggars and the homeless who are sat peacefully around town. Outside my window on Saturday were four homeless people sitting down against a wall, out of sight of the main road, having a can and chatting. Next time I looked out of the window two CSPOs were confiscating their cans, pouring the contents on the floor, taking their names for identity checks and moving them on to God alone knows where. I remember a trip to Barcelona I made last year, how at night lots of people walked down the street with a can of beer in their hands. I did it myself. Both the smoking ban and the ban on consumption of alcohol on the street are viciously puritan, tyrannical and hypocritical. When I went outside to talk to the officers one of the chaps who was being moved on thanked me that I had argued against what the CPSOs were doing. My main point was this: Why is it okay to get legless sitting outside a pub at a table, but you can't have a can of beer on the pavement, out of sight, even, of 'respectable' Joe Public?

The CSPO concerned told me that they had had complaints from members of the public because people find it intimidating when they see people having a drink during the day and chatting with their friends by a wall. I told the CSPO that that surely was the problem of the people who found it so offensive. Unsightliness, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It appears more and more that society is being run by stasi-esque traffic wardens whose existence revolves around the execution of council bye-laws which are transparently aimed at hounding the poor around town and treating them as social pariahs.

Meanwhile, everyone in Brighton is getting smashed in the evenings in bars across town, throwing up into the street and getting lairy. But that is okay because it is all taking place at a respectable public house for drinking. Sadly, the protestant revolution is echoing even unto this very day. Whenever I see a CPSO mercilessly pouring someone's drink away I always think of the words of Our Lord, "Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice.'" I remember my Priest's homily once in which he said, "As Christians we are on the side of the crucified, not the crucifiers." The very poor know about society's innate ability to hound them, criminalise them and crucify them. It is up to us to help change people's prejudices and attitudes towards the poor. I have a cunning plan and it involves bongos, guitars and a can of Special Brew.


Anonymous said…
I think you mean PCSO not CPSO and you are very quick to judge who is puritan twat. I am sure you think dirty smelly pissed up reprebates are acceptable on the streets but most dont.
Your comment only confirms my suspicions.
Anonymous said…
You need to grow up little boy!!
Possibly. You need to grow a heart old man.
Anonymous said…
Well you don't know me or anything about what I do. I wont waste any more of my time here. You are clearly very judgemental and have no idea what happens in the real world. Good day.
I don't spend my time judging the poor and calling them reprobates or anything of the sort. I called you a puritan twat on your blog because you clearly despise homeless people with drug and alcohol addictions. They've done nothing to you yet you can't stand the sight of them. It isn't people that are unsightly, Bro, its malice.
Anonymous said…
Like I said you don't know me. I am a caring Police officer and help everyone that needs my help and deserves it. Some street drinkers are reasonable people and some have NO respect for others and spend their time ripping anyone off to get their next drink and then abusing anyone who passes bye. Maybe if you spent a shift with me you would see the other side of the coin.
I see. Now we're getting to the heart of the matter. Dig a little deeper and you'll find the ones who are most difficult, whose addictions are causing them to be most abusive or manipulative are indeed only concerned by their next fix, but are possibly the most pain-ridden and racked by guilt. However, they are no less loved by God, hence we must still love them too. Honestly, I met a lady the other day on the street who was in floods of tears trying because she couldn't get her methadone because she had 'blown over' in the morning. She was so desperate she was considering calling a dealer, because she was vomitting, shaking, crying, itching and a total wreck. There was nothing I could do for her but pray, though I am open to suggestions of how to behave next time.
Anonymous said…
Yes these are sad cases and there is little or no help for them. But the law still has to be enforced or there would be mayhem on the streets. I am not a heartless person.
Well, if I've been rash I apologise. Just your blog gave me a different impression. What's your blog address again?
Anonymous said…

Popular posts from this blog

So Now That We're All Saying What We're Thinking...