Cops and lovers
Today Instagram is aflood with red hearts, declarations of eternal love, schmaltzy quotes and unmissable promotions. And while swathes of people around the globe enthusiastically celebrate romance, it would appear that the origins of Valentine's Day are rooted in unspeakably gruesome rituals performed by the ancient Romans.
So here I am jumping on the bandwagon with this Banksy piece, which first appeared on a wall next to Prince of Albert pub in Brighton, the LGBTQ capital of the United Kingdom. Two policemen lock lips in a passionate embrace, and I can't help but think that this image would have been far more relevant and provocative if it had popped up somewhere in the less open-minded North East of the country. Anyway, I digress.
What I really wanted to talk about has nought to do with love (sorry) and everything to do with coppers. Last week, Cressida Dick, the former Commissioner of London's Met Police resigned over a string of scandals culminating in a serving officer murdering a young woman (see my post). To make things worse, a recent report uncovered a widespread culture of institutional racism, misogyny, bullying, corruption and sex harassment. The commissioner's position had become untenable, she simply had to go.
However, I find myself thinking that Dick, who happens to be an out gay woman, may in some way have been a victim of said culture because of her gender and, possibly, her sexual orientation. Despite her responsibilities, it's hard to see how the first female leader of the UK's largest police service could have ever succeeded in bringing real change to a male-dominated environment that is so evidently tainted with toxic masculinity.
Kissing Coppers, 2004