And then I hit the Police National Memorial and that made me stop. Here are people who we know work in a dangerous environment, many of them face danger daily when they get a call to a pub fight or a domestic situation but look at how many died in road accidents whilst dealing with traffic accidents or responding to emergency calls. That's when I went and signed the petition for Stephen Oakes. DC Oakes was stabbed during a raid in Manchester and died of his injuries, he entered the flat where Kamel Bourgass had already attacked another policeman. Bourgass was used as a political football, he was found guilty and is now serving a life sentence, the Tories suggested that his presence in the UK was a direct result of the UK's screwed up asylum system and while this was happening the government turned down an appeal that Oakes be awarded the George Cross for his actions. Is the George Cross appropriate? I don't know.
I do know that reading those blogs has made me think about my own views and try to assess where I sit in the coarse topography of sentiment - it seems I'm probably a bleeding heart liberal with right wing leanings, sheesh - that's complicated innit? I'm also sure that awarding Oakes the George Cross sends a signal to all those in the police service that they have wider support and that it's not all "Fort Apache - The Bronx". I know some police officers and they are the nicest people you could ever meet, and I know some who shouldn't be allowed out with civil folks - that shouldn't surprise anyone who doesn't live in a bubble believing that the world is made up of polar opposites and if you want to tell HMG that they should reconsider the refusal to award Oakes the GC the petition is on the Government's petitions site.