June 29th, 2006


Act like a prick, Jim: blame the victim

"Leave it on show, expect it to go," advised a sign I saw near The Mall, London, the other day. While it's touching that the Metropolitan Police are composing poetry to help members of the public stay alert and vigilant, it struck me as a kind of dangerous fatalism. While I don't expect the London police to reverse Britain's worsening Gini rating or even actually prevent and solve crimes, it did seem a bit irresponsible of them to suggest that theft and display were one and the same thing.

It seemed to chime with the odd attitude expressed in an article I read in a British newspaper about an elderly couple who'd been murdered by robbers in their home. While everybody interviewed said what a sweet old pair they'd been, walking into town arm in arm, they were unanimous: these were people you'd almost expect to get robbed and killed, considering what an affluent area they lived in and how old and sweetly defenseless they were. It was almost some sort of Darwinian inevitability that such folks would get chopped up.

Being a bit of a poet myself, I decided to sit down and write some other slogans the police could use to warn people of the viciousness of modern Britain. Here are some ideas for posters that could be displayed around the British capital. Perhaps you could add a few of your own.

Wake up to reality, expect criminality.

Increase inequality, expect an armed robbery.

Where folks don't have jobs, expect to get robbed.

Walk visibly breasted, get quickly molested.

In a land with high GINI, wear three bikinis.

Show us some ankle? Now you'll get strangled.

One inch of thigh, one hour till you die.

An uncovered head, Allah strikes dead.

Say something clever, get ready for bovver.

Walk down your driveway, die by a drive-by.

Stay all day in bed; wake up, you're dead.

Get on a plane? Your life's down the drain.

You died having sex? What did you expect?

Somebody killed you? Not much we can do.