SKETCH: Jack Dromey's Friends Rally Round mdi-fullscreen

The one thing Jack Dromey didn’t need just now in Home Office questions was a chorus of supportive noises from his back bench. Friends are more dangerous than enemies. Or nastier, anyway.

Because they weren’t noises saying, “Go on, Jack, lay into those Tory poujardistes and Nasty Party anti-immigration racists, oh close colleague, valiant class warrior and champion of diversity!”

No, it was more, “Yes, go on Jack, really, really brave standing up as though nothing has happened. You’re great mate. We’re all behind you.”

He opened his big mouth and we all shrank back a little, wondering what might come out.

In this case, less than expected. There was a figure of 10,046. I forget what it related to and frankly lack the courage to speculate.

He said we were risking returning to a discredited model of reactive policing. Neighbourhood policing is what people want, he said. Is that what people want? Everyone?

What other people wanted from the police is that they operate with a bare minimum of commonsense, and not devote all their numbers to a shale gas demo in Manchester (Barbara Keeley); that they stop fiddling their reporting figures (Andrew Bridgen); that they stop trying to investigate themselves because they’re a corrupt bunch of mendacious semi-criminals round my way (Philip Davies).

Legal note: some reporting enhanced for journalistic effect.

One of the Tory Walkers proposed a new doctrine: “To be as determined and tenacious as our drug dealers is the right thing to be.”

And that “the seizure of 850 kilos of cocaine is actually paying dividends.”

Positive thinking, but naive. The level or indeed presence of dividend depends entirely on what the police are selling it on for.

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