Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Homophobic Abuse of a Horse

Laban Tall links to this story, reported in the student press of the august institution I call home. From what I can gather (this letter was printed [at the bottom] since the Englishman's post), the homophobic jibe at the police horse makes a good headline - and probably acted as an aggravating factor - but there were more serious incidents at stake. Apparently the student concerned is known for being abusive when drunk; I am inclined to agree with the letter this week which argues that abusive behaviour which holds the police up in their work deserves to be punished. Alcohol consumption isn't an excuse; people should know their own limits and if they are incapable of operating within them, they should be held responsible for their lack of control.

It all comes down to the "culture of respect". Although I believe Blair uses this as an amorphous and politically expedient term (there's never any detail), there's a lot of truth in what he says. An abusive, binge-drinking culture that tolerates drunken abuse to policemen makes their job difficult in many ways. I have difficulty trusting the police on many issues - but that stems from personal experience of their operation. I certainly respect the very difficult and trying job that they have to do, and dealing with drunken louts is a hassle they shouldn't have to be putting up with. Whether it seems as trivial as calling a horse "gay" or not, the student concerned should know better. And if he doesn't, he only has himself to blame.