Following on from such triumphs as arresting a schoolgirl for refusing to work with pupils who did not speak English, sending two police officers to reprimand a ten year-old who used the word 'gay' in an e-mail, and threatening a shopkeeper with arrest for selling golliwogs, PC Plod continues his run of good form as he deals with an 'abusive' parent.
To be specific Plod, in the form of Bedfordshire Police, sent an officer round to the Luton home of mother-of-two Ruth Ball, to upbraid her for scolding her daughter in a newsagents in Dunstable. Apparently, Ms Ball was in the newsagents, when her four year-old child, Leigha, began demanding sweets. When these were refused, she started screaming, and Ms Ball took her outside to her car, and shut her in there for a few minutes while she calmed down. Ms Ball and her other child stood a few feet away while Leigha was in the car. Nothing, one would think, out of the ordinary in any of this: the child misbehaved, she was subject to mild and wholly appropriate punishment by her mother, and everything was quickly back to normal.
But, one interfering busybody did not feel this way. Some cretin or cretins unknown noted down the number of Ms Ball's car, and called the police. Why they did this is anyone's guess, but there are some people who enthusiastically buy into the modern culture whereby parents cannot discipline their children without a police investigation, and who happily facilitate such investigations and, indeed, demand that they take place. They are the kind of people who would absolutely love to be transported into the world of Orwell's 1984, just so that they could inform on those who went against Big Brother.
Anyway, one such creature called the police, and, in typically idiotic style, they sent an officer round to Ms Ball's to tell her that, particularly in light of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, she should not have chastised her daughter in the manner that she chose. Quite what the disappearance of Madeleine McCann actually had to do with it is unclear - does Plod believe that Leigha would actually have been abducted from a car with her mother standing a few feet away?
More important, though, is the question of what business it was of Plod's in the first place. It is quite clear that no crime was committed, and that Ms Ball did nothing even remotely wrong. On the contrary, she is to be congratulated for bringing her children up to behave like decent people, accepting rules and limits, in sharp contrast to the many parents who seem to just give their children whatever they demand. And, I would add, that the officer sent to Ms Ball's house would have been much better employed patrolling the streets in an effort to prevent crime. You know the kind of thing the police used to do, in the bad old days...