May 20, 2008

Trust the police

Today's Guardian reports that "more than 20 officers [from the City of London police], ranging from constable to chief superintendent, had accepted gifts worth thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology."

Please believe those gifts in no way influenced the endorsements given to Scientology by some of the force's senior officers:-

The City of London Chief Superintendent, Kevin Hurley, praised Scientology for "raising the spiritual wealth of society" during the opening of its headquarters in 2006.

Last year a video praising Scientology emerged featuring Ken Stewart, another of the City of London's chief superintendents, although he is not a member of the group.
And please believe that neither those gifts nor the high esteem in which Scientology is held by senior members of the City of London force had anything to do with the following incident:-
A teenager is facing prosecution for using the word "cult" to describe the Church of Scientology.

The unnamed 15-year-old was served the summons by City of London police when he took part in a peaceful demonstration opposite the London headquarters of the controversial religion.

Officers confiscated a placard with the word "cult" on it from the youth, who is under 18, and a case file has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Whatever you believe, Liberty director, Shami Chakrabarti, gets it bang on: "This barmy prosecution makes a mockery of Britain's free speech traditions".