I have felt the suspicious glare of the police – the way Black Britons are treated is a disgrace. On Wednesday, it was reported that the officers in the Met’s armed units are angry that the officer who killed Chris Kaba was suspended and are contemplating handing in their firearms. I was horrified to learn that officers that shoot and kill people (whether ‘innocent’ or ‘guilty’) aren’t suspended automatically while the incident is investigated, they should want that, they shouldn’t be throwing their toys out of their pram. A unarmed man was shot, there is a family that doesn’t have a son or a brother, soon a child that will grow up without a father because they killed him. I grew up on stories of the Met’s racism, I had a friend at school who used to get a lift in from their dad and they were stopped at least once a month. I used to get a lift in from my mum and we were never stopped. Can you guess what the difference was? I live in London, I’m white and I live in a pretty safe part of London and through my life have had very limited contact with the police, but I don’t trust them. I’m fed up of the constant examples of their racism and sexism, I don’t trust them not to protect a police officer that does wrong, I don’t trust them not to over-react and I don’t trust them to protect me. I say this from a place of extreme privilege so I know it’s worse for my black friends. Mark Rowley was interviewed this week about the challenges of his new role and didn’t once mention Chris Kama or the issues that the Met has – they’re in special bloody measures. It may just be a few bad apples but they have comprehensively spoiled the barrel and the sooner they start to facing up to and dealing with it, the better.
Can the working from home model survive the energy crisis? With the caveat that I work in Central London, it won’t change how I structure my week. I currently try to do two to three days in the week and the reduced travel costs more than make up for the raised energy costs. I think it might be different for people in larger houses, my energy use is already about a third lower than the average in my area for flat size.