A Holy Office

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 08.53.25The police in Britain, writes Dalrymple, show a

sinister propensity to make mass arrests after a public outcry about something or other. It is not so much that the people arrested are innocent, but that the police appear to act in response to mob sentiment rather than to transgression of the law. Having ignored evidence of wrongdoing by people in high places for years or even decades, they suddenly act as a Holy Office, perhaps to deflect criticism from themselves.

Both the initial laxity and the subsequent zeal

undermine the impartiality of the law, with serious social consequences: for if the law is not impartial the moral imperative to obey is fatally weakened and people feel morally free to do what they can get away with.

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