Scandal in the Outpost, scandal at last. A newspaper puts online and distributes to TV networks a clear video of cops viciously beating up two youths, one of them handcuffed and on the ground. Furore ensues, the number of police brutality allegations skyrockets and the person who shot the video refuses to testify, as she/he is too scared. Of course, all that is good clean fun: it was Outpost cops but it could be LA law-enforcers, it could be Italian cops in anti-G8 protests in Genova, it could be Royal Army lads in Basra, or Abu Ghraib / Guantanamo military training-through-light-entertainment (do you need links for these ones?). So, no worries here: police brutality will not set the Principality apart from the civilised nations of this world.
Still, in this vicious cabaret, there are at least four details — you know, where the devil usually is in — that give the couleur locale: first, the suggestion mouthed by government goons that the publicisation of the video was done to harm the Caretaker and his government; second, the rumour that one of the youths’ father claimed the beating was “no big deal” (remember, Outposters are non-confrontational ad nauseam, especially if it is authority they must confront); furthermore, the candid complaint by the Chief of the Police that instead of going to the papers the anonymous video whistleblower should hand the tape to the police (and secure torching for his car and reconstruction surgery for his jaw); finally: the Minister of Justice’s claim that he has not seen the video (available online) because his office computer screen is not compatible! They should seriously start paying for spin doctors by now.
As yet, nobody has been arrested and nobody has resigned. Naturally.
The scandal came as a fitting afterword to a chat I had with Zapata last week. At some point he said to me:
Most Principality politicians either used to belong to the late Prince-Archbishop’s militia or to the late Fascist Warlord’s. Political life in the Outpost is mainly a balancing act between the two factions.
Hence authority is to be taken very seriously here.