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Enough is enough

March 14, 2021

Sometimes something so awful happens that normally well behaved people snap.

In the US last May it was the nonchalant murder of George Floyd by a Minnesota cop. Pandemic restrictions be damned. People were going to take to the streets. They couldn’t just sit at home on their hands.

For the women of London and across the UK that snapping point came this week.

On March 3, Sarah Everard disappeared after leaving a friend’s flat to walk home in south London. It is a scenario that pierces the heart of every woman. Six days later it was announced that a Metropolitan police officer (let me repeat: police officer) had been arrested in connection with her disappearance. On March 11 the police revealed that human remains had been found abandoned in woodlands near the police officer’s home in Kent. The next morning it was confirmed the remains were those of Sarah Everard. Her body had been identified through dental records. (Which obviously and horrifyingly means her body was otherwise unrecognisable.)

Of course the women of London wanted to mourn her death publicly. Pandemic be damned. The police denied a permit to the organisers of a proposed vigil in Clapham Common, citing those pandemic restrictions. Of course the women came anyway.

A politician with any sense, the female head of the Metropolitan Police (especially as one of her own had been arrested for Everard’s murder) should have recognised this as one of those moments when “rules” needed to be ignored.

As described by the Guardian: “The evening in south London began in grief and silence, as hundreds gathered to remember Sarah Everard and call for changes that will keep others safe. It ended in anger and violence, as police trampled flowers and candles laid out in tribute to Everard and tried to silence women speaking out in her memory.”

Could the police reaction be more tone deaf? A woman who is minding her own business, simply walking home from a friend’s flat, is kidnapped and murdered by a serving member of the Metropolitan Police and this is the reaction of the same police force?

Today the head of the Met says she will not resign. Fine by me. She shouldn’t be allowed the dignity of resigning. Her boss, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, should fucking fire her.

I’m not saying that as a woman she should have known better. Margaret Thatcher was a woman and she certainly didn’t know better. I’m saying, as I already have, that anyone with half a brain should be able to guess how furious women are.

On Friday, the day Sarah Everard’s body was identified through dental records, Marina Hyde wrote in the Guardian about a “nothing” thing that happened to her the day before: being subjected to misogynistic verbal abuse by some fuckwit of a stranger as she was walking down the street to pick her son up from school. As I said when I shared this column on Facebook, there isn’t a woman on the planet who doesn’t know that story.

For fuck’s sake. When is enough really enough?

From → Columns

One Comment
  1. Donna permalink

    Stupid fucking tone-deaf bastards. Watching the news this morning, I felt sick and infuriated. Indeed, when is enough really enough??

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