A loyal reader of the blog has commented that Australian police all carry guns and even security guards, in innocent public places such shopping malls, can be seen “packing heat” as our charming US cousins would say. What is the situation in the UK?
Well I am pleased to be able to report to my non-UK readers that one of the remaining small mercies of this little offshore-island is that its police force still do not, as a matter of course, carry firearms. They do walk around as if they about to be deployed to an active war zone given the amount of gear that they now seem to carry strapped all over their bodies, something that seems to be common the world over, but a gun is not one of the pieces of equipment that is standard issue.
In fact, maybe because we are living in sedate and bourgeois Bath, I have rarely even seen a police man or woman. Private security guards are conspicuous by their absence and as far as I can tell are not armed either.
What we do see however, all the time it feels like, are ambulances dashing to and from emergencies with sirens blaring. At all times of the day and night, it seems, the National Health Service is being bombarded with ambulance emergencies.
How would this play out under a system of privatised health, I wonder?