Whatever happened to respect?
I THINK it was at the old time music hall that they used to sing "If you want to know the way ask a policeman". It seems, however, that Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell wasn't prepared to follow directions as he tried to leave Downing Street on his bike last week.
The subsequent row that has broken out is not about who was right and wrong at the time, but the WAY in which Mr Mitchell allegedly addressed the police officer.
I think that as a nation we still have fairly high expectations of people in leadership, particularly in Government, and would hope that they would not abuse a female police officer trying to do her job, and following the instructions she had been given.
Something has clearly happened with regard to respect in our society. It seems that we no longer regard people in authority in the same way as previous generations did.
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Perhaps we feel betrayed and have been let down too often by those with influence and power.
The attempts at introducing classes in such things in schools have largely failed to reintroduce this back into our culture.
A day spent in any secondary school in the city would show you that.
Along with many others I wonder how this came about.
I think it tells me that we just don't value people in the same way.
We now have a society where so much of it is about "me" – I am the centre of my world.
Life is all about me, my rights, my needs, my views. This can lead us to the point where no-one can get in the way of what I want, even a police officer guarding Downing Street.
Although appalled by the language apparently used by Mr Mitchell, many of us will have sympathies with someone who "loses it" at the end of a tiring day, trying to use an exit they have used before, and trying to avoid being caught by members of the public… but we need a better example.
In Matthew's Gospel, chapter 7 verse 12, Jesus said: "In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you."
And in his lifestyle and sacrifice, Jesus shows us how to do that.
He upheld and honoured the place in society of children, women, "sinners", prostitutes and other outcasts – people that He said should be valued and respected.
Now there is a person of power and authority I can trust in!