The lobbying of MPs by police officers over the Terrorism Bill, which I complained about a few days ago, has now moved up the mainstream agenda and is going to be looked at by a Commons committee.
Last night, an audience member on Question Time on BBC1 exposed the double standards of the Government's 'the police know best' argument with a point that I wish I had thought of myself.
The police have complained strongly to the Government about the extension of licensing hours. I think some of them have called this lunacy, in view of the current levels of alcohol-related crime and disorder.
Has the Government accepted what in this instance is quite a well-argued police case? No, of course not. They've politely told them to bugger off and said the same to ambulance drivers, staff in A & E departments and other health professionals.
Incidentally, alcohol-fuelled crime is not just a problem in itself but has a knock-on effect on the police's ability to deal with other types of crime. Police officers who have spent all night dealing with drunks on the streets are not available the following day to deal with burglaries and other crimes. Like the binge drinkers, they're in bed catching up on their sleep.
I've always thought that the day I use the phrase 'political correctness gone mad' is the day I will press that Blogger button that says 'Delete Blog'.
You see, I love political correctness although the term itself is absurd and derogatory and comes from the political right. I love the idea of a society where people respect diversity and are sensitive to other people's feelings. I don't mind too much if people take a pop at my attitudes and beliefs and call me a cynical old bastard or a loony left wanker. But I'd rather not be called a queer or a poof or 'four-eyes' because I wear glasses.
On the other hand, I can't deny that there are a few imbeciles who will always take things to extremes.
I first became aware of this at university when the 'GaySoc' put on a disco. There were long and agonised discussions about what records could be played. The women in particular vetoed any song whose lyrics were either sexist or heterosexist. Not surprisingly, this ruled out almost every pop song ever written. At one point it looked as though we'd all be dancing to the Glenn Miller Band and doing the jitterbug to 'String of Pearls'. Or perhaps not.
I was so annoyed by this that at the disco, having put myself on the outside of a large quantity of Smirnoff, I asked a lesbian who was carrying a bicycle pump if she used it to pump up her breasts. When her partner turned red with rage I asked her if she was flushing because it was her time of the month. I am not proud of this and it showed a reckless disregard for my own safety. It was a large bicycle pump and made of steel. But I have an inexplicable knack of getting away with such things. People decided I was engaging in some highly amusing post-modernist irony and urged me on to even greater excesses. Indeed, one young astrophysicist who had only just come out was so impressed by this badinage that he fell instantly in love with me and that could lead to only one thing. That's right: the line 'Is that a telescope in your pocket or are you........' (Make up your own Big Bang jokes and leave me with some self-respect).
I didn't hear the interview on Woman's Hour this week but there has been a mini-brouhaha over Tory leadership contender David Davis saying that he preferred blondes to brunettes. The President of a Conservative women's organisation said it was patronising.
I assume he was responding to a question from the presenter, Martha Kearney, who is also Newsnight's Political Editor. If anything, the fault lies with her. She also asked the two candidates what kind of underwear they wore. One can't imagine Jeremy Paxman asking Ann Widdecombe about her preferences in knickers.
But try as I might, I cannot see why a man expressing a preference for blondes should be described as a 'gaffe' or why it should be described as 'patronising'. Are 'intra-gender' preferences any more sexist or patronising than saying you prefer men to women or vice-versa?
But so what? We all have different turn-ons, from mild preferences to compulsive fetishes.
I've almost forgotten what my point was and I nearly descended into the tabloid columnist's 'Why don't we all grow up?'
I suppose my argument is that a sexual preference or a sexual compliment, however ineptly or grossly expressed, is neither insulting nor sexist.