The kettle


2:17 pm - December 18th 2010

by Guest    


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contribution by Heathcote Ruthven

I am going to buy two Hamsters. One will be called Kettle, and the other will be called Kettle. They’ll be opposite sexes and I’ll make them have babies. When the mother gives birth, her babies will all be called Kettle. Then I’ll cut the food source, watching while the parents eat their babies and they all starve to death.

A neologism coined by the international policing community will soon become a way of life. Our freedom of expression, if expressed in too large a unison, will now be contained in a common domestic metaphor. One that, in the collective memory of this country, is most palpably associated with what is known as ‘Builders’ Tea’ or even, among the younger generations, ‘Instant Coffee’.


Soon every national protest will end in a series of two to twelve hour ‘kettles’. Army trained Territorial Support Group forces will sport baby blue surgical hats and jog alongside protesters, aggravating a chosen few with some playful bludgeoning.

The group will stop. Riot police with shields like the doors of public toilets will box them all in the area. A few metropolitan police will stroll about, and in contradiction to the logic of their metaphor, relinquish only the coldest first.

Life has become a series of kettles, disparate microcosms with their own rules of detainment. The truth is, Life Is A Kettle. One among a babushka of other kettles. The biggest Russian doll is death, which is ironic, as you and I will probably witness the death of the dole.

Kettling is mass kidnap. It appears to have reborn into current police tactics in 1999. Though Trafalgar Square came to prominence as an architectural kettle in the 19th century. It’s will for today’s young, if they are kettled there often enough, take on a quality not lost on it’s architects.


Landseer, who sculpted Nelsons’ Column, was rumoured to be able to paint with both hands at the same time, for example, paint a horse’s head with the right and its tail with the left, simultaneously. He was also known to be able to paint extremely quickly—when the mood struck him. He could also procrastinate, sometimes for years, over certain commissions.

Violence. It’s not about pointing fingers, it’s about breaking them. If you try and leave they will baton you. They’re trained to aim for your arm and calf, but they sometimes miss. Some protesters line their arms with cardboard and carpet to soften the blows. Some protesters don’t try to leave.

The diplomacy skills of the police are employed to the full, and the value of GSCE Drama becomes apparent. They want you not to hate them. Their conversation exposes a discomfort and double motive. Police don’t want to be seen as an arm of the state. What is an arm of the state? What are we “of the state”? The vomit? The blood? The cancer?

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Reader comments


Roll on the day when it’ll be possible to write “Eh?” in red pen in the margin of the internet.

hahaha Very good. Very artistic.

Has an editor looked at this article before it was posted ?

I’ll cut the food source, watching while the parents eat their babies and they all starve to death.

What a curious imagination. (Are you really Brer’s boy or Wiliams’s?).

The underlying point is spot on, though. Kettling should be used only rarely, when public safety demands. Its (ab)use as a form of collective punishment is wrong.

Is this a collection of twitter posts, perchance?

Give up the education and all forms of drama man !

Well I liked it!

In Soviet Russia, shit writes you!

Tortured metaphors; misplaced cultural references; irrelevance, hyperbole, arrogance – and to finish, a spectacularly ill-conceived rhetorical question.

You get a mid 2:1, which is what all disinterested professors bestow upon the literary excrement of their unworthy younglings, whilst waiting for the X Factor repeats on telly… The redundancy of this faux-intellectualism only becomes apparent in your final term. It’s, like, the law.

But don’t stop now: I’m sure there’s a song in there somewhere!

(Of course, in the future, you’ll pay £9,000 a year for this.)

OP’s first sentence: “I am going to buy two Hamsters.”

But what do you mean to say, Heathcote?

Are you on a journey to the pet shop, writing this article on the go? Or is it your intention to buy two hamsters in the future? I shall buy hamsters or I will buy hamsters?

Third sentence: “They’ll be opposite sexes and I’ll make them have babies.”

Perhaps Heathcote might purchase a male hamster and a female hamster (or in weird odds an intersex hamster). Male and female hamsters are different, not opposite.

OP: “A neologism coined by the international policing community will soon become a way of life. ”

Spot on for identifying the expression “kettle” as a jargon word that has entered the venacular. A way of life?

OP: “The group will stop. Riot police with shields like the doors of public toilets will box them all in the area. A few metropolitan police will stroll about, and in contradiction to the logic of their metaphor, relinquish only the coldest first.”

It is winter in the northern hemisphere and very cold. This might explain why so many of us are so slow.

Nonetheless, I’ll give £50 to Oxfam if anyone who can explain the following:
“… in contradiction to the logic of their metaphor,”

???

thought i’d interrject a bit of rightwing rant here as i notice a lack of it on this page…and i only do it to make up the numbers..

”these students cost us a million pounds per second attacking our police with their kgb appeasing ‘language’ so therfore they need:

1 locking up
2 disembowelling
3 hanging
4 flogging
5 forced into the army
6 made to get a job but with very little or no pay to give them something to really think about

all benefit scroungers yes all 300 million of them who are drug infested baby factory managers churning out babies of every hue just to empty the UK treasury of every hapeny..should be horsewhipped, boiled in oil / smothered at birth (this one has options)

all gays are perverts and child molesters as its a know fact written in stone and signed by god himself

theres a factory in brussels turning out immigrants that delivers them by the truckload to every british town and trained by the extreme extreme far left crypto communist labour party to deliberatly lower wages for workers who are all lazy and on the dole most of them anyway…

what few trillions we have left in the coffers should be sent in gold plated chests to every top bank and top company as they are the only ones left in this country we can be proud of…and sent with a giant thank note…as well also…

the so called homeless should be hosed down and deprived of any money at all as they dont produce anything.except devaluing the price of property of the few remaining hardworking people in this country….by hanging around street corners scaring our children……

god bless the conservative party the only true and honest party there is and the one that has in its destiny to rule forever..amen to that.

@ 13. rob chewit

Grief ……Remind me when you’re in our neighbourhood – I’ll leave town.

@14 and another thing these town leavers need a kick up the behind most of them are paid jewish liberal muslim terrorists who…..

Well bugger me, that’s an entire year’s worth of Private Eye’s Pseud’s Corner sorted then…

😉

agree with sentiment, just try to write plainly next time!

Ruthven was stuck in the snow.

He went to the pub and had some beer.

Then he wrote the OP.

4. Flower power –The underlying point is spot on…

There was a point? I thought this was surrealist art

pehaps this is a piece based on the burrows cut up idea…

The biggest Russian doll is death, which is ironic, as you and I will probably witness the death of the dole.

No kidding. And some bastard gave me ten thousand spoons today when all I wanted was a knife.

Still, what are all you whining sods on about? This has far more meaning than the endless calls for some nebulous concept like “left unity”. Or the opaque, e’er evolving neologisms like “progressive”. I’ve no idea why Heathcote has cribbed from Landseer’s wiki – who does he think he is, Houellebecq? – but – heck – unlike those dribbly piece I’m at least intrigued.

more performance blogging

its a plot..a plot calling the kettle (hoho)

Nonetheless, I’ll give £50 to Oxfam if anyone who can explain the following:
“… in contradiction to the logic of their metaphor,”

oh that’s easy: kettles make things hot, don’t they? but the police “relinquish only the coldest first”.

Perhaps the irony is that tactics only serve to enrage protestors further. In other words, the kettle makes its contents boil over…

26. the a&e charge nurse

[25] that sometimes happens with a copper kettle?

@25 exactly.thats why its called kettling…ie surround people leaving no exit..unrest happens cos the crowd mood ‘boils’..

Heathcote – I thought this was a good post when I read it on your blog.

It is soooooooo much better with the comments btl. Cheers guys for amusing me so much 😉

is that what happens if the protestors are the police themselves..copper kettle..

what if you hit a policeman whos protesting?

pop a copper kettle?

BenSix @21 – “This has far more meaning than the endless calls for some nebulous concept like ‘left unity’.”

Aye, not sure it’ll work down the pub, though. Or that you could somehow condense the message onto a placard… But that’s not the point, I suppose.

After all, who would want to be associated with “what is known as ‘Builders’ Tea’ or even, among the younger generations, ‘Instant Coffee’”? I’ll stick to the Tieguanyin and kopi luwak, ta.

what if you try to prevent cows from protesting ?

stop a cattle kettle?

@24

Ah, I thought the idea was that the *police* kettle lets the coldest people go first (though no idea whether that true – sounds a bit thoughtful for them) but a *real* kettle lets the warmest, er, people/water particles (?) go first. And therefore the police using the kettle metaphor is inappropriate because… people are not the same as water (?), and this is… a devastating politico-crypto-whatthefucko cultural observation of some kind, whose logical inference appears to be that police should let warm people go first and continue detaining cold people if they want to maintain metaphorical consistency. Which I presume was not the intended message.

Maybe Bensix is right though. I did like the picture of the cow.

i think its a police term…which is odd…what next are we to expect?..cuppa some hoodies? biscuit a few muggers? saucer some druggies? better watch out when a policeman asks you if you fancy a ‘sponge finger’ ouch!!

Frankly, I don’t see how:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hK97JtRIOOeKUxESqXRLSeUDBTJw?docId=B39208111292330372A000

can fail. To me, it seems obvious that kettling is illegal. If I were in a protest and decided to leave and the police refused to let me, I’d ask /why/ – what would their answer be?

“No particular reason” ?

“We’re under orders, we don’t know the reason” ?

“We’re acting as the arm of the state. Shut up, prole” ?

Serious question – what’s the basis of kettling as a legal activity? I can’t think of one. Freedom of movement seems to be a pretty basic, universal thing to have…

@36 nick..quick read version goes like this…my lords, the police gawd bless ’em are all jolly nice chaps who do a thankless and difficult job..on the other hand these young protester are all evil twisted trouble makers who should be flogged…further more the met boss is a member of my lodge and i wont have him come to grief…(funny handshake time)

Alix –

A bull, actually! It’s a Landseer titled “Scene in Chillingham Park”. The bull – representing the wild, untamed spirits of the protestors – has died inside Chillingham Park – which evokes a certain, er – coldness. Thus, the protestors are — chilly.

Oh I see!

And a robber button is?

@39 a badge saying i am a robber please arrest me

in my day we didnt go in for all this protesting malarkey…we knew our place…knuckled down and got on with it…if these people stopped causing trouble then the police could get on with what they should be doing..what i want to know is how much the tax payer has to fork out for all the police having to get out of bed and show up in all weathers just to make sure theses ruffians can have bit of fun smashing windows and frightening small children…

Heh – this is what happens when we do far too much straight news and ranting. People can’t deal with something leftfield. Tsk tsk Alix!

i voted for democracy and world peace and all i got was this lousy govt..

Heathcote Ruthven is a name that hardly conjures up images of a solid and noble working class Labour Party.

More the effeminate and limp early Fabians that thought eugenics and Stalinist agricultural collectivism were whizzo ideas.

As for the article, my advice is I’d ask for your tuition fees back because if you carry on like this you’ll be relying on mummy and daddy’s money for a long time to come.

Oooh, a quick google…

Heathcote Ruthven is the step-brother to one…. Charlie Gilmour.

My God, two twats in the family… your parents must be so proud.

We were gentle as lambs, Sunny! Seriously, I appreciate what it’s *trying* to do. I just don’t think it has succeeded this time – there’s a fine line between a fresh, meaningful, free-associative cultural crit and bollocks-I-just-made-up. Still, we all do bad writing sometimes – I suggest a bit more practice and perhaps a little sparkly costume for the slug.

Heathcote old son, the sentiments may be fine and dandy, but the way they are expressed is not going to butter any parsnips among the regulars of my local, or many other people’s in the real world outside academia. Really. Don’t forget there are a lot more of them then there are of you, more’s the pity, and they are the ones whose minds need opening. Sadly, this kind of polemic does not go down to well out there, trust me. FWIW I’d give you a 2:2 for that essay.

Do yourself a favour and Google the name “Nathan Barley”.

Heathcote old son, the sentiments may be fine and dandy, but the way they are expressed is not going to butter any parsnips among the regulars of my local, or many other people’s in the real world outside academia. Really. Don’t forget there are a lot more of them than there are of you, more’s the pity, and they are the ones whose minds need opening. Sadly, this kind of polemic does not go down too well out there, trust me. FWIW I’d give you a 2:2 for that essay.

Do yourself a favour and Google the name “Nathan Barley”.

(corrected for typos)

Who is this taking the piss out of?

@49 No one, apparently someone wrote it in full seriousness. On purpose as far as I can tell.

51. Hamster Liberation Front

“I’ll cut the food source, watching while the parents eat their babies and they all starve to death”

Charlie Gilmour’s step-brother wants to torture hamsters to death! That’ll get the public to support the students.

the purpose of reality is to interpose a subjunction betwixt may y pense verbassitudes and contrapunctial symbiosisness…therefore we are all in someways ‘real’

This is clearly a (pretty persuasive) argument that more funding is required for teaching in the Humanities Departments of our universities.

i would like to add another comment to add to the comment list

and by adding to the comment list we can extend the argument about adding to the comment list a stage further in that…..


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    The kettle http://bit.ly/fEm7ji

  2. Andy Bean

    RT @libcon: The kettle http://bit.ly/fEm7ji

  3. Drew Smith

    RT @libcon: The kettle http://bit.ly/fEm7ji

  4. burgerchrist

    RT @libcon: The kettle http://bit.ly/fEm7ji

  5. smileandsubvert

    The kettle http://pulsene.ws/xUw5

  6. Clara Rivas

    RT @smileandsubvert: The kettle http://pulsene.ws/xUw5

  7. Kevin Blowe

    The worst blog post of the year, courtesy of the increasingly unreadable @LibCon http://bit.ly/fEm7ji

  8. Observer Seven

    RT @copwatcher: The worst blog post of the year, courtesy of the increasingly unreadable @LibCon http://bit.ly/fEm7ji

  9. Bored London Gurl

    "Roll on the day when it’ll be possible to write “Eh?” in red pen in the margin of the internet" http://bit.ly/gLtHXJ << heh damn straight

  10. Uhuru

    RT @copwatcher: The worst blog post of the year, courtesy of the increasingly unreadable @LibCon http://bit.ly/fEm7ji

  11. Uhuru

    I'm sending this to @boingboing @copwatcher: The worst blog post of the year, courtesy of the incrsngly unrdbl @LibCon http://bit.ly/fEm7ji

  12. Dave Mellows

    Good article on the police use of "the kettle" | Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/gzZkoM





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