Walking up to the park I passed two parked police cars in the St Martin’s driveway. I had a brief and strangely familiar sinking sensation.
My letter declaring me a council approved keyworker was in my handbag which I had left at home. Of course I didn’t need it because I was walking.
Blue sky above, the sun sinking towards my favourite ochre hue and the sudden, squashed down panic of not knowing where my ID was as a reaction to a couple of parked police cars felt familiar.
I mean I was born in the eighties but I never lived behind the iron curtain. Friends have described Romania, Lithuania and Estonia but I never experienced life in a police state.
It was when I was smiling at the pink of a tulip tree in the park that I twigged why it felt so familar.
When I was eighteen I went to Ecuador immediately after a military coup, there were soldiers on most street corners and foreigners needed to have their IDs. I got threatened by a couple of military guys with wooden stocked AKs and since then I had felt that rise of panicked ID checking near soldiers.
Apparently the amount of people on Facebook suggesting this is the rise of a police state has got to me.
The police don’t carry guns, they never even asked for my ID, this is not Romania in the eighties, Ecuador in the noughties. We have to keep our civil liberties but we cannot cry wolf on these or that’s going to badly misfire.
There were no wooden stocked AKs on the street no matter what my hindbrain thought.