I’m Beginning To Think That Our Government Are Corrupt

There goes old Angry, stating the bleedin’ obvious again.

I’m not quite sure what the correct term is for the political system in common usage in our country, but I do know that it is not DEMOCRACY.  Chumocracy?  A Parliament stuffed full with Bullycrats?

The Tories, in coalition, started it off (maybe not, but that’s when I first became aware of it) by introducing policies and laws that were unlawful, e.g. The Great Pensions Ripoff.  They very promptly changed the law to make their actions lawful, not a word of apology or explanation, just a fate accomplis.  What can we do about it? Nothing.

A huge vat of salt was rubbed into the wound with the award of MPs’ Pay and Pensions Package. “Sorry chaps, we can’t turn it down, the Law won’t let us, we absolutely have to accept it”.  Change the law then you arrogant bar stewards.

The arrival of Jeremy Corbyn on the scene set the stage for another abuse of the democratic system.  Labour and Tories alike didn’t like it that he was so popular, and on course to win the campaign for the Labour Leadership, that both sides of the House launched bitter, personal attacks on him, in an attempt to influence the vote.  Not very DEMOCRATIC that chaps, bullying comes to mind, running scared.  Let Democracy run its course and see what pops out the other end, but you can’t do that can you?

Now we have the absolutely appalling decision by Government not to allow a free Mailshot for candidates in next year’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

In 2012 the, then, coalition government were heavily criticised by the Electoral Commission for not providing a Mailshot, nobody then understood the role of the PCC or very much about their candidates.  The answer to that SHOULD be simple, fund one Mailshot per candidate, all is fair and even.  Nobody is disadvantaged. Last time round our old friend Nick Herbert said that a Mailshot would be too expensive.  Well, if it’s too expensive for a government how much too expensive is it for an Independent Candidate?  I would put a huge chunk of my pension down at William Hill’s (or wherever) that Conservative and Labour Party candidates will have a Mailshot, and that it will be paid for out of Party Funds.

An Electoral Commission spokesperson criticised the decision, saying a candidate information booklet should be sent to voters in advance of the election.

“It’s vital that voters know who is standing for election so that they can make an informed choice on polling day,” the spokesman said.

Kevin Hurley, Independent PCC for Surrey, who is standing for re-election next year, said the main political parties would be the beneficiaries if voters were not informed who the candidates were.

“Independents with real life experience can’t afford to compete,” he said.

“With no publicity support for independents, your choice will be simple: Conservative or Labour.”

I don’t suppose the government really care very much who is elected, just so long as it’s not an Independent.  Independents are difficult for the government to control, they don’t speak the Party Mantra, they have this inconvenient, and unforgivable, habit of speaking the truth.

Apparently the cost of producing and distributing an informative booklet, covering all the candidates, was put at £30 million and government decided that was too expensive, but they waste so much more than that when it suits them.

In my opinion this is just the latest in a long line of interferences with the Democratic Process by both of the major political parties.we’ve seen how hostile May and Camoron can get when things happen, or are said, which are out of their control.

Be a decent politician for once, embrace the over-arching principles of Democracy and let fate take its course without any interference from Westminster.

Is that too much to ask for?

Any undue interference with the Democratic Process is Corrupt in my my opinion Mr Camoron, not that you care what I, or the British Public, think.

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Austerity? More Like Audacity If You Ask Me

Are our esteemed government still expecting us to believe that the myriad of swingeing cuts that we have endured, plus the ones still ahead, are anything at all to do with the mystical Austerity?

I did, for a while, swallow the fallacy, but no longer.

I’m not going to bore you by listing all the impositions we have endured under the Austerity banner but in reality I suspect that they are more to do with the megalomaniac Camoron’s vision for the future and cementing his place in political history.

I should have smelt a bigger rat when Tom Winsor was announced as the Preferred, and ultimately, Successful, Candidate for the head honcho’s job at HMIC.  Gobsmacked was I, but never in my wildest dreams did I realise that was just the beginning, the precedent for the travesties to follow.

The knighthood duly followed, should have seen that one coming, they might just as well have printed it on his Independent Reviews.  It was never really in doubt.

Now we have the latest, but surely not the last, piece of arrogant insanity with the news that Chief Fire Officers may well be eligible in the future, to be appointed as Chief Constables without ever having served at any lower rank in the Police Service.  I shouldn’t really worry about this, they are going to receive some training from the College of Policing, when they’re not too busy training the Direct Entry Inspectards and SuperNintendos.  What could possibly go wrong?

Best of all you don’t even have to take my word for it, you can read all about it here.

I’m not completely against change, I can see some benefits, and I have never been opposed to Efficiency Improvements, I can even see how Emergency Services can benefit from sharing premises, possibly Control Rooms, but that does not mean that they need to share a Command Structure or even a vehicle.

No doubt our old friends Policy Exchange have had some input into this idea, and maybe in a year or two there will just be one Emergency Service, with some poor soul trying to keep all his/her balls in the air.

I’m going to crawl back into my hole now, please wake me up when Spring arrives and the nightmares are over.

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I Have Seen The Future (And The Past)

I read with a significant dose of dismay that proposed government cuts are set to bring the levels of Policing back to levels not seen since the 1970s.  Well, I was a serving officer through most of the 70s and I’m still alive now, or at least I was last time I looked.

As a Front Line cop in the 70s let me tell you it was a whole world away from what we have now.  I can’t quite recall how many ‘jobs’ we would get through in an 8 hours shift, but at a busy Norf Larndarn Station I would think that we probably got through maybe 60-70 jobs between us in a shift.  Those jobs could be absolutely anything ranging from seeing kids across the road to get to school in the morning, to reporting (and initial investigation) of a string of overnight burglaries, or dealing with a huge fight in a pub when the whelp had come off and someone’s beer had got spilt and they didn’t see the funny side of it.  Missing Person enquiries were routinely allocated to what are now called Response Cops, RTCs ( accidents to you and me), Sudden Deaths, including Person Under Train BTP Unable, and any number of assorted messages to be delivered ranging from “we’ve found your stolen push bike” to Death Messages were all the domain of the normal, everyday Cop.

If we ended the shift handing over more than half a dozen ‘jobs’ not dealt with, to the following shift there would be all Hell to pay.  I can only imagine how many jobs are handed on to the following shift these days, or how many calls come in to be dealt with an average shift. More than in the 70s I suspect.

So it seems like Cruella, Camoron and Milky Bar, the Unholy Trinity, are seriously expecting us to, in effect, do MUCH more with less.

I’m far from being the only survivor of the 70s on Twatter or Farcecrook, and I’m 100% confident that any of the others will broadly support what I have just outlined.

With all this in mind I have put what grey cells I have left to work and tried to formulate a method whereby we can maintain the high standards of service that we like to give using our much-reduced resources, and I believe I’ve cracked it.

I think that we can learn from the experience of the Armed Forces.

In years gone by absolutely THOUSANDS of troops were thrown at a problem with the intention of defeating the enemy with superior numbers and superior training, using whatever kit was available.  That no longer happens, their numbers have been streamlined the same as Police numbers have in civvy street. So what do they do now? How do they wage war on the Enemy with a much-reduced Army?

Easy.  They use the RAF, for example, to soften them up with Airstrikes, or Apache helicopters, even CRUISE Missiles before the first soldier even sets foot on the battlefield.

This gave me the answer.

Each of our National Police Air Support bases can be equipped with an Apache helicopter and an agreed  

 number of drones.  Next time there is a riot, or a fight in a pub that has got out of control a well aimed Hellfire Missile through the front door of the Saloon Bar should ensure that the lone PC that is available to deal with this fight is now more than sufficient to contain the problem and the risk of injury to the officer is also dramatically reduced.

At the first sign of trouble, possible rioting or looting, get the drones in the air, monitor the situation and pictures beamed back realtime into the Police Control Room for the Duty Officer to authorise the appropriate level of response. 

You may think my suggestions are a bit OTT, and maybe they are, but if Cruella and Co want to insist on such radical cuts then they have to be ready to accept some radical solutions.

No, I am not seriously suggesting any of the above, but it should highlight to Cruella how ridiculous the scale of the proposed cuts is and maybe she should rethink it before it’s too late.

Back to my bacon butty now.

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The Police Are The Public

And The Public Are The Police.

Except that is in danger of ceasing to be true.

The Peelian Principle that has been enshrined in Policing since 1829 is in danger of being cast aside by our illustrious Home Secretary.

It has long been mooted that the scale of cuts being recklessly  imposed upon Policing by Call Me Dave and Mrs May is simply not sustainable.  Panic ye not, salvation is at hand.

Sara Thornton, head of National Police Chiefs Council has the answer apparently.

In order to avoid putting too much stress on our already over-worked Police Officers (NOT sarcasm) they simply won’t pitch up to crimes such as vehicle crime and some burglaries.  

Not turning up to a burglary (and other serious crimes) is quite simply inconceivable.

It seems that there has been a concession by some, if not all, of the Chiefs, that the Police simply cannot continue to do their job efficiently in face of the past and future cuts, so a solution has been put forward that will surely drive a wedge between the Police and the Public.

Not turning up at burglaries is guaranteed to make the Police unpopular.

Is this the latest chapter of the government’s determination to turn the Public against the Police with NPCC being a willing catalyst?

It certainly seems that way to me.

The answer is surely quite simple, the Police MUST have sufficient resources available to carry out their various functions efficiently.

There are billions of pounds available for foreign aid.

The government wastes millions, if not billions, of of pounds and nobody bats an eyelid.

There MUST be funding available to reverse the criminally reckless cuts, the truth is that it doesn’t suit Dave and Cruella’s purpose to use it.

Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain are some of the weakest economies in Europe.  Do you see them decimating their Police Services?  No, they need them more than ever.

It’s all based on lies.

Tell me I’m wrong Dave, Theresa,

Will you take the challenge?

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Peelian Principles, What The **** Are They?

The whole of the British Police Service is fundamentally based on the Peelian Principles, set out by Sir Robert Peel in 1829.

There is some dispute amongst academics (and maybe even the Home Office) that these Principles were not drawn up by Sir Robert Peel himself but that his ideas were formalised by Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne, the joint Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police when it was founded.  Personally I don’t know, but either way, those principles were set out a long, long time ago and are the bedrock of British Policing.

Sara Thornton, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, recently spoke on the subject and said

“Whatever the impact of budget cuts, we would never accept a change to our most basic principle – the Peelian idea that police are the public and the public are the police. We could not have policing in the UK without public consent.

“Hard measures such as water cannon and tear gas will only ever be used to protect people when all other methods have failed.”

Thus reinforcing our commitment to the Peelian Principle of Policing.  So what are they?

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

Item #1 is often referred to as the Primary Objective which is more commonly written as:-

“THE PRIMARY object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquillity, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained.” Sir Richard Mayne, 1829.

In 2010 no less a person than Nick Herbert MP added “Public safety is the first responsibility of any effective government. The public services which keep people safe are more important than almost any other…

It is most certainly from these basic principles that the concept of Policing By Consent comes from, a concept that Sara Thornton seems to have endorsed and and reconfirmed.

In last year’s speech to the Police Federation, Home Secretary Theresa May said

Nearly 200 years ago, Sir Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police and declared, “the police are the public and the public are the police.” Today, everybody in policing – from the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to the newest recruit on the frontline – is familiar with those famous words. They are the unofficial motto of the British model of policing and they say very clearly that in this country we believe in policing by consent. It is a principle we all take pride in, and it is the duty of us all to protect and preserve it.

That’s why, if there is anybody in this hall who doubts that our model of policing is at risk, if there is anybody who underestimates the damage recent events and revelations have done to the relationship between the public and the police, if anybody here questions the need for the police to change, I am here to tell you that it‟s time to face up to reality.

So why on earth is she trying so hard to break it?  If anybody is at risk of damaging Policing in the UK, it is not the Police, who hold the Peelian Principles dear to their hearts, it is Government, led by David Camoron and Theresa May.  With those words above echoing in their ears how can ANY government minister embark upon a course of conduct designed to shrink the Police Service and, by doing so, drastically reduce its ability to prevent crime and ensure Public Safety.

A cynical person might think that hypocrisy abounds.

Incidentally, NOWHERE in the Peelian Principles does it state that the Police must reflect the Public from which they come, their priority is to prevent crime. 

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Don’t Let Apathy And Despondency Win

Those of you who know me in my real life will know that I have never backed away from a fight with Management, even when it was blindingly obvious that I was destined to lose.  When I have seen injustice and unfairness or something else that wasn’t quite right, particularly in my latter years, I challenged it.  Mainly I lost, they were the bosses and I was not, but at least they knew that I had noticed it and challenged it.

Now that I’m retired I can challenge things as much as I like, although the Management have absolutely no reason to listen to me at all any more, but I would feel like I had given in if I didn’t pop up and challenge things that simply aren’t right.

Earlier I promoted Chris Hobbs’ letter to Theresa May, which whilst I accept she’s very unlike to read, let alone take any notice of, I thought it was a powerful letter, and completely fell in line with my ethos of not leaving things unchallenged.

In response I received comments such as;

This letter is a waste of time, she will not even read this let alone take any of the issue mentioned in it on board. We know exactly where we stand with her, what really hacks me off is the fact that yet again she is even attending the conference. How many time do the Fed JEC need to get kicked in the teeth by this women to realise that letters, meetings, and marches around London dont mean squat. We need a massive change at the top of the Fed as those that are there now have shown that they don’t have what it takes to fight this fight. Maybe not everyone’s view but its mine.

and

I dont think that sending letters is the way to fight as she has shown utter contempt for the Fed and its member and a letter, no matter how well written will have no effect whatsoever. The Fed Jec need to regain the trust of it members in order to be able to fight…a trust which I think has been lost.

and

A good letter but I am afraid that the present government have no interest in the police other than a source of saving public money and the being able to criticise when things go wrong. Expect more areas to be privatised, more cuts, more demoralised staff, increased sickness for which we will also be criticised, greater pressure on management to deliver more with less, and greater pressure on the front line staff. I wish every serving police officer and member of support staff the bet, you continue to do a great job in incredibly difficult circumstances. I am glad that I cannow look in from the outside.

and

The present government are committed to dissolution of the police service. Their main strategy is to render the service unfit for purpose and make it desirable that it be fully replaced. The tactics are to cut funding, damage its efficiency, cause poor performance and thereby reduce professional credibility. Why? Well to take it out of the public sector and put it on a paying basis. Follow the money.

Whilst I couldn’t honestly disagree with the sentiments of any of those responses, is the answer then to just roll over and have our bellies rubbed, or maybe slit wide open?  Just because The Home Secretary is Cruella and we are just mere plebs, does that mean that we can’t challenge her edicts and diktats?  If we don’t who will?  The Press aren’t about to jump on any bandwagon against her policies just at the moment.

Make no mistake, the changes she and Camoron and Milky have brought about in the name of Austerity and Reform cannot be reversed.  I’ve lost track of the number of Police Stations across the UK that have been closed and sold off, I seem to remember reading a figure of 63 for London alone.  If she suddenly had a change of heart and changed her mind tomorrow, those Police Stations are GONE, they cannot be re-iopened and there is no money left to buy or build new ones.  As I said, can’t be reversed.

This evening sees the latest doom and gloom proposals, from the Met, in the Standard.

Scotland Yard is planning to sell off more police stations and buildings in London as the force faces a further £800 million in budget cuts.

Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned the Met faces a “serious challenge” to find further savings in the next round of Government cuts, which he said would inevitably mean fewer officers and buildings.

He raised the prospect of a slimmed-down police force operating from as few as 100 buildings in the capital.

Is this what we want?

Is this what the Tory Voters really had in mind and supported?

If so, be very careful what you wish for because you might just get it, and it’s looking ever more likely.

As for me, I’ll just keep banging my head against the proverbial brick wall until I knock myself out because I can’t just sit back and say nothing, but don’t have the connections to get my views well known.  So if you suddenly stop hearing from me I’ve probably been carted off somewhere and shut in a darkened room.

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Here Is Today’s News………

But probably not the News that Camoron and the BBC want us to read.

The BBC News website proudly carries a story this morning about a West Mercia Detective who got paid £20,000 in overtime in a year, so what?

They completely overlooked that ALL overtime has to be approved by a Supervising Officer and is therefore necessary presumably.  Overtime of that magnitude would certainly be questioned, even if it was justified and necessary.

However, try as I may, I could not find the ‘real’ main story on the BBC News site.

Britain is too tolerant and should interfere more in people’s lives, says David Cameron

Acting like a throwback to the Stasi, Camoron has come out with some brilliant one-liners such as;

“Britain is too “passively tolerant” and should not leave people to live their lives as they please just because they obey the law

“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’,”

“It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.”

So where exactly does Camoron get off interfering with the lives of law-abiding citizens?  If people break the law then they should expect proportionate retribution, but I’m not at all comfortable with the State interfering with people who have done nothing illegal.

No wonder Camoron and his gang want to scrap the Human Rights Act.

Was it a total coincidence that we were all looking at a West Mercia tec’s overtime when it seems only the Indie has reported Camoron’s over-zealous ambitions?

Are we really in for another 5 years of this?

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