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Honesty and Integrity

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Just a few words today, a few words to mark the passing of the incredible HUHNE saga.

TEN years it took him to admit his guilt, not 2/3 like he would have us believe.  Ten whole years of lying to everyone, and for what?  To save his sorry arse from a driving ban.  My parents brought me up knowing right from wrong.  Knowing that the consequences of getting caught lying would be far worse than the original ‘crime’.  I’m sure that most, if not all, of you were brought up just the same.  I can’t say I ALWAYS took notice of that, but I ignored it at my peril.

Well Chris Huhne ignored it at his peril and I hope he likes porridge, in more ways than one.  Not just a breakfast cereal Mr Huhne.  I like the way he had the integrity to do the honourable thing and immediately resign his seat in the Commons.  No, really, I liked that, because it made me laugh.  He’s had TEN years to do the honourable thing and ignored it.  Whether by coercion or not he got his then wife to take his penalty points, to save his sorry arse.  Next he subjected his son to an exchange of text messages which sadly have now become public.  Fortunately his son does not seem to have backed down and the support for his mother does him credit.  What’s honourable about that Mr Huhne?  Honesty?  Integrity?  You decide.

Honesty and Integrity – two qualities that really MUST exist in Police Officers and Politicians.  I’m not getting into the ‘cops are corrupt’ arguement here, I know that some of them are, I have always accepted that, and I’m fully behind any moves to root them out.  I don’t know if it still exists but when I was serving the Met had an Integrity Testing Unit whose function was to make targeted tests on officers’ and staff integrity, handing in some ‘Found Property’ and making sure that none of the cash was nicked, or testing the reaction to a racist comment  for example.  Some were very grand and complicated affairs, some very simple.  The point of my rambling is that we should be able to take Police Officers’ Integrity for granted, we should never have to doubt it.  Much has been made in the media about some very high profile alleged failings.  If wrong-doing has taken place, identify it, deal with it and move on quickly, restore some public confidence.  Do not cover it up, do not tell someone else to cover it up, bite the bullet and deal with it.  Don’t let it drag on for years.

The same standards should really apply to our politicians.  They, like the Police, are taken from our midst, albeit by a slightly different route.  They are elected, Police are not (unless you’re a PCC).  We come back to Vetting again.  Not only are politicians not routinely vetted, but some of them even seem to oppose the very idea of Vetting.  I don’t want my village bobby to be a criminal and I certainly don’t my politicians to be criminals, local or national.

Whatever standards we set for our Police Officers re Honesty and Integrity, the standards for Politicians should be AT LEAST as high, certainly no lower.

I’m sorry but I don’t subscribe to the idea that some of these MPs mistakenly misclaimed their expenses.  They are supposed to be intelligent people, they are supposed to understand the rules (ignorance is no excuse remember) and they are supposed to be able to get help if they fall at the first two fences.

The most important bit in my book is that THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE LAWS.  They are not just like you and me, subject to those laws, they make them, every last word.

If they can’t bloody understand them what chance do the rest of us stand?

I’ll wind up this rant by simply saying that if any of you Police Twitterati appeared on my doorstep asking for a sofa for the night because you’d missed your last bus/train, you’d get one.  Not because I know you, because in most cases I don’t know you, but because of what you represent to me.  I’d even trust you with my bacon and eggs.

If the Right Hon Charlie Farnsworthy MP did the same he’d be told to sling his hook to one of his many houses because of what he represents TO ME.

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