Last updated on October 16th, 2023 at 07:33 pmReading Time: 3 minutes
Apologies for yet one more post this week, but a simple post on Twitter this morning has potentially revealed something unsavoury and unwelcome.
It started with this, a heartfelt post from a retired Met Detective Inspector. I endorsed it without hesitation as I could instantly relate to it.
Even before I retired (almost 20 years ago) a culture was creeping into the Met that, in my opinion, was entirely undesirable.
Officers were being promoted even when their immediate peers honestly believed that they were unsuitable, and senior officers were assembling teams ‘around’ that simply consisted of people they had worked with previously, and presumably felt comfortable with, but were totally untested as to whether they were the best tor the job or not.
As long ago as the late 80s Constables were calling Sergeants by their first name, even in company of others (in the Met, can’t comment on other Forces). My own personal opinion is that this is wrong and ill-disciplined, it was the thin end of the wedge, the beginning of the downturn in standards. It is something I never did except, as a senior Constable, with a Sergeant who I was incredibly familiar with, and in private. Never in the company of other Constables, probably with less service.
One of the problems of not promoting solely the best candidates (and here I mean Chief Inspector and above) is that the cream goes off instead of rising to the top. Nobody, and no rank, has the monopoly on good ideas or best practice, but when the people who have those ideas are continually passed over for promotion, or have their ideas ignored (or hijacked by others) then they tend to simply give up, which is detrimental to both themselves and the organisation.
Some lower ranking officers don’t want promotion. I myself was a Career Constable who never once troubled the promotion process, I got immense Job Satisfaction from working on the Front Line and doing ‘Police Work’ of one kind or another. Becoming a policy maker was not my prime motivation in life.
Now, all those years later, the upper echelons of Policing are occupied by ‘Yes Men’ if you’ll forgive the expression. When May and Cameron were taking a chainsaw to Policing, who amongst ACPO or NPCC spoke out against it.
Numerous people like me, serving or retired, predicted quite accurately what the results of the cuts would be, but the Chumocracy at the very top remained silent.
Whether that was because they didn’t know any better and didn’t believe what they were being told, or they were all in it together and were merely protecting their positions and pensions, or were being actively threatened by those in government I will never know, but ignore all the predictions they did.
Now, comments and reactions to my Tweet this morning would have me believe that the problem of Chumocracy is not restricted to the Met, but is evident in just about every Force in the land, together with the NHS, Education, Civil Service and just about every other Public Sector organisation, and possibly private business as well.
Is this what we have come to? Is it totally unreasonable to expect those at the top to be amongst the best available? Can we get decent, well thought out policies and decisions from groups of people who are friends first? PPE and COVID testing spring to mind.
As for me, I’m old school and don’t believe that Chumocracy has any place, anywhere. What good has ever come out of a system such as that?
I will leave you in peace now I’ve got that off my chest, enjoy your weekend.