Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave – Chapter II (With Pictures)

We left our hero, Police Constable Patrick James, shut up in his broom cupboard with strict instructions not to talk to anybody, not even his own bosses.

Patrick James in the Broom Cupboard
Patrick James in the Broom Cupboard

His broom cupboard, on the 13th floor of New SlapSlap Yard, was small, stuffy and wasn’t blessed with one of the best views of London. They were reserved for the Head Commish, Sir Bernie Hogan-Who on the top floor.

Patrick, however, was beavering away. Smoke was pouring from his abacus as he tried to make the numbers make some  kind  of sense.  A Punishment Posting. Crime Stats at The Centre. Nobody’s idea of a plum posting, and to make matters worse The Tank had been converted to a bloody gym.

The beads on the abacus were clacking wildly as PC James pushed them from side to side, trying his hardest to make the numbers add up. Something was wrong, there weren’t enough crimes here.  Somebody had made some Sexual Offences disappear since Patrick had last performed his query. Patrick was absolutely certain that when he had counted them last week there had been hundreds more. Hundreds of serious sexual offences had just disappeared off the books. “What to do?” thought Patrick, “What to do?”

After a short period of deliberation he decided he would quietly raise the matter with his boss, DCI Quentin R Sole. Sole became very heated and agitated as Patrick unburdened himself on his poor, unfortunate boss. “Now look here James, do yourself a favour and forget you’ve ever told me and forget the missing crimes, it doesn’t matter, it’s nothing”

Detective Chief Inspector Quentin R Sole
Detective Chief Inspector Quentin R Sole

“It most certainly isn’t nothing guv” said Patrick, “Those bloody tecs are making crimes disappear off the books. Why?”

“Look Patrick, can I call you Patrick? If you keep this up it won’t end well. That idiotic Home Secretary, Cruella Whatserface, has announced that crime is down, so down it bloody well will be. The Mayor, Lord Bozzer of Londinium (Bozo to his friend apparently) , has been briefed by Rabbi Glibs that crime is down on the capital, so it has to be down.”

“Why should I care about what the Home Secretary has rashly said?” asked Patrick. “She’s just too quick off the mark”

“Yes, I know”said DCI Quentin R Sole, but it gets worse, much worse, you wouldn’t believe.  If you won’t listen to me, old Two Dads wants to see you, that won’t be good”

Inevitably, after a few days, Nigel Goat-Botherer, Bernie the Ostrich’s Bag Carrier, summoned Patrick to the top floor of New SlapSlap Yard “Bring your Fed Rep with you”.  Sadly, on the appointed day, Patrick’s Fed Rep was busy, had an appointment to have his haemarhoids seen to and couldn’t sit down, so not much point in being there.

Nigel Goat-Botherer

“Go on in” said Goat-Botherer, “The Boss is expecting you”

Patrick apprehensively entered Inner Sanctum, Head Commish Sir Bernard Hogan-Who’s very own version of Hallowed Ground.  “Ah, James, thank you, no, don’t sit down, this won’t take long”  Patrick stood stiffly to attention, apprehensive.

Head Commish SlapSlap Constabulary

“Just for once I won’t beat about the bush. My people in the  Directorate of All Things Bollocks tell me you’ve been stirring things up again. Apparently Crime Stats is your latest Crusade”

“Yes Sir” said Patrick firmly. “Crimes are being made to disappear from the books and it’s simply not right”

“Ah, you mean Project Finnesse. Those crimes aren’t going anywhere, they’re just being ‘tidied up’ a bit, make the books look a bit better. It’s all part of this Total Policing Bollocks.”

“With Respect Sir that is total bollocks” replied Patrick. “There’s no ‘tidying up’ going on, it’s wholesale weeding.”

Hogan-Who turned a nasty shade of purple, his fists clenched and he was visibly shaking. “OK young man, this is how it will be. Home Secretary Cruella de Night, Lord Bozzer and me, we have all told the gullible public that crime is coming down, so come down it bloody well will. We can’t be seen to be wrong now can we?”

Patrick stood quietly, aghast. Did Bernie the Ostrich really just say that? That’s not how it’s meant to be.

Quickly, Hogan-Who continued, slightly calmer, but not much. “And the final straw are these OCU Commanders and my SMT. They’ve been paid bonuses on the back of falling crime. What are you suggesting man? We all pay our bonuses back? Wake up man, that’s never going to happen”

“Well Sir, this is clearly a serious bit of malpractice and I can’t just sit back and watch it now can I? That simply wouldn’t be right.”

“Just get back to your broom cupboard and get on with whatever demeaning dross my people have found for you to do. One more squeak out of you and it will be Gardening Leave….Are we clear?”

Bowed but not broken our hero Patrick descended to the 13th floor and pondered his next move. The rest, as they say, is history, and history it truly is. SlapSlap Constabulary will forever be tarnished by the scandal. The Directorate of All Things Bollocks enjoys no confidence whatsoever. Neither Police nor Public now think that they are fit for purpose, with many believing that they are out of control and possibly some officers acting in a criminal manner themselves.

PC James is now plain Mr James, an Employment Tribunal is awaited. No less than 3 Peers of the Realm have weighed in to try and right this wrong, but without success. Lord Bozzer and the Head Comish both refused to stay the second set of Disciplinary Proceedings. Our hero Patrick was served a set of papers before he retired informing him that he was being investigated for “Being a Victim of Victimisation and Vindictiveness” and would likely be struck off, months after his retirement, now that makes sense in someone’s world I’m sure.

Some well-intentioned Freedom of Information Requests by friends have failed to receive a satisfactory response, #SlapSlapConstabulary just don’t want to talk about it. So while you’re mulling all this over, I will take my leave from the world of fiction with this little video clip, which seems quite appropriate at this moment in time.

Our Next Prime Minister

PC Patrick James, Head Commish, SlapSlap Constabulary, Sir Bernie Hogan-Who, Cruella de Night,  Lord Bozzer of Londinium, Rabbi Glibs, Nigel Goat-Botherer and DCI Quentin R Sole are all entirely fictitious and and any resemblance to actual persons, dead or living, is purely coincidental.



Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave

Once upon a time in a land far away lived a man. He was a very ordinary man really, but he had a job like no other.

He was a member of the SlapSlap Constabulary, and his name was Patrick James, A Constable no less.

A couple of years ago, no more, Patrick released a video on TubeYou about the challenges of being an active member of SlapSlap Constabulary and faithfully serving Her Maj The Queen.  This video has now been viewed 14,500+ times across the Universe so it must be quite good I suppose.

Encouraged by the response to his little video, Patrick started to write a series of little stories, sort of blogettes, highlighting the insidious actions of Thinking Tankers, people exchanging policies, some strange concept known as outsourcing, and the perils of outsourcing and a privatisation thingy he wrote about.

The good citizens of SlapSlap loved Patrick’s little stories, and the popularity of, and public confidence in, SlapSlap Constabulary went through the roof. They had never been so popular.  The good citizens  could see that Patrick was intelligent enough to see through the crap, mixed generously with smoke and mirrors, that the government of Angle Land were advocating.  One of the government’s favourite policies was “Reduce your budgets by 20% and show us how much more you can achieve with less resources, that will be fun”

Constable James continued to write his little stories, never disrespectful, always incisive and insightful.  The Head Commish of SlapSlap Constabulary never said a word.  In fact, the Deputy Commish at his daily meeting, thought that Constable James little vignette on TubeYou was actually a positive thing for SlapSlap Constabulary.

After a while PC James had a brainwave, over his cornflakes and Black Pudding for breakfast one morning he thought “Why don’t I bundle all my bloggy things up into a book and and sell them for a small amount?  All of the profits could go to charity, that would be a good idea wouldn’t it?”

And so, Constable James self-published his little book, and called it “Isn’t It Quiet?”

The book sold well in moderate quantities and, as good as his word, Constable James donated every single penny he received from the sale of his book to a Police Charity, wasn’t that nice of him?

Then one day Constable James received notification from the Directorate of All Things Bollocks at New SlapSlap Yard that all was not well.  Our hero Patrick was summoned to see the Deputy Director of All Things Bollocks and was told “Look James, this booky thing you’re selling just won’t do. It’s just not cricket.  We’ve had complaints from Cruella de Night, Herbert Nicholas and Lord Bozzer of Londinium that they don’t like what you’re writing about and that we have to shut you up” ……… “Shut Up James I don’t care if it is all true, since when has that bloody mattered?”

So our hero Patrick was despatched to the 13th floor of New SlapSlap Yard, placed in a broom cupboard with an abacus all to himself, and told “Do not speak to anyone, do not write to anyone, nobody at all, do you hear? Not even your bosses. Do you understand?”

And there Constable James languished for 18 long months, while the Directorate of All Things Bollocks tried to find some evidence, realised that there was no policy or regulation to cover the possibility that someone might actually write a book containing TRUTHS and so declared that this course of behaviour must amount to Gross Misconduct.  “Let’s get him sacked, that will shut the little bugger up”.

Little did they know that the Deputy Chief Commish from GrownUp Constabulary would review the evidence and recommend the charge was reduced to one of mere Misconduct as the evidence didn’t seem to stack up for Gross Misconduct to him.

“Bugger” said the Head Commish of SlapSlap Constabulary, “We can’t bloody sack him now, just make his life a bit unpleasant and demean him a little, maybe he’ll resign and we can shut him up that way”.

And lo, Constable James did indeed resign his post and seek solace and comfort from his true friends.

Watch this space, Volume II might get written one day.


PC Patrick James, Head Commish, SlapSlap Constabulary, Cruella de Night, Herbert Nicholas, Lord Bozzer of Londinium, Angle Land  and Deputy Chief Commish of GrownUp Constabulary are all entirely fictitious and and any resemblance to actual persons, dead or living, is purely coincidental.