Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Where's a proper copper when you need one?!

This story caught my eye today.  I'm not one to jump in and accuse until a fair trial has been conducted, but on the face of it, this is quite shocking - anti-bribery officers being arrested for - being bribed.  Do they have anti-paedophile officers out in the streets too, with cameras and contact with kids?  And anti-terror Police keeping us 'safe' by firing into unarmed Brazilians on tube trains in public?

I also recall the recent story of the security services in the UK, while on a conference call to their counterparts in the US, were intercepted and the conversation recorded by teenagers in their bedrooms.  I'd call this dangerous incompetence, and demonstrates the stupidity of the people who claim to be 'keeping us safe'.

Then we had the resignation of the top two Met Police commanders after being found in Murdoch's back pocket - but they can't be disciplined, because they resigned first!

I suspect that we'll see more fallout from the Leveson enquiry - and if those scapegoats for ministers who are caught with their pants down finally have the guts to put their heads above the parapet and name and shame those above them who are really responsible, we might be lucky and get some more senior incompetent fools sacked.  

Given the bungee-like nature of government hiring and firing (remember Peter 'cheap mortgage through a mate and don't declare it, and passports for my Indian friends' Mandelson?), it's only a matter of time before the old boys network sorts it all out, and we see them reappear in a public role again.  What does a public servant have to do, other than murder, to get sacked and remain sacked, as they would in private employment?
Ian Tomlinson, just before being struck by PC Simon Harwood
If the security of the nation, the integrity of the Police, and the legitimacy of our judiciary rests on these people, then I'm worried - very worried.  And if you think you can trust the Police, all you have to do is recall the Ian Tomlinson tragedy.  When first accused of being involved, the Met denied everything.  Gradually, as more evidence appeared, they started to change their version of events, until finally we all saw the video of Mr Tomlinson being struck by an officer, from behind, while he presented no threat at all.  Only then did the Police 'fess up' and push PC Simon Harwood forward to take the heat.  

I was there on that day, and I can confirm first hand the Police were aggravating the crowd, kettling them for no evident reason and looking for trouble to inflame.  I saw plenty of officers with their numbers covered up.  I personally witnessed a very elderly lady (at least 70), who was not part of the demonstration, beg and plead with officers (including WPC's) to let her through so she could find a bathroom to use, and they all simply ignored her, like she didn't exist.  In the end, some protesting girls stood in a circle with a banner around the old lady, so she could pee in the street with as much dignity as she could find - that really appalled me.  It was interesting to note that in the vicinity of the Bank of England where I was standing, the only people prepared for fighting were the Police - everyone else, as far as I witnessed, were impeccably behaved.

Does there come a point where public services are so ineffective, so corrupt and so badly run that they become illegitimate, and should be disregarded, disbanded and replaced with something more akin to what the public expect?  At what point do the public have the right to say 'sorry, not good enough'?  A general election?  I don't think anyone would argue that the government is effectively a corporatocracy, so voting makes not one jot of difference - as Bobby Fleckman once said, money talks and bullsh*t walks!

Perhaps it's time we took things into our own hands, peacefully of course - mass civil disobedience, refusal to co-operate with any government department, blockading government buildings and most of all, refuse to pay fines, taxes, demands - the corrupt can't survive without being fed more money.  What do you think?  Comments below!

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