Vive la difference?

Reflecting on the events in Boston and my daughters experiences in Oz (Australia, not the land of witches and munchkins) I wonder if the problem we [the police] have got here is one of culture…

Daughter is a nursery  nurse, she tells me that in Oz their nursery staff have degrees, are paid well and have standing in society. Here they don’t have any of the above…

Police are widely and often praised for their actions, are thought of as heroes for taking personal responsibility for the safety of society against criminals… They get it wrong of course but overall they are a force for good.

I suspect that here the reason we [public sector] are not thought of highly is because e are seen as: a burden on the tax payer; an expensive luxury; over paid and lazy; unqualified and not worthy of note. People that have never once put on a uniform are now in charge of us…this wouldn’t happen in any other sphere…can you imagine a civilian with no armed forces experience in charge of the army?

Nursery nurses in Oz are valued…because they provide education and care for the must precious things in your life and society…your children…here they are seen as low paid child minders…

Police are seen as little more…we have had a 3k pay cut… No pay rises for 3 years…now we are facing redundancy…

Our vocational status, like nurses and teachers had been reduced to a mere job…a job for people with no qualifications that can be done by unskilled workers…

The reason the beeb have had such an issue with the Boston cops is that it simply doesn’t compute that people would’ve reacted so positively and helpfully to the police…here there would have been bedlam…



47 responses to “Vive la difference?

  1. civilian with no armed forces experience in charge of the army?

    The right Hon Phillip Hammond MP SoS for Defence is the civilian in charge of the army. (Degree in Philosophy, politics and economics which qualifies him to know the cost of everything and the value of nothing).

    As a political democracy we are always going to have politicians without practical experience in charge. The important thing is how willing they are to listen to expert practitioners. The current lot seem very unwilling to accept anything but their own half baked ideas. Not a single practitioner wanted PCCs, no advantage has been shown by them. Winsor is HMIC, a man who dramatically failed to listen to the voices of experience is now the Home Secretarys advisor on policing. YCMIU.

    • MPs usually defer to generals in operational matters. PCC are directly able to influence us…

    • Brief Encounter

      I remember a particularly sharp response from my Professor when I suggested that there should be more political control of the armed forces in terms of methodology. It was a conversation about the morality of bombing of Germany in WW2 and I had taken off on a magic carpet bombing trip forgetting about Coventry etc and the indiscriminate V2 rockets. It went something like this, “Do you want to have to ask a Politician before you exercise your police powers?” Answer,”No!”

      But you have to have political control of the armed forces because their very existence is a state function. Everyday operational decisions will be made by the General’s but expenditure and foreign deployment must remain a state function.

      I would love to see more soldiers, more sailors, more tanks, more ships, more aircraft. I think that it is good for national morale that we have lots of battleships. Thankfully I am not in charge of such things.

      Policing is indeed too important to leave to the police alone. Others do need to be involved and not just politicians but local people, the people who pay for the police.

      You have an organisation which represents you, they need to promote the excellent work which is being done 24/7 by Police to counteract all the negativity.

      • Mmm… Like it. But…policing must be completely independent of politics our political control… Have you seen the film “the day the earth stood still?” (1950) Klaatu’s people created a police force, set the rules but left them to police them autonomously… It’s the best way to reduce opportunities for corrupt practices…
        I agree the gov. Should decide if the army goes to war and should gives guidance on the limits…but how they do that should be down to them…we don’t have that luxury…as to the fed…don’t get me started on that toothless tiger…

        • Brief Encounter

          Yes but whose corruption is worse?

          • Brief Encounter

            What I mean by that is that if you just let the police get on with enforcing the law as they see fit without some parameters there will be corruption. Discretion is a wonderful thing but how do you ensure that one person’s discretion is not another’s favouritism?

            The other thing is that law is evolving constantly partly by statute (politicians) as well as the common law (judiciary).

            I think that policing was, is and will always remain a politicised activity.

  2. ….and Teaboy. And possibly less useful than a teaboy, when the weather warms up. Croydon’s burning again…what shall we do?…. No…Mr Winsor, put the kettle on, there’s a love.

  3. Brief Encounter

    I think that a fully trained police officer probably has the equivalent of a bachelors degree in knowledge and skills The problem is who in their right mind will bother on poor pay cos with a degree one would expect to be getting a better return on your investment.

  4. Robert Pangborn


  5. Do not feed the trolls.

  6. Brief Encounter

    I have never considered myself to be a babe magnet but I do seem to be a troll magnet!

  7. After transferring to a large municipal police service in Canada I was really surprised by the level of support towards the police. It’s not unknown to go into the Starbucks opposite the nick to find that someone has put a $100 Starbucks card behind the counter in order to pay for our brews and people to randomly come up to us to thank us for all our hard work. We got a fairly generous pay deal last time around and the press didn’t bat an eyelid.

    I recall one of my 1st shifts and a group of teenagers were waving at us as we drove past. “They’re taking the piss” I said to my partner (a Canadian) to which she replied “no, they actually love us here”. It took some getting used to.

    On the Boston matter, I had a rather drunken phonecall the other night from a former colleague and now resident of Watertown. He was at the pub, post capture of the bomber, and you could hear the cheering every time a police car drove past.

    What a contrast.

  8. I can take being hated by (sections of) the public
    I can stomach being bullied by management.
    I draw the line at being called overpaid, lazy, ill educated with a golden pension.
    I detest being a political pawn for a government who hate us, up until the wheel comes off.

    With Imelda being (again lol) put in her place by the judges re removal of Mr Hook, I strongly suspect her frustration’s will be taken out on us.

    assuming the position.
    lube at the ready.
    Clenchers will be severenced.

    Anyway, almost summer, rainmac and wellies on order.

  9. In passing……………….
    My age group witnesssed a time when the public held us in high regard and they showed it in small ways. I was posted to a traffic point in central London, it was winter and bitterly cold. A Butcher from a nearby shop came out a spread straw on the snow and slush where I stood and brought out mugs of coffee. On that same point, lady who used the crossing every morning came over to me and gave me a pair of knitted white woollen gloves and said thankyou. At Christmas there was always a large number of people who used come up to the front counter, leave mince pies, cakes and drinks, then leave without speaking. On Christmas day out in the sticks on motor cycle beat, people kept waving me down and inviting me into their homes.
    People passing you in the street, when you were in uniform, always gave you a nod and wished you a good day. I also recall being set on by a group of visting football fans and being rescued by the intervention of a large Irishman who was a regular visitor to our cells every Friday Night. He said ‘We can’t have outsiders thumping out police’
    A lot changes in fifty or sixty years or so.

  10. I’m not yet used to the timing of posts here. Hence the troll remark appears to be very much after the fact, not immediately after it, as it seemed to me, at the time!

  11. Brief Encounter

    Today, Barristers are wearing badges which Say No to QASA. Price Competitive Tendering is coming in. Did I want to go to a meeting about it, I was asked? Is there any point? I might but I think that we as lawyers should be out demonstrating about the introduction of secret courts and the raising of the bar in Judicial Review cases. Worrying times.

  12. My understanding is that legal aid at stations next year will be tendered out to the lowest bidder.
    Solicitors will be few and far between, most will be reps.
    no comment and pisspoor advice will be the norm
    The interested bidders are the likes of G4S, SERCO ,and TESCO ( I kid you not). Who said there wasn’t a price for justice.

    Could be interesting re conflict of interest (shoplifter prosecuted and defended on behalf of same company….ho hum.

    every little helps.

    • Brief Encounter

      You are spot on. There is no need to have had anything to do with law to bid for a contract. They seem to be looking for big firms with management structures and the logistics in place, then you hire Lawyers and there will be plenty of those looking for work after the smaller firms are wiped off the surface of the earth. Luckily I am associated with one of the larger firms but they certainly aren’t being complacent.

    • Yes..the phrase “do you have a nectar card?” Will be heard around the country…some folks will be points millionaires by the time they are twenty…

      • Brief Encounter

        They could cash them in for Legal Aid for some of the things like custody in family law which defies logic that legal aid has been slashed or they could get a range of Pyrex Dishes from Tescos.

  13. Brief Encounter

    Can anyone tell me if this is an example of elder abuse?

    Nina Conti and Granny Go Swimming – Videos – Nina Conti – A Ventriloquist’s Story: Her Master’s Voice – British Comedy Guide

    For BE The vintage wine tastes the best!

  15. Brief Encounter

    Not when it’s corked!

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