Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Hot Toddy !!!!

Hopefully - the publishing of the report into the circumstances of Chief Constable Michael Todd's private life will draw a line under the whole sad, sorry story.

Needless to say, the Daily Mail covered the story in lurid detail, and the fact remains, the whole matter was a tragedy for his family and friends, as well as deeply embarassing I guess, for his wife and children.

That said, the point remains that as a leader of a large UK force, a Chief Constable no less, he really ought to have been beyond reproach.

I am seriously in danger of sounding like a reactionary, dyed-in-the-wool Daily Mailite, but after nearly 14 years of policing the (mainly)underclass, and their disputes and domestics and fall-outs has left me with a few very firm beliefs on how people should behave - as opposed to how they actually do.

To simplify my views on personal morality (yes, I know how that sounds...) it goes something like this:

1. Affairs lead to family breakdowns (Nothing too contraversial here?)

2. Broken families lead to chaotic child rearing (Think custody battles - absent parents, children growing up without boundaries, role models, adequate supervision, care and love...)

3. Children brought up in chaotic environments are at risk of offending (and at risk of being exploited, victimised, bullied and so on... and I don't remember dealing with many juvenile offenders where child, mother and father all shared the same surname - even when a full family group was present.)

4. Children who have had a bad upbringing make for awful role models for their children... (Because - yes - it does run in families - many of my older colleagues remember the 'appropriate adults' of today who attend with juvenile offenders (i.e. their offsprong) were themselves regular visitors to the cells in their younger days.)

and on it goes. Like a dreary cycle.

Simple - yes - too simple, maybe. But a report by the Children's Society - namely a Good Childhood bemoans the selfish attitudes of adults (for which read parents...) and how this leads to the outcomes I've mentioned above.

Just think 'Mummy needs some space dear, that's why I'm leaving to be with Roger... don't worry, I'll send money... and we'll go skiing next spring...' Because when middle class people behave like that, it's OK - it's fine - it's normal - it does no harm. Yet the chattering classes are quite happy to leap on Karen Matthews as being a piss-poor mother, with children to different fathers - and no doubt a string of ex's and a complicated family tree. Is it just me, or does that smack of eye-watering hypocrisy?

The author of the Children's Society report is a Labour life peer - so Richard Layard is hardly a swivel-eyed right wing nutter, which perhaps put my views and observations somewhere in the political centre (but not necessarily on a fence).

Which makes me feel better.

So, I am saying in a roundabout way that there is a chain of infidelity in relationships with the former Chief Constable Michael Todd (or Robin Cook, David Blunkett, Archer, Parkinson et al) at one end, and Wayne MacSlapper shagging Tracy Giro round the back of the community centre at the other end of the social spectrum.

And as a leader of men (including women, trans people, and everyone else who wants their own category to celebrate their individual brand of diversity), a Chief Constable who behaves like a [ insert your own euphemism or term here - I prefer 'dog with two dicks'] really does let the side down, and despite the glowing praise for his achievements, as a role model - which surely is part of such a high profile job - he was sorely lacking.

As a final note, having served in quite a few police stations, I can tell you that the common or garden Bobby loves nothing more than a bit of gossip. As a result, 'office' or workplace affairs stay secret for a very short space of time - some become legendary - others the source of scandal and gossip - but they are often very disruptive - breaking up teams, squads, units, shifts, blocks, scales, reliefs, groups - call them what you will. Staff are moved under a cloud - lockers are emptied, desks are cleared. Tolerance is pretty low - so if it's not OK for a PC, Sergeant or the Inspector - does that mean it's OK for higher ranks?

Course not.

Sgt Grumpy.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

10 Things that have never happened to me...

No posts for a while due to being as busy as a busy thing.

This has involved busy at work - busy at home - even busy dealing with the weather.

However - back at work - the thirteenth or fourteenth love of my life - after Mrs Custerd, Junior Custerds 1 and 2, Belgian beer, lasagne, the cat - and other stuff - back at work the daily reports of human misery and pettiness dished out by our 'cutomers' only serves to reinforce that we live in very different worlds. For example - in no particular order - here is a list of things that affect our regular customers way, way, way more than say, regular people:

1) Had my windows 'put through'. Having never fallen out with neighbours, friends, partners, family, or local youths enough to warrant this most British of retributions. I can't even say anyone has threatened to do it - so I've never had to call the police to ask them to tell the nasty person not to do it...

2) Been threatened with death, via the medium of... SMS text message. Never happened to me. Not once.

3) Been bitten by a neighbour's dog.

4) Been stalked by an ex-partner. Who maybe has been in the same pub/supermarket/town centre as our harassee. ('Cos that's harassment innit?')

5) Had a dispute with a builder or other tradesman (but let's face it - it's always builders) that has degenerated into with holding tools and materials and exchanges of death threats. (Oftn bi txt msg).

6) Had the neighbours 'look at me funny' - or 'keep smiling at me' in such a provocative manner as to cause fists to be raised, or constables to be summoned.

7) Bought anything off eBay for a ridiculously low price, sent money by Western Union, and then been surprised when my Wii, PS3 or X-Box failed to be shipped from Nigeria/China/Taiwan (delete as applicable)

8) Had a fallout with either a tenant or landlord - to result in changing of locks, illegal eviction, or (and this is a favourite) theft of the landlord's property and fittings.

9) Exchanged messages on Facebook/Bebo/MySpace which would in any way even remotely constitute an offence of harassment.

10) Done anything to warrant being on Jeremy Kyle. And that's a big list. But usually involves shagging someone else behind your partner's back and then whining like a child when the consequences catch up with you. And there's a lot of those.

And this ladies and gents - is how I spend my days at work.

Sgt C.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

How stuff happens...

In the beginning was the Initiative, for the doers of evil were abroad in the land of the innocents, and their deeds were anti-social.

And then came the Assumptions.

And the Assumptions were without form.

And the Initiative was without substance.

And darkness was upon the faces of the Constables.

And they spoke among themselves, saying, “It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh.”

And the Constables went unto the Sergeants and said, “It is a bucket of crap and none may abide the odour thereof.”

And the Sergeants went unto the Inspectors, saying, “It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it.”

And the Inspectors went unto their Chief Inspector, saying, “It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.”

And the Chief Inspector muttered to himself, saying, “It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong.”

And the Chief Inspector then went unto the Superintendent and said to him, “It promotes growth, and it is very powerful.”

And the Superintendent went up unto the Chief Super, saying unto him, “This new Initiative will actively promote the growth and vigour of the Division with powerful effects."

And the Chief Super looked upon the Initiative, and saw that it was good.

And the Initiative became Divisional Policy.

And yet there were multitudes of forms and returns and emails sent.

The doers of evil did rejoice and continue to hide in the darkness.

And the constables did gnash their teeth, and the Sergeants held their heads in the hands, and woe was upon the land of the innocents.

And the Chief Super looked upon his works and saw that it was good.