Police Racism Is Crap – Can’t the Met Catch On?

With 10 cases involving 20 officers referred or re-referred to the ludicrous IPCC can’t the Met catch on?  It’s OK for a black MP to slur all white people, but not one white person must  … blah, blah.  We know racism is crap and we know no one is really free from it if we read up on the subject.  We accept rape is wrong and yet the conviction rate is very low.  This is largely because most of the evidence is dubious, with all parties often drunk, stoned or both.  Solomon would have trouble!  The same, of course, is true of claims of racial abuse – often coming from people already discredited by being in police custody and it being so easy to make false claims without much comeback.  Black officers, I seem to remember, are as much as four times more likely to be subject to complaint procedures.

The problem here is that police complaints systems don’t work and are massively prejudiced in investigation and the law.  Cases that get to court follow familiar patterns of taking a very long time and of detailed histories of previous complaints against officers being ruled out as evidence whilst complainants (even if police officers) have their motives and credibility impugned.

Even if the IPCC was any use, referring such matters to them wouldn’t help.  This is a cultural matter requiring strong leadership beyond words in the supervision system and an openness that can’t be other than deterred by criminal investigation.  On the basis of the kind of “research” the IPCC has bought so far, it would poll the whole population on whether police are racist or not when what’s needed is research in the relevant population done by people who can establish trust.

Even the tape recording I’ve heard on television and at the Guardian is not evidence of racism and I’d acquit if that’s all to be found, despite being profoundly anti-racist.  I heard the same advice being given by a black nurse to black hooligans more than 30 years ago,though that was issued in more strident form.  Racism was chronic in the Met back then and they were in denial about it.  All sides in this need to let some independent researchers in so the matter can be brought properly out into the open. My guess is their are faults on all sides.

Half all young black lads are unemployed against a 25 – 30% average.  It’s common to hear this is because they are a lazy bunch and the rest, as it’s common to hear that Asians are bleeding welfare dry and so on.  Crap gossip like this comes about because we so rarely bother to make the truth on any subject easy to access.  Ethnic minorities are generally present in our prisons in disproportionate number.  Some say this is due to racist treatment, but it could as easily be disproportionate engagement in crime.

It is easy to stop your people using words like ‘nigger’ – just sack a few who do.  Works wonders, does a little of such medicine.  It won’t change any attitudes other than those about not being loose-lipped.  I’d like to see the Met engage some researchers prepared to get out in relevant areas with cameras and able to talk in confidence to police officers and the relevant population and make sense of relevant figures and some participant observation.  I suspect their are home truths the Met, our ‘ethnic’populations and the rest of us need to learn and that incompetence is at the heart of all this.  The current situation must be making all officers wary of dealing with BEMs and that can’t help.

The IPCC should get on with more important matters like the buried SOCA report on corruption.

 

The Psychology Of Cops On Armed Duty

In the USA about one in four police shootings involve an unarmed “victim”.  Cops mistake mobile phones and even stuff like hairbrushes for guns in some shoot outs in which unarmed folk get killed.  It seems carrying a gun cues you to see guns (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. [Jessica K. Witt & James R. Brockmole; Action Alters Object Identification: Wielding a Gun Increases the Bias to See Guns).

This shouldn’t surprise anyone who has carried a gun – it’s obvious that carrying one makes it more likely someone might take a pop at you.  The question is whether we can do anything to make the perception of officers having to carry weapons better and more aware of this problem.  The standard firing range tries to get shooters not to blast off at the woman carrying a baby and so on.  This isn’t made any easier by also having to get rounds off and into the bad guys.  Television gives us a very wrong picture of this.

We can only expect people to do their best after we’ve given them the best training we can manage.  My guess is the best we can do is encourage an open culture on the inevitable mistakes.  This isn’t made easy by public ignorance on how difficult the rules of engagement are or the law.  If I’d been living near the recent mauling of police officers by the pit bull, I hope I’d have gone out and blown the beast away with my shotgun (actually I don’t keep one these days) – but if I had the wrangling would go on forever.  The situation is not much simpler for police officers.

Officers need to be able to rely on quick armed support (as does the public when nutters with guns are involved or dogs with mad owners).  Some of this is psychological and to do with the harm done in being exposed to unnecessary danger and the depression of lack of support.  We also need our cops not to stand by using health and safety excuses over shallow ponds and fairly tame canals.  We’re getting it wrong at both ends.

If we are going to arm our police better (and we should), we need proper regulation both public and police can trust.  It’s sensible regulation we are no good at.  The case for arming police needs better explanation of the psychology of the armed moment.

 

Eyewitness Evidence Is Even More Unreliable After A Bit Of A Chase

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/03/07/0956797611431463

Witnesses to a crime might recall events and faces less accurately if physically exhausted at the time of the incident. That’s the conclusion from a study in which 52 police officers were asked to recall events and identify suspects from ID parades after reconstructed crime. Lorraine Hope of the University of Portsmouth, UK, and colleagues gave all participants a briefing about a pretend burglary. Half of them then exercised for around a minute, to the point of exhaustion. A minute later, all the police officers were taken to a house where they were confronted by the prime suspect of the burglary.

Only 27 per cent of those who had exercised were later able to identify the suspect in an ID parade, compared with 54 per cent of those who had not (note the  already massive failure of even trained eyewitnesses). Those who had exercised also recalled just 56 per cent of the required details about the suspect compared with 84 per cent from the non-exercisers.

This issue does not appear to have received any particular attention within the legal system, which continues to allow highly unreliable notions such as ‘credibility’, something people are useless at, to decide on evidence.

Winsor and the fitness of our police

Many police officers may begin to understand what ‘economics’ means from today.  It means working for Chinese wages or being replaced (outsourced) by the likes of my Zambian trained Laotian Guard who work for a couple of bowls of rice a day and shelter.  Our police have been overpaid since the Thatcher gold-seam when they were needed to cosh miners and could pay off the mortgage through overtime.  Of course, ‘overpaid’ is a tricky term when one considers bankster bonuses or compares the Re4sponse (not a typo – you’ll be working for Group 4 soon) officer’s lot with the work done by those in suits I mix with carrying warrant cards, but somehow not doing police work.

What happened in our factories and mines is now coming to the police.  The question not asked is why this has taken so long and who is responsible for that – the answer being the ACPO ranks.  In the factory model they would be delayered and sent packing because they have failed  for so long and would not be seen fit to use the new broom.  They have also failed to do anything to press for substantial changes in administrative law and the rest of the CJS.

There is little doubt we can recruit cheap cops and people with specialist skills, because the rest of the economy is well-shafted.  Muppets have degrees these days, so increasing the qualification threshold will be easy too, though I doubt the IQ average will shift much on account of this.  And cops will now be subject to fat notices and removal if their health fails, much like Boxer in Animal Farm when his health failed.  All  long overdue – so get ready to get down to Gadget-country job centres and take the jobs the Swampees refuse in droves.  This is what you turkeys voted for a couple of Xmas back. The vibrant, private sector cavalry economy.  It would be here even if we’d voted Nulabour in droves – our votes don’t count anyway.  I didn’t bother.

Asked to cost police pay against the labour market, I came up with a £15K basic on probation, rising to about £25K at the two-year mark – the latter only for those working shifts.  I don’t mean this is what I’d want to pay – but it is the comparator I’d stick with as a manpower services consultant.  There is no competition for labour and a glut in this market.   Cops were as badly paid as this until about 1974 when the labour market was tighter.  You can get academics for around £25K.

I doubt Winsor goes far enough for Gadget’s ‘dark lady’.  She should be interested in the unit  costs of police processes and bringing these down to manufacturing levels.  I’m sick and tired of efficiency in these terms.  It’s why Apple has so much offshore money and manufactures in dangerous factories in China – even using a nerve  agent to clean its i-Phone screens because it’s quicker.  We are dumb to believe any of it – but until now cops have been so  dumb they haven’t seen it  coming their way and haven’t cared at all seeing it happen to others,

We have no politics of anything else, so if you want to do anything about it, you’ll have to threaten strike action and then do it.  The standard response in industry is to declare the strikers in breach of contract and replace them.  There is no right to strike in the UK.  Hard times to come and not just in the annual fitness tests!  My best wishes and sympathy – but we all know where that lies in the dictionary.

I’m surprised the Home Secretary hasn’t prepared better.  I’d have recruited some large lads for weekend duty by now, in order to have a black-leg backup.  If you aren’t familiar with Winsor-type plans, there is always another one to come.  This one will be the most acceptable.  Once they have cheaper recruitment under way, they will expand into getting rid of more costly workers through redundancy.  No one cares I have years of varied experience these days because they can get my subjects taught for buttons by someone with a PhD who has never seen a factory – but then, they are teaching people who will never see one either.  You will find they don’t really care about your long-honed skills either.

Police are about to be the latest victims on the war on labour.  The stupid thing is we could all get decent living wages.  I’m off abroad.  I’m too unreliable to remember to switch the lights off.

Sgt.Mark Andrews

Just a quickie – a solicitor incident has made me too angry to write and has in any case diverted my attention.

I didn’t like what Mark Andrews did and can be seen doing on CCTV.  What really upsets me is the way  what was a minor incident became such a big problem and waste of money.  I worked with and through people like Andrews when I was a cop and we all “benefit” from hairy-arsed coppers.  Working with him and present at the time I would have stopped what he was doing whether below or above him in rank.  It was wrong and, in my view criminal.

With this view one might expect that I support his arrest and conviction.  I don’t.  That he was convicted and then this was quashed by “Judge Roy Bean” seems to me to demonstrate just how ridiculous and unfair our CJS has become.  The arrest and treatment of the woman concerned seems equally absurd.

It’s too easy in cases like this to get into arguments like ‘one rule for us, another for the police’.  The truth is we are getting all sorts of stuff out of proportion.  Gadget’s ‘argument’ that you have to know about dealing with drunks and so on doesn’t hold either, but is part of a valid, wider set of considerations.  What we need in situations like this is a discipline and supervisory system that works and what’s exposed here is that there isn’t one, even when police officers initiate a complaint.

Whilst I don’t condone Andrew’s behaviour I also know the dangers of working with officers who won’t get stuck in.  The current system is encouraging them not to.  It needs radical reform.  The answer, and only in part, is to have civil tribunals we can trust to bring such matters to light and deal with them through discipline under public scrutiny and in ‘real time’ (i.e. ‘quick’).

We should be looking for ways to stop police custody incidents through night courts and other measures to bring speedy resolution.  I’m fairly sure I would work with Andrews and would see his treatment as unfair if I did (unless this is his general form).  This doesn’t make me feel the woman’s treatment was remotely decent.  And how did Andrew’s come to feel he could get away with it in front of other officers?  And how did they come to believe they didn’t have a duty to stop him at the time (in my view a general duty of decency towards the woman and towards a colleague ‘off on one’)?  I believe what we might call “Gadget immorality” played a role in that.

Without enough detail I’d guess Andrews has been the scapegoat in a system that has lost all sense of proportion.

 

More Problems For (I)PCC On Duggan

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/20/mark-duggan-shooting-watchdog-panel

Two people have resigned from the Community Reference Committee set up by the IPCC after the killing of Mark Duggan and the riots sparked off by the event.  The allegations in the post above are dismal if true.

Perhaps the most damning is the statement that the IPCC Commissioner involved told CRC members 3 police officers gave a statement that a sergeant had been seen to throw the gun Duggan was supposed to be carrying to the spot where it was later found and later told them no such statements existed.  It’s more or less impossible to think of any reasonable excuse for the sergeant’s actions or to explain the lack of an arrest of the sergeant.  Quite how you can mislead someone on such a matter is also inexplicable.

We now seem to know that a potential murder scene (almost one of a police officer too) was easily compromised by the taxi Duggan was traveling in being moved and the brought back – flouting everything I know about crime scenes and yet apparently ‘authorised’ by IPCC investigators who hadn’t even made it to the scene, and that Duggan was under some kind of surveillance and allowed to pick up a weapon and travel with it.  Though we can’t be sure.

About the only thing we do know for certain nearly 4 months on is that Duggan’s death and the piss poor handling of the investigation caused riots across our cities.

This is not, as the IPCC would have us believe, a complex enquiry.  The players and the scene have been known since the outset.  A detective sergeant and a couple of jacks plus a SOCO should have been enough.  Early individual statements from officers at the scene (not colluding) should have been a must (the IPCC is so toothless it can’t even do this).  If a cop had been shot by Duggan most of the non-forensics would have been done within hours, statements within 24 and a charge read out the morning after.  The Commissioner seems so hapless she didn’t know even essential features of the investigation weeks into it and made up some that were untrue.

You wouldn’t find me anywhere near community referencing, but you could get me out of the office or bed to talk to a crowd of people in the circumstances of August 4th.  I wouldn’t do the job at all under the obvious remit for pussies in effect.

What I’d suggest is the scraping of elected police chiefs and letting us elect some regional oversight people to direct complaints and improvement with a small number of hardened investigators who would nick any “sergeant seen throwing a gun into a crime scene periphery”.  Of course, some will think we are getting no more than the usual community referencing porkies, but those of us who do think like this from time to time don’t go a-rioting.  I would say though, that police and IPCC people had enough time to spin false tales to the press and this means there was time to put together a truthful story to tell the putative rioters and the wider public.  If the nonsense on an exchange of fire and the rest came from officers involved in the incident, there is more gloom ahead.

OccupyX will lead to violence

The Occupy demonstrations are growing across the West rather like the Arab Spring.  In Oakland they managed to close what I think is the 5th biggest port in the USA.  There was violence as police cracked down.  The following is quite interesting – an email from a police officer there:

“The Oakland Police have expressed sympathy _for the strike_ via their union, and are greatly disgusted with their civilian leadership. This is critical to notice. The police were thrown under the bus, my words, by the civilian leadership, and then left to look the bad guys when the civilian leadership backed down. I’ve said before that the morale of the local police departments would crack before the moral of the Occupiers, and this is a prototypal example of exactly how and why. I expect transformations like this to occur in similar manner elsewhere, when police get disgusted in being ‘the bad guys’ for cowardly or corrupt civilian authorities who can’t formulate a political strategy. Not every city, but even a few send a message to local police everywhere: “Don’t get used.” ”

I’m not hearing any vaguely credible statements on the debt mess from our politicians.  I’m unsure whether this is because they are too stupid or horribly corrupt.  Like most management they swan about hoping problems will go away, whilst pretending importance and credibility – real Glod Command material (typo but it fits).

One answer for the average UK cop is to sit back and ‘enjoy’ the overtime.  The apathy of the British public is well known – only a third of public sector workers have voted in their strike ballot – the turnout was way higher on a police strike back in the 70s.  This government remembers how useful the police were to it during the Miner’s Strike and will encourage the same.  They were prepared to destroy the whole industry then – i don’t remember being asked if I wanted the collapse of pits and other industry in favour of ‘banking’.

The same tactics will soon be deployed against protest here as has begun in the States and parts of the EU.  I can only see violence – perhaps erupting as police fail to manage ‘virtuous protest’ and we see Argentinian-style looting again.  That we can’t organise as decent people to get attention paid to the current fiasco tells me British democracy is in intensive care.  The claim of Occupy X is to be the 90% – and as far as I can see it is about that.  My own reaction is just to give up on it all, thinking I did my bit – but this has come home to roost in the form of the dire schooling of my grandson.  I have to get involved in that.  Politicians have sold us down he drain – I prepared for that with a flat in Portugal and a nest-egg – but they have sold our children’s future down the river.

Face Of The End Of Policing As We’ve Known It?

Tom Winsor

This man will not be popular with police officers seeing numbers and resources cut.  The ‘plan’ is clearly to go further.  He has noted that all police pay contains an element of anti-social hours pay while most don’t work them.  I’ve long thought this pay should only go to those working the hours and in greater amounts.  This won’t happen – they’ll just chew out money from those not working the hours.

He’s against of officer class – yet we have ACPO?  He thinks vital lessons are learned as constable and sergeant, so there should be no direct officer entry.  Why not make the same true of the Army then?  Police have a meritocracy?  Not one I’ve noticed.  I’d say we need to recruit and keep good coppers close to the ground, not Peter-Principle them to bureaucratic office-incompetence.

Many jobs that people should hold a warrant card to do (in the sense of the discipline code) have little to do with Response jobs and there could clearly be direct entry to them.  It’s hard to see the ‘bouncers with warrant cards’ on booze-strip patrol needing to be other than part-time and with limited training either.

The complaints that evidence is ‘illiterate’ is bunkum – do we want our cops honest or like lawyers?  Does anyone know the relationship between honesty and skill with words?  Yet one could believe a decline in standards over 60 years because there has been a decline in the standards of our qualifications.  Modern graduates are hardly literate.

The full report is due in January next year.  The chance for meaningful reform will be lost – policing needs reshaping to modern democratic conditions and the basic uniform job needs to be one sought after, not one to escape from.  Much of the rest of police work, given so many end up not on the streets should be directly recruitable – it’s essentially bureaucratic, may require special technical skills not available in the uniform section, and right of passage into it from ‘plodding’ (the hardest jobs cops do) may simply leach the skills needed from this pool.  I’d contend this leaching has gone on to the detriment of coppering for 60 years,

I’d like to see coppering a twenty-year period with regulars supported by part-timers, and seen as the core activity.  Drawing all police jobs from this basic pool that is required to be fit and able bodied is to discriminate against the disabled – and worse against the wider pool of skills in the broad population.

This report, from the pinch-faced weasel, will just be about further cuts, with a little icing.  I’d guess we are paying many of our cops too much, and that this isn’t going to the ones doing the real work.  In the current economy, about to get much worse, we could probably cut salaries by 40% and still maintain the force – I say this because economics is shafted and we are back in 1920 when worse happened.  The chickens are coming home to roost.

Do we rally need to give career opportunities to the uniform preening ass-holes eating chocolate-dipped strawberries and sipping champagne at ACPO conferences – or get a service running with some solid, honest lads and lasses competent in what is actually (like most others) a limited job that demands character rather than skill in weasel words and arse-licking?  He ain’t asked these questions, isn’t Mr Weasel.

Cops I’ve taught as mature students hardly match the ‘think’ image associated with this reporting and when did we start thinking being good with paperwork such an important thing anyway?  It would be the last thing I looked for in a good copper.

Learning Lessons From The Mark Duggan Killing

A number of weeks after Mark Duggan’s death we know little of the case.  There are no lessons to learn on the police and IPCC communication following the shooting.  This followed a standard cock-up line that is all too familiar, from which lessons should have been learned in the past and new procedures should already have been in place.  The big lesson to be learned is that the ‘learning lessons’ excuse is just an excuse.  The IPCC has been in place about 8 years and only gross incompetence can be responsible for its repeated failures at Stockwell, the Tomlinson incident and the general course of the discharge of its duties.  It is not trusted by anyone needing recourse to it or the police. Eight years on, it still recruits police to its investigation teams.

The release of misinformation that police had been involved in an exchange of fire and lack of decency by police and IPCC in regard to Duggan’s family is standard fare, as is the press reporting of the dead man as a gangster.  We need better rules for the media and on case material disclosure to ensure a good form of public scrutiny – rules that won’t compromise the prosecution of a case and will help to prevent people gathering round police stations and the sparking of riots.

Currently it is possible to suspect police officers involved of anything from incompetence to murder, as well as the opposite in that they may have been bravely doing their job.  This is all down to lack of information.  There are rumours that the non-police gun found ‘near the scene’ may have been planted, that the taxi in which Duggan seems to have been shot left the scene  and returned, and there are unanswered questions about how the false information on an exchange of fire arose.

We now know the converted starting pistol has no traces of Duggan on it and that the taxi was stopped in an intelligence-led operation.  The cops involved may be guilty of something, but the statistical likelihood is that they aren’t – but they are subject to protracted stress.  The Duggans feel police are operating a shoot to kill policy; unlikely, yet this is not to deny substance to their feelings.  How they come to feel this and be suspicious of the IPCC needs to be brought into the open and compared with others dissatisfied with police complaints.  The non-IPCC story on this is utterly unsatisfactory, as is their engagement in gaming performance management.

The lack of forensics linking Duggan to the converted starting pistol is disturbing.  Crooks, if he was such, are usually careless, and only a fool would chance his arm with such a weapon against the real thing.  Clearly, if this is either a murder or a conspiracy to cover up a cock up we don’t want disclosure that would prejudice future proceedings; yet 3,000 people may turn out to the funeral today believing the worst.

The mistake we’re making is in the belief that information has to be kept from the public domain to allow a fair trial and that this is possible in the modern world,or even desirable. Harwood cannot now receive such a ‘fair trial’, but would not be facing trial were it not for the public scrutiny that forced a proper investigation which police clearly tried to suppress.

It is miserable in extreme that police officers should find themselves under suspicion when they may have been acting diligently and bravely.  I’ve been in the position myself and it still rankles.  My guess is we can’t get round the problem, but could make it more open and get matters over more quickly through procedural changes and a change in attitude on disclosure before trial or likely trial.  The real problem is dated attitudes towards sub-judice and press reporting based on ‘salation’ rather than facts.  This allows the kind of secrecy that leads to conspiracy and potentially, riots.

We might also wonder, in this case, on how easy it was to arrest and imprison a nurse at Stepping Hill on almost no evidence, and the treatment of the officers involved in considerable discourtesy to the Duggans, the issue of misinformation, a man dead and millions and lives lost in ensuing riots.

In circumstances like this, officers involved should not be allowed to collude and should be subject to recorded question and answer as soon as possible.  A long and dark story on police evidence and its place in our system of evidence is involved here.  When officers collude, they produce  versions on the same story, accurate to a degree never found among other witnesses.  This is regarded favourably in court, against all scientific sense which would expect some differences.  Thus we have a court system based on evidence that cannot be accurate and is known to be based on collusion.

All the issues arising in the Duggan case should have been fixed from ‘lessons’ allegedly learned by police and IPCC on many occasions before.  The key lesson is they use learning lessons as an excuse and do little about it.  Another is the issue of police collusion on evidence – the IPCC has been against this since its inception and failed to get change.  Another may be the disdain shown by police and IPCC – an important cultural problem.

I have no faith in the IPCC and most people trying to complain have none.  It’s time they were gone.  We’d be better off with cops under elected control and outside standard operational police work doing the job.

Thoughts on the loss of police numbers

I always wonder what waste is – at least in terms of company and national financing.  My diabetic foot and retinal screening were combined today – mutually good for me and the NHS.  Killing me off would be a greater saving, but we don’t go there,  If we think about making 30,000 or so police officers and staff redundant we may feel there will be a benefit in paying less for policing.  The claim any of this can be done simply by cutting numbers from ‘admin’ is proven false over and again in research – there has to be a ‘re-engineering’ and we seem short of information on what this is to be, so I suspect ‘suck it and see’.

What we also hear nothing about in respect of police numbers is what will happen to those who lose their jobs and those who would have entered the work had the chance been there.  There is plenty we could look at.  What do miners, shipyard, mill machinists and steel workers and those who once would have been do now?  There are at least 7.6 million of working age not working.  Wales, NI, and the North generally still have high rates of unemployment and high rates of public employment.  There was no private sector cavalry.  There is a lot of evidence that investment fled abroad and that a housing bubble kept us afloat on debt spending, public and private.  I believe this was an intentional gerrymandering of our demographic, along with immigration.

Police officers and staff are likely to have transferable skills and the ones I taught in HE were ahead of the pack if not generally outstanding.  I think most will fare well – but this isn’t the end of the matter as they displace others who won’t get jobs.  In research done in the US, 3 million jobs that could have been kept if workers had more power would still be there if it had not become so easy for employers to control costs through sacking workers and exporting work.  My rule of thumb estimate of the same in the UK is proportionately higher at over 1 million.

People in the now high unemployment blackspots were not notoriously lazy before the unemployment came.  I’ve worked all over the world, but seen no opportunities for general employees and its hard to move even in this country for those without skills in demand = employers were once prepared to fund the movement of employees.  Police and public sector workers put out of work are likely to displace others rather than end up on the scrap heap, but I think they will be surprised at what’s (not) on offer in northern and Welsh job centres when they first look.

It makes no sense to lose the resource that the officers and staff represent, but of course economics makes no sense and probably isn’t meant to.  These cruel to be kind austerity tricks are just cruel tricks.  The money to invest in our own people is still there – and probably off to a dirty deal in Chinese ‘high yield’ bonds as I write – a repeat by the banksters of their previous securitized fraud that leaves favoured few with the good stuff and us lumbered with the toxic.  Now there’s something that should gainfully employ 30,000 police officers and staff!  They don’t put it to us in such terms now do they?  The Chinese bonds are a way of selling us out from under, and yet issued on the basis of “capital” no country ever issues.  It’s stuff like this that creates the need to slash our public services.

There are times when our normal industries have to give up labour – war times.  Productivity increases is another – but why have we found so satisfactory way to redeploy ourselves, even if only to leisure?  And it’s much worse if we look to Chinese working conditions.  Work is not a blessing – that’s what earnings are.  We should be on a four day week by now and employing more people to do what needs doing.  And it should be around rules like this that the world competes.  For the last 30 years there have been enough people unemployed to double some public services, including policing.  The question should be why we can’t do this and continue to believe in a system that makes a few so rich they are the de facto government.

I often despair at the workings of our public sector and we might consider private sector additions to it. If management is as creative as it claims when setting its own pay, it should be able to sort things out.  The current situation is immoral and based on feudal notions of labour. Every job I’ve had in this country since 1980 has been subject to down-sizing and the rotten feelings this brings,  Down-sizing became right-sizing and is now all to do with accounting that rivals that of the Enclosures.  Wages would have risen substantially in line with productivity since 1982 if they were linked to it.  The truth is the opposite.  Those police left in post can expect to work harder for less.