It's the world we live in - part 2

More on the public services

Rambo to the rescue? Rambo to the rescue?

Part 1 was posted before the results of the PCC elections. But even then it was obvious things where not going well, the results show the predicted low-turnout was true with many districts only just into double figures. Naturally a brave face was put on by the promoters of this idea, however, it will take a long time for the idea of elected local officials to recover from this set back. But that, as we suggested, is what some people wanted. The awful Sir Ian Blair is pleased, the former head of the Metropolitan Police, now wasting public money in the House of Lords spoke against the idea. And proved, if proof where needed, that the police force needs reforming.

However, the cherry on the cake was Blair's fellow traveller and equally awful, John Prescott, did not get elected as Hull PCC. This was despite, or even perhaps because ex-PM Tony Blair, 'helped' Prescott in Hull. As usual Blair confirmed our opinions of him, in the case of the statement about Prescott that he has 'lost none of his old magic' was nothing to do with Prescott but all about himself. As might be expected marmalade John, 'thick cut' fell for it, one might even feel sorry for him! However, the name Bliar was so apt for the ex-PM, then and now. So the joy here is ex-PM Blair is now helping the pro-EU campaign with their propaganda in the run up to a referendum on EU membership. If the ex-PM cannot do better than this in the great Labour heartland of the North-east we may assume he is no longer worth having onside. It will be interesting to watch and see when this is spotted. More on this HERE

Although flawed the fallout from these elections began soon after the results where known; an example being Colin Port, the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset police left his post. The MSM got terribly excited about this and misunderstood what was going on. The incoming PCC, Sue Mountstevens asked Port to apply for his job as she wanted a Chief Constable for the full term of her time in office. This would have created a new contract between the PCC and the Chief Constable. The existing contract under which Port was working did not allow for this time period and could only have been extended to cover part of the PCC's time in office.

Port decided not to apply for his job and then the spinning of this story began. It was not a case of Mountstevens chucking him out but you would not have gathered this from much of what was printed. Neither could Mountstevens simply give him the new contract, that would not have been right, so the story was spun for all it was worth. The fact was Port, like so many of his colleagues did not want to face the reality of the new scheme of greater public accountability and flounced out.

Much was written in the style of how this was a great loss to Avon and Somerset, 'crime was down'. When a story is spun the detail goes missing so what was due to the nature of policing was not stated, for example, car theft and theft from cars is down due to better security protection fitted by the manufactures. We should also remember that Port was in charge of the Avon and Somerset force when the Jo Yates murder inquiry led to the arrest of Christopher Jefferies. Eventually Jefferies was deemed no longer a suspect and went onto win a damages claim for libel due to defamatory articles published following his arrest. The exact sum for damages was never revealed and there was never an explanation of how this information got into the public domain.

Port was also in charge at the time of the Stokes Croft disturbances, see HERE - HERE - HERE - HERE - HERE - HERE - HERE - HERE . This made national news and generally it was thought that the police had been clumsy and badly misread a situation. Following a visit to Stokes Croft after it was in the news did not reveal a district on the edge of becoming a war-zone. On the contrary, here was a down-at-heel suburb determined to come back up, but on its own terms. It was not a violent district with an obvious air of menace, but there was a large property being occupied by squatters and it was this that had clouded the judgement of the police. What we might call policing by disapproval. The Avon and Somerset police would have made more than a few enemies that night. And for more local opinion see HERE - HERE

And there is more, Port was involved in Operation Ore, described by The Register as -

Britain’s biggest ever computer crime investigation, Operation Ore, was flawed by a catalogue of “discrepancies, errors and uncertainties”, disclosed reports of two national police conferences seen by The Register reveal.

There was so much wrong with Operation Ore it was astonishing that Port went on to defend his illegal moves, see links above, to retain data of very questionable quality in a way that damaged both his and the reputation of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary. Altogether a man with very poor judgement and little sense of justice. Bristol we be better off without him. More on Port HERE and HERE. More on the outcome of the PCC idea HERE . It will come as no surprise to see that cronyism and the foundation of corruption have already started in the world of the PCC!

And so to Freddy Patel, it's hard not to see a parallel here with so many other cases involving the police. Once they get a dud on their books they don't let them go do they? It was, for example,the same with Ali Dizaei and Simon Harwood, see part 1 of 'It's the world we live in'.

part 1The police are supposed to be good at finding things out, investigations and that sort of thing are their trade after all. But they appeared to have been oblivious to the catalogue of errors for which Patel was responsible. Or on the other hand, say people with a more accusative approach, they knew exactly what was going on, Patel was 'useful'. So the fact that Patel features in the Tomlinson case is either pure coincidence, or not. Either way yet again the public find that those who should serve them to the highest standards do not but remain in post for a very long time and then go on to fat pensions.

Then we con to the astonishing case of the blind man shot with a tazer. When you grasp the facts of this case you do wonder how this came about. For example, what is the range of a tazer gun? You would have thought the officer could have seen that the 'weapon' was a white stick. Perhaps the eyesight requirements for joining the police need to be revised! What is remarkable is the way the policeman was allowed to go on carrying a tazer. The police authority seemed to have a reckless attitude to public safety, so much that 'protecting' takes on a new meaning!

We had intended to close this section with a quick look at the Andrew Mitchell story. But due to how the story has developed and what it has so far revealed it will be a post on its own when all the details are known. Also we need to see what lies ahead, so far it's not just the police looking bad. The Prime Minister and his much vaunted No10 staff look very grubby.

So looking back at the tazer incident in the paragraph above it's sobering to consider the police now want a range of new weapons to confront the 'terror threat' that, they say, is about to engulf as all. Can you think of anything else so terrifying as assault rifles in the hands of the UK police? You may consider the police have adequate weapons as it is, see HERE.

Most people can remember when 'the war on drugs' drove not just the police but a huge part of our government to 'counter' this 'risk'. Society was as good as turned inside out because of it, the costs where enormous but the results, the 'benefits' from 'winning' this battle never came. Despite having Rambo as a role model it's now agreed by most sane observers that the battle is lost and another approach is required.

But, of course, what we cannot do is admit this. Not just the police but our government too, have invested so much of our money as well as their emotional capital in this failed venture. If they owned up it would make them look even more stupid than they are. There is also the problem of losing all those nice jobs with there fat pensions earned chasing rainbows. It's the same with anti-terrorism.