I suspect that I had something in common with many of yesterday. I was incandescent with rage, not an unusual condition for me, but it seems it’s infectious.
The thing that sparked it off yesterday was the anticipated news that Police Budgets across England and Wales were being slashed by a further 5% or £299 million. It has previously been predicted that any cuts of this magnitude will result in the loss of 34,000 more jobs, including Police Officers and Support Staff..
One Chief Constable has already declared that his Force cannot sustain further cuts, the PCC of Surrey has declared the cupboard to be bare and even the mighty Bernie Hogan-Who has said that further cuts will pose a risk to the public.
We are, it seems, living in a paradox. On one hand we have Cruella saying that more cuts are necessary, you must now set about doing more with less all over again, more jobs must go to pay for it, all is Doom and Gloom. Austerity is the reason for all these unpopular decisions.
Then we have Gidiot telling us that we have the strongest economy in Europe everything is rosy and that things could be so much worse, and are elsewhere.
So which is it?
Then, on the same day it is announced that HMIC and IPCC are getting MORE money allocated. What is that about?
The NHS Budget is apparently Ring-Fenced, I.e.Protected, and Camoron has pledged not to cut NHS funding by a single penny until 2020 if he is re-elected. Well we know the worth of his promises don’t we?
A large chunk of the Education Budget has been Ring-Fenced also. I don’t particularly have a problem with these, they are very important, but why not so Policing?
Then my personal favourite, the Foreign Aid Budget. Not only is this £11.5 BILLION budget Ring Fenced, but there are moves afoot to index link it to UK GDP.
I may prove to be unpopular with some (nothing new there) but Charity begins at home my friends. How can we possibly justify an £11.5 BILLION Foreign Aid budget when Policing and Defence Forces are losing personnel hand over fist because “we can no longer afford them”?
The last thing I did last night before I committed my weary frame to my straw palliasse was to send a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office seeking a copy of the Risk Assessment and/or Impact Assessment in relation to yesterday’s announced cuts. I know what will happen now, they will spend the next 20 working days (Christmas and New Year coming up) forgetting to answer me, then in about 5-6 weeks time they’ll tell me that there aren’t any. By which time the hullabaloo will have died down and nobody will care less again.
The only possible reason for these latest cuts that I can think of (other Conspiracy Theories are available) is that the Unholy Trinity of Camoron, Cruella and Gidiot are using The Budget to bludgeon our once proud and effective Police Service into total submission. Forces will HAVE TO merge to remain viable and they will have achieved total control by the back door.
In the meantime the Home Office comes in for ever more flack and Teflon shrugs it off, never seemingly called to account for her department’s gaffs.
Nobody ever said it was fair.
In the meantime I have huge respect and sympathy for the men and women still out there doing it. You do have support, but not where it matters it seems.