As many of you will know Friday saw a small campaign launched, designed to raise the profile of James Patrick’s concerns about his treatment by the Met.
Within a very short space of time I managed to rustle up 50+ retired or former Met Police officers, all of whom were concerned about James’ treatment to stand up and be counted and append their names to an open letter which was sent to the media and assorted politicians. 50+ people who, a few days ago, didn’t know James or weren’t necessarily familiar with the full details of his case.
I know she’s going to kill me for this, but I really must (and want to) thank Sharon Birch for stepping in and volunteering to draft the letter, collate the addresses to send it to, send it off and monitor any replies. She did a fantastic job and I probably couldn’t have done it without her. Although I’ve only ‘known’ her a few days now I think I will quite happily call her ‘friend’.
Anyway, the disappointing bit is that, at the time of writing, not one of the news agencies has picked it up and run a story on it, not even James’ local rag or national papers that have shown an interest previously. I don’t know why, maybe there were too many other more important news items to justify them publishing it. Who knows? Is it just a little bit sinister that not one of them showed any interest?
But there was some good news. Through the strenuous efforts of a friend contact was made with Baroness Jenny Jones who picked up on it and she’s going to write/talk to Boris about James’ case and she publicly described the Met’s stance as perverse and biased. She also managed to get confirmation from the Met Fed that they will be funding his Discipline Hearing if it goes ahead, and she then put out a Tweet asking for any HR lawyers who might be willing to advise or act for James at his Tribunal. Not free of charge yet, but it’s a start.
Whether it be from Jenny Jones or our other activities some lawyers have come forward and other folk have contacted us to give us details of lawyers who might be able to assist. This information has all been passed on to James.
My final update for today concerns donations. I’m not going to beat you round the head, doing a Geldof, I’m just going to mention one kind donor, a member of the public, on Friday. The identity of that person will remain confidential as will the amount, what is noteworthy is the message that came with it (yes I have got the donor’s written consent in triplicate to include it);
“Hi there, massive apologies for not replying sooner. I’ve just read Alan’s blog and wanted to let you know that as much as I respect James’ wishes to not benefit by blowing the whistle, I don’t see why he and his family should be punished for it either. I want the money I have donated to go to James, to be used in any way he needs, whether that’s going towards his mortgage, food, bills, studies, fags, I don’t care. His honesty, for the sake of us the public, has cost him his job and his treatment at the hands of the MPS has been shameful. Please assure him I want him to use the money for him and his family, I give it freely to them with my undying gratitude and respect.”
I have already thanked that donor individually and it is not my intention to embarrass them, just to highlight the fantastic attitude that exists in certain quarters.
If you are reading this and you are a retired Met officer who has not already added your name and you would like to, please get in touch and we’ll add your name to any future mailshots that we might do. Nothing specific is planned at the moment but who knows what the Met might do next that we’ll want to write about. 50 is a good number but there are THOUSANDS of us out there, come and join us, or spread the word. We are also grateful for any support from Constabulary officers, but for obvious reasons the emphasis must be on retired.
I think it is quite inconceivable that the Met SMT wouldn’t have heard about what was happening on Friday, and I’m not saying that they should have been quaking in their boots, but even Bernie the Ostrich cannot deny that there is growing support out there from people who’ve been there. done it, walked the walk, and KNOW what has been happening. There is also incredible support from some politicians and MANY members of the public. And we don’t like the attitude that the Met is showing to one of it’s own. Sadly this seems to be the SOP now for dealing with anyone who challenges the organisation.
It needs to end.