The State Of The Nation

The American President gets to give a State of the Nation speech so, in an Election Year, I thought I’d give it a go.

Unaccustomed as I am to Public Speaking here are the Highlights

Police – Threat levels rising, the threat from International Terrorism is at unprecedented levels and what are we doing about it? At the last count we’ve got rid of nearly 17,000 fully trained and experienced Police Officers and we’re promising to shed more over the next 5 years. An unconfirmed rumour circulating is that Camoron and co want to cull the total down to about 80,000. Can you imagine that? 135,000 a few years ago, down to 80,000, cracking idea.

How many Police Stations or Front Counters have closed across the country? Too many.

The Armed Forces, they’re very important right now. In my humble opinion they deserve the best kit, and basically the best of everything because I’ve always been immensely proud of our fighting heroes, they’re well-trained, do a fantastic job, often in the worst conditions, and are regularly shat upon by successive governments. Having already been decimated to nothing much more than a decent-sized Defence Force rumours abound that they too are to be cut further, to as little as 60,000. Under the Government’s current Army reforms, the number of regular soldiers is already being cut from 102,000 to 82,000, and the number of Territorials is meant to increase to help take up the slack, only it isn’t, they’re actually getting smaller too, not by a huge amount but over 10,000 short of the government’s target of 30,000.  At the end of 2014 our Army consisted of 14,080 Officers and 80,101 Other Ranks. Current plans appear to call for an Army of 112,000 by 2020. This would result in a Regular Army strength of 82,000 and a Reserve strength of 30,000. Figures include 2,790 Gurkhas and 1,240 Full Time Reserves. (FTRS).

The National Health Service – despite Camoron’s constant reassurances that the NHS is safe in Tory hands, there appears to be a shortage of approx 20,000+ Doctors and Nurses, whilst the pay of NHS Chief Executives is climbing so much that one of them now earns more than the Prime Minister (allegedly).

Social Care cuts for Local Authorities have resulted in NHS Bed Blocking as Councils no longer have the funding and resources necessary to care for many patients on their discharge from hospital. This results in the patients failing to be discharged even though though there is no medical reason for them to remain and blocking a bed needed by somebody else.  Government blames Local Authorities, but in reality it is Government Cuts that have brought this about.

The Fire and Rescue Service. I don’t know what the figures are nationally, but almost every region has seen Fire Stations closed, Fire Engines sold off or scrapped. Jobs lost or at risk this is another example of an area we can’t take risks with.

Her Majesty’s Coastguard Service (or Marine & Coastguard Agency). There’s another Emergency Service that’s been decimated Camoron and Co. I’ve blogged about them numerous times before and I make no apology for including them here. We don’t think about them enough. The one thing I will repeat is this, if you swim in the sea, scuba dive, surf, let your kids on the water on inflatables, take a ferry to France, Ireland or anywhere else for your holidays then you absolutely NEED the Coastguards when this go wrong. According to Ordnance Survey the UK coastline is a smidgen over 11,000 miles long. Other agencies, however, have the coastline as anywhere up to 24,000 miles http://coastguardsos.com/how-long-is-a-piece-of-string/ After Camoron and co have had their way there will be just NINE Coastguard Stations left open.

The new National Maritime Operations Centre plus

Stornoway
Shetland
Aberdeen
Belfast
Humber
Holyhead
Milford Haven
Falmouth
Dover
Plus a 1 man station in London Port Authority (which so far failed to be manned at least once)

Do you REALLY, HONESTLY think that’s enough? Human lives are at stake daily. How many major incidents at sea have we heard about just since Christmas?

The last one I shall mention today is the Border Force and the monumental cock-up by the Home Office there (remind me someone, who’s in charge of the Home Office? Anyone we know?)

The Home Office has managed to come up with its own version of an IT catastrophe. Having hired Raytheon, a US company, to put in place “e-borders”, a computer system to log every person who crosses the UK border, it now turns out that Britain will not only be without the e-borders system, we will also have to pay more than £220 million for not having it. That’s in addition to the hundreds of millions of pounds that have already been spent on a system that does not work as intended. Thousands of people are slipping into Britain illegally and in-noticed. How many of them are returning Jihadists?

So there we are. The State of the Nation? Comprehensively ‘Cattled’ would be my assessment. In addition to posts lost, both the Police and the Armed Forces are ‘losing’ experienced personnel and replacing them with cheaper, untrained personnel. The loss of experience to this country is staggering, and cannot be replaced or reversed quickly.

Camoron and Co think that it’s all about saving money, well it isn’t. We can’t go on haemorrhaging skills and experience yet still expect our response to assorted threats to remain the same. That doesn’t work. Those that are left behind are disenchanted, having seen their pensions and terms of employment turned on their heads. Work Longer, Pay More, Less Pension seems to be the Mantra these days, unless you’re an MP That is. They claim that the Law does not allow them to decline their over-generous pay and pensions package. Well I’ve got a suggestion for you there Dave; change the bloody law like you did for hundreds of thousands of decent, hard working folk in order to make your unlawful pension reforms lawful. There’s a challenge for you.

I no longer care which party or parties form a government in May, but I do care about TWO things. They should have the good of the country in their hearts and all of their policies should be for the benefit of the country, not themselves or their fat cat business associates.

The State of the Nation is perilously poised.

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What Do YOU Do In The School Holidays?

Go swimming? Surfing? Fishing off the rocks? Do your kids use a lilo? Do you take a ferry, belong to a yacht club?

If the answer to any of those is YES then I would suggest that you need the Coastguard Service.

I’ll bang on till the cows come home about the government cuts to Police and Armed Forces etc, but the Coastguards are taking a mighty hit.

Coastguard stations all around our coast are not being ‘slimmed’, they are being shut down.

Hands up all those who think this is a good idea.

I might be wrong, but I BELIEVE that it would cost a mere 15 pence a year on each of our Income Tax bills to fund keeping them open.

Personally I would give my 15p year after year.

The RNLI is a Registered Charity so ‘Call Me Dave’ can’t close them down, but who calls them out and co-ordinates their brave rescues? The coastguards do.

I have blogged previously about the closure of Coastguard stations on another site, you can find them here if you missed them.

The closures are HAPPENING, the moronic coalition government originally thought that it was a great idea to reduce 19 Coastguard Stations down to 8 to cover the entire UK coastline.  19 isn’t many, 8 is preposterous.  That has now been revised upwards to 11. If I have understood it correctly it was originally intended that only THREE of them would remain open and operational 24 hours a day, this has now been corrected.

This is how little regard the ConDem government has for the sanctity of human life.

All I am asking from you is that you remember that HM Coastguard is an Emergency Service, we should all stand together, united against Camoron and his cronies.

Proportionately the Coastguard Service has suffered massively with nearly 50% of it’s stations earmarked for closure.  Imagine if that was mirrored in Police Stations, Hospitals and Fire Stations.

If you use Twitter please follow @CoastalJoe1, @ChrisCr999, @Coastguard_SOS and take a look at their website for much better info than I have on what’s really happening.

Call Me Dave’s Five Best Promises

Can we get by with only 5? was my biggest concern.

  • In 2011, in a speech to NHS staff in London, the Prime Minister admitted there were areas of the reforms that needed to change.

He said: “Hospital doctors and nurses – not just GPs – would now be involved in commissioning, clinical senates would bring together healthcare professionals to oversee the integration of care over wide areas and the health regulator Monitor would have a duty to promote integration.”

Acknowledging widespread concerns about the Health and Social Care Bill, Mr Cameron promised there would be no “selling off” of the NHS, that waiting times would be kept under control and that competition would only be used as a means to improving services.  My favourite bit was  “I know other governments would announce reforms, and just plough on regardless of the concerns people had for fear of appearing indecisive or worrying about admitting something could be improved…..But this is too important to get wrong”

And at the 2012 Conservative Party Conference we got “Some people said the NHS wasn’t safe in our hands. Well – we knew otherwise. “

Speechless, and that’s only #1.

  • In 2012 Mr Camoron again made us a promise, that Coastguard Stations would remain open until the new structure came into operation in 2015.

In reality Coastguard Station closures commenced later in 2012

This letter would appear to prove that he cannot keep his promises;

camoron

  • In 2010, the Ministry of Defence was ordered to cut £4.7billion – or 8 per cent – from its budget.

But speaking at the time, Mr Cameron promised ‘year on year real-terms growth in the defence budget in the years beyond 2015’. In 2013 Downing Street was forced to admit spending will not rise until after 2016.  Defence Secretary Philip Hammond insisted the promise was only that equipment spending would rise by one per cent a year, but other areas would be cut.  This comes on the back of his 2007 promise:- In the wake of Labour defence cuts, a promise to increase the size of the army.  The reality of that promise is that no battalions were restored to the Army. In fact, military commanders estimate that up to eight of the existing 36 battalions could be lost as the Army shrinks to 84,000 by 2020 – its smallest size since Victorian times – relying on an enlarged reserve force.

So that’s another broken promise then.

  • In  2010  a coalition agreement promised to: “Bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents.”

This proposal was subsequently watered down by Camoron last year, apparently to avoid “vexatious” attempts to remove sitting MPs.   It has now emerged that the legislation has been dropped altogether and will not appear in this year’s Queen’s speech, the last opportunity for it to do so this parliament.  Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who has long championed the proposals, said that voters would feel deceived by the government.

And finally;

  • In 2010 (before the General Election surprisingly) Camoron said “Any Cabinet minister, if we win the election, who comes to me and says ‘here are my plans and they involve front line reductions’ will be sent back to their department to go away and think again.”  Theresa May was insisting that “lower budgets do not mean lower numbers of police officers”.

The breathtaking disingenuousness of these soundbites was exposed when Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary published the first authorised estimate of how the government’s 20% cut in police funding, announced in October’s spending review, would affect police numbers – and in particular how it would affect the front line.

The 16,200 police officers that will be cut between 2010 and 2015 entirely undoes Labour’s investment between 2000 and 2010, taking police numbers back to 1997 levels.

These figures do not take into account my blog in January this year where I revealed that 42%  of the 43 Forces in England and Wales are already reporting that their establishment is currently LOWER than their planned March 2015 Target.

So there you have it, 5 pretty major broken promises in my humble opinion.  The tragedy of it all is that I could have kept going beyond 5.

Will I be voting Tory in 2015? Have a guess.

MPs raise fears over cuts to Army

No Shit Sherlock.

Who do they think we are?  Do they think we’re really stupid? Don’t answer that, of course they do.

Plans to cut soldiers could leave the Army “short of personnel” and unable to meet future national security needs, a report by MPs has warned.

The Commons Defence Select Committee has also expressed its concern over the “the lack of consultation over the Army 2020 plan.”   That’s not an unfamiliar story either.

Under the Future Army 202 plan personnel numbers will be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2018, with a doubling of reservist numbers. (Still sounding familiar).  The number of part-time soldiers, or reservists, is to be doubled from 15,000 to 30,000, but the Army is still a long way off from meeting its targets and the MPs’ report says there is scepticism that it will be able to recruit the numbers it needs.

Overall, the report echoes a familiar theme: the cuts to the armed forces have been driven by the need to save money, rather than any strategic vision of Britain’s place in the world.

So here we have it, a government hell-bent on doing whatever they think fit just to try and balance the books and make themselves look good, scoring a few points off the Opposition as they go.

Is that what we, the taxpayer, the voters, really want?

I, for one, want an Army (Navy/Air Force) that is fit for purpose.  I don’t want an Army that’s Second-Rate, poor relation to the rest of the world.

But it isn’t just the Armed Forces is it?  Police numbers cut by 16,000 so far, with more to come.  Coastguard Stations closing all around our coast. If you think you don’t need them then I assume you never go swimming in the sea on holiday, never go surfing, never take a Cross Channel Ferry. Why else would you not need them?

The NHS is in crisis with 145 Hospital Trusts forecasting that they will end the year in the red.

Some of the worst are;

Barts Health trust £50m

University Hospitals of Leicester trust £40m

University Hospital of North Staffordshire trust £28m

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals trust £24m

Mid Essex Hospital Services trust £20m

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals trust £20m

North West London Hospitals trust £20m

South London Healthcare trust (dissolved) £20m

East Sussex Healthcare trust £19m

Croydon Health Services trust £18m

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals trust £17m

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS trust (West Midlands) £17m

United Lincolnshire Hospitals trust £17m

Plymouth Hospitals trust £13m

North Cumbria University Hospitals trust £12m

Wye Valley trust £11m

Is yours there?

And then we have the banks.

RBS have recently announced losses of £8.2 Billion this financial year, with a staggering total of £46 BILLION lost over the last 6 years.  Are the bosses in prison, on bail awaiting trial, queuing up at the dole office, P40 in hand? NO they are not.  Instead they are paying themselves slightly smaller bonuses.

RBS set aside £576m for staff bonuses in 2013, of which £237m went to investment bankers; the bonus pot is down 15% on the previous year.

The bonuses for RBS alone would completely wipe out the £500 million savings that the Met (the largest Force in England & Wales) are having to make.  Pick on a few more banks, confiscate their bonuses (unless they actually deserve them of course) and UK Policing would start to look a bit more viable again.

I don’t have a degree in Advanced International Economics, but Vince Cable said

“But British taxpayers are still paying for the terrible mistakes of the past and I see no sign yet of a turnaround in the continuing decline of net lending to small business.

The public will simply not understand why big bonuses and large salaries continue to be paid out by a loss-making public enterprise, still underperforming in many areas.” and he’s quite right, I don’t bloody understand it.

If savings really have to be made then they have to be made, but I have seen some really reckless, foolhardy decisions over the last year or so, and it really winds me up to see the bankers seemingly immune to it all when it was them, globally, wot started this whole mess.

May I refer you back to one of my blogs from January?

Policing In Austerity Two And A Half Years On

42% (YES nearly HALF, not a trypo) of the 43 Forces in England and Wales are already reporting that their establishment is currently LOWER than their planned March 2015 Target.  That’s not about Austerity, it’s gone beyond that. What are ACPO doing about that statistic?  Are ACPO driving that statistic? Or is it Cruella, the driving force.

One thing is for certain, it’s not over yet. We have yet to see the end game. What will UK Policing look like in 2015? No dogs, no horses, a few water cannons to make up for pitifully low manpower levels?.  Who knows, but I truly fear that it will get worse before it gets better.

Broken Britain, by David Camoron

People of Britain, (please note that I did not say Great Britain, because it’s long since stopped being Great), I have to report to you that Britain is Broken.

The Police Service is broken. Broken by Winsor 1 and 2, broken by Theresa May, my right hand man, broken by our new Police and Crime Commissioners with their 200 performance targets. Broken by the changes to their pensions, pay scales, Compulsory Severance, they are broken.  They spend all their working lives trying to lock people up, well, we just had to break that mould, can’t be having folk locked up now can we? In fact, they are so broken that we’ve had to ask our partners, G4$, $erco and the like, to step in and rescue them and bring huge chunks of them into profit.  The Police have got the hump with me anyway, and all because I described them as ‘Relatively Honest’.  Don’t they realise that was in comparison with Ghaddafi’s Police, why are they even bothered?

The Armed Forces are broken. The combined strength of the Armed Forces is now at its lowest level since World War II when we fought that other despot, Mr Hitler.  We’re going to lose some more in the near future, but fear not, because I have a cunning plan.  We’ll increase the numbers of the Territorial Army and hopefully no-one will notice the difference.  If that doesn’t work we’ll get Captain Mainwaring and his men out of retirement to bolster the numbers and protect our shores and assets.

The Fire Brigade is broken. Fire Engines have been sold off, Fire Stations are being closed. Privatisation/Outsourcing/Partnership is creeping in, Firefighters are going to have to work longer for less pension, so all is well and going to plan.

The National Health Service is broken. Waiting lists are on the rise again, we’re haemorrhaging  doctors and nurses, they don’t want to stay any more. Hospital budgets are buggered, waiting times in A&E are completely unacceptable. The Health Service is safe in our hands, but Broken.

Because the Hospitals are broken, that has broken the Ambulance Service, who can no longer deliver their patients to hospital in a timely manner and get back out there.  Instead they spend hours parked up on the A&E Ambulance ramp just waiting, before they can get back into service once again.  The upside of this though, is that they can claim compensation from the hospital for keeping them waiting, thus screwing the hospital’s budget just a little bit more.

The Coastguards are broken.  We’ve closed down nearly half the Coastguard Stations around the British coast, with nice new shiny Central Control Centres set up miles from the sea.  Coastguard numbers are down too, so we’re well on target to have smashed them anytime soon.  The Search and Rescue Service has been sold off to a foreign company, so no matter how efficient they are at finding folk, they’re working for profit and those profits will go abroad. That’s good right? I’d quite like to outsource the RNLI as well, but as that’s a charity it might take a bit more thinking about.

The Prison Service is broken.  We are now beginning to see prisons run by our partners G4$ and $erco etc. It will soon be a shadow of its former self, but at least it will be privately run.

The Probation Service is broken.  Once again our illustrious partners G4$ and $erco came riding to the rescue and took on parts of the Probation Service remit, and even though they’re facing ongoing fraud enquiries because they seemingly charged for services they did not provide, that’s OK, that nice Chris Grayling has said that it’s OK for them to bid for new contracts

Social Services are so broken that G4$ have had to take over the running of some Children’s Homes, and apply for Planning Permission etc under the name of a private individual.

The Legal System is broken.  We were going to award contracts to the lowest bidder, but Chris Grayling has U Turned on that.  We will however carry out the following

  • Legal aid fees will be cut by 17.5% across the board
  • Residency tests to be introduced for civil legal aid – only those who have lived in the UK for more than 12 months will be eligible
  • Cap on contracts for duty solicitor work at police stations
  • Income restrictions will be put in place – those with more than £3,000 per month after mortgage, tax and other “essential outgoings” will not be entitled to aid
  • 11,000 cases brought by prisoners will no longer be eligible
  • And on top of that you will no longer be eligible for Legal Aid to challenge any Government decision.  That’s fair, right?

The Penal System is broken along with Human Rights.  Too many people, mainly victims or people who might become victims,, bang on about the Human Rights of victims.  Don’t they know that criminals have Human Rights too?  We need LESS prisons, not more, and stop violating criminals’ rights by banging them up.  If I had my way I’d withdraw from the ECHR completely, nothing but aggravation.

Finally, our greatest success to date, and one of which I, personally, am immensely proud, the people of Britain are broken.  Their will has been drained and smashed.  They don’t know where to get help and advice any more and they certainly don’t have the means to challenge our wonderful reforms. they are smashed.

So, as you can see, Britain is comprehensively broken, and I broke it.  When I joined the scumbag party I made it my mission to become the most loathed British Prime Minister in modern times, and I think I have succeeded don’t you?  Even Maggie didn’t break anywhere near as much as I have succeeded in doing, but we couldn’t have achieved any of this without the help and support from our chums at PX, they really are the best Think Tankers ever.

Please remember this when you go to the polls in May 2015, but if for any reason, there happens to be a miserable turnout, that will still give us a mandate for further breaking, because we said so.

101 Things We Should Never Forget

Well maybe not quite 101, but I’m sure you get the idea.

When you reach my ripe old age the grey matter isn’t as sharp and efficient as it once was, so I find it helpfulo to write things down so I don’t forget.

Here’s my list of things I don’t want to forget, please feel free to add your own in the comments at the bottom if you feel I might benefit from them.

THE NHS IS SAFE IN OUR HANDS – funny that because I thought it seemed like it was being dismantled and sold off, but it must be true Camoron said so and I mustn’t forget.

Tom Winsor never got paid for his far-reaching reports – I must have missed something somewhere because people ALWAYS want to be paid for work they’ve done, don’t they?

Tom Winsor was appointed Chief Inspector HMIC despite having no previous (or current) policing experience. I’m sure there’s no connection between these two, it just seemed convenient to list them both together.

Andrew Mitchell MP never said ‘Pleb’ He refuses to tell us what he did say, but he never said ‘Pleb’. Although he did feel it prudent to resign his Cabinet post a month later.

Andrew Mitchell MP is offered the post of UK European Commissioner at a salary approximately TWICE that of his Cabinet post.  Well, that’s the most recent story I heard, and absolutely nothing to do with the above.

G4S made an absolute shambles of their commitment to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

G4S and Serco face a multi million pound fraud enquiry into alleged charging for non-existent services in relation to Electronic Tags.

G4S and Serco are both able to bid for new Government contracts despite being subject of an ongoing fraud enquiry.

The 6 day a week service of the Royal Mail is enshrined in law and is therefore protected.

Pension conditions for existing members are protected by law and therefore safe. That’s why the government changed the law, so that they could change the conditions, so must remember not to be taken in by promises that something is protected.

Coastguard Stations will remain open until at least 2015, said David Camoron. Apparently this was a drafting mistake in his letter and he didn’t really mean it.

The Police have only ONE Target and that is to cut crime, said Theresa May.  Police and Crime Commissioners think otherwise, have over-ruled Theresa May and set a whole raft of targets for Police Forces to meet.

There will be NO Frontline cuts. Damn good job too, my dog’s got fleas and needs dome Frontline, shame they won’t reduce the price though.

There will be no Tuition Fees – well we all know where that one went.

There will be no increase in VAT – not since they raised it to 20% anyway.  As an aside to this VAT in France is dual band, 19.6% for most things, and 5.5% for renovation works (i.e. building work on a property you have owned for more than 2 years), cafes, restaurants and numerous others. Certainly helped to kick-start the economy and get people back into restaurants and have work done to their houses.

We will provide 3,000 extra Police Officers – still waiting for them to turn up, late on Parade.

There will be no bonuses for Bank Directors – Bankers are even being given bonuses for making a loss, what chance do we stand with that one?

That’s about all my ageing brain can think of at the moment, if I think of any more howlers I’ll certainly add them, but as I said at the beginning, please feel free to add your own.

Hey You, Yes You – Loser!!

That’s right, you, you’re the biggest loser round here. And I don’t mind telling you why.  There’s tens of thousands of other folk who could tell you why, but they won’t because they’ve got their careers to think about, and that’s perfectly understandable, but before you get the hump with me, I’m a loser too. We’re all losers except for my 4 readers who happen to live abroad, lucky buggers.

Retired folk like me can tell you why you’re a loser and damn the consequences, cos Camoron hasn’t found a way to get to us yet.

Way back in 2006 David Camoron set out his proposals to reform the Police in a speech in East London. I won’t bore you with the details of that speech, the full text is available on the net if you want it.

More relevant is the very close resemblance to his views on Police Reform in recent years and the contents of the Winsor Review, Parts 1 and 2.  It’s almost as though Camoron told Cruella what he wanted and she told Uncle Tom what to write in his report, but surely it can’t be that simple, can it?

Then the very same Mr Winsor is appointed Chief Inspector of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, reward or coincidence?

Throw into the pot one Andrew Mitchell MP and his notorious alleged ‘Pleb’ comments. Apart from the very obvious furore this sparked off, the most immediate consequence of this was Mr Mitchell resigning his lucrative Cabinet post and returning to the back benches.  But not for long.  Mr Mitchell is no great loser in this farce.  I have to be honest, I don’t know who the hell to blame. Operation Alice rumbles slowly on, CCTV ‘evidence’ was shown on Channel 4 which appeared to cast doubt on the Police version of events, but that had so clearly been tampered with it was a not very funny joke. Now Mr Mitchell is set to become our next European Commissioner at a salary in the region of £250,000, much more than the Cabinet Minister’s salary that he ‘sacrificed’, so he’s certainly not a loser, any more than Chief Inspector Winsor is a loser.

So, where was I? Oh yes, Camoron and Cruella have engaged Winsor, and possibly others. to bring the Police to their knees. 20% cut in Police Budgets, Police numbers going down all over England and Wales, except for a couple of very minor exceptions.

Another ruse to divert everyone’s attention and help decimate the Police Services is, dare I say it, Privatisation, or Outsourcing/Procurement if you prefer.  It is well known that I’m against it, but I might be wrong. What you can’t deny is the timing. Winsor, Plebgate, Privatisation, Pension Reforms, Budget Cuts, Number Slashing and soon Compulsory Severance, all at the same time, more or less.  Is it any wonder that the Police, along with other Public Services, are crumbling.

Then came Police and Crime Commissioners last year, to further destabilise and confuse. Who are they? What do they do? Why couldn’t Police Authorities have remained? Have they been a force for good?

Plebgate must have come to Camoron like a gift from the gods. Something to reduce public sympathy in the Police. Well, I would venture to say, they don’t need your sympathy. What they need is understanding.

I was fortunate enough to spend my 30 years serving in the Met, a force that was pretty much self-contained. We had our own fleet of prison vans, driven by our own drivers. We had our own garages with our own mechanics (oops sorry, technicians these days).  Almost anything you need to run a police force the Met had somewhere under its umbrella, or should I say, there was a family member somewhere that had it.

Having met up with some of our Constabulary cousins I now realise how fortunate I, and the Met, were. But why couldn’t all Forces have been a scaled down version of the Met, self-contained in a smaller version, or groups of smaller Forces joining together, but keeping it in house?

Camoron didn’t get his way in 2006, but he obviously has a long memory. He also seems to be Hell-bent on being the most despised Prime Minister in British history. Well, he’s succeeding in that at least.

I haven’t the foggiest idea why Camoron despises the Police so, but most, if not all,  Prime Ministers before him have managed the Police but kept them well-resourced, and kept numbers where they need to be.  Camoron/Cruella’s policy of slash and burn, reduce the numbers, slash the budget has apparently now been responsible for a rise in the crime rate.

I have seen many conversations on Social Media about ‘fiddled’ crime stats, crimes that no longer get investigated, regular officers being replaced by PCSOs and/or Specials, Police Staff jobs going over to the private sector. I have sympathy with most, if not all, of these arguments, but surely, at the end of the day, they are just a distraction. A distraction which seems to be working, and preventing us, the great British Public, from realising that we are being conned. We have become losers.

We have lost Police Officers.

we have lost Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen.

We have lost Doctors and Nurses

We have lost Social Workers and Probation Officers

We have lost Coastguards

We have lost Teachers.

I don’t know if it’s too late to reverse this. Sometimes it’s too expensive to put things back the way they were. The way that worked!!

I don’t have a degree in Politics or Political Science, but this certainly isn’t what I understand by DEMOCRACY.

If every inhabitant of England and Wales of voting age was asked

Do you want to cut the Police/Army/NHS/Probation etc etc? What would their answer be?

Ask them Do you want the Public Services to suffer to get us out of this mess, or shall we get the banks and financial institutions to pay for it? What would their answer be?

That would be Democracy in my view.

At the same time as this is going on, MPs are getting a nice fat pay rise, their expenses rumble on seemingly unchecked. When did you last get a pay rise, never mind an above-inflation one?

So, if you’re still with me and made it to the end, who’s the loser here? The Public Services are certainly losers, but it’s US, the Public. We’re the biggest losers, and the government are trying to convince us that we should be grateful.

#AllInThisTogether or #SnoutsInTheTrough?

Meanwhile, if any of you has a couple of groats spare to buy me a new quill I’d be terribly grateful, this one’s getting all blunt and scratchy, I thank you.