It Has Never Been A Better Time To Be A Volunteer

It’s Official.

Be a Volunteer.

Loads of opportunities.  Never be Bored and Fed Up again.  Let’s take a look and see some of the opportunities Volunteering has to offer.

Territorial Army – OK I know it’s not Voluntary Work in the accepted sense, but I’m sure you get my drift.  “They have sometimes been dismissed as “weekend warriors” who lack the fitness, discipline and commitment of regular soldiers.

But the Territorial Army (TA) – in the process of being rebranded the Army Reserve – already makes up a sizeable part of the British Army’s manpower and will soon be playing an even greater role.”

Under the government’s Army 2020 review, the size of the regular army is being reduced by a fifth and reservists will have to help meet the shortfall.

The intention of the MOD is that by 2020, the British Army will have 120,000 soldiers, of which 84,000 will be Regulars and 35,000 Reservists (a ratio of 70/30).

I am most definitely knocking the TA, they do a fine job, but what kind of half-arsed mentality would have 30%  of our Army as Reservists?  Or is it just me?  Maybe I’m the half-arsed one and everybody in government and MOD is normal.  And that’s just the Army, not taking into account the fine chaps of the RAF and Navy.

It is intended that by 2020 10% (1,800 personnel) of the RAF will be High Readiness Reserves.

It is intended that by 2020 the trained strength of the Maritime Reserves will be 3,100 sailors and marines

So there you are, plenty of opportunity, go Volunteer.

Policing – Theresa May has got that one sussed;

The number of the voluntary officers would increase more than fourfold – from the current 15,000 to the peak levels of 67,000 last seen more than 50 years ago, said Theresa May, the Home Secretary [in 2010]

She also outlined plans for a volunteer “police reserve force” to bolster the country’s 141,000 (Ha!!!) front-line police officers, whose numbers are said to be under threat because of public sector spending cuts.

Mrs May disclosed the volunteer plans as she outlined a wide range of police reforms, described as the most radical for half a century.

The trouble is that her plan has gone a little wobbly and Specials numbers have actually REDUCED.

There were 17,789 special constables in the 43 police forces on 31 March 2014, a decrease of 1,222 or 6.4 per cent compared with a year earlier  By 30th September 2014 this number had gone down even further to 16,792, or a further 5.6%.

With the College of Policing’s plans for the Special Constabulary it has seldom been a better time to Volunteer.

Especially when you take into account the College of Policing’s marvellous tome, Leadership Review.

You don’t need to read all 37 Pages, the bits that refer to the benefits of Volunteering are here;

5.4.17
“As well as having access to leadership development, police staff and members of the special constabulary should have the opportunity to be considered for police officer positions, via direct entry routes.Developing leadership opportunities for police staff is discussed further in recommendation 7.”

5.6.4
“Specials cannot currently progress beyond constable, and the ranks they have are administrative grades. They should be entitled to seek promotion to different ranks, provided they meet national standards and pass the selection process. If they attain a rank and are deemed proficient they could be considered for direct selection to full-time roles. In doing this, it is important to ensure that the essence of volunteering is retained, and a two-tier culture is not created within the special constabulary.”

Specials do a fine job, of that I have absolutely no doubt, but I do feel that they are being used as a Tactical Option in the war on the Police Service being waged by Imelda and the Milky Bar Kid..

…………….and every other Police Force you can mention

 

milkybar

…………….and every other Police Force you can mention

CHARITY SHOPS – one of the traditional locations for anybody wanting to give up some of their time and help the less fortunate.  Well, actually, don’t bother.  Charity Shops have now become de rigeur for anybody on Job Seekers Allowance, to maintain their benefits they are being sent to work (unpaid I believe) in the nation’s Charity Shops.  Mrs Angry is less than impressed.  Her sanctuary at the local Charity Shop has been invaded by a veritable army of Job Seekers sent their by the Job Centre, who don’t want to be there and just clutter the place being sulky like Kevin the Teenager, and generally spoiling the atmosphere to the extent that quite a few of the Blue Rinse Brigade (duck!!!) have left because they felt so uncomfortable.

But if you still feel lie a bit of Voluntary Work, fret not, Sir Dave has come to the rescue with his Election Pledge

15 million workers to get three days’ paid volunteering leave each year

Every public sector worker and anyone working in a company with at least 250 employees – more than 15 million people in total – would be entitled to the volunteering leave.

Who is going to pay for this three days extra leave?  The Employer? – That will just be added on to the end cost and prices and inflation will ultimately rise accordingly, it will not come out of profits you can rest assured on that.  The Government?  Well if they can afford to fund that, they’ve got more money in the kitty than they’re letting on and they should put into one of the struggling Public Services instead.

Finally I thought that the whole concept of Volunteering was based on the principle of giving up some of your own time for the benefit of others.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Is This A Pattern I See Before Me?

Sorry Mr Shakespeare, but it was quite appropriate and almost right.

According to an article in the Police Federation’s POLICE magazine, morale has hit rock bottom and thousands of cops are thinking of quitting.

Reforms to pay and working conditions have left thousands of officers saying they are planning to leave the service and not recommend policing as a career, revealed in a survey on morale by the Police Federation.

 The poll, which surveyed 32,606 serving officers, found that nearly 5,000 said they were planning to leave the service in the next two years, andhttp://www.policemag.co.uk/editions/nov14_news_morale_plummets.aspx 94 per cent believed morale was either low or very low in the police service.” 

I’m sure that this is not news to any of us, it isn’t even new news, dating from November last year, but it occurred to me that our ‘friends’ in the media don’t seem to like reporting on too many similar stories all at once. People might be able to work out what the wicked government is up to if they did.

You’ll find stories about Nurses, Junior Doctors and Senior Doctors leaving the NHS in droves, but not necessarily on the same day or in the same paper.

Teachers are another profession targeted by Camoron’s Army, and getting ready to quit.

I see no evidence that Fire Fighters are leaving in droves in protest against the reforms but there is plenty of evidence that Fire Fighters are being shoved out of their profession as a result of the government’s swingeing, and reckless, cuts across the whole country.

Finally for today, the Marine and Coastguard Agency. I truly don’t know what to make of what’s happening with them.  About 50% of Coastguard Stations around the country have either been closed, or marked for closure. Yet the remaining stations are reporting that they are under-manned, at levels lower than previously agreed.

Like the majority of the others, the continuance of an efficient Coastguard Service is essential for public safety, but instead the figures below just go to show one more example of how the government are cynically uncaring of public safety in their headlong rush to be voted “the best economy in Europe”.







So it seems that there is a pattern, once the government have got a Public Service in their sights they either make conditions so unbearable that everyone wants to leave, Instil such a lack of confidence that the end result is the same, or they simply get rid of them. Whichever way you look at the Public Services, particularly the Emergency Variety, are cut to the bone and beyond, and make no mistake, whatever happens in May, this cannot be rectified overnight, it will take years, assuming that the damage has not already gone too far.

Camoron, Osborne, May, Winsor, Mordaunt and all the rest, I HOPE YOU CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT

Don’t have nightmares, you’ve got rid of the people who can keep you safe.

OK Dave, You’ve Really Pissed Me Off Now

So there I was, sat in Angry Towers, eating my muesli, sipping on a glass of Goji Berry juice, enjoying a nice quiet breakfast,  when my day was ruined by the appearance of Call Me Dave Camoron gracing my telly box.

So what was so special about today? Any day that features David Camoron tends to be a bad day.

The answer is this “All government policies will have to pass a “family test”, David Cameron has announced.”………..”From October, every new domestic policy “will be examined for its impact on the family”, the prime minister said.”

Firstly, why wait till October?  Why can’t it begin to happen NOW?

Secondly, does he think we’re STUPID?  There’s a General Election next May, surely this can’t be a cynical attempt to win back the voters that he’s shafted over the past four years?  Can it?  He wouldn’t do that surely?

Thirdly, if it’s so important that every government department should  be held to account for the impact of their policies on the family, why didn’t he do something about IBS and his infamous Bedroom Tax?  Does that not impact on families Dave?  Or maybe it wasn’t so important then?

IBS’s Department of Work and Pensions have also claimed another place in the Westminster Hall of Shame with their sanctions against JobSeekers who, for very valid reasons sometimes, might miss an appointment or fail to apply for the prescribed number of jobs in a week.  Does that not have an impact on families?  Was that policy OK then Dave?

I’m sure that there have been many others over the last four years, these are just the two that irk me the most at the moment, that most definitely impact on families, and both seem to have IBS at their very core.

The icing on the cake was moron Dave’s warning that we have to be careful of ‘Blowback’, British citizens arriving back from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or wherever they may have been fighting for the cause, intent on committing some form of terrorist outrage on British soil.  Tell me Dave, who was it who slashed the Armed Forces to a shadow of their glorious former selves?  Who has got rid of 16,000 Police Officers in the last four years?  The UK Border Agency is set to shed 8,500 jobs (22%) by 2015, yet another Coalition triumph.  And then you have the nerve to tell us to look out for returning terrorists?   What bloody planet are you on?

Rest assured on one thing – Government cuts are NOT going to make this country better able to resist a terrorist attack be it by home-grown, domestic terrorists, or terrorists from anywhere else in the world.  If you think I’m wrong Dave, please, please explain to me how I’m wrong.

Here endeth today’s lesson on how Dave has pissed me off.

Common Purpose

I need to get out more, I have found something else to worry about. Something that I’d never even heard of until last week. Silly me.

Conspiracy theories are all around us, this I know, but I am definitely not liking what I hear about Common Purpose.

Their own website has this to say;

“Common Purpose is an independent, international leadership development organisation. We give people from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors the inspiration, skills and connections to become better leaders at work and in society. We develop their ability to work together, innovate and to thrive in different cultures – this helps people, organisations, cities and regions to succeed.”

Wiki adds this little nugget;

“Its courses are conducted under the Chatham House Rule”.  Don’t you just love the Chatham House Rule?

And then I found this elsewhere, and my sleepless nights just got worse;

“Common Purpose (CP) is a Charity, based in Great Britain, which creates ‘Future Leaders’ of society. CP selects individuals and ‘trains’ them to learn how society works, who ‘pulls the levers of power’ and how CP ‘graduates’ can use this knowledge to lead ‘Outside Authority’.

Children, teenagers and adults have their prejudices removed. Graduates are ‘empowered’ to become ‘Leaders’ and work in ‘partnership’ with other CP graduates. CP claims to have trained some 30,000 adult graduates in UK and changed the lives of some 80,000 people, including schoolchildren and young people.

But evidence shows that Common Purpose is rather more than a Charity ‘empowering’ people and communities’. In fact, CP is an elitest pro-EU political organisation helping to replace democracy in UK, and worldwide, with CP chosen ‘elite’ leaders. In truth, their hidden networks and political objectives are undermining and destroying our democratic society and are threatening ‘free will’ in adults, teenagers and children. Their work is funded by public money and big business, including international banks”

In 2010 a minor furore was sparked off by Surrey Police sending some senior staff for training there in times of austerity and cutbacks.  Read all about it here.  It is alleged in that article that the then Chief Constable of Surrey, Mr Mark Rowley was one of 12 members of Common Purpose’s Surrey advisory group, which plays a role in selecting future candidates.  Was this a good use of a Chief Constable’s time?

Clicking here brings you to a wonderful page where you can see all of Common Purpose’s Graduates, or search by name and/or organisation etc.

And then we get to this just a few days ago;

“The Prime Minister officially declared in a newly published register of ministerial interests that he is patron of an initiative run by Common Purpose, a leadership organisation whose founders set up one of the most vocal lobbying groups for media regulation……..However, Mr Cameron failed to declare the post for at least two years despite two opportunities to do so in official registers.”

Naughty, naughty Mr Cameron.

One of Mr Cameron’s own Tory MPs had this to say on the subject;

Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, said that, although Mr Cameron’s failure to declare the connection was likely to have been a simple mistake, the Prime Minister should not associate himself with Common Purpose.

“I would always advise caution when it comes to being involved with any organisation that has close links with Common Purpose,” Mr Davies, a member of the Commons media select committee, said.

“Common Purpose is a very secretive organisation which I think the Prime Minister would do well to be wary of.

“They are trying to get their tentacles into every nook and cranny of the Establishment to pursue their Leftist, pro-European political agenda.

“Of course, Common Purpose don’t want a free Press because a free Press exposes what they are up to.”

So, if even Tory MPs are suspicious and sceptical of Common Purpose, maybe I’m right to be concerned, along with others.  Play with the Graduates page and see just how many of them come form Police Services and NHS Trusts and Fire & Rescue Services up and down the country, and a huge number from Local Government too.

I leave you with this headline, too shocking to ignore, but it refers to the Matrix course, which is the course that most of the MPS Graduates seem to have studied. A bit OTT perhaps, but maybe a grain of truth;

Shockingly Real Conspiracy To Rule The World, Matrix Training Revealed, Political Charity Using Behavioral Modification

I don’t know if there’s anything to this story or not, but it’s enough to concern me. Maybe we should all be concerned.

#TheRestIsSilence