Friday, 23 July 2010

Deliberately Not Getting It?

So, Gadget has closed comments on - and changed the header of - his post yesterday, no doubt after coming under a lot of fire.

He also left this comment before doing so:
"Just visited some anti-police and anti-gadget blogs and I have the following to report:

They are absolutely fuming that I should have the nerve to post a story about police officers saving a child’s life. They simply cannot get their heads around a police good news story. It’s just too much for them to be able to contextualise the G20 incident.

Which is why

I wrote this

In the first place"
Since I've no doubt whatsoever that I feature on his list of 'anti-police' or 'anti-gadget' blogs, despite the fact that I'm neither, and because I obviously can't comment there, I've only this to say:

If you think that I cannot get my head around a 'good news story' about the police, you've lost it. Frankly, after the bad news stories of the last few years, I'd welcome it. Anyone would.

But not today.

Not when anyone with a shred of moral decency would realise that the CPS decision has enraged a lot of people, quite justifiably, as it seems that yet again, the police have been protected from facing the music for yet another act of brutality. Not when the wedge that has been slowly driven between the state and the citizens has just been widened that bit more.

And if you plan to change your blog to run good news stories, to somehow counter the bad news stories that you think the press seek out to make the police look bad, then be aware that you've entered a race 100 metres behind all the other runners, with one leg tied behind your back and a blindfold on.

I'll repeat what I said in an earlier post. I think I need to, because it seems some people are hard of learning, no matter how many times they are told something.

Sadly, it seems lately as if far too many police officers are rude and bullying, trigger-happy, or corrupt.

It seems as if, despite being told that what they are doing is wrong and they should stop, they can’t seem to do so, taking that as an excuse to ramp up the harassment of the law-abiding.

And when that is then pointed out to them as a failing, far too many fall back on the claim that the person being harassed ‘had it coming’, was ‘being annoying’, ‘wouldn’t listen to instructions’, oblivious to the fact that no, that’s not your job or your decision to make.

You get to uphold the law as it stands, not make it up to suit yourselves, or bend it to get that target box ticked.

Rather than say 'Oh, that's wrong, but...' how about just saying 'That's wrong, and it shouldn't happen, full stop'?

And furthermore, if your stated reason for writing it in the first place is true, why change the title (though you can't change the URL, which retains the original title)? And why close comments?

We lost a good police blog through the actions of the media (though the archive is here). We seem to be about to lose another one by the self-inflicted actions of the owner.

21 comments:

Dippyness. said...

Agreed.

Anonymouslemming said...

"...some anti-police and anti-gadget..."

That's the thing Gadget seems unable to understand. I'm actually pro-police and I've been pro-Gadget for a long time.

But I'm anti certain illegal and immoral behavior on the part of certain police officers. Dare to mention that, and I'm suddenly anti-police.

Whether he likes it or not, his blog makes him a public voice for the police (and he does seem to like the fact that it is so widely read) and his actions on there are a statement of how he views the public. If he continues to rant every single time there's a disagreement, he will lose support, and he will drive that wedge between the public and the police in harder.

As for changing the titles, that was just cowardly on his part.

allcoppedout said...

You are right JuliaM. 'Me and my mates' did some really decent stuff as cops, but I can't see that old gang sitting round approving or distracting from the 'bang-to-rights' on camera killing.
What IG doesn't seem to be able to see is that much he holds dear is under threat (and probably already screwed) by the lack of accountability. If he is so scared of open court, we need to know why. I suspect I know. The closer one's involvement in the legal system, the more one knows how unfair it is. This led me to lie to protect a decent colleague once. Yet I would have tried to arrest the guy who hit and threw Ian Tomlinson to the ground.

Jiks said...

Well said.

The fact of many people "of the right" are becoming, at best, very cynical about the police should be a wake up call to them, we are in many ways their natural supporters.

I mean, I'm so law abiding I don't even download music/films for free from the net and I would no more approach the police for help these days than I would a gang of feral youths. Incidents like the Tomlinson killing make me start to wonder if too many of our coppers have gone feral too.

Anyone with a shred of sense reading your posts Julia would realise you are not "anti-police". To pretend all is well does them no favours when very plainly that clearly is not the case.

sobers said...

Jiks is spots on. The police should be worried when middle class law abiding folk start to be distrustful of them. The criminal classes already hate them (cf the pro-Raoul Moat Facebook pages), so if they lose the middle classes they are sunk.

In the old days the middle classes knew the police would back them against the criminal elements - now if you catch someone vandalising your car and grab hold of them and call the cops, we all know who gets arrested.

The police have to decide which side they are on - the law abiding majority, or criminals. They can't sit on the fence.

Policing needs the consent of the population, and they are losing it fast.

Umbongo said...

That IG is now a respected guest columnist in the MSM has obviously gone to his head. Comments from the "little people" are now beneath contempt or, at least, if such views contradict IG's belief (to the effect that when severely provoked ordinary PCs should be above the law) they are not worth listening to.

allcoppedout said...

Delays in police complaints procedures are always followed by claims that too much time has elapsed for a successful prosecution. This decision is business as usual.

jd said...

"make it up to suit yourselves"

Nothing changes...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO8EpfyCG2Y

Pogo said...

@sobers Policing needs the consent of the population, and they are losing it fast.

I said something very similar in a comment on Gadget's blog and was tartly told by "the proprietor" that "we don't need public support"... He went down rather considerably in my estimation.

English Viking said...

@allcoppedout,

It is not your job to decide who is decent, not to perjure yourself to protect your mates. That's what criminals do.

You appear to think you are one of the 'good ones'.

Not in my book.

English Viking said...

RE The above. 'Nor', not 'not'

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Heh, I seem to recall you taking me to task for pointing out the thuggishness of the rozzers. I knew you'd see sense in the end, though. :o)

MTG said...

I echo the many sentiments here, in praise of a brave and forthright post, Julia.

Instances of police misconduct rightly concern the law abiding, who are generally pro police. Excuse me a moment whilst I clear my throat:

"THE LAW ABIDING ARE GENERALLY NOT ANTI POLICE, GADGET"

Too big for his public service uniform and having outgrown his boots some time ago, Gadget has pronounced himself a politician. However he prefers to keep that well paid day job under the guidance and protection of his Chief Constable.

These officers share responsibility for bringing the UK police service into disrepute and for victimising citizens who were merely exercising the right to voice opinion. The manner in which honest crtics were systematically abused on Inspector Gadget's blog, alone warrants dismissal from public service. His blog has maintained an obscene, arrogant, intimidatory and bullying stance against those offering only well meaning advice.

Gadget has done these things whilst assuming the character role of 'Gene Hunt'. He has portrayed himself in this cavalier fashion and rejected good counsel from sources of non fiction. Today he believes he has joined the literary elite but in my opinion he foolishly stands defiantly on very thin ice.

Woman on a Raft said...

I'm surprised at the idea there could be a limitation on bringing an assault prosecution where video evidence clearly exists.

Contrast this with, for example, twenty year delays before complaints of sexual assaults are made.

Here's one.

Musician cleared of abuse
Published Date: 08 February 2010

A BLIND musician from Sheffield has been cleared of all charges after being accused of molesting a schoolboy over 20 years ago.

His solicitor Chris Saltrese told The Star afterwards: "The jurors are to be congratulated in reaching their verdict. It is an immense relief to Mr Higgins and his partner, who have suffered a great deal of anxiety and distress in meeting the unfounded charges."

Mr Saltrese said: "It was clear from the outset the evidence was very weak, stemming from a complainant who has a history of drug addiction and offending. The question must be asked why the prosecution decided to press this case on such a flimsy basis going back two decades."


Well, s'obvious. The accused wasn't a police officer.

microdave said...

"The manner in which honest critics were systematically abused on Inspector Gadget's blog"

I made the cardinal sin of posting a somewhat critical comment, and promptly got shat on by his "mates". All the usual "you don't know what you're talking about, and "try doing our job" sort of thing. I attempted to reply and it never made it past moderation...

That was the point at which his blog (and that of PC EE Bloggs) were removed from my bookmarks.

Prior to that incident I would have put myself in the traditional pro-police category. Not any more....

Trevor said...

Profoundly depressing. The defensive circling of the wagons and knee-jerk hostility makes me think that perhaps we've been misreading Gadget & Co. all along, that they were never really on 'our' side but rather just a group of bolshy employees objecting to changes in their working conditions.
We knew the police force was rotten at the top, and increasingly so in the middle, but now it seems the bottom is full of shit.
Not good. Very not good.

PJH said...

Ho-hum. On the same day that some high-up officer proclaims that the majority of their [the police's, not her's clearly] job is not to catch criminals, but to be a glorified social worker brigade.

(Can't copypasta the link on this pub PC, but a search on Google news for 'police social worker thirds' should do it. Synopisis - only one third of their work is (or as she imples, "should be") (presumably discounting the 39 hours paperwork per week these days, excluding the plastic plod) is dealing with twats, the other 2/3rds is playing happy families.)

I fully expect full disclosure on IG for this woman. Before she leaves in a couple of months, not after.

My pint? oh, most certainly empty - it was half full a while ago...

Dredd, Judge Joseph said...

EXACTLY! EXACTLY!! PJH... This is what I have been wittering on about! NOOOOO!!! This is not what I joined up for and nor is it to belt a defenceless bloke with a stick! It was to nick villians, who prey on all of us. We have TRULY gone down the wrong road if Julie Spence, Chief Constable is right on this one... " Police spend most of their time acting as 'emergency social services', according to a chief constable.

Julie Spence, head of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said officers spent just a third of their time fighting crime. The rest they spend dealing with necessary but time-consuming work such as finding missing people and attending road accidents.

In a weekly internet podcast, Mrs Spence, pictured, called for officers to be given more time on the streets and less in offices.

She also attacked 'irresponsible' drinkers, calling for a new climate of responsibility to reduce pressure on hard-pressed public services.

'Someone has to deal with the mayhem, others have to patch up the wounded and yet others have to clean up the mess,' she said.

'It all takes time and money which would be better spent on dealing with crime and with the vulnerable who need real help and protection.

'I agree entirely with those who call for less paperwork and more action. My aim has always been to get officers and PCSOs spending less time in the office and more time on the streets'"

JuliaM said...

"That's the thing Gadget seems unable to understand. I'm actually pro-police and I've been pro-Gadget for a long time. "

Me too. I seem to be unable to comment there now, however.

"What IG doesn't seem to be able to see is that much he holds dear is under threat (and probably already screwed) by the lack of accountability."

The antipathy towards elected police chiefs is a symptom of this, with Gadget and a significant number apparantly terrified that the chacvs and lowlifes will be able to have a say.

I guess he's not noticed that that section of the population rarely votes already. So why they'd get up from their sofas and vote for this escapes me.

Unless he comes up with a better argument, he's lost the plot on that one!

"Incidents like the Tomlinson killing make me start to wonder if too many of our coppers have gone feral too."

Raedwald had some good words on that one.

"In the old days the middle classes knew the police would back them against the criminal elements - now if you catch someone vandalising your car and grab hold of them and call the cops, we all know who gets arrested."

Which is yet another reason for iDave's 'Big Society' to fall at the first hurdle.

Unless target culture is abolished or changed to include quality and not just quantity, we're doomed.

"I said something very similar in a comment on Gadget's blog and was tartly told by "the proprietor" that "we don't need public support"... "

Yes, that was a pretty stunning example of 'fingers in the ears singing loudly' syndrome.

"Heh, I seem to recall you taking me to task for pointing out the thuggishness of the rozzers. I knew you'd see sense in the end, though. :o)"

Guilty as charged! ;)

"Gadget has done these things whilst assuming the character role of 'Gene Hunt'."

But the public loved the Gene Hunt character because he was straight as a die at heart. He bent the rules ONLY with the criminal class.

Never the public.

"Contrast this with, for example, twenty year delays before complaints of sexual assaults are made."

Good point! And yet another glaring inconsistency in the justice system of today.

JuliaM said...

"The defensive circling of the wagons and knee-jerk hostility makes me think that perhaps we've been misreading Gadget & Co. all along..."

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

There is - and I'd imagine, would have to be - a strong defensive 'us in it together against them' mentality in that sort of job, just as there is in the Army and other organisations. You don't seem to get that anywhere else (try getting IT specialists to agree on anything!).

Perhaps what we are seeing is just that? With Gadget's moderation seemingly out of control, perhaps we just aren't seeing the voices of common sense?

"I fully expect full disclosure on IG for this woman. "

Yup! I'm waiting for that!

"We have TRULY gone down the wrong road if Julie Spence, Chief Constable is right on this one..."

It's not them saying what they say to curry favour with the meejah and the politicians that bothers me.

It's the sense that some of them really do believe it!

John R said...

I am disheartened, but not surprised, by IG's behaviour.

Some months ago I had a protracted exchange with IG and a number of others on the fact the the police force was no longer "my" police force in that it didnt seem to be looking after the interests of someone like me...a normal, law abiding, working citizen who just wants to live with his family in a peaceful neighbourhood, bring up the kids and not be bothered by anyone. After a while I was told that they weren't there to be "my" police force and that I should be gratefull for what I got, then I was ignored and further replies were blocked.

I'm afraid that his behaviour, formerly quite encouraging, is now just indicative of the problem the rest of us have to solve to get the police back on track as part of cosciety and not an independent anti-citizen force.