October 23rd, 2008

Constitutional Committments

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I don’t normally turn my replies to visitors’ comments into their own blog entries but as I’m having a bit of a downer on the Met Black Police Association at the moment, what the hell, and it saves me thinking up a brand new topic to blog about.

In my entry Speaking Out about a black DC’s criticisms of the Met BPA, someone replied that the primary purpose for the association was to tackle racism as a support network & not to encourage recruitment.

I thought I’d see if I could check the facts. The National BPA’s constitution says of its aim:

The objects of the National Black police Association are to promote good race relations and equality of opportunity within the police services of the United Kingdom and the wider community.

Like the National BPA, the Met BPA seems to have only one aim; Article 3.1 of its constitution says:

The Association shall seek to improve the working environment of black personnel within the Metropolitan Police Service, with a view to enhancing the quality of service to the public.

It will do this by six specific means:

  1. providing a support network
  2. providing a social network
  3. working more closely with staff associations
  4. working towards improved relations between the police and black people
  5. being instrumental in improving recruitment and reducing wastage
  6. assisting in the development of new and existing policies where necessary

One has to wonder what the Met BPA is doing now that it has dropped 3, 4 & 5.

While researching this blog entry I also came across the Met BPA’s Code of Conduct. I was interested to see that it rightly expects high standards of its members, in particular:

  1. Members are expected at all times to represent a high standard of personal integrity and conduct which will not reflect adversely upon the Association or its aims and objectives.

One (i.e. me) also wonders whether those who have taken the decision to declare open war on the Met can still meet the above requirement and further – maybe someone will have to submit a freedom of information request to find out, unless a kind reader knows – how many Met BPA members (or presidents) have been held to account by the association for breach of the code of conduct?

If, given the code expects such high standards, how have they gotten away with voting in their current president?

All in all they might like to take up my suggestion to check out Article 11 of their constitution:

  • Winding Up Procedure

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18 comments

  1. Steve Hatton says:

    Interesting thoughts and appear to be well reasoned. We will be able to tell if its close (or, indeed, is) the truth, when you are harangued for “racist comments”, etc :-)
    Keep up the good work

    October 23rd, 2008 at 10:05

  2. Twining says:

    Would that someone be me? 200, why were we set up as a support association? Because as victims we were often on our own. The group was set up to cater for people with similar experiences and support those that genuinely suffer racial discrimination. Our primary role is that.

    There is a link between getting things right internally and getting things right on the streets, therefore if we get things right inside maybe outside may be better too. The Black community have questioned our trust and confidence. Is it any wonder because we still manage to cover things up well, Lawrence, De Menezes, etc. I am also harking on about the pre 1980′s perhaps. Things were not good then.

    On the streets things have got better, inside things have got better, but there are still elements of racism. racism won’t go away in 10 years after the Macpherson Report. I keep saying we are not recruitment consultants, but we must ask ourselves why BLACK PEOPLE MAY be reluctant to join. We have recruitment officer’s for this purpose.

    October 23rd, 2008 at 17:10

  3. Twining says:

    Promoting good race relations’s? Hmm, I think the Met second in command could do a little better here……

    October 23rd, 2008 at 17:11

  4. Twining says:

    200, slaves were not freed overnight, there was an immense struggle over time. In the same way we may not be free from racism overnight. Hence the NBPA will have an immense struggle. That is the way for people of a minority ethnic background. A struggle, just look at the De Menezes, the Lawrence’s, etc.

    October 23rd, 2008 at 17:15

  5. Plodnomore says:

    Twining,
    Once again you seem to prove that the BPA is a single issue focus group claiming that black officers are always the victims and therefore need a powerful lobby to look after them (unlike the gay & lesbian and female associations which quietly get on with their policies). Quite a few years before the BPA, three officers, one black and two white, were hauled up in front of the Chief for drink driving on duty – one driving a Police car to a job where he crashed the car and left the scene; one driving his own car to work and the other having driven his car to work was breathylised in the office. The second and third were required to resign (before the court cases where they pleaded guilty). In the case of the first officer, he was initially dealt with by the court where he pleaded not guilty but was found so after a trial. The Chief banned him from driving a Police car for 2 years after which he had to take the driving course again, put him into a Control Room for that period and fined him. At the end of the two years, in which he had taken the time off patrol work to study for and pass his Sgts exam, he returned to patrol work and 6 months later was promoted Sgt. Guess which officer was the black one. Throughout the whole sordid case he showed no remorse and constantly claimed he was ‘made an example of’ only because of his colour. When the NBPA was formed he became one of the first recruits in our County force and is still a leading voice in it.
    Slavery is a dreadful thing but it did not start in this country – hundreds of years before African slaves were transported to British and other colonies, African slave traders were ploughing up and down the south coast of this country and there are stories of whole Dorset,Devonian and Cornish villages being emptied through slavery. Don’t forget that abolition of salvery started in this country and hundreds of British sailors and soldiers died fighting European and American navies which were still engaged in slavery. Britain did not start slavery but it was the first country to fight to stop it. You are probably aware that slavery is still alive and well in most of the African countries. perhaps the NBPA should be pushing their ‘victimisation’ in that direction. I have to disagree with you in this one my friend.
    Plodnomore

    October 23rd, 2008 at 19:45

  6. damchandler says:

    I used to live with Jamaicans in the 70′s,most of my mates were carribean and were just as racialist as whites.Not just anti white either,indians born in the carribean were called coolies.Has anyone done a study on the proportion of ethnic minorities in the met and the positions they hold.I bet the statistics would show a bias for ethnic minorities.

    Dam

    October 23rd, 2008 at 20:47

  7. Oi says:

    I have typed this [or variations thereof] about 6 times now on various blog entries, but like many these days, I guess I have been intimidated by the thought of being accused of racism and have failed to post them.

    Do you ever get tired carrying that log of wood on your shoulder Twining?
    Your constant carping is getting a little tedious and your message is starting to get lost in the general switching off it engenders.

    October 23rd, 2008 at 20:59

  8. Civ_In_The_City says:

    I`m interested in hearing more from Twining about the view from inside. I take Plodnomore`s point about white slavery too, it`s something I only heard about recently and would be interested in learning more about.

    The stereotype I have is that the historical facts of black slavery are readily passed on through black communities and go on driving the effort for equality and righting a wrong. They don`t teach white slavery in schools. Just a fact, not a criticism.

    But if we aren`t careful we end up in a victimhood competition. I`ll refer to a booklet from Civitas again (I don`t work for the honest!), it`s called “We`re (nearly) all victims now” (http://www.civitas.org.uk/press/prcs53.php). I haven`t read it but the fact that someone felt there was enough material in our society to fill a book is telling in itself.

    I agree with Twining that getting things right on the inside will help but ‘getting it right’ shouldn`t be a mindless numbers game enforced at the expense of quality so that police forces can proudly boast the organisational equivalent of ‘I can`t be racist, some of my best friends are black/asian/whatever’.

    There are many defining historical events which have affected many different groups of people (The Holocaust, slave trade, World War 2). In the end we are all affected and tainted by the fact that these things were carried out by humans just like us. Those examples are just the first ones someone from my own culture could think of, go anywhere in the world and someone else would know about some I`ve never heard of.

    On the subject of MacPherson I`ve read some very compelling criticism of his report and methods. Not least that his report is accepted as evidence of racism within the MET when it contains many statements declaring that it found no evidence of it.

    My conclusion is that we each can choose to use our time and efforts for promoting good and improving life for everyone, or we can use it for mud-slinging and trying to twist the system to our personal advantage. My impression is that the BPA leadership has a foot in the wrong camp.

    Is our society as it stands today is it better for the BPA if they perpetuate racism or they eradicate it? Why do we have phrases like ‘compensation culture’ and ‘diversity industry’. There was no mention of either in MacPherson.

    October 23rd, 2008 at 21:10

  9. Twining says:

    Plodnomore, We are in some agreement here. The other groups might remain quiet, but have we asked ourselves why? I know some colleagues in these groups who hide behind their own racial prejudice. I cannot, though, offer any excuses for the example you give I am afraid. You are right, as in White people began the abolition of slavery, but White people were once a cause of it too. And you are right my friend. Thank you for not throwing abuse at me.

    Oi, thank you for your views. I carry only my experiences; perhaps that is too much of a burden for you. And perhaps your experience is different. I have done nothing wrong in saying what I feel. Whether you are a racist or not is a matter for you though. Try speaking with academic debate as opposed to your rhetoric because the De Menezes case is now finally speaking for itself. And i am tired, but not because of the chips you talk about, perhaps if you understood that you would only come from your experience and I from mine you might understand that we are in a minority, and majority rules. I don’t know what you expect. I have already stated that i do not agree with the Met BPA’s decision, but I will not undermine the cause. I think perhaps I should go….

    October 23rd, 2008 at 21:17

  10. Civ_In_The_City says:

    The majority of effort going into eradicating racism from society is happening in the police service (followed by football from what I hear). The fact is that the wider society isn`t working very hard at it. The police service will therefore not be reflecting the society it serves, it`ll be in some cloud cuckoo land of its own making (maybe it already is).

    I do think the efforts should continue. But because it became racist for a time in this country to even use the word ‘immigration’ only now can we begin being honest and acknowledging that many nationalities/ethnicities harbour their own very strongly held racist viewpoints. Not the kind of cultural uniqueness and diversity we want to celebrate is it?

    It will require proper tough policing without fear or favour to address it, if we are serious. Do the government/MET/BPA policies promote tough policing or hand-wringing, whingeing, back-stabbing and arse-covering?

    Does Mr Ghaffur genuinely feel he has suffered racist treatment, or has he not got his own way and has seen an opportunity to turn things back in his favour. And all the while young people of all colours in London are stabbing each other.

    October 23rd, 2008 at 21:59

  11. Oi says:

    Twining, I only know of the De Menzies case from media, but I do agree that in retrospect it was very bad.
    However, I would make the point that he was killed, not because he was Brazilian, but because he was thought by the cop that shot him to be a bomb carrying terrorist with the capability to detonate.

    I am unsure what you mean by academic debate in this context – but when something becomes tedious, I tend to say so. Its a failing of mine I guess………..

    October 23rd, 2008 at 22:21

  12. MarkUK says:

    Twining, what makes you think Mr de Menezes was black? Whilst he was Brazillian, and maybe a little darker-skinned than the majority in this country, you could hardly say he was black. Are Spaniards and Portugese people black?

    Or is anyone who is in a racial minority “black”? The Welsh, perhaps?

    From an outsider’s point of view, the Met BPA simply seems to want to cause trouble and get preferential treatment for its members (and to do both by fair means or foul).

    I’m sure there are racist police officers. I’m fairly sure there a racist black police officers. These are no excuse for the nasty little political game the BPA appears to be playing.

    Please remember that you are police officers first, last and all the time.

    October 23rd, 2008 at 22:32

  13. Twining says:

    Oi in the case of De Menezes there was a collective failure. Intelligence, technology, communication, leadership, the misleading of a community, the blocking of an independant enquiry. The intelligence pictures were unavailable, etc.

    I don’t think I have said Mr De menezes was Black; he was, however, minority ethnic. Mark, we are police officer’s and we have a duty to promote effective race relation’s.

    One could argue that Mr Blair was a bully, as is Mr Stephenson, I don’t know…..At least we are speaking. And Black colleagues do get involved in game playing; I have always said game playing is wrong, but the game playing is encouraged by those in power, and the majority are?

    October 24th, 2008 at 08:59

  14. Twining says:

    Civ in the city, I applaud some of what you say.

    October 24th, 2008 at 09:00

  15. Twining says:

    Civ in the city, the Met have paid out nearly 1 million pounds in this compensation culture. That is not something I would boast of but the Met leadership considers this in some way OK. Something is seriously wrong.

    On the inside there is a mix, some Black people are placed in positions of power because they are incompetent and when things go belly up, guess who is blamed? The race industry is a joke, just look at some of the people involved in the CRE. These same people should be protecting people, yet their command of the basic English language is so poor that they couldn’t stand up in court. Who then supports the victim. The Federation seem to then swing on both sides! This whole mish mash is a useless state of affairs.

    How can they protect in an English court a victim of racism? Some people in the BPA, are placed there to protect their own niche. These are incompetents too, yet the service looks to them when someone complains to undermine the complainant.

    Can you imagine the backroom chats that occur and what information is passed by incompetents to a police organisation, information which can then be used to undermine genuine tribunal cases? Oi, even I am tired….

    October 24th, 2008 at 13:14

  16. XTP says:

    Get you with your 16 comments! Well done! BTW – thinking of changing my sig to 300 weeks. What do you think?

    October 24th, 2008 at 18:31

  17. 200 says:

    XTP,

    thanks for the big-up, don’t knock my 16 comments, I have to really work for them, on some blogs you only have to fart & you’ll get 50 comments, not that I’m jealous in any way.

    October 24th, 2008 at 22:55

  18. XTP says:

    Not knocking them! I visit every day, as you’ll be able to see. Don’t always comment as I usually have nothing to add other than “I agree 100%”!!

    October 25th, 2008 at 11:38

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