Archive for February, 2009

February 8th, 2009

Blog Update/Home Sec Update

Posted in Blogging, Other Stuff by 200

Some of the comments from the ‘Programming‘ entry yesterday have disappeared. This isn’t because they have been deleted but because the site has changed to a new server and the whole blog was copied this morning but didn’t actually go through the change until this evening, so most of the posts added today are now languishing on an old server somewhere.

If you have the patience to add your comment again, I’d be grateful, I don’t have access to the old setup as I just steal the space from and I’m sure they’re busy enough sorting their own site out to bother with mine.

I’m told the setup is more up-to-date technology-wise, whether that means the blog will load quicker or not, I haven’t a clue and as I don’t actually pay for it, I’m just grateful it still works.


By the way, it’s always nice to see Home Secretary, Jacqui Spliff, squirming. This time she’s being criticised for claiming some £116,000 of tax-payer’s cash for a ‘second home’. The fly in the ointment is that she is claiming her main home is actually her sister’s whom she stays with when she’s in London. Her ‘second home’ for which is her family home in Redditch where her husband & children live.

She is entitled to a grace & favour home in London but has chosen not to have this and live with her sister instead. Funnily enough, if she took the grace & favour home, she wouldn’t be entitled to to all that lovely, free lolly.

I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks that there is something morally corrupt in claiming the home you’ve lived in for years and in which your husband & two children is not your main home, so you can get a wacking great allowance, rather than a much smaller allowance for claiming that your sister’s house where you stay from Monday until Thursday, is in fact your second home.

February 7th, 2009


Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Thank You for the messages of good luck on my last day at work yesterday. I have a small, loyal group of readers who regularly post and my thanks got to you for your support; it’s what makes doing this blog – which can be difficult sometimes having to do a post every day – enjoyable!

This time next week I’ll be an ex-copper. I’ve said before that being in the job is more than just ‘a job’ it is your life, it pervades into the very existence of almost everything you do.

I had a thought. Those in the job will know, the little things you do without thinking. Walking down the road past a row of cars & you find your eyes alighting on the tax disc, not because you’re looking for cars to come back & visit when you’re on duty next, just because you do.

You look at the face of almost everyone you pass on the street, even though most people avoid eye contact & fail to offer a smile or a greeting. While you do this an almost imperceptible process in your mind runs through, judging by the look of the face, is the person  a criminal, a yob, a previous customer. You can’t help it.

When you walk into a pub you immediately check out everyone you can see, you sit where you can see people rather than with your back to them. When you get on a train, you know who to avoid sitting next to.

Is it nature or nurture? Thirty years of this kind of stuff going on like a little programme in the back of your head.

I wonder, next week, whether these things will fade the longer I’m no longer in the job, or whether they are now with me for life.

February 6th, 2009

Nearly there

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Well that’s me finished work. I have a few days leave to use up before I retire, but I’ve completed my working career.

I handed back the uniform (well, most of it). The sum total of the evidence of my life as a police officer in a black plastic bin liner, handed over to a civilian who I’m sure was the same guy who handed it out to me 29 years & 51 weeks ago.

It was a bit of a funny shift. I took the several boxes of donuts & cakes in. I even managed to eat three of them myself. It was kind of business as usual. We were kind of inundated with traffic & road problems, as you’d expect, since this country has never learned to deal successfully with snow. We had so many complaints about teenagers chucking snowballs & upsetting the public that we just had to bin most of them. Unless you were a little old lady who’d been injured by a snowball, you didn’t get much change out of the local constabulary this week, unless there were some free PCSOs in the town.

I felt a bit like the condemned man, so many people were popping up to have a last chat with me. I’ll see most of them at the weekend for a few swift halves down at the local followed by a meal at an Indian restaurant who is closing early to accommodate us.

I’ve still got my warrant card though, for a few more days. I could have handed it in but I just wanted it for a few more days, for some reason which escapes me really as I’ll only have to make a special trip to HQ to hand it back.

The end of the shift came reasonably quickly, but then it does when you’re busy. I gathered my stuff together, had a few cuddles & left the building.

So, unless there’s some kind of war starts between now & next week, that’s me done with policing.

200 weeks has become 1 week.

February 5th, 2009

I’ll say a little prayer for you…

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

…if I still have a job.

Another day, another story from the diversity nazis.

This week, community nurse, Caroline Petrie was suspended without pay for the heinous crime of offering to say a prayer for one of her patients she was on a home visit to.

Ms Petrie is a devout Christian. Having changed the dressings for a 79-year-old lady she offered to say a prayer, the patient declined. The lady in question was not offended by the incident & did not report it. However, she did mention it to another nurse on a further visit, who them snitched on Ms Petrie. She was suspended pending an investigation into the incident.

Her offences are: “failing to demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity” and “not using professional status to promote causes that are not related to health”.

For fuck’s sake.

This is the result of an ethos where us public sector workers are encouraged to grass on colleagues, not for crimes or unethical practices, but for beliefs and comments. We have it in the police, there are any number of ways you can grass people up, by email, by anonymous telephone, there are even companies paid by the police (& no doubt other organisations) who will take the information anonymously & pass it on to professional standards. We live in a world where you really do have to watch your back, for walls have ears. Oh, and just incase, if you hear something ‘inapropriate’ and fail to report it, that’s also a discipline offence.

The Telegraph have set up a petition to save Ms Petrie’s job while the National Secular Society are queing up to agree with North Somerset Primary Healthcare Trust, who now have one less community nurse working in the community, still I suppose they are saving the money they would have spent on her wages.

If it is really unacceptable in a Christian country, to offer a prayer for someone in ill health, do we really have to suspend someone & deprive them & their family of a wage, talk about sledge hammer to crack a nut. But of course we are talking about diversity, the god to which managers must worship (if I can use that analogy without fear of being stripped of my last days of salary). Not only must you accept everyone’s beliefs & viewpoints (if they are on the list of ‘acceptable’ groups) but you must actively demonstrate how & what you do to ’embrace diversity’.

I am not a religous man. If I was ill & someone offered a prayer for me I would politely decline & think how nice that someone might do something which they believe would help me.

I wouldn’t demand they be sacked.

February 4th, 2009

More Double Standards?

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

I have to admit that I am a fan of The One Show. I like to sit on the couch vegging away infront of the TV while my dinner goes down.

It was with some interest then that I heard the news that Carol Thatcher has been sacked for making a private comment off-air. Details are not verifiable but from what I can gather she is alleged to have said that the tennis Player, Andy Murray’s hair reminded her of a golliwog.

Presumably someone present reported the matter & she has been summarily ousted from any more appearances on the BBC. As far as I can see, Ms Thatcher didn’t call anyone a wog, she merely remarked that a particular hair style was reminiscent of a particularly well-loved children’s toy. It may not have been the most politically correct comment in the history of broadcasting but neither was it a racist comment. Notwithstanding the history of the golliwog, or it’s naming or misuse of its name, are we really saying we should not refer to an item which whether you like it or not is part of the culture of this island? Perhaps we should never refer to slavery, badger-baiting or the rights of the lord of the manor.

This is just another example of people seeking offence where none is meant.

Compare & contrast this with the case of Jonathan Ross, suspended for broadcasting comments which most people would find both deeply insulting & in very poor taste. Thatcher’s comment was off-air during a private conversation on BBC premises. The difference? Thatcher doesn’t earn 6 million quid a year & is not likely to attract millions of viewers to the BBC.

I have no particular like or dislike for Ms Thatcher, (though I do have some thoughts on her mother & brother!) so I’m not that bothered whether she appears on The One Show or not. But the older I get the more I think this place is turning into a nazi state where the thought police will monitor your every move & stamp down on anything which they happen to deign to be ‘inappropriate’

I’m fed up t the back teeth of people complaining about being offended when no offence is meant. For me, being offensive is a two-way process. And it starts from the mouth of the person who makes a comment. If I say something which I genuinely don’t think is offensive, then you don’t have permission to find offence.

And I’m really annoyed at the double standards of the BBC. If Thatcher is sacked for her comment then Ross should have been sacked (& had to pay his grossly inflated earnings back to the licence-payer)

February 3rd, 2009

22311645, Sir!

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I had one of those, you couldn’t make it up moments this morning.

Regular readers will know I retire very soon & the 200 weeks of the title will be up. Further, you’ll recall that I am going to return to Her Majesty’s Constabulary to work in the control room as a civilian communications operator.

Although I’ve been employed by the force for 30 years in the office of constable, I still had to undergo security checks in order to get the gig.

Well today, I had to take a copy of my birth certificate & photo driving licence across to HR to prove I am who I’ve said I was for the last 30 years.

I assume that somewhere on the application form for a post in the force is a tick box which says ‘proof of ID’. If there’s a tick box, there must be someone with a responsibility to fill it in. And probably someone else whose job it is to check whether they have ticked the tick-box & more importantly, what evidence has been used in order for them to be able to fulfill the criteria to be able to fill in the tick-box.

So when I rang them & said words to the effect that I’ve been asked to provide proof of my identity, can we take it that as I’ve been employed by you for 30 years and you have been paying my salary into the same bank account for 30 years, ringing me at home whenever you wanted me to come in early, can we take it as read that you actually know who I am or are we to assume that you’ve been employing me for 30 years without actually knowing my identity.

The answer I received led to me standing outside the HR office while a girl on work experience photocopied my birth certificate & driving licence.

In the words of another police blogger, ‘you couldn’t make it up’.

February 2nd, 2009

The Chav still lives

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

I went into town after work this afternoon, as is my wont.

It’s funny but we have been getting snow in this country for 49 years to my knowledge, yet the whole country seems to fall apart as soon  as a drop of the white stuff hits the pavements. Needless to say, the footpaths hadn’t been gritted by the local council. Little old ladies were going flying all over the place.

I made it there & back more or less unscathed although I did almost leave my feet on at least 3 occasions.

Anyway, I was walking past a little children’s playpark which was pretty full of kids & mums building snowmen & being tugged round the park on plastic sleds. I heard one girl who appeared to be about five, shout out in a loudish voice “Where are we going now, mummy”. The reply, which was even louder was “Up Jack’s arse.”

I have no idea who Jack is, nor whether he could accommodate a woman who appeared to be the size of Leichtenstein & her diminutive offspring within the realms of his anal canal, but it did cause on of those “fer fucks’ sake” moments.

When did it become acceptable to talk to children like that? Just another example of the pitiful road this country has taken in the last 20 years.

As I passed an alleyway between some shops, some chavs who should have been at school were the schools actually open (but wouldn’t have been at school whether it was open or not and probably hadn’t been for some time) were chucking snowballs at passers by. I had to fight the urge just to walk up to the biggest of them, who also appeared to be the ugliest & spottiest – someone should do a survey on behaviour & looks – and break his jaw with a well aimed punch. But reality took over so I just gave them a mouthful and made my way home.

February 1st, 2009

Talking of crap jobs

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

If you thought things were getting bad over here, what with the government keeping details on every facet of the minutiae of your life & councils recording your every movement, have a thought for the poor folk of the Bavarian town of Volkach in Germany.

The burghers of the town are so fed up with dogs crapping all over the paths & owners not clearing it up that they’re trying to set up a dog DNA database so that offenders can be tracked down. They’re planning on taking fur or saliva samples from all 420 mutts registered in the town & employing someone to walk the streets taking dog-turd samples for later DNA matching. Now that’s a job I could pass up quite easily.

Some councillors are poo-pooing the idea though, they recommend just offering twenty euros reward to people who report errant dog walkers (those who don’t clean up after their dogs, not those who  pass a motion in public).

This is in Germany, over here things are different, we wouldn’t ever use anything so  ridiculous to investigate dog fouling.