“The time has come,” the walrus said, “to talk of many things.”

 Just don’t expect any talk of ships, sand or sealing wax. Let alone cabbages and kings, in this piece.

Where do I start? Well, this was supposed to be a bit of a rant, but now I’ve finally got around to my two fingered, expert typing, I’m a bit stuck.

So, I’ll just wade in.

When David Cameron made that “We’re all in this together” speech, what did he mean, exactly?

Did he mean that times were tough, about to get tougher, and we’d all have to tighten our belts a bit more, or did he mean something different?

Did he actually mean that he and his wealthy cronies would stick together, get richer and set themselves up for a comfortable future, while the rest of us could all just basically go to hell?

I ask the question because I read an article in the Telegraph (not the hard copy, the online version), which got me thinking. 
The article basically said that the govt knew that they wouldn’t last more than one term in office, and so the key members were setting themselves up for a comfortable future come the time of the next general election, which they believe they will lose.
It does make some sense when you think about it. In fact, it makes a lot of sense. It goes a fair way to explaining a lot of the decisions that the govt have made over the past couple of years.

Which brings me on to the Winsor review of policing. As we know, Tom Winsor, (he of Case and White law firm that represent G4S), was chosen by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to conduct an independent review into policing, in an effort to save the govt a bit of brass. After all, in these times of austerity, we need to save every penny we can, don’t we?

Is it coincidence, then, that Theresa May has shares in Prudential, who happen to be G4S’s largest shareholder?
None of this will be new to most who happen to read this. And all of the ins and outs of who is linked to who, has been explained by someone with a more capable mind than mine. 
If you don’t know to whom I refer, where the hell have you been?

Over the past two weeks, I’ve sat and watched the BBC programmes, The Riots: In Their Own Words. in the interests of fairness, I watched both programmes, each telling their own sides of the same story. 

While the riots took place, the key govt figures were all on holiday. By the time they got back from their jollies, the riots were under control, yet the govt attempted to take the credit for it! This I found unbelievable. Then we have the Prime Minister on national television slating the Met, saying that not enough officers were deployed in the correct places. 
Excuse me. But there weren’t enough officers full stop, thanks to the police cuts that had already started to bite.
Police numbers in England and Wales are to be reduced by 16,000 over the next few years. So if you don’t see any on your street unless something goes properly pear-shaped, you’ll know why. And when you do see an officer, don’t have a go at them. It’s not their fault that there aren’t enough of them.

It is no secret that the Police Federation warned of potential unrest and possible riots due to the dwindling numbers of police officers, and were accused by the govt of scaremongering. The riots took place, and the prediction of the Federation came to pass. 

The govt have continually stated that in these austere times, that they need to save as much money as they can, yet, MPs pensions remain untouched, judges pensions have gone up very slightly (due to the unique service that they provide!), the top earners in the country are not charged at the higher rate of tax (why not?), and the govt continues to give £134 billion in overseas aid. And I thought charity began at home? Why not cut the overseas aid slightly, and put what’s left over into areas that really need it? Policing, NHS, Fire Service, Armed Forces. All of these, and more have been cut by the govt. You know things are bad when NHS trust are going into administration. Yet this is the reality. You have to ask yourselves why this was allowed to happen.

Factor in that the population of England and Wales has gone up by about 6%, and that officer numbers will be down by about 20%, and what have you got? More people and less cops. Is that what David Cameron meant when he said “more for less”?

Only last month the Police and the govt failed to reach agreement over pay and conditions. To many, this was an inevitable outcome of the ‘negotiations’. Yet, I understand that the Police Federation put forward a proposal that would save the govt £96 million over the next four years. The govt rejected it. What does this say? To me it says that the cuts to the police are nothing to do with saving money. 

David Cameron was on the team that compiled the Sheehy report, that was beaten back by the police in 1993. Essentially the report stated that it wanted the police to be treated ‘like any other job’, and the reforms of  pay and conditions in that report were remarkably similar to the present day Winsor proposals. At the federation Conference in may this year, Theresa May said that the police should ‘stop pretending that they were being picked on’. She also said that she wants the police to ‘fight crime, no more, no less’.
This latter point I have covered in a previous blog, so will say no more on that.

The truth is that the police are being picked on. The govt wants to treat us like any other job, but without the rights of those ‘in any other job’. I’m sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

Then there was the deleted tweet of Blair Gibbs on his Twitter account. How that caused a stir.

In case you missed it, it was posted around the 18th August, and deleted shortly after it was posted. Here it is, and I quote;

#FF for my talented team @RoryGeo @Edwardmjboyd @kmsosa – together aka ‘Four Horsemen of the #PoliceReform Apocalypse’. #Keepupthegreatwork

Why was it deleted, along with all of his tweets from his account? I don’t know. My guess is that he knew he’d dropped a clanger and tried to get rid of it as soon as he realised. Why did he tweet it in the first place? Who knows. There is some suggestion that he may have been drunk. If he was, this is still no excuse. Police officer numbers are being cut, the population is growing, the public and police officers are being put at increasing risk, morale is at an all time low, and Mr Gibbs posts this, thinking it’s funny or clever. This from a man who works at Policy Exchange. A govt think tank, advising the govt on all matters serious.

As far as I’m concerned the current police reforms are nothing more than a vendetta against the police, by the govt. And this all because David Cameron was on the team that devised and wrote the Sheehy report that was beaten back in 1993. 

As a result of the cuts in police numbers and budgets, the rising population, the growing gap between those who have, and those who have not, crime will rise. The criminals of this world are not all stupid. They will seize the opportunity and use it to their advantage.
This will mean more victims of crime, and more work for police officers and the criminal justice system as a whole.
This is not scaremongering, it is an obvious prediction.

The Met have already stated that after the Olympics and Paralympics, that they are looking to equip every response officer with a TASER. This can only be that they fear that assaults on police will rise too, due to the reduced numbers of officers.
It goes without saying that less officers will mean longer waiting times for those that need the police.

“The job’s on its arse” is a phrase I’ve heard a lot of. 

My fear is that it will get a lot worse before it gets better. And not just for the police.

@Steelriverboy

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