This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Monday, December 24, 2012

"Gate-Gate"-Gate

It is impossible to over-state the disastrous consequences of Andrew Mitchell's innocent cycle ride towards the gates of Downing Street on 19th September.

On the one side, rank and file officers have a gut feeling that the Chief Whip called officers plebs.  The feeling was not helped by his refusal to say, in meetings with W.Midlands Police Federation, exactly what he did say if he was denying the word "plebs".

On the other side, the case has added to the public's gut feeling that the police are not to be trusted.  This strong feeling is not helped by the police officer who allegedly posed as an independent witness to the incident.


"Always a pleasure."



"Excuse me, did you say Pleb?!"






As an observer, some things should be obvious:
  • At the time officers filled out the police log of the incident, they were not intending to make an issue of the incident or publicise it. Therefore to assume it was fabricated is a bit far-fetched.
  • It took Mitchell three months to cough up a full account of the incident, which he only produced after seeing and publishing the CCTV.  Call me cynical, but "adverse inference" springs to mind.
  • Any police officer writing a phony email posing as someone he isn't, and diving head-first into a political firestorm, is a cretinous idiot.
For the Police Federation, it is a political catastrophe.  The Home Office already detests the police staff association, seen as belligerent, old-fashioned and as full of dastardly mystery as a Masonic lodge.  Reform of "the Fed" is now inevitable, and not necessarily a bad thing for front line officers if it can be reformed quickly and from within, rather than handing the job over to those who are so suspicious of it.

Speaking personally, all I really want from the Federation is someone to represent me when I am treated unfairly or in the proverbial - whether through my own doing or someone else's.  This includes standing up for my pay and conditions, but it doesn't include political warfare on Government ministers.

The Federation sees the upcoming reform as an assault on the office of constable.  As a police officer, I agree.  As a member of the public, I want police officers to be signed up to a code of conduct on or off duty.  I want them to be experienced and skilled at all police matters.  I want them to have discretion to show compassion, and the integrity to put their foot down.  There is no doubt that under the Tom Winsor formula, a diverse police force representing the needs of society is under threat.

I'm just not so sure that this argument is one for the Federation.  And they risk losing the battle over pay and conditions while they are distracted by politics.

Apologies for the patchy nature of my blog this year - I've had a lot on!

Hopefully in 2013 I will find more time to devote to it.

Happy Christmas, if my readers are still out there.



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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

21 Comments:

Blogger Lex Ferenda said...

Ellie, good post but I don't agree with you regards political interference from the Fed. Once the officers account of the altercation at the gate was published I think the Fed had a duty to call for his resignation. I think we would have criticised them for not doing so.
I agree the Fed is a dinosaur that needs reforming. It needs slimming down for a start. There are too many full time officers being paid for by their Forces. If the members had to pay for these services they would demand and get better.
We have to bear in mind that there is no right to take industrial action and the Fed consequently are pretty toothless rather than too belligerent and powerful.
Now this Government has determined that this right to take industrial action counts for nothing when dealing with our pay and conditions; it is time those industrial rights were reinstated.

24 December, 2012 11:25

 
Blogger Noggsy said...

Ellie, still here, still enjoying your posts which are a welcome balance to some of the more militant offerings on display. More than anyone I've read,you represent my position the best. I hope you're a fed rep wherever you are.

24 December, 2012 16:39

 
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24 December, 2012 16:39

 
Blogger jaded said...

Whatever happens we wont win this argument.The police are amateurs when it comes to spin compared to politicians.Nearly all disgraced ministers are welcomed back no matter what they have done.It used to be years later but now they have no shame and sneak back within a few days or months it seems.

24 December, 2012 17:57

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard questions recently as to why serving warranted officers are doing the FED role full time. Plainly the ACPO/Home Office plan is change the nature of the Fed whilst also bringing in a new pay body to do the government's bidding.
I do not blame the fed for being toothless, it was designed that way. Also when the vote in January is positive for industrial rights we won't get them either.
We are left with two options as i see it, take whatever the government/ACPO do to us or leave, as most of us that do have financial commitments can only realistically do the first the only way of 'fighting' for our rights is to do exactly all we need to do and no more. No longer a vocation , just another job. We are after all blue collar book on, book off workers according to those paragons of hard work, integrity and honesty,Tory MP's

24 December, 2012 18:39

 
Blogger Kaela Street said...

Ellie, Good to see the paper staining from your ink again, keep writing. I may not always agree with you, but it is good to read how you see things sometimes, putting your own profession viewpoint over. Thanks.

25 December, 2012 14:18

 
Anonymous DCI Broxted said...

"Plebs" is what plod think Tories call them, compare with Smiley Culture's last words before you murdered him - what a police "officer" thinks a West Indian would say. Now to Toby C Rowland of Aylesbury and Keith Wallis whose address I am after. They only go to prove what we knew all along - that plod are corrupt mendacious vermin. Happy Xmas, see you after the 25th Dec truce. Dermot Ciaran Isley Broxted, VC.

25 December, 2012 16:36

 
Blogger jaded said...

Sorry Broxted aren't you too busy being PCC for West Yorkshire or Wales to post on here? Who's the liar then?

Smiley Cultures last words? "I hope by killing myself all my family will get off at court?" Wrong!!

25 December, 2012 17:33

 
Blogger steveg said...

Glad to see you back.....

26 December, 2012 17:03

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see you back bloggsy. keep writing. you make a lot of sense in this crazy world.

26 December, 2012 20:38

 
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27 December, 2012 13:18

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

•The police were intending to make an issue of it - the story found its way to The Sun the next day and the log to the Tellegraph a few days later! The Police Fed certainly made an issue of it!
•True, he never helped himself. In fairness, he always denied 'the words attributed to him'. It took the media/political class 3 months to revise their opinion after the initial Trial by Media.
•True - and many are!

27 December, 2012 20:01

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Police Logs should not be admissaable as evidence in a Court of law.

27 December, 2012 20:03

 
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27 December, 2012 21:24

 
Blogger Joker said...

'Apologies for the patchy nature of my blog this year - I've had a lot on!'

True dat, L.

You guys need to fight fire with fire. Put Ali 'Spider' Desai on the case, he'll get your man...

27 December, 2012 22:42

 
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still here Bloggsy!...And I've had a lot on too. It's been a tough year, looking back on it all.

Many thought things were bad years ago under the Labour regime, and had high hopes of a change of government putting many wrongs to right, in society and in the way the police force is run. No such luck, it turned out under this lot.

So, a lot of bad feeling has been generated by the current government, who are operating under hypocritical double standards. The Tories do like to have a 'whipping boy' to blame for ALL the ills of society. They started with single parents, the sick and disabled, and the unemployed on benefits, and then turned on the police rank and file.

Politicians use the press for deliberate negative campaigns against any particular group of people they have in their sights.
They do that to influence the public mood and to obtain public support for whatever harsh, and often unjust changes in policy they want to bring into legislation. They use the example of a minority of 'bad' cases to smear and tarnish the whole group in the minds of the press/media/public. Pure political deceptive spin to suit THEIR own agendas. Why the press fall for this time and time again is a bit of a mystery. It does the PEOPLE no favours whatsoever.

The Plebgate/Mitchellgate/Plodgate saga is being used as a distraction by the government. It is a smokescreen to hide from the public just how arrogant, deceptive and incompetent some of the politicians really are.

They concern themselves with trivia and spouting soundbites for the media, to make themselves sound and look 'good' for the public.....and the press and media often go along with it without questioning or digging deeper.

Sometimes the media/press DO dig deeper on serious issues, like the murder of Dr David Kelly, which the Met also felt, due to evidence, was NOT 'suicide.' However, that case and other serious matters have been batted away, or subjected to 'whitewash' reports and swept under the rug by the P.M.

Cameroon has his own 'opinions' on some very serious issues and is CARRYING ON REGARDLESS of serious, credible, accurate Intelligence warnings, to NOT DO what he is HELL BENT on doing....Specifically their plans for new build nuclear reactors that are a threat to life, whilst claiming to be 'doing the right thing for the U.K'.

In my book that is incompetence, deception and a clear failure of duty by politicians, many of whom are 'all in it together.'

28 December, 2012 02:59

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

....And a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year and 2013 to you too Bloggsy, and to all of your readers. xxx

28 December, 2012 03:04

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The police do need reforming n pay and conditions and also I would argue, police complaints. The present system is a joke, the local professional standards dept of police investigating themselves. No wonder 90% of complaints are rejected!

As for the David Kelly case as a poster mentioned. I have my doubts too about 'suicide'. I don't recall any senior police figure/Met saying anything other than the official version.

Talking of 'whitewash' rember jean charles de menezes?

28 December, 2012 07:25

 
Anonymous PC Bloggs said...

The thing is last anon- most police officers think their PSD are on a witch hunt and that their forces use any opportunity to pin misconduct on someone to get them off the books. Both yours and the views of police officers can't be true. Maybe the reality is in between- and actually most complaints are fairly investigated?

28 December, 2012 22:20

 

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