This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. 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 (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Comment is Free, Popularity Priceless

The problem with writing for The Guardian is that I have to brace myself to read 200 comments about "poor police" and "those ketttling thugs".  These comments appear regardless of the subject matter and bias of the article.  Indeed, I could write a piece entitled "Why I hate The Police, by a Police Officer", and I would expect to see the same remarks.


We're all feeling a bit like this.

On the plus side, a near-decade of policing in the UK has inured me to the bulk of wildly-aimed criticism.  The frustration is that the purpose of being a police blogger, and writing the odd article, is that I too am unhappy about the direction the police has been taken in the last fifteen years.  I too wish to expose folly and malpractice.  It just so happens that I also support the rank and file.  The two concepts are not contradictory.

Unfortunately, many of my colleagues still think there is sympathy waiting out there for the police.  That might be naive, but it's as it should be.  My young officers may be cruelly shocked by their reception sometimes, but I never sit in briefing and tell them to hate the public.


Images like these are hard to take for some people.


We still police by consent in this country.  It might not seem like it, if your weekend hobbies include throwing fire extinguishers off inner-city rooftops, but it's a fact.  The only way that rank and file officers will overcome performance culture and internal back-stabbing is by keeping the public on side.  I can't do that by writing for The Guardian, but I can day in, day out, at work.

Update: for those who asked, my fee for the Guardian article was donated to the Police Roll of Honour Trust.
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article in the Guardian was the worst pile of ordure I have endured in recent years.

10 March, 2011 16:57

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

But you bothered to follow the link and come here to tell me, so it wasn't the only bit of your time I wasted today.

10 March, 2011 17:06

Anonymous bill said...

"Unfortunately, many of my colleagues still think there is sympathy waiting out there for the police."

There still is some sympathy round my way. A lot of ambivalence, yes and the usual suspects are anti. But some sympathy nevertheless.

10 March, 2011 17:35

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprised you posted my comment. As for wasting time, if one sees injustice, tyranny and corrupt mendacious racist police, whether in Egypt or England one ought to stand up and fight the bastards. New Scotland Yard delenda est.

10 March, 2011 17:40

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought your article was well-argued, and I am surprised yet glad in equal measure that the Guardian gives a shit what we think.

The responses do seem to cover the "full spectrum of opinion" though!

10 March, 2011 19:06

Blogger Lex Ferenda said...

I thought your article was pretty well balanced too and deliberately kept low key for the tetchy nutters that read the Grauniad. The comments simply prove to me that these people are mentally ill. I wish they could see that their ignorance and bigotry far exceeds those that they criticise.
Macfarlane, why wouldn't your comments be posted? If you wish to advertise that you are a complete pillock, why should we stop you?

10 March, 2011 20:42

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ferenda, nutters. Guardian readers. Yes because anyone who can read without moving their lips is a threat to you. Bigotry? As in when I was in Brixton and one of you called me a ni**er lover? Finally, what will you do? When you lose the war against us I mean. Tunisian police swinging from lamp posts. Sing when you're winning, and remember, as we said in '85 to Blakelock "Don't go losing your head now!"

10 March, 2011 21:26

Blogger MarkUK said...

An ex-Guardian reader (I liked most of the paper, but some of the idiots writing up lived in cloud-cuckoo land), I may start taking it again now I know you write for it.

I'm politically (quite) a bit left-of-centre but realise that every society needs a constabulary of some kind or another.

I also recognise that some (a few) of that organisation's members will be a bit too full of law-n-order and with too few compassionate bits.

On the whole, I reckon our police get things generally right. Perhaps they sometimes come down a bit harder on a working-class bloke than a Person of Power, but that's partly due to self-preservation and partly because the powerful don't have to offer violence to get their way.

Why some idiots (a "J McF" spring to mind) bother reading your blog amazes me!

10 March, 2011 21:57

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anything which the party orders a comrade to do is not beneath him. Comrades will carry out orders assigned to them, if you cannot give the party the honour of your service do not give it the dishonour of disservice.

10 March, 2011 22:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Troll alert. Do not feed.

10 March, 2011 22:17

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put your trust in your sword, and your sword in the police.

10 March, 2011 22:25

Blogger Kimpatsu said...

The reason that we raise the thuggery of kettling, the murder of John Charles de Menezies, the murder of Michael Tomlinson, the murder of Blair Peach, etc., etc., is because you won't do so. You have yet to unequivocally condemn these acts of violence against innocent members of the public.
Policing by consent? You lost our consent years ago. If you want it back, first break the omerta of the thin blue line and condemn without reservation kettling and the sample of murders I have described above.

10 March, 2011 23:39

Anonymous Anonymous said...


11 March, 2011 01:49

Anonymous NottsSarge said...

I was recently told that cops only ever meet about 6% of any given section of society. Sounds about right, and the jaundiced and cynical viewpoint of most cops is probably a result of that.

What's pretty galling is that 100% of the public feel perfectly entitled to hold forth about the police. I wonder what percentage of officers they have ever met before forming their opinions?

11 March, 2011 07:53

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason that you raise the 'murder' of John Charles de Menezes, the 'murder' of Michael Tomlinson, the 'murder' of Blair Peach, etc., etc., is because such things are so bloody rare in this country. De Menezes died over five years ago now, and Blair Peach died nearly a third of a century ago FFS. In the single year before de Menzies died, the police in Rio de Janeiro (a city of similar size to London) killed 983 people.
Yes our police force could be better, but not much better.

11 March, 2011 08:57

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no policing by consent in the UK. Plod's attempts at reification here smack of the last days of the Third Reich. Keep telling yourself that you believe in the "final victory" you EDL wannabes.

11 March, 2011 10:03

Anonymous Anonymous said...

has mcfarlane taken to posting as Anon now? the ramblings seem consistent..prob doesnt have a job so has all the time in the world to post on here repeatedly.

I dont think anyone can judge a persons job, police, fire fighters, etc wthout having tried it yourself. None of us know what the police have to put up with unless you have done the role. We can all imagine what it might be like but we will never truly know until you have done it. Therefore I can not judge the police. The media just show snapshots of events. A photo of a police officer restraining someone aggressively... except the media dont show the moment this same person came at the officer with a knife.. and their job is to stand up to these criminals (not to run away like ordinary members of the public might), to prevent anarchy. They cant win, if you saw a photo in the media of a police officer running away from someone with a knife people would moan about how they arent doing their jobs properly etc.

I respect the police and i understand that they have to react in certain ways at times. Not only that but they are human and sometimes mistakes are made, just as you and I make mistakes in our lives too. Noone is perfect. You just do the best you can.

I just wish the media would start to show the full stories behind the police actions and not just show what they want to show.

11 March, 2011 10:23

Anonymous Doxon of Dick Green said...

Excellent article in the Guardian, you got the balance just right.

11 March, 2011 10:30

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect the police.. but one thing they don't need in their jobs are arrest targets... otherwise they end up arresting people who dont really need to be arrested...It puts pressure on officers to make arrests and then they can start arresting for really silly things. Recently police were called to a house distrubance near me and then a neighbour came to see if he could help, the police accused him of coming out the house, and explained that he had just left his house up the road. The police continued to accuse him of lying and he understandably got annoyed because he wasnt lying, and because he got annoyed they arrested him, then his family came out of their house to see what was going on and they ended up arresting others from his family too!! Ludicrious. So I think taking away arrest targets or stop officers being told off for too few arrrests should be actioned because I can see they prob only arrested them to up their results! It was to be fair completely unnecessary.

11 March, 2011 10:31

Anonymous Shanghai said...

Doxon get back to the Torygraph! As for the other comments it shows how divorced plod is from reality. A few arse lickers like you (Oderint dum metuant?) but your time is up.

11 March, 2011 10:53

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If some of these posters hate the police.... why do they read this blog? I don't understand...? Why not spend your time doing something else rather than read a blog of a police officer who you clearly don't like?
Is it me or is it just not logical?

I guess the people who hate police just really have nothing else better to do but follow a police officers blog..??

11 March, 2011 11:05

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years of government interference in the police claiming that it will improve confidence appears to have done the exact opposite. Example:-. Home Office circular in 1967 told forces to get officers off the beat and into cars. That way they could respond to more calls over a greater area more quickly. Intention to improve confidence. Outcome, decreases confidence.

Time and time again our great leaders have gone along with every initiative churned out by the government without any complaint. The outcome is bureaucratic rules and targets replacing common sense and discretion. Result, reduced public support.

Senior offices past and present have nobody to blame this on but themselves. They've taken the best police force in the world and made it into a lamb. Well done!

11 March, 2011 11:33

Anonymous Tamir Pardo said...

It is not a matter of that "Anon". many bloggers must put up with trolling or in this case the opposition (decent folks) taking exception to PC Whatshername. Why the hell did she go on the Guardian in the first place? No easy rides for neo-nazi supporting scum in blue.

11 March, 2011 11:34

Anonymous Pocket Notebook Boy said...

I stopped posting on The Guardian's CIF pages long ago, having realised that most of the commentators are faux-intellectual borderline sociopath hypocrites, worse than the supposed 'nazis' and 'thugs' they routinely denigrate. Their holier-than-though whingeing just made me feel very depressed.

The CIF lot are the same as Daily Mail commentators, just with differing political ideologies. What makes them worse is that they are absolutely covinced they are right, and everyone else is wrong.

11 March, 2011 12:23

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose Jim and Kimpatsu also go on health service blogs and rile them.

Dr Harold Shipman killed more than those you claim the Police have, Nurse Beverley Allett too.

Watch out Doctors and Nurses, Jim willbe happy to see you all killed because you share the same occupation.

11 March, 2011 14:24

Blogger SC16 (retired) said...

Well done, Bloggsy. I'm sure you're above all the silly comments coming your way but I do hope that the Grauniad pay you lots for keeping their highly intelligent, totally unbiased readers informed about real life.

11 March, 2011 18:28

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. I did say reasoned. Maybe you should have just tried for comprehensible.

Perhaps you could contrast and compare the British police service with the extra judicial executions and extraordinary renditions carried out by "your" organisation.

I look forward to your intelligible response.


11 March, 2011 20:17

Anonymous Tamir Pardo said...

"The enemy will try to denigrate you, to belittle you and to mock you." (IRA notes that were the basis of IDF theory of urban warfare).

11 March, 2011 20:36

Anonymous A Polis Man said...

Liked your piece in the Guradniad however fle tit was a little brief to truely make an impact.

If there was a longer version please post for us to enjoy :)

11 March, 2011 21:14

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe that you are attempting to align yourself with the IRA as well.

So you hate the British police for being "neo-nazi scum" and you support the Israelis.

Do you tell all your Guardian reading friends your views about Amnesty and Palestine? I am guessing you are not standing shoulder to shoulder with the UAF.

Just another single issue fanatic with a problem with cops. Was it a speeding ticket?


12 March, 2011 00:40

Anonymous R/T said...

What's that law that states how long it will take a comparison with nazi Germany to come up, please? It didn't take long here!

12 March, 2011 09:35

Anonymous Tamir Pardo said...

Tango, what an asinine commnt you made. So policing in West Somerset is the same as West Bank? No, I do not agree with all aspects of Israeli domestic and foreign policy. As for the IRA I stopped supporting Sinn Fein when they signed the so called policing agreement. Well, at least Heffrons' leg and most of Carroll are in the stratosphere. As for the UAF it is a plurality. I attended masjids ... WITH DARKIES!.. and have no problem with Islam. Finally not a parking ticket, I was involved with the Marper ruling.

12 March, 2011 09:47

Anonymous Pocket Notebook Boy said...

See my comment above about Guardian readers and their lunatic postings.

See Tamir's comments as prime examples of said lunacy.

12 March, 2011 09:59

Anonymous A Polis Man said...

Intresting comment peice in the times today about whether you feed or don't feed the trolls

12 March, 2011 12:18

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

R/T - Godwin's law. However, just because someone dislikes the police, to the point of unadulterated hatred, does not make their comment illegitimate and their considered views are welcome. Comments that degenerate to name-calling will be removed.

12 March, 2011 13:14

Anonymous Tamir Pardo said...

PC Bloggs ask WHY we hate the police. (No simple opt out, I attended university, I worked as a nurse and bouncer).

12 March, 2011 16:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aargh, I have just realised that Tamir is the same person as Joe/Ron Broxted.

For what it's worth I agree with the Government's recommendation as a result of the Marper ruling. The sooner we get it on a statutory footing the better.
(I don't think that the government taking a case to the ECHR is a particularly good reason to hate the cops though)

What was your role in the case?

And what other reasons do you have to hate the police?


12 March, 2011 18:56

Anonymous Shanghai said...

1. Tango, you are not the sharpest tool in the box are you?
2. My role in the case is that I had a sample taken for no reason, an attempted fitting up by Hertfordshire Constabulary. The DS involved subsequently had his personal details fall into the hands of CIRA.
3. When just one man says No, Rome begins to fear.

12 March, 2011 19:49

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1)I apologise, I had vainly hoped that perhaps there were some genuine contributions being made rather than your various alter egos conducting some kind of schizophrenic anti-police campaign.

2)Given that the Marper case involved "S" and "Marper" both from Sheffield I am struggling to see how your case contributed to the ECHR challenge. There was no argument in those cases that the taking of the samples was "for no reason". Maybe you should start a new case.
I won't comment on the proportionality or rationality of exposing someone the risk of being killed in response to your "fitting up" - though I would suggest that the IRA wouldn't be THAT interested in the location of a mainland DS. We aren't that hard to find you know.

3)I look forward to the police force you will establish in your new society.

At least I am some way towards understanding why you hate us. You do realise that unlawful arrest and imprisonment will garner fairly hefty pay outs in compensation - did you win your claim?


12 March, 2011 20:16

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1)No mockery intended. I genuinely hoped we had some rational commentators.
2)So "a follow up to Marper", not "involved in the Marper case" at all then. Good luck with that - honestly. I do support the Marper ruling however until the Government passes some legislation to substantiate its recommendations then Marper won't be implemented. You should be due a payout as long as you remember it's not about unlawful taking, it is about unlawful retention.
3) Good luck with that. I am not clear what you want to go to Tehran for.
Good to see that you are a fan of violent revolution rather than peaceful resistance or democratic change. Then again it does show the diversity of both Guardian readers and UAF.


12 March, 2011 22:31


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