Friday, December 14, 2007


Well, the last post didn't cause that much controversy.... never mind.

A couple of things had arisen though- I had completely forgotten that our glorious government had made protesting within a mile of Parliament Square illegal. I didn't really think much about it before but now it has become something I was actually seriously contemplating doing it really winds me up! If the government don't like being told by their electing public that they're not popular, they'll just make it illegal for the public to tell them about it. They don't want to run the risk of actually being confronted by one of their constituents. Its much easier to dismiss a protest when it's something your secretary can deal with via the postbox. I would love to see what the Met would do though if a several hundred old bill turned up outside the Houses of Parliament. Probably bus in all their PCSO's to give everyone a PND.

Anyhoo I did note that one of the things the Fed is now advocating is a mass protest rally. I'll take the credit for that ;-)

Now that this situation is getting a fair bit of news coverage the comments pages on some of the rags are getting letters sent in. I can't remember which one (and I can't be bothered searching) but someone was saying how pathetic this all was over 0.6%. (someone commented on the last post in the same theme)

So, to clarify. For myself, and I think the most of us, this is really not about the money. We are relatively well paid, especially compared to the other emergency services. Although there are unique aspects to our job that don't apply to the others- but more on that another time, if there's the interst.

If the government had backdated the 2.5% to make it a proper 2.5%, I personally wouldn't be jumping up and down.

What is galling is the way the government have gone about this pay rise. They canned a long standing police pay rise mechanism linked into inflation, which was accepted by "us" in return for the right to strike. They then enter into "binding" arbitration which recommends a 2.5% rise. They then, having stalled the issue long enough, accept the 2.5% increase, but only implement it 4 months after it should have been so that the overall increase is 1.9%.

Underlying all this of course is the fact most of us are seriously hacked off with the target obsessions of this government which has a direct impact on the way street level officers go about their jobs. Which has been, for the most part, a negative impact. Most people have seen or heard a story about how some minor petty offence- e.g playground scraps-which in all honesty should be dealt with by words of advice was dealt with according to the letter of the law- which whilst not illegal is not exactly proportionate. But its the pressure from the senior management, under pressure from the government, to improve detection rates which causes this.

Its not about the money. Its about the government constantly interfering and imposing their will. Now I will counter this to acknowledge there is a need for a publicly elected body to be concerned with the manner in which the country is policed but the manner and the method through which this government has gone about it has been woeful, and this pay issue has just been the final straw.