Sunday, October 12, 2008

Politics Racing

Well it's all going a bit wrong down in the fine capital of this island. Blair out, Ghaffur on gardening leave, Dizaei suspended and the NBPA taking out adverts in the press saying don't go anywhere near the Met.

I don't know if I work in a bubble or what but the environment the NBPA talk about is one I don't recognise. No-one is forced to sit on a different table. Either I'm blind to it but I can honestly say I've never seen any overt racism in my job. Ever.

My force has a policy, as do most forces across the country, of positive discrimination. What this means in essence is that persons of a certain skin colour are given extra help and training to achieve promotion and selection for specialist roles. Could you imagine the outcry if this skin colour selected was white? I can understand the reasons for it, but to tackle discrimination with discrimination is a dead end road.

Every black (or VEM, as my force brackets those eligible for said extra help- visible ethnic minority) officer I know has refused to accept the help from the "positive discrimination" unit. I can clearly recall a time in training school when this positive whatnot team introduced themselves. One girl clarified she was eligible for this extra help by basis of one of her parents being of a particular foreign origin. I can remember her storming out of the room in disgust that she was eligible for help solely on the basis of her parents origin. One I know refused to join the NBPA and then found himself ostracised by his colleagues who did join. How messed up is that?

An asian colleague tells a story of when he was at a diversity seminar. The trainer asked everyone to give an account when they suffered discrimination as a result of their skin colour. He thought, and he realised he couldn't think of one. The trainer refused to believe him, and when he stuck to his ground she put in a racially aggravated complaint against him. I kid you not.

I'm not saying the police is perfect. Perhaps I'm lucky that I joined recently enough so that the racism of old (or not so old, by the tales of the 80's I hear) has gone. I would be an idiot to think that we're doing fine. My asian colleague above I would assume would be the exception to the rule, and there does remain the issues that we predominantly don't represent the communities we represent. Thats one of the few things I do agree with Boris Johnson about, although I would point out to him that how about he considers the ethnic proportionalities of parliament too.

But I don't think it's as bad as the NBPA would for some reason have us believe.

In the meantime, if all else fails I'll can the job, get busy with the wife and move to Ealing.