Slash, bang, whallop

Here we have it, Boris Johnson, shows how tough he is on crime and wants to build 10.000 more prison places and increase stop and search.

We are going towards a classical double-sided society. The underlings, living in prison cells and the good people living in houses/flats.

In the old days we could see the two-way society by the way pubs were built with two entrances for the poor and the rich. The public and saloon bars.

Boris Johnson now wants to create a new society whereby everybody just gets locked up, out of the way and that creates the internment society.

Gone has the community cohesion model, the trying to build civil societies who live together in peace and harmony.

I am not against stop and search and I am not against re-introducing the 20.000 police officers that were cut from the budget but recruiting masses of police officers quickly, doesn’t exactly increase the quality control of officer that is coming to our beats.

Yet stop and search done on an aggressively large scale, can seriously push mentally instable people over the edge and we may be walking towards a new age of riots.

Whilst the new government bemoans a break-down in civil society here in Tower Hamlets all Neighbourhood Watch signs were taken down from lamp posts. Those signs were always

  • an expression of anti-crime sentiment,
  • deterrents for criminals and
  • assurance for residents.

Why remove those signs, when they are simply a positive influence on the community? And whilst removing Neighbourhood Watch signs, which always introduced a better feeling of community spirit and increased attempts of community cohesion and simply replace all by a quick lock up and shut up policy?

It seems we are trending towards the Chinese model of building internmnet centres for re-education, and assisted living.

It is totally amazing that the government suddenly can find the funds to build 10.000 new prison places but is unable to build council housing in the same scale.

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The knife edge

Initially I supported the work program. I thought that is the way to keep people out of trouble, keep them busy and get them into work and it will then make the knife problem go away.

I even supported the reduction of police officers because I thought when people are in work, they won’t have any time to commit crime, they will be too tired.

It was one of the strongest arguments from the Tories against the previous Labour government that knife crime was so high.

But what headline do we have now?

Knife possession at 9 year high.

So the work program is not helping the wave of crime we are experiencing now. The reduction in police officer numbers also didn’t help.

And I am sick and tired of the tit for tat accusations between political rivals to accuse each other for being responsible.

I don’t even think that Boris can help the problem by reducing taxes. Especially not by reducing taxes. Though the aim is to make the poor better off without reducing the wealth of the rich. Yet, it doesn’t work. Dropping out of the EU will not work and getting the deal changed will not work. The early autumn will be very stressful for most of us.

I think Boris did well as London Mayor, he delivered the Olympics, sorted out a lot on London Transport, but that is it.

The situation now is different, he said a lot more that is offending a lot of people and all he can count on is his nice voice and his sincere personality and a lot of memories people have.

Of course he might get the top spot but that is because his party colleagues think he may help the Tories win the next general election. Dooooooo

Having lives before politics

I am astounded to read that

  • Michael Gove took Cocaine
  • Rory Stewart smoked Opium
  • Jeremy Hunt had a Cannabis Lassi
  • Boris Johnson snorted cocaine and smoked drugs as teenager

Although these events are kind of ancient, e.g. they have been described by

Mr Gove who told the Mail: “I think all politicians have lives before politics. Certainly when I was working as a journalist I didn’t imagine I would go into politics or public service.”

I think that is the source of the problem of our increased drug culture in Britain, that taking them is seen as having a life.

On the front line, living in Tower Hamlets, a borough that has a high drug dealing problem, we find that it’s the social users, the ones that have jobs and earn enough money to consume drugs, have a substantive responsibility towards the drug dealing problem. If they wouldn’t buy the drugs, the dealers would have less reason to sell.

I can only hope that people are starting to realise that it would be better for all of us not to take any class A, B, or C drugs whether in politics or not.

Tower Hamlets Council is currently  conducting a substance misuse strategy survey on how to best combat drug use and how to educate people about it. They suggest that care leavers and high risk groups like pupils who have been excluded from schools should be educated about the dangers. Yet, the council seems to forget that it is those established high earners and middle class university graduates that also need educating.

Drugs are very common these days and it is definitely not easy to say no.

Yet if a pupil in a school these days would be caught out in any way with drugs whatsoever, they would be expelled and had little chance to ever enter a high-profile political post.  It doesn’t help to play down the drug taking of major politicians and put it down to life before politics.

What should happen is that children who nowadays get themselves in trouble whilst in school should not be expelled but helped instead so that they have a future equally as those politicians who now admit their failures once they had a career.

It is more than cynical that Michael Gove feels fit to admit his drug taking when he used to be Minister for Education who fell through the net.

Perhaps also our alcohol drinking culture should be called into question as this also has severe health implications both on our minds and on our bodies.

But the moral of the story is though that nobody is perfect after all.

 

Back to reality

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Johanna Kaschke a judge at London Swimming Regional Champs

Just decided to air this blog again, after I had been hiding it for years because of the shame of losing this libel trial. But history is what it is and we just have to live with it. Apparently we are now being defined by our online history and seeing that employers now choose employees by their public profile, I can well now understand that it is absolutely hopeless for me to ever get a well paid job.

What has happened so far?

I am a pensior now and I volunteer a lot to keep busy. I volunteer with

  • my local community centre
  • my local Safer Neighbourhood team and Neighbourhood Watch
  • for British Swimming at competitions as a swimming judge/starter

I am not active in politics at all. It is just amazing how small local activities of a female to do with political parties or interest groups get blown out of all proportions. Does it have to do with power-sharing?

Just having watched Dragon’s Den this week, there is now an online business that offers to clean up people’s public internet profile for a yearly membership of £70, so that it is easier to get the well paid job.

I think I will pass on that and allow the people who so completely and utterly bullied me online to live with their own conscience.

In the meantime, after having left the Conservative Party and been politically abstinent for years, I tried to re-join the Labour Party but was refused membership by my local association apparently just a year after I applied, apparently when I posted a picture of  being at a Jewish synagoge durinng a multi-faith celebration of the yearly Holocaust commemoration, which also included Councillor Islam for Bethnal Green. I declined an inviation to appeal the refusal.

Somehow I have the feeling I just don’t fit into political parties and will give that a miss in future.

 

Duggan conclusion misrepresented

Today a jury decided that Duggan was killed lawfully by police. I listened to the original BBC broadcast. It appears that the jury had to decide how the nearby gun, wrapped in a sock came to be over a fence and the jury decided that Duggan had thrown that gun away prior to the police having stopped the car.

However AlJazeera now reports that the jury decided that Duggan did not have a gun. I think that the finding of the jury did not conclude that Duggan didn’t have a gun but that the gun found nearby was thrown before the police stopped.

That does not mean that Duggan could not have had another gun in the car. It would be important to know how the actual stopping procedure went and if he was asked to surrender prior to being shot or how he behaved and what actually happened. We get so many bits and pieces from the press its not conclusive for me as reader.

In the meantime Sir Hogan-Howe has promised that weapons police officers will wear cameras in future to learn from this event.

Safety is still in the eyes of the beholder. An officer just has to feel that his life is threatened to be able to aim a gun. All a camera has to proof that the subject made a movement that could be interpreted as preparing to shoot at the officer. I don’t think that in the Duggan case a camera would have made any difference.

In this BBC article on 12/1/14 it says now the jury said Duggan wasn’t holding a gun when shot by police.

Philpott makes benefit changes look good?

Just watched this TV documentary about this most sad and extremely tragic case of the death of six children in a house fire that was apparently started deliberately according to the latest media reports and that 3 people including the children’s mother are up for sentencing for only manslaughter today. I say only because if one looks at the financial implications one must wonder whether manslaughter was in fact enough to charge them with.

Learning that Mr Philpott gotten all the money from benefits for the kids and his partners straight into his account, he must have gotten loads of money for up to 2 women and 11 children. That was a source of income for the man who allowed his best friend to share his women.

With the new benefits restrictions coming into force, a bigger house would not have solved Mr Philpott’s problems it would have increased them because less benefits and more rent would not be profitable at all. For somebody who is so financially suave, starting a fire for a bigger house, does not make sense when it is quite obviously clear that less money is going to come in.

Remember all those TV shows about his lack of living space were made prior to benefit changes in regards to maximum benefits a family can get.

I think manslaughter is too lenient!!!!

But still I think the utmost consideration when looking at benefits is the quality of life it brings for families and responsible parents would always try to make the best out of what they got. I cannot comment on the quality of life for the Philpott children, what they did as extra-curricular activities if any.

But for parents who want well for their children, the withdrawal of benefits can mean no ability to pay for out-of-school clubs for example. But then the Philpott case looks as if the reduction of benefits was justified because people can just produce children as their sole source of income.

Remember, always put your kids first. Children are not a commodity.

PC for Performance Conjunction

I just wonder whether this legal case where a Police Officer sues a crime victim for negligence is just supposed to be a test case to try the law on police officer injuries. I think that this Petrol Station owner is just the one that has to bite the paper trail on this because he has been selected to test the law.

I think that police officers suffer from a deterioration of working conditions in that this government wants to bring in performance related pay. Whilst in the good old days an injured officer, in the course of duty of course, could continue to claim full pay for desk duties, it might not be so easy when pay is performance linked. Obviously an injured officer does not work as well as a fresh and healthy one.

And also I am not fully familiar with the working conditions of officers but it seems they could claim compensation for on-duty injuries in the past, perhaps they can’t do so any longer.

It therefore doesn’t surprise me that this officer wants to exploit other avenues of securing their lifestyle, future etc.

Quite clearly the risk of investigating crimes has always been taken by the Home Office that insures its officers. Of course it would make little sense to bring in a rule that says police can only investigate crimes if a crime scene is fully risk assessed and lit at all hours of the day.

If that were the case then a lot of crimes could not be investigated and all dim places would be robbed much more than they already are simply because police won’t go there into that dark corner.

But since the police service pays performance related and reduces the salaries of officers, it seems quite a logical conclusion that officers want to protect themselves by seeking redress for losses of the financial kind.

It’s all good and well to expect unselfish public servants but how much risk can we expect individuals to take? We frequently and too often hear of fire fighters dying in fires, soldiers dying on the front line and police officers being attacked by criminals but how many injuries police officers can be expected to suffer under this performance related pay regime, of course brings about new legal avenues that lawyers will want to explore I suspect.

But from the point of environmental considerations. For the police officer to expect that every area is lit for 24 hours per day, is environmentally unfriendly. Too much lighting causes too much warming of the atmosphere, at least with today’s technology.  On the other hand the garage owner could argue that the police should have given the PC night vision goggles or glasses.

Re-arranging the police

I cannot help thinking that the government’s forced budget cuts onto the police drove them into trying to dismiss anybody who was in service for 30 years. Yet now before a tribunal the very question of whether those age discrimination workforce cuts could be justified, is being heard. The police budget was supposed to be ironed out by using Regulation A19.

I just wonder whether the government’s urgent pleas to cut police budget, whilst they involve non police officers into top posts will completely dishevel the current policing structure. It must have an immense impact if one takes out a whole age group of middle aged officers, who are the life and the soul of the force.

Seeing also that the whole dismantling of the police as we know it will also manifest itself by way of discarding landmark police buildings like the current Scotland Yard HQ in Westminster, then I think that is a strategy aimed at causing a revolution within the police force to drive it into a different direction.

The Police Superintendent Association warns against the big shake-up and I think that taking out a whole middle group of very experienced officers and replacing the leadership with inexperienced officers at Superintendent level and highest officers even from outside of the UK, means the police force is missing out on the basic knowledge that every police officer gathers over years of service.

In that respect, reinstating older officers can only be beneficial for the service as a whole and also provide those new top brass officers without police experience with appropriate senior experience in the lower ranks, that will bolster the gap between new leaders and lower ranks.

It is quite extraordinary that this government wants to introduce new work ethics and dismantle organised policing as we know it.

John Biggs warns that cuts reduce the quality of policing

Sergeants are about to be removed from local SNT teams in London, that is if Boris Johnson approves suggested changes to policing structures to facilitate £500 million worth of savings by 2015.

That could mean that Police Inspectors may lead 4 teams instead of each or two teams having 1 Sergeant.

What is however also in the pipeline, is that Neighbourhood Watch teams get more regular meetings with SNT teams, who then exchange statistics and discuss concerns. That is a huge improvement to the previous 3-monthly meetings for SNT panel members, who not necessarily were also Neighbourhood Watch coordinators.

That is the way to go to ensure better quality and to monitor and question the quality of policing, it is to become a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator to be able to discuss local issues with police every 4 weeks in either formal or informal meetings. Police will have no choice but to determine their priorities according to resident’s and businesses input.

People always must try and make the best of a situation and the best method to ensure the best possible policing in London is to be a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator. I personally spent the last 5 years developing Neighbourhood Watch in Tower Hamlets for example, having worked closely with an Inspector for the last 1 1/2 years and I personally can recommend this setting,

But of course the great question that always arises, when are people able to meet and fit in with police shifts.

A moral dilemma

A recent study shows that police moral is rock-bottom and that many officers do not feel to have the support from the government.  Indeed, the most important landmark for policing in Britain is in danger of being abandoned by the police because they have to find money to cut from their budget and the upkeep of New Scotland Yard is too expensive under this government. The typical national stamina is being systematically undermined by this government. They do not stop at the usual dismantling of government powers, they also now attack one of the best assets of their own party, namely Boris Johnson, who seems to have upset the powerhouse behind modern Conservative politics, Iain Duncan Smith, whose constituents are unhappy over a dock-track that has to make way for a new housing and social development.

It has a lot of transport related conflict because also Heathrow Airport or whether it should have a third runway or not, seems to be a major discussion point.

Iain Duncan Smith’s employment policies are most likely geared on clearing Britain of immigrant workers because the Works and Pensions Secretary now wants to punish those part-time workers on benefits who do not seek to get full-time jobs, unless of course they do have care responsibilities.

Yet many of the Conservative policies are self-defeating. Increasing privatisation not only leads to less taxes being paid, and even teachers getting employed by off-shore tax heaven companies, more and more British based companies go out of business, with Comet being the latest casualty.

I think this government simply wants to dismantle this country and just bring everything into so much disarray.

Yet the backbone of this country has been a good benefits system, a great health service and the law and order that keeps everything running smoothly and with more and more cuts on police budget the very officers that kept us safe, are now feeling discouraged from enjoying their jobs.

It is a great shame that anyone government can do so much damage to this country, without us being able to stop them. the nation is facing a very difficult spring of 2013 with many benefit changes affecting a lot of households in the boroughs.

The other question that arises for me is of course, why do I always feel that the current government does harm to the nation? I felt exactly the same after Labour had been in power last time. Is it to do with the media, making everything feel gloomy because of the way they report about it all?

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