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Cameron needs to take more care of police and military

Posted on 12 August 2011 | 12:08pm

David Cameron’s self-confidence is a trait much commented upon by those who see him close up. Given the sheer scale of issues a PM has to deal with, and the relentlessness of the pressure, it is no bad thing that he possesses it in plenty.

But it is not a good quality if it crosses the barrier to a sense of entitlement, or arrogance. There is a danger of that happening in relation to two very important parts of our national life – the military, and the police.

Cameron is adamant that both have to face cuts. When it suits him, he makes this part of his deficit reduction argument. But he also makes the point that both can cope perfectly well with the cuts proposed, and feigns perplexity that anyone could see things differently.

Put to one side the fact that he so ruthlessly exploited in Opposition any suggestion that the then government was not giving the military everything it needed for the wars in Iraq and especially, as an election neared, in Afghanistan. With regard both to the police and the military, he exudes the sense that, frankly, he knows best.

I still think that his line re the military – ‘you do the fighting and I’ll do the talking’ -was a pretty shocking thing to say. I cannot imagine a Labour PM, or indeed any recent Tory PM – saying such a thing. I think he will come to regret it. Likewise he seems to be giving the police the message that they screwed up in their early handling of the riots, which given morale is already pretty low thanks to pay and pensions issues, phone hacking and the G20 policing row, will not go down a bundle.

There are many groups of people it is better to have onside than offside for a government. The police and the military are high up the list. The PM should take a bit more care with them.

  • Dean Perry

    Because love makes the world go round 😀

  • Matt

    Do you not strike yourself, also, as always someone that thinks they know best?

  • Ms Jane McKellar

    I think, also the government doesn’t understand how the cuts elsewhere affect the police. For example, the police play a major role regarding the Mental Health Act. Because of cuts/idealogy many wards are closing. In my own families case, if it wasn’t for the police, my mentally ill sister would be dead. They were great. But it was time-consuming for them.
    Sorry for any spelling mistakes. 

    • Gillian C.

      The thing is Jane, I think this poxy government well understand the knock-on effects of their cuts.  I suppose “call me Dave” was hoping or expecting his mythical “Big Society” to get organised and come to the rescue!  So the fact that this hasn’t happened is our fault and not his! (To his way of reasoning, I would imagine).
      Sorry to hear about your sister’s illness.  Good to hear the police treated her well and hope she will make a good recovery eventually.  Difficult times indeed for all except the wealthy.

  • John Hutchinson

    A very gentle admonition, I think, given the incredible arrogance of the ‘you do the fighting and I’ll do the talking’ comment alone.

    • Dave Simons

      I can’t believe that Cameron actually said that in real life. Has he been misquoted or taken out of context, like MacMillan and ‘You’ve never had it so good’ or Norman Tebbit and ‘Get on your bike’? If he really did say that and meant it then why has he been allowed to get away with it? Surely no-one in a Prime Ministerial position could possibly score such an own goal, guaranteed to get on the wrong side of an institution (the armed forces) that has traditionally been a bedrock of support for the Conservative Party? Pinch me, I’m dreaming!

  • Ron Taylor

    The riots were not about social problems, maybe for a few hundredthey were but the majority were simply out for a good time.


    It is too simple for Cameron and others to blame it all on ‘kids’ fromestates. That is easy to say and makes the middle classes sleep easy.


    I received a message from a blogger in Cairo who suggested that it was the underclass who were let down by society. I informed her that quite a few of the rioters would be middle class and have jobs (though not for long).

    One must remember that one of the recent trials for a youth misbehaving was when Charlie Gilmore, the son of a multi millionaire Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmore, was sentenced to prison. Charlie is, or was, a Cambridge student.The police did as a good a job as they could considering it hit them without any warning.__________

  • Anonymous

    Very well said.  It’s crystal clear that the Met Police alone could not cope with the riots and it wasn’t until the reinforcements came in from about 30 other forces that the situation could be handled better.  So what Cameron is thinking is very hard to fathom.  His smugness offends me and I am angry that if he goes ahead with the police cuts he is compromising my safety.  I spoke to a policeman locally who said he can be called to as many as 20 incidents simultaneously so it is clearly crazy to cut the front line police services.  Try telling that to Cameron; his listening skills are challenged and he is always right never mind what anyone else advises. If he blames stuff on Labour one more time I will scream – it will be political madness to make these police cuts

  • Mr O’Connor

    the man is of his rocker!!!!!!!!!

    its common sense that if you make cuts to something its going to lose something and in this case police presence on the streets and less soldiers!

    if anything he needs to be putting more money into the police because insight of recent events the police were not prepared for something like the riots the police themselves were saying the need more boots on the ground!, they need to have the numbers, training and equipment to be able to deal with incidents such as the riots!  every force should have enough officers to support its area! not be begging borrowing and stealing from others, they need to start recruiting again!

    and the cutting of the military is absoloutley EFFING ridiculous!

    we once had the largest navy in the world and now we have one of the smallest! we are an island nation that needs a large navy! and god knows why were sharing ships with france! its damn ridiculous! it really doesnt makes sense to me! when these cuts go through britain is going to be one big shit sandwhich and everyone is going to have to take a bite!

  • Good post.  I wish he had the remotest interest in getting teachers onside.

  • Chris lancashire

    The police require reform. They did “screw up” in the early handling of the riots, pay and pensions issues do need addressing, the government didn’t create the ludicrous phone hacking saga – MPs and the media did – and the G20 policing row – I presume you refer to the innocent manslaughter of a passer by – was of the police’s own making.
    I agree it is better for any government to have the police and military onside so even more credit to the Coalition for tackling long overdue reforms now.

    • Yonks

      I suspect Chris that a lot of the ‘posters’ on this blog actually cannot see the need for change post the Labour party attempt to ruin the country. From what a lot of ‘regulars’ are saying it almost seems like they’re missing the ‘good old days’; I know, hard to believe isn’t it?

    • MicheleB

      How can you use such a term as  ‘screw(ed) up’?

      Peace was restored when numbers were increased.  It is called ‘prevention’.

      Police in Croydon were on the piece mid-afternoon on Monday, the main shopping area was occupied by Met comms vans and with coppers and CSOs as very definite presences.

      Shops on the street itself were already starting to close.

      Nobody suggested I should leave the TC but it was all so very noticeable that I realised it might soon be the case that southbound trains would be stopped at the first station north or go straight through Croydon so I left immediately.

      As for what happened on Saturday night, the first looting episode, can you point me please to your anticipatory message about it being a likely follow-on from the peaceful vigil?

      As to your pathetic smear about an ‘innocent’ bystander.  There were youtubes at the time showing that Mr Tomlinson had been obstructing Police for half an hour before that awful hit.  You might remember that the RBS’s 20′ high window had been smashed and its top third was hanging like a guillotine blade in the windowframe.  On the other hand you might not remember that because it doesn’t suit you.  You might remember that one of the three PMs showed that his illness meant he had been bleeding long before his collapse; on the other hand you might not.  You won’t be able to find any of these youtubes or reports any more and you might pretend that I’m a liar about their having existed, that would also suit your prejudice (not to mention that of the people who removed their uploads).

      I wondered which divvi would be the first to move itself from moaning about ‘too soft’ and then whinge about ‘too hard’.

      You win the cuddly teddy.

  • MicheleB

    Camsham really needs also to rein in some of his colleagues.

    I posted somewhere last night about May’s number-scrunching formula to reach the much-vaunted ‘only 11% of Police time out on the streets’. 

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if her Govt colleagues (in general) were conscientious enough to check her workings out before they parrot it as Varsi did yesterday on TV (and as have many others before her, in the habit of ‘if it’s said often enough it will be swallowed as truth’). 

    Perhaps I should actually have posted about the snide spin put on the figure, had I known that it’s actually already been worked out for us.

    ‘More or Less’, a funny little programme about numbers, has examined whether Police really do sit around for 89% of their time munching doughnuts (the aspersion made ….. an aspersion is something like a spin, is it not?).

    They did so last year and it’s available for ‘listen again’ from this link, it starts at 25m10s in …….   iPlayer being a safe BBC download :

    May Theresa stop spinning?

  • DM

    I’ve said it before and will say it again, Cameron is a lightweight phoney and knows nothing more than to shoot his mouth off and Teresa May-has-failed is out of her depth.  The issue for me is the extent to which they say things which is in effect misleading parliament.  I know it’s unlikely that the Tories or Lib Dems would oust Cameron because they’ll implode as a coalition, but at what point do they question the reality of circumstances when weighed against what Cameron is telling them in parliament (let alone behind closed doors).
    If Cameron is willing to tell parliament something which isn’t true and then simply quietly issues a retraction some time later (like the apology recently to AC) what confidence should we have in our own MP’s that they are representing us effectively.  If Cameron had to actually tell the truth in Parliament and the MP’s didn’t like what they heard, one or more of them could in theory stand-up and say they have no confidence in what they are hearing and push for a no-confidence vote.  Even if unsuccessful, it might limit the extent to which Cameron thinks he can say anything he likes and make him and his party seem utterly self-serving and corrupt.  Instead, we have this situation where Cameron (and May it would seem) play fast and loose with the facts about what they have actually ‘ordered’ and the MP’s apparently seem to take this on face value.  Personally, I’ve seen more than enough to convince me that Conman Dave is a liar and a fraud who uses weasel words at every opportunity, and I’d take the statements of Sir Hugh Orde as being the definitive ones any day of the week.  Cameron thinks it is beneath him to answer questions even though that is what we the tax payers pay him to do and yet he wonders why the public are contemptuous.  Wake up Cameron, you’re the problem not the solution.  Wake up Tory’s, your boy blunder has been rumbled and the proverbial is once again sticking to your blanket.  Wake up Lib Dems your looking like cheap impotent, apologists.
    Isn’t it time for the fortnightly re-launch of the Big Broken Society?
    Smart move by Ed Milliband on the ‘enquiry’.  The Govt will end up looking very defensive and out of touch. 
    Finally a very well done to the all the emergency services.  While Cameron is tucked away playing on his bouncy castle thinking of more terribly clever words to spout, and trying out his airbrushed ‘look tough’ pose, the big boys and girls are sorting out the nasty mob – once again.

  • Anonymous

    He is ‘dangerously arrogant’.

  • MicheleB

    “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  ‘you do the fighting and I’ll do the talking’ -was a pretty shocking
    thing to say. I cannot imagine a Labour PM, or indeed any recent Tory PM………………”

    Did you mean decent?

  • Quinney

    I recently visited Portsmouth and it was tragic to see show many of our navy’s ships tied up, destined for the scrap yard.
    Who’d have thought 20 yrs ago that the tories would have abandoned the forces and the police, these are/were traditional tories but this new intake of right wing tory is a very dangerous animal, intent on sweeping anything aside that is public sector, even the police or the armed forces.
    One thing is certain though, Labour’s investment in the police at least halved crime in this country. Cameron sounds very much like Thatcher in his “there is no alternative” mantra, to cut the police by the numbers he wants is playing a very dangerous game.

  • MicheleB

    Wandsworth have issued their first eviction notice to the mother of a convicted son.

    Cameron has said that such people evicted by councils will have to find housing in the private sector.

    How likely are they to be able to and at what price?

    Ho hum, private landlords will be able to hike their rents once more.

  • Damien Taylor

    Alastair, I don’t always agree with your views but you have hit the nail on the head here.  I believe that the PM cannot reasonably be asked to put himself in the shoes of the man on the street due to the rarefied atmosphere that he has always lived in.  He has lived a life of privilege and although this endows him with a number of advantages especially in relation to a first class education I’m afraid the flip side of that means that he cannot possibly understand the concerns/fears of the ‘ordinary’ citizen.  Therefore, if he cannot fathom what is important to the Jones’ then how on earth is he expected to know what is going through the minds of kids breaking into Currys and pinching a TV? 

    There is no doubting his intelligence and his commitment as you do not become Prime Minister without a modicum of either quality but I believe what enabled him to reach such heights could also lead to his downfall. Twinned with his privilege he has an unfortunate arrogance which allows him to steamroller his reforms without empathy for those who these reforms affect.  I watched him in the run up to the election and formed the opinion that his ambition clouded his judgement & I also got the feeling that he would do anything and say anything to become Prime Minister.    

    To me, it is no surprise that he conducts himself in the way he does but to paraphrase JFK, “We are all mortal” and that may be Cameron’s undoing as to me he acts as though he is politically immortal.  I find this curious as it wasn’t so much he won an election, it’s just that he wasn’t as quite as poor as his opponents.

    I agree that to neglect the Police and Armed Forces is foolish, especially when driving through his reforms at breakneck speed may require the support of both organisations.

  • ZintinW4

    I honestly don’t think this kind of unrest would have been tolerated under a Labour Government or if Ken was still running London. The media would ahve been hysterical and calling for resignations etc. In fact I am amazed that the Home Secretary has not resigned, after all she is the person who is responsible for policing and the police apparently admit to getting it wrong.
    She is still in her job though.

    Sadly I think Labour is still handling all of this wrongly. There is real public anger and we appear complacent, worse than that there is real fear, ramp down the 16K police on the streets of London and it will all come back. We should be able to articulate the fact that the party of law and order have become the party of mass disorder.

  • Ehtch

    Cameron’s confidence comes from pathethic arrogance. Don’t give him credit, where credit is not due, Alastair. He turns my guts, good and proper, personally, the fucking english blue blood total gobshite that he is. good and proper.

    SONG, from a kiwi lady, ,mmmmmm. via fecking Belfast,

  • Whatifwhatif

    Info for Aitch, just re Croydon 🙁

    No need for CL to take a peek, wouldn’t want to diminish the impression that things have been a storm in a teacup.

  • Anonymous

    I would be among the first to criticise the police for their (at best) controversial handling of legitimate and largely peaceful protests in the recent past.  I would not criticise them for being outnumbered and lacking a strategy for dealing with urban disorder on an unprecedented scale.  

    The perfidy of Cameron in shifting blame on to people who put themselves in harm’s way tells you everything you need to know about him.  

  • Just as a Mum and fellow Brit, my concern is that ‘we’ will take the police for granted and then wonder why they are exhausted, all due unspent leave, and showing the strain because of it.

    AND falling behind with all their ‘normal’ lines of enquiry. Yes, find the looters, of course, but keep the country running too. All on an overstretched line of resources…must be good elastic if it gets that far.I have not mentioned the man’s name – just the sight of him on the streets with The People was too much for me today.

  • MicheleB

    This thread’s also transposing my posts’ labelling
    from my typed-in ‘MicheleB’ to the glitch one
    it put them to on another thread the other night 🙁

  • Burnellfamily

    You are a credit to your nation.

  • Gilliebc

    Apparently according to several websites this Gov. is looking to privatise the police force!  I coudn’t believe this at first but it’s looking as if it may be true.  Surely this has to go down as the worst government ever. It certainly is in my lifetime at least.

    • Mr O’Connor


  • Gilliebc

    Calm yourself Ehtch.  He (Cameron) isn’t worth it 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I’m not quite sure how many police are due to be made redundant as i haven’t been following that debate closely, but yesterday he was talking about efficiency savings over 4 years that would save over a billion pounds. He later derided labour politicians for being out of touch and not recognising what technology could achieve in making our police forces more cost effective and efficient.

    That being the case, it still does not answer why police have to lose their jobs. I can better understand it with admin and support roles, but not the police men and women themselves. Maybe I am just naive, it would not be the first time.

    Perhaps one of you can enlighten me.

  • Dave Simons

    The political party that misses ‘the good old days’ is the Conservative Party. It looks back to a semi-mythical period when people knew their place and were more deferential to the enlightened elite who were the natural repository and transmitter of civilized values. The elite did everything behind closed doors and didn’t have the somewhat tiresome and annoying job of having much of an electorate to deal with. Those ‘good old days’ are long gone, and may they never return. Democracy and ‘the swinish multitude’  caught up with the elite and it’s never quite got used to it. Backwoods Tories still talk indiscreetly about ‘the good old days’ when they’re in their cups.
    But of course ‘the good old days’ that you refer to are the years 1997 to 2010. I wouldn’t say ‘good old days’ but certainly better than now in a lot of ways, with plenty of scope for improvement. No political party attempts to ‘ruin the country’ – I wouldn’t stoop to saying that about the Conservative Party even though, as far as I’m told by my experience of more than thirty years of Conservative government, their policies usually cause a lot of avoidable trouble for a lot of people whilst simultaneously bringing amazing benefits to a few people. They think they’re doing the country good – it’s just that most of the country thinks differently. When you talk about the Labour Party’s attempt to ruin the country you probably refer to Labour’s attempts at redistributing wealth more fairly, attempts which usually get scotched by that same elitist network that is the rock and foundation of the Conservative Party.

  • Robert

    Machiavelli would be rolling his eyeballs in their sockets.

  • MicheleB

    Here’s an example of the type of unthinking mischief some people get up to.  This is filming from a cyclist’s headcam, taken on Monday night at Croydon:  After witnessing looting s/he uploaded it on youtube and inferred that Police were nearby but did nothing.

    In fact, s/he saw something at 3m30s, carries on cycling and at 3m50s s/he passes a Police car coming from the other direction and with its siren sounding (which would suggest to me that it is en route to a call requiring it turning where it does, well before the smashed shop window).

    What on earth is the point of the comment?


  • Ehtch

    Which nation is that then? I am a briton, which doesn’t really exist anymore, which I am a bit well pissed off with. Go Britons, is all I have to say. We talk sense, at the end of the day. History, ey? Who’ll have it?

  • Yonks

    I suspect that you’re right in one respect, no political party sets out to ruin the country, but it’s maybe a coincidence that each time Labour has ‘lost’ its mandate there has been some sort of mess to clear up. This ‘mess’ has normally been closely linked with the state of the economy.
    Labour’s attempts at re-distributing wealth ‘more fairly’ as you put it have always resulted in an even bigger gap between the haves and have nots. You should be blaming the failed Labour governments for not achieving those aims rather than the ‘elitist’ network unless of course you’re admitting that the Labour politicians are part and parcel of this ‘elitist’ network.Both major parties swing either side of the centre, sometimes more right, other times more left. Unfortunately, we have only the ballot box to use against politicians irrespective of their mistakes. We have far more power against ‘failed councillors’ who can be fined and disqualified for poor financial management. Why can we not hold MPs to account in a similar way? Let’s face it, the outcome of the expenses scandal has been a disgrace, the recent looters are getting jail terms in some cases for relatively minor offenses. The overwhelming majority of MPs have broken the spirit of the laws governing their behavior and they have been acquitted by their own internal procedures i.e. an apology to the House will do, witness Laws.You don’t like the Tories, I don’t like any of them. They have all shown a complete disregard for the people of the country and true democracy has failed to exist within the UK. Constituency MPs will quite happily ignore public opinion to follow the party line, how democratic is that?When you say ‘that most of the country thinks differently’, you should also have added that this applies to every government apart from the coalition. Labour had a minority government, the Tories too, the coalition is actually a majority in terms of both seats and votes.

    • Gilliebc

      Yonks, reading your latest comments some of which I agree with, has reminded me of Peter Oborne’s piece/blog in the Telegraph a day or so ago.  It is an excellent and very apposite blog, well worth a read by people of any or no political persuasion.

    • Dave Simons

      Your second paragraph begins with a statement which includes the word ‘always’. Are you sure about that? Was that true in 1951, 1970 and 1979? I agree it might have been true in 2010, partly as a result of certain New Labour politicians feeling excessively relaxed about individuals becoming filthy rich. But if you look at those previous three dates I don’t think you can make such an unqualified claim. When we’re talking about wealth let’s not just count money in bank accounts or home ownership. Count also the national health service, free education, nationalised industries, etc. – all public assets which the Tories would prefer we didn’t have.

  • Graham

    Cameron comes across as a walking gimmick, with every public appearance. I know that most PM’s are guilty of soundbites, but they tended to restrict them to the odd occasion, and never employed them to attack people who we rely on for our security. It’s strange that a PM would publicly accuse the police of operational failure, when he is going to rely so heavily on them, come Olympic time. I think we may find his words will come back haunt him there. If there’s one thing Police Chiefs have learned, is how to play the politicians at their own game, and the Olympics would be the perfect backdrop to leave Cameron in the mire. 

    The army are a different case, as it is clear that Cameron is intent on retreating from foreign adventures where ground troops are required, at least for the foreseeable future. The military role for Britain will be reduced to air-strikes, and intelligence gathering, if he has his way. Here he may come unstuck, because Afghanistan will require our assistance for a lot longer than perceived. We can’t walk away, and allow it to return to it’s previous existence as a training ground for Al Qaeda, so there will be a military presence required, till proper government operation is established throughout the country. 

    It’s also inevitable that international developments will overtake his plans, as anyone who served in the Labour government could testify. It doesn’t matter how much you plan and prepare for the unexpected, you will always be caught out; but to be caught unprepared and ill-equipped is unforgivable. The thing is, Cameron is blinded by his own arrogance, and the British people will be the one who pay the price.

  • MicheleB

    You yadder on about Labour ‘failing’ to close a gap, you ignore how much bigger it used to be and how much more they planned to do.

    Comparing the very poorest person with the very richest seems irrelevant to me, it’s how much above basic costs of living the poorest are that matters (and that should be quite a chunk).

    These two links show which administration was looking at it for constructive reasons :

    We all know 2010’s inconclusive election result had little to do with positive voting, it was the TV debates (and some viewers’ need for a well-moisturised pin-up boy) and that comment about a bigot wot did it for GB.  People that should lose their vote used it to vote against him for his un-glamorous honesty; I’m aware you won’t agree with me as you actually describe ‘voting against’ as a valid tool.

    The coalition seems to have gone quiet on the plan re ‘no confidence’ motions requiring a 55+% outcome to be carried.  Have I missed it happening or being dropped?  I doubt that the Tories have lost interest in it, if successful it would render their partners quite redundant. 

    No Confdence motions are the only valid example of voting against that I can think of and a majority of one should stay as their mark.  Had the LibDems been moral last June we’d have had a short-lived minority Tory Govt, all the twaddle about their softening what could have otherwise been enacted by Tories is nonsense, they are still enabling Tory policies and were within days of allowing Murdoch’s teams to rule our entire media.

    BJ was much more relevant than usual on radio this morning!

  • Yonks

    Dave, why is it ok for you to make statements such as ‘all public assets which the Tories would prefer we didn’t have’? Have the Tories claimed they want to dispose of the NHS, education etc? By the way, none of these things are actually ‘free’ as you claim as it’s the taxpayer picking up the tab. If a nationalized industry is profitable then it’s an asset, otherwise it’s a liability!

    I think you need to review your history and also take into account that New Labour was finished in 2010 not starting. The apparent laissez faire attitude to ‘filthy rich’ individuals was well woven into the New Labour fabric.

  • Yonks

    Michelle, sorry but you’ve ‘got me’ on yaddering! What exactly do you mean? Did you mean to say ‘yatter’? Is it some colloquialism from your part of the country?

    You’re right of course that a direct comparison between the richest and the poorest is not fair but it is telling; it tells you a lot about what the last few governments have really failed to achieve. 

    Do you really believe that some people should lose their vote? I thought we lived in a democratic country, not one where certain members of society should be precluded from voting because they wouldn’t use their vote according to your wishes.

    BJ might have been far more relevant but remember he needs to win an election!

  • Madpinkflamingo

    DC should also remember that when the law breakers are taken out of the community, they reside in prison. They may not be visibly active but they continue to break the rules inside. violence, bullying, assaults on each other and prison officers occur every day. Prisoners have drugs and mobile phones smuggled in, and there is a thriving economy inside prison that mirrors the drug dealing culture on the outside. Every day, hundreds of prisoners cut themselves and attempt suicide. Prison officers handle tens of thousands of prisoners every year, with never a mention in the press. DC’s response is to reduce the number of prison places, cut officers, privatise prisons and prison drug services. He is a foolish man.

  • Ehtch

    Daily Mail? So MicheleB? Don’t insult my intelligence(!). : )
    Dan, and Dan, singing.

  • MicheleB

    You’re right Yonks, ‘yadder’ must be a pronunciation I’ve only heard from those who’re Americanised and ‘yatter’ (a pronunciation I’ve never ever heard) gives the definition I was meaning.  I’ll use ‘yatter’ from now on, it’s the English.

    Re the agreement in your second para, that was the point of Labour’s surveys.  If you don’t agree that their policies raised people up (regardless of closing any moveable-feast / finances gap between richest and poorest) you need your eyes testing.  You’d need to have no nouse about what social amenities had become by the early 90s …. despite the huge wealth of the 80s.  It’s deathly that we’re heading that way again, back to ‘things can only get better’.

    Do I believe people should lose their vote?  Is it about my wishes?  Tsk, get real.  I do believe votes should only be used positively but it’s not something that can be enforced.. It can surely only be spite that makes a person give their vote against something/someone (as the bigot’s many empathisers did). 
    Perhaps its time we had a more positive opinion about low turnouts and although we had one last year it was mis-shaped.

    Yes my comment about BJ was out of context, it was a throwaway; I’m not autopilot about anything from any Tory and I do believe he meant what he said regardless of any election on the horizon.  Like KL, AC and many others in public life he still lives in an area that means he has actual sight of and exposure to neighbourhoods’ differences.  I’m sure Camsham knew the route between North Ken and Whitehall quite well, I doubt he ventured in other directions, further north or west (there wouldn’t have been photographers after all).

  • MicheleB

    Loved the D&D video btw Aitch (found the Jedward one LOL).

    Yonks …. been ruminating on the negative vote thing. 
    What I really don’t like about the practice is that effectively it doubles the value of one person’s vote if it’s moved from the party they usually support, its  gesture politics of a very damaging kind.

  • Mr O’Connor

    ive just re-read this and seen how badly written it is! i apologise guys! it must’ve just got on my tits that much lol!

  • Chris lancashire

    I used the term “screwed up” (with some distaste) as I was quoting your hero Mr A Campbell. I do assure you, it’s not the sort of language I normally employ.

  • John J Clayton

    He is totally arrogant and smug, like most Tories. The entitlement is there for all to see, and the fact that his talents are not as great as he believes. The Tories have the media on board to begin with.

  • MicheleB

    David Starkey was startling and repulsively clumsy in the TV debate on Friday night, equating ‘black’ with bad and ‘white’ with having been polluted.

    Has John Bird said it better?

  • Mr O’Connor

    i wish he had the remotest interest in anything/anyone other than himself!

  • Ehtch

    and just a confession for you MicheleB, me and my dad get the Daily Mail everyday, delivered. It is quite an education, but we do in fact just treat it as a delivery of a Beano, as a comic. But we do have got to keep in touch with the “otherside”, and not be blinkered, like a racehorse on the flat.

  • Nick

    Cameron and May are entering dangerous waters when it comes to the Police.
    Thay have in my veiw always had a desire to control the Police in terms of hiring and firing Cheif Constables.
    This would be a slow deciline into politicising them

    Yes the Police Cheifs should have accountability to the home secretary .However the the local Police authorities (who are selected from local people) should maintain the current position of hiring and firing

  • Yonks

    Michele, enough already! We need to move onto a more ‘current’ post…..but before I finish just one thing: I think I am almost constantly disappointed by our elected representatives, most of them are happy with the status quo and not prepared to really re-shape our country into something more rewarding for every member of society. The 3 leaders are without doubt full of a lot of hot air and apparently not much else. We can only hope that a person of integrity and foresight and leadership emerges from somewhere.

  • MicheleB

    I wasn’t objecting to the ‘slangness’ – rather to the wrong judgement (but I’m sure you know that).

    You failed to point me to a post of yours anticipating what would happen on the first couple of nights or to your prediction that things would escalate as they did or to one that petrol bombs would be used again and again and again.  You therefore don’t have the right to condemn others imVhoo.

    The tactic was for officers not to get drawn off / separated from colleagues in the way PC Blakelock was several years ago or to risk injury or immediate arrests that would remove them from the streets for several hours.  In my borough the officers that started a 6-shift rota that first Saturday were put on to 12hr shifts immediately, that rota ended on Friday morning, they worked their rest days as night shifts and started a new rota yesterday that will take them through to next Sunday at 7am.  Their shifts are almost entirely filled by arresting people IDed on CCTV.  I heard of one such where an 18yr old with no previous record had three brand new enormous TVs at the family home and a cannabis factory in a shed in the garden.  His home would not have been searched if he had been arrested at the time.

    We have to look at the positives among all this negativity.

    I’ve been puzzled about how fires took hold so rapidly and whether multi-bombs were used; how on earth did Lord Harris’s carpet shop ignite as it did or Reeves’s or Sony’s …. sprinklers must be a fat lot of use.  That might be worth your condemnation.

  • MicheleB

    ……………. “Have the Tories claimed they want to dispose of the NHS?”………………………..

    ‘dispose’ means/is in lieu of ‘privatise’ ……. yes?

    Got any idea what’s happened about ‘Big Listen’?
    Nothing has been put on hold, Lansley’s plans are moving ahead, zillions have been paid out to people made redundant from PCTs (bye bye the NHS’s massive buying power) and they are now re-employed by private groups with the same responsibilities but without that buying power meaning higher prices being paid to private drug companies.

  • Chris lancashire

    Good try Yonks but you’re having a conversation with the deaf.

  • MicheleB

    Euuuuwwwww, were you the lickspittel that tried to slide up to the gangs at school by offering to run their errands?

    It’s cowardly behaviour CLingon-like.

    A bit of education – it’s distasteful behaviour, when trying to insult someone for one quality, to use a handicap that people actually live with.  If you want to insult my IQ or perseverance, try that, don’t exploit what other readers might actually have.


    If my ID comes up wrongly again it could all be something to do with my changing ISP a couple of weeks ago so I’ll drop the old ID and re-join with my new email address.

  • MicheleB

    Fingers absolutely knotted this week in hopes that this Hackney Ten will indeed be en route to Cambridge

  • Yonks

    ‘dispose’ means/is in lieu of ‘privatise’ ……. yes? Well, Michele you’ve ‘invented’ a new definition, I suggest you submit it to one of the many dictionary publishers and see if they agree. The company I work for regularly re-evaluates its practices, normally with a view to reducing waste or using new methods and techniques; what’s so bad about the government using these principles to winkle out the generally accepted waste from within government controlled budgets? After all, we’re the ones who are footing the bills, the government contributes diddly squat to the exchequer.

  • Yonks

    Perhaps I should type in CAPITALS Chris just to emphasize my point but then they’d probably be in the ‘there are none so blind’ category!

    As an aside, I hope Lancs CC pull out all the stops and win the County Championship!

  • MicheleB

    Try this definition then ….. ‘dispose of’ as in relieve themselves of responsibility for ….. by passing to ermmmmm private hands ….. as in care homes, children’s homes etc (not to mention the aforementioned privatised PCTs).

    You’re a tease Yonks, fancy saying ‘enough already’ then coming back for more …. Oi Vey 🙂

  • Yonks

    Now whose the tease Michele….oy vey!

  • Ehtch

    Are you on your hols at the moment Alastair? You seemed to have grown dry with your blogs. But it August after all and need to give the kiddies their necessary western life adventures into  parts.

    Have a good hol, if so, I’ll won’t deny it, away from your mad city, it seems, recently.

    I recommend Hourtin La Plage beach, with their, ummm, how can I describe it, nice sceanary. Better than a biology lesson life for children below legal age…. Full of dutch and germans and though.

    WHARRRT! Get a life, theyve seen me in the shower when they come in to use the toilet….

  • Ehtch

    I’ll recommend all my spawn to go on a holiday to Hourtin La Plage, and forget anything else about. You will meet great great new friends from La France, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and elsewhere. The Life guards will look after you….

  • Chris lancashire

    Cheers Yonks, unfortunately I think Durham will pip them to it.

  • Damien Taylor

    They won’t sack officers to make cuts, merely not replace those who retire, resign or get sacked for discipline issues.   As for civilian Police staff, they are not afforded the same protecton as they are not warranted officers.  Hope this helps.
    Oh, more of a Stowford Press man myself or Rattler from Healeys Cyder Farm! 

  • MicheleB

    Well done the Wail for reporting on the successes of nine of the ten 🙂

    The ‘funny little programme’ shot some realism in to Bill Bratton’s reputation, near the start of this week’s edition :

    It seems crime was falling at incredible speed all over the States long before and after his roles at NY and LA (and still is).  It was a national improvement, not something achieved by a ‘Merlin’ figure – I hope we’ll hear what he’s being paid if ge does land here.

  • Anonymous

    Hehe, its an in joke by I am allergic to apples, so living in Somerset is a bit frustrating. 

    Thanks for the info, it seems kind of sad losing that experience. I really dislike the attitude of young police officers, the older ones tend to balance it out.

  • Ehtch

    It can be said, that anyone that wants to be an MP, and get further especially, should have three years regular full-time armed forces experience on their CV, just like the ol’ days.

    Just a thought. But being a UK full-time copper will not do.

  • Ehtch

    Just posted this on above yootoob video, and since I even impressed myself, thought I’d quote it here – but horsey ladies, look away…, I quote,

    “Daily Mail is one of those untouchables in british society, that should be not destroyed, so to let the rest of us now what the feck those home counties cows are thinking in their back kitchens. Treat it as spying and information for the rest of the country, us away from the ones that would like to have chinless horses going over the Downs in the south-east.”
    Nice, ey?”