Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Bankers in Disguise
I see that all the city slickers in London today have been allowed to come to work dressed down and nondescript, scruffed up in off-duty gear or whatever floats their boat, so as not to be singled out by nasty anarchist types who might want to bash them up for being personally responsible for causing the credit crisis, ripping off depositors, leaving genuine borrowers struggling to borrow and throwing countless businesses and their employees onto the dole. I can understand their caution. For those who will be turning up for work in anything but nonedescript clothing and by that I mean the thousands of police, drawn from not only the capital's rest day reserves but from forces all over the country, I'd like to say a heartfelt, `have a nice day` and to ask a favour: Mrs Hogday's boss and her friend are in town to see the stage production of "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", having had to come down to the smoke a second time because `Priscilla` broke down the other week causing the show to close after only 10 minutes. I wanted to ask if the police could keep an eye out for them. They will be dressed `in character` complete with red high heels, big hair, big lashes, big lips, lots of feathers and some very naughty ping-pong balls. Being as the regular city types have dressed down today, they may be difficult to spot amongst the scardycat bankers, so do try. My local police force, numbering a bare 1580 officers (it still only adds up to 1580, even if they are clothed) have sent a contingent of public order level 2 officers to London. Now this might be a shock for some of them. I once took out a newly transferred sergeant from the really rural shires up town on foot patrol and he kept on bumping into lamp posts and pedestrians from constantly gawping up at the high buildings (plus I don't think they had pedestrians or lamp posts where he'd come from). But they're good guys and gals these county coppers - I know, I joined them after I was forced out of London in order to try and buy my own home. Whenever the county forces used to get involved with us up in the Metroplitan, we would refer to them affectionately as " The Swedey", often accompanied by, `ooh- arrh` and other accents that would have done "The Archers" proud. They, in turn, would accuse us of all being on the take. To the day I retired from my county force, I was still referred to as `the bloke who transferred from The Met`, yet I spent the majority of my service in `the County`. I would often be jokingly singled out as a suspect if anything went missing from the station or if a prisoner arrived in the cells with a black eye. Unlike the prisoner, I always took the joke on the chin, whilst pointing out that a good Met copper never leaves marks or scars, only psychological ones, as a jolly retort to this canteen banter - oh how we laughed...no, really, we did laugh, genuinely laugh, because it didn't mean anything to me and was just part of the vagaries of police humour - I think someone banned it eventually, humour, that is. So, I prepare to do my civic duty in a very different manner to that of my former colleagues. I'll be off to work on my motorbike very soon, across the Moors and into Poshnortherntown where there will doubtless be even fewer police on duty than usual. I'll keep a sharp lookout for lawbreakers and anarchists but will be mindful of the fact that the response time for this and any other crimes reported in my lovely county will be further increased in the cause of someone else's freedom to protest and of the violent and dangerous among them, running amuck causing damage, injury and disruption to property, life and limb in our capital city. Well at least I'm going down at the weekend, so maybe I'll just see some of them being released on bail by then. So stay safe my local cops now in London. Come home soon because we need you up here - plus there's already a huge backlog of pointless forms for you to start filling in upon your safe return.