Thursday, 26 July 2012

Nazis Greet Olympic Torch?

I nearly choked on my bran flakes whilst watching BBC News just now.

There was the Olympic torch being jogged through south London, en route to the Globe Theatre, through a mass of the populace who had crowded the footways to see it pass. Hundreds, if not a thousand or more, were saluting it - with nazi salutes! I was horrified.
Then I phone cameras.
Stand down the stewards - what stewards? The G4S stewards. They didn't turn up, hence the police. "Alas, poor Buckles, I knew him".
 Still, at least I didn't brand south Londoners as a bunch of nazis on purpose.
(by the way, did G4S bid to run the stadium big screen video package job, by any chance?)

There was some sad news this morning. A Greek javelin thrower failed a `dope` test and was withdrawn. Putting a positive spin on it, does that meant he actually passed a `stupid` test?

NB: The original Globe theatre was burnt to the ground when some loon lit a torch during a production.

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Dignity of the Flame

I hear the Olympic torch went down a trapeze wire the other day. It's good to know this noble contest of pure sporting prowess is being conducted in an atmosphere of grace and dignity!

I expect the opening ceremony to be climaxed by a formation lap dancing team from Soho, naked of course, with mini flaming tassle-torches strategically placed around the one big one. Maybe they'll be called, "The Debonaire's"?

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Ed Miliband; Specialist Subject? the `frigging obvious`

So the G4S debate has got some of our politico's a thinkin'. Where on earth do they get this obvious stuff from?

Anyone with a shred of understanding would know that an event the size of the Olympic Games would not function without private sector involvement in a multitude of areas, including security. Many functions that would ordinarily be carried out by professional police personnel are suitable for outsourcing to the private sector, providing the people carrying out those functions have the appropriate training and credentials.

I myself was approached by a job agency I was registered with, in February, and asked if I could take on a role as a counter terrorist search co-ordinator, because I held that qualification when I was a police officer. I retired from the police but the knowledge stayed with me. All I'd need would be a brief refresher on intel and procedure and I'd be away, providing the people I was given to co-ordinate were similarly experienced. They must have been desparate because they phoned me 3 times over 3 days, but I wasn't going to cancel my planned summer holiday for 2 weeks work at a rate that wouldn't tempt me to even think about it - in a bad dream. And that, I suspect, was a major factor for poor old G4S. To recruit, train and then retain all those people, when they would only be paid once they were actually in training or working.  You can hardly expect someone to do a few days training for £8 an hour and then give a guarantee that they'll wait months for 2 weeks work. I know there were other administrative factors that some have griped about publicly, but that is not the major issue here. And before we mention special police constables, remember, they are volunteers. In my experience their word was usually their bond, but you could not afford to allocate them too many crucial roles because the bottom line is, they don't have to turn up to work and most of them already have jobs they are committed to.

G4S have some very good people in their organisation which has absorbed many smaller companies with fingers in military as well as civilian pies. I'm not defending what has happened, I just knew, not too deep down inside, that this one would be one hell of a task for them to undertake with the actual carrying out of the functions at the sharp end being the least of their problems. I have always felt that certain support functions within the police could be greatly assisted by the involvement of non police personnel and could, in some cases, be fully outsourced but I've also felt that private sector involvement should be closely controlled and those outsourced functions and the powers that are exercised in carrying them out, be restricted.

I am uncomfortable when private security companies are directly involved in matters that, when we follow the paper trail, lead straight to the legislature, eg prison services. Custody procedures in police station cell blocks are an example where the bulk of processing, guarding and prisoner management can be conducted by non police staff, but by law there must always be a custody officer who is a police officer. To go beyond would require fresh and clearly defined legislation.

So I'm not one for beating up G4S. I'm not impressed by the bandwagon that Miliband has eagerly climbed on but of course he's a politician in opposition, so he would wouldn't he? But were he Prime Minister, sorry, couldn't stomach that one, were he to be charged with the care of the economy, where would he fasten the ropes and chains to drag us out of recession? Coming from the government that gave us PCSO's (with no disrepect intended to those doing that job - that is not my point) he should have some really useful ideas.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Foul, but not that foul

"Who did?"
"Him, that c*** in the black dark shirt"

Thursday, 12 July 2012


I live in Norfolk these days. A mere couple of furlongs down the road is the River Waveney, which around these here parts is the border between Norfolk and Suffolk. I believe the differences between the ancient North and South `folk` used to be very much a tribal thing.

When the Jack Rascal Terrorist and I were returning from our largely Suffolk walk last night, we crossed the river back into Norfolk via a small stone bridge by a weir and a beautiful pool bordered by weeping willows. The border remains unguarded, unlike this one.

We do, however, have the occasional border ceremony which may well have been where those other people got the idea from, as I distinctly heard `mine's a pint` shouted in a Hindustani accent.  I do hope they don't have nuclear weapons, after all, we need a cool head and steady hand for those things.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

"Just popping outside my darling, I may be some time"

When I think back on those times when young officers I knew, myself included, would see a potentially serious incident start to go down... and how we stepped in without a second thought, on or off duty, it sets me thinking, as it should all police officers.

 RIP, mon brave.

Of course we now hear that the `killer` used a handgun, which no one in the UK outside law enforcement is authorised to possess.  It's a good job he didn't have a firearms or shotgun certificate either, so now all legitimate firearms users can probably breathe a sigh of relief that there will be no `knee jerks` for more legislation to ban rifles and shotguns. Stands to reason.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Sir Stirling Moss

Bentley 4.5ltr + `Blower`, driven by `Bentley Boy` Tim Birkin at Le Mans, 1930

Vincent Grey Flash, 1950, ridden by John Surtees (who was stood next to me when I took the photo)

Mike "The Bike" Hailwood - still sadly missed

The Duke of Kent spots me in the crowd