Tuesday, 25 September 2012
The Pleb just won't go away
Here are a few recollections of the more innocuous things that have been said to me over my policing years. I've forgotten all the really vicious, spiteful and blindly aggressive ones because they were two a penny and par for the lowlife we encountered. Some got arrested for their outbursts, others received locally administered `advice`
"Oh we're alright now, here come the police" ; Said by the leader (and millionaire businessman) of a local fox hunt who was having a bit of bother with `saboteurs` and their `rent a mob` of Surrey University students on £10 beer money for the day. I went straight up to the saboteurs' organiser and said, "Hi Tony, how are you today". His reply, "Hi Hogday, good to see you". The Huntsman kept clear of me after that. Honours even.
"I want you to sort this out now. I pay your wages" ; Said by too many people to mention. My response, depending on my mood, was along the lines of, `along with me and about 2 million other ratepayers, so if we divide them by the police budget, I calculate that you pay for about 10 seconds of my time, which you've just used up`.
"Don't you know who I bloody am?" ; Said to me back in 1972 by a little Welshman who happened to be a Labour Member of Parliament. In those days MP's didn't have I/D cards, only Parliament employees (proles, plebs, minions that sort) were required to carry them! We were supposed to ask for i/d cards only from the workers and recognise the Members so as to wave them through without further inconvenience. I didn't recognise this one, hence he threw a tantrum. A senior, in service, colleague next to me said, "Excuse me Mr Jones, do you know this officer? "Of course I don't" came the reply, "Well how on earth do you expect him to know you, having only been posted here for the day?"
There is a variation on this response that I heard used on one occasion. A drunk driver who knew a few senior officers used that one as he was being breathalysed. "Do you know who I am" , was quickly responded to by a war-weary officer who, pretending to press the tx button on his radio, said, "Control from 323, I've got some twat here who doesn't know who he is". It wasn't clever, it wasn't funny and we asked that officer to leave it all to us and be on his way.
"You're just a bloody pleb" ; No one ever used that one on me. My response would probably have been to refer to the old Metropolitan Police Instruction Book, which had an answer for almost everything. In this case I think the advice was along the lines of, `Idle and silly remarks are unworthy of notice and should be ignored`.