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`.


Tadanori said...

I confess I haven't followed this news story and only vaguely aware of the circumstances. I'm not sure why this incident is so newsworthy and such a political issue. 1. Police officers get verbally and physically assaulted in the course of their duties dealing with the whole spectrum of society. 2. Politicians in general don't have much of a reputation for honesty, modesty or ethical behaviour.

I guess its been a quiet week for news considered interesting by 'The Media Circus'. Then again, good news doesn't sell anywhere nearly as well as stories of sex, violence and (not rock and roll) intrigue. If those aren't available (or too lazy to find), why not just make something up?

Trobairitz said...

I can only imagine the idiocy you have seen throughout your career.

I work for a criminal defense attorney and when reading the police reports, you just can't make that stuff up.

JuliaM said...

" I'm not sure why this incident is so newsworthy and such a political issue. "

As ever, it's the lying and attempt to spin it by both parties to their own advantage that's given it legs.

What a shame that while everyone's focused on Mitchell, they are ignoring the far more serious case of Brian Coleman getting arrested for assault!

TonyF said...

"Do you know who I am?" Yep, sometimes got that when we were on gate guard. Usually it was enough to point out the old L1A1 bearing gorilla for them to see the light. We did have a civvy decide that he was coming in anyway. The only reason he wasn't shot, was that we both knew the bolshie bastard. The Stationmaster threw him off the station. Sacked with no references. First and only time I heard of that.

CI-Roller Dude said...

The important thing to learn as a copper is: You have to know who you can have fun with and who should treat "by the book."
I was able to get away with alot of things because I learned who I could have fun with early on.
usually a total dirtbag wasn't going to take the time and file a complaint for treating him as he deserved...
But I lost track of how many times I heard "don't you know who I am?"
Or "I know the police chief."
when they mentioned a name, I'd say "too bad he got sacked last week."

Hogdayafternoon said...

Tad: Trivial pursuit (unless you are a politician)

Trobairitz: Welcome! I do post stories involving motorcycling as well :-/

JuliaM: See `Tad` above. I must find out about Mr Coleman, having no idea who the poor chap is.
Just Googled for 30 secs. Oh my, common assault! (No power of arrest for that in my early days. We'd let the victim have his details and file their own complaint at magistrates court. Arrest only to prevent breach of the peace. Trivial pursuit.

TonyF: What is it with these idiots? Oh yeah, they're idiots.

CI-RD: never a truer word...

Anonymous said...

I have heard Coleman once or twice and he seems to me to be the triumph of image and blustering over any innate ability. I think when he 'ran' the LFB he signed a deal with a company that nearly ended up with the LFB appliances being repossessed. The link from the Standard shows the story. It's just another of the political class showing that the rules are for the little people.
No doubt Private Eye will have the correct version.

Anonymous said...

Further to the above I think a few motoring offences may be disclosed as well.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Retired: So it wasn't just `bad luck` that a previous constituency I used to live in, ended up with an MP who got embroiled with a rent boy and a previous one who died in a mysterious accident involving womens undies and an orange? I just thought it was a fluke.

JuliaM: Just had a more detailed look at Moutarde Coleman. Oh dear, what a misunderstood chap. Are there any rehab programmes he can be referred to?

MTG said...

Literal interpretations of 'pleb' were recently manipulated by certain interested parties. Its contemporary use in English State Schools was to express mild (very mild) displeasure towards a vulgar remark or a churlish action.

To be fair, it seems unlikely that the term was used at Rugby or Eton with the intention of being any more injurious. The serious blunders here were repeated denials of using the word.

BillB said...

I had to forward these to a friend who is in our local PD - too good not to share!

Justthisguy said...

"idle and silly remarks are unworthy of notice and should be ignored..." I think we could avoid a lot of unnecessary fights if people would just take that to heart.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..