Thursday, 18 June 2009

A Need for Justice: Part One

On the off-chance that Dan Winkledick or Pindick Foster from The Times are reading this posting, I would like to assure them that I am not in fact a 17th Century Philosopher. I am indeed a serving police officer. Should they wish to meet me in person in order for me to prove this fact, I will be more than happy to do so. However, I will be accompanied by my close friends, left and right fists, who are eager to meet them also.

Am I concerned about the possibility that some hack, noting the interest the 'scoop' in The Times generated, may decide to identify little old me? Well, maybe not concerned, but definitely perturbed. What purpose has it served in the case of DC Horton? None, save to stifle any further career development for the poor man. I am sure Judge Eady did not forget the officer's scathing analysis of the quality of Judges since New Labour has been in power. Unfortunately I can no longer refer to Nightjack's blog to remind myself of exactly what he said. It has been deleted. Consigned to history and the memory of so many people who gained so much enjoyment from what he had written.

My wife is understandably concerned. We have a young family and my career is going well. Do I really want to jeopardise all that I have achieved thus far for something that cannot provide any alternative employment or income for me? What if I received the ultimate discipline sanction - dismissal? What would, what could I do instead? Being a police officer isn't a job, it's a vocation, it's part of you. I would hate to no longer be in a position to help people who need my help. I would hate not being able to arrest the bad guys; to experience that deep sense of satisfaction I gain when I see them convicted and sentenced to a lengthy stay at Her Majesty's Pleasure. And so, over the next couple of days, I am to give some consideration about whether to continue blogging or not.

In the event that I do decide to call it a day, I wanted to go back to my original purpose set out in my first ever posting, which was to consider the nature of policing in a philosophical context...

Let me begin by apologising for making no apologies that it will indeed be philosophy oriented. I did say at the beginning of my blogging career that it would involve philosophy, but apart from just the one posting I have very rarely mentioned it. The daily barrage of criticism that the media directs at the police service compels me to respond, as much of it is without foundation or justification. My need to respond is also indicative of the pride I feel from being a police officer, of the utmost respect I have for my colleagues - some of whom perform extremely dangerous roles, but for smaller money than I am paid - but all of whom share the same burning desire to provide a high quality of service to the public. Not that my opinion makes a jot of difference, but it does mean my wife has to hear less and less about what irks me as I vent spleen in cyberspace.

If we ever are to arrive at a conclusion about how the nation should be policed, we first need to understand the different theories surrounding the role of the state. After all, as Plato once said, "There's no use complaining that one toga feels more comfortable over another, without first understanding the different materials that went into the making of those togas." This isn't actually written down in any of his works, but I imagine that he could have said it to his friends over a glass of wine in the Taverna one evening.

To answer this question, I shall briefly explain the metaphysical theories of Hobbes and Locke, who imagined what life would have been like in a hypothetical state of nature, and the development of a Social Contract that came about to provide protection to the nation's citizens. I'll also explain the Empirical theory of David Hume, who looked at the world around him as it was, and arrived at his own conclusions. Whereas I don't agree with the Social Contract theories, Hobbes and Locke evidently did better at school than I, and are therefore worthy of consideration. Regardless of the manner in which all three philosophers approached the function of the state, they all arrived at the same conclusion: there is a need for justice.

For Hobbes, the original state of nature saw mankind in a constant state of war, where the life of man was, 'nasty, brutish and short'. The implicitly predatory, avaricious and self-destructive nature of mankind led Hobbes to be extremely pessimistic about our future. Our indifference to one another and the use of force by men to secure what they desired would continue to the extent that they would not rest until there was no other power great enough to endanger them in their quest. This sounds remarkably prophetic when you consider the nature of the criminals we deal with today, doesn't it? Only a ruthless ruler - a Leviathan - could secure the peace we crave. Only the toughest state with a supreme sovereign in power could control our instinctual urges. No room for Human Rights here. Not for criminals at least. This was the Social Contract in Hobbes' world, where we gave up many rights in order for protection. Justice would be harsh, and if the Leviathan failed to deliver, the Social Contract would be broken and the Leviathan removed. Something Gordon Brown should bear in mind.

I'll leave you to think on the above, and will post the second part over the next two day's or so.

I hope I have the fortitude and stubbornness to determine that it won't be my last post.
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  1. There is some good advice here if you still want to find Nightjack's posts. It also gives you some information if you need to scrub your own presence from the internet a bit more thoroughly yourself.

    I hope you don't though - now Nightjack's gone, in the most despicable manner possible, I'm looking for other blogs that give me the same kind of insight. Its certainly interesting to see a police officer blogging about the likes of Hume, Locke and Hobbes...

  2. Old Holborn - thanks for the link on your excellent blog and, you know what? I'm sticking it out. As I'm sure you would say, "F*ck the f*cking c*nts. What the f*ck do journies know? F*ck all, that's what."

  3. Found you via Old Holborn.
    Pleased to make your acquaintance and linked to help your revenge and respects to Nightjack.

    Not so solitary now, eh?

  4. You're a brave man, Inspector. Leviathan Brown likes his enforcement arm to be silent and unquestioning it seems.

    Good luck, you've been bookmarked on OH's suggestion.

  5. Just realised I posted the completely wrong link above (Brain is set to stun today...) - here is the link I meant. I wouldn't recommend reading the first link I posted unless you want to, like me, scare yourself silly.

    Also - found my way here via OH too.

  6. Katabasis - I did wonder how a Canadian Filing thingy would help me protect my identity. I even read the whole thing. What a twat I am.

  7. Glad you are sticking it out :-)

    Looking forward to the next bit, this is the kind of thing I am very interested in.

  8. "I even read the whole thing. What a twat I am."

    Sorry. I'm sure there's a link between hyperinflation and blogger anonymity somewhere.... :P

  9. "And so, over the next couple of days, I am to give some consideration about whether to continue blogging or not."

    It would be a shame if you sacked it. But you do have a young family to consider and the High Court ruling means we all now can be exposed if "they" want to.

    Ordinary people can understand your dilemma - anon blogger/real person who needs to earn a living. Bastard High Court Judges wouldn't

    Good luck to you either way


  10. Excellent post - I look forward to the rest - unfortunately (fortunately..?) its wasted on Foster et. al. the thick barstewards won't understand any of it...they probably think Hobbes is a pseudonym you made up...

    Good Night and Good Luck

  11. I'm putting you on my links on my blog too. I was an avid reader of Nightjack since day one and thought his blog was excellent.
    Just don't tell my neighbours that I've spoken to the polis!

  12. What a wonderful world. Graffitti terrorist Banksy enjoys anonymity whilst whistleblowers get outed.

  13. Keep at it, Leviathan Hobbes.

    NightJack's outing was a reprehensible act by the Times.

  14. Don't put yourself or your family in jeopardy just to voice an opinion which most other right minded people know to be the truth anyway....

    It would be great if your Chief Constable were also of the mind that free speech should not be stifled just because you wear a uniform, and gave an assurance to you of no disciplinary proceedings

    Long gone are the days that the following was attrubuted to Voltaire..." How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that. I disapprove of what you say, but, I will defend to the death, your right to say it".

    Good luck

  15. If I could work out how to give myself a name instead of the anonymous blog I have just posted I would call myself 'Le Magistrat', although before obtaining that position I did serve thirty on the streets.

  16. Who is the cunt that deleted my comment?

  17. Found your site via OH. Will continue to visit. Don't let the cu*** grind yuo down. :-)

  18. "If you build it, they will come"

    A thousand people did today.

    good, innit.

  19. Got the link from Old Holburns site...
    'Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.'

  20. Mr. Leviathan, I was wondering if you had anything to say about the following, apparently reported in 'Janes Police Review'? (Hat tip to Patick at 'Towards Mutual Benefit'):

    ""Police behaviour at the G20 protests in London could have been caused by the frequency used by the officers’ Airwave radios interfering with their brainwaves’", one expert has said...

    Officers were waiting in metal vans for hours, and their Airwave radios effectively turned the vehicles into microwaves. Airwave radios send out microwaves at a greater rate than the brain’s natural rhythm, which controls decision making in emergency situations. If you put waves through the brain, you end up with entrainment, which makes you do something you are not programmed to do."

  21. Katabasis - judging by the criticism regularly levelled at police officers from the media, I'm surprised that anyone should suggest a) police officers do have a brain and b) be programmed to be anything other than be violent to innocent members of the public anyway.

    In all seriousness, I doubt there is much credence to it. We police numerous public order events where officers are in similar conditions, and the overwhelming majority pass without incident. I doubt the IPCC would accept the above as an excuse from any officer involved in G20, but then Nick Hardwick decided the MPS was guilty from the off.

  22. 'Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.'

    Brilliant quote from Ben Franklin. Or, as he later explained the above - any man who is prepared to sacrifice liberty for security is deserving of neither liberty no security.