Saturday, 25 August 2012

Now Recruiting

I promised that I will be leaving the police and that the time has also come to give up this blog. If there are any serving officers out there who might like to take over this established blog with a significant readership then I would happily consider this if you would like to submit a contribution.
The below article is from a reader in Australia. I thought it appropriate, as I am leaving, that I should  try and recruit my replacement in the police. For anyone wishing to become a social proctologist, my Force is one of the few still recruiting.
Do you feel lucky?
Are You Set to Become a Policeman? How to Know If You Will Be a Good One

If you want a career where you will face challenges every day while making a positive difference in your community, becoming a policeman might be for you – but do you have what it takes?

As a policeman, you’re helping to maintain law and order, which can be very rewarding. You’ll help ensure the safety of the public, return stolen goods, prevent and investigate crimes – but of course, these things are not without significant danger to you, and there are many other challenges along the way.

Can you deliver bad news?

Unfortunately, it often comes with the job. You may have to tell a mother that her child is injured or a newlywed that her spouse has been killed. Often that can mean being a shoulder to cry on – or someone to yell at. Either way, you have to be able to deal with it on a moment’s notice, and that will take an emotional toll on you over time.

Are you physically fit?

You have to be in good shape to be hired for the job – you can’t be under- or overweight for your height. Also, certain health issues may disqualify you completely, so make sure to read over the paperwork before wasting your time. Being able to move effectively is also a major part of the job, because if you can’t, it can place yourself or someone else in danger.

Do you have good character?

If you have a criminal record, that won’t necessarily disqualify you depending on the offence – but either way, it will be a significant detriment to your application. You may have to provide good references, so at the very least you need to have people who are willing to speak up on your behalf.

 Do you react well under stress?

You may face situations where you have to make life-changing choices in a matter of seconds. You need to have strong decision-making skills in high-pressure situations.
 How are your communication skills?

Could you deal with this person?

An important part of your job is being a liaison with the public. You need to have the ability to relate to people of all different backgrounds, religions, races, and ages. You will also be expected to exercise good judgement, be courteous, and resolve conflict in an effective manner.

What about your observation skills?

The details you notice at the scene of a crime can make the difference between putting someone behind bars or letting them get away. You need to have a keen attention to detail to do the job well.

Have you brushed up on your test-taking skills?

There are no academic requirements for becoming a policeman, but you will be given an exam to assess your command of the English language, ability to think logically, and basic math skills.

Still think you have what it takes?

One great way to get your foot in the door is to become a Special Constable, also known as a “Special.” These volunteer officers work for 8 to 16 hours each month without pay, providing support to sworn officers. This can prove your ability to interact with the public and display conflict resolution skills and leadership qualities in order to help you in your application for a full-time paid position later.

When you’re ready to apply, you’ll have to decide which of the over 50 police forces you want to try to join. Smaller forces often only accept a few recruits annually, but larger forces often search for hundreds of new recruits on a monthly basis.

Once accepted, you’ll enter a basic 15-week training programme at a National Police Training Centre where you’ll learn everything from police procedures and the law to communication skills and understanding the criminal mind, as well as taking part in exercise and self-defence training. Then you will undergo more training on the job under the guidance of an experienced tutor constable, as you are on probation for the first two years.

After satisfactory completion of this process, you’ll be a full-fledged sworn police officer, helping to protect your community!

 About the Author:

 Patrick Del Rosario is part of the team behind Open Colleges, one of Australia’s pioneers and leading providers of Management Courses for Businesses and Degrees in Human resource training. When not working, Patrick enjoys blogging about career and business. Patrick is also a photography enthusiast and is currently running a photography studio in the Philippines. If you have a blog and would like free content.  You can find him on Google+.




  1. Thank you....and because the shortest farewells are the best: Adieu.

  2. Will miss you. Thanks and good luck.

  3. Shame you're going, but if it is to retirement, have a good one.

  4. I think the copper spent way too much time talking to the retarded driver. If I was just giving them a ticket for a traffic violation, I'd ask for the required stuff, write the ticket, tell him to sign it and be done.
    If he continued talking, he'd be talking to himself while I went on.
    If the driver was drunk or on drugs, I'd gotten him out of the car a lot quicker than that.
    I was not paid to debate with assholes.

  5. CI-Roller Dude - The driver was refusing to give his name and address and claiming that the law did not apply to him. He had to be arrested as no ticket or summons could be issued. The officers dealing with this incident bent over backwards to be polite and to give him every opportunity to comply with the law.
    Personally, I would not have spent so much time before the arrest. He is an idiot trying to be obstructive and videoing the whole thing. He would have been hoping he got an impatient officer who waded in with a quick arrest and hoping beyond hope he could start throwing the race card around.
    There are three videos of this incident taking up about 40 minutes of time. The officers actually came out of it very well and he came across as a complete cretin. He still posted it on Youtube thinking he had scored a point or two. The delusional moron simply shows himself as a cretin who ended up in court and lost his car.

  6. Henry Bolingbroke27 August, 2012 13:01

    Good luck in retirement, Lex. I'll be joining you in four weeks or so...

  7. I'm really interested by this case of the car "driver". I agree that he is delusional and will lose in court. His entire case seems to rest on the legal definition of the word driver. He seems to think it is a commercial term referring to what we would call a professional driver. I'm a MOP with a good understanding of the law, but no qualifications in it. It took me only 2 minutes to find a legal definition of "driver" that clearly would find him guilty: "For the purpose of the road traffic acts, anyone who uses the ordinary controls of a vehicle (i.e. steering and brakes) to direct it's movement." Seems pretty straight forward to me! I suspect he has not done enough research before trying to take on the system! I'll be listening out for the outcome of the case, but I'm fairly sure he'll get the book thrown at him.

  8. The guy is a twat of the highest order.

    Trying so hard to be clever but stumbling over his words.

    The poor policeman was an absolute darling- what composure and diplomacy in the face of such wilful stupidity!

    I have renewed respect for what you guys have to put up with...

    And that big notice on his windshield?- that must restrict his view- isnt that dangerous?- he should have been nicked for that as well...


  9. We could surely find numerous examples of plod being as obtuse as Mr Driver. When are you "off air" Ferenda? May I add sincerely I hope you have a good time, I revised my opinion of plod recently. A lot depends on shift/constabulary. Essex are ****s, Norfolk half and half and Welsh similar. You ought to consider political status for some of your prisoners, holding up a placard is not the same as knifing a(nother) drug pusher over a turf war.

  10. Broxted,
    Generally you are right- a stabbing is worse than a placard.

    But what about a misled 14yo who administers a superficial stab wound to a hardened drug dealer?

    Compared to, say, a 45yo experienced guy inciting violence and disorder by carrying a racist placard?

    Its the latter that may cost the loss of innocent lives in the longer term.

    I guess cops have to be obtuse to some extent as they are simply charged with upholding the law- even those laws that might cause chagrin to some.

    But breaking any law has to have consequences. Of course we will not all agree on which laws should be on the statute books- this is why democracy has to be adhered to and continuous debate on what laws need to come and go or change or stay.


  11. Recently what I saw was violent offender drug dealers, not 14 year olds. These guys made a career choice - which brings me on to obtuseness. Plod is basically very dim, he sees no dichotomy between fighting an iniquitous law and "upholding" a rotting status quo. Finally Jess, there is no democracy in the UK. Dissenters jailed, 20% turn out, 2 choices of blue. Enjoy the evening;)

  12. Broxted
    Nobody would argue with you over how unpleasant violent drug dealers are.

    I was giving an example where we have shades of grey.

    If you mean 'plod' as coppers upholding laws then dimness doesnt come into it.

    They cannot decide which laws to ignore and which ones to apply.

    In the example of the driver in the video some may think he was harmless but I think he was breaking serious rules and should be severely sanctioned.

    I think what the driver did was many times worse than what those protesters did in that Russian church for example.

    And who decides which laws should be upheld? Should only protestors have the power to make law?

    Im pretty sure we do have democracy- a few months ago I voted!

    Dissent is encouraged in this country unless it incites hatred or violence. Fair enough.

    20% turn out? so what? the point is that people have the right and opportunity to vote.

    Only Australia has compulsory voting. There is a case for following their example but for me its yet another law and is a tad authoritarian for my tastes.

    2 choices of blue? Im not sure that everyone would agree with that= there are some fairly left wing elements in Labour and LibDem

    BUT if they ARE blue its to become electable. And there are militant left wing parties available for the national vote- its just they don't get many votes.

    Not many britons are militant left wing or right wing- and so the nature of democracy dictates that militant parties will likely never have much power.


  13. I always carried a copy of the California Vehicle Code (all the laws that have to do with driving etc) would have been very useful to beat this idiot with.
    I had a "rule of 3" where I would explain something 3 times. If the person still refused to act like a human, he went to jail...or whatever was required. I was not paid to have my time wasted...
    We have some wacko's in the US who think no laws apply to them- they make up their own lic etc for driving. When we ran into them there was no talking---just jerk them out the wing vent and take them to jail.

  14. "We have some wacko's in the US..."

    Indeed you do; many apparently avoiding institutionalism by signing up for a term of police service.

    History reveals a consistent pattern within economies based on war and hostility where the criminally delinquent establish temporary control.

  15. Dear Lex,

    I did not intend to comment here again, having seen how unwilling commenters on these pages were to examine their own prejudices before mouthing off. But I see you are about to hang up your gloves, or whatever.

    I hope you are able, in retirement, to see, with less establishment filtering, the injustices The People have endured - and not just from "criminals". Your rant aimed towards liberals (see earlier comments) suggests to me a desire to hang on, by whatever means, to some vision of society that you cherish. The trendy leftist response would be to deny this ever existed - but it did, briefly.

    Brought up in the 1950s, I remember so well a lot of decent people who remembered just how bad things could get, and tried damn hard to keep their children safe and secure. With an Anglo Pole for a best mate at school from age 11 on, I learned how bad things still were, in some places. His father evaded Katyn (a mass execution of Polish officers by the USSR) and fought alongside we Brits. My friend's mother survived Birkenhau (an extermination camp run by the Nazis). That's how bad it could get here, if lack of civilised moderation allows.

    I lost belief in the goodness of all people with power (whether laws or guns)at roughly the same time as in angels and Father Xmas. I will never agree with outlawism, but neither will I agree to state executions on the street (or in a hidden room) on the grounds that the Police "just know" who is guilty.

    You show a picture of "Dirty Harry" Calahan above: a character best remembered for a speech about the power of the Magnum handgun to "blow your head clean off". He is often described as right wing. BUT he found himself at war (in the film "Magnum Force") with a genuine right wing execution squad within the SFPD, who "just knew" who the gulty were, and didn't bother with due process.

    He repudiated them with the words "How long till you kill someone for traffic violation?". I ask, rhetorically, "How long till, you kill someone for trying to walk home?"

    In the discussion in this column regarding Ian Tomlinson, we saw a predictable mix of hatred, wilfull ignorance, and fearfulness - and perhaps a desire for anarchy. One of your opponents seemed to me have a much clearer analysis of society than any policemen I have heard, but showed an almost complete lack of civilised decency. What a choice; what a pair of alternatives we decent people have!

    The answer to unfair law and enforcement is not to make an attack on the rule of law itself. This only leads to armed gang violence. But then, if we are to be "fair game" to the police, even at a peaceful demonstration (even if we were not involved - like Ian Tomlinson), what peaceful answer is there?

    If Blair Peach was opposing fascist racists allowed to parade the streets in open provocation, what does that make his killers? What kind of man delights (I ask rhetorically) in bruising the fleshy bum of a woman half his size?

    By the way, the 7 seconds the judge said he had to decide whether the woman carried a suicide bomb would be enough for a Test batsman to play 9 bouncers.

    If either side here thinks hatred is just OK, look at N Ireland. I hope this country can do better than that.

    Happy Retirement (sincerely)


    ps Yoga asanas are NOT about thinking

    pps Socrates was a philosopher who stood up for the truth and endured state execution, at least having the choice of poison. Only later was the name revived by a soccer player. Dialectic and fair cheating all round do not mix.

  16. Socrates - I don't think retirement is going to change my view on society very much. I know very well that there are injustices. The biggest injustice is our criminal justice system which rewards rather than deters criminal behaviour.

    I also understand that the police are not perfect and sometimes make mistakes and sometimes do stupid things. In my role I ensure that if we make a mistake then I deal with it by apologising and trying to resolve it rather than simply putting up the shutters. I understand that not everyone does this and the bigger the mistake the more likely the shutters go up.

    You keep referring to Tomlinson; I think we are agreed that the behaviour of the officer was inappropriate but a jury of your peers decided that he was not criminally responsible for Tomlinson’s death. I have no doubt he will lose his job.

    What I will not accept is some peoples assertions that the police in this country are universally corrupt or violent. A few bad apples do not affect the rest of the barrel. They are usually identified by the police themselves and thrown out or prosecuted.

    I despise liberalism because it purports to stand for social progress, liberty and equality, but in reality it is bringing about social decay, ever increasing burdens for decent working people and ultimately, bankruptcy for the country.

    Liberalism means no one is responsible for their own actions any longer. Poor behaviour is rewarded both socially and criminally. We are not supposed to criticise peoples ‘’life choices’ but we are expected to pick up the tab to help solve those choices.

    Of course there are injustices. People get dealt crap hands at birth but this is no excuse for drugs, crime, and irresponsible behaviour. Etc. I despise the money grabbing, tax evading, morally corrupt rich as much as the ‘underclass‘ that liberalism is propagating.

  17. Dear Lex,

    I actually admire you for sticking to your principles; my expressed hope was not that you change these, but come to accept other views. Nature works hard to create invividuals different - so most are not like you. Conformity runs counter to evolution.

    Liberalism, like the ideals of every belief at the cult stage, has been grabbed and twisted a number of times. George Orwell (someone else I keep going on about) pointed out that such words as "liberal" and "democratic" are so cliched, and falsely used, that they lose objective meaning. I used to think Liberalism meant progress as opposed to mediaevalism - such as we still see in Asia. No longer true, it seems. But this does not mean we should retreat to Victorian judgements.

    Tomlinson comes up because it was a recent public death; there have been others. Lies were told about Mr Tomlinson's death, and only visual evidence showed this up. Taking pictures was brave at that time because people were being arrested for photographing (for example) Chatham High Street and the sunset in Trafalgar Square. But if all policing was done rightly, why hide any of it?

    A jury from whom PC Harwood's employment record was withheld found it could not find him guilty to the standard of criminal proof. He had been re-employed (twice)though there had been "incidents" and corrupt use of information.

    Clearly, from the video trail of his actions that day, he was NOT behaving like the majority of his colleagues. That is so, also, for officer Smellie, and whoever was nearest to Blair Peach.

    I mentioned "Dirty Harry" because he was already in the discussion. I wanted to point out that he is far from a one dimensional character - an example of someone making a difference when it came down to it. He refused the invitation to joint the bent coppers: quite right, too. Neither "side" can claim Harry Calahan - he is his own man. I wish I were so brave, always.

    It is an easy cliche to say of any other group, "they're all as bad as each other", and I try hard to avoid this, as I parry yet another attack on schoolteachers, for example. We humans like demon groups. But equally, we should remember that, if we wear ANY kind of uniform - however informal - we shape the other person's view of our "group".

    I have seen Mr Tomlinson described in contemptous terms on this blog; that's just as bad as painting all coppers black. He was a person; a life is a life. Something clearly went wrong in that life, as something clearly went wrong with Officer Harwood's. The loss of a job he should never have been re-offered will never bring back the dead.

    I find myself facing more and more acquaintances and former colleagues who are stuck in old political thinking. All modern western countries need new thinking to cope with change. Like you, I suspect, I find thinking for myself puts me out there as a target, but if someone doesn't speak up against mobs of whatever description, we're sunk.

    I don't know you, though there is a strong sense of integrity there. But it makes no difference what fraction of the force is well intentioned if the overall effect of policing is to antagonise and intimidate sections of the public.

    You spoke some weeks ago of consequences of actions - right on! I will try to act with civilised restraint, until someone threatens my life, health and family - or you, if you're lying on the ground about to be assaulted. Whatever may be said about taking the law into our own hands (whose law is it?), civilisation demands that, in the end.

    No week goes by without me thinking of all the people I have mentioned above - as well as Keith Blakelock and Yvonne Fletcher, killed by barbarians. Surely justice has to be our aim, not taking sides?

    I really DO wish you a Happy Retirement, not out fear or favour, but because it's a civilised impulse, and so, worth acting on.

  18. dear socrates, part1
    i gave only been reading for 8 months or so but I shall be sad to see the blog go- i think the articles are excellent.

    I think Liberalism (uk) is generally understood to be leftish in nature and soft on crime and soft on poor social conduct. Of course any classification of a person's views is imprecise and the best one can do is estimate an aggregate or average of ones views in general.

    But who cares about the definitions? Lex rightly describes awful human dynamics on a variety of topics that the majority of people fine sad and unpleasant.

    You will understand why past offences are withheld for juries?.... this is a right of defendants (which you would support yes?).

    (although I hold a controversial view that often past histories are relevant and should be disclosed to juries - but thats just me perhaps)

    In some of the Dirty Harry movies he did take the law in his own hands and WAS the bent copper- eg torturing that guy in the stadium to get the location of the dead girl.

    He is appealing as a character because in our own world we see judges giving out soft sentences and we find that the people who burgle our homes, rape us, steal from us or mug us often escape or, if caught, get a fleeting stay in a comfy prison.

    I think that most adults realise that organisations are comprised of individual humans and that not all operate at the same level of competence or self discipline.

    As for Tomlinson the comments about him are relevant and important, The family had effectively disowned him. Families tend to only do that if you are a pretty unpleasant character. He had 9 kids and was a newspaper seller, effectively disowned by his family- was he being a bit difficult with the police?- thus contributing to the incident? -its hardly a stretch - and its right for a jury to mull that angle if they choose.

    Then the family are on telly demanding compensation for their 'hurt'- Im sure the 1000s of tax payers pounds will heal the terrible mourning they must feel at a guy they never saw and appeared to despise.

    Finally on Tomlinson- I saw the footage- it struck me that it was odd that he was the only guy there- if I had been in front of a wall of riot police telling me to piss off then I would do exactly that- yet he was there 'apparently', dawdling, scuffing his soles to be a difficult sod (possibly). Or perhaps, as he was a bit drunk, was simply an ultra slow mover. Could it be that in a difficult, heated situation, this petty act of non compliance caused an officer to break rank and apply a shove? (through the use of the baton seemed excessive to me)- I would have loved to have seen the 200s leading up to the shove.

    Somebody being shoved to move on, in riot situation, seems almost a matter of trivia to me. I know I have 'shoved' kids apart when they have been fighting for example. Alas this shove may have caused a man to die and due process had to happen and quite right too. However harassed the officer may have been during the day he has to maintain discipline- and he struck someone from behind with a baton- you cant get around that. Murder or manslaughter though? I can quite see why a jury would not convict, even if they had known about prior complaints. (and not all complaints are justified anyway of course- I'm assuming here that Harwood really was unfit for hire)


  19. to socrates part2

    It seems to me that effective policing is BOUND to antagonise some people. Of course criminals dont like stop and search- its effective at times. Of course TRIDENT is unpopular in some quarters- it reduces gun and drug crime. Of course extremists hate the police- the police inhibit their activities. My kids hated me for a bit when I made them go to bed at night. Go figure.

    I think justice should be done, and of course life is full of greys but more often than not it is about sides. I want criminals to go to tough jails. I want the police to feel happy, supported and valued. I want to see criminals vilified, undermined and unhappy. I want to see common sense be applied in such a way that good innocent people are protected but feckless, selfish, nasty people are not.

    And before we speak about environments, I know privileged people that are good and some that are horrid. I know people from poverty that are good but some that are horrid. Lets not look at skin colour, or parentage or address but look at their behaviours. Judge people on that I say- and to that extent I think Lex does exactly that.

    I do hope someone takes over the blog for him- with equal wisdom.


  20. Dear Socrates,

    Thank you for your good wishes. I wanted to pick you up on a few points.

    PC Harwood had a number of complaints made against him, none of which had been upheld. This is why the jury were not allowed to hear this. I have mentioned before that many officers have had a lot more complaints than PC Harwood, including me. If you do your job you will collect complaints. Harwood was facing a discipline hearing when he was allowed to retire on ill health grounds. He subsequently applied to join Surrey Police stating that he was fit again. It is still unclear as to whether or not the Met vetting system failed in any way regarding the matter under investigation when he retired.

    This story that the police tried to hide or detroy video evidence is fiction.

    I have worked with the TSG. It still suffers from many of the issues attributed to its predecessor, the SPG. There is still a gang mentality on the TSG. Much of the supervision is too weak to tackle the entrenched issues. Smellie was a supervisor on the TSG.

    I am not suggesting that everyone is as bad as each other. I work in poor areas where, hard working, decent people have their lives blighted by a growing minority who abuse the system with impunity. I work in affluent areas where decent, hard working people live in fear of their affluence being plundered by people that judges refer to as courageous. But among those affluent people are selfish, greedy people who contribute no more to society than the underclass I so often refer to.

    I do think that we have to take sides. We seem to be on the side of justice. Many others are not. The other side are growing stronger, assisted by declining moral standards and a malaise in our current justice system that simply encourages them.

  21. Hello All,

    I wouldn't argue from social backgrounds. There are too many exceptions to old rules, which mostly descend from obsolete class judgements, or racist or sexist bias.

    Let's repeat, "neither 'side' can claim Dirty Harry", who acted badly on occasions but not when challenged to become part of a right wing militia within the police and above the law. My Uncle could be a scalliwag but survived Normany with a commendation. Ordinary heoes are not saints.

    The blackmailer tortured by Callahan made a lot of his own rights, and had himself beaten to back up a falase accusdation. He also said, when collecting the ransom that the girl would die anyway - and she did.

    No; we do not have to take sides on law and order, but we must, in a democracy, continually oversee how it is preserved. The actual behaviour of people must determine their treatment, not policy whims.

    Even an "unpleasant charcter" is still a life, but (or is it 'and') I still want to see justice done and all the other things Anon No 2 wished for in that middle paragraph. If Tomlinson was drunk, disorderly, or guilty of obstruction, an arrest for that would have been in order - not what he got.

    My comment about courage in taking images springs solely from the arrests that were made around that time of photographers. I realise that the evidence "came forward" from various quarters, which took time. I do not accuse the police of anything on that.

    Gangs of any kind are the enemy of a just society.

    The 3 comments above really are encouraging. We clearly all DO beleive in a just society which rewards decent behaviour. Cue for a dissenting voice.


  22. well there does seem to be plenty of points of agreement here.

    policy whims? --- did you have some examples? I think most of our laws are decent, protective and altruistic - and have been arrived at by due process.

    taking sides? ---- I still maintain we more often than not do have to take sides. When someone burgles my house, even on a 1st offence, I want them doing at least 6 years hard labour- I don't want them on a suspended sentence and sent on a character building holiday. Now some disagree with me- they are not on my side.

    I have decent friends who are pretty liberal and think that you must never use prison and that offenders just need help, not punishment- no matter how awful their crime. They are good friends- we just passionately disagree on this issue. We are on differing sides on this issue generally speaking.

    'unpleasant character'--- I hope I didnt imply that such people have no right to life! Gosh I would never think that.

    I meant to suggest that his character is relevant as disorderliness or obstructiveness may have been mitigation for the accused (not an excuse note!).

    And surely in a civil disturbance, when arrests can be inflammatory, a shove may be more appropriate than a full arrest. A shove isn't normally fatal- otherwise the rush hour in london would be a massacre every day.

    Tomlinson's demise was a highly unlucky and unusual situation. Had he tripped over his shoelaces the previous week he may have passed away then. This is a separate issue from Tomlinson's possible poor conduct or Hardwoods use of the baton. The fact is video and photo evidence of the riots was extensive and this material was correctly used to sustain charges against the police. Which seems the mark of a civilised and just society to me.


  23. Hello Jess,

    The raising and lowering, and localisation of the criteria to carry out "stop and search" is what I would call a "policy whim", as there is an ackowledgement that this is not universal application of the law. Any alternative phrases will be considered.

    Iam Tomlinson's character has to be irrelevant to what happened, just as officer Harwood's was held to be - both or neither, if we are to be consistent. the trial process held that only a snapshot of actions and consequences could be considered (or have I failed to understand that?). Fine; then that's how all sides must be viewed thereafter.

    I thought the "taking sides" we referred to was not between law abiding and criminal, but between the analysis that the police are thugs and always in the wrong, as opposed to the substitution of whatever is your favourite social demon group for being the wrong 'uns. Corrections if I misunderstood gladly accepted.

    I think I said something about being quite willing to defend me and mine - and you, if you are on the ground, and about to get it, somewhere earlier.

    Friends differing deeply is something democracies have to be able to live with. Intolerance of opinions was one of the reasons I drifted away from the leftist circles I once knew. I have a former Tory friend who did the mirror image shift, with the broad right.

    Thlnking for yourself is part of what the Gestalt psychologists call "independence", I believe. It's lonely, and demanding.

    Glad to hear from you, Socrates

  24. I am in full favour of stop and search- it only takes a few mins and severely disrupts gun and weapon crime.

    I am stopped and searched at airports and sometimes have my boot searched when I drive into C.Wharf sometimes. Fair enough.

    I have several black friends that live in Tottenham and surrounding areas that are pro Trident and pro stop and search.

    I did watch a documentary last month of several convicted rioters that were seething with resentment about stop and search (it was acted transcripts). Then one of them emptied his massive rucksack full of drugs onto the table! No sense of irony whatsoever!

    The police quite rightly have the power to search you and I. The law is clear on this. I like this law because it seeks to protect the law biding and innocent.

    Both Harwoods and Tomlinson's character ARE important here. Harwoods character is important to prosecution in further establishing excessive force and poor discipline. Tomlinson's character could be useful for the defence citing mitigation of obstruction. This would be important for criminal or civil proceedings.

    As to 'sides' either scenario you paint fits actually- I would happily put myself in a definite camp. When police are tryng to keep order whilst savage nutters throw missiles at them they have my sympathy. When I watched the footage of the vandalism and evil of the rioters I felt sick- but full of admiration for the bravery of the police, poor sods, in the midst of it.

    Are individual policeman sometimes in the wrong?- yes, surely there must be some instances- as in any organisation...

    Do I have distrust and lack of sympathy for certain groups? Well yes I do because their overwhelming agenda is to be disrespectful, aggressive and selfish.

    So I don't like, in general, able bodied people who refuse to work, facist or communist types, racist groups, aggressive- insular travellers, religious extremists, dole cheats, chavs (yeah I know), gingers, selfish politicians and gun enthusiasts.

    As individual people they may be just peachy, but as a group pretty unlikeable for obvious reasons.

    I think the discussion of their adverse effect on society is as relevant as anything.


  25. This dicussion has reached the round and round phase, reached when participants have stripped away everything save their basic attitudes. I have already written any answer I may put up to the last comment.

    My biological science background suggests to me that we are largely born with these attitudes, so evolution "likes" conflictual variations.

    I leave any last word to our host. It's his show.