Why Bother?


Why bother?

I have lost track of the amount of times I have heard this said lately. I go into one of my customary rants regarding the way the government are treating the Police and people’s eyes glaze over. “why bother?” they ask. “the government aren’t going to back down.” they say. There are so many people acting like we are wasting our time even bothering. Perhaps the most infuriating thing is the fact that so many of them are those who are young in service. The very people who should still be up for the fight. The people who stand to lose the most if the government force through the proposed changes to our terms and conditions.

A common question is “what are the fed doing about it?” well, as many know, I don’t make excuses for the Fed, or defend them where it’s not warranted, but the thing is they are doing plenty. They arranged the very successful march in London. 35’000 people marched. The transport and expenses of a large number of these was paid for by the Fed. They have made representations to government. They have sent out program letters to send to MP’s. They have sent open letters and held press conferences and they showed their disapproval at conference.

Our problem is not the Fed. It’s apathy. 35’000 people turned up for the march. Such a huge number. Certainly the majority of off duty officers in the country. As well as many non Police supporters. Families, friends, support staff and just people who dislike the changes being forced through with no mandate by this government. Yet, despite this huge number of people, at the time of writing this, only 18’000 people have signed the Epetition to reject Winsor 2.

18’000 out of an organisation with 135’000 members. This government must be absolutely over the moon. We are proving them right. They can almost legitimately say that there are135’000 of us yet only 18’000 reject the report! It’s embarrassing. I have yet to speak to a Police officer who approves of the Winsor report. Yet only 13% of our number can be bothered to give up 2 minutes of their time to sign an epetition!

Some federations have circulated the Epetition. But, amazingly, some federations have not even emailed their members asking them to sign. It has not been officially circulated. We are talking about a ballot on the right to strike yet we haven’t even been able to sign an Epetition.

Now I know it is not the best written Epetition. I realise that there are some who may feel that it would be better if there was a better worded version. But the fact is that the website does not allow more than one Epetition supporting the same proposal. Like it or not this is the Epetition that got started. It has 18’000 signatures already attached. It is the closest thing we have. I don’t think for a second that this government will see that we have 100’000 signatures and just decide to scrap the whole thing. That will not happen.

But, when we get the 100’000 signatures, it will be debated in the commons. This is a weak coalition. We have raised some excellent arguments. If it is debated and just a few people dissent the government will be on the Back foot. At the very least it will get publicity. It will show the strength of feeling. It will keep the momentum. We will be able to say to the public when we ballot to strike that we tried everything. That the ballot was a last resort.

I think it has got to the point where trusting people to motivate themselves to sign the Epetition has not worked. We all work in stations with strong characters. We all have shift leaders. People who can get things done. We need to be raising this amongst ourselves. Asking our colleagues if they’ve signed. If not we need to be asking them why they are letting their colleagues down. If they disagree and they think Winsor is great then fine. I’d be surprised but everybody is entitled to their opinion. But we need to shake up the apathetic. Furthermore we need to be asking friends, neighbours, family to sign. If they don’t have a computer let them use your smartphone. Have a word with your Fed rep. If your Fed aren’t officially circulating it then ask them why not.

We are fighting to save the job. The rank of constable and the future of Policing in this country. Please stop waiting for somebody to take the lead. Be that person. Have a word. Ask colleagues. Give them a push. Be as annoying as me. Let’s get it signed.





5 thoughts on “Why Bother?

  1. Everyone I ask has signed this app, could it be perhaps that all the signatures are not being recorded. Not just this e-pertition but many seem very low on numbers across a wide range of subjects. After all this gov is trying to convince all that it’s policies and reports are based on sound judgement and Independant reports. There is no way of knowing whether like the BBC they loose votes in the system.

  2. Sadly many, by no means all, younger people seem to have lost the fire to fight for what they perceive as right…my own children are prime examples…maybe I just bored them to death and now they have political fatigue!
    Child of the 60s AKA Julieanneda

  3. Great article. What a shame there wasn’t a way for the people on the march to register – an easy hit of 30,000+ alone. I totally agree with you in your assessment of the apathetic attitude but I think there are three categories of officers: 1.Those working their ass off feeling “battle fatigue” from just doing the job never mind trying to save it. 2. Those who are younger in service who may not know any different and haven’t really grasped the concept of what lies ahead because they’re keen to impress or don’t want to be seen as anti-establishment. They are also entitled to annual increments whereas the “dinosaurs” aren’t so there is no immediate adverse effect on them. 3. Those who are lazy and think someone else will do the fighting for them. The same people who are always last to answer the radio or are “committed” with some bogus “enquiry” that they’ve just invented because the job isn’t exciting enough.
    It is at times like these I remember the oath that I took. Look at my warrant card and appreciate the powers conferred upon me by the office I hold and reflect on the lives I have saved or changed for the better as well as those times where I know I had to stand firm in the face of adversity because it was either me or chaos. I remember that I am “on duty” 24hrs a day and don’t turn the other way simply because I am on a rest day. I remember those times when I’ve been injured in the execution of my duty but remained focused on the objective nonetheless – despite being scared sh*tless. I don’t do it to satisfy an ego trip I do it because I believe in the oath I took and because I know the difference between right and wrong.
    What the government is doing to our service is wrong – plain and simple. They have prevaricated, postured and used distraction techniques to impose their will on us and convince the public that its OK to do so. I will stand up to this wrong-doing just as I would if I were confronted by wrong-doing on the streets. We should all be standing up to this wrong-doing if we truly believe in the oath that we took. Don’t sit on your hands thinking about doing something – the thought doesn’t count in this case. The Fed are doing a great job and working tirelessly for us – they need and deserve our support just as much as we need the support of the public. Don’t expect from them what you’re not prepared to give yourself.

  4. I’ve signed the petitions and put in my Facebook profile, but I agree I could do more. I will start circulating the links by email to people at work (including Fed Rep) and I will speak to my parents tomorrow and see if I can get them signed up. And nag my hubby to make sure he’s done it.

  5. I am a young in service officer who also attended the march. I don’t think the problem is that people aren’t signing the petition. I think it’s more that people don’t realise you have to confirm the signature in a confirmation email. I almost missed that and found the confirmation email in my spam folder.

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