Sitting down to write this, I have to be honest and say that my eyes are stinging a little. The screen seems a little too white, the letters a bit fuzzy.
Largely, this is due to the fact I still have the floating paragraph numbers of my response to the Met’s latest gross misconduct allegations – about my telling my side to the BBC – in my head. Another thirty-five pages, another set of paginated documents, a rerun of the already won bias argument. While it might be enough to make my noodle spin, it is necessary – even though, as a member of the public, I don’t appear to be under any obligation to respond.
After blinding myself with it, I did the usual – which appears quite confusing to some – and posted the response to my blog, so that everyone can see what’s gone into the Directorate of Professional Standards and make their own minds up. Transparency, after all, is what we all want. Gimme a T…
The second reason that I’m afflicted with screen blindness is that I’m now about halfway through a fourth edit of a full length novel. The fictional copper Jack Rebbick, currently losing his marbles in Chemical Sausage, will be back in the near future. I’ll keep you posted…
Beyond this, I’ve been a little hung up this week, on an issue which is close to the bone: there is a sentencing due and the ripples of the guilty plea have touched souls young and old in my family.
It’s led me to read Alison Saunders’ article on sexual offence prosecutions, and conclude that I agree with her. An acquittal does not mean that prosecution was wrong, not any more than a short skirt means that a victim was ‘asking for it’. Times have, thank Christ, changed. Importantly, what Alison also recognises is that there is still more to do and that, right there, is the sign of a rock solid Director of Public Prosecutions.
Of course, there is also the view of David Jessel to take into consideration. Equally potent are his credentials too, as a former commissioner at the Criminal Cases Review Commission. There’s a lot to take in, but I draw from it the impact of legal aid cuts on defence appeal decision making, and a staggering, statistical reduction in the CCRC referral rate… me and statistics… well, that particular truffle is one worth hunting out, especially when we are, in this case, referring to miscarriages of justice – even if, as David writes, they are considered ‘a bit 1980’s’.
In many ways, I’m glad that the case so close to me is a guilty plea, because it has meant that I haven’t had to thoroughly think through both sides of these, fundamentally, diametrically opposed arguments in terms that would cause any more emotional turmoil.
This is dark, weighty stuff, and surpasses – by quite some margin – the discomfort of my heavy eyes. It’s really unsurprising that I’ve actively – and with unexpected success – sought distraction.
On the lighter side of the news, I’ve been watching (with amused curiosity) as Michael Gove took aim at Theresa May and shot off his own kneecap, a move swiftly followed by an equally inept return of fire, resulting in the Home Secretary blowing her kitten-heels to smithereens.
It’s been like watching a fight between a pair of drunken cowboys, who are excruciatingly crap at shoot-outs.
Amidst all this, HM the Queen has had to reel off a load of old horseshit about plastic bags. It’s hardly a surprise that a Page Boy fainted after eight minutes or so and, if I were the Sovereign Lady, one would be going Spanish and abdicating as fast as possible, just to get away from nose-honking clowns.
Laughter aside, these two Cabinet Ministers are now blaming each other for fuck ups – basically allowing domestic extremism to develop and fester in schools – while both posturing to, potentially, take over as the political leader of our country…
Ed Miliband must be rubbing his hands in weird glee, Tony Blair must be pissing himself and Nick Clegg must be praying to Saint Jude. Personally, I’m frigging terrified because it’s either them or Farage.
But maybe it’s just me.
Former PC James Patrick is the police whistleblower who exposed the manipulation of crime figures. Bernard Jenkin of the Public Administration Select Committee said: ‘We are grateful to PC James Patrick… for his courage in coming forward to voice his concerns.'