I haven’t had a lot of spare time for the last few weeks. I’ve signed up for a comedy course. It starts in November. Quite looking forward to it, to be honest, because (frankly) life can be as grim as the world at times.
There are however positives, presently at least: for one, I love my job in the local pub, surrounded by a group of fantastically diverse people who are now the faces I get to see every day. They are a significant improvement on the jelly-moulded troops of New Scotland Yard, where the increasing PR stunts are breathtaking.
Look no further than Hogan-Who, cutting short his radio interview the other week to arrest someone. My frigging hero. It seems that, when I used to kid around that the Met was developing a new logo of a red rising sun, with citizens and subjects watched over by the mystical Glorious Leader – who was born in a golden dragon’s egg, on a Yorkshire hill top – I was closer to the truth than even I suspected.
The College of Glorious Leadership has also leapt into the PR control ring, preaching the evils of social media for coppers: don’t tweet naked, drunk or while eating, they say. As well as making me wonder what the hell goes on behind the scenes of the mind-numbing ‘lock up your shed’ tweets that fill the timelines of corporate police accounts, it also reminded me that some of the best tweets I’ve ever seen came about because of drink, food and smut.
The police are the public, said Peel: so if the public are drunk and naked, then, surely, the police should be too? Perhaps the college should stop worrying about shite and work on some real problems… you know, like corruption, resourcing, financial management that doesn’t involve spending nearly a hundred grand a year on protecting one person’s reputation.
In the wider world, war erupts. We must all be scared of something. We must be scared of Gaza, Iraq, the Islamic State. We must all be fearful, because, that way, we are easier to control…so wrote Ingsoc.
Anyway, with all this going on, the police and the BBC have teamed up to Hulk Smash the singer of the Young Ones…achieving, to be honest, more damage to themselves. Life can be as grim as the world (but there is never a shortage of material for the upcoming course).
Lastly, I’m waiting for some more details but I’ve been asked to go to Mexico in October, to help the federal police get their heads around data manipulation. I am really excited. Really, really, excited. I’ll keep you posted….
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.'