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One Size Fits All Until It Has Been Shrunk Beyond The Point Of Usefulness (Or - The Impossible Question Of Asking The Police To Do More With Less Of Everything)
8/5/2015 7:55:35 PM
Usually I try to put some kind of jokey twist on even the most serious of subjects in an attempt to make them more "appetising" for you to read.  The subject of this post is much too serious for that sort of treatment.  It doesn't just affect me but it affects everybody - and nobody appears to realise how serious the consequences will be.

What do you get when you combine a hostage negotiator, a finder of children who have absconded from Care Homes, a (mostly) untrained Mental Health worker, a Security Guard, an Investigator (and cleaning operative) of Road Traffic Accidents, a Deliverer of Bad News, A Repository for All Kinds Of Abuse (physical and verbal), and pour it all into a blue (or black uniform) - and that is only a few of the current functions they fulfil???

Or to put it another way - which Emergency Service gets called out when other Agencies either fail to do their jobs properly or refuse to work over their "allotted hours"???

I wish the above two paragraphs had a funny punchline to them - believe me, you have no idea how much I wish that was true.

Unfortunately, the answer to them is not a punchline to a joke.

As you probably know by now I follow quite a few "Twittercops" - and one in particular gave me the idea for this blog post when he tweeted that there should be a discussion between the Police and the public about exactly what the Police do.

First the Dogs were in Danger - then the Helicopters got grounded - now the Officers themselves are in danger of being deleted from the payroll.

I fear there are two sources of attack which are being usefully operated right now.

You could say that the most obvious attack is coming from the Government - and you would be half correct in my opinion.

The other obvious attack is coming from the Media.  Just today I watched a news report stating that my local Force (Leicestershire) had run an experiment where they only sent Forensic Officers (the CSI people) to houses which had been subject to an attempted break in if the houses had odd numbers in their address.

Luckily my Twitter timeline had exploded with tweets from indignant Twittercops on this subject when the news broke earlier today.  (That old saying about asking a Police Officer if you want to know the time seems to work for Twittercops and the truth behind news stories as well.)

However, I feel the biggest attack is coming from within the Police Service itself as far as the public information is concerned at least.

Allow me to explain -

The only ranks who have actually put statements out to the media about the impact of the forthcoming cuts are the Chief Constables who have given general descriptions of what will be lost.  One Police and Crime Commissioner seems to have decided that the Police are a waste of space anyway (immediately angering the rank and file Constables).

If you ask me (and I know nobody is but I will tell you anyway) - the best people to scream about the effects which the cuts to the numbers of Police Officers will have are - you guessed it - the rank and file officers you find on the streets.

Yes - the ones who can lose rest days at a moment's notice in order to cover understaffing on a particular shift, the ones who are sent in single-crewed cars to dangerous disturbances, the ones who put themselves in the way of that crazed killer (and have been known to get killed or at least seriously injured as a result), the ones who witness scenes of horrific devastation after a Terrorist attack and still work through it, the ones who talk down the suicidal person from the bridge one minute and have to tell someone else's relatives and loved ones that they have died in an accident the next.

The rank and file Superheroes who all deserve a medal for their bravery and committment to keeping the peace are the ones who should be allowed to go on TV and radio to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about the cuts and their consequences.

One Twittercop remarked on the sudden appearance of so many Police "reality TV" shows being a sign of how interested the Public are in what the Police do.

I only hope the Public will be as understanding when someone points out that there are not enough Officers to do half of the work in future???

All Aboard The Musical Merry-Go-Round (Or - How One Song Can Have A Thousand Meanings)
8/1/2015 1:34:14 AM
Music can pull people together yet it can also highlight exactly how different we are.  For example - the only way you are ever going to get me to listen to "Sweet Child Of Mine" by Guns & Roses is if you play me a version which does not include Axl Rose singing on it.  (My two favourite versions are both what you might call "classical" instrumental versions - one on a piano and the other on four violins.)

But there are some songs which have a special meaning for me (two of which I dare not even bother dreaming of covering - even if the person who sang one of them says I have got a nice voice) which is probably not the meaning the author intended them to have.

If you want to know what I think is the darkest - and most borderline disturbed - song I have ever heard you may be surprised to learn that it is not "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter" by Iron Maiden, or "Paradise City" by Guns & Roses.  Nope - for me that title goes to "Wanted (Dead or Alive)" by Bon Jovi.  To be honest I have never liked the full band version as it sounds too happy - my favourite version is Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi singing it acoustically with a couple of guitars and nothing else.  That sends the cold shivers running down my spine as it reminds me a lot of my time at Secondary School.  Especially the lyric "Sometimes I sleep, sometimes its not for days.  The people I meet, come and go their separate ways".  That is a little too close to the truth of bullying for my liking.

The other song - if you haven't guessed it by now - is "Someone" by Kristyna Myles.  It is one of those songs I find it totally and utterly impossible to sing so it sounds like the original - probably because I put my own meaning into the lyrics (even though I keep the tune the same as well as the lyrics).  Pretty difficult not to put your own meaning into a song when it feels like you have literally lived through it.

I never thought I would agree with a word that Bono from U2 says but I think he has got a point when he says that the audience never applaud the version of a song which the singer sings but they are applauding their own personal version (compete with the memories they have attached to it).

I am going to leave you with the theme tune to my alltime favourite children's cartoon.  I remember watching the programme when I was a little girl and we went to visit my Oma.  Even when I couldn't understand the lyrics I absolutely loved the tune - it is so chirpy.

"De Fabeltjeskrant" was a cartoon where Mijnheer de Uil (or Mr Owl) decided to spread wisdom to the other creatures in the woodland.  In fact - the theme tune asks Mr Owl what brings him to us and if he is going to read from the "Fabeltjeskrant" (or "Fables Newspaper").  The spoken bit gets a little bit weird but the general gist of it is that Mr Owl thinks that Animals are like Humans with the same wishes as humans.

Of course you can just enjoy the tune.

www.youtube.com/watch

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