All around the world we see varying levels of civil disobedience ranging from peaceful gatherings and protests from groups like Occupy to the more violent and deadly civil wars we see in places like Libya. In countries around the world and even in our great EU we regularly see the citizens taking to the street in protest against its Government and the decisions they make. Recently we saw the people of Spain take to the streets in response to a government proposal to make it illegal to speak ill of Spain, protest and burn the national flag. The Government decide to implement a law which will suppress the people and make it unlawful for them to oppose and they respond by taking to the streets, blockading Government buildings and showing their Government they will not be pushed around. They disobeyed without violence, injury or death and made their point very well.
(Note that there was little press coverage of this in the UK, it was touched briefly but mainstream media like the BBC didn’t stay with the story. A point I will come to shortly)
Here in the UK our own Government is tirelessly trying to privatise the country, make massive profit from the people, implementing policy and laws which are of no benefit to the nation but make it easier for employers to sack people, housing associations to move people or make them homeless, banks to fleece billions of pounds, businesses to avoid tax and they control the media to prevent the whole truth being revealed. David Cameron and his Selfservative Party are on a mission to divide the nation, leave the poor and needy to fend for themselves or die, line their own pockets and in his own words “re-shape Great Britain”. And in response to everything he and his party do, what do the people of Great Britain do? The vast majority do nothing except have a moan at work or the pub etc. They complain over social media and say “something should be done” but then don’t bother doing anything themselves. Apathy has gotten the better of the majority of our country. We have become lazy, a nation that expects somebody else to do something about it for them instead of standing up and being heard. And it is this attitude that the Government and our tyrant leader take advantage off.
Cameron and Co are doing all they can to divide the nation. A divided nation is easier to manipulate and control. A divided nation can not and will not join together and oppose its Government. A divided nation is far more obedient than a nation which is strongly bound and willing to stand together in the face of adversity and wrongdoing. Through lies and manipulated media the Government has brainwashed the nation making the majority of people obedient, spineless followers. Only around 25% of people possess a “rebellious gene” and will naturally stand up to authority and self styled leaders. The other 75% need to find that strength to stand up and be counted. People are afraid to join together and protest because they fear the repercussions which have been drilled home to us via the news.
The only time our national media shows public demonstrations or protests is when it “kicks off” and becomes violent so that they can focus on the thugs and idiots using it as an excuse for a fight rather than the reason for the gathering in the first place.
In 2011 when we had riots throughout the country and we saw mindless morons causing millions of pounds worth of damage and people getting injured the press were all over it. We saw shameful footage, courts were ordered to operate over the weekends, there were public campaigns to find the wanted suspects, we were kept up to date with the sentences that were given and left without any doubt that behaving in that way would come with harsh consequences. We see all to often groups such as the English Defence League (now allegedly disbanded) and United Against Fascism gathering and behaving in a violent, inappropriate manner and are notified on crimes committed and arrests made. All of this is part of the effort by Government to discourage the people from protesting and disobeying.
Think I am talking rubbish? Compare the amount of press coverage given to marches and protests which have even the smallest amount of criminality involved to marches which are peaceful yet effective, for example, November’s MILLION MASK MARCH which took place in London to oppose the government imposed austerity amongst other things. This event received very little national media attention at all. It received so little in fact that although I knew it was taking place, when I searched the internet on the night in question and watched the news I saw nothing. I actually believed it had been scrapped and so took to Twitter only see that many others were commenting on the complete lack of press coverage. I actually wonder whether it would have been mentioned by the press at all had it not been for comedian/actor Russell Brand, who supports and calls for complete revolution, being in attendance and tweeting along the way.
The fact is, the Government want the nation to be spineless, obedient followers who are more than entitled to have a moan about the state of things but will thinks twice before standing up and actually DOING something about it. For that reason they control the flow of media and scare monger with tales of long prison sentences and ruined lives for people who dare disobey.
Nobody in power likes a rebel. Nobody in power wants the boat being rocked. People who speak out and stand up to the lies spouted by government are belittles and ridiculed, harassed and threatened, punished or worse. All our lives we are discouraged from questioning authority. At school all but a few would argue back to teachers. You would be punished for questioning their authority and punished again if you dared try to justify it to your parents. At work you are not thought well of if you constantly question your managers and in the military and Police you can be disciplined for questioning orders and instructions. People in power fear the rebels of society. God knows I have fallen out with my fare share of teachers and senior ranks in my time. If I disagree with something or believe somebody is acting in an unjust manner then I am not a person to sit back and obey because society dictates they are in power and we must do as we are told.
If you are tired of the lies, the hypocrisy, the corruption and the manipulation of this Government then you need to open your eyes to the games they play and the tactics they use to force you into submission and obedience and you must begin to question authority. Speak out. Publish blogs. Write to MP’s, the press and other organisations. Get involved in planned peaceful marches and demonstrations. Be brave and don’t allow your courage to be suppressed any longer. Stand up, Disobey and DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF.
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD
It is not possible to make the mega rich politicians, bankers and business men and women who control this country understand the suffering they’re causing by obeying the rules and conforming to their standards and rules. The time for apathy has passed, the time for action is long overdue.
We all know that behaving like violent thugs, destroying property and attacking others is not only disgusting and inhumane behaviour but it achieves nothing. Throughout history and even today we are shown that this kind of action costs billions, loses lives and achieves little if anything at all. Just look at the last time the “peasants revolted” against similar tyranny in 1381. All were hunted down by the kings men and killed. In 2011 the “revolting peasants” were hunted down and jailed. It does very little to influence change and plays directly into the hands of the “leaders”.
Planning and partaking in large peaceful and effective protests and demonstrations however makes people sit up and listen. One of my favourite movie scenes ever is at the end of the film V FOR VENDETTA when the British public come together and march to Whitehall and Downing street and simply stand silently and peacefully in the street wearing the Guy Fawkes mask. Whenever I watch it I picture David Cameron, George Osborne and Theresa May looking out of their office windows and shaking in their boots. Effective, peaceful, makes a huge impact and there is no way on earth it could be ignored.
Whistle Blowing: Whistle-blowing (noun) is the act of telling the authorities or the public that the organization you are working for is doing something immoral or illegal (Collins English Dictionary)
Seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie THE FIFTH ESTATE about Julian Assange and his Wikileaks organisation this evening prompted me to think about “whistle-blowing” again. It is a subject that interests me greatly and something I strongly support and would expect any decent man or woman with morals to also support to some extent or another. Whilst I am open minded enough to consider the implications of certain secrets and truths being revealed, nation security matters for instance, and I accept that not everything can be an open book to the public, I strongly believe that unnecessary immoral and illegal practices within private, public and Government organisations should have an eagle eyed whistle blower standing by ready to roar like a lion.
Society seems split when it comes to the opinion of whistle-blowing. Certainly those at the heads of organisations seem dead against them and who can blame them? One man or woman with the bravery and morals to expose wrongdoing can topple even the most powerful of corporations. It seems some organisations are more accepting of whistle-blowers than others. The Government seems to welcome and encourage whistle-blowers from certain public sector organisations such as the NHS but strongly opposes and does it’s best to silence them in other organisations such as the Police Service.
In the Police Service officers are vehemently discouraged from speaking to the press or the public about internal matters and those that do so can expect to be investigated for bringing the force into disrepute or undermining public confidence. Several officers around the UK are currently being investigated for misconduct for blowing the whistle…ironic when the Police Whistle was first introduced for Police Officers to blow in times of trouble and to alert the public.
Whistle-blowers are often dismissed as trouble causers, disgruntled employees and of pursuing a personal vendetta. It is true that there are many who fit into these categories and many who simply lie and make things up and these people I can not abide. They are liars and attention seekers. However, when a true and honest whistle-blower takes a deep breath and really blows hard then people start to listen and changes start to happen.
I have met and spoken to numerous genuine blowers in the last few years and have the upmost respect for them all. Several months ago I met and spoke to Ian Foxley, an ex Army Officer and former Defence project manager who “blew the whistle” on an alleged corrupted $2BILLION Saudi communications deal. A true gent and a font of knowledge who would not stand back and watch corruption and fraud unfold despite being threatened with Saudi prison. I will add that our meeting was not in relation to whistle blowing but the subject simply cropped up.
Ian now helps run (I think he is the chairman but I am not certain) Whistle Blowers UK, an organisation set up to help support and advise current and potential whistle blowers. You can learn more about Ian, WBUK and the rest of the group here… http://www.whistleblowersuk.org/content/ian-foxley
Whistle Blowers routinely find themselves in trouble, warned, discouraged, threatened, sacked, bribed, smeared and disgraced and in some countries much worse. Once they cross that line there is no going back and it is because of this that they need much more protection in law and support form organisations such as WBUK. They are brave and selfless. As one female states in the video on the link above
“THERE WAS NO AMOUNT OF MONEY THEY COULD PAY TO SHUT ME UP AND THEY CAN SHOVE IT WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE”.
Another states she was advised by her own solicitor not to go ahead but whilst she knew that was probably good advice for herself it was NOT good for the thousands of people she was hoping to help by exposing wrongdoing.
The press, Government, scientists, behaviourists etc all talk about how media, especially violent films and games, impact upon and affect the behaviour and mindset of those who watch/play them. I believe (and hope) that when The Fifth Estate is released in the UK later this month many will watch, many will connect and relate and many more will find the strength and bravery to blow the whistle.
Heads of organisations affected by whistle-blowing, you need to ask yourselves the following two questions when making decisions, implementing new policy and enacting new procedure;-
1) If the public knew about this, would it undermine their confidence?
2) If this was made common knowledge, would it bring the organisation into disrepute?
If the answer to either of those questions is YES then I am afraid that it is YOU that is in the wrong for going ahead with it and NOT the brave and selfless whistle blower exposing your wrongdoing. It is YOU who ruins the reputation of your organisation and loses public confidence.
It is much easier to be honest but unfortunately that path is paved with much less gold.
The Government like us to believe their statistics when it comes to crime levels & number of Police Officers on “Frontline” duties and insist they are accurate. Many dispute their statistics and suggest they are “fiddled”.
Then we have reporters such as Peter Hitchens complain about the number of Officers on foot beat, accusing Police of hiding indoors and comparing the policing of Britain today with the way it was done pre 1966. He states that there is no excuse and the Police are to blame because the Police have much more officers and much less work and responsibilities. He believes that the Police no longer do such tasks as checking commercial premises…not true. He claims the numbers matter not and that there is no shortage of frontline officers.
So Peter says the numbers matter not and Government say their stats are correct. Lets take a look at these stats then shall we…
UK population 2013 – Approx 56,000,000
Number of Police Officers March 2013 – 129,584
Between 1965 and now there has been an increase of 115,042 Police Officers (not all frontline) in the UK but population has increased 14,000,000. So we have only 115,042 extra officers to deal with an extra 14,000,000 members of the public.
Out of that 129,584 only 99,779 (77%) work on what the Government define as “Frontline” duties.
Residential premises have also increased by 9.2 million (estimate in 2011 so more now) making it 25,000,000 residential premises.
Commercial premises today are estimated at around 1,800,000.
So we have;-
99,779 – Police Officers
56,000,000+ – Members of the Public
25,000,000+ – Residential Premises
1,800,000+ – Commercial Premises
99,779 Police Officers to look after 82,800,000+ People/Properties. That’s around 829.83 per officer.
Now obviously those 99,779 cops do not work at the same time. Shifts come into play which mean that a rough estimate would be around 30,000-35,000 Police officers at any one time to cover 82,800,000+ people/property.
If every bobby was working at the same time they would still be outnumbered around 561 to 1. Take into consideration shifts and it would be more like 1650(ish) to 1.
Then on top of shifts we can deduct from that 99,779 to consider numbers on annual leave, sickness, extractions such as courses and secondments, dealing with prisoners, file building, community meetings and events, council meetings, scene guards…. The list goes on and the number of cops deployable at any one time gets lower whilst population increases.
Peter also likes to say that the Police have fewer responsibilities today than in the 60’s as Police no longer guard court building, no longer check commercial premises (which is false), no longer prisoner escort (again not completely true). He gives no consideration to the following list of further/increased responsibilities police officers have these days;
Partner agency meetings
School visits and engagement
School Liaison work (crime in school)
Domestic Violence intervention
Rape and other sexual offences
PREVENT strand of Counter Terrorism
Road Safety (34.5 million vehicles on the road not included above. That’s around 28million more vehicles since the 60’s)
Harassment and Stalking
Increase in Drugs and associated crime
Adhering to PACE for stop searches etc and associated paperwork
File preparation in greater detail
The increasing number of non-police matters (civil disputes) we have to mediate or attend in order to maintain public confidence.
Much more accountable and closely scrutinised (A GOOD THING)
I know Peter will be upset to hear it but in the last 53 years Great Britain has changed. Society has hugely increased, become more diverse and as such crime trends and types have developed. On paper, we may have a lot more Police Officers than we did 53 years ago but in reality it is not really many more in comparison to population and increased workload and responsibilities.
Peter won’t admit he is wrong because he has convinced himself he is right with his one sided research which has clearly been nothing more than a scratch of the surface but he IS wrong.
Increased foot beat WILL make a big difference but not without the numbers to enable Officers to cover smaller areas and enough back at the nick to deal with processing and charging when somebody is arrested. All that would happen is Officer’s would be accused by Peter and his ilk of “standing around talking to people” (engaging with the public) whilst a crime occurred several streets away on his/her beat. And although not ideal we WOULD still need reactive investigators and policing because unless we had a Bobby on every corner, crime would STILL occur.
In an ideal world we would still be able to Police like Sir Robert Peel wanted all those years ago but as is blatantly obvious, we do not live in an ideal world.