In part one of this blog (you can read it here) I looked at some of the jobs Police Officers deal with which they are legally obligated to do but which often clash with their own personal beliefs and morals. I used real examples given to me by serving Police Officers.
In this blog I want to look at the consequences of the Police Officer going against a lawful order and standing by their morals rather than their lawful order as defined by Government.
A lawful order is an instruction from a supervising officer that is not unlawful and pertains to your duties as a Constable
When a senior officers gives a Police Officer a “lawful order” they are as you might expect LEGALLY obliged to fulfil it without question. I believe the only order that can not be given by a senior officer is to take somebodies life, that is at the sole discretion of the officer behind the trigger. If I am wrong there than I am happy to be corrected.
If a senior officer tells a Constable to move kids from a street, then the Constable must move the kids from the street or have a reasonable explanation as to why he/she did not. If a senior officer tells a Constable to arrest an individual then again, unless there is a lawful, reasonable reason to do the opposite the Constable must obey.
So if the Constable in my previous blog who didn’t want to police the fox hunt had told his supervisor “Actually Sergeant, I don’t agree with hunting foxes and quite support the people wanting to stop the hunt so I’d rather not do that”, that Constable would have been left without any doubt that he will conduct the required duty with impartiality as sworn to in his attestation
If an officer deliberately goes against a lawful order he can expect anything from a bollocking or being picked for some not so pleasant jobs in future to dismissal for neglect of duty.
Twice in my career I refused to follow a lawful order because it went against my morals and each one ended differently but thankfully did not end with me being sacked.
The first time I was still in my probation period and my eldest daughter was only 8 months old. I was told to go to custody and babysit a prisoner who was a suicide risk. This filthy creature had sexually abused a baby and killed her. I didn’t give a damn what he did to himself and certainly didn’t want to spend 8 hours sitting in his company. I asked my Sergeant if somebody else could do it as I could not guarantee that I would keep my cool, the victim was the same age as my daughter. I know this was a selfish thing to do but it struck close to home with the age of the victim and being a new dad and I personally would have handed the bastard a noose. I was pushed into the Sergeant’s office and told to get a grip of myself and do my job and warned never to question orders again.
The second occasion happened towards the end of my career when I was told to go and move a homeless man from a secluded spot under a bridge in some woods because an affluent member of the community had been walking her dog and was “horrified” to see a “grubby tramp” sitting by a fire and insisted he be moved so she can walk her dog there again. I asked why we were moving him on. I was told “because we have to”. I refused and suggested I conduct a welfare check on him instead but was told that I would “do as I was told” and move him in. I refused and headed out on patrol. I was “advised” and faced a few weeks of hard labour dealing with all the tedious jobs, sent out on foot patrol in crap weather etc but I didn’t care because I had stood by my morals and that was more important than some antiquated oath.
There have however been incidents where officers have gone against their duty and subsequently been sacked, demoted, faced disciplinary action and sometimes even charged with neglect of duty. An Officer got in touch with me recently who has asked to remain anonymous and told me how he had refused to Police a march against our troops because he was ex Army and he was told he had no choice and so he told his boss he did have a choice and went off sick. He was suspended, investigated by professional standards and barely kept his job.
The fact is, Police Officers face loosing their career, their pensions, their life and health insurance, their financial security that of their family and so it is not as simple as just refusing to do something they don’t agree with. I was a lucky one as I had something to fall back on and so when I realised my personal beliefs and morals clashed to much with my expected duty as a constable I was able to jump ship and be safe. However, for most they don’t have that luxury. With very little transferable skills acquired in the Police and very little job availability out their putting up and shutting up is quite often the much easier option.
But a question I have often heard asked and pondered over is where would a Police Officer draw the line at “just following orders”? Obviously a an order can only be followed if it is LAWFUL. But the Police do not make the laws as I have already mentioned in Part 1, they simply enforce them. The laws are written by Parliament, by people right at the very top of the hierarchical tower. So what would happen if those in charge decided to make it LAWFUL for the Police to use lethal force on protesters and for senior officers to ORDER a constable to do it, for example? Would they blindly follow orders or would their morals come into play and make them refuse to follow orders regardless of the risk of being sacked?
It is of course a hypothetical question but one that I feel needs considering. If Police Officers are expected to put their morals and beliefs to one side and follow lawful orders with impartiality, at one point does moral right and wrong supersede the lawful duty of a constable?
I am sure many people have now read Sunday’s Mail Online article by infamous journalist Peter Hitchens. The article uses an extract from within as its title “GET RID OF THEIR GUNS, CARS AND TASERS AND WE MIGHT JUST END UP WITH REAL POLICEMEN”.
This inflammatory comment sets the tone for the entire article in which he lambasts the Police and pretty much labels them useless. Upon first reading the article I, like many others completely disagreed with him, rejected it as what has sadly become typical Daily Mail anti-Police rhetoric and then allowed it to anger me. I then headed to Peter’s twitter timeline and saw that many others had expressed their disagreement with the article in a wide variety of ways and so I decided to send a few tweets to him myself. They were not offensive, or were at least not intended to be, but I just made a few comments about the article and then informed him that I was offended by his suggestions because I had sadly lost a friend and colleague to armed criminals. Peter would later dismiss my comment as “irrelevant” because he had lost a friend to the IRA. Not sure where the logic is in that but I found his dismissal rather distasteful. I am deeply sorry Peter has lost a friend in this manner and I can sympathise with him in ways he won’t know so I certainly would not dismiss such a thing as irrelevant.
My comments on Peter’s timeline soon attracted some strange people and one particularly vile male who seemed frighteningly obsessed with the man. However I did end up talking to some rather sensible, intelligent, mature and reasonable Hitchens supporters who engaged in polite debate and did not become rude, aggressive or offensive when we disagreed. Mr Hitchens himself responded to some of my tweets with his usual sharp rudeness which having read a few of his blogs now I quite like and find amusing, but this is fine and acceptable because I was not particularly polite either. I have to respect a person who speaks their mind and says what they think and feel without worrying about the consequences or who they may upset. Whilst it may be sometimes rude and offensive it is at least honest.
Having spoken to these people and having now read his article several times I would like to firstly admit that I was perhaps wrong to dismiss it immediately and secondly to apologise for my rudeness. I fully respect other people’s opinions and if this article is Peter’s then I respect that. My reason for writing this blog however is to do what he and others have suggested and to point out, in a reasonable manner, where his article lacks fact.
The article is predominantly based on opinion. Peter’s opinion of Police, Policing and a couple of high profile incidents where officers have fallen short of the levels of professionalism expected. I think the thing that has upset many and gotten so many backs up is the sweeping generalisations contained throughout the blog. Peter has expressed his opinion of presumably his local constabulary and expressed this as fact in relation to “the Police” in general to a national audience. Reading between the lines I think the article is aimed at the Policing of London however the language use and numerous generalisations imply to the average reader that the same negativities apply to Police throughout the UK. Peter told many on his timeline that he was more than qualified to make his comments because he had written a book about crime and policing etc which involved research. That book however was written quite some time ago. If the website is correct they date from 1999 to 2003. Policing was different then. Very different. I only joined in 2004 and even now the Police service and its methods are unrecognisable to when I joined. The other thing which has changed tremendously is society, crime trends and crime types. I dare say that Peter’s research on this topic may be a little dated. Allow me to explain and clarify a few things.
Firstly, the opening question I am going to take as rhetorical. Whilst many do not support the Police and some actually despise them, it is pretty obvious how useful Police Officers are. They do a job nobody else could or would and without the Police the world would be a much more frightening place to live. Until there is an alternative to criticise then the Police remain a very useful tool in preventing and detecting crime and protecting the public. They are only hampered in this role by political interference.
Secondly, despite Peter’s opinion Police Officers do NOT have an ambiguous attitude towards the public. Police Officers have a lot of respect for honest law abiding members of the public. If they did not hold a positive attitude towards them then why would they serve them? They put their lives on the line, their health and safety at risk and face daily criticism because they’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t and they do all of this for the public. The Police do NOT avoid heading out into the streets or fear being approached and they do NOT always work with another colleague. With cuts to frontline policing, which are being cleverly hidden from the public eye, many officers are PREVENTED from heading into the streets. Not by choice for most, but because of workload demands and the wishes of those at the top of the chain of command and in Government. So called “back office” roles usually done by civilians are being plugged by officers. Cuts to the frontline mean less officers to deal with suspects and so they are dragged in off the streets to deal with the interview and charging process which depending on the offence can take hours. Officers want to be out patrolling but most of the time the mountain of paperwork and bureaucracy prevents as many of them from venturing outside some days. It is not “the Police” on the ground that makes this decision, it is those at the very top sitting in the Home Office or those a little further down the chain.
When officers do go out on patrol then yes I think it is fair to say these days most do so in a vehicle. Again this is due to the dangerously low numbers of Officers available to cover such vast areas and because many criminals these days do not skulk around on foot in the shadows, they travel in vehicles and it is pretty tricky to keep up with a car on foot and as today’s press shows, it can be very dangerous trying to stop a criminal in a car whilst on foot. The main reason however is that the Police have strict response times. They must attend an emergency call from the public promptly and can take no longer than 14mins 59seconds (may vary depending on location) or the call is “missed” and this reflects badly on the force when the statistic geeks come calling which then results in rapped knuckles which roll downwards with increased severity to the initial attending officers. It would be impossible with the number of officers today and the huge areas they cover to meet this strict response times on foot. Let me give you a factual example.
My beat area is two hundred square miles. It is at any one time covered by only 2 Police Constables and 3-4 PCSO colleagues. My force has a STRICT single crewing policy and we are routinely monitored via GPS to ensure we are single crewed. If we are found to be double crewed then we are contacted immediately by a rank of at least Inspector and asked to account for why. Unless we are off to make an arrest of a violent person, transporting a prisoner, dealing with a person known to make allegations or suffering with Mental Health issues or transporting the officer(s) to their foot beat then we will be in a little bother. Working with a colleague these days is a luxury and if we can not justify it then we will be disciplined. The only exception to this rule is Friday and Saturday evenings in busy towns or cities. We have just lost a lot of vehicles from our fleet and so my beat only has one marked Police car and one marked Police van. Unless we have a prisoner to process or have specifically requested clerical time in advance then we must all be out on the streets within 30mins of starting our shift, just enough time to brief, check the vehicles and kit and away we go. Often we park up and walk around on foot engaging with the community and have to run back to the vehicle when an emergency call is made. One of us transports our PCSO colleagues to their designated beat areas and then has to round them back up again unless public transport is working. And so as you can see, this is completely different to Peter’s opinion and this is fact. This is not just a one off example for my current beat, this is the case for all beats I have worked and for friends in other forces I have spoken to before writing this.
Sadly, because there are so few Police officers these days they have to prioritise their work and do not have the resources to deal with everything that comes in. I remember only 8 years ago when I would turn up to briefing at the start of my shift and there would be at least 20 cops on shift. Eight would take cars, two of which were double crewed, and the rest headed out on foot. I loved it. These days there is often only 6-10 officers on shift and the Neighbourhood teams such as mine have even less as stated above. For this reason we do often have to pick and choose jobs. Sir Peter Fahy caused controversy when he admitted recently that 60% of crimes are not investigated. This is the true nature of Government cuts to Policing. So the Officer who Peter alleges stated he was busy doing something else “in an irritable voice” when he asked him to deal with somebody who ran a red light was most probably simply being honest and was irritable because, whilst I do not wish to make assumptions, I dare say Peter would have been his usual abrupt and rude self when speaking with the Officer in this alleged incident. I wasn’t there and so can not say for certain what that officer was doing at the time, perhaps Peter can explain further, but I have been in similar situations where I am pulled over noting down details of a call I am being despatched to or I am perhaps doing some important clerical at the roadside or even waiting for a suspect vehicle which I know is heading my way, when I have been shouted at by a member of the public for “ignoring” a car which they believe was speeding or the driver was on the phone. Whilst these are offences and should and will be dealt with when possible, I am afraid that we can not deal with everything. We all long for more resources and the ability to do more so please do not blame the boots on the ground for this as we are as equally frustrated as the public.
I can not argue at all with his comments regarding the Prince Andrew incident or the Mitchell incident other than to question the part where he implies the Police leaked the story about the Prince to the press. Is this actually true or was it just a convenient link into his bit about “Plebgate”? If it is true then yes I agree it is wrong, if not then he is wrong to imply to a national audience that this was the case.
I don’t think there is a Police Officer in the UK today that does not wish they could Police without the need for guns, Taser and vests. All these things have become vital tools in the fight against crime. I do not believe Officers should be routinely armed with guns but to remove them completely would completely prevent anybody at all dealing with armed criminals and to have them available only at the station to be allocated to trained officers when an incident come in would only delay response time and put more lives at risk. The same applies for Taser. These tools are much safer and cause less problems and discomfort for the suspect then CS spray yet this has become acceptable now. Yes there have been a few Taser horror stories in the press but when compared to the plethora of unreported positive Taser deployments these few cases would not even be 1%. Having been subjected to the Taser (by choice) and seen it used a handful of times I have no issue saying it is a vital tool and should replace CS and Pepper spray. And as for vests… Well to suggest the Police should be deployed in this day an age without one is madness. I wish we could be but we can’t. So long as the Police and Justice System receive no respect or fear from violent criminals and offers no deterrent these days then Police will continue to need protection from harm when putting themselves in front of armed and violent criminals. My vest has saved my skin, if not my life, on more than one occasion and has stopped bullets killing a few of my colleagues too. Helicopters although expensive really do assist the Police. They were introduced as a progression in policing and are used for a wide variety of roles such as searching for criminals and missing persons, safely following vehicles to prevent dangerous pursuits, monitoring public disorder incidents to direct officers and gather evidence. The list of jobs they do which could not be done by any other means even if we trebled the number of cops on the ground is vast. I really do wish these things were not needed to Police society but before the surrendering of these items can even be considered, society needs to change, crime needs to drop (for real, not just on paper) and the Police need more resources so they can safely patrol. Does Peter really think 2013 Britain can be policed using archaic methods, tactics and equiptment?
I agree with Peter to some extent that the uniform needs to change. We are beginning to look slightly more militant and even more so when armed to the teeth in and around the streets of London. The Police uniform has gone from being smart, presentable and also carrying an air of authority to a national mismatch of styles and colours and although it may be more practical for modern day policing it is quite uncomfortable, looks quite militant, often looks scruffy and does little to help our desired approachable image. I hate the thin, tight fitting moisture wicking polo shirts most now wear and think we should look at moving back to the white shirt and ties and having some pride in our appearance once again. The horrid hi-vis jackets and tac vests are grime magnets and get dirty very quickly and rarely come out clean when washed. Many cops walk around in dirty day-glow looking more like an AA mechanic these days because that is the uniform we are given. I love looking back at pictures of uniformed Police through the ages and when uniform from only 8 years ago is put next to today’s it really is quite sad to see.
The fact is Policing has changed because society has changed. Society has changed because of poor leadership in Government. The days of the local bobby being only a shout or whilst blow away are long gone and I would love nothing more for them to return. I would happily put up a Police sign on my house and be my town’s local bobby. I would and often do quite happily patrol on foot in all kinds of inclement weather. I have done so in city centres, rough estates, rural areas and small towns and villages and I have done so alone. Yes it was nice in the days when you could perhaps walk with a friend and colleague and you knew you had immediate assistance if needed but nobody enters the world of Policing expecting to have somebody holding their hand every day. Whilst we might moan about it, the Police are more than used to change and learn to adapt all the time and despite what Peter’s article may say they are doing just that today. His own experience of Policing in London or in one particular area may be negative, his research from 10+ years ago may be negative (I don’t know as I have not read his books), his recent article may well be overly negative towards the Police but it was wrong of him to imply on a national level that what he sees and hears in relation to Policing in London is a reflection of “the Police” in general. It is not so much what he says that irritated me in particular but rather HOW he said it. In this day and age when the media hold the Police in general accountable for the actions of a select few resulting in a dispirited public, articles as vague and as sweeping as this only seek to fuel the erosion of the reputation of the Police Service of England and Wales, a Police Service respected and admired the world over.
All the things moaned about by Peter are also nothing to do with the men and women the public see on the streets which again is something I think Peter should have made clear. The lowly PC has no say in his/her deployment, posting, what he/she wears or carries for protection, what incident they can or can’t deal with, whether or not they can work with another bobby… The PC is at the very bottom of the Police ladder and does as it is told. These decisions are all made much higher up the ladder and quite often at a Government level and so for anybody to take out their anger, annoyance or even their hatred for Police and Policing out on the men and women on the ground is disgraceful and to hold the entire Police Service of England and Wales or even a whole force accountable for any single negative encounter or the mistake or criminal actions of a small select few corrupt officers is ridiculous. You would not and could not get away with discriminating against other groups in society based on the actions of a small minority. I would never for one second tar all journalists with the same brush because one or two like to write anti-police stories. It is wrong and deep down I think these people know that.
I doubt Peter will read this and if he does I doubt he will either admit it or agree. I hope I am proved wrong but I doubt it. I wanted to write it because I wanted to firstly apologise to Peter for my initial reaction and if he does read I hope he accepts that apology. Secondly I wanted to try and explain in greater detail than Twitter allows just exactly WHY I disagree with parts of his article. Many of his supporters have asked me questions that I can simply not respond to in 140 characters and so this is my response and my opinion based on my up to date knowledge and facts.
Would you be happy if each Police and Crime Commissioner had the responsibility of writing their very own Police Regulations and code of conduct? If you believed an officer had broken the law or had breached the regulations would you be satisfied with letting the Commissioner decide whether to deal with it and if so, how to deal and that no matter what his/her decision it was final?
Would you be happy if you suspected somebody within your local school, hospital, fire and rescue service or any other section of the public sector of falsifying expenses or any other financial record and the ONLY people you could trust to look into it were a group of their own peers with vested interest?
I suspect that both answers would be a big fat NO.
Why then, are we happy for this to happen when it comes to Government? The one section of the Public Sector which should lead by example and whose conduct and behaviour should be a model of excellence for the rest of us to follow?
With the ever increasing demand from our Government for transparency in the public sector and to overhaul the watchdogs, rules and code of conduct of just about every single area of the public sector (except themselves) I began to wonder, what rules do government have to follow? Who enforces them? Who actually writes them? Who punishes those that break them?
Lets first take a look at HOW you make a complaint about an MP.
( I have done my best to make sure this is true and factual. I have trawled Google and read numerous documents and this is what I have found. I am open to correction and education.)
According to a parliamentary document all complaints about MP’s should be directed to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
According to this document…
In order to encourage its Members to maintain high standards in the way they conduct parliamentary business, the House of Commons has approved a Code of Conduct and an associated set of Rules relating to the conduct of MPs. The Code sets out some general principles which apply to MPs’ conduct as holders of public office. It applies to Members in all aspects of their public lives. It does not apply to their purely private and personal lives. It aims to provide a framework within which acceptable conduct may be judged.
The thing that strikes me about this is that the code of conduct of an MP does NOT apply to their private and personal lives. This surprises me immensely. Police officers’ rules and regs and code of conduct hugely impact upon their personal and private lives and anything Police Officers do in their personal and private lives can hugely impact on their careers. It is widely known that MP’s have their fingers in a lot of pies, links to a colourful bunch of people, live expensive and luxurious lifestyles, are open to temptation and bribery and have in the past (and present) had a number of conflicting interests which would cause big issues if they were bound by similar rules to the Police or other public sectors. They are responsible for the running of this country for crying out loud so why do their rules not apply to every aspect of their lives? Further probing also shows that the rules are predominantly of a financial nature only.
The document then instructs two things when it comes to making the complaint. Firstly, it advises that you should first make the complaint to the MP in question and give him/her chance to deal themselves (like that would happen in any other area of the public sector). Secondly, it asks that if you are an MP making a complaint then you must do the “courtesy” of notifying your peer whom you have an issue with either before or at the time you make the complaint…hmmmm.
The document then goes on to issue a little warning just to make you consider your complaint by advising you that you will not be protected from legal action if your complaint is considered damaging, for example, defamation of character. Nice little touch that eh?
The Commissioner will then consider whether he can and whether he will investigate your complaint but he will not deal with the following:
• policy matters or an MP’s views or opinions
• an MP’s decision on how to handle a constituent’s case
• the funding of political parties
• alleged breaches of the separate code governing the conduct of Government
• what Members do in their purely private and personal lives
The Commissioner will not consider complaints which appear to him clearly trivial or vexatious, or which substantially repeat matters which have already been considered.
So that doesn’t leave much at all other than financial matters such as expenses and salaries.
If The Commissioner decides to run with your complaint he can either consult with the MP in question and they can then report back that the complaint is not upheld or that minor remedial action is to be taken. Alternatively the Commissioner may decide to investigate fully. In this case you will be asked to provide all available evidence. The Commissioner will then form an Investigatory Panel consisting of himself, a lawyer, a MoP and the MP in question! The committee will meet in private and During this you MAY be asked to attend where you will be questioned by all parties including the MP you have complained about AND any witnesses he/she may wish to call (just remind me who is under investigation here again!!?).
Once complete The Commissioner will present his findings to the Committee on Standards who may wish to interview you further. Once reviewed this Committee will decide what action to take which may include an apology, a fine, a suspension or being expelled from the house.
The current Commissioner is Kathryn Hudson. Despite a good search on Google I found little about her other than she seems highly respected in her current and past roles. Lets look at the Committee she reports back to then. The Committee on Standards.
According to the government website the work of the Commons Committee on Standards includes deciding on complaints against individual MPs reported to them by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, and oversight of the work of the Commissioner. I took a look at the members of this committee who decide on complaints against MP’s and it appears that it is made entirely of fellow MP’s. no independent members or panel, just MP’s deciding on complaints made about MP’s.
The government have been pushing for total independence when investigating Police Officers who have recieved complaints of misconduct. There has been a call for less Police Officers to be involved in the investigation (or preferably none at all) into fellow officers. They state that this will ensure total impartiality and fairness and increase public confidence. I am inclined to agree to some extent but I am baffled as to why the same rule does not apply to themselves.
I have then found and read the Codes of Conduct, which again seem to only focus on finances and business interest declaration. The next set of rules is The Ministerial Code (MC).
I am happy to be corrected by anybody who is more politically educated but I understand the MC is a list of “rules” and a code of conduct which all Ministers should abide by. The code is written or re-drafted by each serving Prime Minister upon taking office and served publicly shortly afterwards. It is said to be the minimum level of standards expected from all ministers including the PM. The current MC was published by David Cameron in May 2010. It starts with a FOREWORD by the man himself in which he states
“In everything we do – the policies we develop and how we implement them, the speeches we give, the meetings we hold – we must remember that we are not masters but servants. Though the British people have been disappointed in their politicians, they still expect the highest standards of conduct. We must not let them down.”
I am sure at the time he wrote this he believed it to be true and expected to make good his promise…. Well, no, I’m not sure at all but… As you can see, 3 years on he has already fallen short of this comment and this is only the Foreword.
His Foreword ends with…
“We must be different in how we think and how we behave. We must be different from what has gone before us. Careful with public money. Transparent about what we do and how we do it. Determined to act in the national interest, above improper influence. Mindful of our duty. Above all, grateful for our chance to change our country.”
Again, some may say this has proven to be rubbish too.
Rather than type out sections I will attempt to provide screen grabs and highlight the section which I found interesting.
PLEASE SEE VERY BOTTOM OF PAGE FOR SCREEN GRAB AS THIS ONE HAD AN ERROR
I this first part I was drawn to the differences between section 1.2C and 1.2D. That ministers are reminded it is of “paramount importance” that they are “accurate and truthful” when speaking to parliament but that they only have to be “as open as possible” when it comes to the public. That those who knowingly mislead PARLIAMENT are expected to resign yet they are permitted to withhold information from the public and make them submit FOI requests. Section 1.2f seems to have been breached many times by many ministers during this government.
Section 1.5 makes me laugh when it states
“Ministers only remain in office for so long as they retain the confidence of the Prime Minister. He is the ultimate judge of the standards of behaviour expected of a Minister and the appropriate consequences of a breach of those standards.”
David Cameron, the “Ultimate Judge of standards and behaviour”. Well that says a lot doesn’t it.
Sec 3.1 states:
Ministers have a duty to ensure that influence over civil service and public appointments is not abused for partisan purposes.
Again I don’t think I need to say much on this. We see almost daily how minister are seemingly in breach of of this section.
The next section is in relation to “Minister’s Private Interests” and again, it speaks for itself so I will refrain from making any comment other than I consider several ministers to have breached this section several times.
This is a fairly heavy blog and as I have said, I have done my best to source all information from official Government sources to ensure it is all factually correct. What I have noticed is that there is in fact very little in place to “Police” MP’s in the same way all other sections of the Public Sector are “Policed”. They live by rules written and “enforced” by the Prime Minister. They are “monitored” by a group of their peers withnot a single impartial, independent person amongst them. The very rules written by David Cameron have, it seems, been breached numerous times without any consequence.
Our Government seem to operate by and freely break their very own rules and re-write the laws to suit their needs. It is highly hypocritical that some of the very top Public Servants should behave in such an immoral and dishonest manner whilst insisting on stronger enforcement and punishment of everybody else. Some may say it is borderline tyranny. Perhaps a borderline dictatorship in many ways.
This isnt my greatest blog but I hope it encourages you to perhaps look deeper and look at just how little this government is accountable and answerable to YOU their masters. I believe there should be an INDEPENDENT complaints committee like the IPCC. I believe that Government should be robustly scrutinised and questioned and that it is NOT acceptable for the PM himself to be in charge of holding Ministers to account. David Cameron himself stated that they are NOT masters, but servants. Just like Police Officers they should be fully answerable to us, the public they serve.
Further reading can be found here
Cameron ends his Ministerial Code with this and so shall I. It highlights the hypocrisy better than I ever could and what makes it better is that it is signed by the man himself.
The Seven Principles of Public Life
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.