OH YES IT IS
Last night Home Secretary Amber Rudd, appearing on BBC Question Time, repeated Theresa Mayâ€™s mantra â€œitâ€™s not Â about the numbersâ€. Well, as political campaigning for the General Election resumes today, I will have the temerity to challenge that concept.You cannot Police this (or any 1st world country) on the cheap.
You cannot defend this country on the cheap, and
You cannot â€˜healâ€™ this country on the cheap.
I will avoid getting involved in the argument about how much our Police Officers, Armed Forces and Healthcare professionals should be paid, that is for others to decide. However, I will say that their skills, professionalism and dedication deserve better than pay freezes, pension â€˜reformsâ€™ for members already in their particular scheme, often resulting in members havingto pay Â more for a reduced pension and work more years to qualify. Â That is not what they signed up for, they formed reasonable expectations for their â€˜old ageâ€™ and retirement and then all those plans were torn asunder by this and the previous administrations. Â At its most simplistic this is disrespectful.Â
There must be, hidden away someone, a number. Â A number below which we should not go when policing this country. Â Surely there is a definitive minimum number of Police Officers that are required to provide an effective Police Service for the UK. Nobody is in a hurry to tell me what that number is.
There must be a minimum number of soldiers, sailors and airmen that are necessary to defend our country against the multitude of modern-day threats, and their deployment in foreign climes. Â Anybody know what that number is?
The NHS needs a minimum number of staff to look after our various health needs;
GPs, Nurses, Nursing Assistants, Hospital doctors and Consultants, ever more expensive equipment for radio-therapy etc, secretarial and clerical support, physiotherapists, Speech Therapists etc etc, and their associated buildings.
Even the most efficient health service, operating at 100% efficiency, cannot continue to do so on reduced resources and funding.
This administration, and the previous one, seem to be more concerned in ensuring that the mega-rich pay less taxes. Â The bankers that caused this â€œAusterityâ€ are once more receiving their obscene bonuses. Â What is happening to the Public Secor? Â Is any of this tair?
The last couple of days have seen soldiers taking to the streets in order to free up armed Police Officers for other duties. Â This is most definitely about the numbers.
Iâ€™m sorry to keep banging on about it, but when Thersa May and David Cameron set about their infamous â€˜Reformâ€™ of policing, incorporating Tom Winsorâ€™s â€˜independentâ€™ reviews, NO Risk Assessments or Impact Assessments were undertaken, or the Home Office have lied to me.
As I said earlier, it is not for me to say how much our Emergency and Armed Services should be paid, but I am perfectly entitled to have my say on Public Safety. Â I am not trying to say that more numbers would have prevented recent tragedies, but they may have helped, and they would certainly have given us resilience in the aftermath.
So next time you hear a politician state glibly that itâ€™s not about the numbers youâ€™ll know differently. Â The Great British Public is being hoodwinked. No party deserves to be elected or re-elected on the basis of untruths and subterfuge.