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A New Year Message from the Home Secretary
on the 31
December 2011 at 17:07
- Posted in
My thanks to a diligent colleague in the Met who has passed on a draft copy of the Home Secretary's New Year message to the troops. It was apparently recovered along with sundry other Cabinet papers, from a litter bin in St. James' Park.
"First of all I would like to recognise the hard work and sacrifices most police officers and staff have made over the past year. You have provided security and support for politicians as we went about our important business of enjoying free lunches whilst telling the public to tighten their belts. In particular, you kept the great unwashed Rentatrot activists and trouble-makers away from the Conservative and Lib Dem party conferences. You nobly stood in the path of incoming eggs and detritus when we visited your towns and cities, thereby removing the necessity for any of us to 'do a Prescott' and thump the lights out of any protestors. Talking of protests, thank you for putting your lives on the line during the riots, or 'Summer of Complimentary Retail Therapy' as the party opposite preferred to think of it. I am also glad you were there to act as a scapegoat when it came to sharing out the blame. It did not go unnoticed that so many police officers could be deployed to a few prolonged inner-city disturbances without crime running out of control across the rest of the country. This proves that when there are no riots, you clearly haven't got enough to do. The Government is therefore right in its assertion that the service is over-staffed. Because we can't get make you redundant, at least not yet, that means I will have to find other things for you to do. Fortunately we have the Olympics coming up, and so many of you will get a free week away from home. You won't actually get to see any of the Olympics, as you will be patrolling some of the less salubrious parts of the capital while the officers usually based there will be standing around outside the Olympic Park directing foreigners to the nearest toilets, telling them the time and trying to find free ice cream. You might want to get your other half to record the Games so that you can enjoy them when you get back. Of course, the world won't stop because of the Olympics. You will remember that I said that I was abolishing all performance targets, except to reduce crime? Of course, it is still open to your senior management teams to put in place their own targets to measure how you are doing this. It might seem that things haven't actually changed very much and if you think that's the case you might like to go along to a management team meeting and ask your Superintendent if they know what they are playing at. Let me know how you get on. The last lot, as I fondly think of the previous administration, decided that Confidence and Satisfaction were the aims of the game so you were encouraged to engage in pink and fluffy policing initiatives. No doubt, like myself, many of you thought these were a complete waste of time and effort. I can't do much about that, of course, so once again you might like to visit the Top Corridor in you divisional HQ and ask some of the bosses if they seriously think there is any value in such rubbish. I'm sure they will thank you for putting them straight. Of course, when they are not thinking up half-baked schemes that they think will look good and get them promoted, they will be working diligently and enthusiastically to find ways of reducing costs by 20% without losing any staff from the front line. Of course, like all Government financial dealings, it's not actually possible to do what it says on the tin. You can save 20%, but that does tend to rely on not replacing officers when they retire, so front line strength is now deemed to include vacancies. Target met, at a stroke. We are so confident that your bosses will meet their financial targets that we are already looking for further percentages to pluck from the air for next year. Pretty soon, policing will be undertaken entirely by Special Constables, who are free, and PCSOs, who are part-funded by the council so are effectively half price. Everyone's a winner, apart from you lot of course. And the public. But that's politics. Have a Happy New Year, think of the unemployed, and as Bono sang so poignantly on Band Aid, 'Tonight thank god it's them instead of you'."
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