My taste in books is as eclectic as my music taste but I am very fond of fantasy novels. The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, all the books by Robin Hobb and also those penned by David Eddings.
Eddings has written many novels that come in a series of 3 or 5 books. The Eleniuim and Tamuli series feature a Knight Champion by the name of Sparhawk.
Eddings paints this character wonderfully and introduces you to a quiet, competent and intimidating warrior. A man of few words but massive skill who could kill you before you even thought about thinking about reaching for a weapon. One of the most intimidating features of the character is his silence. Sparhawk can put entire volumes of menace into a quiet voice when he’s been provoked. You have to read the book to get the true picture but trust me. The menace in his few words could turn you to a quivering wreck.
A tweet by a senior ACPO officer last Friday got me thinking. It said this;
I support ACPO’s line that compulsory severance should be available, but I don’t need or plan to use it in foreseeable future
I don’t plan to start exhausting this blog with explanations of the office of constable and references to Robert Peel. Every time we get a missive from the Police Federation recently it’s 3 pages of history and 2 paragraphs of news. Bottom line is that compulsory severance is on the table, Winsor proposed it, the Fed oppose it whilst the Home Office and ACPO welcome it.
The ability to make constables redundant is a fundamental change to our position of employment. If this comes to pass then many officers will seek to have the same rights as all other employees. Sadly though, I honestly believe that no matter how much we shout about industrial rights the Home Office are on a win win. Quite simply this is because they will never allow that to happen.
So look at that tweet again.
“I support ACPO’s line that compulsory severance should be available..”
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. This officer believes it should be available to be used. They want it in their armoury of tools to deal with staff whom they need to expel from the organisation for whatever that reason may be.
Yet whilst saying they want it they then say;
“but I don’t need or plan to use it in foreseeable future”
This says I don’t need it and cannot envisage using it. Yet “need” and “plan” are interesting words. We in the police (and elsewhere… we are not unique in this area) know that plans change. REGULARLY. If a plan changes then so does the need. One should also ask what “foreseeable” means? Nobody forsaw Winsor and the dramatic impact it has had on policing… but it happened. Is the foreseeable future 10 years, 5 years, a month or a couple of days?
Circumstances around events in our lives are not set in stone.Things change. Unexpected events can have a dramatic effect on otherwise normally expected outcomes. I’m sure the chief of air traffic control in New York could easily have said “I don’t see any reason why an Airbus should need to land in the Hudson River in the foreseeable future.” Yet that’s what happened. The Titanic was unsinkable and the Captain saw no chance of it sinking in the foreseeable future. Wrong.
You don’t buy a gun unless you want to shoot something.
This tweet is, to me, full of Sparhawk Pandion Knight menace. It seems sinister and basically asks for trust that hasn’t been earned. A bit like the fantastic tweet by @mpsmerton a while ago;
You know I love you.
You know I don’t mean it.
It won’t happen again.
Don’t be a victim of #domesticviolence
Call 999 or 101
Do you trust the tweet? I don’t.