#pfewconf14

Just a few brief lines. More may follow later.

The Police Federation is in a state of turmoil. It has been beset with all sorts of problems both at Leatherhead and by some of the branches and the membership is disillusioned. The government has dug a grave for the federation and is now trying to shove them into it.

Today is always the most popular day of the annual conference. The keynote addresses by the federation chair and the Home Secretary.  With the federation in the doldrums what was needed today was inspiration. What was needed today was dynamic motivation. What was needed today was an address from Steve Williams that rallied the membership to the organisation. An address that united us in the one belief that we can succeed, we can reform and we can do it ourselves as professional police officers.

What we got was an uninspiring lack lustre performance. It did nothing to motivate and encourage. It spoke of, notwithstanding popular media opinion, how great the federation is. It used the remarkable acts of humble bravery by police officers to illustrate how good the police in this country are. It was dull, Dull, DULL!

The Home Secretary on the other hand attacked the police with vitriol. She tore a strip off every police officer in this country and then stamped it into the ground. Was she unprofessional? Yes. Was she demoralising? Yes. Was she rude? Yes.  Her tone of voice was one of complete anger and hate. She almost growled at some points!

As I look back on the two speeches I only see one thing. The federation kneeled down, put its head on the block and Theresa May as the grand executioner obligingly chopped it off.

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4 thoughts on “#pfewconf14”

  1. Well, I have heard commentary on May’s speech. One of the PF attendees also described it as a Kicking; now you seem to be saying much the same though you are also apparently critical of your own leadership’s failure to inspire the troops. I have NOT read or listened in to much of the reporting/commentary on today’s conference and key speeches yet – but I AM left with the impression (yet to be validated by reading/hearing more on it all) that May undoubtedly gave a punchy (or Kicking) speech, but the underlying impression I am left with by the membership reaction is that they (and possibly you) have forgotten the rudeness of the attendees to May in previous years. Leaves me thinking the PF and its membership can dole it out, but not take it too well. Could that be a reasonably fair take on today’s reactions – or am I as a simple member of the public (who still holds the patrolling and investigative police in high regard despite those few who have undoubtedly let the rest down) over reacting or ‘being unkind’ or even ‘disrespectful’?

    1. Hi John,

      I have to say that I didn’t agree with the jeering of TM a couple of years ago. However, I could sympathise with why the officers at the conference felt that way. I did blog about the events both here;

      https://thecustodyrecord.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/mays-keynote-is-flat♭/

      and later in an open letter to Mr Blair Gibbs;

      https://thecustodyrecord.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/open-letter-to-mr-blair-gibbs/

      The jeering a couple of years ago was wrong but when put into context against the behaviour of TM’s fellow MP’s in the chamber it pales into insignificance.

      Should she have risen above such petty revenge (if that’s what it was).. then yes she should. The speech content and tone was wholly unnecessary and I can only look back on it now and believe that it was clearly done with an ulterior motive. What that motive was/is remains to be seen. There were many things the Fed could have done to diminish her claims.. a great one I saw was that in response to her cutting over £100k to fed executive expenses they should have stood up and said.. ‘you know what. We will match fund you and donate what you have taken from us to charity x’ – The venue would have been on it’s feet applauding the federation.

      We needed a speech from the chair that was motivational. That drew us all together and united us all as one… we didn’t get it.

      Whatever the wrongs of the fed 2 years ago and the wrongs of TM yesterday, I’m drawn to something my Mum always said to me;

      “Two wrongs don’t make a right”

  2. Part of me longs for inspirational leaders, people to drive interest and get people involved in politics. On the other hand, get the wrong kind of leaders able to inspire people with the wrong kinds of ideas – and we’d be back wishing for blandness.

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