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.