Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015


I have blogged previously that it is the small generally unreported actions and incidents within our organisations public and private that give a clearer indication of what kind of people we are or becoming.  Most such happenings are behind closed doors or are considered to be insignificant at the time.  When, however, large public organisations are indeed involved the signposts to our destination as a country seem to emit a thousand flashes. Such IMHO is the brief story of the police chief of Northumbria.

She was taken before a panel on a charge of misconduct or gross misconduct. And what were the elements of such a serious a matter for any police officer let alone a Chief Constable..........?  In essence she was accused of shouting at some officers. There are some who would say that an essential characteristic of a person in any such senior position should be one of apparent equanimity    under all circumstances.  That is a matter of opinion and is not one to which  I myself  have always adhered.  However what is truly bizarre about this whole sorry episode is that having been cleared of all charges Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “I have written to Mrs Sim, who remains a serving officer although she has recently announced her retirement, and directed her to apologise to two officers named in Mr Bennathan’s report before she leaves the force”.  Presumably there was the hint of some unpublished sanction if she spent her last few weeks in office and failed so to do. Try as I might I cannot see that in this case justice was done and seen to have been done.  It`s a mess.

There are increasing unpleasant odours from the upper echelons of police and other organisations especially health and children`s  services.   Is it the case that they are less often now  to be swept under the proverbial carpet or is there truly something rotten in the state of England.   Certainly it`s not unlikely there was  in the state of Scotland and its Labour Party details of which I`m certain will percolate to the surface over coming months and years.

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