RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: We are The Sweeney, son, and we haven’t got any degrees
Ask most people what’s gone wrong with modern policing and they won’t be backward in coming forward.
You never see a bobby on the beat any more. They’ve closed our local nick. Can’t be bothered investigating burglaries.
They spend too much time playing gesture politics; taking the knee; skateboarding with demonstrators; painting their nails to show solidarity with the trans lobby; flying the rainbow flag; ignoring real crime while scouring the internet for ‘non-crime hate incidents’; posing in front of a giant placard proclaiming, wrongly, that causing offence is a criminal offence.
Why is Home Secretary Priti Flamingo entertaining an insane proposal from the College of Policing requiring all new recruits to have degrees?
They spend too much time playing gesture politics; taking the knee; skateboarding with demonstrators; painting their nails to show solidarity with the trans lobby; flying the rainbow flag; ignoring real crime while scouring the internet for ‘non-crime hate incidents’; posing in front of a giant placard proclaiming, wrongly, that causing offence is a criminal offence
The list is endless. And that’s before we get to the institutionalised culture of cover-up, incompetence and negligence which was exposed by the scandalous, bungled pursuits of prominent politicians and entertainers falsely accused of ‘historic’ sex crimes.
But the one answer you won’t hear from anyone, anywhere, is: not enough graduates. So why is Home Secretary Priti Flamingo entertaining an insane proposal from the College of Policing requiring all new recruits to have degrees?
That’s the question being asked by Marc Jones, incoming head of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. He thinks the Old Bill should be hiring ex-squaddies rather than wet-behind-the-ears millennials who have spent three years doing a media studies course.
Yet the force — sorry, service — is going in the opposite direction.
Former soldiers are actively discouraged from becoming coppers because of the qualifications being demanded. If someone leaving the Army wants to retrain as a police officer they would have to take a degree course or serve a three-year apprenticeship.
Mr Jones said it makes no sense whatsover to tell a former soldier: We know you served your country in Afghanistan for eight years, but if you want to be a firearms officer you’ll have to study for a degree.
He said one officer had told him: ‘At 2.30am, when it’s all kicking off outside a nightclub, I would rather the person next to me had done four years in the Army than had a 2:1 in expressive dance.’
Mr Jones maintains that asking for excessive educational qualifications will also deter candidates who are happy to serve the community for 20 years without rising above the rank of constable.
In living memory, the police offered an attractive career path to ex-military personnel. My father joined the Met after being demobbed from the Navy. Chief Constables were drawn from the ranks of retired senior Army officers.
But over the past 30-odd years, there’s been a trend towards turning The Job into a profession, less of a force and more like the paramilitary wing of Islington social services. Of course, there is a demand for well-educated graduates to tackle everything from cyber-crime to sophisticated frauds. But you don’t need a degree to nick violent drunks, police demonstrations or front up armed blaggers.
Sadly, though, thief-taking seems to come a long way down the list of priorities. Political posturing puts you on the fast track to promotion.
And that’s why the new breed of university educated chief officers want to hire more graduates. They are far more likely to buy into the fashionable wokery which dominates modern policing than someone who has worked on a building site or spent a couple of years dodging bullets in Iraq.
To be fair, it isn’t just the police that has suffered from the obsession with educating everyone to graduate level.
Talk to any old-school nursing sister and she’ll tell you that ever since nurses were required to have degrees they’re increasingly reluctant to perform tasks that were once considered routine. Far too many of them think changing sheets, or giving patients a bed bath, is beneath them.
The rot set in under New Labour when Tony Blair announced that 50 per cent of school-leavers must in future go to university.
Of course, there is a demand for well-educated graduates to tackle everything from cyber-crime to sophisticated frauds. But you don’t need a degree to nick violent drunks, police demonstrations or front up armed blaggers
All well and good, but it raised unrealistic expectations. There weren’t enough proper courses to go round. Either that, or most students found law or chemistry degrees too difficult. So a whole raft of soft courses like gender studies were invented.
And when they graduated they were virtually unemployable. So Labour created hundreds of thousands of superfluous public sector jobs to accommodate them.
The flipside was that fewer people were learning a trade. So Labour set out to import millions of immigrants to do the jobs British citizens were either unable or unwilling to take on.
With many of those migrants heading home during the pandemic, there’s now a shortage of people to fill vacancies for everything from lorry drivers to fruit pickers. Yet when someone suggested recently that we train more home-grown nurses to make up the shortfall in the NHS, there were howls of ‘racism’.
The irony is that while many thousands of everyday jobs remain unfilled — partly because so many people have got used to being paid for sitting at home eating Hob Nobs all day for the past 16 months — graduates who have run up debts of nine grand a year for the privilege of gaining a degree via Zoom now find there’s no demand for their expensively acquired specialist skills.
I suppose they could always apply to join the police. Mind how you go.
Hundreds of swingers defied social distancing regulations at the weekend to attend a four-day sex festival in a field near Grantham, in Lincolnshire.
Why Grantham? It’s not the most exotic location. Grantham is the former home of Mrs Thatcher, for goodness sake.
It’s hardly going loco in Acapulco. But with foreign travel still on hold, I suppose beggars can’t be choosers. (Stop giggling at the back, I said beggars.) Attractions included hot tubs and a mobile torture dungeon, presumably in the back of a bog-standard caravan. Try explaining that to the AA patrolman when you break down on the A1.
Call me old-fashioned, but a festival of dogging in a field near Grantham isn’t my idea of a romantic weekend. But whatever floats your boat.
I’ve been trying to imagine Howard and Hilda packing for the trip. Tea urn, thermal vests, gimp masks.
‘Have you remembered my nipple clamps, pet . . ?’
Never mind Batley and Spen. The really important election for the future of Labour is taking place this week.
It’s the ballot to find a successor to Len McCluskey, as leader of Unite, the country’s biggest union and Labour’s largest paymaster. Whoever wins will determine the party’s direction for years to come.
Under Red Len, Unite bankrolled Momentum and the Corbynistas and backed extreme Left-wing policies, which proved disastrous at the ballot box. If either the Socialist Workers’ candidate Sharon Graham or the Communist Party’s stooge Steve Turner wins, nothing will change.
It’s the ballot to find a successor to Len McCluskey, pictured, as leader of Unite, the country’s biggest union and Labour’s largest paymaster
A healthy democracy requires a credible Opposition. That was also the case in the 1980s when moderates in the unions routed Militant and Communist infiltration and cleared the path for the creation of New Labour.
Gerard Coyne, who cut his trades union teeth in the Midlands during those fierce battles, came within 5,000 votes of beating McCluskey four years ago, and is the outstanding candidate this time. If there is to be any hope of returning Labour to the centre, Unite members must vote for Coyne.
How long before BLM UK demands that the Queen’s head is removed from all stamps and coins, and all references to Queen Victoria are expunged?
Statue toppling has spread to Canada. Demonstrators in Winnipeg pulled down statues of Queen Victoria and our own dear Queen Elizabeth II, too.
They were protesting about the deaths of 6,000 indigenous children forced to attend residential schools in the 19th and 20th centuries.
As if this was anything to do with Her Maj. But don’t be surprised when this latest madness arrives here, especially now that an ‘anti-colonialism rebel’ will grace the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.
How long before BLM UK demands that the Queen’s head is removed from all stamps and coins, and all references to Queen Victoria are expunged, including renaming everything from Victoria railway station to the Queen Vic in Albert Square?
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