Your correspondent, Detective Inspector Oldcorn, is 100 per cent correct in his reasons for the state of policing today (WP Letters, October 17).
The British police force, once the finest in the world, has now been reduced to a police farce.
The blame for this can be laid at the feet of gutless politicians and senior officers, who pander to the whims of every pressure group.
The military has similar problems. The problem with these chief officers, with a few exceptions, is that they came through the graduate system – accelerated promotion. This was a scheme introduced in the 1960s to encourage those with degrees to join the police force. Nothing wrong with that, in moderation. Why shouldn’t the police have a few intellectuals?
Unfortunately, since Tony – education, education, education – Blair, everyone must now have a degree, and we now have the problem of all the Mickey Mouse universities that have sprung up, giving out Mickey Mouse degrees – psychology, sociology, business studies etc. This country is in need of engineers, scientists, doctors etc – the difficult subjects. Mickey and Minnie are left with either teaching or joining the police force.
So, these embryo chief officers of police jet off on their race for the top jobs, away from the sharp end and tax-paying public. Here they become known as the butterfly boys and girls, flitting from one department to another, for just a couple of lines on their CV. Clipboard in hand, detached from the reality of policing the streets, instead they organise focus groups and write mission statements.
I am sure many will recognise this quote: “We trained hard but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form into teams, we would be reorganised. I was to learn later that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress whilst producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.” Petronius AD66. Ring any bells?
Retired police officer
Who thinks these ideas?
I regret that I will be too long in the tooth to enjoy the halcyon days of a future Labour government and its proposed four-day week, giving us a three-day weekend, plus four extra bank holidays a year.
Having experienced life in the hospitality industry, I often encountered customers pronouncing that nobody works weekends these days, while giving little thought as to who was pandering to their needs during these periods of inertia.
If the euphoric working lifestyle suggested by Jeremy Corbyn were to be implemented, what would happen to our farmers, for instance?
Even if they could find the extra staff, would consumers be prepared to pay for the increase in food prices? What would happen to our care homes?
They are already chronically understaffed and it is hardly feasible to tell the residents to cross their legs for three days until more staff come on duty.
Who are the people who come up with such vacuous ideas? Maybe it’s the little fairies who live in our gardens.
Disappointing Prime Ministers
With reference to previous correspondence, I can’t think of a single good Prime Minister over the last 50 years (WP Letters, October 31).
Harold Wilson (1966 -1970) was a disappointment, given that he’d once resigned over the introduction of prescription charges.
Edward Heath (1970-74) was also no great shakes. He got the blame for taking us into Europe without a vote.
Wilson, from 1974 to 1976, was a shadow of his former self, overseeing inflation rising to 26.9 per cent and post-war record unemployment, while James Callaghan (1976-79) preceded Margaret Thatcher with spending cuts in public expenditure.
Thatcher (1979-90) may have been admired by those on the right, but being on the left, I have a different view of her years in office!
Her successor John Major (1992-97) was responsible for the privatisation of the railways, while Tony Blair (1997-2007) was a disgrace to his party even before the Iraq war.
Gordon Brown (2007-10) struggled against a deteriorating economic situation, while David Cameron (2010-16) made matters worse with austerity measures that impacted hardest on the poorest.
As for Theresa May (2016 to date), her term of office has been a battle against her divided party over Europe.
All happy in an ideal world
In an ideal world, essential goods and services should be provided at cost price.
Luxury goods and luxury services should be provided at inflated prices. The result being the ordinary man in the street (like me) being happy, and the investor and shareholder also being happy.
Philip L Taylor via email