Corrupt Police

policeThere is little more undermining of our way of life in this country than the notion of corrupt policemen. We put our trust in what we believe to be an honest, protective institution which is there when we need it. There have been a lot of reports recently about corrupt police which is not necessarily indicative of an increase in corruption, but perhaps the result a great publicity of the problem when it surfaces. During the course of my career I met and worked with many policemen and women and without exception believed them to be honest and hardworking. It is not a job that I would care to do and I have felt increasingly concerned over the way the organisation and management was conducted in full public view where adherence to political correctness was an operational necessity and therefore at times, a constraint.

It was with great interest that I read an article this week following the return to jail of Ali Dizaei.  A totally corrupt and very dangerous individual and, as a very high ranking police officer in the Met, a powerful one. Dizaei played the race card throughout his career and found that there were few that were prepared to stand in his way within the organisation. Indeed it was quite the opposite. Management pandered to his every ambition allowing him to rise rapidly through the ranks. The Met had several opportunities to rid themselves of his services following clear breaches of conduct which, I understand, would have stood up at a disciplinary panel. I would like to think that in such a position I would have had the back-bone to stand up for what I believe to be right and that I would have dealt with matters without fear or favour. That is, I know, easier to say than do but the consequences of not doing so can lead to power being handed all too easily to those that will abuse it. The consequences of that include the drop in morale that must occur amongst the workforce who have observed the injustice of inappropriate rewards handed to the grossly undeserving. I can only assume that the  news that Dazaei has returned to prison has been met with wide rejoicing at the Met. I just hope that the new Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has greater skill and more backbone than his predecessors.


American Obsession? - Graeme Harvey

american flagWhy is it that the media seem to be obsessed with what is happening in the USA and broadcasting it ad nauseum to us through both news items and documentaries etc. Tonight a classic example by Panorama on BBC about poverty and homelessness in the USA. Tent cities being erected on the outskirts of major conurbations. We have enough homeless people of our own. The reporter involved patently had no understanding of the american way of life or their ethos and the questions being asked of officials were obviously based on Welfare State thinking prevalent in the UK.
Why do we have to have so much coverage of the US elections, for Gods sake they are only deciding who is going to stand for each party. Do we really care? I dont think so. Even when they have decided how does it affect us here in the UK? We have no control over the American voter and just have to put up with whatever rich puppet has managed to buy his/her way into the White House.
In reality they do not care about us, most do not even know who or where we are. The greatest benefit to the world that they have given us so far is that only 10% of them have passports.
Why oh why do we have to suffer continuous news coverage of what is happening there, when we have so much more of interest in both our own island and our Commonwealth friends?

Written by Silverlinker Graeme Harvey


An Independent Scotland ?

mCTGa42I have decided to take a chance and write a piece on Scottish Independence in the absence of volunteers from our Scottish readers. I feel I must begin by ingratiating myself with my Scottish friends by pointing out that I was born and bred in Cardiff and hold on to my Welsh heritage. I regard myself as a fellow Celt but I also regard myself as British and proud to do so.

I worked for a large part of my career in Scotland and for part of that at the national level. Two of my three children were born in Scotland and continue to live there along with all my grandchildren. I make no bones about it, I love Scotland, the Scots and Scottish culture. So, short of being a Scot I feel I have a considerable feeling for and understanding of Scotland. Now that I have got that off my chest does that pedigree guarantee a balanced article? I will let you decide.

Over the years I have watched the growing debate over independence with great interest along with the building of one the most significant political careers in modern history. Alex Salmond has that canny knack of shielding a ruthless and devoted fervour with the all the charm and humour that is required to disarm people and carry influence. Unfortunately, politics being the business it is, it feeds on such skills and many in parliament practice them be that at Holyrood, Westminster, Stormont or the Welsh Assembly. It is therefore essential that we are all able to separate the rhetoric from the facts in reaching a conclusion on some of the most important political issues facing us.

Scottish independence is not an issue of support for or opposition to Alex Salmond, but I fear it will develop as such. Personalities always emerge as an influential factor, hiding the true facts and objective arguments from our gaze. One MSP has already stated that not supporting the SNP is an expression of anti-Scottishness which, in my view, was a very clumsy attempt at dragging the whole debate down to its lowest common denominator. Alex Salmond has already given us some clues as to his approach by reference to the bullying by Westminster and the interference of David Cameron in an attempt to polarise views on emotive arguments not the facts.

I intend to ensure that I will make up my mind on the merits of Scottish independence on the basis objective arguments not on antagonistic feelings that have their roots in an irrelevant history. Where history does have relevance is the fact that a 300-year-old unity has been to the benefit of the whole of the UK and should not be undone without very good reason.

What might those reasons be? At this stage I am unsure but what I am sure about is that it will centre on such issues as: the legal rights to north sea oil, a Scottish currency and the setting of interest rates, sharing out of national debt, defence and protection of borders, nuclear deterrents, and diminished presence in the UN. These issues, and others are critical to any decision as, combined, they give us the model for government that would emerge and on which we can all express a view. I fear this will not be encouraged from the SNP who will attempt to throw a cloak of invisibility over the arguments especially where they do not suit their purposes. Cameron has already spotted this danger by referring to Salmond’s “neverendum” which he clearly feels is the tactic of keeping the arguments going to wear people down and work out the future as you go along rather than creating the vision from the outset. The lack of clarity is the greatest danger that we face and accepting that I will have no vote in the referendum I nevertheless have a very strong interest in the outcome.

I get the feeling that the Devo Max option is being promoted as the consolation prize but in my view it does actually represent the goal that the SNP holds dear given that they know a positive vote on independence is unlikely. However, the Devo Max option is far from straight forward and is a recipe for further future conflict which plays into the hands of Salmond and his colleagues. It offers power without responsibility. How can anybody be asked to vote on an issue so important without all the facts at their disposal?

We all have preconceived notions on this topic. I am unashamedly in favour of retaining a United Kingdom but am willing to be convinced that it would be in everybody’s interest for Scotland to go its own way


Employee Relations

stockvault-electronics-lab116783To add a little humour to the start of the New Year Silverlinker "Alnwick" a very experienced Manager felt this would appeal to readers and perhaps even strike a chord. They are quotations taken from US Federal Government employee assessments. 
1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig."
2. "I would not allow this employee to breed."
3. "This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won't be."
4. "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."
5. "When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet."
6. "He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle."
7. "This young lady has delusions of adequacy."
8. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."
9. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an simpleton."
10. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better."
11. "Got a full 6 pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together."
12. "A gross ignoramus 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."
13. "He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."
14. "I would like to go hunting with him sometime."
15. "He's been working with glue too much."
16. "He would argue with a signpost."
17. "He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."
18. "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."
19. "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."
20. "A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on."
21. "A prime candidate for natural de-selection."
22. "Donated his brain to science before he was done using it."
23. "Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."
24. "He's got two brains cells , one is lost and the other is out looking for it."
25. "If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week."
26. "If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change."
27. "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean."
28. "It's hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm."
29. "One neuron short of a synapse."
30. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."
31. "Takes him 2 hours to watch '60 minutes"
32. "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead."
They remind me of a phrase used on a school report during my teaching days by one of my colleagues at the time
"frequently in water of his own boiling" - something that teachers probably can't get away with these days.

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