I often wonder why someone who regularly appears so anti-Police spends so much time on a forum full of people you seem to think are arrogant and think themselves above everyone else, but hey... As to the 'requirements'.... A few A-Levels, no practical experience perhaps, but the requirements of the role go beyond that.
Would the £19k recompense me for the screams of the two people I've seen burnt alive in front of me? Will it make up for the many missed family occasions and the endless phone calls I've made about how I won't be off on time? What about the endless list of injuries, assaults and abuse I've sustained merely for turning up and doing my job? Will it make me feel better about the period of time when I had increased security around my home after threats to my family? Telling the family there will be no summer holiday this year because of the London Sports Day? Putting up with that is the 'requirement' of the job, so - no offence - you can stick your couple of A Levels and no previous experience, along with your 'rather good salary compared to a librarian or a teacher on 12 weeks of leave a year' and everyone sticking the boot into us can come and do our job if it's so easy and so highly paid. No? Thought not.
I'm finding more and more that the people with the most to say about my pay and conditions are the people who know the least about it and who I'm sure would never dream of lowering themselves to my level. They're happy for me to go and do my job, have my life dictated to both in and out of work by regulations and rules, which enable them to booze it up on a weekend knowing I'll mop them up off a pavement, or drive along roads that I try to keep safe. They're happy for me to put my body on the line but now won't hesitate to first dock my pay if I'm injured and then kick me out on my rear altogether.
I gave up a VERY well-paid professional career to come and do a job I thought was a vocation and which I planned on doing my entire life. I never planned to end very high on the rank ladder because I wanted to be at the sharp end. I anticipated giving 35 years of service to society, bettering my community, with the odd laugh and adrenaline rush along the way. 35 years of shift work, fights, abuse, mental turmoil, family trouble, ditching lifelong friends because of their iffy past, watching my back in a pub, checking my personal vehicle hasn't been keyed after a shift. 35 years of being the first person you call in your hour of need, being the face that delivers the news you dread most, being the person who would go above and beyond to catch the person who has violated your home, or your pride, or your family. 35 years of turning up half an hour early, going home an hour late, claiming nothing for it, agreeing short notice shift changes to make a broken system work, eating a microwave meal in front of a keyboard whilst on a phone. Well not any more.
I knew the risks, the role, the requirements and the restrictions. I agreed to them all in return for 35 years of loyal service during which I would receive a certain salary and certain benefits and at the end would receive a certain pension. Yes I chose to do the role and yes I know what was being asked, but I accepted that job in return for that pay deal. Now I have to do 38 years, lose pay, pay more into a pension, get less of a pension at the end. My job for life will no doubt end in redundancy when I become too expensive for my Force to pay, my family life will be disrupted even further with no financial reimbursement when I get a short notice cancelled RD. The argument of "well if you don't like it, leave" just doesn't wash either... will that line be trotted out to everyone in every job when they're losing substantial amounts of money? If someone told you that you stood to be up to 10,500 a year worse off, when you complained would you be happy with "don't like it, leave"? Thought not.
I don't want the right to strike whatsoever, striking goes against every reason the majority of us ever signed up to this job. The reason we don't want to strike is the same reason why we will break away from a meal, or paperwork, or another job to respond to a request for help from the public. That reason is that we actually give a damn. It really is that simple.... the majority of us - and I have no idea why - actually care, actually want to improve society and look out for the decent, honest, law-abiding members of the community when they're having a tough time. We want to lock up scum, and improve the lives of the decent. But if you're telling me the goalposts are going to continually be moved regarding what I can expect in return for my work, that I can now be made redundant, then yes I want the right to withhold my labour in protest at unfair treatment.
Not because I want to see people hurt, or criminals get away with things, not because I'm a selfish, money-grabbing, morbidly obese, lazy, blue-collar retard as Winsor would have you believe, but because it's time this country and it's pathetic Government realised what a fantastic group of people their Police Service is. How much time and effort and care is given every day for free. How people at the bottom of the food chain bend over backwards to make it work when those at the job tuck into prawn sandwiches at the golf club. And if we all stopped turning up to work one day, the country would collapse. It is that simple.
Tube drivers strike, business loses money, commuters are inconvenienced, the roads are a nightmare. Teachers strike, you need to find childcare for your darlings or take a day off work. Police Officers strike, people get hurt, raped, burnt, killed, property is damaged, stolen and not recovered, unrecoverable evidence is lost forever. Get the picture?
I don't want the sympathy of the public, I've never had it before and I don't want it any time soon. What I do want is the public to understand just what it is we ACTUALLY do and to appreciate us just ever-so-slightly for it and to understand the ramifications of Winsor beyond the smokescreen fitness test idea which is being repeated and joked about. But if it takes us disappearing for a day or two to get the point across, so be it. I don't like it, not in the slightest, but maybe it's time HMG realised what they have... And maybe it'll be a case of them not knowing what they have until it's gone.
Bunch of angry people wanting to burn down Westminster again Mr Cameron? Terribly sorry, I've had a beer... Try calling your 9-stone 21 year old media studies graduate, I bet he'll hold a shield really well and fight like a trooper too. If he asks them nicely they may just put the bricks down after all.