“bah weep granah weep ninny bong”
A universal greeting to express peace to potentially hostile races when language barriers exist.
It gets Kup and HotRod out of a number of scrapes during the course of Transformers the 1986 animated movie, and even wins them some unlikely allies. And is also a crude, tenuous, self indulgent starting point for a rather dire week at work.
In “The Police” (I will refrain from divulging which force for as long as I can) like most counties, we are going through a pretty major reform thanks to the helms that run this Kingdom. Whilst this is my third full blown reform in thirteen years, this one is different. It’s the first to involve massive staff layoffs. And this time round the change is all going under the unimaginative banner of “Transform” (I warned you it was a tenuous link)
My own role is in jeapordy, (although mercifully at this stage, not my actual job) and today we got our first glimpse of what the future may look like. Beginning with 250 odd people facing redundancy. You got the touch Cameron. You got the power.
This Police Force is of course an organisation. Which makes me laugh everytime I hear it as its my favourite oxymoron. They can’t organise a single thing without fucking it up immeasurably. Be it trivial things like daily deployments, or hugely important things like letting your employees know they will soon be joining the villains they once policed in the queue at the job centre.
Come announcement day we had six separate but synchronised meetings across the county, each with different staff from different areas and roles, including civilian staff and PCSOs, all expecting the worst. The briefing I was present for was chaired by some Super Nintendo I’ve never heard of or met before, who kicks the whole thing off by guffawing and sniggering at his own self importance, arrogance pouring out of his pivoting Pez dispenser head, inexplicably failing to sense the tone in the sea of frustrated faces awaiting their fates. Then for the first thirty minutes, spent fluffing the importance of “transform”; he manages to talk about nothing in particular, using that alien language i despise the most. The language of the politician. Talking in questions and riddles, avoiding making any points, using corporate keywords like “evolving” and “footprint” and the latest one, “embed”. Absolutely everyone bar Pez-Head was angrily looking round at each other thinking the same as me. What’s he talking about? He really should have just done a HotRod and opened with “bah weep granah weep nini bong”. I don’t think it would have won him allies like in Transformers, but it would have stopped people thinking he was a cunt.
When he finally gets to the only bit anyone’s interested in; namely, Who’s getting moved, who’s getting sacked, he flits through it in under a minute. Followed by, “I didn’t write this, it’s just a proposal, I now don’t know anything more than you. Any questions?”. Isn’t that another Oxymoron? Emphasis firmly on the latter two syllables.
Whilst the PCSOs are clearly todays targets, I’m still unclear on what’s going to happen to me. It seems that from the 27 PC’s under the umbrella of neighbourhood policing, 11 shall stand, 16 shall fall. And as much as I fear being plunged back into the unending chaos of shift, it’s nothing compared to the way the PCSOs are being treated. Their future seems to involve a one in four chance of keeping a job that’s changing to something they didn’t sign up to do, anywhere in Essex, wether they want it or not. There’s no voluntary redundancy, and the redundancy itself is the governments bare minimum. It’s a massive “fuck off” from their employer. They should consider doing what the sharkticons did and just turn on their masters, overthrowing them and starting again. Which would be hilarious because as much as I feel for them and how they’re being treated, a clear majority of PCSOs are mongs.
Most of them knew this was inevitable. They always knew they were budget coppers. Police officers in disguise. But no one expected their bosses to be so cold blooded about making ‘part of the policing family’ redundant. They (the bosses) could blame the government and everyone would understand. But they don’t. Instead, “It’s all part of transform”. “We have to evolve blah blah blah dehumanizing corporate bullshit”.
And I hear that this is only phase one of transform. More shit has already been shoveled and we’re yet to taste it. There’s more money to save somehow, no matter how ruthless it seems. But don’t worry, you’re police force that is there to keep you safe will be just fine I’m sure. Despite rocketing sickness levels, lowest morale conceivable, reduced numbers, increased demand, inexcusably poor computer systems holding it all together, and a culture of Conform or get sacked, we are merely transforming to evolve into the police form the public deserves. What’s happening to British policing, often cited as “the greatest police force in the world?” The main thing being transformed here are the people that do the job. And all you are going to be left with as this austerity train rolls uncontrollably on, is a demoralised, pessimistic, short fused, unhappy, exhausted faceless government body of stat-manipulation droids unable to cope with societies perpetual decline. And they’re ready to roll out….