Keep Calm?

Keep Calm And Carry On
Image by cromacom via Flickr

I don’t know about you but I’m one of those people who believe in the value of feedback. Of actually engaging with the two-way process of comment and debate that shapes all manner of things. I don’t think I would have felt any where as near in control of my career or my life without that process.  Things don’t always go the way you wanted or anticipated but hey, at least you had some input.

Probably because I value that process, it also makes me livid to almost boiling point when people sit on the fence. When they so obviously have an interest in (or complaint) about something and then, simply clam up when they get the opportunity to express that view. I can fully understand that some individuals are of a more shy disposition than I. Some simply lack personal confidence to speak out.

That’s not so bad I suppose as long as it’s not a case of, suppressing your personal beliefs and views simply for personal gain. If I’d kept my gob shut over the years, perhaps I could have retired as a Chief Constable or a high-ranking Politician?

So I lost out on that financial potential, along with my very own gravy train ticket but what I didn’t lose was any sleep. And more importantly, I never had to compromise my principles and beliefs, simply to climb another rung of the self-importance ladder. There are those who will say that I lacked ambition or I simply wasn’t good enough and I’m jealous. Fine, believe what you will but leaders (and I use that term very loosely) will always need sheep, just don’t expect this one to potter along quietly.

What’s even worse than never say anything is; those who constantly moan and grumble in their proverbial washer women groups, then when they are given the opportunity to voice their feelings, they say feck all? “Mustn’t Grumble”, “Don’t want to upset the apple cart” or when you ask them why they were complaining in the first place, “oh it’s not that bad really, I was just having a moan”. My answer to that, as it has always been… “Put up or shut up”!

Rant over now on to the point of this post…  I participate in the Linkedin group ‘Police Debate’, the purpose of which is to foster constructive discussion of the UK Government‘s police reform proposals.

This is a time of significant challenge for UK policing. Budgets are shrinking, whilst expectations of the police role, and associated performance, continue to grow. The Home Office sets out this challenge in its Summer 2010 consultation paper entitled Policing in the 21st Century: Reconnecting Police and the People, on which it invites debate.

The paper contains proposals “for ways to make police in England and Wales more available and responsive, more accountable, more effective, and better value for money“. 

Participation in the group is by invitation only The makeup includes; Senior Police managers, officer from the rank and file (serving & retired), management consultants, politicians and PR experts etc. (Update: see comments)

Given the importance of the task, to both the police service and the wider general public, I find it absolutely incredible that out of the 177 members (supposed ‘movers & shakers’) of this group, less than a dozen have actually had the confidence to nail their colours to the mast. Could be a lack of spherical ferrous appendages, or could it even be a worry about impact on personal promotion prospects?

It’s probably just apathy either that or bloody contempt… Breath… Keep Calm!  

6 thoughts on “Keep Calm?

  1. Actually, Dave, it’s not ‘by invitation’ – it’s a group open to anyone who wants to register (and preferably comment!)

    Like you, I find it remarkable that so few are choosing to comment. The government’s consultation period closes later this month – and, after that, the invitation to comment will have gone. Much more difficult to take a stand against something, surely, if you’ve not taken the opportunity to express a comment during the consultation period?


    1. I assumed the ‘invite’ bit because I was actually invited by someone else, as opposed to finding it myself. The remainder of my point is still the same however… Why won’t people engage when the topic is so important???


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