25 January 2007

Shake 'n' Bake

So, I haven't died, but been busy and was guesting on someone else's blog last week (Shilpa to win!) and raised my blogging head to YET ANOTHER story about Muslims, the police and an outraged tabloid press...
This has caused great mirth and merriment in the Bitseach Community Unit office; all of us have come with good reasons to justify not shaking the Commissioner's hand - Irish officers because he represents the fascist jackboot of oppression of the English government (Perfidious Albion, etc, etc) against the Irish peoples in the occupied 6 counties; gay women because he stands for the patriarchy of androcentric and heterocentric hegemony in the workplace; straight women because it might be seen as flirting and thus sexual harrassment in the workplace; straight white Englishmen because, er.... um, well, really they didn't actually come up with anything constructive actually, just bitched a lot about how they were now an oppressed minority in The Job these days and about how they'd have to pretend to be gay or bi- to get on in the MPS (Oppressed? MINORITY??? Let's just keep that particular can of worms firmly shut for now before I cry myself to dehydration and can't get to sleep tonight at their plight!!).
But I digress.
Setting aside the reasons FOR shaking his hand: she was in uniform and on duty at the time and therefore subject to lawful orders just like the rest of us; he is senior to her by about 30 years of service and for that alone deserves more respect; he is also senior to her by about 20 stages of career - passed Street Duties, confirmed as Constable, Sergeant, Inspector, Chief Inspector, Superintendent, Chief Superintendent, Commander, DAC, AC, Deputy Commissioner and he's Commissioner (okay I'll admit I had to look up the last few - I mean who knows the ranks above Chief Super anyway?) and therefore deserves more respect; because she's a bloody squib within the organisation and doesn't run it, as she seems to think she does (not only refusing to shake his hand but also refusing to be photographed with him as it was just be "propaganda") - note this is outrageous because she's a bloody probationer, and not to do with gender or religion ("Probationers! Know Your Place!").
No, here're the main reasons - because it is PHENOMENALLY disrespectful and GALACTICALLY rude in British culture(s) to refuse to shake hands with someone and cultural diversity and respect should not all be one-way.
But setting all that aside, she should not have shaken hands with Mr Blair - she should have bloody well saluted!
I have my opinions about Mr Blair, and not all of them complimentary, but he is still the Commissioner and I would not dream of being rude to him, and showing him this much disrespect.
I wonder what else her faith will preclude? How will she cope with being on foot patrol with one male officer (who is not her husband or family)? Or a gay officer? Can you really see her dealing, without issues, with a gay male or lesbian domestic dispute? A gay male rape victim? With strip-searching a prostitute*?
I really hope this new officer finds out a way of doing her job without prejudice, and without dumping anything even slightly unpleasant on her colleagues on the basis of her faith, or causing everyone, and especially her supervisors, to have to walk on eggshells around her. Unfortunately, I foresee vexatious tribunals ahead.... [sigh]...
* Let me just let you know now, prostitutes and female drug abusers, or at least the ones I have to search in custody, almost never wear pants and seem to be ALWAYS on their periods, haven't washed their jeans in weeks and are generally searched in a small airless room (best not to think about this too much) (more things they never include in the "Police. Could you?" poster campaigns!)


Blogger PC South West said...

Excellent post and a point well made I feel.
If I have to shake hands with burglars and sex offenders, now and then. The least she could do is shake the hand of the commissioner.
Bloody poor show!

25 January, 2007 11:25  
Blogger Annette said...

I agree with pc sw.
I am most disgusted with her actually.
Who does she think she is.

25 January, 2007 20:15  
Blogger Ian said...

I would like to know (in about 2 years time) how she gets on.

26 January, 2007 12:59  
Blogger totallyun-pc said...

I wish I'd read this before I started spouting off. I totally agree this isn't about culture, its a bout manners and respect. It has become cultural because the muslim council of GB have made it a band wagon.
We will all ultimately pay the price for this individuals continued employment.... mark my words. The future is not so bright.

29 January, 2007 11:24  
Blogger mewmewmew said...

ohmygod-I'm going to steal that pic off you-I love monkeys and tigers,thats the sort of thing I would post on my blog!!

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My views are my own and would probably not endear me to my dear employers.