Why the Home Secretary supports Millwall
A post-Bank Holiday debrief in playlet form
Time: An almost parallel universe. Scene: The Home Secretary’s office on the Tuesday morning after August Bank Holiday weekend. The Home Secretary is sitting behind a large imposing desk as Jeremy, a youthful but long suffering civil servant, enters.
Jeremy: Morning, Home Secretary. Hope you had a nice Bank Holiday weekend.
Home Secretary: It was absolutely superb, Jeremy. We cut ourselves off from everything at this wonderful farm cottage just outside Dover. Apart from people running through our back garden shouting ‘we’ve made it’ every so often it was nice and quiet. I just had to sign a few of those surveillance warrant thingys. Those tiresome retired cops who are constantly harassing me…
Jeremy: Er, what grounds Home Secretary?
Home Secretary: Well, they’re giving me and my essential police reforms a hard time Jeremy so obviously they’re a threat to national security. Talking of national security can you find out how G4S shares are doing when the markets open..
Jeremy: No problem, Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: Now Jeremy, Notting Hill. With the rain a peaceful event I trust?
Jeremy: Ah, well no, not quite. More than 400 arrests, one stabbing victim fighting for his life, one police officer stabbed.
Home Secretary: Oh no Jeremy. The officer didn’t die did he? Do we have to dig out that ‘Nice things to say about police if one is murdered’ file? Have you got that list of excuses that say I won’t be free to attend the funeral no-one will want me at?
Jeremy: The officer is fine Home Secretary. To continue, 3,500 nitrous oxide cartridges seized oh and there were some 50 arrests for bladed articles?
Home Secretary: Bladed what?
Jeremy: Knives and similar, Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: Knives: Were the police harassing these poor youths again who just want to enjoy the, er, carnival vibe?
Jeremy: Well, the Met did set up stop and search operations at various entry points.
Home Secretary: 50 arrests, Jeremy, after all my comments on stop and search. Has the Commissioner no control over these racist officers?
Jeremy: Home Secretary, think of the lives that may have been saved.
Home Secretary: Not the point, Jeremy. I want all stop and search forms examined by our top legal people to make sure that all requirements were satisfied. If not, disciplinary action. Saving lives is no excuse for racist police harassment.
Jeremy: Yes Home Secretary, oh and eight police were assaulted.
Home Secretary: (yawns) Yes yes, Jeremy. Let’s move on.
Jeremy: There was a police shooting in Enfield: the man died.
Home Secretary: Oh really. Trigger happy cops again.
Jeremy: His family say he was in possession of an air pistol Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: You mean to say these armed officers still can’t tell the difference between what is a toy gun and a real one. What do we pay them extra for?
Jeremy: Er, well we don’t pay them any extra Home Secretary. (mutters) Shame they don’t have psychic powers.
Home Secretary: Pardon Jeremy?
Jeremy: Um, shame they have to work extra hours, Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: Anything else, Jeremy?
Jeremy: Well, in Ealing officers had to twice taser a male with mental health issues.
Home Secretary: Good heavens, Jeremy. Right, I want a press statement where I condemn wanton use of these weapons and order a judge led review of police use of tasers. It musn’t last for more than five years or cost more than 10 million…….
Jeremy: (interrupts) Home Secretary, I understand this took place at a sort of a hostel for those with mental health issues. One of the two officers who attended was stabbed several times including to the back of the head and both were protecting the terrified staff.
Home Secretary: Right, Jeremy, let’s make sure that the Met don’t release this story unless they have to. We must have balance here Jeremy. If we’re not careful we’ll have the public believing that the police do a difficult and dangerous job. The march of police reform must continue unimpeded.
Jeremy: Yes Home Secretary. Oh, and have you seen Hogan-Howe’ s statement that he is prepared to fight against budget cuts?
Home Secretary: (shocked) How dare he Jeremy? How dare he bite the hand that feeds him. The whole raison d’etre behind his appointment was that he would be compliant and do what he was told unlike that gobby one who slaughtered us after the riots.
Jeremy: Hugh Orde, Home Secretary. Sir Bernard could have been misquoted of course. Just in case what would you like done now?
Home Secretary: A short list Jeremy. A short list of candidates who will not tolerate dissent from their workforce and who are completely at one with my vision of 80,000 officers. I hope that “Secret Officer Numbers File” is safe from prying eyes or FOI requests.
Jeremy: Safely tucked away with the establishment child abuse files we can’t find Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: Excellent. Are there any BEM candidates suitable for BHH’s job?
Jeremy: (Sighs) As I’ve told you before Home Secretary, it’s BME. No, but Hogan-Howe’s enforcer has just moved North as Chief Constable. His officers, when out on patrol, have to ask permission to return to their station if they want the loo.
Home Secretary: I like him, Jeremy, that’s the sort of firm leadership we need, and of course there’s always Sir Tom. He looks very smart in his uniform and always does as he’s told.
Jeremy: But Home Secretary, he’s never done a day’s police work in his life.
Home Secretary: Neither have those Tesco managers or whatever, who we threw in as Superintendents.
Jeremy: Quite, Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: Put them both on the list, Jeremy. What’s Andrew Mitchell doing these days? On second thoughts when I’m the next Prime Minister, he’d make a superb Home Secretary. That’d give them something to cry wolf about? Anything else Jeremy?
Jeremy: Well, there’s the migrant crisis. Several of the press are asking about the 90 strong task force you announced some weeks ago.
Home Secretary: Did I ?
Jeremy: And then there’s the Command and Control centre you announced we were setting up in Calais.
Home Secretary: Me and my sound bites, eh Jeremy? Just as well I avoid in-depth interviews.
Jeremy: Well I did send the email to all the Chief Constables requesting officers to staff both units as you asked, Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: And the replies Jeremy?
Jeremy: I’ve had 30 replies 12 of which contain the words box, which and open.
Home Secretary: A bit too deep for me Jeremy, and the others?
Jeremy: They have said it probably won’t be a problem and asked me to remind you about future peerages.
Home Secretary: What about this command centre I seem to have mentioned? What does it need?
Jeremy: Well, Home Secretary. Lots of databases: The Met’s Aware system including PNC, the NCA database, the National Border Targeting Centre Systems, the Immigration Case Index Database, the UK Visa database, the Home Office Warning Index, the UK Passport Omnibase Systems, the Schengen database plus a few more I can’t think of plus those of the French, ECRIS Europol and Interpol; all in a secure building with state of the art security.
Home Secretary: Sounds like it’ll cost me millions. What’s the alternative?
Jeremy: A prefab with a couple of phones and a safe.
Home Secretary: Get on to BT today, Jeremy.
Jeremy: There is another issue that won’t go away Home Secretary: Afghan interpreters.
Home Secretary: So typical, Jeremy. We let a few in and they all want to come over.
Jeremy: But they served our army so well Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: Jeremy, Jeremy. Why did they help us?
Jeremy: They hoped that we would provide security and stability for their country Home Secretary.
Home Secretary: Exactly Jeremy, and if we let them in, it’ll be an admission that we have failed in Afghanistan and that the sacrifices of our troops will have been for nothing.
Home Secretary: No buts, Jeremy. If they want to come over they’ll have to jump in the back of a lorry like everyone else.
Jeremy: The press have also been on about the numbers that have evaded our controls and been apprehended in the UK.
Home Secretary: Memo to all PCC’s and Chief Constables, Jeremy. This is a Home Office matter and numbers should not be released on, er, national security grounds. Make it clear Jeremy that anyone who breaks ranks will be off both my Christmas card list and any government honours list. I see that bugger Hurley has already said that thousands have probably got in and vanished. That’s his knighthood down the drain.
Jeremy: Not sure he’ll be too worried about that, Home Secretary. Just one more matter: the video from Peckham that is generating some interest.
Home Secretary: Yes go on.
Jeremy: It shows a stabbing victim Home Secretary, sadly another black victim….
Home Secretary: Steady Jeremy, do I sense the ‘r’ word here? A black victim?
Jeremy: A disproportionate number tragically are victims in London at present Home Secretary. Something perhaps we need to be concerned about. So much heartbreak….
Home Secretary: (sharply) Your point is?
Jeremy: (produces iPad, places it on the Home Secretary’s desk and presses the screen). Well the scene is a little chaotic but look how the community white and black, tries to do its best. Lots of shouts about calling the police and see how these guys set about treating him. It’s almost certainly an arterial bleed which can be fatal. Then the police come in and professionally take over the treatment. The community and the police save his life. Marvellous all round.
Home Secretary: Are you sure that officer is actually treating him and not conducting some sort of stop and search?
Home Secretary: Leave this video well alone, Jeremy. The police are where we want them to be. Easier for us to cut numbers the more unpopular they become. Racist police off our streets is the cry Jeremy and we are certainly achieving that.
Jeremy: (glumly) Yes, Home Secretary. Oh just a reminder of the Oxford Union debate next month; ‘Police are racist scum.’ You are speaking for the motion with Lee Jasper.
Home Secretary: And who is against?
Jeremy: Errm. Sting Home Secretary. Might be a few crossed wires here. Leave that to me. Anything else Home Secretary?
Home Secretary: Yes Jeremy. Will you make sure that my season ticket application for Millwall has been processed?
Jeremy: (puzzled) Millwall?
Home Secretary: Yes Jeremy. I just love it when they sing (breaks into song to the tune of Sailing)
We are Millwall, we are Millwall,
Super Millwall from the lane.
We are Millwall,
Super Millwall from the lane.
Now here’s the best bit Jeremy.
No-one likes us, no-one likes us,
No-one likes us,
We don’t care,
Jeremy exits shaking his head sadly.
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