Call the Keystones, Locky's here!

Call the Keystones, Locky's here!

JOB TITLE DOESN'T MAKE THEM HONEST

I POPPED into Batley Carr’s magnificent  hostelry the Woodman Inn on Wednesday teatime, my ‘lunch’ break as I was pulling a through-shift to Thursday, (flaming staff, wanting holidays and suchlike – a cheek if you ask me – wait until Jeremy Corbyn offers to double all their wages and impose a four-day week because then half the country will know what a long holiday feels like. Most will spend it queuing at the local food bank.)

Anyway, having ridden the regulars’ ribbing over whether I’d been hiding away with Lord Lucan and Shergar – it’s been a while – we got round to the serious stuff, politics and crime. You get more sense talked in an hour at The Wood ‘oil than a month’s worth of Prime Minister’s Questions. 

The politics was swiftly put to bed: no one in Westminster is listening to us, no one represents us, they’re only in it for themselves. In short, off with all their heads. So, on to crime ... Now, you’d think that owning the local paper, my finger might be in some proximity at least to the pulse of the criminal landscape. Well, you certainly read as much  in these pages as we come across, and I can confirm that Batley is literally owned by rampaging gangs of teenage yobs who consider the law an absolute joke, and they’re not wrong. But I might as well write on The Sun – as in that occasionally glimpsed orb, 93 million miles distant, not the celeb-stalking tabloid daily – for all I really know.

There were only five of us in the discussion. One businessman had been broken into twice in recent weeks, and he recounted half a dozen burglaries at similar establishments – all within a mile or so, mind you, in the same time-scale, no arrests but importantly, no alerts to the public or media from the law. I was clueless.

Another man’s wife had been confronted in her home by three balaclava-clad robbers at 5pm, who terrified her before escaping with their plunder. He (cynically) laughed as he recounted how the police had politely inquired if they required ‘support’ … oh and almost as an after-thought, if he actually needed a crime number for an insurance claim. 

I’ll bet my bottom dollar that incident wasn’t recorded by Kirklees Police, because as I’ve written many times their priority is masking the level of criminality and their ineptitude (they go hand in hand); of pretending they’re still in charge, when the truth is that our streets are increasingly lawless.

The Woodman conversation was brief, because I can imagine the eyes of a Kirklees Keystone lighting up at the prospect of nabbing Lockwood for drink driving. Our general conclusion was that there wasn’t a cigarette paper thickness between our mutual loathing for politicians, police and lawyers – everyone threw lawyers in for good measure. I added journalists because I’ve little time for many that I’ve encountered, but that wasn’t a field the Woodman sages felt able to pronounce on.

As I meandered back to Batley, I pondered on something: why do we harbour a presumption of trust in people by virtue of their profession? I’ve always wondered how criminal lawyers who represent stone-cold villains, the nastiest of the nasty, sleep at night – because the old “everyone deserves a defence” only holds so true. It must just be a game, a theatrical piece, a legal chess game to them. 

But what makes a copper a good man or woman, any less likely to be a bad ‘un than a journalist who phone hacked, or an MP who robs us via their expenses, or – pertinently – climbs the greasy pole of careerism despite privately despising a Marxist fanatic like Jeremy Corbyn, or a certifiable egomaniac like Theresa May? Because as we see all too often, and never more than today, they all do it.

Going in the police is a job choice, not a burning ambition to be the next Wyatt Earp or Eliot Ness. It’s a career rocket ride if you’re female, coloured or gay, with a fabulous departing choice between a cushty early retirement at 55 or maybe a bad-back pay-off if you get caught being a bit naughty. And there are lots of opportunities for exactly that.

I’m absolutely stone-cold certain there are vastly more good, honest, diligent police officers than corrupt ones, or Politically Correct, agenda-driven career officers (yes, you Chief Supt Julie Sykes) who wouldn’t know Bonnie and Clyde from Clint Eastwood and his ape pal, Clyde. Bent coppers exist on a wide spectrum, from being explicitly bought and paid-for, to being naively manipulated by people of power, influence or a social/ethnic (occasionally malign) in-crowd.

Sure, they still lock up villains, solve crimes and win plaudits – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t tainted by their prejudices and associations. More than ever, these days, in my view. I e-mailed Chief Supt Sykes recently, inquiring just how far up the chain of command the Dewsbury and Batley mafia held sway in her department. I’m not expecting a response any time soon.

LUNATICS, ASYLUM, ETC...

DON’T ask me what on earth is happening in the Westminster goldfish bowl, where it seems someone has dumped mind-altering drugs into the water along with the last handful of fishy flakes. Why on earth would anyone want to climb on the back of a bucking bronco (the Conservative leadership race) when you’re surrounded by wild-eyed knackers yard owners, all toting shotguns? 

I’d like to know where all of these wannabe Winston Churchills have been during the last two-plus years while lunatic May has been writhing British society apart and grinding the last semblances of political trust into the dust with her leopard-print kitten heels. It’s all a game to them, isn’t it? And suddenly they all have the answer … all 11 (at last count) possessors of a Brexit wisdom they’ve apparently been keeping to themselves since 2016.

What happens next? I don’t know, I haven’t got a copy of Nostradamus’s quatraines to hand. Where’s Mystic Meg when you need her? But with that poison dwarf John Bercow proving himself as ‘big’ (bit of a contradiction in terms) a liar and hypocrite as anyone else in that rotten House, Brussels sitting on its hands and wetting itself in sadistic mirth at us, and Labour wanting nothing but a general election, don’t go wasting any money at the bookies on a solution by October 31st.

I gave up on Coronation Street when Jack Duckworth departed and Liz McDonald left Jim to have her bust and lips pneumatically inflated. This horror show could run longer than Corrie – with far fewer laughs and a lot more huge t**s.

BORIS STUNT BLACKENS JUDICIARY

WEDNESDAY’S cynical Remain stunt to drag Boris Johnson before the courts for his ‘£350 million a week to Europe’ Leave campaign statement drags our judicial system down into the gutter with every other discredited British institution. I cannot believe senior judges are taking such expensive theatrical pantomimes seriously – which says all you need to know about our judges’ loyalties: Brussels.

Whichever side you were or are on, the 2016 EU referendum was a hysterical catalogue of lies and exaggerations. If anything George Osborne and David Cameron were the guiltier parties, because we all saw on the morning of June 24th that planes still flew and bubonic plague did not ravage the land. Heck, the economy picked up instead of imploding. 

I will be amazed if this expensive legal device to further blacken Johnson’s character (if indeed that’s possible) and derail Brexit gets anywhere, because the bottom line is this – he (and Michael Gove and many others not hauled before the courts) spoke truthfully. The biggest clanger the Leave campaign dropped, and the reason this claim is at all possible, is that they did not subtract what we get back from the EU. They played politics, in short.

We did give the EU £350m a week – but got a big chunk back, albeit in means dictated by Brussels, not us. But ignore those funding choices and yes, theoretically that money was there to be used as the UK government desired. This case is a dirty, underhand, characterisation of what David Cameron and Theresa May specifically have done to the nation. It’s a Great Britain we can all be thoroughly ashamed of.



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