I THINK it’s fair to say that Monday didn’t turn out quite as planned. So much for a gentle mosey into the office, some admin and a couple of meetings.
Instead, nine hours in handcuffs, police van cages, cells and finally an interview room. I doubt it figures high up many people’s wish lists.
Oh, and then my interrogators kicked me out with my car 25 miles away and a “tough titties” look on their brainless faces.
Just so you know, there’s nothing funny about being run off a dual carriageway by four lots of armed police to start your day. However innocent you are, until you discover what you’re accused of you literally are in torments.
Yes, I’m guilty of mocking PC morons like Chief Supt Julie Sykes, but that’s all. And that’s PC as in Politically Correct by the way, not Police Constable – which judging by Sykes’s nose for sniffing out villains is what she should still be.
When I emailed CS Sykes this week I was a bit narked as you’d imagine. I was sarcastic, even patronising and male chauvinstic piggish.
But why not? To me, she’s just a mid-ranking bureaucratic functionary, not a very bright one – and I pay your wages, don’t I darling?
Respect? Based on what, exactly?
She’s surrounded by lots of “yes ma’am, no ma’am, three bags full ma’am” backside kissers who, reading this, will be intent on making that lippy b******d Lockwood pay. Can’t talk to the guv’nor like that! Well sorry Jools, but Helen (Prime Suspect’s DI Jane Tennison) Mirren you really aren’t. And when she walks through the Dewsbury custody suite maybe, or passes some experienced proper coppers and hears the odd chuckle or snigger, I’d like to think she’ll know they’ve got her number. That they know the sad way the force is run these days.
To be clear however – I would never suggest police officers are over-promoted thanks to gender ratios; for owning a pair of love chesticles and a right-on understanding of equalities law. Heaven forfend! Not I, sirrah!
But I can’t say that it appears Kirklees has been sent Wyatt Earp to calm its lawless streets. Just another box-ticking jobsworth.
Meanwhile, by the A64, I was very calm while being handcuffed and read my rights, as gun-toting anti-terror cops milled about probably thinking that I didn’t bear much of a resemblance to Osama Bin Liner.
They radioed for the charges relating to me, then looked at one another, stupefied, as if to say ‘We’ve gone through all this BS for WHAT?’ (and just as an aside, North Yorkshire Police consider their West Yorkshire counterparts a complete set of tossers – I got that several times during my travails).
Even so, left to stew in cells, denied your statutory phone call for seven hours, your brain whirs at 100mph wondering if there’s something you could possibly have done wrong.
I hadn’t. Nothing at all. I knew that the minute PC James Atherton showed me the CCTV image of the man suspected of littering Paula Sherriff’s office doorway with swastikas.
And by the way, the police didn’t actually tell me it was Paula’s office or what the hate crime was either – it took me all of an hour to unearth that once back in circulation.
I should have been a detective, do you reckon?
Back to hapless Atherton and his sullen acquaintance, who had one of those strangely blank faces that tells you – yup, thick as mince. Don’t expect guest appearances on Crimewatch from those two any time soon. I reckon the Daily Star’s quick crossword would be beyond their wit.
“Are you saying that’s not you?” he asked, shoving across two photos of the suspect. I thought my Duty Solicitor was going to wet himself laughing.
And right at this point, everything changes – because until then all of the ‘not knowing’ has had you on the back foot, clear conscience or not.
Plod Atherton managed to keep a straight face when I basically questioned both his sanity and eyesight. I was furious. Stevie Wonder could have seen it wasn’t me.
Atherton was rattled when I challenged him on my offer to come in voluntarily. He muttered about it not being his call. No, I’ll bet it wasn’t.
I’d like to think his conscience is bugging him, but I guess today’s politically-motivated force drills honesty and decency out of recruits – especially ambitious ones, with their eyes on climbing the greasy pole.
People like Julie Sykes.
IF YOU read last week’s copy of The Press, you’d have seen our main story was all about armed raids around the district, with a notably complete absence of information from Kirklees or West Yorkshire police.
There’s more this week. I think I can hazard a guess at what was going on.
One raid probably targeted a former primary schoolmate of Chief Supt Julie Sykes. Possibly an eight-year-old boy once pulled her pigtails and called her Bugs Bunny in the playground. Payback time, sonny Jim.
Another raid was most likely her revenge on a date who stood her up ... see how you like waiting around for hours on end, wondering what’s occurring, matey!
And then there might have been a curry house owner who served her a lamb bhuna instead of a chicken jalfrezi plus a couple of unpaid parking tickets that required the cops’ version of the SAS - because she’s a tough, uncompromising sumbitch, this one folks. Looks like there will be zero tolerance on R Julie’s patch.
What’s most ironic is that Chief Supt Sykes’s previous job was as head of the force’s Police Professional Standards body, which says it all, pretty much. And won’t that be a laugh when my complaint lands on the newcomer’s desk?
PS: I’ve just had an idea - I’m thinking of starting a new ‘Sykeswatch’ column! Watch this space.
PLENTY of mention today of Paula Sherriff. Last night was Tracy Brabin at Batley Irish Nash, facing a ‘politically inclined’ bunch of local citizens.
I’d been invited to chair matters, but the MP vetoed it, saying my presence might inhibit people from contributing. Really? I’ll have to let you know how it went down next week with my view from the cheap seats...
YOU DON’T need Bank of England doom forecasts, or Jacob Rees-Mogg’s vision of a bright new dawn, and all the million convoluted scenarios in between, to understand exactly what Brexit is about.
You just needed to hear Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Radio 4 on Thursday.
Mr Babis comes over as a nice, honest chap. He said he was speaking for virtually every EU leader in saying they wanted the UK to have a second referendum – to reverse Brexit.
Why? Because he likes us, of course. Oh, but along with Germany the UK puts the most in and takes the least out. We have the equivalent of half the darn union suckling off our teat.
Ergo, UK leaves = EU skint. But there are only two ways for the EU out of that. The first is to ‘negotiate’ disingenuously and try to wreak political havoc in Westminster.
That could either, a) bring down Theresa May and the government, leading to a likely General Election and second poll; or b) deliberately offer such unpalatable terms that we would remain either handcuffed to Brussels, or face walking away with no deal – which Michel Barnier is gambling would also lead to a second referendum. And that would not be a pleasant, civil affair folks, that would be Brexit civil war.
So here’s my question to you, a simple one I will keep making: Why would any self-respecting, independent, democratic nation bow its head, fall to its knees and submit to bullying, dictatorial liars intent on cynically denying the will of our people?
That’s the bottom line, snowflakes. You really, actually want to be ruled by the Fourth Reich? Your grandparents and great grandparents must be turning in their graves.