Fish, chips and shoulders…

April 24, 2008

It was Friday, and as usual I could smell chips being cooked; what’s new? The canteen was open, so I walked in. It was busy. There were some higher-ranking Officer’s there too. I walked by to the serving hatch, I didn’t think twice really, but even though they know me I felt that one blanked me totally. No matter. Back to the food. The chips were nice. The serving staff knew that it would be the chips that would bring a smile to my face. That smile soon wore off though.

I sat down with Simon and we chatted. I glanced over once again. As I ate it really didn’t feel comfortable being there at all. I wanted to just get up and move, and leave the canteen. But why should I? There’s nothing like feeling a little unwelcome. Is this perception? Was it something I said, I thought? It’s quite amazing when you say something high-ranking officer’s don’t like, it gives them the power to ignore you. 

At times like this I wonder what will happen during Black history month. How many of these same officer’s will come out. How many Black people will just come out at these times and then they will go back and hide for the 11 months to follow. Why don’t they hurt or put their head above the parapet? Why are they always quiet when something needs to be said. The answer’s simple, they tend to say what they know or what they think wants to be heard.

There are plenty of these people about in this society for we have set race relation’s up like that. And so when some of us open our mouths and ask real questions we are “shoved.” There is nothing like being unpopular though; nothing really beats that feeling.

The English language is the most peculiar thing really, I love it and I love England but it is uncanny how the language always sings the song of those in the majority that don’t want to change. Still, nice to know there are some good people like Nightjack, TUPC, Roses, PCSO Bloggs, Noddy, and some others inside the job. Chips on my shoulder – no not at all.

The fact is some of these higher ranking officer’s think they can withhold information about ethnic issues, clearly they must know better, even though they do not have any experience of cumulative marginalisation. Still, “they” listen to what THEY WANT TO HEAR they don’t actually listen to what is being said.

Also there was a meeting to be held on diversity. And you know what I really can’t be bothered to attend, not that I don’t care, not at all; I just don’t like being “blanked;” so really what’s the point in attending. And before I am asked, yes, I was blanked again; hence my decision to opt out of a meeting. It’s coming up to Friday, but I shan’t be going into the canteen.

 As I think of chips I am left to ponder what really really does “terrorism” mean, are there levels of it? Terror may not always be what we linguistically and visually define it to be.



  1. Several of my colleagues from whatever TLA (Three Letter Acronym) is being used for black / asian / cultural / religious / sexuality etc. minority groups are sick up to the back teeth of being wheeled out with “The Boss” for meetings or being the smiling face of diversity on recruiting material. They have felt a bit used. It’s like “Add ethnic for instant credibility” and it feels like spin and tokenism rather than professional acceptance. They have effectively said “Enough is enough. Yes I have a minority cultural, sexual or ethnic background. Yes I am a Police Officer. No that doesn’t mean I am comfortable with being touted as the “Poster Child” for my community. Leave me alone to get on with being a Cop.”
    It is easy to spot who accepts and who tolerates and who is just paying lip service.

  2. Nightjack there are several horrifying things here.

    (1) The bosses may use this to their favour and nothing is achieved. They don’t want problems in their Force and prefer yes men and women. If they identify a problem they must deal with it; one less problem means one less real thing to deal with. And we all come from our own stance. The establishment’s response is often just institutional, not real equality.

    (2) Some of those pulled out onto the red carpet enjoy this treatment. It’s a bit like choosing when one is really really Black. There may be short-term career gains for these people, but that is all. There’s nothing for the kids that we deal with who live on the periphery. This is the selfish side and these people won’t probably talk to the likes of me.

    (3) Interestingly some of us with qualifications are left out.

    (4) My message is clear I hope, “Don’t use us when it suits, don’t demean our heritage because of your, the establishment’s, lack of understanding. Because you are actually damaging race and ethnicity.” Like I have intimated we are not experts; the experts are those at (2) above.

    (5) I would not concur with any form of terror, but what we see here is just another academic form of terror.

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