This week saw the demise of Inspector Gadget (see below), now ‘followers’ and even the mainstream media are asking – Did he jump or was he pushed?
Gadget’s blog was active for seven years and enjoyed some 13M+ hits, more popular even than some political and/or media blogs and hardly the popularity expected of some ‘fringe’ commentator or “silly” author, as Gadget was once described by the then Policing Minister Nick Herbert.
Although his musings were often a little caustic, some would say bordering upon ranting, I for one would suggest the closing of his social media accounts will be a great loss to both the police and the public alike…
One of the best-known anonymous police bloggers and tweeters has ceased writing after seven years of providing a sometimes irreverent officers eye view of the world of policing – at a time when officers who blog or tweet unofficially are coming under increasing pressure to give up their activities…(guardian.co.uk)
But why did Gadget start blogging? As The Monday Books Blog (below) pointed out; we now live in an era when many senior coppers are more adept at spin than in catching serious criminals. A factor that was probably the initial spark for Gadget and one that became clear after attending a training seminar.
He said it was “60 mind-numbing minutes of complete nonsense” but it was also his love of and for ‘the job’ that was always behind his comment. That and a desire to explain to those he served (the public), what was happening to their police service and why.
Inspector Gadget – Officer Down: …This country’s police were once the envy of the world; now they struggle to retain the confidence of their own people and have long since lost the support and confidence of the British public…(The Thin Blue Line Blog)
As Gadget et al continually pointed out, much to the annoyance of their senior officers and politicians alike; our British policing system is now “weighed down by political correctness, burdensome targets, excessive paperwork, non-core police activity and incessant government tinkering”.
Few blogs last anything like that long – certainly not when they’re updated two or three times a week…(The Monday Books Blog)
There are fewer officers than ever before on our streets. Policing still requires a root and branch overhaul – not the piecemeal structural reform so beloved of successive governments. As many have pointed out previously and I include myself here; “there needs to be a cultural rejuvenation that restores to trained professionals the freedom to take their own decisions”, obviously within the law. The following strap line to Gadget’s blog was chosen with good reason.
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing…(Edmund Burke)
Four days ago Gadget wrote what I believe was his final post - George Dixon wouldn’t have stood for this crap – in it he wrote; ”Here, as Rodgers and Hammerstein once wrote, are some of my favourite things… Favourite Colour: Blue Favourite Book: 1984, George Orwell. Favourite Film: The Great Escape Overall Favourite Quote: “I am no Inspector Gadget” Tim Godwin OBE QPM, Dep Commissioner, Met Police . Favourite Quote about me: “He is not an Inspector” Nick Herbert.”
Whistleblowing legislation is to be overhauled and a government consultation held to investigate whether the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 is failing to protect those who speak out from being victimised, harassed and even sacked by their employers…(guardian.co.uk)
A political blogger who sparked online uproar after being arrested for filming a council hearing has been ordered to pay £25,000 in libel damages to a council’s chief executive over what the high court described as an “unlawful campaign of harassment, defamation and intimidation”…(guardian.co.uk)
I have read the ACPO guidelines on social media use for police officers so you don’t have to. I totally get the operational and personal security stuff. Let me summarise my views on the rest for you. It is the people who make and implement stupid decisions who damage public confidence, not the people who write about it…(Inspector Gadget)
In 1921 C.P. Scott, Editor of The Guardia.n at the time said “Comment is free but facts are sacred” – we all have an entitlement to our opinion, shouldn’t those comments be listened to (and acted upon) when they’re delivered by someone who knows/understands what they are talking about and are based upon fact?
Individuals and/or organisations should have no fears about social media, so long as it is being used properly and factually however; what they do need to worry about is having their ineptitude exposed because of it.
- Police blogger quits as officers come under pressure over unofficial tweets (guardian.co.uk)
- Farewell, Inspector Gadget (mondaybooks.wordpress.com)
- UK Cop Shuts Down Social Media Accounts, Citing Official Pressure (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Social Media and Blogging…. (inspjulietbravo.wordpress.com)
I saw the following message on Facebook. I don’t usually circulate chain messages that appear in my social media pages however; if the following prevents just one person from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, whilst unfit to do so because of drink (or drugs), it has to have been worthwhile…
I was walking around in a Big Bazar store shopping, when I saw a Cashier talking to a boy couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old.
The Cashier said, ‘I’…m sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy this doll. Then the little boy turned to the cashier and asked: are you sure I don’t have enough money?”
The cashier counted his cash once again and replied: ”You know that you don’t have enough money to buy the doll, my dear.” The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.
Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. ‘It’s the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much . I wanted to Gift her for her BIRTHDAY.
I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.’ His eyes were so sad while saying this. ‘My Sister has gone to be with God.. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister…”
My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said: ‘I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.’ Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me ‘I want mommy to take my picture with her so my sister won’t forget me.’ ‘I love my mommy and I wish she doesn’t have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.’ Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.
I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. ‘Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll?”
‘OK’ he said, ‘I hope I do have enough.’ I added some of my money to his with out him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money.
The little boy said: ‘Thank you God for giving me enough money!’
Then he looked at me and added, ‘I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give It to my sister. He heard me!” ‘I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn’t dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose. My mommy loves white roses.’
I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn’t get the little boy out of my mind.
Then I remembered a local news paper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?
Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the news paper that the young woman had passed away.. I couldn’t stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before her burial.
She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed for ever…
The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.
Simple…DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE !!!
The value of a man or woman resides in what he or she gives, not in what they are capable of receiving!
There is no doubt about it, we are more connected and able to communicate than ever before however; do we use that ability sensibly and moreover, are we now simply ’slaves’ to communications technology?
Today we are some of the most active social networkers in the world – sharing our party pictures, our music playlists and our deepest secrets with hardly a moments thought. More than 60% of online users actively maintain a Facebook profile, and social networking is our favourite activity online in terms of time spent…(bbc.co.uk)
Look around any cafe or bar and you see groups of people, all continuously checking for new content on their prefered communications equipment. Frantically tapping away at their laptops, tablets and smartphones, people sit in a social void of reality, oblivious to the conversations around them. Constantly updating their Facebook profile and Tweeting mainly inane tosh to a virtual world, totally fixated on their electronic devices.
Mobile and social media are the driving forces of the next wave of digital change. But these advances are reducing our attention spans and creating new dilemmas for the way we live and work. Limiting ourselves to 150 carachters or text speak etc is missing out on so much that is to be valued in face-to-face human interaction.
- Study finds social networking taking up toilet time (technology.inquirer.net)
- Social Media Strategy for Small Business 2013: A Totally Honest Look at Social Networks (amsterdamprinting.com)
- 5 Ways to Use Mobile Social Apps to Influence Customers (itmashable.com)
- Jealous Of Your Facebook Friends? Why Social Media Makes Us Bitter (patrickwatts7.wordpress.com)
- Why do we love our smartphones so much? (conversations.nokia.com)