Acceptable Cowardice ?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by BounceBanana, Apr 5, 2011.

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  1. There was a recent thread about a confused RN medic who opted for trying conscientious objector status to avoid deployment.

    On the threads he came in for some understandable abuse. My position being that if he had a beef about medical priority guidelines then that defined his beef and his action should have been to make sure he understood the briefing and then, if necessary, argue on the issue. But that it was irrationalk to extrapolate from one issue to a position of avoiding deployment whilst others would have to deploy including one in his stead.

    I have drawn up some argument in a civil action arising from a murder case in Kent of 2008. I am doing this as a layman free of charge for the murder victim's father.

    A taxi driver in an unlit single track country lane had turned in a driveway having dropped his fares. As he drove back towards their gate his former passenger emerged from his gate and collapsed across the taxi bonnet. He had been shot twice by a shotgun. The cabbie phoned 999 and was told to wait for police response and he did so. Unknown to him police then had a risk assessment for themselves and the result was that the cabbie sat in that unlit lane with the body for 45 minutes till armed support got there. The other ploddies having been told to wait until armed support cleared the scene.

    Here is some of the general situation argument:

    "The constitutional position of the Constable, from Anglo Saxon Tything Man through the Norman Conquest through Magna Carta, Civil War, Bill and Petition of Rights, Act of Settlement and on to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 2nd determining that a Constable is an independent ministerial officer of the Crown. The office is acquired by oath to the Queen, sole fount of justice by her Coronation Oath to her people, and the office of constable is held conditional on defending the rights, freedoms and liberties of the Realm.

    The oath goes something like this

    I swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve Our Sovereign Lady, the Queen, in the Office of Constable without fear, favour or affection, malice or ill-will;

    that I will to the best of my power and ability cause the peace to be kept and will prevent all offences against the persons and properties of Her Majesty's subjects and others,

    and that I will to the best of my skill and knowledge, discharge all the duties [hereof?] faithfully and according to law.

    On that night each Kent constable decided to be bound by the risk assessment and not by their oath. wait 45 minutes for armed support to deploy, they decided that they could hide whilst Mr .......'s life could be at risk, waiting alone by the body for 45 minutes for the police response he had been promised. Whilst .......'s life was at risk. Whilst the neighbours in ........ Road were at risk. It was each individual constable's choice that night to betray the Queen by hiding away whilst her subjects were at risk. Not one manjack Kent police officer honoured the oath to the Queen and advanced to either shield or share the threat to Her subjects.

    In about 1971 Sir Robert Mark said we no longer recruit the most able as our police officers but the most malleable to make of them what we will.

    On the night of .........'s murder his words were proven prophetic as nothing more than a risk assessment made of Kent police what it will. Cowards all. Traitors to guarantor of peace and justice Her Majesty The Queen to whom they are sworn.

    The test of whether Kent Police acted unconstitutionally is met before even the murder inquiry team deployed. Police had hidden, left the public unprotected and had yielded a murderer a 45 minute clear run. But did the shooter run ? Police decided right away, at the crime scene, that he had run away and that he had not been within ................ during their 45 minute response time. Kent Police did not think about that in constitutional terms. They simply wanted to deny the public had been put at risk. And the flavour of the murder inquiry was set. The abundance of ensuing nil action decisions, such as ........ , was merely to dilute the initial decision.

    inter alia

    And their initiating cowardice was unconstitutional within the meaning of R v Bembridge 1783. In effect that holding officers, who betray the Queen, to account is essential to the continued existence of the Realm. It don't get more constitutional than that. Police should not in our realm be able to wave a white feather from the risk assessment bird's plumage and get away with it let alone represent it as a mark of professionalism. "

    The thing is no one can tell a constable to advance to close. But if he fails to do so, no matter all the BS about risk assessment, next day he should no longer be a constable. His choice.

    The Chief constable solicitors are citing the Stephen Lawrence case "Brookes v Commissioner Metropolis".

    IMO what happened in that judgment makes every sense. The Lords decided that defects in a police inquiry cannot be a basis for seeking damages. And I am citing the same judgment. Because the reason no damages can arise is that to enable that to be a basis for action in a litigious society would create a tension against the Constable Oath. Meaning police would be overcautious and ever mindful they could be sued for mistakes. Lord Steyn making the point that centuries of law and constitution determine that a Constable is there to preserve the Queens Peace, to protect life and property and to preserve evidence.

    So those (Roll on Seagull etc) who think police can benefit from their opwn risk assessments as a basis for betraying their oaths of duty ought to think on IMO. To believe that is to believe that police now can create their own reason to be overcautious, in their own interest, but the public cannot create reasons for police to be overcautious.

    So will we now see those who say it is OK for police to hold back to avoid danger but not for an RN medic ?
  2. Yeah, but, no, but, yeah, but no but it's not my fault cos shanice said she gave a blowy in the bus shelter but she never did cos stan only had three fingers in and briney can only count to 6 cos the teacher only ever shouts after school when Brian thinks he's a lobster and anyway cos I did but I didn't cos I only got one E at GCSE, ariiiight I'm doin it!
    • Like Like x 3
  3. I would have thought a much better arguement would be that the Police and their agents failed in a duty of care to the taxi driver as although they deemed it unsafe to attend they didnt advise him to get the hell out himself. Which they could have done.
  4. Do you expect plod (or HM Forces for that matter) to turn up to a gunfight without being armed? Seriously? I don't think you can blame plod for waiting for the big guns to arrive... thats not risk assessment bullshit, its common sense.

    I didn't read the RN doctor thread, but i've got some sympathy for objector status concerning Afghan and other reckless world wide deployments that don't actually contribute to the defence of the realm. No-one yet has put forward a convincing argument as to why our soldiers being in sandy places enhances our security here...
  5. Dynamic operational risk assessments are there for a reason: to allow a constable to assess whether or not he/she should be aware of possible danger and it's risk around the corner. If a situation is not assessed on its merits you are going to have a good pile of uniformed bodies in a heap until the AFOs turn up: better to cordon the area as best as possible to protect others from entering the area until it is safer to move better equipped constables nearer. Just because one man of the public may not be deemed to be immediately protected it doesn't mean all the police are fobbing off on refs! It means they're working to investigate the circumstances, to protect and observe the scene and to ensure no one else enters the proximity, therefore, protecting "the Queens subjects" as you'd probably like to put it.

    If all the officers available rampaged in there would be no one left to protect anyone else!
  6. Bananaman, what exactly did you expect unarmed officers to do once they had turned up on the scene?
  7. Mssr Badger> I think the RN medic chappy was refusing to go on firearms training as he didnt sign up as a medic to garry a gat, and without said training he would be deemed undeployable. There is some discussion as to if thats a genuine moral principle (and therefore valid in many posters eyes) or just trying to dodge going in harms way (notsomuch). I have known several medical types who either refused to carry firearms or did so to fit in but stated they would never fire the weapon in anger or at a live person no matter what. Most of them had certainly placed themselves very much in harms way to save lives and were worthy of much respect. I also know one who changed his mind about 'no shots fired in anger' very much when push came to shove. Respect to him as well.

    Personally I think they should bend the rules for said RN medic. Give him the option of deploying without a firearm. If he wants to go unarmed and still risk his life and limb to save others:- fair play. I seem to recall that 2 of the 3 double VC winners were Medics and probably unarmed in WW1?
  8. The trouble with many risk assessments is that they're generated in an office remote from the point of use and make the assumption that the end user is incapable of reasoned action. Further, it's always assumed that a risk assessment has to be on paper, created by a documented responsible person and authorised by someone higher in the CoC. This leads to the production of generic risk assessments that most likely aren't appropriate to individual circumstances and delays in modifying them to suit.

    Much better, citing the police as an example, if individual coppers are deemed responsible people, the cops on the ground discuss the situation and options with others and take action, telling their CoC what they GOING to do. The CoC then has the option of recommending, but not the power of, veto. The requirement for producing a risk assessment has been fulfilled by virtue of the discussion and it's the bods doing the work who decide what constitutes an acceptable risk - which seems fair, considering it's going to affect them.
  9. one thing being an unarmed copper trying to talk down armed nutjob.
    but if the armed nutter has already opened fire not actually a lot you can achieve
  10. Knocknee - you say you are not charging money for your legal arguments - which is just as well frankly.

    And how do you know the RN medic's reasons for not wanting to go to Afg were not genuine?

    You may have a point about the armed response time, but you don't know where they were or what they were doing when they got the call.

    And if you were i/c the gun squad, which of the following two briefings is more likely to lead to disaster?

    'Right, on you go, there might be someone in the house or outbuildings with a shot gun', or the same sentence with 'oh, and by the way there is also an unknown number of coppers in there wandering about wearing dark clothing carrying batons which will look like a weapon in the gloom' tacked on the end.

    Trying to avoid a cluster-**** when firearms are involved is not cowardice, and you are a twat for suggesting it.
  11. Here, here!
  12. Afghanistan is not world war one. Medics are armed to defend themselves and their patients. Its been like that for quite a while, but the RN medic didn't have any objection until he was going to be sent there at which point he remembered he was a coward, I mean conscientious objector.
    Would it have been fair play if the Taliban slaughtered his patients while he stood there with his thumb up his arse?
  13. tenuous relationship in the extreme.........apples and oranges
  14. If he wanted to join a medical service that didn't carry a "gat" he should of joined the Red Cross. Service medics carry guns for their own protection and the protection of their patients - end of! Conscientious objectors in WW1 were often given the option of serving as stretcher bearer and some served with distinction whilst keeping to their values; in general though both sides respected the conventions of war and did not deliberately shoot at identifiable medics and facilities. The Taliban show no such respect, often attacking ambulances, using ambulances as decoys and shooting at medics and their identifiable patients. If they captured medics or injured soldiers they would certainly face a long and painful death, probably broadcast on Al'jazera and Youtube. If you were a soldier in action would you be happy knowing the medic there to save and protect you has chosen not to carry a gun?

    By all means let the miserable coward walk away. Just take away all the costs of training him and all his x-factor that he has been taking under false pretences.