Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Ode to Inspector Gadget's Blog


For the twats:
This is MY tribute to the Guv, contains MY thoughts on him and if you don't want to read it then fuck off right now.

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For the past few years, one of the things that’s kept me smiling, giggling or secure in the belief that there is some sanity left in the management of the Police forces of the UK…was Inspector Gadget’s blog.

Inspector Gadget blogged his mind from 2006 until March 11th 2013. Then, he stopped and deleted his entire blog with only the briefest of farewells to his faithful flock of fans.

To set the scene, IG was a police Inspector in an anonymous police force somewhere in the UK, probably the south of England. An Inspector is approximately equivalent to a US Lieutenant rank in America and is a Sergeant’s boss. Two pips on each shoulder, has to be addressed as “Sir” or “Ma’am” or their surname only (prefaced by Mr/ Mrs). They have to be stood up for when they enter a room for official, on-duty purposes and in the old days you would salute too.

What Gadget wrote would have got Gadget fired...IF the Police ever found out his real identity. Hence the fact that both he and his Police Force remained cosily anonymous.

Gadget was a true prince amongst coppers. Someone who regarded the ridiculously excessive emphasis on Race & Diversity training as a complete waste of time. Someone who hated the cuts within police budgets. Loathed the lack of equipment appropriate to do the job. Most of all Inspector Gadget detested the way Senior Management of the police blame the lower ranks for everything, force them to chase targets to impress both the public and the government, and regard having your cap and tie on at a messy car crash as more important than dealing with the victims on the scene.

Gadget was clearly intelligent and had a wonderfully acidic, cynical and hilarious style of writing. When blogging about nasty little gobshite and student rioter Alfie Meadows, IG described the dent in Alfie’s skull as coming from “friendly fire.”  When referring to a chavvy cess pit of a housing estate within his area, he called it The Swamp. He made references to the “self entitled class” (long term unemployed, workshy types) and said of defence barristers “private school fees don’t pay themselves.”

Most of all Inspector Gadget had a conscience and an enormous sense of injustice. He hated the way the police were being treated and as a man of rank, he had a crew of loyal followers numbering in the hundreds or thousands. The blog was read internationally, being mentioned in The Times newspaper, by then-Deputy Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police Tim Godwin and even on BBC1’s prime time show “Have I Got News For You.”

Gadget supported routine arming of cops (for anyone outside the UK reading this, British Bobbies don’t have guns, aren’t trained to use guns and have to call specialist units who actually do have guns, if facing any threat more serious than a fist).

Gadget hated the way the trial of Millie Dowler’s killer went, mainly due to the reprehensible tactics employed by the Defence barrister. He blogged about supporting a little boy with brain injuries, he posted “Officer Down” every time a police officer was killed in the line of duty.

His blog became so Earth-shatteringly awesome that he eventually had his own merchandising range, with mugs and t-shirts for “Ruralshire” the fictional name for his anonymous Constabulary. Slogans ranged from “Nice Buttons” (after a Deputy Chief Constable was investigated for making that remark to a member of staff who was wearing a low cut dress) to "Doughnuts and Diversity" to "You Couldn't Make It Up" and “I Should Be Out Catching Murderers And Rapists”.



Gadget had a book published based on his blog “Perverting The Course Of Justice.” It became a massive seller and along with two other books by the same publisher (one written by a Sergeant, the other a Constable), made the public realise that things in the police were a bit shit.

By the time the blog was taken down, it had had over 12.5 MILLION hits. When Raoul Moat was cornered by police after a long manhunt, the blog received 85,000 hits in one hour.

A cult of commentators emerged on the Comments section of each posting. Some played the First* game (seeing if you could be the first person to leave a comment on the posting; usually simply “first?”) and put notches on their pepper spray to tally how many times they’d won (actually a number after their user name). Topics were debated within the comments, usually with much passion or even vitriol. Inspector Gadget usually let this run, only intermittently chipping in with his own opinions.**

Having served briefly as a police officer in both the City of London Police and Another Force I had a miserable experience and after reading Gadget’s book and loving his blog I got the inspiratation to put my feelings down on paper and wrote a book about it all. Having trouble finding a publisher I eventually self-published and STAB PROOF SCARECROWS made a small yet annoying dent in the karma of my Other Force, resulting in the Assistant Chief Constable (3rd from top) for Professional Standards writing to everyone they’d matched with my pseudonyms*** and basically saying “pay no attention to the nasty man!” I have a copy of that letter framed on the wall in my lounge (the joys of the Freedom of Information Act 2000).



Now, it’s all over. All good things come to an end and Gadget is now retired. The final day, a lot of farewell messages for the Guvnor turned up in the Comments section****, with many people saying just how much he’d inspired them and kept them smiling through a job that has got worse over the last few years. I myself will miss Inspector Gadget very much. A witty, smart and compassionate figure that inspired me to write a book and opened the world’s eyes to the grim and farcical realities of UK policing and its shit-for-brains management.

Inspector Gadget/ The Boss/ Guv/ IG/ Gadge….I salute you*****


* I retired as reigning first champ with 18. A guy named GovernmentThug (Sergeant Jeremy Scott) was behind me with 17. 

** Got told off once by IG for saying "so unpleasant it will make you weep menstrual blood". He changed the last two words to "MODERATED" and wrote "Lance, you knew I love you but please rein it in a bit old boy!"

*** Most people realised the anagram of Sergeant Kerwan. Did anyone get Daryl Esobe? Give you a clue, she's a fat ugly bitch.

**** I left one such comment and stated in it that I believed I knew where Gadget worked, but would be keeping that info to myself out of respect. Someone who knows IG personally then threw a Nanny fit and told me off for this. As my reply has now gone to silicon heaven with the rest of Gadget'g blog, let me say this. My comment was in the Spam Filter for about half a day. This means Gadget himself read it before allowing it on his blog. So thhhbbbpppp!!!!

*****And stand up as you enter the room.


13 comments:

  1. Hi Lance.

    Changed my mind. You're my saviour.

    Tried to set up a blog and funnily enough, wordpress isn't working! I will keep trying, yet it's an amazing coincidence isn't it?

    Long live Inspector Gadget!
    Fez.

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. As I said on Shij's blog - I'll just have to spend more time on here and Lance's. Only trouble is my post disappeared on Shij's. Oh well, hope I'm welcome here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks. And Shij has just made me welcome too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    He regularly censored posts which showed the police in bad light, which makes his blog biased by definition.

    Plus, he was outed a while back.....it was only a matter of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do I put this without causing offence...

      Dig up your dead granny and fuck her up the arse.

      Delete
  5. He was a Sgt in Sussex and an EDL supporting cont p 9

    ReplyDelete
  6. Blimey Lance the twunts do follow you back mate must be something in the water how you doing and say hi to buzz and scarlet pah!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Careful, Alfie Meadows has been cleared of all chargers and there are suggestions Gadget's libellous comments about him could be the reason he quit.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Alfie's a bell end. As are you. Fuck off.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I loved Gadget's blog. I was once a cop here in the states. And where I worked the crap seemed to rise to the top of the bowl. Selection for promotion was more about ass kissing and connections than testing and a quality interview. My department was not an isolated case, it happens frequently. At least I quit before I had too much time in. Many I knew felt stuck because they had been there too long and there were few agencies that did lateral transfers into other departments and no one wants wants to take a pay cut and start all over again. So they did their 20 year sentences. Some grinding their teeth all the way, the lucky ones became more passive to the ignorance and injustice. And after many years, its still the same kind of work environment there. I was lucky to leave when I did. So that's my little understanding rant on the system and the dolts at the top.

    How did you decide on the name for your book? I like the title, by the way. Good Luck with it. And to all those in law enforcement, best wishes and take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I called it Stab Proof Scarecrows because that's basically all a lot of UK cops are. Unarmed, not trained to fight (they are taught to push and shout "GET BACK!"...No I'm not joking). The body armour is stab proof only for all except the Firearms units. We also have PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) who take it one step lower as they have no arrest powers and are specifically told not to get into a violent situation. This means that an incident could go from PCSO, to Cop to Armed Cop before it is resolved. By which time the victim might have bled out or the gunman has shot dozens of people. It sucks.

      Delete
  10. Thanks for providing such a great article, it was excellent and very informative.
    as a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed.
    thank you :)

    ReplyDelete

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