Revitalized and bragging about big “unused” ideas, Boris grew out of the amenities provided by the enforced seclusion of Checkers (pool, pleasing walk in Chiltern, tennis court – while the rest of us pay a little price – en suite lounge and pool on the edge) .
The British hotel industry has welcomed the end of restrictions by lowering prices to take advantage of the fact that it is still very firm to travel abroad, so my trip to Scotland will cost about the alike as my trip to the south of France or the Hamptons.
Cocooned in a game of Checkers, with Dilyn the dog randy chewing briefing papers and humping legs and first lady Carrie planning strategy and planning to weave her magic, the PM is back in the headlines, intent on appearing in touch, on top and in control. (Do I hear a hollow laugh?)
Boris Johnson, with Home Secretary Priti Patel, speaks to a sniffer dog handler on Monday during a visit to Surrey Police Headquarters in Guilford, Surrey, coinciding with the publication of the government’s plan to strike crime.
We are now seeing the rebranding of Boris, the Mark 2, the man with a master plan to get Britain back in shape.
Mind you, someone else usually does the work, just scraping the paperwork and reading the juicy bits — as he did this week, announcing a “unused” crime strategy in fore of Home Secretary Priti Patel, whose job she actually thought was responsible for reducing crime ( When not telling Kent Police to purchase inflatable boats).
Instead, Boris walked all over Pretty—and got her out of the way on a visit to police headquarters in Surrey this week—and shed light on a speech that was superficial and warm, like a level-up prior he was pressured, perhaps written on the back of an envelope.
He wants to ramp up stops and searches, force “chain gangs” of those convicted of antisocial crimes to wear lofty-jackets to collect trash and do unpaid work in the community, and put a flag on criminals when released on probation. Every neighborhood in England got the promise of a named police officer who would “understand the area”.
More from Janet Street-Porter For Mailonline…
I hear a hollow laugh. How many of our main streets have shingle buildings that once carried signs saying “police station” with a blue light outside. I’ve even seen some switch to bars.
And how many villages have an old “police house” flogged like a vice priest lengthy ago on a rich income?
Stationed in widespread closures, we were instead shown storefronts marked “local police” – with opening times displayed on top, so local criminals knew exactly when no one was in the area.
The local “police store” seems to be permanently closed – and the best place to find copper is outside the gas station, when they’re standing in the parking lot to purchase candy and coffee.
There is a major flaw in the Bran Basin of Boris to combat crime of unused initiatives. He made it a reality when police in England lost 21,805 officers between 2010 and 2017. Although Boris recently promised to fund 20,000 additional officers, staffing levels are still well below 2010 levels.
I know AI is advancing at breakneck speed, but the bots won’t be a match for the gangs in my zip code. And who will monitor all the flagged criminals, track and trace their every move as they take their first steps out of prison? When they approach local drug dealers, dog and badgers, bookmakers and not a job center?
We can’t even run, test and track a service the public trusts (even NHS staff have deleted the app), and billions have been dumped on it, so tagging criminals is pointless if it can’t be monitored.
And if they violate the terms of their release – what will happen? As for getting them back to prison – our prisons are packed of explosions, should we build more? (There is no money for that.)
Mr Johnson struggles with an umbrella at the dedication ceremony of the unused UK Police memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire yesterday
Bonanza’s bid for Boris’ major offense was so poorly timed – just four days following Priti Patel told the force that anyone earning more than £24,000 would get no annual salary increase – prompting the Police Union to announce they had lost all faith in the Home Secretary.
His announcement was met with mockery and hidden smiles by our boys dressed in blue. So don’t expect to see any chain gangs in your zip code in the near coming..
And why did Boris announce a unused strategy anyway? Police-reported crimes (excluding fraud) actually decreased by 13% in 2020. Robberies and thefts fell by a third. Sexual offenses decreased by 10%.
The crimes that increased were domestic violence and drug crimes. But they need money and resources. Not enough funds were allocated to aid councils fund refugees for victims of domestic violence. Children who are drawn into the drug trade need aid escaping from their surroundings and local gangs, not being locked up in juvenile detention centers.
Janet Street Porter
Boris has to worry about the offense’s frequency – one in four for adults and a third of juveniles. Nor are short sentences a deterrent – about two-thirds of those who have received prison sentences of less than a year will burst the law again.
So instead of coming up with silly ideas like bulletproof vests and chain gangs — ideas that were clearly plucked from the Coen Brothers movie he watched closed — Boris needs to think about why people commit crime in the first place. Poverty, lack of education and lack of social support.
Theresa May realized that Stop and Search was alienating the black community, and imposed restrictions ensuring that he was only hired for a pleasing cause. Now, Boris wants those removed, so the police can step in and search the public without “reasonable suspicion” if they believe grave violence may be occurring.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary found that black people are 18 times more likely to quit and search than white people, so is this likely to improve interracial relations? Hiring more black officers won’t make a difference.
There has been a significant increase in “quit and look” in London over the former few years, but that has not led to any decrease in gang violence. The number of teen murders in 2021 is the highest since 2008. Police may have specialized 11,000 guns in a year, but stabbings persevere at an increasing rate. Boris described stopping and searching as “a labor of love” but for the black community, that’s anything but.
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior play with dogs during their visit to a Syrian police headquarters
I fear that Boris’ announcement of an “attack on crime” is nothing more than a re-fragmentation of old ideas in order to polish the one thing he cares most about – his image as an action man, a destined leader in the history books.
Expect routine Boombastic Boris posts in the coming days, and here’s why; His poll rates have fallen disastrously, just 4% separating the Conservative Party and Labor.
He has unveiled true Freedom Day on August 16 by always introducing unused travel waivers and freedoms.
From Ben’s men to truck drivers, there seem to be a lot of critical workers who won’t be laid off over the coming weeks if they come under pressure. Anyone attending London Fashion Week in September can walk around immigration and border control even if they haven’t been double stabbed, as they are a “exceptional case”.
So we can’t go on vacation to a whole heap of countries without expensive auditions, but a blunt blogger or influencer from Belgium or Marseille could waltz here in the name of Fashion Planet and welcome with begin arms that they might aid preserve the Shock Factory begin?
Another reason why Boris loves unreal photocalls paired with a big announcement; His government is sitting on a pile of debt.
His male pet projects such as HS2 are at risk of being infected with buffers. He wants bridges, monuments, and bullet trains as his legacy, hopefully with his name on them.
But we can’t afford any of it if we’re going to aid fund welfare for the elderly, build home shelters, pay more police officers, spend money building youth clubs, and educate kids about gangs and drugs when they’re essential. School.
Boris also faces the unpalatable fact that we are so bankrupt that he may have to tell retirees they won’t get the annual hoist they were expecting – the triple lock could see a whopping 8% in profits.
Expect to see plenty of photos of Boris wrestling with an umbrella, patting dogs and trying to drive a tractor over the coming days.
Anything that distracts us from the unpalatable truth – that he has no clue what to do next.