At conference today it was like an Amir Khan boxing match. Suspense and action from round 1. Mr Paul McKeever today single handedly destroyed Theresa Mays police reform agenda with a no notes no nonsense speech that shook the Home Secretaryâ€™s bones to her foundations.
No other police officer has ever managed to upset a govt. train in this way. Speaking from the heart as he so often does Mr McKeever engaged his colleagues; but his biggest win is that he has now got the media channels on side. And this means only one thing; the public will finally begin to hear and read more and more about how police cuts of 20% will affect crime patterns and police service.
Whilst this was Mr Mckeevers finest 40 minutes the Home Secretary suffered a very damaging career blow. She was visibly shaking through her whole address and her mispronunciation of some of the names of officers who had fallen was just one sign of her unease. Her NVCâ€™s disturbingly obvious. Her voice shaky throughout her speech.
And though she glared at those that dare challenge her during her speaking her script writer will soon realise that one cannot continue to fool the public. Hers was an incompetent “off the mark” speech. Mrs May then dodged questions left right and centre about the equality impact assessment of Winsor, about pensions and young officers, about communities suffering and the creation of a police force for the rich under Winsor. She was ducking and diving by now.
But even whilst sitting down Mr McKeever was able to get one over on the Home Secretary as he asked all the attendees at the conference to raise their hand if they felt Winsorâ€™s work was independent. No one raised their hand. Neither did Mrs May and when Mr McKeever dare quip about this he was soon told off.This was the upper cut we all wanted to see. Oh what a disastrous PR incident for Mrs May. And so came the knock down. Enough was enough as one Rep told The Minister that the police simply no longer trusted her. If looks could kill.Â By now her NVCâ€™s leaked contempt.
Mrs May then allegedly left conference at the conclusion of her slot without saying any further words to Mr McKeever; but as she left she left under calls to â€œresignâ€ from the floor. No other Home Secretary has suffered calls of this nature from honest police officers, not in my lifetime anyway. And I have never seen a person with so much presence “scuttle” away in this manner.
So what we witnessed today was spectacular, justified and required for we all know too well; she says sheâ€™s listening, but what sheâ€™s really doing is ignoring what we are saying. Bravo. Bravo Mr Paul McKeever and the Police Federation.