David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Saturday, January 26, 2008


On Wednesday 23rd January, 2008, an estimated 22,500 off-duty police officers from across England and Wales travelled to central London to mount a protest at the Government's decision to ignore the recommendation of an independent arbitration tribunal on police pay which recommended to the Home Secretary a 2.5% pay award effective from 1st. September, 2007. Instead, the Home Secretary, no doubt under instructions from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, decided to accept the recommendation of the independent arbitration tribunal but to implement it, not from 1st September as per the normal update, instead to commence it on the 1st December, thereby reducing the 2.5% pay award to 1.9%.

This was regarded by all serving police officers as a betrayal of trust and served to completely undermine the independent arbitration process. It was perceived, quite rightly, as the thin end of the wedge, especially when the police have no industrial power under the law to withdraw their labour as in most other professions. The fact that Members of Parliament can vote themselves a pay rise of whatever magnitude seems to have been completely lost on the Government. Following the magnificent turn out on the protest however, the MP's acquiesced and voted themselves a 1.9% pay rise. Without doubt from embarrassment at what they had inflicted upon the police service. At least it shows, contrary to popular opinion, that they do have a conscience!

The Parliament of Scotland, by contrast, implemented the police tribunal recommendation in full! To add even more fuel to the fire the Government accepted the teachers pay review board recommendation and implemented their 2.5% award in full! Who do they think they are kidding?

The huge demonstration of solidarity on Wednesday was, in my opinion, a great credit to the Police Federation of England & Wales and to each and every officer on the march. They conducted themselves with immense civility and even more dignity than any other protest march I have ever witnessed in Central London. Congratulations to all concerned. Even your baseball caps captured the occasion in the right spirit with a neutral political colour and a simple but poignant message. On national television the impact of all those thousands of white caps was an awesome message of solidarity and I commend those who created that great idea and slogan. I was so proud when those of you in Westminster Hall, at the end of the peaceful protest, stood up and sang "God save the Queen". Our National Anthem personifies everything we have ever stood for in the Police Service in this great and wonderful country.

As an officer who retired 12 years ago I empathise with your current plight. I served in the pay meagre days of pre: Lord Edmund Davies, when those in manual trades used to mock me that they earned more in a week than I did! I sincerely hope we never return to those austere days when 24 hour shift work, weekend and bank holiday work, merited very little reward indeed, not to mention the regular risks of confrontation with weapon wielding and drunken layabouts!

I sincerely hope the impact of your demonstration has left a lasting impression upon the minds of those in Government and whilst a u-turn is unlikely in the present instance it should focus their minds on delivering a fairer pay settlement in the forthcoming pay rounds. Keeping inflation under control should never be at the expense of depriving front line police officers of their just entitlements!

To have implemented the recommendations of the arbitration tribunal would have cost peanuts by comparison to the billions of pounds which the Government have paid, and will continue to guarantee, in order to prop-up the ailing Northern Rock Bank as a result of the appalling mismanagement by its Chairman and Board of Directors. Our Government should be thoroughly ashamed of itself. Roll on the General Election! I can say that, unfortunately they cannot. So much for freedom of speech in a democratic society!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


The Word for today 19 Jan 2008


Sometimes God adds to us, other times He subtracts. At all times He knows what He's doing, so trust Him. You don't need a lot of people in your life, you just need the right people. So let God pick your friends! When Gideon was outnumbered by the Midianites he chose 32,000 men to fight. Then God stepped in and said: 'I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not.' God kept 300 and let the rest go home because they didn't have the right attitude. He told Gideon: 'Whoever is timid or afraid may leave...and go home' (Judges 7:3 NLT).

Don't worry about numbers: God can still do more with less. Just get ready to lose some friends, for where God's taking you they can't go. They will tell you you're too young, too old, too uneducated, not the right race or gender, or it'll cost you too much and take too long. Don't argue, just love them, pray for them and tell them, 'The just shall live by faith' (Romans 1:17), and keep going!

God told Moses He would take the Spirit that rested on him and put it on 70 others so they could carry the load with him (Numbers 11:16-17). That's what you need; people with the same spirit (attitude and outlook) as you. Just because somebody is gifted doesn't mean they belong in your life. If spiritual gifts are the standard by which we measure, Baalam's donkey goes to the top of the list because he prophesied. The real question is, 'Do they have the right spirit?'


Friday, January 18, 2008


This beautiful albino peacock is a perfect example of God's wonderful creation. We are also wonderfully made in His image and despite the passage of many years we have every reason to count our blessings. May Almighty God grant me the will to change the things I can, the ability to accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference. I am grateful to my friend Linda McKean for the following reminder to live every day as if it was your last because one day it will be!

You have never had it so good!

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less grey hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra biscuit, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio.I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning grey, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)




Friday, January 11, 2008




With special thanks to my great friend Dean Eddy in California.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

NEW YEAR'S DAY - Facing the New Year with courage

The Word for today Ist Jan 2008

'Be strong and courageous.' Deuteronomy 31:6

When you try something for the first time, or something you've already failed at, you need courage. Remember learning to walk? First you tried standing on shaky limbs, smiled in short-lived triumph, kept falling down, cried in frustration, and got back up until you mastered the art of standing. Something inside you told you that you were meant for more than just lying in a crib. Then came the next stage; walking. Sounds simple enough; but it wasn't. That's because wobbling always precedes walking. And that's the difference between adults and infants. As an infant you weren't image-conscious. You just saw arms outstretched toward you and heard a loving voice saying, 'Come on, you can do it!' And you've been walking ever since!

That's why God says to anyone stepping into unknown territory, 'Be strong and courageous.' The word 'be' really means 'become.' Courage is a quality you grow into, like filling bigger shoes. The more you walk in them, the more comfortable they get. It's not like a software programme where you simply enter your password and 'hey presto,' you're courageous! Courage comes from spending time with God, seeing His arms outstretched toward you and hearing Him say, 'Come on, you can do it, I'm with you!'

On New Year's Eve our late King George VI once read these wonderful words to the British people: 'I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown" and he replied, "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!"'