Friday, December 7, 2007

Priorities misplaced?

The police in England and Wales are an unhappy lot these days. Not that they are dissatisfied with the 2.5% pay raise that they'll be getting but the fact that it's not done retrospectively pissed them off. Well, the arguement is that if their counterparts in Scotland are getting theirs retrospectively, why shouldn't they?

The difference is around 30 million pounds. Hardly a sum to quibble about, the opposition parties were saying. I mean, you wouldn't want to quarrel with the people that make the streets safe, do you?

On the other hand, there were calls to remove the interpreters that swell the ranks of civil service. As Britain (esp London) receive more immigrants from a variety of countries, there's a need of interpreters. However, having such people on the payroll probably remove the incentives for the immigrants to study English, which will allow for better assimilation.

The bill for these interpreters? Hundreds of million pounds.

Now, 100 million pounds for interpreters for immigrants but not 30 million pounds for the police. And there's this law that make it illegal for the police to go on strike but there are other ways for them to show their displeasure. For one, they can refuse to break the speed limit when chasing criminals in their cars and they can refuse to volunteer for the firearms unit (British police don't carry guns around).

Like I said, you wouldn't want to piss the police off. And I wonder what'll happen if I claim to speak only Hokkien. Maybe there's a Hokkien speaker just waiting there.

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