Tory right-wing MP, Dominic Raab, has had a busy summer emailing out Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.
Raab’s most recent target has been the police, or to be precise, the Police Federation. Raab believes the body, which was founded in 1919 by the government, spends too much money representing its members rather than fighting crime. So Raab sent out a few FOI requests to prove his theory.
The result? This article in the Daily Mail:
“Police have claimed they will be left with 16,000 fewer officers because of a shortage of funding. Yet according to Freedom of Information requests by Tory MP Dominic Raab, they are forking out £4,801,817 on paying for union activities. There are at least 99 police working full-time for organisations such as the Police Federation, which has crossed swords repeatedly with ministers in recent months.”
But there is one problem – the Police Federation isn’t a union and the police can’t go on strike. Part way through the Mail’s article we discover, “The Police Federation, which is technically classified as a federation rather than a union”…(the clue was in the name!) So what’s this about ‘union’ activity? The Federation is no radical left-wing RMT, yet someone seems to be trading on confusion.
Raab is wondering if ‘union’ work is a good use of police time? And a good use of an MPs time is bombarding police forces with FOI requests, right? Raab has to remember he is an MP and not a journalist for the Daily Mail. In fact some of his constituents would prefer that he spends more time representing their concerns rather than promoting his own Thatcherite views in the press and undermining hard-working police men and women.
Raab hates unions though…just try getting him to say the words “European Union” and, as any TV cop would say, he has ‘form’ in this area. He tried exactly the same trick in a bid to ‘expose’ union activity at Revenue and Customs back in July, which received massive publicity in the Express. Perhaps someone from Surrey Police will kindly arrest Raab for wasting all our time.