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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Upping the Attacks On English Masonic Police Officers

On New Year's Eve, Steve White, the bitter, now ex-head of the Police Federation of England and Wales resigned his post instead of facing the humiliation of a certain no confidence vote by his rank and file members. On his way out the door, he alleged that he had been thwarted from making enough serious reforms to the Federation over his three year term by some unspecified cabal of secret Masonic police officers, even though he had no idea how many of his officers are actually members of the fraternity, who they might be, how influential (or ineffectual) they really are, or whether Masons had actually done anything at all to block his plans.

Aw, facts, schmacts. Who cares when smacking Freemasons around is concerned? 

The Guardian dutifully printed White's smears against Freemasonry (while not bothering to mention that pesky no confidence vote). You can read the longer version HERE from Sunday. By Tuesday, the story got picked up by Google's news aggregator, and even the Russian Times network wire service. See, because in Europe, Mason-bashing is a favorite press pastime.

Well, the Guardian saw fit to up the ante with the anti-Masonic smears of police officers in an editorial Tuesday (those are hard to differentiate from the supposed straight reportage these days). Duncan Campbell burbled out an opinion piece, Why The Secret Handshake Between Police and Freemasons Should Worry Us (perpetuating the endless obsession the English press corps has over our supposedly nefarious Masonic hand clasps). Campbell peers into the past to dig up two—count 'em, TWO!—"troubling" references to possibly suspicious actions by English police officers who also happened to be Masons in order to prove the horribleness and the awfulness of this Masonic scourge.


The first "incident" was almost FORTY years ago (that was around the time E.T., Tootsie, and Fast Times At Ridgemont High were in the movie theaters, and your Pink Floyd 'The Wall' cassette tape kept getting jammed in your Sony Walkman). It involved the perceived change in the attitude of a senior officer to a subordinate one, once their shared Masonic membership was discovered. Nothing concrete, mind you. 
Brian – now Lord – Paddick, in his autobiography, Line of Fire, disclosed that both he and and his father had been Freemasons. Paddick himself joined almost as soon as he could, at the age of 21, when he was already an officer working under an unpopular superintendent in west London. “I asked the superintendent if he was ‘on the square’ and his attitude changed completely; suddenly he became my best friend and showed me his Masonic regalia, the decorated apron worn in Masonic meetings … I found his complete volte-face quite disappointing but it was not the last time someone’s attitude to me was to change instantly when he discovered my Masonic links.” Paddick duly decided to give up attending Masonic meetings.
How traumatic it must have been for the poor sod for his superior (described by His Lordship as "unpopular," at least in his own humble opinion back when he was a humble plod) to discover they now had an outside activity in common. I can't imagine why any man branded as unpopular by his employees would warm up to anyone who had expressed nothing but scorn for him previously. But perhaps I'm simpleminded.

The other case was "as recently as" almost TWO DECADES ago. Here's how Campbell spins it:
As recently as 1999, a former detective and a Freemason, Duncan Hanrahan, was jailed for more than eight years for conspiracy to rob, supply drugs and pervert the course of justice. It emerged in his Old Bailey trial that he had used a fellow Freemason, who was a serving officer, to help him make contact with another officer, whom he tried unsuccessfully to bribe. And this came just three years after the home affairs select committee had announced: “We believe that nothing so much undermines public confidence in public institutions as the knowledge that some public servants are members of a secret society, one of whose aims is mutual self-advancement.”
Where the hell did Campbell get the cockeyed notion that the aim of Freemasonry is "mutual self advancement" in anything other than an individual's self-improvement of character and intellectual and philosophical knowledge? The answer is, he didn't. He's deliberately mischaracterizing the goal of the fraternity to suit his own twisted messaging and to pretend Freemasonry is really about job advancement and profiting financially. Huh. I somehow missed that part of the ritual. It's actually straight out of Stephen Knight's slanderous anti-Masonic fantasies from the 1980s. How did Campbell leave out the Jack the Ripper Masonic coverup, while he was at it?

Here's the serious pull-quote he's really trying to get to, in a clear reference to the Brexit controversy and the EU rules enforced by its Human Rights Commission and Court:
[I]n 2014, the then commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, said that it would be difficult under human rights legislation to make a register of membership compulsory, but he made it clear that “for me as a police officer, the secrecy of membership is a concern. I think police officers should be transparent: nothing to hide, then why not mention it? My view would be that you ought to be open about your associations.”
See, if only England could ditch those pesky EU-imposed protections of privacy and pass laws to specifically persecute people like Masonic police officers, lawyers, and judges over their private associations, everything would be just fine. Then once the Masons are purged, perhaps they could move on to getting rid of cops who are Manchester United fans, and then get to the members of tea cozy collectors' clubs... 

Here's the way Campbell sums up his little polemic:
If the public thinks that a secret handshake can still swing a prosecution and officers themselves feel that the same handshake can affect a promotion, then it is as clear as ever that membership of both bodies is incompatible. And it is time that all those officers who are Freemasons decided to “forgo the prospect of pleasure and social advantage” until they have left the service.
The ONLY reason the public has this toxic perception in the first place is because certain members of the press and opportunistic politicians have spent nearly 40 years beating this same meritless drum over and over. They brand Freemasons, on the one hand, as a doddering, dwindling collection of sad, old white men engaging in silly rituals behind closed doors of crumbling buildings, who have no reason to exist in a modern world. Yet, on the other hand, they treat Freemasons as an all-powerful secret society that pervades professions like the police departments and the judiciary, exchanging secret semaphore signals with criminals or accomplices to get each other promotions or to escape the strong arm of justice they so richly deserve.

So which is it—stupid dinosaurs on our collective death bed, or all-powerful manipulators who surreptitiously pick the winners and losers? The anti-Masons can't have it both ways, but they sure do huff and puff and keep trying to do just that

(Image shamelessly stolen from a particularly disgusting, lunatic fringe anti-Masonic website that I have no intention of linking to. They know how to contact me if they want to complain.)

UPDATE 1/3/2018, 1:00PM:

While the two Guardian anti-Masonic pieces went worldwide with their smears and got picked up by other news sources for global public consumption, the point of view of a London police officer, Police Federation chair, and a real live actual Freemason was most definitely not. No, that was left to reside on the relatively obscure PoliceProfessional.com website today, where few besides other police officers are ever liable to stumble on it. 

Ken Marsh is the chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation and was interviewed for the website. From "MPF chair: days of Masonic influence in policing ‘are just so far gone’":
Allegations that Freemasons are blocking reform and diversity in policing are unfair and untrue, according to the chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF).
Ken Marsh said he was “bewildered” by accusations that secretive cabals of Masons are preventing female and black and minority ethnic (BME) officers from reaching the top tiers of policing.
Mr Marsh, himself a Mason, claims he has never known colleagues exploit their membership of the society for personal gain or to prevent others progressing.
He was responding to allegations by former national federation chair Steve White, who recently said female federation representatives have approached him and raised concerns over the influence Masons hold in the service.
Three of the nine members of the MPF’s executive board are Freemasons.
“I’m really struggling to see how Freemasonry is hampering BME and female officers coming forward,” said Mr Marsh. “I have never seen anything like that in my tenure as chairman of the police federation and I have never seen anything like that in my service – and I’ve done 20-plus years. I’m just amazed by it.
“We have more BME and female fed reps than any other force in the country. Within our exec, 33 per cent are BME and 13 per cent are female. Across the whole of our fed reps, considering we’ve got 280, around 16 per cent are BME and 18 per cent are female.

“That’s far higher than the national statistics. Please tell me how this is supposed to be happening.”

Mr Marsh denies that Masons would be able to exert any influence in the MPF even if they wanted to as just 33 per cent of the executive board are members of the organisation.
He added that former MPF chair John Tully – another Freemason – did not help him get appointed as he “never even spoke to me".
“I would challenge anyone to say that I have ever tried to use the word ‘Freemasonry’ to achieve, obtain or procure anything within the work I do,” he said. “I am far too professional to consider something like that.
“As part of being a Freemason, I have raised over £1.3 million for charity and have been awarded an MBE for it. I have never, ever, seen anyone give me a foot up or any other rubbish that is being spoken about.
“It’s a little bit sad really. We are in 2018. Those days are just so far gone. We’ve moved heaven and earth… to make the federation more open, more public, and more available to the officers – as it should be.”
Chief Constable Martin Jelley, national lead for ethics and integrity, claims “it is clear that concern over real or perceived threat to impartiality of this has decreased”.

He added: “If convincing evidence ever came to light which clearly showed that Freemasonry was adversely affecting the integrity of the police service then we would take appropriate action.”

1 comment:

  1. All of these people racing to tarnish Masonic character. Don't they know that Masonic leaders always take the gold in that sort of event?

    Ethan Coker, Mark Master, Markedly Disgruntled


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