I HAVE faith that the case brought against Chief Inspector Mark Ling must have been well considered in reaching an outcome.
Accordingly, I do not recognise him as a victim in the way P. Anderson’s letter in last week’s Observer sympathetically portrays him by asserting there is no harm with engaging regular jokes of a certain type, in the guise that they amount to totally harmless fun. Perhaps it is the way P. Anderson tells them!
Nevertheless, I would be shocked to learn if any decent employer tolerated such behaviour.
Speaking from personal experience, when I worked as a very busy caseworker for our MP, I never ever found the time or inclination to partake in joke-distribution at work, and least expect to encounter anything racially derogatory associated with anyone holding a professionally responsible position.
Thankfully, we live in a country in which racial discrimination is outlawed. It is therefore reassuring that even a policeman finds he is not above reproach. P. Anderson seems to subscribe to and thrive upon comedy based on tragedy but somewhat bizarrely finds need to remind us only that Mark Ling is human.
Surely we are all deserving of mutual respect, dignity and kindness. We ought to expect the highest calibre stewards serving in public office to uphold impeccable standards of honesty, integrity and to always seek to discourage acts of discrimination against the vulnerable, that they seek to offer protection, and never actively align themselves in support of the cause of any perpetrator obviously willing to use material of a derogatory nature to incite discrimination against citizens.
The only point I would agree with P. Anderson on is that public money ought not to be wasted.
Mark Ling is very fortunate that he was not dealt with more severely for being breach of the trust place in him. At least a public apology from him could have shown some sign of remorse, to indicate the human side of policing.
DAVID DA SILVA