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The Politics of the Police
The Politics of the Police
by Robert Reiner
Edition: Paperback
Price: 22.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An opportunity lost - Very worrying that this is a 'must read' for University students - why?, 2 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An opportunity lost and really worrying that this is allegedly a 'must read' for University students(!)
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To perhaps give this book its correct title I would suggest 'A summary of what has been written so far by other authors on Criminology'.

An opportunity has been lost here by an author (who has no less a standing than the position of Professor of Criminology at The London School of Economics) to write a meaningful work delivering new views and conclusions on this subject.

I would start by noting that anyone wishing to understand the 'Havard referencing' technique should go no further than purchase a copy of this book - it is literally packed full of quotations from other authors' works on the subject of Criminology.
Indeed of the 319 pages in this book, the last 55 consist of the Index, the Bibliography and References........just over a 6th of the book then by my maths.

It is worrying to me that this book is allegedly part of university reading on the subject of Criminology because if you read this without prior background knowledge to this modern day subject I believe you would be forgiven for actually believing what is written here......................please don't, and here's why:-

It paints in my view a damaging portrait of the police service of today and actually delivers no useful,fresh ideas but instead churns out quotations from other books that have been written over the past 100 years - which I suppose saves you having to buy all of those books to look on the positive side(!)

For example, you would expect or hope that an author giving such detailed views on the police service and offering quotations from police officers in the text would perhaps have spent some time with police officers - sufficient enough to try and understand the pressures faced by all junior ranks and make some effort to try and get to know officers as human beings instead of presenting them as anonymous words on his pages - not particularly praise worthy words I might add either.

There is no evidence within this book to suggest the author has been on (at least) any form of journalistic attachment with the police service which he professes to know so much about (mainly negative, feeding the same stereotypical images that are banded around on news paper inside pages); indeed the references to 'cop quotes' achieved by this author are cited as being from the 1970s(!)

Now forgive my apparent naivety here, but how can an author in all seriousness deliver a book (or yet another re-print as this one is)in 2013 based on research and 'interviews' with 'cops' (as the author rather patronisingly calls police officers)that were carried out 40 years ago and have the audacity to deliver this as 'up to date' research!

A typical example here:- Chapter four (on police culture) is littered with references to quotations from police officers the author has allegedly achieved in the 1970s on 'cop culture' (as he calls it). Well, Professor Reiner surely you will agree that the police SERVICE (yes, note the word 'Service' here and not 'Force' as you wrongly state in your book,it's changed to that - you didn't know?)is some 40 years older.

Those officers whom you widely quote are very probably (in fact certainly will be) retired by now - and some while ago at that.

The Service today is a very different 'animal' than the one your out of date (content wise) book wrongly portrays, taking absolutely no account of the fact that the modern day police officer bears almost no resemblance to those you allegedly interviewed 40 years ago. Attitudes have changed, the young person of today and a few years ago who will join and have joined the Service are totally different to the minority of officers you interviewed 40 years ago (and stereotyped the force of those days with their quotes) - perhaps you achieved some positive quotes in the 70s but chose not to publish them in this out of date book - who knows, but I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Universities please note:-
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If this book in all seriousness remains on the 'reading list' for Criminology students (I only hope it's not on the list for those undertaking the Police Studies degree otherwise we really have 'lost the plot' here) then please be advised that the book relies on 40 year old quotations, allegedly achieved by Mr Reiner (read chapter 4 as an example) - and only those quotations selected by him. 'Amazingly' these quotes are all negative, fitting the 'image' described and totally tarnishes the modern day police officer I believe in the eyes of the reading public - there is no counter argument presenting the modern day picture ('modern as in 15-20 years ago).

Clearly, this is not only a tragedy for those officers serving today (and I'm not by the way in case you're wondering),who go out each day and deliver a service to the public, but also these are surely totally out of date and academically useless quotations anyway which only serve to soil the minds of the reading public (and clearly students are one sector of the 'public')giving a totally negative and altogether false impression of our modern day police service.

Mr Reiner - I encourage you to severely update chapter 4(!) I will willingly assist you (if it's really necessary) with my professional knowledge if you are unable (or just unwilling) to get out of your very own 'ivory tower' and carry out some up to date, and therefore academically worthwhile,(reading/learning-wise) interviews.

When producing 'yet another reprint' of a book then surely common sense dictates that all material in there needs to be 'bang up to date' - for the benefit of those using such a book as a study aid - and as a sign of respect to those who may decide to spend 20 and read it.

After all this is not a novel that can remain in 'tablets of stone' unchanged over the decades - your content is in my view politically and professionally damaging to those who currently serve in the police service (chapter 4 and others)and shows absolutely no respect for the effort the police service have made(and are still making)to refresh policing styles, to try and change the attitudes of a core grouping of the public and, to police officers themselves.

The new recruit of today (let alone those 10,15 even 20 years ago) would be horrified on reading chapter 4 and other areas of the book and would I'm sure be the first to form a queue (when off duty of course) outside of your office and present themselves as prospective candidates for interview (with their C.C.'s permission of course!)and you would do well to take off your 40 year old blinkers and realise that you've missed an opportunity here and done a huge disservice to our modern day officer by re-printing chapter 4 without meaningful update.

For example, wouldn't it have been interesting to read a contrast of views in this chapter with one half being alleged quotations from the 1970s mirrored by up to date quotations from serving officers - this would really show any difference in views and be therefore worth studying.

Also, I am mystified regarding your inclusion of your research and quotes from the police in the USA in this book - Robert, what on earth are they doing in this book? Not only are they similarly way out of date (yes, the 70s) but are (allegedly) representative of members from a police 'FORCE' which routinely carry firearms, which polices a community that 'has the right to bear arms' and is a force which probably has one of the worst track records for clear ups and complaints in the western world.....................get rid of those quotes please Robert - they're certainly not representative of policing in the UK and that's what this book is all about isn't it? maybe they're in there to flesh out the book - can't think of any other reason can you folks?

I am quite aware that no sooner is a book published (or re-published as is yours) something occurs in society sooner or later that may render the book's content out of date, but using 40 year old quotations to portray the modern police service does beggar belief and surely no one can take such an author seriously. I would like to know why if is there is a counter argument here.

Indeed this is akin to me writing a book about the modern day London Zoo without having bothered to have even visited the Zoo in the first place but just instead read 40 year old books about it..................not a good way to learn your subject here Robert before writing a book on it would you say?

Universities please note.

Also and sadly, the same old stereotypical negative stories that have been churned out over the years are within these pages about how police have performed, references to corrupt practice and miscarriages of justice. They are told with different words but you almost feel like yawning and saying 'oh not again.............'

Whilst, clearly, it is right and proper to make the uninformed public aware of these it is also very worthy to add that these issues represent a tiny minority of those serving in the police service, and, what Mr Reiner perhaps doesn't appreciate is that the public, when reading these accounts sometimes have difficulty in separating today's police with those discussed in the scandalous incidents which he has tended to focus on.

I would also have expected this author to have researched certain areas in the police service that are perhaps not widely know by the public and which could certainly do with some attention, some of these being:-

1)The police appraisal system run within the service evaluating officers' performance and what this is based upon

2)The level to which the service as a whole has been immersed, since July 2005 (the 7/7 bombings), in what will undoubtedly be a long drawn out effort to counter the terrorist threat which arrived on our shores post 9/11 and how this has seriously diverted police staffing levels away from the normal duty of reducing crime.

3)Also, no effort has been made to paint any form of image of how the police service has positively served the public in what are undoubtedly the most dangerous times to be a police officer, I would imagine.

4)The manner in which Constabulary staffing levels have not increased despite the increased population in certain counties due to the influx of migrants from the EU........................and other modern day challenges facing the service.

These issues all really do fall within the broad heading of 'politics and the police' as it is the government who hold the purse strings of the budget - a budget where the police in England and wales are constantly being expected (not asked) by the government to 'do more with less' all the time.

It is also worthy to note the difficulties that managers in the police face when having to police, knowing what is needed, but then having to convince those in government of what policing is all about at 'grass roots' level and how delivering on certain policing styles takes longer than overnight.

I did find myself at times utterly convinced that this author just didn't know his subject (i.e. the modern police) and there is an area on page 33 that is almost laughable in its lack of understanding of Borough Command structures (of the Metropolitan Police Service).

Page 34,to me, has an area within it that just shows a total lack of understanding of the Community Policing model and the dynamic of ward policing where one ward can be the 'victim' of another ward's criminals (a ward being a council boundary within and London Borough or in a County).

The book, to use the phrase again, 'paints a picture' of the police service but from a clear outsider's perspective and shows quite clearly to me that the author has absolutely no idea of day to day strategies, what they are based upon, why and the levels of success constantly being achieved by an understaffed, under budget service with over worked officers - 96% of whom are hard working, ethical professionals who are not sexist and who are not racist - public, please note here.

The opportunity then has been lost to deliver an accurate picture of the police service and not the one shown on the T.V. every night in the various inaccurate dramas played out to a 'believe-all' TV public.

Again, where is the references within this book that show Professor Reiner has met and spoken with former Home and Shadow Home Secretaries - not a difficult task to have done and one you would expect surely so that views and statistics can be discussed and opinions gleaned.
This has clearly not been the case - why on earth not I ask, there are no excuses.

If you are going to deliver a book on this subject then you at least go to those responsible for the matters that you attempt to write about. Again, I reiterate the fact that this book is essential reading for University students studying Criminology, well I can only think that this is because it could be debated about due to its slant and distinct lack of 'pure first hand knowledge'.

'Pure first hand Knowledge' is first hand related knowledge within a book that comes from those who the author attempts to write about and is fact - this is obtained, surely, by going to the organisations and groups that you wish to write about isn't it?

Sadly, that's just not the case here, instead just book after book after book is quoted - this isn't the kind of material where you can actually say the author knows what he's talking about because all the book turns out to be is a collection of other authors' books - or the best bits or the bits the author wishes you to read let's say.

To any university considering this book for your future courses I ask the question:- 'What makes you believe this book is the 'oracle' on this subject and sufficiently enough in fact for you to allow your students to read, study and believe its contents'?

Please be advised, this book is simply not good enough in standard of content.

It would have been refreshing if the book, for example, contained several vignettes from interviews the author had gone to the trouble of conducting with past Commissioners of the Met, Borough Commanders and junior managers to offer some form of balanced opinion on some of the areas the author has attempted to cover.

Unlike Roger Graef's excellent 'Talking Blues' (1989) (which consists of a collection of interviews from serving officers throughout England and Wales) Professor Reiner's book presents a fait a complete viewpoint (backed up with the many quotations from other books of course) and leaves the reader believing that this is the case - university students please note, it isn't - don't believe it.......

Another area where this book fails completely is the over use of 'VERY LONG words' - to a degree where you just can't help but think that this is done for effect. I found myself reading sentences and then stopping and thinking to myself 'now what on earth did all of that mean'?

I just hope the centre for Plain English never gets hold of this book because they would have an absolute field day with it.

I shudder to think how students for whom English is not their first language, will cope with the grammar which this book is unnecessarily written.

There two types of writing - one where one writes to inform (which should be the case here, clearly!) and the second where one writes to impress based on knowledge of grammar - well in my view Mr Reiner is in the latter, not the former here.

Have an attempt at reading this and hopefully you will get a very quick idea of just exactly what I mean here - and this is the Fourth Edition! Have a copy of the Oxford dictionary with you at all times when reading this.................you will, I'm sure understand my point very quickly once you begin to read this book(!)

If you have to buy this book then good luck but don't believe all you read here - where is the co-author (because one is certainly needed - who should be a former Home Secretary or Management level police officer), there isn't one! Why not?

Instead it's written by someone who no doubt has a good grasp on the contents of the Oxford English Dictionary (in fact he may have written it!)but no inside viewpoint about the very serious matters which he professes to offer serious opinion on - ask yourself why..............then go and write your 2000 essay on this subject.

Thanks Mr Reiner, an entertaining read, but my advice to you is to perhaps that you really should leave the university occasionally,get out more and meet those whom you profess to have knowledge on and attempt to write and inform people about..................that way I'm sure people will take you a bit more seriously instead of just showing that you've read a great deal on the subject of Criminology - we can all do that.

The subject of Criminology is still a relatively 'young subject', you will find the backbone of the research for such a subject must focus on two areas of our society - these being the criminal fraternity themselves and then the police. The grey area in between will be filled by input from psychologists and sociologists I would guess.

Because of the fact that it's a relatively 'young', relatively unexplored subject you will find there are several books on the subject but generally they are written by the same authors - they have found a 'niche' here and because those authors have all read the same books (written by each other) they perhaps believe they have the subject bolted down and then go and write another book on it - look at the books already in print, the same 'old' authors?

Time for some fresh, realistic ideas I think....................

The method of writing a book using the contents of others' works is fine to a point but doesn't 'deliver' with new and innovative ideas because the book being written just refers in it's pages to existing work on the subject - this can be viewed quite rightly as a 'lazy' way to write a book instead of doing some of that but also filling your volume with brand new research achieved 'from the coalface' after speaking with the 'main players'.

I would very much like to see one of these authors doing just that and I would be then interested in reading their findings instead of just buying the latest edition of this book which presents existing knowledge, written slightly differently, with a few new celebrated bits of information but nothing that you and I couldn't have gleaned from the daily papers really.

Good luck with the 5th edition Mr Reiner - it would indeed be nice to see some useful research and deletions to have occurred in the next imprint and then perhaps my review will read slightly more favourably and then probably you may find your book back on the university reading list - I would suggest it's shortly to drop off from there.................watch this space!

Sincerely,

Mr Ash.


Blue Horizon
Blue Horizon
Price: 10.84

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wishbone Ash fans - Don't waste your money on this one.......................really!!, 26 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blue Horizon (Audio CD)
Dear Wishbone Ash fans,

I bought this CD as I am a Wishbone Ash fan and became a fan after listening to the original band's first four albums which are some of the greatest albums ever put together by a rock band........but you will of course know this already.
This incarnation of Wishbone Ash has as its front man one of the original band - Andy Powell......you will probably already know this as well.
The 'new' music produced by this current line up is a poor relation to that from the original 70s line up and if it wasn't for the fact that Andy Powell had acquired the rights to the name 'Wishbone Ash' through a 'copyright case' then, as you probably also know, there would be 2 versions of the band 'legally' playing our favourite 'old' Ash music - live.

Sadly that isn't the case and it is us fans who have had to 'suffer'. This album is so dire and the song writing in my opinion so poor that I will attempt to sell this CD on Ebay for a couple of quid any time soon, so don't waste your money - it's rubbish. You heard that first from a true 'Wishbone Ash fan' - and we're allowed opinions Andy by the way before you try and sue me(!)

I mean look at the song writers - Aynsley Powell? Yes, Andy's son - this is the same Aynsley Powell by the way who shouted at me at the merchandise stall in Hamburg a couple of years ago after the 'Fabrik' gig 'You've got some front wearing that' - referring here to a Wishbone Ash T shirt I was wearing which just happened to have one Martin Turner's signature/autograph at the top near the neck.
Don't take your grievances out on your fans otherwise you may lose them - I gave a suitable 2 syllabelled reply to young Powell who 'did a runner' from the stall....................don't try that one again Aynsely over here in the UK with some of the fans mate otherwise things may get a bit uncomfortable.....nuff said!
Anyway, back to this CD - yes, the songwriting (or lack of it!) - I'm sorry it's just so amateurish, the music such drivel and the only song that I found worth listening to (but only once) was the last track as it bears a close resemblance to the last track of that wonderful Argus album - Ahh yes, Argus.....those were the days Andy.
Anyway, I must qualify my remarks about this album but I really can't find the rights and polite words to allow me to do this - either you'll buy this drivel and wish you hadn't or you'll remember a few of the other albums by this line up and decide not to waste your money - your call here.
I must say though, I do find it odd when there could be 2 Wishbone Ash bands touring under nearly the same name with the potential to sell lots of CDs on the back of fine concerts but for reasons unknown to us fans this can't be allowed.....as a fan don't you find this sad? I mean REALLY sad - 'cos I do.
As fans though, we can do something about this can't we? After all we bought the records in the first place - shouldn't we have some say in all this? I guess not, money rules, the music biz is not a nice business to stay friends in it appears and your mates one day won't be your mates the next - how very sad.
See you at the next 'Martin Turner plays the music of Wishbone Ash' concert then eh?
Yours...........................Mr Ash.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2014 9:00 PM BST


Elegant Stealth
Elegant Stealth
Offered by RareGroove
Price: 7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, fitting addition to the 'classic' Wishbone releases., 23 Oct 2013
This review is from: Elegant Stealth (Audio CD)
This really is a cracking album of music. Wishbone Ash in the form of Andy Powell, Muddy Manninen,Bob Skeat and Joe Crabtree have delivered an album here that I believe exceeds the high standards Wishbone Ash reached with their 'Bonna Fide'album.
The compositions on Elegant Stealth are carefully crafted and very well put together and no track on the album 'overstays it's welcome'.
The album does not pretend to be an 'Argus' or a 'Pilgrimage' and this is precisely why you won't find anything like 'Phoenix' on here. Instead there are great guitar licks (definitely not 'predictable') and these are played by two 'masters of the axe' (surely, by anyone's standards) - Messrs Powell and Manninen.
Mr Don Airey(yes!) plays a truly great Hammond cameo appearance on the 'Mud Slick' track, superbly duelling with Mr Powell/Manninen's guitars - one of my personal favourites. Wishbone Ash have truly 'moved with the times' here and not made the mistake of trying to re-produce something they did to a 5 star standard with, say, Argus. When reviewing an album it is often very difficult to perhaps review 'objectively' and not be influenced by what you feel something 'could' or perhaps 'should' have been and this is why I can strongly recommend this record/CD to you. The reason I say this is because I have been a Wishbone ash fan for many years now and whilst I appreciate hearing 'Argus' and other early gems very regularly I know that those masterpieces (because that's what their first 3 albums are - believe me) cannot and should not be 'copied'. It is the sign of a band confident in their own identity who 'moves on' and takes that risk - here it is very well realised.
For diehard 'Ash' fans, try to look at 'Elegant Stealth' as coming from a band that has truly moved forward after 'slogging'(with Andy Powell)the musical highway of the last 40 years and touring pretty much non-stop throughout that period.
The slick compositions, producing and mastering of this music go hand in hand with the fact that anything on this album CAN BE PLAYED 'LIVE' - a sign of any great band I'm sure you will agree.
Listeners 'new' to Wishbone Ash can rest assured that you will be hearing here an album played by true experts in the field who have truly been there, done it and got the T-shirt. For a band with that heritage (maintained with Mr Powell at the helm) to produce an album like this and to claim they are 'under the radar' (as they modestly do) then this is your chance to listen to some Classic Rock, beautifully played.


Snow Goose (plus Insert) [VINYL]
Snow Goose (plus Insert) [VINYL]
Price: 20.67

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camel's masterpiece., 23 Oct 2013
A great piece of music based upon the 'Snow Goose' story. I write this review after just having seen Andy Latimer and his band play this album in it's entirety (plus other pieces)during their 'sell out' European tour.
I already had a copy of this work on vinyl and for those reading this who haven't yet invested in this great music on vinyl, then I really do urge you to do so. Several 'modern' musical masterpieces are available from the early 70s - Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon', Wishbone Ash's 'Argus', any early Genesis album (really) to suggest just a few, and it is my belief that The Snow Goose certainly deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as any of those.
I say this because of what I believe is the sheer majesty of the music that you will hear when you have this LP on your deck. The music really hits the sensitive notes of one's soul and cannot really be compared with anything else other than in it's level of excellence (as mentioned above).
Clearly, this is no heavy rock album and so lovers of heavy rock will be disappointed on hearing this music - instead it is a musical story and takes the listener on a journey through the story of the album's title. The music is both sensitive and in a way spiritual and is the kind of record that you could hand on to anyone with an ear for beautifully played electric guitar music(Andy Latimer of Camel). Peter Bardens and Andy Latimer co wrote the whole score and it is a fitting tribute to the late Peter Bardens (as well as of course to Andy Latimer) that this music is now being given the level of recognition that it really deserves. If you can, try and see Andy Latimer and his band playing this 'live'. This LP is true to the original score and is complete with the original 'insert'. Your money here will be well invested - you will not be disappointed!!
Regards and very happy listening to you all...........................Simon.


In the Name of Glory: 1976 the Greatest Ever Sporting Duel
In the Name of Glory: 1976 the Greatest Ever Sporting Duel
by Tom Rubython
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, well told, lovely photographs!!, 8 Oct 2013
I recommend this book! I believe you will agree that this work covers the thrilling duel between Lauda and Hunt comprehensively and shows a clear insider's understanding, by the author, of what went on. There is of course a feature film currently showing at cinemas covering the same subject matter. I must point out however that this book was published well before the film was launched (it was printed in 2011). This author's style will appeal to most as it does not lose the reader in a maze of facts, figures and jargon, like so many books can on what is after all a fairly specialised subject matter. The fact that this subject matter and the story of these two racing heroes contained within is 'in vogue' with the general public at this time is of course due to the feature film currently showing at cinemas, and I would recommend this book to both those who have seen the film as well as those contemplating seeing it because the book will help to further understand the 1976 Formula 1 season in all it's glory. The book also has a very insightful Foreword from John Watson - a close friend of both Lauda and Hunt as well of course as being one of the finest F1 drivers of that period. Inevitably, there are existing works on the market on this subject and there will no doubt be further releases on the run up to Christmas, but I feel this book deserves your attention as it paints a detailed account of what happened in a very readable style. The book is also beautifully illustrated with images from one of F1's greatest photographers............Go enjoy - I did!!


Rush to Glory: FORMULA 1 Racing's Greatest Rivalry
Rush to Glory: FORMULA 1 Racing's Greatest Rivalry
by Tom Rubython
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.08

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly excellent read!, 7 Oct 2013
I recommend this book! Despite a rather unhelpful review elsewhere on this page I believe you will agree that 'Rush to Glory' covers the thrilling duel between Lauda and Hunt comprehensively and shows a clear insider's understanding, by the author, of what went on. There is of course a feature film out at this time covering the same subject matter. I must point out however that this book appears to have been prepared for re-print in paperback well before the film was launched - I have the hardback version (it was printed in 2011). However, with any good author who is 'in tune' with their subject matter, it is perhaps not surprising that this paperback is 'around' at the time of a feature film on the same subject. I would suggest however that this book came first.
This author's style will appeal to most as it does not lose the reader in a maze of facts, figures and jargon, like so many books can on what is after all a fairly specialised subject matter. The fact that this subject matter and the story of these two racing heroes contained within is 'in vogue' with the general public at this time is of course due to the feature film currently showing at cinemas, and, I would recommend this book to both those who have seen the film as well as those contemplating seeing it because the book will help to further understand the 1976 Formula 1 season in all it's glory. The book also has a very insightful Foreword from John Watson - a close friend of both Lauda and Hunt as well of course as being one of the finest F1 drivers of that period. Inevitably, there are existing works on the market on this subject and there will no doubt be further 'new' releases on the run up to Christmas, but I feel this book deserves your attention as it paints a detailed account of what happened in a very readable style. The book is also beautifully illustrated with images from one of F1's greatest photographers............Go enjoy - I did!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 18, 2013 4:40 AM GMT


Forever Young: A Life of Adventure in Air and Space
Forever Young: A Life of Adventure in Air and Space
by John Young
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 21.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great astronaut biog., 10 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I would recommend this book to all those who have interest in the early astronauts and moonwalkers. Those in the know will appreciate John Young's career includes Gemini, Apollo and STS flights. Five stars without hesitation for this book! You won't be disappointed.


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