I have been poorly and I know that each and every one of you has been sending me your most positive vibes and I can report that the combined power of your energy has healed me...almost.
I will not discuss the details of my illness but needless to say I soldiered on very bravely and hardly mentioned the discomfort to anyone at all. Like all men I carry my pain as a badge of honour - silently suffering and smiling at the world.
Enough of this fantasy, let's get down to the nitty gritty...Coppers.
A Channel 4 documentary series concentrating on the policing of Nottinghamshire has become a real talking point in the town and on local media outlets...I avoided watching the programme because I guessed that it would be controversial other wise why would they show it? As usual I was correct.
Let me preface the rest of my remarks by stating that my previous employment and my links to family and friends who still serve in various Police roles does not stop me from offering up this totally unbiased and thoughtful dialogue on the nature of policing in the 21st century.
I was asked to contribute to a radio discussion on this matter and I declined because my health is still a little fragile and at my age I have to watch the old blood pressure you know!
Apparently the series has shown some officers dealing in a quite heavy handed way with members of the public as well as showing some very unsavoury members of the public abusing the Police - this is Channel 4 offering balance I suppose.
There have been calls for the Police to be respected because of the job they do and there have been answering calls for the Police to respect the community they serve and not to prejudge individuals because of the place they live.
I do think that demanding respect for the Police is stupid - I don't think you should respect an institution or an organisation. I do think you can respect people so I have no problem respecting individual Police Officers in the same way I respect anyone who has earned that respect.
Having witnessed what they used to call 'canteen culture' at first hand I also know how easy it is for Police Officers to get caught up in the received wisdom of those who have all the answers. It sometimes takes a lot of courage to stand against the prevailing Blue tide!
The question of respect does need answering though and I would much prefer that if people wanted to demand respect for anything they should start with a respect for the law. The problem is that those who do not respect the law and consequently the authority of the Police, probably have a lack of self respect too.
I know I frequently use Tesco as a tool in my lessons for life - but they give me so much ammunition I just have to make good use of it.
Mrs B and I were in Tesco the other day and we came across a group of teenagers who were very loud and very rude and they thought they were very funny, what they did not realise is that many other people who witnessed their behaviour just felt very sorry for them.
A short while later we saw a frustrated mother shouting in the face of her young child and using such language as to make Chubby Brown blush. Again, a feeling of sadness enveloped us as we considered what life holds in store for that mother and for that child.
It's like toppling dominoes, no doubt that young mother had been taught this behaviour by her own parents, if she was lucky enough to have them in her life. I already hear the calls of 'you don't understand how hard life is for some people'. Let me answer that point.
I was preparing a funeral for a lady who had died after living a good long life - 90 plus years. She had come from very humble beginnings and had never had much money but her daughter told me how she was always made to wash, keep clean, be neat and to say please and thank you. Old fashioned ideas and values I suppose, but as this lady always said to her daughter 'you don't need money to have manners'.
Where have these values gone? What has happened to self respect?
People are more interested in having a flat screen tv or designer training shoes.
So there we have it - there is more chance of getting a lesbian Pope than solving this issue. That's why we will see more riots and more Channel 4 documentaries and Mrs B and I will see more incidents in Tesco that I can then make fun of for you.
Police and the public - strange isn't it that you need to make the distinction?
Be well, and remember to wash, keep clean, be neat and say please and thank you.