Anyone who knows me or reads my blog, will know that I’m quite open about my thoughts and feelings. Not that I set out on this path, but when The Sun newspaper tried to threaten me to stop my challenge against the Metropolitan Police or else – things changed for me, never being allowed to go back to a life of privacy.
I’m beholden to no man.
The conclusion of last week’s employment appeal hearing fighting the Police Commissioner once again, has left me feeling strange on many levels.
I’d been preparing for it – the court case – some 13 months, since I was aware that Scotland Yard was going to appeal the original employment court ruling. It’s hard to move on, when an organisation as powerful as the Met keeps on challenging everything you do with regards to fighting inequality within the Force.
I took myself away after the hearing, I guess to reflect on where I go from here.
Whilst I do, the High Court Judge who presided over the proceedings and his two independent lay colleagues will decide on whether the first court got it right or wrong with regards to how the MPS treated me at work – because, of my race and sexuality.
Whilst being away, I’ve had the time to think also about whether I do actually blame myself for any part of what went on within the police – the racism, the homophobia and the bullying and whether I let it happen. None of us are perfect, and I’m often the first to point out my own flaws. Hence, the reason I didn’t need The Sun newspaper to do this for me.
I guess too no one especially someone like me who has been so institutionalised in the British establishment with my cadet service and police service for some 24 years, wants to admit when things go wrong or do not turn out how you would reasonably hope them to be.
I knew challenging the police with discrimination wouldn’t be easy, as I’d served within the Constabulary since my early twenties and know how things go if you do.
But, history has shown that my zero tolerance approach to racism and homophobia got the better of me.
I had no choice, but to challenge that behaviour which I knew and know to be so wrong. Racism and all forms of hate, really do ruin lives.
I don’t feel sorry for myself at all, because if you play with fire (in fighting something like the Met Police) you get burned… really burned. I lost everything, through doing it.
I miss the relationship I had with Alex of 5-years, I miss my career, my home and my life – something, which I had worked hard to build up.
The Metropolitan Police Service took it all off me, in a blink of an eye. Because, I said ‘enough was enough’.
Some observers have said, my experiences will make me stronger. However, I would have preferred a much easier lesson.
I wasn’t anyone special, but a spectacular fall from grace in such a public and humiliating way – is how, I would describe the past few years.
I cringe when I think of my primary, secondary, college and university friends, reading about me and so forth. The people I used to live-by in Liverpool, Manchester and London. Colleagues, past and present. There’s nothing proud about it.
Fighting any form of discrimination is bad enough, but to then be ridiculed in a national tabloid is wrong – so wrong, on so many levels.
Only a handful of my closest friends have known (up until this blog) that, for the past few months I have lived in a hostel. I’m okay with it.
I went from security – a good job and career, relationship and the rest – to living out of a bag. A really bad film?
I’ve been offered a place to sleep by friends, but anyone who has ever gone through depression will know that… you have to keep hold of something – my independence (as opposed to pride) is that. The Met ‘will’ have WON, if I lose that.
I may never know why a mixed-race gay police detective with a so-called promising career ahead of him having raised discrimination within Scotland Yard and ‘them’ not dealing with it (the same problems still existing, 20-years on from the death of Stephen Lawrence), was strategically targeted at the Met’s regular Gold Group meetings where they planned what they would do to me and recorded it.
Maybe, after the publication of my book which records the meetings about me – I might get an answer, about why I became a credible threat to the organisation.
I wrote very recently that, whatever the Employment Appeal Judge decides about my treatment within the Met – I know what went on, which having read my memoir others may see.
If Mr Justice rules against me, it will no doubt be something the Commissioner will play upon. It will be something else, for him to add to his “we are no longer racist and/or homophobic” card.
I know, if I’d kept my mouth shut like so many minorities have to do in the Police Service – I would still be enjoying the privileges of holding The Office of Constable. I just can’t be bought, bribed or blackmailed – my failure.
Police Officers and Staff get away with discrimination because, UK Police Chiefs keep on denying the problems that exist within the service. In many ways, giving them a green card. And don’t get me wrong, there are many good police officers some who are my friends I could list.
Upon reflection, the fall-out from My Fight for Justice has been greater than I first thought. And, I know it will take more than a positive judgment for me to heal properly.
Some people whom I thought were friends have disassociated themselves with me, so as not to tarnish their reputation. And, I do get hate e-mail, but do I really care?
Ultimately, the ONLY person I am answerable to for my actions against the police is ME. I am the one who has to live with the choices I have made, and continue to make.
Things did get too much for Alex – I understand that – but for me, fighting discrimination has never been a part-time thing. By this I mean, I can’t just pick and choose those incidents of discrimination I prefer over others. All discrimination with the public service whoever or whatever you are, is wrong.
Backing down to the Met, would have questioned my integrity – ‘the boy who cried wolf’.
I still believe… The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
And, as My Mum‘s favourite song goes… Que Sera, Sera
This has been a… oops, I did it again, ‘View from the Bottom’.
Take care, Max x.
Live Healthy, Laugh Often & Love Yourself!
Published by My Mum. Copyright © Kevin Maxwell Film, Media & Performance 2013.