EXCLUSIVE: A member of Lush’s Senior Management Team RESPONDS to the anonymous POLICE AUTHOR of the ‘I Lied’ note that went viral in the wake of Lush’s campaign

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5th June ’18  | Twitter @ES_Humour | Contact us |Visit our Website


 

A member of the Senior Management Team at Lush responds to our messages, and here’s what they said:

 


Following the campaign by Lush to highlight their concerns about the now-disbanded Special Demonstration Squad and the perceived political motivation for their work, we started to engage with Lush and ended up exchanging messages with a member of Lush’s Senior Management Team. 

The individual with whom we have been speaking, asked us not to name him/her and we always respect such requests from people who take the time to write to us. 

The words below are not an ‘official statement’ from Lush, rather, they are the personal views and opinion of someone who is at the top of Lush’s management. 

Whether you agree with the sentiment behind these words or not, most people will agree that it is always important to hear both sides to a story. 

The ‘blog’ which follows is in response to the ‘paid to lie’ blog that we shared earlier on this week


 

‘To the Police

To the unnamed Officer and author of ‘I Lied’

First its with deep respect that I write this. You have lived through events which I can not imagine.

You have been asked to do things that are unfair to ask of a human being and have done so under the utmost stress. You have had experiences that no one should have to endure and you have done this with a dignity which comes through in your eloquent writing.

Thank you for taking the time to recount and expose personal and professional sensitivities and to publish those for the world to see.

I appreciate deeply both the sacrifices you have made and your right to say these things.

I agree wholeheartedly, at no point should a Officer be threatened, made to feel intimidated or to suffer abuse.

To assure you, the campaign we have run wasn’t some cheap stunt that was given little thought and used to divide public from police.

It was an act of near despair.

There are a group of people who I also have deep respect for and who have suffered experiences they should never have been asked to endure.

They discovered that those closest to them, who they chose to share most intimate details with, were a systematic and deliberate fiction.

Imagine, that in following your orders, you were asked not just to perform these feats of human endeavour every day, but that your superiors encouraged you to form relationships to further illicit gain, political sway or to cover up abuses of power from within the system in which you work?

I can no sooner put myself in your shoes as I can the officers of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and other subsequent units, who were asked to sleep with activists to gain information for 30 years or more, or for those who suffered the ultimate indignity of being targeted. All I can do is be a part of an organisation that wants to help.


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As has been asked, what gives Lush as a company the right to get involved?

Well, firstly, we believe we are part of the civil society in which we operate. We have a clear company policy that we should contribute correctly to the tax regime of the UK and therefore, as a tax paying company and as tax paying citizens within it we feel obliged to act.

Secondly, we were approached at a point in time where the victims, acting through the organisations Police Spies out of lives and Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, felt such desperation that extreme measures were required if true justice is to be reached.

Through careful consultation a campaign was crafted to accurately convey just how it feels to have suffered a human rights abuse at the hands of not just rogue officers but a systematic abuse of power that was allowed to continue for decades.

The campaign held the same sensitivities you put so well, those of the balance of humanity, of dignity and of freedom of speech. To dissect the issue at hand, perhaps the controversial photograph in our windows that sparked outrage is best seen through former SDS Police Officer Peter Francis’ eyes, he supports the use of the ‘bobby on the beat’ image.

When he was recruited for service in the SDS he was an active constable. Was it poorly judged in respect to those in active service? My answer has to be, this is subjective.

In portraying the life cycle of an SDS Officer, the photo is accurate.

In ‘tarring all with the same brush’, that seems to have been an inflammatory issue and many of our staff, free to choose this campaign, have since removed the window posters due to concerns. That is their choice and they are fully justified in doing this.

In term of freedom of speech, an unsightly aspect of the campaign and one I had hoped wouldn’t have reared its ugly head is that of self-proclaimed ex-police officers and in some case active police appearing in stores to have ‘conversations’ about the campaign.


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In many instances, these have been ‘polite and constructive’ as Liz Grooms puts it.

Yet, as former chief crown prosecutor for North West England Nazir Afal, put its: “when those with power start to intervene in the employee/employer relationship, we should all be uncomfortable”.

I would tend to agree, love it or hate it, the campaign reaction has brought about a strange sense of double think.

In our Oxford St store, members of the public have been violent, with shop displays being pulled down in an ironic act of vandalism for those supporting Police work. Those wanting to uphold Police values through intimidation, those seeking to celebrate police work yet offering no comment on behaviour of SDS officers, this seems strange to me.

The heat this campaign has generated, no sane business would put themselves through. Why face the public backlash we’ve had?

Well, we believe it to be abhorrent that the time and energy of police officers could ever be deliberately diverted for illicit purposes.

The SDS made this error and have been publicly condemned by the Metropolitan Assistant Police Commissioner Martin Hewitt as “abusive, deceitful…and wrong”.

Our role in all of this has never been to alienate the police officers on whom we all rely in our hour of need. Instead, it has been to leverage our skills, time and passion for you all by supporting a small group of people who suffered a woefully unreported injustice at the hands of a very specific Group and who have thus brought shame on the good reputation of your profession.

In truth, the only way we can judge this campaign’s success is not through overwhelming public support or anger.

The only measure of success that matters in this decades long saga is whether the public enquiry into it will be expedient and exhaustive and deliver truth and justice for the victims, for the wider society and for the rest of the Police Force who were let down by this shameful episode.

If the enquiry is allowed to stall and this injustice remain, what others will too?

It may be sensible for the average ‘bobby’ not to mix politics with policing but as a member of civil society we wish to offer you protection that, when those in power lose their way, they will be brought to account.

Can you imagine a situation where that ceases to be the case?

As you protect us, we hope you will let us step in this time and do the same.

From a fan”.




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