SWA was going to post about a badly written article from Beijing, China about the Beijing Government cracking down on radio use by forcing registration of transmitters using power higher than 0.5 watts, but found something more worthwhile.
Today, a feature SWA calls "Retroblast", focusing on the old Laughing Policeman Wireless Society. This club is now defunct, but back in time it was a significant group that took on the challenge of having fun on the amateur bands with a focus on bring into the light, contradictory policy making and enforcement of contradictory policy involving radio amateurs in the U.K.
Bad behavior should never be condoned on the amateur bands, but sometimes bad behavior and law breaking carries with it the value of humor. This by no means excuses such law breaking, but we all know that funny is funny!
LPWS got into some pretty hilarious hijinks. ShortwaveAmerica recently spoke with the webmaster for The Laughing Policeman Wireless Society SWA was interested in the history of this organization, it's culture, and how it found itself involved with a certain former U.K. Police SGT they call "The Looney", as well as hearing about some of their funniest / most entertaining moments. SWA wanted to know the how and why of the demise of this club in addition to all of this.
G8ASO kindly honored a request for information, and it turns out the joke was on two whole entities using sharp tact & expert manipulation in nothing other than a spirit of humorous monkey business mixed with a desire to teach a specific group of intimidating U.K amateurs a lesson!
"The club doesn't really exist any more, as amateur radio is nearly dead in the UK now. The licence is free now and the examination so easy a monkey that can use a pen can pass it.
The website remains to basically upset the original opponents and campaigners etc.
No one can really give an interview, the club was always thought to be larger than it was, like a play on radio, the pictures are better than TV, so we were able to manipulate the "hard of thinking" into believing there was more to it than there was, even the authorities were impressed with our "Intelligence Network" which didn't exist!
The club name comes from an early song by Charles Penrose, which becomes extremely annoying on repeaters, here it is : Laughing Policeman MP3
Basically, the club came about because several of us were fooling about on a repeater, and we got threatening telephone calls from other radio amateurs who had no business becoming involved and no authority to even voice an opinion. What do you do? Take notice and let them think you have been intimidated, or prove, beyond a shadow of doubt, that you couldn't care less? Well, we managed that alright."
If this isn't funny, ladies & gents...what IS? This whole LPWS endeavor involved genius level thinking & execution.
Some events from LPWS history One LPWS member who played a tune on the amateur bands that is now famous because of the media coverage pointed out that while he was in court, someone who committed a physical assault involving injury to another person was fined less money than he was ordered to pay by the court in his case and he had injured no one, nor had he even threatened violence.
Who's Afraid of The DTI?
ShortwaveAmerica will now direct you to Spot The Looney which is NSFW (Not Safe For Work or School) just adding that as a courtesy for the readers although it's a true story which is so funny that even Howard Stern could never surpass it with all of his stunts! Known as "Golf Zero Mike Alpha Looney", Sgt. Bowden went and got himself into the mix and ended up getting exposed for his efforts.
According to the page, Bowden even got in hot water with his Department for wearing his uniform while he was suspended from the force, and faced police impersonation charges. The Department had to write an apology for Bowden's conduct which is featured at the site. There is even a couple of MP3 links that allegedly contain Bowden speaking as if he were off his rocker.
No information was made available to SWA about how and why LPWS folded.
Thank you, G8ASO, for allowing ShortwaveAmerica to feature LPWS here and provide some comic relief for all who read!