Wednesday, November 07, 2007

When you gotta go...

Todays news that Met chief Sir Ian Blair has refused to resign in the face of a vote of 'no confidence' by his own local Authority has a ring of familiarity to those of us who live in Devon.

Our own former Chief Maria Wallace went through a similar charade shortly before she departed for early retirement last year.

In the case of Sir Ian, there has been much more controversy than our Mrs Wallace with him rarely being out of the newspapers for saying or doing something shocking.

In 2005 Blair was involved in the police being "politicised" when he and other senior police officers lobbied MPs to support Government proposals to hold terrorist suspects for 90 days.

In 2006 He was in hot water over the Soham murders after accusing the media of being institutionally racist, he later had to apologise to the girls parents.

In March 2006 it was revealed that he had secretly taped several telephone conversations, most notably with the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.

In May 06 -when 78 police officers were involved in an operation to confiscate placards displayed by lone protester Brian Haw. Blair told his Police Authority that the operation had cost £7,000 when it had in fact cost £27,000

After the bungled anti-terrorist raid in Forest Gate, in June 2006 he was called on to resign; on top of the awful Stockwell shooting.

In my view Ian Blair made a tactical error by defending the legal action brought on health and safety grounds, made worse by the defence attempt to smear the deceased victim even further than they already had at the time .

There is a time in life for humility and I think his 'robust' defence of that action has damaged the standing of the Met - and that is why I feel he should resign.

It's a great pity that -like quite a few cabinet ministers recently, these senior figures seem so reluctant to take responsibility when things go awry in the organisations which they are so very well paid to lead.


Anonymous said...

Slightly off on the topic I know but have you visited the alternative

Marcus Wood said...

Yes, been there and done that.

Walter West said...

I think the problems for Sir Ian are threefold;

1) He has been involved in a number of controversies which, on their own, are easy to 'ride out', but which, when taken together, are somewhat more difficult so to do.,,2203304,00.html

2) Over the de Menezes issue he appears not to have been in control of the facts, and not to have put enough effort into checking the facts before talking to the media. Combine that with the fact that on his watch a number of processes appear to have been found wanting and doesn't look as if he is doing his job properly.

3) He tried to block the IPCC investigation - which, in my view, is the most serious issue.

Trying to block the IPCC investigation is, for me, arguably a resigning offence on its own, but when you combine it with the other issues I think the his position is somewhat untenable - which is a shame, because I don't like to see anyone lose their job.

He should resign now with some dignity rather than get forced out and humiliated later.

Stephen B said...

Look the issue over the menezes bloke is a non-issue. It was a simple, tragic mistake in a time of heightened tension due to terrorist outrages perpetrated not by outsiders but by our own citizens.

In the case of Menezes his legal status to reside here has never been fully explained. I do wish the Brazilians would stop whingeing on about our Poplice. In Rio their Police shot over 800 people last year alone.

Stop the hair shirt wearing Libby-Labby hand wringing and accept the fact their was a cock up but not a blow up like &th of July and move on.

The Mets Sir I.Blair deserves his job. I'd rather have him any day than that opinionated twerp Brundstrom from North Wales!