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Blair, excuses: told you so

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Oct. 3rd, 2008 | 10:08 pm

I said that the spin would be that the ousting of Ian Blair was an appalling demonstration of political interference in policing, and here we go:
Mr Bettison, who joined the police in 1972, had been viewed as a possible candidate for the role of Met commissioner.

But on Friday he released a statement saying he was "staying put" and warning there could be "dangerous consequences" if chief constables were increasingly unable to act independently.

"I am not prepared to set aside my professional judgement and integrity, forged over 36 years, in order to meet short-term political expediency," he said.

"The dislodging of Ian Blair is a demonstration of political will. Along this road lies danger. I am therefore staying put."

Mr Bettison said any chief constable who, like Sir Ian, lost the confidence of his Police Authority was inevitably "a lame duck".

"The real threat lies in the ambition which seems to be shared by all three major political parties at the moment," he said.

"The determination to make the police service more accountable to elected representatives. What that means is bringing the police service under greater political control."
And that would all be fine apart from the fact that it was Sir Ian who actually started the whole political influence thing. Given that he was transparently New Labour's man, it's hardly surprising that Boris would have tried to kick him out, as much as he was able - lord knows I can't stand Boris but what on earth would anyone expect? It wasn't just the Mayor that lost confidence in him either, it was the public and rank-and-file officers, too.

Play politics in a position, and you make that position a political one. You can't blame Boris for bringing politics into this when they were already there.

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Comments {2}


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from: janinazew
date: Oct. 4th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)

"it was the public and rank-and-file officers"

That's as much of a politicisation! We (the public) have no idea how many rank and file officers lost their confidence in him, it could have been 10% or 80%. Even then how many people have real confidence in their management? It all seems like stuff and nonsense, basically he didn't want to do the job anymore for one reason or another- big deal.

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from: fridgemagnet
date: Oct. 4th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)

I don't think that's a politicisation... I'm not sure of the exact attitude of the actual police, not being one, but all the coppers that I've heard express an opinion, net and RL, were spitting blood at the name, consistently seeing him as a useless self-advancing politician rather than caring about policing. How representative that is who knows, and the opinion of the rank and file probably wouldn't have made a vast amount of difference anyway.

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