Philobiblon: Goodbye Sir Ian Blair

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Goodbye Sir Ian Blair

Fearless prediction of the day: Sir Ian Blair, Chief of the Metropolitan Police (London), won't be in his post in a month. That follows his astonishing inept handling of the aftermath of the shooting of the innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes.

It probably won't be the disgraceully hysterical policing that led to the shooting down of an innocent man by police that does for him - though it should. The inquiry will be dragged out long enough, and the water muddied enough (where did those CCTV tapes go?) that the media will have him out before then for his personal actions. (This post* does an excellent job of outlining what went wrong, so I won't go over this ground again.)

But the man who keeps questioning why "so much fuss" is being made over the police shooting rather than the criminal bombings (Excuse me - you're the state and you killed one of your own citizens for no reason at all) and who makes an unbelievable joke of his response when told - he says 24 hours after the shooting on learning of the mistake he thought "Houston, we have a problem" - is sure to keep making so many errors that the politicians already emerging like football chairmen to express "total confidence in the manager" will soon be changing their tune.

There's only one thing I'm worried about. I'm agreeing with Tim Hames. That's never happened before.

* Found on Britblog Roundup No 27, in which yours truly also has a humble part.


Blogger Kate said...

It was when the politicians started sticking up for him and giving him their full support that I began to believe his career was doomed.

Sadly it will be because he has become an embarrassment and a liability to Labour, not because of his shocking behaviour, and he'll probably be found something else to do instead.

8/24/2005 10:58:00 am  
Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

Honestly, Natalie, you are less than true to yourself in this rush to judgment and condemnation. Of course there are stories and rumours all over the place and of course policemen and journalists are chatting as disinterestedly as ever. There is also a proper inquiry which may sift out some truth. Our police have faults and like doctors their cock-ups are most egregious than the errors the rest of us make, but they do have also, most of them, I suspect, values, qualities and often courage which we are going to need if terrorist attacks continue. So when things go wrong do let us remember the presumption of innocence and try to discover how and why they went wrong before summoning the firing squad. And I really cannot see why Sir IB shpuld not have said, "Houston, we have a problem" I should have said much the same or something less printable And he isn't the state either, just a glorified constable. There are interesting questions in the central controlco ntrol of "independent" constables.

Kindest thoughts for the future. I hope that you will continue to educate, entertain and occasionally enrage me.

8/24/2005 05:31:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

I'll try to keep "enraging" you, at least occasionally :-)

Seriously. He was the man in charge when things went horribly, horribly wrong. If anyone needed to keep their heads in July it was the Met Police, and they demonstrably, on what we already know to be fact, didn't. The boss has to take responsibility.

8/25/2005 01:56:00 am  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home