Thursday, November 01, 2007

Blair must go

Peter Oborne explained in his recent book that one of the defining characteristics of the "political class" was the belief that their continuance in office is more important than any quaint notions of accountability for organisational failure. We saw it with Tony Blair when he refused to resign in the wake of the Butler Inquiry despite its devastating finding that intelligence on Iraqi WMD was distorted, and now we're seeing it with his namesake Sir Ian Blair over the equally damning de Menezes verdict.

David Davis, Nick Clegg and Iain Dale are right. He should go. Am I the only person who finds it both surprising and depressing that it is a Labour Government that should be seeking to defend him?

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Barnacle Bill said...

Paul have you been wearing those rose tinted glasses again?
Honour & responsibility seem to be the two main talents lacking in a NuLabor politician.
They sold their souls to the devil to become electable.
Not to defend Sir Ian Blair would mean they would be accountable for their own attacks on our freedoms.
It's sad to say it, but the hopes promised by the election of NuLabor have turned out to be a poisoned chalice for the British public.

The Half-Blood Welshman said...

"Am I the only person who finds it surprising and depressing that it is a Labour Government that should be seeking to defend him?"

Very probably. Remember, Blair was an all-New Labour appointment, a smooth, oily administrator who knows nothing about his job.

And as for "A Labour Government" defending its own: shall I list, Robinson (2ce) Mandelson (2ce) Blunkett (2ce) Byers, Sainsbury, Blair, Brown (both of the last, for the Ecclestone affair in 1997) Cook and Hewitt, all of whom were defended even when the indefensible was proven up to the hilt?

It's a Government. To save its skin, or at least its poll ratings, it looks after its own - just like that feller Major.

Anonymous said...

As an outsider to the metro London scene (and therefore treated as a second-class UK subject)I'm well aware that there are levels to the Blair saga that I do not understand.

Suffice to say, that I have sensed for some time that post occupied by Blair seems to be the focus of a proxy war carried on between the reactionaries and the progressivess around the metro London scene.

For example, Daily Mail Land seems to loathe him becuase of his pro-active and effective stance on race and equal opportunities.

So I'm unwilling to express much of an opinion, beyond saying that The Met as an institution still has a weird cultural mindset when it comes to communicating transparently and honestly with the public in the aftermath of 'events'.

Julian said...

CAN they actually get rid of him by asking him to resign? It was always my understanding that the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police was a heavily tenured position as a Royal appointee, albeit under Home Secretary suggestion to HM. Obviously I have no concrete knowledge of the events that led up to Sir John Stevens' 'retirement' but I was once told by someone at St James' that HM/Charles regarded the 'Bin Laden' prank at Windsor Castle as something that merited Stevens' immediate dismissal in their eyes.

I would hazard that maybe Sir Ian might thus take the early retirement option and they could quote easily say that this had always been the plan for him and that his retirement was in no way affected by the H&S trial outcome.

Incidentally one of the potential successors for Sir Ian Blair would appear to be non other than DAC John Yates - now THAT would be interesting.

Paul Linford said...

Deputy Assistant Commisioner to Commissioner would be a big leap, Julian. I suspect the troublesome Mr Yates will be conveniently shuffled off to become Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall or somewhere else equally exciting.

Politaholic said...

The buck stops, em, er...nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Stevens was a coppers' copper. I suspect that Blair is a sociology lecturer's copper.

Any senior police officer who is not fighting the government tooth and nail over the ridiculous burden of police paperwork is not doing his job properly.