Monday, March 13, 2006

It's time for Sir Ian Blair to go

Holding back the truth of what happened at Stockwell on 21st July? Fine - could impede investigations.

Restricting the Independent Police Complaints Commission in their enquiries? Not fine - even if they weren't, could give the impression that the Met were trying to cover up forensic evidence at the scene of the shooting. Hardly good for improved trust in the service or community relations.

Spreading false rumours that Jean Charles de Menezes was an illegal immigrant? Not fine - obviously designed to reduce public sympathy levels and gain the "oh, he probably deserved it" responses that were initially gained from the false reports of him "jumping the barriers while wearing an unseasonably warm coat".

Repeatedly making high profile speeches about how we're all going to die? Not fine - the role of the police is to maintain order, not create panic.

Secretly recording private conversations with both the IPCC and Britain's Attourney General? Not fine - ignoring the obviously bad PR that has been generated, reducing the respectability of the service yet further, what the hell was the thinking behind it? Blair couldn't have released the tapes to "back up" his version of events without breaking the law - plus it would imply a serious lack of trust between Blair and people/groups he should be working closely with.

Releasing "de Menezes was a rapist" stories to try and cover up the recording scandal? Absolute idiot - an obvious repeat of the "illegal immigrant" slur to make it look like de Menezes was a nasty piece of work who had it coming, plus even if true, utterly irrelevant and not in the public interest. Unless, that is, the Metropolitan Police have now set up anti-rapist hit squads. (Which some may agree with, but is beside the point...)

Sir Ian Blair is a liability, undermining the public's respect for the police with every ill-considered action and each poorly-conceived speech. The Met's Public Relations department is likewise less than useless - an incredibly stupid oversight in this Blairite age of media manipluation and image control, but doubly bad for an organisation which relies for its effective running on willing and enthusiastic public co-operation. I'd not normally contenance spending public funds on PR gurus, but the Met need it big-style - and any PR person worth their salt would point out that the best possible way to rebuild public trust would be a full, wide-ranging independent inquiry into Sir Ian Blair's role in the de Menezes shooting, who was responsible for the shoot-to-kill order, followed by high-profile, top-level resignations where appropriate.

By the time of the de Menezes shooting, Sir Ian Blair had been the head of the Met Police for long enough not to be able to dodge responsibility. The buck stops with him. And even if you don't agree with my long-held take on the man, if nothing else he needs to go to give the service a fresh start.

Update: The BBC's Have Your Say on this story has a classic, from one Terrence Coleman:

"Yet another non-story for the media to drone on about, trot out their cronies in the civil liberty industry to add more nonsense. Never mind, it fills air time and sells newspapers no doubt. The pity of it is that you are trying to ruin the reputation of a brave and honest copper. Shame on the BBC for giving it air time."
Move along, nothing to see here... The majority so far, however, seem to confirm my belief that Blair (Ian) has lost the public's confidence, and so should go.

6 Comments:

Blogger BondBloke said...

It was time for him to go after the Stockwell incident; what is it with Blairs, they all seem to have a tendency to LIE!

3/13/2006 12:28:00 pm  
Blogger Earl Jackson said...

I completely agree. It's a scandal that Sir Ian should have been elevated to such a responsible position merely because he is so closely related to our PM.

3/13/2006 01:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One B.Liar is very much like another perhaps.

3/13/2006 08:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Porkbeast said...

What did for Blair was his spot on criticism of the media as institutionally racist.

3/14/2006 09:50:00 am  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

But it wasn't really, was it? I mean, he's got a point, but his argument certainly wasn't spot on thanks to an insanely poorly-chosen couple of examples of white bias (I'll ignore the Soham one, as that's simply too obvious).

Faced with a choice between a young white man attacked and killed for no reason with reports of him begging for his life vs. middle-aged asian man run over while trying to stop car theives, the former is the more interesting story - race plays no part in that. Ditto young black man / black boy set upon and murdered for no reason, be it Steven Lawrence, Damilola Taylor or Anthony Walker.

And - it's worth noting - that Blair's assertion that white murders always get more attention than black murders is utterly disproved by the Anthony Walker case, as that very weekend saw a young white man stabbed to death on a bus - in front of his girlfriend - because he asked his attacker to stop throwing chips. That particular story hardly got any coverage in comparison to the Anthony Walker one.

What's done for Blair is being incompetent, making umpteen stupid pronouncements, alienating junior police officers, and pissing off the government and judiciary. If it was up to the media they'd keep him in place - he's guaranteed to provide them with a sensationalist story ever other week.

3/14/2006 10:19:00 am  
Blogger Postman said...

You overlook a point...

We don't know what passed between Baron Goldsmith and PCPC Blair duringtheir phone conversaion ...but you can bet they were not discussing the price of bread and milk.

Goldsmith got his defence in first , like any good lawyer and then "drew a line under it" , this matter is now closed etc.,

3/15/2006 03:30:00 am  

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