Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sir Ian Blair had to go

How ironic that Labour have condemned Sir Ian Blair's removal as "politically motivated" when his entire tenure at the Met was driven by "political motivations".

His behaviour whilst running the Met sums up everything that has gone wrong with public services in the UK. Under both Tory and Labour administrations, there has been an obsessive "target culture" that directs public servants to answer more and more to their masters at Westminster rather than serve the general public who they should ultimately be accountable to. Labour's introduction of directly elected Mayors was a positive step in the opposite direction. So when Boris Johnson used his powers to remove the police commissioner, Labour should not have been surprised. As Simon Jenkins has rightly observed, Boris Johnson is merely doing what he was elected to do. The Metropolitan police, the people of London and ultimately the Mayor lost confidence in their police chief. Sir Ian Blair had to go.

Quote of the week comes from Ray Mallon, the directly elected Mayor of Middlesborough, and formerly a Detective Inspector:
Sir Ian often used to talk about the number of different communities that the police in London had to serve. In fact, there are actually only two communities that the commissioner of the Met needs to bother about: the law-abiding community and the criminals.
Sir Ian Blair proves that having superior intellect does not preclude common sense.