As someone once said: ladies and gentlemen, we got him.
It appears that – of all people – Boris Johnson gets the honour of dragging “Sir” Ian out of his spider hole. Of course, this raises all kinds of legal issues as to who, exactly, gets to hire’n’fire the commissioner of the Met. Is it the MPA? The Home Office? The Mayor? The Mayor’s delegate, as deputy mayor for policing and fantasy airport design? It’s a little more simple now Boris has decided to be his own MPA chair, but not much.
Yeah, well, wonk away. In the meantime, my plans include rejoicing, and possibly burning a huge effigy on Hampstead Heath. I’m having a good week; so far, the count of “things Alex has protested against that were actually reversed” has gone from zero, to one (Austrian tuition fees, which can only be estimated a smidgen picayune), and now to a massive two.
The Grauniad has details, including bits I’d forgotten – like bugging Lord Goldsmith! I mean, I can think of few people I’d rather bug, and anything that bugs him must be good, but it’s rather illegal, a bad precedent, and undignified. Bugging the IPCC! Now that was just fucking outrageous. Pretending to have taken part in the Balcombe Street shootout! Yes! Seriously! Giving his best mate’s IT shop three million quid! Lying about how much it cost to ineffectually harass Brian Haw!
Now there’s a thought to chew on – Brian Haw can bed down tonight secure in the knowledge that he’s outlasted his second police chief, through nothing more than his own glorious pigheaded obstinacy and their pompous, gut-chafing stupidity. It makes you proud to be British.
On this fine evening in the liberated capital, who on earth could remain bitter? Martin Kettle, that’s who! And guess what? He’s still whining about the Rio police force! Now let’s ask a question – had the cops shot the train driver, or their comrade “Ivor”, as very nearly happened, would anyone have mentioned the performance of this outfit? Obviously not. Kettle has been arguing that it’s OK to off people who come from countries with really bad police forces, on the basis of some twisted sort of reciprocity. It’s perverse, it’s stupid, it’s basically the same ugly racist gunk as the “De Menezes Was An Illegal” guy was pushing, dressed up for Guardian consumption. (Oh, so what did happen to that blog? It hasn’t been updated for two years, presumably after it became clear he wasn’t.)
More seriously, Kettle also manages to say that greater democratic oversight of the police is simultaneously good and bad, and he doesn’t appear to know that we have elected police authorities, as we used to have watch committees, precisely in order that the police answer to someone who was actually elected. But who cares? Despite the fullest confidence of the prime minister, the home secretary, Kirsten Hearn, John Roberts, Jenny Jones, and Martin Kettle, ladies and gentlemen, we got him.