Goodbye Ma'am, Been Great Working With You
David Cameron and the Tory hierarchy have decided to use the phone hacking scandal as an excuse to reopen the debate on direct recruitment of police leaders. In his address to parliament today he said. "We believe this crisis calls for us to stand back and take another, broader look at the whole culture of policing in this country, including the way it is led. At the moment, the police system is too closed. There is only one point of entry into the force. There are too few - and arguably too similar - candidates for the top jobs. As everyone knows, Tom Winsor is looking into police pay, conditions and careers, and I want to see radical proposals for how we can open up our police force and bring in fresh leadership."
The first thing I will say about this is that it is one of a number of proposals that Cameron made today criticising others in an attempt to deflect the concerns regarding his own actions and decisions around the phone hacking issues. For example, at least the Met fired Coulson when concerns were expressed regarding his integrity. Cameron kept him on the payroll for sometime afterwards. So should we consider the direct election of Prime Ministers in the same way as American Presidents? Would that open up the job to those that haven't been corrupted by expenses, junkets and nest feathering in Parliament?
His statement criticises police leadership but at least some of those leaders have fallen on their sword and gone as their judgement and integrity has been seriously questioned. I look forward to some politicians doing the same............NOT! And let it not be forgotten that it was Tony Blair and Gordon Brown that cosied up to News International more than any other politicians. And the insipid Milliband, who is trying show himself as being above all of this, was Gordon Brown's chief advisor and still employs a news International executive.
Cameron gave further details about the Public Inquiry. It is broad. It could take years. I suspect that he hopes that after the summer recess the whole issue will have died down and be thrown over to the Inquiry and I will be surprised if the Inquiry reports before the next election. I suspect the whole thing will be a waste of money.
I am against direct recruitment of police leaders. This issue has been discussed at length and I don't think there is any point going dissecting those arguments again here.
There are two important points that may come out of all of this. I hope that now the focus of the police moves away from media spin and returns to crime prevention, detection, terrorism and disorder etc. The press should go back to reporting on our performance and not reporting the spin and garbage being produced by the police media machines. Secondly, ACPO, to date, has been very silent regarding Tom Winsor and his reporting on police pay, conditions and structures. Now that ACPO's future careers face curtailing can we look forward to their voice joining the rest of the service's concerns regarding some of his proposals?
PS - Getting political but I feel the need to remind people what a useless cretin Gordon Brown was. Banking crisis aside, he spent this country into over £100 billion of debt. He has never explained why he sold off 60% of Britain's gold reserves. The only conclusion is that he wanted to spend more. Between 1999 and 2002 he sold 395 tons of gold at an average price of 276.60 dollars an ounce. Since he sold up, gold has risen steadily and now stands at 1600 dollars an ounce. Had this moron kept the gold we would be almost £10 billion better off. Or we could have paid off 10% of the debt the halfwit left us with. Thank you. Just needed to get that off my chest.