Coffee House

The Mitchell row could plunge the Met into an even bigger crisis

21 December 2012

That Andrew Mitchell no longer has confidence in the Metropolitan Police Commissioner escalates this scandal. I understand from those close to Mitchell that he was particularly concerned by Bernard Hogan-Howe’s declaration a few days ago that he had seen ‘nothing that causes me to doubt the original account’ contained in the police logs. He felt that this risked prejudging the police’s own investigation into the matter.

One other aspect of this affair is where it leaves the relationship between the police and those Cabinet Ministers they protect. After the Mitchell incident, many of them made their displeasure known. David Cameron’s own security detail were seen wearing ‘toffs and plebs’ cufflinks at Tory conference.

It should be stressed, for legal reasons, that nothing has been proved definitively either way yet. But if the case being made by Mitchell’s friends turns out to be correct, then the Met will be thrust into a crisis even more severe than the one caused by its excessive intimacy with sections of the press.

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  • skinnythreejags

    The filth can only “solve” crimes by fitting people up—–they need the freedom to do this, or they’d never “solve” anything. Poor, poor rozzers, they round up the usual suspects and fit one or two of them up so we can feel safe in our beds. We owe them a great debt.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Of course it has been proved definitively by the estimable Michael Crick that a policeman lied, that the log book was fabricated and that the Trade Union rep lied also over their meeting with Mr Mitchell. I suppose you cannot say so but surely I can.

  • Malfleur

    There is a helpful summary by Andrew Gilligan (at of a number of incidents which all tend, together with the latest scandal, to suggest that the detention of Tommy Robinson of the English Defence League before charges have been heard and the background and events which surround it is one which urgently requires investigation. Unfortunately, in the case of the Spectator, we have a leadership crisis in which intellectual cowardice on this matter and on Neathergate leave both matters untreated, if not scorned. The Spectator, regrettably, is a part of the problem.

  • Axstane

    It is becoming ever more noticeable that many institutions are run on the belief that they are there for the benefit of the employees. Hence we see this sort of behaviour by the police, by teachers who think the schools were built for their benefit.

    We see it also in the NHS in many cases of poor treatment and inefficiency, in local government where officials have usurped the decision-making power that is vested in elected Councillors and so on. Did I forget the BBC?

    Every public organisation now seems to act as a collective.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “Every public organisation now seems to act as a collective.”

      Hmm. I wonder what the “common” theme might be? Might it just be “leading beyond authority”?

  • eeore

    The police are corrupt, and loathsome… you tell tell this by the number of tv shows that portray them as heroic and stalwart defenders of public safety… and the way the tv shows have to bend reality to do so.

    The only thing noteworthy about this case is that someone has traditionally ensured the corruption continue has been caught on the receiving end.

  • Michael Hodford

    Why is Labour getting away scot free on this? It is worth reminding ourselves of
    the official Labour campaign ad put out on the “pleb”
    allegation, “Who [sic] do you trust?”. It contains such gems
    as: “Andrew Mitchell is denying it. But he won’t admit what he said. And David
    Cameron is choosing to believe the word of a Tory MP over the word of a
    hard-working police officer.” See link:

    Nor did the Shadow Chancellor or the Leader of the Opposition himself think it beneath their dignity to repeat the “pleb” slur, despite Andrew Mitchell’s
    denials – and to tar the Conservatives generally with it, as though it were an
    acknowledged fact:

    Ed Balls, speech at party conference, 1 October 2012: “What does it take to get
    sacked from David Cameron’s Cabinet? Swear at a police officer and call
    him a ‘pleb’? And you’re defended to the hilt.”

    Ed Miliband, Leader’s speech at party conference, 2 October 2012: “You can’t be a One Nation Prime Minister if your chief whip insults the great police officers of
    our country by calling them plebs”.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I think they were largely behind it. But Labour are always teflon coated when it comes to getting their well deserved comeuppances.

  • Terence Hale

    The Mitchell row could plunge the Met into an even bigger crisis. Mr. Mitchell, to which I have commented, seems to be the victim of an injustice and to which I apologies for my comments. The discrepancy between law justice and gates seems to be an orchestration. A course of concern.

  • Airey Belvoir

    It needs to be said that Mitchell, once briefly an Army officer, himself, should have had more sense than to inflict a lunge and kiss on a uniformed police officer. Distasteful, incorrect and utterly cringe-making. We leave that sort of thing to the French.

  • paulus

    Well they dont strike me as being particularly effective as every time they strike a target it goes arse end up, and more than likely theyll all end up in jail and bankrupt. Not really effective management

  • David Ossitt

    “I understand from those close to Mitchell that he was
    particularly concerned by Bernard Hogan-Howe’s declaration
    a few days ago that he had seen ‘nothing that causes me to doubt the original
    account’ contained in the police logs.”

    Talk about closing ranks!

    Anyone who watched in full the excellent piece by of journalism
    by Michael Crick and then states that “he has seen nothing that causes me to
    doubt the original account” is quite frankly either a crook, a fool or incompetent,
    in the case of Bernard Hogan-Howe I suspect all three.

  • Andy

    Bernard Hogan Howe is in a bind with all of this, partly of his own making. He knows perfectly well that if the published Log is genuine then the CCTV footage does to correspond to that account as it should and must.

    He refused to give Andrew Mitchell a copy of the Downing Street Security Log, claiming it was a ‘confidential document’ – I wish he would tell his bloody Officers that: it seems to be in every sodding newspaper.

    However I note that Howe has not challenged the veracity of those Logs which have been published, so following the maxim of the Law, ‘Qui tacet consentit’, one can but assume that these published Logs are correct. If that is the case then the Police Officers responsible for that Log are liars. As can be seen by the CCTV footage there were no members of the public who witnessed this incident. That being the case just exactly how much of this Log, and one assumes the Officers Pocket Book, is correct ? I would not believe one single word of it.

    The logic of this is quite simple: as these Police Officers have created a false entry in the security log, one of their number has been party to leaking this log to a fellow officer who used it to write a letter to his local MP, I can think of no reasons why all those officers on duty that night are not immediately dismissed.

    I have never seen such disgraceful behaviour from the Police. Andrew Mitchell, for all his faults, was a Minister of the Crown. That office means something and the fact that these Police Officers thought they could create such a tissue of lies about such a person shows why sackings are long over due. If I were the Home Secretary I would have ‘carpeted’ Howe by now and I would go through the ‘Met’ like the Wrath of God. They deserve no mercy.

    • Curnonsky

      If the worst that happens to the officers involved in this shabby conspiracy is that they lose their jobs nothing will be gained. They must be arrested for attempting to pervert the course of justice and jailed for a good long time. Otherwise they will simply retire to some well-paid sinecure set up by their chums and the game will play on.

  • dalai guevara

    It has all become rather clear now, has it not. And it’s a lovely little sequence of events. After the alleged (well, proven) collusion with the press (Yates still gets column space in the DT? WTF?) and the alleged collusion with the rioters over imminent job cuts, we now find ourselves witnessing the forces of law and order in an alleged collusion with politicians/political agendas.

    Would anyone care to explain what exactly the difference is between policing in Britain 2012 and Chicago in the 1920’s, please?

  • Malfleur

    Let’s have the media look also into what appears on the surface a conspiracy to silence, harass, intimidate, bear false witness against and jail Tommy Robinson of the English Defence League without bail before charges have been heard or notwithstanding that charges have been dropped because the court has found that the police had been withholding evidence of his innocence.

    How long before UKIP becomes the subject of this kind of attention?

    This problem comprises the Mitchell affair, but seems to go much wider.

  • Malfleur

    Is it the police who may have toppled a Conservative Minister or is it worse? Is it certain politicians or other interests who have used the police to topple a Conservative Minister? Do we have any investigative journalists remaining in England, or indeed anyone in the political class with a sense of honour, who is prepared to find out?

    • Reconstruct

      Good question – particularly since the Telegraph seems determined to play an ignoble role. There’s plenty that we don’t know, but let’s just remind ourselves of what we do know.

      First, we know for certain that a policeman (PC Emailer) fabricated a story and then used it to attempt to topple a minister. We know it to be fabricated because we now have the CCTV footage which contradicts the detailed lies.
      Second, we know that the details of the fabricated story were extremely similar to those entered in PC Gatekeeper logbook. Since we know for certain that these contained made-up details, it seems impossible to believe that PC Emailer and PC Gatekeeper conspired together. So we have, at the very least, a conspiracy of two.
      Third, we know that the Police Federation spokesman also lied to camera straight away after his meeting with Andrew Mitchell – and we know it because Mitchell recorded details of the meeting which prove it. Remember, this guy was a spokesman for the Police Federation, so those lies also implicate the Police Federation in the conspiracy – although it remains to be seen whether the institutional conspiracy was merely piggybacking on the initial possibly private conspiracy.

      At this point, bear in mind that this is not ‘a conspiracy theory’ – it’s what we know for certain. It’s what happened.

      What we don’t know, and need to know fast is first, whether the Police Federation was involved in the initial conspiracy. And second, why? What motivated the private and institutional conspiracies against a government minister?

      Certainly it is time for journalists to get digging. What we know for certain already seems to me to be about as sinister as anything I’ve seen in this country: a conspiracy – and damned nearly a successful one – to bring down a government minister, for unknown reasons.

      • Malfleur

        Yes, your question “why?” now becomes key. One has to stretch one’s imagination a bit to think that something which Mitchell had done or which he represented or threatened would be sufficiently threatening or damaging to the Police Federation alone to put it into conspiracy mode. Yet who would have both the motive and the power to persuade the Police Federation to be compliant with his plot? Cui bono?

        • Malfleur

          Simon Heffer suggests a motive:

          “It was noted that the Police Federation, a powerful and militant trades union, is in dispute with the Home Secretary, Theresa May, on several fronts — over a pay freeze, increased pension contributions and the loss of 34,000 police and civilian jobs.

          The Federation knows it has to win over public opinion. If the police have popular sympathy behind them, ministers’ reforms (which also involve attempts to make officers retire later and undergo compulsory fitness tests) would be seen as too harsh and the Government might be forced to back off.”

  • jasonjapanwhite

    Here’s conjecture you may care to bat around. 

 Bottom line up front: The police were
    set up.

By and large the police support Labour, while MI5/6 incline towards the Tories. So to
    cut the dogs down to size and put them back in their kennel, a cunning plan was
    devised, with Andrew Mitchell playing the role of the coat-trailing agent provocateur. Plod fell for it hook, line and sinker, and egged the pudding with a letter that was a pack of lies. They really thought they could get away with such an implausible fabrication. What arrogant bastards. 

And the best part is that the MET thickos still haven’t realised how better brains played them for suckers. 

 Now the question has become, who put the letter writer up to it. His boss or his boss’s boss… Whisper who dare.
    Jack, Japan Alps

  • Ian Walker

    so how long until a politician calls the Met ‘not fit for purpose?’

    • Thick as two Plancks

      The Labour Party used to use the phrase “failing the nation” for private industies they did not like. They wanted to nationalise them.

      So what we should do with the Met is, er, oops.

      Come to think of it, a privatised police that did not persecute motorists might have something going for it.

  • sunnydayrider

    Whats most worrying is the confidence the public have in the Police, especially the Met. You only need t look at the fly on the wall Police programmes. Essex wide boys, all Jack the Lad, stuffing their faces with Pizza, most of them thick as planks. Embarrasing!

  • Stranger

    A good start would be if police officers in all forces should stop shaving their heads and dressing as a matter of course like para-militaries.

    • echo34

      i agree. they are of course, inviting conflict. Most coppers i know relish confrontation and a chance for some “legal aggro” and tales of it are is retold and lathered over like some badge of honour.

      However, on the flip side, most of society is returning to the dark ages where behaviour and civility is concerned, and the police are all for reflecting the society they protect.

  • Vulture

    Ok, he may have been set up by a bunch of bent coppers, but you only have to look at that smirking, pink-tied twat in the picture to know that Mitchell is an A-grade wanker riding for a well-deserved fall. Send him off to waste a few more millions bunging dosh to some more of his African dictator mates would be a good way of bringing him back.

  • Vulture

    Ok, he may have been set up by a bunch of bent coppers, but you only have to look at that smirking, pink-tied twat in the picture to know that Mitchell is an A-grade wanker riding for a well-deserved fall. Send him off to waste a few more millions bunging dosh to some more of his African dictator mates would be a good way of bringing him back.

    • HooksLaw

      This is what we like – objectivity.

      • Stranger

        Objectivity: you are having a laugh aren’t you flagging “objectivity” when the whole rationale for supporting Cameron and his luvvies was their supposed mastery of subjectivity in the form of PR/media skills. I think the correct expression is LOL (an abbreviation which we all know Call Me Dave understands now).

    • HooksLaw

      This is what we like – objectivity.

    • Stranger

      I think my Mum bought me a pink shirt in the 60s. But I was at infant’s school then. I wouldn’t dream of wearing anything pink now. It gets on my proverbials just like those people who knot their scarves in that weirdo metropolitan way which says to me they’ve never had a walk in the pouring rain and howling wind or outside the M25 in their lives.

    • dalai guevara

      Well, we know how this works don’t we?

      Person A swears in public at a law enforcement official, is not arrested (like you and me would be), but the account is published. The account is souped-up to make it stick. The effect is deserved resignation. The souped-up bit is conveniently exposed in hour-long news reports on prime time exactly when 400+ Iraqi civilians are compensated by the MoD. Everyone only talks about ‘plebs’, again. For hours on end. Then, Person A is publicly reinstated as if he never knew how to swear. Job done. Nothing really just happend, or did it?

      • Colonel Mustard

        Firstly, he did not swear “at” a law enforcement official and secondly a British police constable is not really a “law enforcement official” in the American sense. He (or she) is a citizen holding the office of constable (q.v.). I do wish people would try to understand this. A constable is not an officer of the state but a servant of the rule of law on behalf of all of us – or should be.

        • dalai guevara

          Ok, I see you are passionate about detail. Granted. I was merely making a ‘big picture point’, which was the one of…diversion.

          Are we a nation of torturers? Why? I did not condone that, for whatever reason, and I did not sign any treaty, EU or non-EU, to condone it. So why did it happen?

          • Colonel Mustard

            I am passionate about justice which is often threatened in this day and age by the lack of attention to the detail of the law.

            Most of the torturing happened on Labour’s watch as a direct result of their own foreign policies. Why now? Why is all this coming out now and being laid at the foot of the Coalition’s door?

    • ButcombeMan

      Balance would be nice here Vulture. Mitchell’s behaviour is as nothing compared to what has passed in MetPol and the Federation, from the Commissioner down to PCe-mailer. The pink tie offends momentarily, the corruption and manifestly terrible leadership of Hogan Howe, offends permanently.

  • HooksLaw

    The Mets extensive intimacy with the press might well be a reason for it to be happy to belittle the govt. The Mets previous willingness to sell in formation to the press might well be a reason for it to arrest former editors on some rather vague ‘cover up’ charges.

  • HooksLaw

    The Mets extensive intimacy with the press might well be a reason for it to be happy to belittle the govt. The Mets previous willingness to sell in formation to the press might well be a reason for it to arrest former editors on some rather vague ‘cover up’ charges.

  • Joey D’lobster

    What short memories some people have. It was the evil witch Margerat Thatcher who politicised the police in order to destroy the trade unions

  • Joey D’lobster

    What short memories some people have. It was the evil witch Margerat Thatcher who politicised the police in order to destroy the trade unions

    • Reconstruct

      Some sort of award is due: the police conspire to topple a conservative minister and the guilty party is . . . Thatcher.

      Give yourself a pat on the back.

  • Reconstruct

    Well, since it’s clearly time for a clear-out of the rotten Blair-generation establishment from the Met as well as everywhere else, I guess once again we’re going to have to look to somewhere abroad for new and clean leadership. What’s the guy in charge of the Mounties like?

    • ButcombeMan

      Excellent comment to relieve the gloom

  • Colonel Mustard

    Impartiality in the whole civil service and the police was once the cornerstone of integrity in government and its breach absolutely taboo. That has been completely undermined but it might be too simplistic to blame it all on New Labour, however tempting that is. It certainly warrants examination but I’m not sure there is the will amongst politicians who have also travelled far from their inherited traditions and values. It is as if a great legacy of essentially good government has been passed on to irresponsible successors who in their eagerness for change have pissed away the good with the bad, incapable of recognising or valuing either.

    These sort of incidents are symptoms of a more general malaise. Coalition made it difficult but I believe Cameron’s government simply underestimated the extent of politicisation and took no steps to ruthlessly purge the civil service and police of the New Labour influence, entrenched in the 13 years from 1997 to 2010. This has undoubtedly made their task in government more difficult as they face not just one but multiple oppositions and a great deal of deliberate mischief making.

    As to the police a key point is well made below that “What is wrong with Policing nationally are the politically inspired and trained and professionally useless senior officers”.

    • Stranger

      “Cameron’s government simply underestimated the extent of politicisation”: the idea that Cameron’s government could even contemplate challenging the triumph of Labour’s New Establishement let alone doing anything about is is hilarious. The Tories proved themselves a completely useless opposition to the national disaster that was New Labour. And then the elected a boy to do a man’s job, the Heir to Blair.

    • telemachus

      How dare anyone question the relationship of the Blair/Brown Government with the police when the coalition are putting the very fabric of our security structure at risk
      And not only with Thrasher

      “The Tory-led Government’s front-loaded cuts of 20% mean that the Metropolitan Police are set to lose around 2,000 police officers over the course of this Parliament. Rather than supporting efforts to cut crime, Boris Johnson and his Deputy Kit Malthouse are standing idly by, despite knife crime, rape and robbery all going up in the last year. ”

      It is the duty of responsible government to ensure good relations with its enforcement arm

      • Reconstruct

        Telemachus, when the police force stoops to conspiring to fabricate evidence to topple a senior government minister, there’s something very very bad going on. Westminster, we have a problem.

        Try to put aside your party prejudices for a moment. Imagine that the police had concocted evidence to attempt the downfall of, say, Jack Straw. Imagine they’d been prepared to conspire together to lie outright, and then use those lies to start a public campaign. How large a crime against democracy would you consider it to be? How sinister?

        Well, it looks very much as if that’s what’s just happened. If you want any security at all, or any confidence in the political system, you must demand a rigorous purge of those responsible, plus an overhaul of the leadership under which this happened. Put aside your political prejudices for a moment, because this isn’t some political game, it’s national subversion.

        • telemachus

          Jack Stray had a grip
          Theresa May should get a grip

          • Kingstonian

            Blimey tele! You must have cogitated long and hard for – maybe 3 seconds? – to come back at Reconstruct with such an erudite and well-thougt through response. On top of your game today mate!

          • Swiss Bob

            You mean Jack ‘Torture’ Straw?

      • Colonel Mustard

        I dare. We do not yet (quite) live in the East Germany you and your comrades aspire to.

      • Colonel Mustard

        “It is the duty of responsible government to ensure good relations with its enforcement arm”

        That absolutely demonstrates not only your ignorance of the police but the Labour conspiracy at the heart of this issue. The British police are NOT the government’s “enforcement arm”. Peel’s Principles 5 and 7 make this absolutely clear:-

        “The police seek and preserve public favour, not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law”

        “The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

        It is precisely because New Labour undermined these principles and sought to transform the police into an enforcement arm of the state that we are where we are now with a police service largely unfit for purpose and infested with ideological distractions. No surprise in that endeavour from a man who boasted that the “Labour party was none other than the political wing of the British people as a whole”. And the sinister one party nation song continues to be sung by Miliband.

        • telemachus

          Yes Item 5 of the Peel Principles is very clear.

          “The police …… constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws…”

          The duty of the Executive is to ensure correct implementation of the Law laid down by the legislature.


          “The police will independent at all times and will answer to the law and courts when carryingout their police powers. A PCC can hold the chief constable to account for theperformance of the force and set the strategic direction for the force in theirarea.

          PCCs are responsibleto the public for the overall policing within their force area. However, a PCCcannot tell a constable – even the chief constable – how to use their policepowers “
          the 2011 act in respect of police commissionrs makes the wording a little different”

          But none of this detracts from the need of the Executive to maintain a professional an managerial relationship with the police.

          Again this shower have failed.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Now you are dodging away from your original statement about the police as a state enforcement arm. The constable’s discretion has been perhaps best articulated by the now discredited Lord Denning:-

            “I have no hesitation… in holding that, like every constable in the land, the Commissioner should be, and is, independent of the executive. He is not subject to the orders of the Secretary of State, save that under the Police Act 1964 the Secretary of State can call on him to give a report, or to retire in the interests of inefficiency. I hold it to be the duty of the Commissioner of Police, as it is of every chief constable, to enforce the law of the land. He must take steps so to post his men that crimes may be detected; and that honest citizens may go about their affairs in peace. He must decide whether or not suspected persons are to be prosecuted; and, if need be, bring the prosecution or see that it is brought; but in all these things he is not the servant of anyone, save of the law itself.
            No Minister of the Crown can tell him that he must, or must not, keep observation on this place or that; or that he must, or must not, prosecute this man or that one. Nor can any police authority tell him so. The responsibility for law enforcement lies on him. He is answerable to the law and to the law alone.”

            This has been incrementally subverted by several changes, not least by the CPS, but also by the top down management and tick box culture which as in other areas raised the game of back room bean counting at the expense of front line expertise.

            • telemachus

              There may be a little grain of truth in your post in that there is tripartate responsibility

              “The tripartite relationship responsible for governance of policing in England and Wales:-

              the Home Secretary sets national strategic priorities for policing, expresses the will of Government as it applies to policing, and is answerable to Parliament about how this is carried out.

              the local police authority set local police priorities for policing, provides independent local oversight of police, holds the Chief Officer to account for policing services delivered, and is itself
              accountable to local communities for how it does its job.

              the Chief Officer is responsible for direction and control of the police force, and is accountable to the police authority for the delivery of policing services.

              None of this detracts from the fact that Cameron and May are responsible for policing and have abrogated their duty of care by not taking steps to have a proper professional and managerial responsibility to the senior or junior officers, unlike Jack Straw(the best Home Secretary since Robert Peel), David Blunkett, Charles Clarke, John Reid and Jaqui Smith.
              I am truly appalled it has come to this

              • ButcombeMan

                You plainly do not know what went on. NuLabour long ago realised Policing needed substantial reform, they even put plans together to do it.

                They chickened out.

                They did that because of Federation, Superintendants Association and ACPO, bullying-with the added voices of a few noisy Chief Constables.

                This from Simon Jenkins (from the Times I think)
                Very soon in the new Parliament, Mr Blair will find himself face to face with three of these groups, the police, the doctors and the teachers. Police conditions of service are protected by one of Britain’s most powerful unions, the Police Federation. Police forces are becoming ungovernable. Overtime, “sickness” pensions, red tape and the compensation culture are keeping the police trapped in offices and cars, where the public do not want them. Britain is becoming an increasingly “unpoliced state”, irrespective of money or police numbers. The Police Federation will be Mr Blair’s miners’ union, or should be.


                NuLabour as I said, funked the Police, were finacially & contractually mugged by the Doctors and never tackled the Teachers.

                No wonder it is hard for the coalition, Labour avoided tackling anything hard, but avoidance is not a problem solving solution.

                • telemachus

                  Avoided tackling anything hard like the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq

                • ButcombeMan

                  That was the easy bit, send off the ill equipped cannon fodder (snatch Land Rovers) and wave the flag. The real politics of managing the UK was sidestepped by Bliar and left largely to the utterly dysfunctional Brown, joined by the mind numbingly ridiculous, economic myopia of Balls.

                  The consequences of course being the Big Brown Mess.

                  I hope you are noticing TM, the suggestion from Polly that your hero Balls will have to be removed from his shadow Chancellor role before the next election.

  • In2minds

    “the relationship between the police and those Cabinet Ministers they

    The police have been ‘protecting’ the public for years with an arrogant
    attitude at least the Cabinet Ministers do not have to put up with
    the aggression as well.

  • vero truly

    It is clear that the problems with providing a modern police service start at the top. Just as at the BBC these national “institutions” are awash with a self-interested management elite that puts their interests before that of the public.

    • Common Purpose

      The most important element of the leadership model is the need to think across the public and private sector. At every level in policing, effective policing involves leading beyond authority and working with partners to accomplish joint aims. This engages a different set of skills in terms of influencing and negotiating and joint problem solving and it seems to us that this strand of leadership can only be developed by training and developing jointly with leaders from other sectors. There are many good examples of this, ranging from programmes run by Common Purpose and other organisations within local communities that bring together middle managers and senior leaders, to seek to solve common problems as part of a development approach, to national programmes such as the ‘Leading Powerful Partnerships’ programme, which has been developed as a cross-sectoral leadership programme.

      • echo34

        Well, you’re pretty crap at it most of the time.

      • Stranger

        Is this a wind up? “The most important element of the leadership model”: what leadership model?

      • Colonel Mustard

        Nonsense. The last thing that a democracy needs is an unaccountable executive elite engaged in ‘groupthink’. Other names for that approach are ‘junta’, ‘cabal’, ‘coterie’. Leading beyond authority is not something senior police officers should be engaging in at all. They are responsible to the rule of law and are not meant to be in the business of revolution or social engineering – let alone conspiring with other governmental and non-governmental agencies to sell a scripted message. The whole basis behind the concept of Common Purpose is deeply flawed, deeply sinister and wholly undemocratic. Moreover it has been implemented without consent, without mandate and without transparency.

        It is in part the articulation of dissenting opinions – debate – that keeps democracy healthy. It is a pity that those political groups most often advocating ‘diversity’ seem unprepared to extend that to include politics.

        • telemachus

          If we applied the principles espoused in Leading Powerful Partnerships to the relations between Ministers and the police(see my other comments below) then we would not be in this unwholesome standoff between Cameron and the Metropolitan Police


          I note he scooted off to an army base after his ill judged comments on Tuesday and Wednesday.

          Perhaps it would be wise to hand control of the Met over to
          Hammond or perhaps Peter Wall.

      • Russell

        Gobbledegook from a Trade Union Leader straight from a taxpayer funded or subsidised Trade Union Modernisation Fund Course.
        Total unintelligible bullshit..

        • m

          Yes, but we can’t “down-vote it” unless we can crack the mysterious code which tells us that we must “sign in” to do so. Am I “signed in”? Yes,apparently; I post, therefore I am. Can I down-vote this BS and the BS of trolls like telemachus? No, I cannot. Perhaps it is a clique at OQS that has the key. The Spectator becomes curiouser and curiouser.

      • Chris

        Common Purpose is in my view, an evil brain washing machine extracting vast sums of money out of gullible public organisations. It is a gravy train. It corrupts behaviour in public organisations. It produces zombie public servants and feeds into bizarre behaviours and over politically correct and often quite ridiculous, views of what is right and what is wrong

        In short, it is largely nonsense. Why is it a Charity? It is a BUSINESS.

        Ever wondered why nothing seems to work any more, in Britain?

        No one needs a common purpose brainwashing course to cooperate with others across organisations.

        We have seen the evils that CP produces, in Rotherham.

      • stickytape

        I assume this is a spoof, desist, it isn’t very funny.

  • TomTom

    Frankly, who does have confidence in the Met ? Under Heath we had Operation Countryman trying to root out corruption and Freemasons whilst the Home Secretary Reginald Maudling was a Mason preseted with gifts by fellow Mason Poulson the bent architect……we have had Operation Ore….we had an idiot like Blair at the Met and we had Ali Dizaei and a whole saga of murder, cover-up, corruption making Between The Lines look like the playbook for real life…….the only thing we don’t have is Tony Clark making us feel better at the end of each episode

  • Swiss Bob

    David Cameron’s own security detail were seen wearing ‘toffs and plebs’ cufflinks at Tory conference.

    They should have been sacked on the spot just for that.

    The standards of policing in Britain today are absolutely disgraceful, just this year they’ve been shown to have fitted people up time and time again. Anyone who’s had anything to do with the UK police wouldn’t trust them an inch.

    And let’s not forget the Met drove T Blair around in Met police cars plastered with ‘Vote Labour’.

    • MirthaTidville

      Oh do stop exaggerating..This is about London and the Met. They always have been a breed apart from the rest of Policing. Always have had a swagger and contempt for lesser mortals. Corruption in all its forms has always been endemic in that force and isnt going to change anytime soon. But dont confuse the Met with the rest of the country whose bobbies are just as appalled as everyone else. What is wrong with Policing nationally are the politically inspired and trained and professionally useless senior officers..

      The ones at the bottom of the pile are overworked and undermanned and just doing their best. If that isnt good enough well sorry…….

      • Swiss Bob

        Of course, how silly of me never having been out of London, all those provincial forces are a paragon of virtue. W Midlands Crime Squad for example, and S Wales Police springs to mind for some reason.

        Police in the UK are the most arrogant, bullying, rude and generally unpleasant I’ve ever had the misfortune to have had anything to do with. On the other hand, I’ve never had a problem anywhere else in the World, including France!

        • MirthaTidville

          I`m not suprised if thats been your attitude to them….

          • Swiss Bob

            When I meet ANY police officers I keep my gob shut and remain polite, anything else is counter-productive.

            The reason I have come into contact with the police on a regular basis was originally the nature of my job, secondly I don’t take much notice of speed limits. In France they stop you, politely inform you of the reason they’ve stopped you, fill out a form, take some Euros off you and send you on your way. Compare and contrast that to the dickheads that stop you on British roads, first the mandatory moronic lecture from some wet behind the ears, semi articulate goon, then their invented statement of facts. screw ’em.

            I should also add that I have aided the police and been commended by judges in both the UK and France, in the French case giving chase to armed robbers which led to their arrest and conviction.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Well I have first hand experience of working closely with many police forces across the world and in my opinion the British police are amongst the worst. They are generally ill disciplined, badly trained, poorly educated, poor role models, scruffy in appearance and above all else exceptionally badly led. The irony is that ACPO sell their “expertise” abroad trading on a historic perception of the British police long subverted by the reality of both politicisation and commercialisation.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Let me give you a trivial example. I would never allow uniformed officers to stand in public view hatless, with their hands in their pockets, chewing gum. Yet this is seen time and time again, across forces, and nothing is done about it. In one city (and probably others) it is at the discretion of officers whether they wear headgear or not. So one is treated to the astonishing sight of overweight officers waddling along in anti-stab vests, heavily accoutred but with completely unprotected and invariably thug-like shaven heads. The psychological and confidence instilling effect of smart headgear and a proudly worn identifying badge is completely lost on both the police officers concerned and their weak senior officers. Plenty of foreign police forces fully understand the benefit of this but not, apparently, the sloppy British.

    • JohanVanRooyen

      It might mean they thought they had the protection of David Cameron. Either way they should now look forward to some diplomatic protection duty in Iraq or Afghanistan…

      • Swiss Bob

        ‘Conduct Unbecoming’ springs to mind. Don’t these officers have any respect for their own office let alone anyone else’s?

        • salieri

          The head of the Police Federation, no less, answers your question thus: “The thing which disappointed me is around the proportionality of whether it was
          necessary to arrest the individual. After all, he is a serving police officer.” A truly incredible comment, which demonstrates perfectly their sublime self-righteousness before, during and no doubt after the whole affair.

      • Swiss Bob

        ‘Conduct Unbecoming’ springs to mind. Don’t these officers have any respect for their own office let alone anyone else’s?

  • Russell

    Just conjure up a picture of the smirking Tony Blair standing next to the smirking Sir(sic) Ian Blair for a clue as to when trust in the police really started to go down the pan.
    Remember the guy shot dead on the tube and Sir(sic) Ian Blairs response, remember the guy shoved to the ground, remember the taking of bribes from journalists.
    Blair (Tony), Brown & Labour have a lot to answer for, apart from the financial mess they made of this country. Even the judges are tainted, proven by the number of MP’s/Lords/Dames who have escaped jail sentences for expenses frauds.

    • HooksLaw

      Boris sacked Blair whose successor then had to resign in disgrace (though not over the disgrace of a shadow minister being arrested on a trumped up charge). It makes you wonder how far down the woodpile we have to go the get someone honest and competent.

      Blair’s predecessor hardly inspired confidence and it does not bode well that Yvette Cooper has him looking into the future of policing.

      • Stuck-Record

        Inspector Gadget has always been clear on the ‘how far down the pile’ question.

        Basically it amounts to this: No police officer who works 9-5, has a permanent parking space and doesn’t come in when it snows. That’s it. It pretty much equates to no-one above Inspector/Chief Inspector rank.

        Everyone above that is a political animal.

    • HooksLaw

      Boris sacked Blair whose successor then had to resign in disgrace (though not over the disgrace of a shadow minister being arrested on a trumped up charge). It makes you wonder how far down the woodpile we have to go the get someone honest and competent.

      Blair’s predecessor hardly inspired confidence and it does not bode well that Yvette Cooper has him looking into the future of policing.

    • Chris

      It is alleged that the first thing Ian Blair did after his uncontrolled (by Cressida Dick) stormtroopers, shot an innocent man, was to phone Anthony Blair and get political cover for keeping the IPCC out of the crime scene. That it is suggested was illegal. It is further alleged that subsequently Ian Blair was so tired and emotional, for so many hours, that he could not be told this innocent man had been shot.

      The notes in the Control Room were changed. Nuff said?

      Boris sacked Blair (Ian) and misuse of Amex Cards may inter-alia, have featured, with Andy Hayman the anti-terror Chief (remember him?-he of the nutty NuLabour scheme for locking uncharged people in a cell for 90 days) quietly allowed to resign.

      The next Commissioner resigned in disgrace having taken Circa £12 K of Health Farm benefits from a private sector benefactor. He displayed little shame and did not appear to know what he had done wrong.

      The current Commissioner, despite the manifest evidence of the videos, which show the Plodgate “log” to be inaccurate, has the audacity to imply, in public, that nothing has changed in respect of that log.

      He apparently induces us to rely on it. Quite unbelievable. If he had nothing sensible to say, better say nothing.

      Then there is Hilsborough and the enquiry into Hilsborough and the 190 or so altered Witness Statements.

      Policing is in a grievously poor state in the UK. It has been for very many years-around 40 or more. The last great unreformed institution. Inefficient and self serving.

      A fish rots from the head.

      Bernard Hogan Howe, if he is not careful, is going to have difficulty keeping his job.

      Just maybe, Cameron has had his eyes opened.

      If someone was prepared to write an e-mail to fit up Mitchell, imagine how easy it is to kipper a young black, fatherless lad on a South London estate.

      Not institutionally racist, institutionally corrupt.

      (Not everyone of course, but enough to let the nation down)

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