Guardian on Ephems on Sir Ian Blair
The news that Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, and other senior officers of the Met are to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission to determine what they told the media in the aftermath of the shooting of the innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes on 22 July 2005, prompted the Guardian last Wednesday to quote some blog comments on the hapless Commissioner — including mine:
Guardian, 30 November 05
Today on the Web: Sir Ian Blair
Sir lan Blair is a man bereft of online supporters.
“I am amazed that he still has his job. He is heartless scum of the scummiest kind.”
“That he is to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission is welcomed, but not too many hopes pinned to it. I don’t expect him to be disciplined or to resign of course but just the idea of the chief constable being forced to account for his actions is quite amazing— if we were a former Russian republic, they would be calling this a velvet revolution. But then again they can bring down whole régimes with 20,000 demonstrators whereas 500,000 demonstrators here can’t even change a government foreign policy decision.”
The most stalwart defence of Sir Ian comes from blogger “Brian Barder” (albeit written before the latest news):
“It seems clear that there are no grounds whatever as of now for the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, to be called on to resign. Even his most hysterical current critics can hardly believe, or claim, that his remarks immediately after the shooting were knowingly untrue or deliberately intended to deceive.”
The original item in the Ephems blog, dated 20 August 2005, is at http://tinyurl.com/dufc4 and even with hindsight I stand by all of it, although I’m not too confident that the two current IPCC inquiries will necessarily give Sir I Blair a clean bill of health: IPCC people may not have been favourably impressed by Blair’s (to my mind wholly understandable) attempt to prevent an IPCC inquiry for fear that it would deflect manpower and energy from the main police investigation of the bombings, actual and abortive, of 7/7 and 21/7. If you visit my post of 20 August 2005 from which the Guardian quotation is taken you’ll see that it attracted 27 ‘comments’ (including replies to some comments by myself). Few will succeed in working their way through all of them and I don’t really recommend it.
I can’t imagine why the Guardian enclosed my name in quotation marks — unless it suspected that the real author of the comment was Ian Blair, using my name as a nom de blog.
PS: Just back from three weeks away (link to some holiday snaps, as we used to call them, here), which is why there’s a gaping hole in Ephems. I hope to resume normal service soon, once I have demolished the snail-mail mountain and drained the e-mail ocean that awaited our return.