Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What Sir Ian Should Have Said

I knew the VRWC would get dragged into this somewhere. Ken Livingstone is dropping heavy hints about dark forces trying to nail Sir Ian Blair. That's practically grounds to fire Blair right there, but there's an elephant trap there. The Rotty Pup is right to warn against Conservatives becoming so fixated on turfing out the prat that they get seduced into signing up to the moonbat agenda (No shootings! Ever). Fortunatley, there are quite enough good Conservative grounds for serving Ian the Idiotarian with an eviction notice.

Consider one of the most common charges laid against Sir Ian's breed of alleged Supercops, namely that they are masters of paper chasing, with nary a clue about real policing. Now let's examine the Police's own narrative for how St Jean the Martyr got zapped. Apparently, the surveillance officer was taking a leak, thereby missing him leave the premises, and from that point on the operation spiraled into chaos. A-huh. Is this not the perfect example of what's wrong with the Blair approach ? Setting up an operation which works fine, except if a single officer becomes indisposed for a matter of minutes, in which case it irretrievably falls apart. Sounds like we could do with some of those 'old ways' after all.

Similarly, Blair's actions post-shooting have also been entirely characteristsic of the Nu Police. Take the claim that Blair didn't know that the Police had shot St Jean rather than Abdul Bombalot until 24 hours later. What else was he doing ? Either he's lying or he has the worst sense of priorities in recorded history. Ditto, the constantly changing stories. It's almost as if evasiveness is so written into the DNA of modern police management that they have to slither around even where it's totally counter-productive. One thing's for sure: a police officer who can't be trusted is like a accountant with his hand in the till.

Blair had two trump cards when St Jean the Martyr was shot. He had the fact that most of his critics had previously gone on record as stating that there was no threat, and he had the residual respect most of the public had in the Police's ability to deal with terrorists, yet Blair has managed to fritter both of these away. Blair's slipperyness has proven that with the right mismanagement, you can have smoke without fire, while he lacks to the moral courage to make the kind of break with the Left that exposing the 'no threat' brigade would represent. What he should have said goes something like this:

For nearly four years we have been aware that there are people out there determined to carry out terrorist atrocities on a massive scale, yet our every attempt to increase readiness has been opposed by people anxious to claim that there is no threat. On July 7 we found out how dangerous that non-existant threat could be. They told us that it was a one-off. On July 21 we found out differently.

On the morning of July 22 all could see that we faced exactly the type of sustained series of attacks on this nation that our critics had always claimed was a myth, yet thanks to laws they had championed vigourously, terrorists had been allowed not only to enter the country, but allowed to move freely about it. We, the professionals in the security services, were told that all we could do was monitor them - anything else would breech their rights. My officers were to be spread across this city, hiding behind bushes, or in cars, or dressed as postmen, allowed to observe fanatics but not to act. They were told that they could follow known terrorists, yet they could not act against them until they had actual evidence of terrorist acts, or to put it another way, they were to follow terrorists until they had reached their targets, and only then were my officers permitted to act.

It was against this background that one of my officers reported that a man
matching the description of a terrorist had left a building known to be used by terrorists. It was under those rules of engagement that my officers tried to covertly track him across town, trying to decide whether this was just another routine trip or this was the day he would embrace martydom. When the target made for a packed tube train, we decided the risk was too much to bear. My officers moved in to arrest a man they suspected was laden with explosives, ready to detonate at the touch of a button. Above all else, they knew he must not be permitted to detonate his bomb load. That is why my officer fired - to prevent what he believed believed would be the slaughter of a train load of commuters.

Now we know - after the fact - that the target was innocent. Were errors made ? Yes, thousands of them, just like in every other war. We face a challenge unique in our history, and there will be plenty of blunders along the way, most trivial, some serious, a few even fatal. That's why we need to be open both between ourselves and with the public about what we're doing. We want the public to understand that every minute of the day we are working on new ways to make Britain safer.

I can't help but think that if Blair had made a speech like that in the first 48 hours, he would have cut the ground from under our moonbat friends, but he couldn't, not just politically, but because his worldview would not allow it.The idea of treating the public as adults, capable of distinguishing between the bad choice and the worse one, is alien to Blair's brand of Nu Brit elite. Then again, the idea of taking a stand on anything is alien to these people. Truly, they have drunk deeply of the well of PoMo. To these people, vagueness is the highest quality. They are the masters of the glad-handing, 'I feel your pain' approach, their buzzwords are sensitivity, empathy and non-judgemenatlism. The best stance is no stance at all. Hysterical denunciations of non-drinkers of the PC Kool Aid is allowed, but when it comes to taking a stand on any complex or controversial issues go, these people are AWOL. A worse mindset for waging war can hardly be imagined.

That's the real charge against Sir Ian Blair. Above all else, he's a July 6 kind of copper.

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