Thursday, April 09, 2009

Smith's Favourite Cop Quick Quits

The home secretary's favourite copper has been forced to quit after a bungling blunder ended the Met's cosy relationship with ministers. But it's taken a long while for blundering Bob Quick to be prised out of his job, as the wind of change finally blows, in a wake up call for the Met, the political police and the government. For the Tories, revenge is a dish best served cold. 

The government's cosy relationship with the Met is so over the top it's almost laughable. Quick is now knackered of the Yard - to be replaced by Yates of the Yard. His latest blunder is the final straw.

Strolling into Downing Street with a top-secret anti-terrorism document under his arm in full view of photographers hardly puts public faith in the head of counter-terrorism who is set to leave without his dignity but with a generous pension pot

But the home secretary's only response was to blissfully ignore the whole thing. Smith made no comment about the blatant blunder. Instead, she praised police for their professionalism.

Any PC plod would have been sacked on the spot but not the home secretary's best friend. But his fate was sealed when shadow home secretary, Chris Grayling, who, while not exactly calling for his head, said in politicianspeak: "It had to be decided whether he was really the right man for the job."

London mayor Boris Johnson too was quick to get in some credit for Quick's demise. A tad too quick. Sour grapes by the Tories maybe but Quick's fate was already sealed after the Downing Street blunder.  

For a top cop he has repeatedly shown a monumental lack of judgement as he sucked up to the government and rounded on the Conservatives, blissfully unaware they are Her Majesty's Official Opposition and the government-in-waiting.

In December, Smith's copper was forced to make an unprecedented apology  after a direct police attack on the Tories  blew out of the water any pretence the Met is not a highly politicised arm of the current government. 

At the time the Orange Party asked: Now the only question is how quick will Quick go? 

Quick was forced to  issue an "unreserved" apology to the Conservative Party after his outburst accusing the Tories of behaving in a "corrupt" way and mobilising the press against the Met. 

Publicly the Tories  drew a line under it, privately they must have been seething.

And, to top it all, Quick was clearly peeved with Mail on Sunday hacks sniffing around his wife's luxury car hire firm run from the family home but too quick to lay the blame.  

To make matters worse, Quick's absurd and damaging outburst re-ignited the whole Damian Green affair. Quick ordered the controversial arrest last year of senior Tory MP Damian Green and sent 20 anti-terrorist officers to search Green's parliamentary office. 

That called into question the political bias of Quick, a keen supporter of the home secretary's 42 day detention, who is also heading an inquiry into the alleged home office leaks which sparked off the Greengate scandal.

But times when police could pander to politicians and get away with it are changing and the Met should get used to it. 

Quick's shoes are being filled by Yates of the Yard, commander John Yates, who famously and doggedly pursued the 'cash for honours' scandal until he was told to drop it. 

Yates has the brains, temperament and sensitivity to handle this crucial top job. More importantly, it seems he's a copper who won't pander to politicians or be pushed around by politicians of whatever colour or flavour of the month. 

With a criminal investigation underway into masked police thuggery over the death of an innocent G20 bystander, Quick's quick exit may be a small step to restore some much-needed public confidence in the police.   

Picture: BBC

1 comment:

Silent Hunter said...

So when is she going to follow his example?

Actually, I hope she doesn't.

Seeing her lose her seat on election night will be all the more sweeter knowing that the fall will be that much harder from her position as Home Secretary rather than as an ordinary MP.