Politicising the police?

Funny how Labour seem happy for this to happen on their watch. From the BBC:

David Blunkett, Labour’s home secretary from 2001 to 2004, called for – and achieved – the removal of Sussex Chief Constable Paul Whitehouse in June 2001, over the police shooting of an unarmed, naked man, James Ashley.

Three years later, Mr Blunkett demanded the removal of Humberside Chief Constable David Westwood after his force was criticised in a report into failures in police intelligence in the case of Soham murderer Ian Huntley.

A bitter and very public tussle followed, between Mr Blunkett, Mr Westwood and Humberside’s police authority, resulting in a compromise whereby the police chief retired a year early.

8 responses to “Politicising the police?

  1. Whilst I agree that the Labour Government’s hypocracy is breathtaking, this doesn’t mean that this politically motivated sacking is any less wrong.The Police must remain politically neutral and Boris has stooped to the level of a discretited government in his attempts to politicise the police.This blatant politicisation of the police is very reminiscent of the Soviet Union or East Germany in the heyday of communism. A very poor – and worrying – start for Boris.I hate to use anything associated with the Labour Party, but ‘Things can only get better’!

  2. Whilst I agree that the Labour Government’s hypocracy is breathtaking, this doesn’t mean that this politically motivated sacking is any less wrong.The Police must remain politically neutral and Boris has stooped to the level of a discretited government in his attempts to politicise the police.This blatant politicisation of the police is very reminiscent of the Soviet Union or East Germany in the heyday of communism. A very poor – and worrying – start for Boris.I hate to use anything associated with the Labour Party, but ‘Things can only get better’!

  3. “Excalibur” has this a bit wrong. The appointments etc already are political, by the Home Secretary who is (wait for it) a politician.The real question is the old “who serves whom?” issue. The police should serve the community, and their supreme chief should (a) not be a political copper — as so many are these days — but a real copper’s copper, and (b) be appointed locally not remotely, i.e. by the community’s elected representative(s).All others will be through usual recruitment and advancement procedures as normal for any hierarchical organisation.I don’t believe in remote dictatorships at all, whether they be in Whitehall, a Regional Assembly, a quango, Brussels or on the planet Mars. They’re all outsiders (relative to any specific community) and are therefore by definition dictators if they intrude into purely local matters at all, ever, short of genuine dire emergencies.

  4. “Excalibur” has this a bit wrong. The appointments etc already are political, by the Home Secretary who is (wait for it) a politician.The real question is the old “who serves whom?” issue. The police should serve the community, and their supreme chief should (a) not be a political copper — as so many are these days — but a real copper’s copper, and (b) be appointed locally not remotely, i.e. by the community’s elected representative(s).All others will be through usual recruitment and advancement procedures as normal for any hierarchical organisation.I don’t believe in remote dictatorships at all, whether they be in Whitehall, a Regional Assembly, a quango, Brussels or on the planet Mars. They’re all outsiders (relative to any specific community) and are therefore by definition dictators if they intrude into purely local matters at all, ever, short of genuine dire emergencies.

  5. What a frightening place “john m ward” wishes this wonderful country to become! The thought of local politicians ruling their area with gestapo-like gusto sends a shiver down the spine.Don’t believe that this couldn’t or wouldn’t happen – there’s nothing like a local politician when it comes to abusing political power. Once voted in, they become crazed with the self importance of elected office. We already have had the horrendous abuse of power whereby local authorities have abused anti-terrorism legislation to spy on people.The police must always be independent servants of the CROWN, answerable only to the Courts and laws of our country. After all, I’m sure that we all know that the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 came about precisely because of the abuse that local control of policing was permitting.

  6. What a frightening place “john m ward” wishes this wonderful country to become! The thought of local politicians ruling their area with gestapo-like gusto sends a shiver down the spine.Don’t believe that this couldn’t or wouldn’t happen – there’s nothing like a local politician when it comes to abusing political power. Once voted in, they become crazed with the self importance of elected office. We already have had the horrendous abuse of power whereby local authorities have abused anti-terrorism legislation to spy on people.The police must always be independent servants of the CROWN, answerable only to the Courts and laws of our country. After all, I’m sure that we all know that the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 came about precisely because of the abuse that local control of policing was permitting.

  7. Is it right that the mayor of London can overrule the government with regard to appointment of the police chief or other areas of government policy? Although Boris has a mandate from the people of London and Ian Blair had to go, that does not give him the right to force the position of the democratically elected government and home secretary. If he does not like the constitutional set up and tries to undermine the constitution, then his administration will go the same way as Red Ken’s GLC, which left us without London government for too long.Boris should have told the home secretary prior to speaking to Ian Blair. I note that he also took the decision before the first meeting of the police authority, undermining the democratically elected GLA members and preventing them from discussing the issue. Boris is behaving more and more like Ken with his little dictatorship.

  8. Is it right that the mayor of London can overrule the government with regard to appointment of the police chief or other areas of government policy? Although Boris has a mandate from the people of London and Ian Blair had to go, that does not give him the right to force the position of the democratically elected government and home secretary. If he does not like the constitutional set up and tries to undermine the constitution, then his administration will go the same way as Red Ken’s GLC, which left us without London government for too long.Boris should have told the home secretary prior to speaking to Ian Blair. I note that he also took the decision before the first meeting of the police authority, undermining the democratically elected GLA members and preventing them from discussing the issue. Boris is behaving more and more like Ken with his little dictatorship.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s