Well, I'll IPCC it...

By Simon Barrow
November 8, 2007

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is due to publish its long awaited report into the tragic Stockwell shooting in July 2005, imminently.

The latest will be available here: http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/

I wrote a piece a few days ago, suggesting that the calls for the resignation of Sir Ian Blair (echoed yesterday in some tub-thumping from the London Assembly) are actually a diversion from the real issues of accountability and transparency in policing, and fail to recognise the experience and impact he has had in his role as head of the Met. I suggested that he was in danger of becoming a "pointless sacrificial goat", as politicians line up with a populist sacking call under media pressure.

Interestingly, this is the exact phrase used on Tuesday by the Mayor of London. I am sure that the fact that I posted my article (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/6079) on Facebook, and that Ken Livingstone and I are Facebook friends is a coincidence, but you never know.

He also described Blair as "the most important police chief of his generation". Given that Ken Livingstone has hardly been uncritical on policing, racism, terror and related issues (especially in his GLC days) that is a remarkable statement - and carries more weight in its own way than government endorsements, which could be seen as more self-serving. None of which may be enough to save "the other Blair", of course.

Rather weirdly, a press stoked resignation campaign seems to be enough, in media terms, to say that the public has lost confidence in you, and that therefore, er, you should resign. There is something worryingly irrational and solepcistic about all this.

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