Well, isn't this a strange event?
I could go on and on and on about the history of Sir Ian Blair, but I won't. The de Menezes issue and his blatant Labourism probably didn't help, but the worst part in all of this, the scandalously sickening, wrong bit in all of this, is the prolonged, vicious campaign that the London Evening Standard ran against him for years. He was hounded to the same extent by this paper as Ken Livingstone was, and when you are the only real 'London paper', you're going to hold an unhealthy sway over Londoner's views.
So yet again, the media has hounded this man to the end of his career. We really need to sort this media nonsense out. But anyway, on to the main reason for my post.
With such media scrutiny (some of it warranted due to the nature of the job, some it really not), this appointment, an appointment made by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, against a Conservative London mayor and a Conservative-swinging London Evening Standard, is almost a mini-by-election for the Labour Government.
This role, which only recently has become so well publicised and politicised, is now considered fair game in the same way that Robin Cook's love life and John Prescott's waist to the media were, where they do not feel compelled to focus on the issues (ie how good he/she'll be at the job) but will focus on personality politics.
And if Labour appoint someone that has any smackage of scandal, then suddenly, that is the story - not the future of the Met, not the necessary reforms to systems in the organisation, not the future of counter-terrorism operations - that 'Labour appoint crony' or something that detracts from the issue.
But the problem now is, with the role being so public and the media - and politicians - being so intrusive into the politics of what should be a non-political role, that Labour will struggle to find anyone to take the job. It's no secret that very few people would be willing to take it.
But with the Tories on the march in the polls, Boris as London Mayor (who will certainly be putting his buffoon's worth in) and the ridiculously Tory London Evening Standard, then Jacqui Smith will have to appoint someone whiter than white. Better make that bluer than blue if you want to avoid a PR fight.
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