Friday, November 02, 2007

Blair and Brunstrom

I have nothing against Chief Constables. Honest, I haven't. In fact, its my high regard for the position that leads me to expect the highest standard from those selected to carry the responsibility which goes with the job. Which is why Sir Ian Blair should resign forthwith. The killing of Jean Charles de Menezes was a shocking occurrence which resulted from 'corporate failure' under his watch. This makes the Chief Constable's position totally untenable. If he stays the public's confidence in the Metropolitan Police will be much compromised. That is case enough. He should have gone already.

I've also posted in the past that Richard Brunstom should resign - but not because he's done anything wrong. He's always seemed to me to be an effective Chief Constable, even if a tad too keen to pursue publicity - but it has always been to promote the purpose for which he is employed, law enforcement. His attempt to seek a high profile for his desire to promote the legalisation of all drugs, will have the effect of undermining the purpose for which he is employed - which is to enforce the law as it stands. He's entitled to his opinion that the law should be changed, and he's been in a far better position than most of us to develop a view on the matter, but its my view that his vociferousness has undermined respect for our drugs laws. His campaign undermines the law. It doesn't fall within a Chief Constable's discretion to choose which laws should be enforced and which should not. If he wishes to pursue his opinions he should go and get another job.

As it happens, I have no objection to debate about the legalisation of drugs - even if I cannot imagine being convinced that it would be sensible. I was supportive of one of my fellow Conservative Assembly Members when he invited Lemmy, a former drug addict rock star to outline his case in the National Assembly about 3 years ago. It was and remains clear that our current approach to controlling drug use is failing. It also seems logical that if the laws are not going to be rigorously enforced, they might as well be discontinued. But at present, I believe that cannabis should be reclassified as a dangerous drug, and our Chief Constables should be enforcing the drug laws. Call it 'carrying a big stick if you like'. Thank Goodness that most Chief Constables understand what their responsibilities are.


Martin Eaglestone said...

The debate is valid. The attitude - see

is wrong for a public servant.

So Glyn are you flat earth or ostrich ?

Glyn Davies said...

martin - your post is fair enough. (I should have added your blog to my side bar before).

Whether I'm flat earth or not is not the main point of my post - which is that a Chief Constable should not be leading a public campaign which undermines respect for the law. The debate about legalisation is a separate, obviously related point - where I'm instictively opposed to legalisation, but would be open to arguement. Before any Government could even think about going down this road, a great deal of research would have to be done to assess the consequences. In the meantime, the drugs laws should be enforced, led by our Chief Constables.

Anonymous said...

Question who are these men accountable to?
Sir Ian Blair, to me, looks incompentent and so should go , his men deserve better.
I have great sympathy for those front line police who were in one hell of a situation.If they had shot a terrorist they would be heros. Mistakes happen, I would never even move a muscle if a policeman who was armed challenged me.
Richard Brunstom is quite a case, I agree with you Glyn , it is not his job to lead any public campaign - he is there to lead his force and uphold the law.
So why isnt he being reined in by his bosses.
The drugs issue is a far wide issue and not for the law enforcement agency to be taking on as a project.

Glyn Davies said...

VM - probably because he is a very charismatic man, able to dominate through force of his personality - which makes him dangerous in my view.

johnny foreigner said...


It must be noted at this time that Mr. Brunstrom is fully supported by his Police Authority, therefore is one to assume that the entire Authority should go?

As you seem so keen on the 'big stick' approach how's about a proposal to ban the distribution and sale of alcohol.

Recent figures show that alcohol is a major factor in so many of society's ills, to a far greater extent than any drug problems.

60% of 15 year old schoolboys drink at least once a week.

A quarter of 13 year old girls and a third of 13 year old boys drink alcohol every week.

2 out of every 5 A&E patients arrive with alcohol related problems.

40% of people in Wales regularly drink more than the recommended limit.

It's high time, (no pun intended), that the matter of recreational chemicals was addressed on a general basis of their effects on the social structure of our society.

It would appear to be somewhat hypocritical for some to criticise others use of drugs when they themselves regularly succumb to the effects of their particular drug of choice.

Your previously pissed-up pal.



Please don't forget that Jean Charles Menendez only stood up and had seven in the head for his trouble. Do you honestly think that this was a job carried out by 'professionals'.

The generally accepted method of instant dispatch of a target is called the 'double tap'. This consists of two shots in quick succession to the head. This guarantees to halt any neurological motor function instantly.

I'm afraid that SEVEN indicates a complete loss of control by the shooter.

This, of course, doesn't take into account the 'dead-man's button', wherein the bomber holds a depressed button that activates if released. Particularly if you are dead!

Naturally, this ignores the fact that JCM was acting in a completely innocent manner.

The job was a shambles from start to finish.

I's not just Ian Blair who needs to go. We could do with losing some of these trigger-happy idiots that currently infest our Police Forces.

BTW, I dont carry wrapped up chair legs anymore.

Your palms-raised pal.


Glyn Davies said...

johnny - I do not think that the Police Authority should resign - mainly because what they think does not have any influence. They seem very weak and unable to stand up to the powerful personality of Richard Brunstrom. It is the Chief Constable's public comments that carry weight with the public.

And No, I'm not in favour of banning the sale and distribution of alcohol - though I fully accept much of what you write. It just is not practical or posibble to ban what has become such a core part of the way we live our lives. Equally, I do not believe that it would be practical or possible to ban drugs if they were to be legalised.
Alcohol is indeed a real problem in our society, and I'm in favour of the 'big stick' being used where abusers of alcohol cause disruption and disturbance to others.

You seem incredibly well informed about the proper way to despatch a terrorist - and how not to! It is every Chief Constable's resposibility to ensure that there are no tigger happy idiots in their forces. If they fail to do so, they should step aside in favour of a replacement who will. Only way to retain confidence in our police force.