Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday, 23 June 2004

Chairman of Humberside Police Authority says 'Non!'
- see update at the foot of this posting


Brave man! I wrote about this whole matter only yesterday, but it is of such interest (to nerds like me anyway) and importance that it merits being revisited. Colin Inglis believes that the 'suggestion' of the Home Secretary David Blunkett that the Humberside Chief Constable David Westwood be requested to resign or retire, and be suspended meantime, is an attempt to scapegoat him for police failings identified in the Bichard inquiry. Quite. Mr Inglis opined:

"My personal view is that David should be allowed to see out his contract. The last thing Humberside police needs is a big song and dance about the home secretary trying to get rid of him."

Of course Mr Blunkett has the law behind him and one imagines that the Humberside Police Authority will have to comply fairly rapidly. However, it's rather like in the 1970s when President for Life Idi Amin Dada of Uganda awarded himself all sorts of spurious military and other titles ('President for Life' for a start). In the much more sedate context of UK politics the huge majority that the Labour Party has in Parliament allows this government to do more or less as it likes, slowed down only by the cussedness of the upper House of Lords - but the government has made it its business to emasculate that body with its botched attempts at constitutional reform. The fact that Mr Blunkett is a blind man who comes across (as even I admit quite readily) as a benevolent man who is often quite humorous is not enough to hide the truth; he is a danger to democracy in this country, as many of his crackpot ideas make very clear (in my ever so humble opinion).

UPDATE: (Friday 25JUN04 11.53 BST) In a surprise development, Humberside Police Authority Chairman Colin Inglis has announced that they are asking the Home Secretary to 'reconsider' his request for the suspension of Chief Constable David Westwood. The law is apparently very clear that the Home Secretary does have the legal authority to request the move, and that it be complied with. Whether this stand-off relates solely to Mr Westwood's individual case or whether it represents a quesdtioning of the new powers Mr Blunkett gave himself a couple of years ago is not entirely clear. An announcement from the Home Office is awaited.

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