Andrew Hayman, Met Assistant Commissioner, enjoyed a good troughing with tame journalists and media executives. These no doubt loud and vulgar boys days out, involving numerous bottles of expensive wine and the faux golf-club chic and fake stripey ties that signal a plod that's 'made it' are still viewed as a perquisite of the senior ranks in the Met. They don't even take time off - this theft of the public's time can be put down to 'media relations' and anyway no-one's going to pull them for it - even the Commissioner's at it. But on these pissed-up jollies at the taxpayer's expense, no doubt secrets are let slip and bonds of mutual protection formed.
And indeed the Commissioner himself is at it, as the Telegraph describes today. The better restaurants around Victoria must be heaving with more (out of uniform) silver braid on the lash with dodgy chums each lunchtime than you can shake a stick at. Of course, they'll tell you it's completely different to an ordinary beat copper accepting a beer from a local drug dealer. Completely different. Why, these man are senior officers and mature enough to dine with criminal suspects, to befriend them and even to employ them at public expense without anything being at all wrong. Because they're senior and it's different. It just is.