If there's one word I've found that adequately describes many policemen above the rank of sergeant, it's 'chippy'. Perhaps from being laughed at, excluded from the gang, having odd parents or being academically slow at school, perhaps from resentment of authority, perhaps from an early realisation that they are deeply ordinary, I'm convinced that many (though not all) of those that seek promotion in the police do so from having a chip on their shoulder that they feel having the powers of a constable plus rank will avenge.
And sometimes there are no better examples of innate inability than those who rise to higher command rank. Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick always struck me as such, a blundering idiot promoted above his ability but ingrained with a deep sense of entitlement and grievance. Chippy. And not only chippy but possessed of that particularly stupid stubbornness that convinces policemen of someone's guilt or innocence in the face of a mountain of contradictory evidence. He could not even accept his own dismissal for endangering the public by screwing up an anti-terrorist operation out of sheer stupidity. Last week he persuaded another deeply flawed individual, an ex-detective with evidence of questionable probity to put the boot into Damien Green.
One of the reasons in the age of the internet that we put men into large open plan offices is to stop them looking at porn. Every large workplace has its tales of managers caught in acts of onanism in little cubby-hole offices. Damien Green may have been amongst them. I don't know. But whatever breaches of Commons policy he may have committed, he did not act against the law. Quick and his weird little chum, in making their grubby claims, unsupported by evidence, have breached every professional standard that the police should maintain, and have undermined public trust in their old employer.
This really is just the latest a long series of incidents of malfeasance, error, blunder and sheer stupid malice that have condemned the whole class of those who rise to command rank in the police. David Duckenfield, Norman Bettison and others are still to stand trial for Hillsborough so I cannot comment other than to mention the fact.
Is it not high time that we stopped deeply unsuitable individuals such as Mr Quick from reaching rank to which they are unsuited in the first place? Is it not time the police had a professional officer corps, as it had in the past, to lend it professional integrity where it is needed most, amongst the leaders and commanders?