Archive for October 2nd, 2008

Evening all. It is many years since I pounded the beat in Dock Green, but tonight I have to tell you the sad news that The Commissioner of The Metropolitan Police, Sir Iain Blair, has resigned to spend more time with his truncheon.

Policing has changed in the last fifty years.  In my day, we had villains, bank robbers with shotguns and The Krays, of course,  but we didn’t have the problems of today with hoodies. We’d give the young rascals on our beat a clip around the ear or hang them if we caught them shooting a copper.  Today, of course, the bank robbers work down at Canary Wharf and don’t use shotguns.  They use Blackberries.  Today we use Tasers and, unfortunately, we have to shoot people for their own good from time to time – even a barrister who was taking potshots at his neighbours in a very rich residential area of London.  We can’t have that, but nor can we have a situation where beat officers, rank and file and our new Asian colleagues, have little or no regard for the top man. Things have changed.  Now we have a stand up comedian, journalist, editor, sometime MP, shagger and relation to George II, running London and he wants to run the Police with someone who is more in tune with the Tories than New Labour.

So it is good bye Sir Iain… mind how you go… and the search is on for the new Commissioner of The Metropolitan Police. Will it be ‘Buggins’ turn’, an internal appointee, subtly appointed or will there be a selection process?  If it is a selection process will it be like the good old days, a chat here, a word there, a secret handshake, a quick consultation with the hanging Home Secretary of the day?  No… times have changed…. today it will be slick… some have suggested that there be an ‘X’ Factor style process or “Strictly Come Nicking” with telephone voting from the public.  Others have suggested there could be a quiz style format “The Weakest Cop” with that Anne Robinson woman who hasn’t changed in years or, perhaps “Who wants to be a Metropolitan Police Commissioner” with Chris Tarrant in the chair.  Ridiculous of course.  But London needs firm policing so a new man or woman will have to take on the privilege of being responsible for the wellbeing, safety and security of the people of London.

It has been a pleasure to talk to you tonight.  Mind how you go.



London Mayor Boris Johnson has been named joker of the year at the Loaded Lafta awards.

“He beat fellow nominees Balthazar Getty, Calum Best, Fern Britton and canoe couple John and Anne Darwin. Other winners at the London event included Henry Enfield, who was named Loaded legend and Gavin and Stacey star Ruth Jones, who picked up the funniest woman award.”

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Audio podcast: Charon Report (11) – A man with a plan

I glanced around the conference hall. The faithful were waiting, the zeal clear in their eyes, for soon their leader would lead them through the parted waves of financial meltdown to safety, security and power. He would speak to them of government from which they had been excluded for over ten long years.

To be honest, as I have no newspaper readers to pander to and please, no proprietor, a hidden menacing figure in the background, to satisfy – I found the speech slick, well presented in a serious and grave way, but lacking in depth, in substance, in detail.  The gentlemen of the press seemed satisfied and a cursory reading of today’s efforts from the Fourth Estate, summarised so helpfully in The Evening Standard, ranged from “Yesterday we got the measure of the man…. he evinced a gravitas that belies his youth…. a Prime Minister in waiting – Telegraph” to the wonderfully surreal comment from the Guardian “Often the Tory project has seemed soft and empty.  Yesterday he encased it in a glassy sphere: hard, bright and clear; though the fear of a void at the centre remains.”

All very good… but what did our friends from the Tabloids have to say?… that is what I wanted to hear as I listened to builders saying eff this, eff that, I’ll have an effing fried egg on some effing toast when I had breakfast this morning.  The Tabloids did not disappoint.  The Sun headline, showing Cameron mocked up as Bob The Builder…. “Can we fix it… Yes we Cam”. I groaned.  I lit a cigarette (I was complying with the laws of our law ridden isle by sitting outside), sipped my espresso and wandered if Brown could survive his own party’s efforts, let alone the seemingly inevitable final drive to Downing Street now being mounted by the almost teutonically efficient Tory panzer divisions from Central Office.

My favourite quote from his speech, picked up by everyone, as intended by the Tory PR machine, was “I’m a man with a plan – not a miracle cure.” I also enjoyed the fact that Cameron, dressed in blue, and his wife, dressed in green, mirrored the colours of the new time for a change Tory logo.  The only thing missing was the goddam tree.  Slick?… Yes… subtle…No?…. effective?  I suspect so.

I couldn’t see the point in reporting on the speech itself – so I went off to a bar to talk to some people of other things…. I was a man with a plan as I waved goodbye to the Tory faithful and made my way back to London from Britain’s second city, a city it is unlikely that I shall have cause to visit again in my lifetime.  The interesting thing is, that I didn’t see anything of Birmingham, so I have no idea how it has changed since I was last there many years ago.

This is Charon, a man with a plan, reporting on Cameron’s greatest speech ever, from The Boat.


Audio podcast: Charon Report (11) – A man with a plan

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2nd October: Daily Legal News and podcast

Daily Legal news and podcast up on Insitelaw

Remember – if you want a free one hour CPD course, Insitelaw has arranged this for you with the CPD Channel.  Details on the right hand side of the Insitelaw homepage.

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