Monday, 12 September 2011

The Favourite Is Usurped

Spare a thought - or maybe not - for Stephen House, the head of Strathclyde Police who was repeatedly reported to be the favourite in the search for the new head of Britain's biggest police force. He must have fancied his chances when so much of the MSM was doing its best to promote him so surely we can sympathise when he drowns his sorrows in coffee rather than Cristal tonight. I like champagne although I've only once ever tasted Cristal, the champagne of choice for the British elite I believe, and therefore try hard not to associate it only with happy occasions, but I doubt if I'll be able to substantiate a couple of bottles a year once the Scottish government has passed its proposal for a fixed unit price for alcohol.  That's another story.

Mr House has been usurped by Bernard Hogan Howe.

Mr Hogan-Howe  - I have a dislike of double barreled names in business as I find it slightly pretentious - is the former Merseyside chief constable. Boris Johnson and Theresa May supposedly agreed that his performance was outstanding.

What now for Mr House?  He certainly has good connections and he covered his back by saying, when he applied for the Met job:

"I have always been committed to Strathclyde Police and to keeping people safe in our communities.  That commitment has not wavered.  I look forward to continuing to lead this outstanding organisation and to being fully engaged in the process of establishing the new Scottish Police Service."

When I was a child a neighbour was the chief constable of what was then known as Dundee and Angus.  He put the fear of God into us children with just a look or by a parent saying 'I'll have a word with Mr X'. That same man was extremely kind and when I returned to Scotland, I often visited him in the home he shared with his daughter who is a dear childhood friend.  Mr X by then was virtually stone deaf and it was difficult to communicate at times but I could see the fairness in his views when he insisted upon discussing Scottish politics.  As he explained he'd had to be impartial for his career years but, knowing I had an interest in politics, he was always intent upon hear my opinions my .  Perhaps he was more patient with my attempts at shouting or maybe he was able to read my lips as he'd learned to do that over the years.  I was very fond of Mr X and his determination to ensure youngsters were put back on the straight and narrow instead of being labelled criminals for the rest of their lives.

Mr X was honest.  He didn't permit his staff to waste time pursuing issues which barely count as crimes.  He intended to keep the people of Dundee safe from criminality and he did. Henot to persecute the person who innocently committed a breach of legislation.  Ah, those were the old days.

So what for Stephen House now?  I wouldn't place a bet against him being the leader of the new Scottish Police Service.  Would you?

Mr X died four years ago at the age of 89 and continued to collect his favourite car, the Morris Minor, right to the end.  He was regularly seen round and about the area in one of his vintage cars and abhorred travelling in his daughter's 4 X 4.


Joe Public said...

1. Commissioner of the Met is a poisoned chalice.

2. "Spare a thought - or maybe not - for Stephen House" - sometimes those with aspirations of being a high-flyer have to be seen to be 'ambitious' and hence apply for positions, which in reality they actually don't want.

John said...

Becoming Met boss may well be a poisoned chalice

pa_broon74 said...

Looks like Charles Dance won then?


JRB said...

So Bernard Hogan-Howe won out against all the odds.

You would never guess we had a Tory Mayor of London in Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and a Tory Home Secretary in Theresa Mary May.

Wonder why they picked Hogan-Howe, an apolitical choice I’m sure.

I’m equally sure that it is purely the merest of coincidences that they are all Oxford graduates.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I hope I don't come over as too pretentious?

subrosa said...

1 Agree Joe.

2 Don't think that applies to Stephen House Joe.

subrosa said...

Indeed John.

subrosa said...

Ha ha pa. Aye. :)

subrosa said...

Tut tut JRB, these are all just coincidences - surely?

subrosa said...

I said in business Tris. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, SR. But I use my name in business. It is easier as far as tax, national insurance, pensions, etc are concerned, to use one's own name.

And why should someone be ashamed of their name? That would be a terrible burden to go through life with...and what an insult to one's parents to change it.

subrosa said...

Tris, I never suggested anyone should be ashamed of their name although I've known plenty people who are and have changed it to something they prefer - particularly christian names.

It's not an insult to parents. My father changed ours to just using the last name and the former as an initial. Works well and I don't think anyone was insulted.

English Pensioner said...

More interesting is the fact that candidates had to be "press-ganged" to apply. Our lady chief constable here in Thames Valley was considered at one stage to be a front-runner, but didn't apply, a very wise lady I would suggest, who has gone up ion my estimation.
Personally, as a Londoner born and bred, I believe that the Met should be split, with activities like the Royal/Diplomatic protection, counter terrorism, etc, which are national activities being a separate force. In USA, just because the president lives in Washington, it's not the Washington police who are responsible for his protection, it's a separate force, the Secret Service. We should do something similar.

English Pensioner said...

A thought about double-barrelled names. My sister, a retired teacher observed to me recently, tongue-in-cheek I'm sure, that when she started teaching the children with double-barrelled names had toffee-nosed parents who considered us ordinary mortals as being well beneath them; by the time she retired, the double-barrelled names belonged to children of unmarried parents who couldn't make up their minds what to call them!

The Telegraph did mention that Mr Hogan-Howe was the son of a single mother (not that I hold it against him in any way; indeed getting to that level must be much to his mother's credit)

Hamish said...

Been on the Cristal SR?
More typos than usual.

Joe Public said...

@ Hamish 17:29

Probably not.

It's probably a test to check if her alert readers haven't!

You've passed.

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