TROUBLE in Leftieland: Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has thrown Dame Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, under a bus. To be precise, he informed her that he no longer had confidence in her to ‘rid the police of its toxic culture’. As a result Dame Cressida has quit.
Has this political squabble got anything to do with policing or ridding London of its toxic crime culture? Nope. One of the few things that is zealously policed today is political correctness. Despite Khan and Dame Cressida presiding over a capital riven for years by crime, drugs and murder, it was only when it emerged that some rank-and-file officers were sharing islamophobic, racist and misogynist messages did the mayor decide that his top cop must go. Perhaps Khan, who always has a keen eye on PR and image, had decided that the stench from the story was coming his way.
Of course she should go – she was a disaster area before she even started; just ask the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the man whose killing she ordered in 2005. With perfect Blairite doublethink, she opined at the 2008 inquest that she regretted the incident but added: ‘If you ask me whether I think anybody did anything wrong or unreasonable on the operation, I don’t think they did.’
That should have been a warning to the sane, but in the world of left-wing civil administration Cressida Dick looked a sound bet. She was a Balliol girl for a start, and had been head of an outfit called the Diversity Directorate at the Met. Add to that, drum roll, she was both the first woman and the first openly homosexual officer to be head of the Met. When she mentioned the words political correctness it was with the withering prefix ‘so-called’. In the eyes of the Left, all that constituted a nap hand. A Muslim human rights lawyer mayor with a lesbian police commissioner – right-on heaven! Of course, it was a disaster for Londoners, but no one in the media talks about that.
When Khan was campaigning to be mayor in 2015, he vowed to ‘do everything in my power to cut stop-and-search’, a policy which had proved effective in stopping killings. As Home Secretary, Theresa May took a similar line. Khan was elected; knife crime and killings duly rose and continued to rise after Dame Cressida was installed (with Khan’s casting vote). The numbers fell only when society was closed down completely by the government’s reaction to Covid-19.
Interestingly, one area of policing that the Met seemed obsessive about was Covid regulations. What an irony it was in that mad summer of 2020 to learn that police, sometimes on horseback, were patrolling parks looking for people sitting near each other on benches; the very same parks which for years had been filled with skunk and aggro and were usually a police-free zone.