Institutional deniability

Baroness Casey’s review of the Metropolitan Police says nothing that we didn’t already know, but having it on paper certainly adds weight to the inescapable conclusion that the force has lost the public’s confidence and as a result policing by consent, especially in London, has been damaged, possibly irreparably.

What makes the findings even more disturbing, if indeed it’s possible to be even more appalled that the Met provided an environment where Wayne Couzens and David Cummings (and almost certainly others yet to be exposed) were allowed to thrive in plain sight, is the new chief constable and home secretary’s insane reaction to the word “institutional.”

It’s not as if that word hasn’t been used before in relation to the Met, is it?

The McPherson Report of the inquiry into the handling of the investigation into the death of teenager Stephen Lawrence concluded that the case had been hindered by force’s institutional racism and now, almost 25 years on, not only is that still seen as an issue but it has been joined by institutional misogyny and homophobia.

Sir Mark Rowley’s aversion to the word seems rooted in his interpretation of it as a slur on the many honest and hard working officers under his command whereas it actually relates to the culture of silence that has allowed toxic behaviour to flourish unchecked.

And if the chief constable himself is unwilling to accept the review’s findings in full then there really is no hope of rehabilitation for its tattered reputation and I don’t see any alternative to the Met being completely disbanded.

He’s not a new broom, just the old handle with a new set of bristles sweeping the dust further under the carpet.

At the very least, every single officer on the Met should be revetted as a matter of urgency and outstanding disciplinary cases resolved one way or the other and Baroness Casey’s recommendations acted upon.

Even then it could be too late for the Metropolitan Police and that stigma can only spread across every other force in the country.


I really couldn’t care less who ends up being the new leader of the SNP, but looking at the three stooges up for the job, the sudden departure of Jimmy Krankie’s husband, Peter Murrell after taking responsibility to misleading the media about membership numbers, just a day after that of head of media, Murray Foote, a police investigation into party finances and even the party’s president and interim leader, Mike Russell, admitting that they are in a mess, the members must be shaking their heads in horror and disbelief.

This is the danger of political parties throwing accusations at each other. It inevitably comes back to bite them on the bum.


I need to correct an error from the piece I wrote in my previous column on honours put forward by departing prime ministers.

Margaret Thatcher did not make her son a baronet. She gave the hereditary title to her husband Denis and on his death it passed to Mark.

So although it actually means twice the nepotism, I hate factual inaccuracies so my apologies.


All I’m going to say about the Parliamentary Privileges Committee’s three and a half hour interrogation of Boris Johnson is that, while no one in their right mind can think he’s blameless, when the committee chairman has already recused himself from the proceedings because he admits he cannot be impartial and his replacement has openly called him a liar on social media, it doesn’t reflect well on the credibility of the entire process.

Stupid TV quiz answers of the week

Tipping Point, and the woman who thought rugby was a bat and ball game was quickly surpassed by this:

Q: In 1909, the explorer Robert Peary claimed to be the first person to reach which of the earth’s extremities?

A: The Moon?

The Chase

Q: is the website of which former X Factor contestant?

A: Alexandra Burke?


Edward Case