I'm not a lawyer, but hasn't Sir Ian Blair broken the law by recording a conversation with the Attorney General? Apparently he has recorded many others too. Has the man learned nothing from the experience of Richard Nixon?! There was a piece in one of the papers yesterday pondering on the reason for Sir Ian Blair's uncharacteristic silence in recent weeks. This has certainly put paid to that. The fact that Sir Ian has now apologised to Lord Goldsmith is a side issue. The question this raises in my mind is this. If he is so dilatory about observing the law on recording phone conversations with government law officers, how concerned should the rest of us be about our own phone calls being taped? Such a cavlier disregard for the law and civil liberties is endemic in this government, but to see it displayed in such a blatant manner by the country's most senior police officer is worrying indeed. Is the man out of control?
However, there is another viewpoint, which a correspondent has just put to me. He doesn't find it at all surprising that a senior civil servant should wish to tape conversations with government ministers. After all, this government has a record of dumping (to put it politely) on civil servants from a great height, so why not get your ammunition lined up. So cynical, but perhaps accurate.
UPDATE: Tory MP Rob Wilson is calling for Sir Ian Blair to be sacked.