Friday, October 27, 2006

Why We Should Be Suspicious of Inspector Yates's "Temporary" Promotion

I love Friday mornings at home. It's when a whole stack of magazines arrive on my doormat. New Statesman, the Spectator, The Economist, Press Gazette and, ahem, LibDem News. The great things is that they all give me plenty to blog about. Take this, for example.

Adam Boulton has written the Politics column in the New Statesman this week, speculating that Tony Blair will be interviewed under caution by Inspector John Yates (better hide that article from Anji, Adam). Click HERE to read it in full. Hidden away in the article are these two sentences relating to Yates...

His Met bosses bolstered him this week with temporary promotion to acting deputy commissioner (from deputy assistant commissioner). There is a vacancy, and the post is expected to become permanent if all goes well.

I wonder if your 'cover-up' antennae have just twitched in the same way as mine did when I read that. Questions for Sir Ian Blair to answer...

1. Why promote Yates in the middle of the most sensitive Met inquiry for years?
2. Why make it temporary?
3. What does 'all go well' mean?

We all know that Sir Ian Blair's position is not exactly stable. He's become the maverick's maverick. I do hope that if either he or anone on the Met staff was playing games with Inspector Yates we would get to hear about it. Unlike most bloggers I don't generally believe in conspiracy theories, but in this case I smell a rat - and it's rapidly decomposing.

18 comments:

Andrew Young said...

according to my source Yates HAS NOT received a promotion temporary or otherwise

Apparently Paul Stephenson is the only D.C

Will double check and get back to you.

David said...

Promoted from Inspector (two pips) to DAC/AAC? That's like promoting a Lieutenant straight up to Brigadier General! No promotion to Chief Inspector, Superindentant, Chief Superindent then? Wow! Could they not be a bit subtle about this......or is their arrogance that boundless?

Anonymous said...

DAC Yates was not promoted from an Inspector to DAC during the course of this investigation and Andrew is quite right, there is only one Deputy Commissioner at NSY and that is DC Paul Stephenson. Yates has been a DAC now for well over 12 months. This is a non-story.....

i spy strangers said...

Iain - your use of "Inspector" to describe John Yates has confused the issue. He is already a Deputy Assistant Commissioner, so promotion to DC might well be on the cards (however ill-timed).

The term "Inspector" seems to have been adopted by some bloggers for use in a mildly derogatory sense in relation to Yates (putting him on a par with Knacker of the Yard or Clouseau), irresepctive of his actual rank.

Anonymous said...

Just look what happened to John Scarlett after the Hutton enquiry........I smell more Blair Pooooooohhh!

Chuck Unsworth said...

Well it may not be news but it's certainly interesting that Yates should heve been thus 'encouraged' during this investigation.

Encouraged to do exactly what, though? Maybe there'll be some sort of explanation as to the good Inspector's remarkable fortunes, but it's all a bit suspect.

What's needed here is a good drop of forensic - but no chance of that, eh?

Anonymous said...

In my book all goes well should mean that Blair gets banged up - will be good practice for his later life when he suffers a similar fate at the hands of a war crimes tribunal

Anonymous said...

Yeah I think this has got mangled in the telling somewhere along the line; I cant see a DAC making DC in one leap.

Iain Not Dale said...

I will, of course, defer to expert opinion from anyone in the police, but it is not unusual in the military to be awarded temporary promotion ("acting rank") in certain posts or roles. Normally this is where some equivalency is required with other - more senior - officers (perhaps of different Services, nations or indeed civil servants) or where special powers accessible to higher ranks are required, in both cases in order to get a job done.

Perhaps Yates needs some more clout in his dealings with No 10? Perhaps he needs access to levels of authorisation he does not have at present? Perhaps his seniors don't want to provide the required authorisation and would rather he did it himself!

This is all pure speculation, but based on what happens in the Armed Forces.

Voyager said...

Blair probably insisted that he be interviewed by someone a notch above the types that interview Michael Howard or Johnnie Powell (pronounced "Pooool")

Verity said...

Iain Not Dale - V interesting thoughts!

james higham said...

Not just decomposing ... definitely on the nose.

Shotgun said...

1. Why promote Yates in the middle of the most sensitive Met inquiry for years?

To gve him the maximum authority permissible to arrest and question Bliar under caution?

Might you be looking at this from the wrong angle?

Man in a shed said...

Lets hope he's a man on integrity.

This government has specialised in putting its supporters into 'neutral' positions - speaker of the house of commons, DG of the BBC etc ...

But they should all remember Blair is soon gone - and Brown can't function outside of his Treasury comfort zone.

Iain Not Dale said...

So, is there anything a DC can do that a DAC cannot in terms of investigatory powers, budgetary authority or managerial authority? Personally I would think not at that level, but it is worth considering.

Iain Not Dale said...

Sorry to seem over-enthusiastic, or paranoid - just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you!

However, my attention was drawn to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 s32 (authorisation of intrusive surveillance):

"For the purposes of this section the senior authorising officers are-

(6) For the purposes of this section the senior authorising officers are-

(a) the chief constable of every police force maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996 (police forces in England and Wales outside London);
(b) the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and every Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis;"

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2000/00023--g.htm

I am not convinced that such a temporary promotion would be for the express purpose of authorisation as above, although the notion of the cops bugging Bliar, Levy, Powell etc is most amusing. Nevertheless, the example above indicates the connection between rank and authority.

billy said...

Iain Not Dale said...
.........but it is not unusual in the military to be awarded temporary promotion ("acting rank") in certain posts or roles. Normally this is where some equivalency is required with other - more senior - officers (perhaps of different Services, nations or indeed civil servants) or where special powers accessible to higher ranks are required, in both cases in order to get a job done.

This is all pure speculation, but based on what happens in the Armed Forces.

It would still be unusual to adopt a rank two steps or more above your own. A captain as a temporary Lt. Colonel?

Iain Not Dale said...

It is unusual to temporarily move up two ranks in the Armed Forces, but I am sure it is not without precedence.

I recall acting rank being handed out during the Iraq war to maintain parity with the Americans. I am not sure if there were any double promotions in that case. However, I am sure I vaguely recall temporary appointments of 2 ranks at a local level when the CO has been away from the unit and there has been no-one available one rank below to stand in.

The police are different, of course. As is this investigation. Confidentiality may be crucial, to prevent the leakage of information to the media and to the suspects. Therefore it may be more desirable to promote Yates of the Yard than to rely on authorisation from another more senior officer.

My main point is that, in a uniformed organisation, rank tends not to be handed out as a reward. There is a promotion process. If rank is handed out the reason is task-related.