Thursday, April 09, 2009

If Bob Quick Had Been Home Secretary

Bob Quick was right to resign. He committed a terrible blunder. It was clearly unintentional, but that is irrelevant. It endangered a major police operation. Of course, this isnt the first time this sort of thing has happened. Some time ago Caroline Flint walked down Downing Street with secret Cabinet papers on display. These were photographed and reported in the media.

James Graham, of the Quaequam blog twittered this morning...
If Bob Quick was a minister, he'd have simply insisted he 'didn't break any rules' and sat it out.

I'm not so sure. If this had happened to Jacqui Smith in the current climate I think she'd have been forced to quit too, but only because it would have been the latest in a series of political embarrassments. If it happened to another minister, I suspect James Graham might well be right.

Bob Quick's main problem over the last 16 hours is that he has lacked political cover. This is the third embarrassment he has brought on the Met over the last few months, and it was probably inevitable that he went. It's sad that a career comes to an end like this, and disappointing that the Met has lost a senior officer in this way. It wasn't clear until just now that he has, in fact, resigned not just from his counter terror role, but from the Met as a whole.

40 comments:

The Penguin said...

Never mind, now he'll have the time to get the right licences and insurances for his car hire business!

The Penguin

Dungeekin said...

Don't believe the official spin, Iain....


Quick hasn't resigned. He was arrested in a dawn anti-terror raid this morning. Turns out he was an Al-Qaeda mole all along!

D

JuliaM said...

"It's sad that a career comes to an end like this..."

Why is it sad? This kind of bumbling incompetence merely calls into question just how it is that he had 'a career' in the first place!

yellowbelly said...

Karma!!

The Lakelander said...

I don't suppose that an Assistant Commissioner's salary would stretch as far as to buy a briefcase would it?

gaw said...

The man's judgement is shot - this is now the third time this has been demonstrated. Therefore, I don't feel sad his career has come to an end. It's more a question of relief that we now have a chance of getting someone who is competent in this role.

Dr Gonz said...

He has resigned from the position, not from the force, and is apparently free to apply in the future for senior posts.

Guthrum said...

Why Sad- he was incompetent, he has not resigned from the Met, like everybody else in this misbegotten administration he gets to sit on his pot of cash.

The Home Office and Policing in this Country are a dangerous laughing stock

Dick the Prick said...

An honourable man who dropped a howler. Perhaps Sharon Shoesmith can view its form?

Honour, responsibility, dignity - surprised I can still remember those words.

cassandra said...

Twelve years of newlabour has reduced the UK to a laughing stock, top jobs given out to retarded imbeciles who would be better employed attending the local special needs daycare centre, can you imagine that people at the very top of government couldnt see the economic disaster coming when everyone else did?
WTF employing crooked lying incomptent toadies in the very service that is meant to protect us all, this Quick prat had trouble running a car hire firm yet was thought fit to run the nations anti terrorist outfit?
The sheer incompetence of these morons is staggering isnt it? The top commissars certainly know how to make full use of their expenses fiddles and blurt out the correct slogans but find it impossible to do their jobs properly, we are governed and led by self enriching,puffed up yet ignorant egomaniacs with a sense of entitlement that would put Paris Hilton to shame and with all the honour and integrity of Robert Mugabe!
The slow motion car crash that is the Westminster fiasco wouldnt be so bad if they just destroyed themselves but they are taking down the rest of us down with them.

arthurgreenwood said...

How do we know this incident was "accidental" or "inadvertant", as the media are saying? Is he being blackmailed? If it was accidental, should photography in public places continue to be allowed?

Forlornehope said...

Most commercial organisations that handle classified information have rules. A typical set of rules would include some of the following. When transported documents go in double envelopes, the outside one is unmarked. Then they go in a briefcase, which is locked and does not go out of your posession. If it is on a laptop it has to have an approved encryption and the same rules apply; if you go for a pee, it goes too. The idea that a senior policeman could walk out of his office with an open document is almost beyond belief. If James Forsyth or John le Carre put that in a novel it would be laughed at.

There seems to be a general problem of professionalism in public service. Forget the big policy issues, perhaps the key thing for a Conservative government is simply to restore competence.

Forlornehope said...

Most commercial organisations that handle classified information have rules. A typical set of rules would include some of the following. When transported documents go in double envelopes, the outside one is unmarked. Then they go in a briefcase, which is locked and does not go out of your posession. If it is on a laptop it has to have an approved encryption and the same rules apply; if you go for a pee, it goes too. The idea that a senior policeman could walk out of his office with an open document is almost beyond belief. If James Forsyth or John le Carre put that in a novel it would be laughed at.

There seems to be a general problem of professionalism in public service. Forget the big policy issues, perhaps the key thing for a Conservative government is simply to restore competence.

Oldrightie said...

Sad? It's a victory for common sense. A bumbling, poorly equipped lacky Gordon got tired of.

Simon Gardner said...

Is “Robert Mugabe” the new Godwin’s law

Plato said...

Mr Quick was immensely stupid and careless IMO, just like the idiot who left the top secret dossier on the train.

What are these people thinking of FFS?

It's not hard.

Mr Quick has made an arse of himself over the wedding car business, Damian Green arrest and then to top it all with claims of Tory corruption and media conspiracy.

Once again - you couldn't make it up.

Silent Hunter said...

Hang on a sec there Julia M !

How do you square that sentiment, when you spent most of yesterday 'bombing the blogs' with how great the Met were and how we shouldn't criticise them for the death of Mr Tomlinson?

Not very consistent in your views now are you.

But then again - you ARE a Labour Supporter. LOL

Dennis said...

He's certainly fat enough to have been a Home Secretary.

Chris Paul said...

There is no comparison between the Flint scribble and this Iain. What twaddle. But I agree with Ken Livingstone in hoping that we have a good cop to take Quick's place in this vital role.

I'd have wanted to retain him in post unless there is a very able appointee to take his place. As Ken says Al Queda would be delighted if the Met deliberately weaken themselves over a silly error or slip.

One of the most stupid ideas in the whole wide world is of able people being pushed out of jobs over human failings. One the face of it Quick and his team appear to be doing a lot of things right, post 7-7.

All the Social Work witch hunting is a case in point. Just weakens the service further.

Though I would like to see a call for the resignation of the Chair of the Police Authority on this one ... Boris is a complete chump. Institutionally incapable of being serious. Utter lightweight.

No danger he'll expose any papers though. He doesn't bother to prepare for meetings and likes to bumble off midstream.

Alex said...

Sad?

He should have been immediately sacked in disgrace for a gross breach of security.

No doubt he walks away with a vast NuLabour-size pension and straight into six figure 'consultancies'.

Dick the Prick said...

Yeah, yeah Chris - absolutely on the money, exactly right, spot on, crystal clear, nailed it, wiser words never been uttered etc etc etc.

Move along, nothing to see - just a local issue!

TeRLocK said...

Chris Paul - go on then, what were all these things that Quick was doing that were so great?

It was typical hypocrisy from Livingstone, one day ranting on at the police officer involved yesterday and how disgusting it was and it wouldn't have happened on his watch then today, now one of his cronies has been caught out, spouting about one off human error and how he shouldn't lose his job and AQ would be laughing. I'd actually think they would be quite gutted that anyone stupid enough to publically display info on potential terrorists isn't staying in the UK police force!

Livingstone is a rent-a-quote, bitter idiot who insists on imposing his views as if they are law. He was right about the copper yesterday being out of line but it would have happened whoever was Mayor and he is wrong on Quick and only defending him because he is one of his own. This should be about the police force, not a party political over London Mayoral issues.

JuliaM said...

"Hang on a sec there Julia M !

How do you square that sentiment, when you spent most of yesterday 'bombing the blogs' with how great the Met were and how we shouldn't criticise them for the death of Mr Tomlinson?"


How is the one anything like the other? Did I say that, if found to have been at fault for unprofessional conduct, that police officer shouldn't face the appropriate charges?

"Not very consistent in your views now are you."

Yes, I certainly am.

"But then again - you ARE a Labour Supporter. LOL"

I am...? News to me.

curly15 said...

How do these journalists get away with photographing policemen in the execution of their duties?

JuliaM said...

"One of the most stupid ideas in the whole wide world is of able people being pushed out of jobs over human failings. "

How many should they be allowed then? This was Quick's third (that we know about).

And not a minor slip, either, of the vein of 'Oooh, you can't claim for 'Debbie Does Dallas' after all? My bad!'...

Conand said...

I'm annoyed that Ken Livingdead says that the Met will be dismayed at Quick going.
Why Kenny? He potentially put Police Officers and Security Officers in greater danger by his crass numptism. Police Officers don't take too kindly to that kind of thing.
On the Good/Bad scale his action ticks almost all of the bad boxes.

Tom said...

According to Channel 4 News, he Caroline Flint picture in question was actually taken by the same photographer.

I suspect a lot of politicians are going to rue the day hi-res digital cameras were invented...

pete-s said...

The real story appears to be the way Boris got in an interview to announce 'Quick's' resignation. This seems to have scuppered a downing street plan to manage the news of the resignation. If so, well done Boris.

Summer said...

What a completely silly post from Chris Paul at 10.21am.

Failed Mayor, failed policeman, failed social services all endangering the public - oh don't be so nasty to them, they desverve their tax payer funded jobs on full perks.

Current mayor - oh he should resign just because he's a Tory. He could never do a good job because he is a Tory. Tories are just not allowed to have human failings!!!

Only socialists have forgiveable human failings. Tories should be shot at birth!!!!! I think that is just about the jist of it.

Tom said...

Compare and contrast this morning's pre-emptive announcement by Boris of Quick's resignation and Yates' replacement of him, with yesterday's Brown pre-emptive announcement of the electric car initiative. The government is furious about this? Serves them bloody right!

Hubris said...

Deliberate 'Security leak' prompts arrests in 'suspected al-Qaida plot'?

Patrick said...

The consequence of this blunder is that there will be 12 men/terrorists released because there is not enough evidence.

Dont worry about Bob, Im sure he is on a promise.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Quick, like a lot of present day senior officers, are in position because they are/were creatures created by ZaNu-Lab. Doesnt mean to say, unlike many of their predecessors, that they were competent, just compliant.

As Ian Blair found out such creations are very dispensable....Good Riddance and well done to Boris for making it so..

The Grim Reaper said...

He hasn't really resigned, oh no. This is all just something that was leaked to the Tory press to smear him. Do keep up, Iain...

ranter said...

I blame the stigmatising of plastic carrier bags. None available for Fat Bob as he rushed out of the office clutching his 'look how important I am' bundle. Why didn't he get his staff officer to carry them, or put them in a briefcase etc etc.

On another note, it's crisis time at the Met's Catering Branch, emergency talks with the commissioner (when they can get him out of the tanning salon) as profits at the NSY 'Canteen' are expected to fall by 50% after Fat Bob's departure!

DiscoveredJoys said...

The retention and transmission of secrecy marked papers is governed by some very strict rules - which Bob Quick didn't obey.

If he had stayed he would almost certainly been disciplined severely, either by loss of rank or by dismissal.

Better to jump with some dignity rather than be pushed. If only some of our politicians would do the same...

Jimmy said...

A more interesting question might be whether Quick would still be in post if he hadn't offended the Tory Party.

logdon said...

A Mirror blog reported:

Boris Johnson has had a fun morning glorying [in] Bob Quick's departure. Bungling Quick's fate was actually sealed when Jacqui Smith told Met chief Sir Paul Stephenson he had to go last night. But that did not stop BoJo, chair of the Met police authority, ringing the Today programme to pompously announce the news and crowbar himself into the headlines. His opportunism has left the Home Office gasping with disbelief and, possibly, envy. One insider said they were "disgusted" at the London mayor's "grandstanding" and far ruder things are being said in private.

They don't like it up 'em do they? What part of 'chair of the Met police authority' don't they understand?

Magical_Mist said...

Why did the media feel it necessary to print photographs of these documents? Surely they are just as much (if not far more) to blame for this than Bob Quick?

There really should be some sort of convention that prevents information of this nature being printed until the police are willing to let people know

Steve Cooke said...

Why is it that you have to resign from the police immediately for holding a piece of paper the wrong way round, but not if you assault an innocent civilian on his way home from work?