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Saturday, January 27, 2007
Blair Reneges on Suffolk Police Funding Promise
It appears that our whiter than white PM has reneged on yet another promise. At the start of the Suffolk Police inquiry into the murder of the five Ipswich prostitutes Tony Blair told the local force "we will do everything that we can to support the police in the difficult and challenging work that they do". He's now refusing to help meet the £19 million cost of the Inquiry.More in the EADT HERE and on Ben Redsell's blog.
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Nowt new. He's a serial offender here. Last year he was promising more money/resources to our troops in Afghanistan and still has to pony up the dough. His mouth has a habit of writing cheques he can't cash. Anyone who believes him is a mug.
Ah...but that wasn't a promise, Iain, it was an 'aspiration'...
It doesn't really matter any more. There is nothing he can do to escape the opprobrium of history for generations to come. I find that rather comforting, like a hot water bottle.
Hmm..with that wording, and his past record, anyone who believed that 'support' would be in the form of cold, hard cash would be rather naive.
Worth trying to 'name and shame' him - although does he have any shame ?
I know this is probably a silly question but how did Suffolk plod manage to spend £19m on the enquiry?
That'd be one hell of a lot of overtime.
Or of course a reflection of the cost of holding daily PR extravaganzas.
Youd be suprised how much these inquiries cost.
But this shows what power Iain Dale and other bloggers now have. Without him the papers and all other news outlets wouldnt report this and Blair would get away with it.
Is there any wonder that no matter how much money the government throws at public services it's never enough?
£19m - somebody has got to be taking the P*ss.
That's nearly as bad as the £2.3 Billion it's costing to do up Whitehall. (£1000 chairs for all 3100 staff - what does a £1000 office chair look like?)
Or the £50m being spent on an advertising campaign to tell us about the smoking ban. (which will be in every paper, all over the radio and on all the TV news channels for free anyway)
If I was the PM I'd want to see an itemised bill.
I assume Gordo makes all these spending decisions, perfectly indifferent to whatever Tony may have promised.
Likewise, Tony makes the promises, perfectly indifferent to whether he is in a position to honour them.
Further to the above:
The first body was discovered on December 2 and the suspect, Steve Wright was arrested on December 19.
According to press releases on 13/14 Dec 200+ police officers were involved in the investigation. On 15 Dec this had risen to 250 police staff with help from 26 other forces. On 18 Dec Suffolk Police were claiming 500 officers and 350 more from 30 other forces.
Presumably the case only became a major investigation after the second body was discovered on 8 Dec and would have been severely scaled down after Wright was charged on the 21st so it ran for 13 days. Let's say that the 200 officers mentioned on 13 Dec were deployed from the 9th and that if 30 forces were contributing 350 personnel on the 18th then proportionately 26 would contribute 303
December 9th 200
December 10th 200
December 11th 200
December 12th 200
December 13th 200
December 14th 200
December 15th 250 +303
December 16th 250 +303
December 17th 250 +303
December 18th 500 +350
December 19th 500 +350
December 20th 500 +350
December 21st 500 +350
Obviously there was investigation continuing beyond the 21st but this must have been on a greatly reduced scale.
Let's have every officer doing 12 hour shifts and we get 75,108 hours of policing. Be really generous and presume that they're all on over-time at an exorbitant £50 an hour. Total wage bill - £3,755,400
Of course other expenditure was incurred - helicopters, computer resources, catering & accommodation, transport but we've still got over £15m to play with even at my generous assessments.
Looks like Throw-money-at-it Tone is being cautious for once.
Oh, by the way all figures based on Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Suffolk_murder_investigation
'Limits to the lengths an inquiry should go to on grounds of costs'? (see B Redsell's piece). But that presumably doesn't apply to the completely pointless Bloody Sunday enquiry, process still grinding on, and for what? and how many millions of my money is being wasted so that Bliar could posture to the Irish?
Many promises have been forgotten.
The original manifesto IMHO!
And look at the mess the country is in now!
Blair does not want County forces, he wants EUssr regional forces.
Denying funding is another way of forcing amalgamation therefor acheiving there objectives.
Health service will be next, its well on its way with the debt they have.
Well said, two commentators here. Suffolk will need to justify claims for special grant and the Home Office, rightly, will want to scrutinise those and safeguard public money. Similarly HMI Kate Flannery was on the right lines in telling Suffolk in relation to a different investigation that it would need to be fiscally responsible in choosing what investigative work to carry out.
Let's not forget that the police are spending our money and that, unless we want taxes to go up, every £ they spend on one thing is a £ taken away from something else.
I, for one, should like us all (especially right-of-centre commentators) to keep in mind that there is only a finite pot of public money and that there isn't a pot of secret gold in Downing Street, the Home Office or anywhere else.
That's all very well, anon at 11.52, but what are you expecting the Police to do when faced with such an enquiry? The suspect (no names, innocent until proven guilty etc.) was arrested after the fifth victim was found. Every murder would have required its own incident room, albeit all linked together. The amount of searches, enquiries, would have been horrendous. Should think little Suffolk didn't know what had hit it.
Should the Police have said after any one of those bodies were found "Sorry, too expensive, can't afford it, he'll have to carry on killing women as we're not doing any more investigating?"
I'm as willing as the next person to criticise the Police when they deserve it, but I don't think people realise how expensive and difficult this type of enquiry is.
As for there not being an infinite pot of taxpayers' money - it seems to me when the Government want to spend money on ITSELF the pot is indeed infinite. What's the cost of Cherie's car and driver per year - never been done for any other PM's wife - didn't notice Tone saying the nation couldn't afford that, or as Daily Referendum said above, £2.3 billion on blinging up Whitehall!
Always plenty of cash for MPs expenses, too, no scrimping there.
However, no one actually thought TB was telling the truth for once did they? Surely we all know he's long on promises and short on performance.
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