Something a bit fishy about the Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe. It’s only a hunch based on years of snap and unsubstantiated judgements but I’d arrest him.
It wasn’t just the bitey exchanges with the MPs on the Public Administration Committee. Truth to tell, the committee didn’t distinguish itself and it would be easy to get impatient with them.
No, the man talks too much, and too often to conceal rather than reveal.
During a previous committee appearance he had quoted a report which said the Met’s performance had been just fine. But in fact, the report had said Met performance gave “cause for concern”.
Hogan-Howe’s explanation ran for a full fifty feet of videotape but is summarised as – “I was quoting from the executive summary and the criticism was in the text of the report.”
The verbal slurry helped conceal the fact that the author of said report was Bernard Hogan-Howe himself. But then, why didn’t he remember what was in it?
He had forgotten that he’d written it.
He’d FORGOTTEN he’d – ?
Just turn off the tape and let me question him around the kidneys, Sarge.
On the matter of fiddled crime statistics, had Hogan-Howe spoken to whistleblower PC Patrick as he told the committee he would?
More low-value verbalising. No, he hadn’t specifically spoken to him as such, not personally. And why not? Apart from it being Christmas?
Actually, they had approached him after his whistleblowing appearance in order to “enquire about his welfare”.
That had been interpreted by the committee clerk as “trying to interfere with his evidence”. So, obviously, having said he wanted to talk to him he couldn’t talk directly to him in person, as such.
And then obviously Hogan-Howe couldn’t speak to him about fiddled crime statsistics because PC Patrick is up on charges of gross misconduct for publishing evidence about fiddled crime statistics.
The lesson from all this? “We need to learn what we can do to support whistleblowers.”
Support them, you see, not “enquire after their welfare”. And the welfare of their children. Lovely looking little ones.
Bernard Jenkin (whose hair is a crime category in itself) remarked that PC Patrick had been producing evidence of corrupt crime reporting for months and years and only after his committee appearance did Hogan-Howe take an interest in the matter.
Hogan-Howe is an odd one all right.
The committee didn’t nail him this time. But life is long, and time, no doubt, will tell.