Saturday 31 May 2008

"Errr, Bit Too Strong Even For Us...!"

A little while ago, it was announced that Sir Ian Blair would not be continuing in the role of Met Police Chief until the 2012 Olympics, as he'd hoped, and I noted the 'Times' front runners were reported to be:
Speculation has focused on Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and Sir Paul Scott-Lee, chief constable of West Midlands police, Britain’s second largest force.
With Sir Paul Scott-Lee's WMP tripping over their shoelaces and hurling custard pies at one another over the Ofcom judgement, Sir Hugh obviously decided to seize his moment. But what to do..? What could possibly indicate to the Govenment that here was a man to follow in the footsteps of the PC PC?

Well, Sir Hugh must have thought he'd found the perfect cause to get behind:
One of the country’s most senior police officers has said Britain can only stop al-Qa’eda by negotiation.

Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said his experiences of dealing with the IRA proved that detection and arrests would not defeat the terrorists.

Sir Hugh said he could not think of one terror campaign in history which had ended without negotiation and said Britain’s leaders had to “think the unthinkable”.

He said: "If you want my professional assessment of any terrorism campaign, what fixes it is talking and engaging and judging when the conditions are right for that to take place.

"Is that a naïve statement? I don’t think it is. It is the reality of what we face."
Sadly for Sir Hugh, the Government has decided that yes, it is indeed a naive statement to have a top copper suggest negotiation with fanatics:
A police chief was slapped down by the Government yesterday for suggesting Britain could open talks with Al Qaeda.

But his suggestion was immediately dismissed by the Foreign Office.

A spokesman said: 'It is inconceivable that Her Majesty's Government would ever seek to reach a mutually acceptable accommodation with a terrorist organisation like Al Qaeda.'
Wow! To be slapped down by the Foreign Office on matters of appeasement is some feat...

Back to the drawing board, Sir Hugh!

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