Stephenson taking £24K (Telegraph) to live in as much comfort as possible is obviously wrong, even though he was ill. It’s weird because he could afford to pay and could probably excuse the Met paying. He has a long history of turning down bonus money way in excess. There’s an error of judgement here, but I’m not sure who’s it is. That it’s connected with the ‘in-crowd’ Wallis stuff makes it worse. He’s not on the take in brown envelopes here – but could favours of some kind be asked in return? My own view is that the fact that there was no one about to say ‘no John, think of the impression this could give’ around suggests that he was left with only sycophants around him. ACPO failed to stop chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne in a similar spree of unawareness.
More interesting in terms of what we generally hold as criminal corruption, is that the former DPP has said it only took him a few minutes to know that ScrewsNews emails were showing ‘dirty cops’. The ‘bungs’ available to me when I started plodding were cups of tea, the odd bacon butty, curry, drops from the undertaker (£5 for the call to him from a sudden death, £10 if I helped out with the body) and vehicle recovery people and a few offered direct bribes. I’m not sure how much I was offered in a couple of years. Later, there were other offers that would identify people if I talked about them like this. I was told over dinner by a modern police woman that all this is gone. We were going Dutch, but the owner wouldn’t take the money. All nothing to do with any police connections – it was to do with me helping him build the bar years ago when he was broke. I am guilty of eating some bacon and drinking some tea. And then there was VLP – visiting licensed premises – we did that by lot. Not having that kind of drink would really have made me a raw prawn. And I took drinks from criminals for a variety of reasons. This was the culture and the closer to real money you got, the more opportunities. What I took in bacon and tea wouldn’t pay from an ACPO’s individual reception bill. There were cops on much more of a take 30 years ago and I don’t remember more than half-a-dozen dealt with. The vast majority were more likely to stick a bribe attempt up where it hurts.
The world is much more corrupt these days and there’s more money awash in criminality. I doubt much has changed. This isn’t the kind of thing you can get rid of through bureaucracy, though the undertakers and vehicle rescue people have probably been sorted and VLP has gone. Society has become more corrupt from selling pensions and mortgages to compensation culture and the rest.
There has always been another way to be corrupt. The boys and girls who have been selling stories to ScrewsNews only service a form of economic niche that wasn’t around in my day. There will be others. But this isn’t what I mean. They changed the way up the greasy pole. GF Newman’s Terry Sneed will now rise in the lily-white form of career portfolio builder, conference attending and image management smoozing that is unarguably more corrupting in my view and certainly costs us more money as tax payers.
These people are corrupt in the way Soviet performance managers were – there is only ‘accounting’ no real market testing – they start, like bankers being able to mark assets to models and not to real market prices. In the financial world, the losses are ‘hidden’ in myriads of transactions that will only show up if the banks are asked to fess up and are forced out of the benefit culture. In police statistics, the losses are stacking up in antisocial behaviour and other gaming. We might say that we should return to ‘primitive’ banking and policing. The corrupt top not only serves no purpose but is a major drain on the real economy and real crime busting. Politics, of course, has its hands in both sets of this corruption, as is most of our media. Too many of us suck at its teat.
There is currently as much chance of getting anything done about the real corruption as finding the evidence of mine – though I can think of some I’d like to be looking for the remains of the bacon butties and tea!
You have to admire John Yates in all this. The timing of his resignation was sublime – done before the awkward questions about security from terrorists that should follow from the custard-pie man! I suggest they put Wendi Murdoch in charge. On Newshite tonight they claimed she prevented something even worse happening. This is pretty frightening on the quality of our journalists – she jumped on him from behind in retaliation – that’s assault. Not that my corrupt blind eye would have noticed. The question the press should be asking is whether the £24K bung is worse than one of my cups of tea. It is you know, but unlike the current blighters at the top, I wouldn’t expect to investigate myself.
The whole ‘Champers’ thing of Sir Paul trying to rush his return to work against all medical, family and general expectation, as the determined soldier, falls to the rot such stuff is when it turns out we can do without him and a major deputy overnight. Part of the corruption is beginning to believe the ‘excellence’ bullshit and how vital you are. Shagger Todd was the bee’s knee’s and yet Peter Fahey is now admitted to have had to cope with an utter mess when he took over. We can now ring the police in Manchester and not be told they are too busy and to stop bothering them. All this PR and cosy crud with newspapers has more to do with telling us the chiefs are supermen – for so they are until they fall or just fade away. I doubt one in ten is even any good – we need these image-managers and their lackeys and toadies gone. Police news could be delivered on line very cheaply.