Do you ever read a news story and think: there’s either a big chunk missing here, or it just doesn’t add up.
Such was my reaction on reading about Met commander Ali Dizaei, who’s just been sent to jail for corruption.
Mr Dizaei has been in the news for a long time; he’s be vocal in his belief that the Met is very difficult for non-whites to reach high rank in, and he’s a talking head about a lot of other things. He’s also been in the dock for corruption and abuse of public office. In short, the only thing that has attracted more publicity than himself is the faint whiff of impropriety that has surrounded him for years.
So, what doesn’t add up is: if there’s so much doubt over his attitude, how did he get into this position?
I see a few choices:
- He’s actually a brilliant cop, and has reached the higher ranks through hard work and skill. However, his publicity seeking ways and his vocal condemnation of the force is embarrassing, and there’s been a campaign from within to rid the MPS of him.
- He’s an alright cop, but because of his public voicing of allegations of racism, nobody has had the balls to stop his rise within the organisation. So he hasn’t earned it, he’s just kept rising because the first person to deny a promotion will end up in court accused of racial discrimination.
- He’s been a fairly decent cop, but character flaws and a propensity toward big-man-ism has been uncovered as he reached the ranks where he could do most damage. In short, he’s been Peter principled.
Which do you think is the most likely?
The tabloid sub-headlines I saw while looking for cold remedies in the shop today accused him of bullying and playing the race card every time anyone stood up to him.
Even without that (as who would rely on tabloids?) I’d still go for number two. But then, I’ve been accused of being a cynic. (And have seen the race card cynically played far too often.)
Pretty much what I was thinking, but I’m slightly unnerved by the sight of so many senior officers being quite so relieved in public at corruption being uncovered in their force.