The Sketch: Met chief looks fit for job – unlike some officers

Our masters have their own language to keep them separate from us underpaid vulgarians
Click to follow
The Independent Online

The out-of-touch criticism is a good one; it applies right across our political class. Our masters now have their own manners and language to keep them separate from the rest of us underpaid, unconnected, unsophisticated vulgarians.

The head of some BBC regulatory committee was in yesterday. A chevalier of the class. Possibly a count. He couldn't say "Yes", he had to say "I think the import of your remarks is correct". Who do you know who speaks like that? It could be described as ancien régime except it makes Marie Antoinette sound like hip-hop.

The new Met Commissioner came in: Bernard Hogan-Howe. He is fighting fit, with skin like sandpaper and a look in his face that makes you think he'd rather be out hunting criminals with a gladiator's net. And while he can talk that wretched talk, you know it's his second language. Will he prevail? Will he prosper? He looks better than the last lot so the actual question is: will he survive?

He supports a few parts of Tom Winsor's plan to cut back police perks. That police officers should, uncontroversially, be fit. That obese officers should have 8 per cent of their pay docked. Why not – there are officers so fat they couldn't catch a thief unless he was running towards them down a very narrow alley. Oh, but the Police Federation is demonstrating against it, the chair said.

Of course they are. That's the sort of thing he's up against in the Met.

Keith Vaz also pointed out how easily senior officers took up lucrative private-sector positions on retirement. Yes, and on their socking great police pensions as well (Brian Paddick's £64,000 index-linked linked supplement to his new career being a case in point). No real answer.

Michael Ellis pointed out that the Boat Race idiot had been charged with the lowest level of the Public Order Act – one that couldn't have him jailed. Did that serve as a deterrent for protesters drawn to the Queen's water pageant? No answer there either. He's still playing himself in, isn't he? No hurry. In your own time.