Is Sir Ian Blair
a gung ho Walter Mitty or a pathological liar. It would certainly appear that
he has tendencies in both directions after reading the account given for his ‘alleged’
involvement in Balcombe Street siege in 1975 published in today’s Guardian.
In an interview
with the Guardian published last year Sir Ian Blair described the most dramatic
experience of his early police career: after responding to a radio call about a
“bandit car” being used by a group of IRA men fleeing the scene of an
attack, he and a sergeant had found themselves confronted with the terrorists.
the corner, and there is the car,” he recalled. “It was a very
defining moment. I think I spent the next half an hour pretending to be a bush.
They got out of the car and started firing at us. It is an interesting experience
being fired at when you have absolutely nothing to fire back with … I loved
it. I loved the job.”
Purnell – who with his partner Phil McVeigh were the first policemen to
confront the Balcombe Street gang were puzzled.
Purnell “I've never for one second associated Ian Blair with Balcombe Street in any shape or form and his account of
seeing [the terrorists] get out of the car and being shot at as they got out of
the car is totally impossible.”
Yesterday Sir Ian
said that in the original interview he had been trying to discuss “what
the excitement and thrill of the job was as a young cop.
he had not personally seen the IRA men getting out of their car and opening
fire but had become aware that they had done so after arriving in the Balcombe Street area on the night of December
“Wherever it is we arrive [in the Balcombe Street area] I am aware that from what I'm
hearing that it must be that they are out of the car and they are firing,
because I heard the firing … I didn't see it and I didn't say I saw it.”
Well that's OK
then. I lied and I got caught, but it doesn’t matter because I meant something
This is the
standard that London’s most senior police officer sets. Is this the standard of
presentations to courts? Uncorroborated hearsay presented as Walter Mitty facts? Is this Policing Sir Ian Blair style?
Is this the
standard that citizens should respect. We think not.
Sir Ian Blair, gung ho Walter Mitty and pathological
liar, Time to own up, say it’s a fair cop, and resign.