It seems to me that nothing succeeds in British public life better than failure. Take the case of Bernard Horrible-Howe, the former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
Since his retirement Horrible-Howe, who is still only sixty-one has been entitled to a taxpayer-funded pension with a pot worth a reported £6 million. This has enabled him to buy two luxury homes, one in Dorset and the other in Switzerland.
Earlier this week, when reporters visited to ask about the disastrous police inquiry into alleged VIP sex abuse which happened during his time in charge, he angrily ordered them to, ‘Leave my property immediately!’
During the shameful Operation Midland enquiry, £2.5 million of public money was wasted, and the lives of innocent men and their families torn apart but that does not seem to have worried Horrible-Howe. Since leaving the Met, he has accepted seven private sector positions. These include ‘consultant’ roles across industries as varied as banking (for HSBC), insurance (for a firm called Towergate), computing (Excession Technologies) and security (the cyber-security firm Glasswall) as well as Guardiar, a company that makes fences.
He’s also done ‘TV and broadcasting’ work for American network NBC, and is on the books of the production company, Tigerlily, for whom he recently made a Dispatches documentary about legalising cannabis.To the dismay of the civil liberties lobby, he’s also an ‘adviser’ to Carbyne, an Israeli tech firm seeking to sell controversial tracking devices to the UK Government. Meanwhile and somewhat ironically, given that he was the police chief who virtually criminalised contact between his officers and the Press, Hogan-Howe also ‘works’ at Powerscourt, a PR outfit offering ‘reputation management’ for powerful and often controversial clients. All this while he’s already taking an estimated £180,000-a-year from a public sector pension.
For a former Copper – even a very senior one – this cannot make sense. What does he know about building fences, let alone all the other things he is being ‘consulted’ on?
As a member of the House of Lords, Horrible-Howe is also entitled to expenses and he takes full advantage of that.
In February, he claimed £3,355, having attended Parliament twelve times. Over the past year, his expenses bill was £21,642, for eighty-two appearances. It seems he has realised how to make more easy money. Just turn up at the Lords and put in a claim.
Horrible-Howe has also pursued a lucrative sideline of public-speaking. He’s on the books of two agencies, Chartwell and the London Speaker Bureau who have arranged for him to give talks — believed to be for five-figure fees — to U.S. arms firms, Indian police officers and a gathering of lawyers at Italy’s Lake Como. Anyone who has witnessed his wooden performances at a lectern might justifiably wonder what they’re paying for. Pezazz, the man has none!
The websites of these agencies dub Horrible-Howe (they don’t actually call him that) as a man whose ‘career has been characterised by high achievement.’ What achievement damnit? He has overseen some of the biggest fiascos managed by the Met and in the process ruined a number of innocent lives with Operation ruddy Midland.
I have ranted about that before and the entire operation ought to have been scrapped within weeks. I know Horrible-Howe was egged on by Tom Watson but as Commissioner of the Met, he ought to have had the gumption to stand up to a mere politician.
The falsely accused politician, Harvey Proctor feels Horrible-Howe is ‘an exceptionally narcissistic and weak man’ whose decision to take so many private sector jobs has made him appear ‘too eager to join the gravy train rather than make good the damage over which he presided’ and that he appears to have ‘sought private sector jobs like a moth circling a light bulb.’
Says it all really! All these lucrative ‘jobs’ are merely rewards for catastrophic failure.
Going briefly back to the Google ‘camp’ I mentioned yesterday. I have no objection to the High and Mighty – they think so at any rate – enjoying themselves at a great party, but I do object to them lecturing the rest of us on how to run our own lives and in the process, benefit the world.
Take the Royal Twonk with the red hair. It transpires that to reach Sicily, he took a private jet and a helicopter in each direction. To make up for the carbon footprint (whatever that means) of his travel arrangements, he would need to plant one hundred and ninety thousand trees for each leg.
Get planting Mr Windsor and I would suggest you keep your shoes on this time. Feet are never pretty to look at.