Blair v. Blair

Tony Blair is Britain's Prime Minister. Ian Blair is Britain's top cop. But Tony and Ian are fast becoming the Kramer versus Kramer of British politics -- locked together in a marriage of convenience, driven apart by events.

Like all juicy domestic squabbles it started with something fairly trivial. Ian Blair - Sir Ian we ought to call him, because he was awarded a fancy knighthood for services to policing - is incompetent when it comes to opening his mouth. Sir Ian constantly and embarrassingly puts his foot in it.

The other day he got into a public racial row when he criticized the media for under-reporting crimes against ethnic minorities in favor of white victims. Oh dear. His own officers shot and killed a totally innocent Brazilian on the London subway last year - they mistook him for a terrorist and pumped him full of bullets - first Sir Ian said he didn't know, then he said he did know, now we don't know precisely what he said or what he meant.

If there was a Donald Rumsfeld prize for verbal blundering, Sir Ian Blair would win it hands down. It is a miracle he's still in the job. Tony Blair, they say, ought to have sacked him ages ago.

Except that's not so easy, and here's why: Tony Blair and his Government have been accused of rewarding generous political donors with fancy titles -- Lord this or that. The bigger the money, the bigger the kick-back. Big time corruption. Nothing proved, of course. But it has sparked an investigation by - you've guessed it - London's Metropolitan police, led by Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

Now most people cynically assumed that this would be a bit of a white-wash job -- ask a few questions, wait until the fuss died down and then quietly forget it all. Instead the boys in blue moved quickly and arrested a government official responsible for helping to persuade rich people to build public schools. Then the interrogations started in earnest, and the document searches.

There is now more than just a smell of scandal. There is a full scale investigation going on with a paper trail that may lead right to the top. It is said that the Prime Minister himself could face questioning.

Blair versus Blair - battling for custody -- of the truth.
by Ed Boyle