He has only been in the job a few days, but I have a feeling Sir Ian Blair, the new head of London's Metropolitan Police, may soon need new PR handlers. Today's Telegraph reports that Sir Ian - an Oxford contemporary of T. Blair - is spending thousands of pounds to change the typeface on the force's motto because - horror of horrors - the old one "discriminated against short-sighted people". The Tory shadow Attorney General, Dominic Grieve has called the decision "a load of nonsense", the paper reports:

Sir Ian, who took over as the most powerful police officer in the country last week, made the decision to change the design of the logo as one of his first orders. The motto had previously read "Working for a safer London", depicted in slightly italicised, joined-up handwriting. It now reads "Working together for a safer London", printed in a simple, bland typeface. Sir Ian, who has a reputation for being "relentlessly politically correct", insisted on adding "together" to the new logo, saying that it was an important word for him. "The word you'll hear a lot from me is 'together'," he said

And then, in an interview with the Sunday Times's Jasper Gerard, he throws himself into an even bigger elephant trap:

Blair is the ultimate PC PC. He even says, amazingly: “There is nothing wrong with being an Islamic fundamentalist. The question is how we help the vulnerable young who are attracted to violence.”

Try telling the family of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film maker who was killed for questioning Islamic attitudes to women, that there is nothing wrong with fundamentalism: “There were lots of fundamentalist Muslims who didn’t shoot him.” So that’s okay? “Just wait,” he says sharply. “Look at Jerry Springer — the Opera. Christian fundamentalists objected very strongly but they didn’t shoot the producer. And nor do 99.9% of Muslims want the sort of extremism that leads to violence. They know the consequences of terrorists claiming to be Muslim, so our job is to help. Bridges will be built.”

UPDATE: In a rare diplomatic intervention, my wife has said she thinks I'm reading too much into the fundamentalist quote. I wonder what other people think?
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/pc-pc-he-has-only-been-in-job-few-days.html|||2/06/2005 02:39:00 pm|||||||||