Top police chief voted 'yesterday's man'

Deborah Hobson

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir  Ian Blair, has been mired in controversy since his appointment in February 2005. A growing "charge sheet" of ill-judged comments and actions have intensified criticism of his leadership and calls for his resignation.

In the wake of a recent bungled anti-terror raid in Forest Gate, east London, UK, in which an innocent Asian Muslim man was shot, almost 90 per cent of The-Latest voters go further and say that Sir Ian should be sacked. (See also 'Is The Media Racist', The-Latest Columnists section).

However, it’s not all bad news for the Oxford educated police chief. His namesake and former university contemporary, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “I retain complete confidence in Sir Ian Blair as the Metropolitan Commissioner”.  The Prime Minister is himself accustomed to fending off attacks on his position and may well share some ‘bunker style’ survival tips with Sir Ian. Yet, the PM can take no solace from the100 per cent of The-Latest.Comers who want him to leave Downing Street immediately.  

Ex-Home Secretary Charles Clarke, who was ‘resigned’ from his role in May of this year was, in comparison, judged less harshly by The-Latest poll participants as a modest 50 per cent voted in favour of his 'deportation'. Clarke, was seen by some in Westminster as the unfortunate fall guy in the released foreign-born prisoners fiasco . See The-Latest article Who Guards The Guardians? under the Columnists section.

Britain’s fight against a possible bird flu outbreak requires a more “robust and systematic” wild bird surveillance programme according to a new study by the Science Advisory Council's group on epidemic diseases. The independent report states that the Government also needs to improve the speed of initial reporting of the infection and submission of samples for testing. Whilst 50 per cent of The-Latest.Comers felt that the Government was doing enough to combat bird flu, nearly 40 per cent of voters disagreed.

Madonna’s reign as the ‘high priestess’ of pop may have taken a knock when she unashamedly courted controversy at the start of her Confessions Tour in the USA in May. Condemned by church leaders after she appeared on a 20ft high mirrored cross wearing a crown of thorns, Madonna also  caused offence to 55 per cent of  The-Latest voters who said she was wrong to stage the mock ‘crucifixion’. See The-Latest story Madonna’s ‘Crucifixion’ Upsets More Than Da Vinci in the Entertainment section.

On a lighter note, millionaire music mogul Simon Cowell may have tested the patience of pop lovers in the UK with one too many series of his ITV talent show the X Factor. A resounding 63 per cent of The-Latest voters agree that the programme is past its sell-by date. Perhaps the final straw for The-Latest pundits was Shayne Ward, the show's last winner.