Could I really get away with not commenting on the Bob Quick story? No, not really.
I have had a chance to work with Bob Quick over the last few months via the MPA, I have always found him to be a very switched on and effective officer. I was surprised by the arrest of Damian Green and the fact that there were clearly procedural mistakes made. I was amazed and deeply disappointed to hear the comments made by Bob last night.
The Damian Green arrest was always going to propel Bob into the spotlight, when that happened the media was always going to look for the man behind the story. Finding out that his wife ran a car hire firm wasn't going to be the toughest bit of investigative journalism in the world and once the media found out that it was run from his home address, the story wrote itself.
What is saddening is that Bob's first reaction seemed to be to blame the Conservatives, although he has now withdrawn the remarks and apologised. I feel that the party has been fair and even handed in it's criticism of the Met's handling of the arrest, never personal. That he assumed the natural reaction of politicians is to initiate a personal attack through the media is a sad statement on his view of politicians, or at least of Conservative politicians.
I still have complete confidence in Bob's ability to run the Met's counter terrorism operations but I now have a big question mark in his my mind about whether he is the best person to complete the investigation into the Home Office leaks.
I don't get quite as excited as some people do over buses and trains. I view them as a means to get too and from places. That said I have always had a soft spot rot the Routemaster.
As industrial design goes it was a classic. Visually distinctive, practical and sturdy. Like most Londoners I grew up with them and I loved them.
That Livingstone got rid of them was one of the reasons I felt that he had to go. I have just seen the new designs for the 21st Century Routemaster and I'm excited by buses again. Sad I know, but there you go.
Rosie Boycott (London's food Czar) and I had a meeting with farmers from the Home Counties to look at ways that London can eat more locally produced food. Boris joined us for part of the meeting but had to rush off to another appointment, although the farmers did present him with a rather nice basket of goodies.
We discussed opening up more street markets, making it easier for farmers to supply pubic sector organisations and encouraging London kids to visit farms to see where food comes from. One of our biggest challenges is to shorten and simplify the supply chains which will help farmers, reduce costs to the consumer, support independent retailers and help save our street markets. But it won't be an easy task.
If you think that living in a city next to the Garden of England would mean that we get the bulk of Kent's produce, think again. I have now heard about peas from Kent going via freezing facilities on the continent and then back to supermarkets in London. Or how about the nearest big abattoir being in the West Country, meaning Sussex lamb goes on a nice 350 mile round trip just to get to south London. Or Kent raspberries being sold in Dundee while Scottish Raspberries are on sale in Greenwich. Bonkers.
While the underlying cause of this downturn cannot fairly be laid at the feet of Gordon Brown, the fact that we seem singularly unprepared for it can. Repeating the mantra "end of boom and bust" is not the same as having an economic policy, neither is taxing as much as you can and burning through the money raised as if there were no tomorrow.
I have never thought much of Brown's economic competence, I had hoped that it wouldn't take our economy being screwed up for everyone else to realise how weak he is.
I'm disappointed, but not surprised, to hear that the two Royal Navy "super-carriers" are not going to be built.
Defence budgets are under huge pressure because of the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan and the planes that the ships were meant to carry wouldn't have been ready for years after the ships came into service. These two things alone put a huge question mark over the project.
I was also a little bit sceptical about the process, the Navy accepted some serious cuts on the promise of the two new carriers. The cuts have happened and now the carriers have been cut too, all very neatly done!
The government needs to think carefully about the role in the world that they want to play and tailor the armed forces accordingly. At the moment we are trying to be the world police with the budget of the local park wardens. It can't go on.
Interesting story in the Bexley Times. Michael Chuter is the Chair of the Joint Committee of PCTs which decided to cut A&E, maternity and children's services from Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup. He is also campaigning for the Lib Dem's in the East Wickham by-election.
According to the paper one local resident said: "I went on the march to save our hospital earlier this year. Now it turns out their opposition to cutting the hospital services is just as much as a sham as the consultation on the hospital that Mr Chuter has engaged in.
"I saw him from my window leaving my property carrying a stack of those dreadful Liberal Democrat leaflets. I immediately recycled mine. His face is known to all of us who have tried to support QMS."
I wonder if the leaflets that he was delivering had SOS QMH on them?
I stood as the Conservative candidate for Lewisham East at the 2005 General Election, my opponent was Bridget Prentice MP. She has been caught misusing parliamentary funds and has been told of by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, John Lyon. Naughty, naughty!
The case refers a letter sent out called "East meets West" and was clearly an attempt to raise her profile amongst voters that don't come into her constituency until the boundary changes take effect.
Ms Prentice's defence was that she didn't know that she wasn't supposed to send publicly funded literature to voters outside her own constituency!!!!!
How could she not understand that public money given to an MP to send leaflets to their constituents can only be used to send leaflets the THEIR own constituents?
I have written in the past about how disappointed I have been in African leaders' joint failure to condemn Mugabe. It now looks like the results of his evil regime have filtered through to at least one. Kenya's Prime Minister has finaly said that Mugabe should be got rid of, we now need more of Africa's leaders to join in with this call and undermine Mugabe's "blame the Brit's" defence once and for all.
Or because he is working class, it is because he isn't good enough.
The Speaker of the House of Commons has proven to be poor at handling Commons debates. He has shown poor judgement in his use of expenses and public funds and now has failed in the most fundamental of his duties. The more that we hear about the entering and searching of Damian Green's office the worse the Speaker's position is.
Many in the Labour party are trying to paint this as a class based attack on him, it isn't. Betty Boothroyd was from a working class background and was respected, loved even, on all sides of the house. I have little doubt that Speaker Martin is a good man, but he is not up to the job and the longer he stays in post the worse it will become.