Sir John Gieve KCB is one of those turds that repeatedly rise with the stick on smile of a synchronised swimmer to the surface of steaming pool of ordure that forms at the nexus of the twin Whitehall / Westminster sewerage systems.
Quite how and why he became the top dog at the Home Office is difficult to discern, he has however left a noticeable pock marked trail of incompetence and venality which is difficult to beat and which has successfully sunk Blunkett, Clarke and now Johnny"respect" Reid.
Most people were alerted to this remarkable member of the First Division when David Blunket was shagging la Quinn (Yanqui ho who was said to edit a soft porn top shelf magazine) and who ordered that her Filipino nursemaid / au pair / house slave be granted a visa so that she might accompany her employer on holiday overseas.
It transpired when this unseemly affair and irregular handling of not only visa, but rail tickets and the inside of la Quinns underwear there was a curious and (entirely coincidental) connection m'lud between la Quinn's legal helpers and Sir John.
Viz Hansard Select Committee on Public Administration Minutes of Evidence Examination of Witness (Questions 900-915) Sir John Gieve 12 JANUARY 2005 Question 908
Q908 Mr Liddell-Grainger: We are talking about vested interests and interests in all this. Can I ask about your wife's involvement as a firm of solicitors with David Blunkett's case? Do you think that you, as permanent secretary, should have put your interests forward? You had to set up the inquiry, it was very much your baby (for want of a better word) and do you think you should have said to your wife's firm of solicitors that you thought it was getting too complicated and maybe have moved it on as well? Do you think you, personally, could have handled that slightly better?It later transpired a tete a tete regarding the case was held in David Blunkett's office attended by both the Gieves's .. to...er.... discuss the matter of the apparent said "conflict of interest". Inadvertently, by accident no doubt, note of the proceedings appears to have been taken.
Sir John Gieve: The inquiry was absolutely not into David's access dispute and there has been no suggestion that the Home Office should play any role in that or pay for it in any way. I think it is entirely up to David who he chooses as his solicitor. I do not think there is a conflict of interest in that respect.
A grateful public was of course delighted to award him after his skilful failures of memory about the "Nannygate" affair with a Knighthood - the Queen was delighted in the New years Honours to bestow on him the order of Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.
Sir John was to arrive yet again in the full glare of the public gaze when the Metropolitan Police murdered the Brazilian electrician Mr De Menezes, mistaking him after some 40 minutes close (very) observation , as they often do, for a Somalian terrorist and proceeding to empty 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.11.12.13. bullets at close range into the space above his shoulders which had initially held his head.
Sir Ian Blair Head of the Metropolitan Police wrote a letter to Sir John Gieve - letter is curiously dated the 21st July 2005 but was, we are told written on the 22nd July the day de Menezes was murdered.
In it he explained that , even though obliged to hand over the crime scene to the IPCC he wasn't going to do so and they would be denied access - which they did.
Sir John Gieve wrote back with a delightfully ambiguous reply ..
......dated the same day in which he confirmed a telephone conversation that he did not believe that Blair could suspend Section 17 of the Police reform Act 2002 as Blair had proposed. Gieve however compounded the delay by informing people, arranging meetings as soon as possible.
The end result was the IPCC was denied access to the site, witnesses etc., for 5 days, during which the evidence was scrubbed, altered, mislaid, destroyed falsified and the players arranged a choir practice so they could all sing from roughly the same hymn sheet. AS a result the met now face the perils of an HSE prosecution to which they have pleaded guilty.
The most amazing thing was, that not a single CCTV image was captured of the pursuit and murder of Mr de Menezes or the aftermath when the train driver of the train Mr de Menezes had been sat on was chased into the tunnel and held with a gun against his head.... it would be unwise to draw any conclusion about the absence of such images and the 5 days delay in letting the IPCC get involved.
Strangely enough Sir Ian Gieve who moved on sideways shortly after these trying times in 2005 to the Bank of England as Deputy Governor for Financial Stability - a move which a PPE from St John's, Osxford and a DPhil in Philosophy were not an ideal background.
Anyway Sir John, appears in today's papers not in the role of the husband of the solicitor who acts on behalf of a lady who has asked her lover the Home Secretary to whizz a visa through for her maid. He doesn't appear as the aquiescent servant of the public interest when the Metropolitan Police chief on behalf of his murdering officers, seeks to dismiss the legal requirements of Section 17 of the Police Reform Act 2002.
No he appears as an economic savant when speaking yesterday at the University of Surrey at Guildford, and that he has concerns about 'spectacular growth' in borrowing for buyout and private equity deals which he opines could endanger the banking system and cause a sharp financial downturn.
He said the crisis must be controlled by higher interest rates. It appears from the publication of the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee that Sir John joined Bank Governor Mervyn King and two other members in a minority on the Monetary Policy Committee last month in calling for rates to be increased from the current 5.5pc to 5.75pc.
He explained to his audience yesterday that he was more concerned about the inflationary dangers of unchecked credit growth than the risk of causing an unnecessary slowdown in the economy.
It warms the cockles of your heart that we are blessed with such a banker at the heart of our monetary system. Banker is, Lord Patel is led to understand by the more raucous of his colleagues code for wanker - not a term one could apply to this guy who could not possibly combine the required physical ability with the mental capacity to sustain the event ... well not simultaneously anyway... even with a little help.
Keep an eye out for Sir John Gieve - more must follow.