The banalities and pious platitudes were endless. Evidently the great and the good ... Sir Ian Blair grinning, Sir John Stevens smiling, Jacqui Smith shimmering, Gerald Kaufmann in a splendid flat cap,and David Davies roaring with laughter, but the memorialists were notable more by absence than their presence. Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Andy Burnham looked sombre . but that was probably the make - up.
What we like to call oop here in't North .."community leaders" ... people with brown faces and beards had one representative. - he was silent.(UPDATE) The emergency services did not seem to be represented but we did have sight of Sir Hugh Orde in his Green uniform who seemed very uneasy and alone.
Perhaps the most welcome sight was Peter Clarke whose role in state terrorism is still unclear but he managed to snaffle his lunch pail in under his raincoat.
Naturally, being Manchester, it rained and a small audience watching the outside relay on a monster screen to hear Michael Todd's widow,quiet and dignified, Carolyn, speak ..to tell us of receiving email written on the Sunday evening before he died."I know I love you sounds hollow, but I do, and I am sorry."
This was followed by his elegant and self possessed daughter 16 year old Catherine, who sang Stephen Sondheim's schmaltzy "Somewhere" from West Side Story - for which she received a well organised spontaneous standing ovation. First heard in Europe when it made it's transatlantic hop 50 years ago , just down the road at the Opera House in 1958.
The Bishop of Manchester in a strictly Christian ceremony, blathered on sanctimoniously - no multi- culturalism here pal... all the standard numbers "The Lord is my Shepherd" etc.,
There was no sign of the Mountain Rescue Team who had been sent off initially on a wild goose chase tofind the missing Chief Constable, nor of the young couple who are said to have found his rucksack complete with champagne bottle in a howling gale - which brought out a helicopter immediately to whisk them off the mountain.
There were however some entertainments to be had - the very shy man talking in a corner into his overcoat with a remarkable apparatus of wires hidden therein . The obligatory coloured face, curiously accoutred with white gloves (in case someone shook his hand ?) like someone from the Black and White Minstrel show. ..well we'd had West Side Story.
The most abiding impression was the sea of hard faced men, smartly uniformed men with a uniform mind, wearing more silver braid and shining gewgaws and medals with the same pride they no doubt fasten up their pinnies . They filed out in a chummy way giving the entirely misleading impression that their idea of a "copper's copper" was a rum bugger, a card in the canteen who could get shit faced with the lads, watching consfiscated porn films and never missed a chance to keep his bed warm and other men's husband's in the dark.
Michael Todd was an accomplished seducer, for many years and with many ladies, both whilst he was at the Met and in the GMP. This weakness was widely known, but successfully hidden from the public. It was a vulnerability which could be, and was exploited by others.
He was given the job of quietly shuffling off the disqiet about CIA rendition flights. He did as he was told ... nothing. When it was forcefuly pointed out that his activities with junior staff , "prejudicial to good order and discipline" would deny him the role as successor to Sir Ian Blair, that things started to fall apart.
The "official" story is he comitted suicide.
It is entirely plausible that he became a loose canon and somebody wanted him silenced. He was.
The forthcoming inquest should make it clear. It won't.
UPDATE Saturday Daily Mail reports .."Representatives from the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths lit candles at the end of the service, as the police band played the hymn Bread of Heaven." The final verse of which reads (in English) ;
When I tread the verge of Jordan
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell's destruction
Land me safe on Canaan's side:
Must have gone down a treat with the Zionists present.
Anyway , looking at the sea of silver braid, the cocksure stride, the puffed up chests and red faces, one was left happily with the belief that there weren't many beats left untrodden this morning whilst they all said what a great guy he was. What is mysterious is why his wife and kids joined in with them.