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The Wrath of Khan

According to Sir Tom Winsor’s report, when Sadiq Khan withdrew his support and ultimately his confidence for Cressida Dick earlier this year, he did not ‘Follow due process and at times his behaviour was oppressive, unreasonable, entirely unacceptable and unfair’. These comments are made against the backdrop of ultimatums made and short deadlines set. For his part Sadiq Khan has suggested that the report is ‘biased’ and ‘ignores the facts’. The report into the actions of the Labour mayor was commissioned by the current Home Secretary, Priti Patel.

Now I do recall that leading up to the Cressida Dick’s resignation there were a number of high-profile crimes for which the Metropolitan Police had been found wanting – including crimes committed by officers themselves.

Actions have consequences and this is especially true in terms of matter of conflict. Now there’s some great advice for taking a measured approach with conflict. To paraphrase this advice, maybe Sadiq Khan could have asked himself the following three questions:

Should this course of action be taken?

Is this in best interest of the public? Where do the problems really lie – are they institutional? If so, has the individual fostered this culture, or have they just not dealt with it correctly or was the individual in the process of taking steps to remedy the problems? What is the alternative if action is needed, and how confident are you that it’s going to be better?

Should this course of action be taken by me?

Could this action be construed as being negative in a ‘political’ sense? If this is the case, then how negative might the implications be? Are there others who might be able to facilitate this action in a way that could demonstrate a more unbiased approach?

Should this course of action be taken by me now?

There are times when speed is of the essence. If there is an impending problem looming, then we may need to take decisive action to avoid a potential catastrophe. However, if the event is not of this magnitude, then we need to weigh up the costs of acting now compared to the costs of taking more time in what might be seen as a more considered approach.

Whilst making ultimatums and imposing short deadlines can be one way of speeding the process up, if this does become public knowledge – it might just make you look unreasonable and full of wrath instead!

Sam Macbeth, 2nd September 2022

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