06 January 2009

Bob Quick

Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick ordered the arrest of Damian Green in November.

After that, it emerged that his wife was running a luxury car firm from their home, which may have been offering services it wasn't licensed for.

I'm not directly concerned with the car business, and the Damian Green case has been well covered already. What is interesting here is the pattern: Person makes enemies, enemies dig up dirt. How many people have some irregularity in their personal or business life that they will certainly get away with for ever, provided they don't attract the attention of someone powerful and hostile?

The product of this situation is that those with power to dig into everyday irregularities end up with arbitrary power. You keep them sweet if you know what's good for you. You don't criticize them publicly, you don't cross them in their personal capacity. The only people who can stand up to them are those that are prepared to "clear the decks" of their private lives for the sake of activism. Admirable as such people are, their very determination makes them seem extreme, weird, or unreliable.

This situation is very unhealthy for public life, as I've said here before. The solution is to look around for rules which people routinely break, generally get away with, and don't do much harm. And get rid of them. Keeping a low profile should not give someone a large advantage in everyday life.

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