My podcast and FT article on the Daniel Morgan report

16th June 2021

I have done a podcast on the Daniel Morgan report – click here for links to the podcast on various platforms.


I also have done this piece over at the Financial Times.


If you have any (non-irksome) questions on either the podcast or the FT piece – or on the Daniel Morgan report generally – ask below as a comment and I will answer if I can.




16 thoughts on “My podcast and FT article on the Daniel Morgan report”

  1. Not intended to be irksome, David; do you think this report will make any difference? I harbour a genuine sense of despair at the lack of accountability in and around the present government (I regard someone like the Met Commissioner as around); no criticism or adverse finding, however apparently compelling, however well researched, however persuasive, ever seems to gain any traction or have any meaningful impact.

    1. It could make a difference.

      If a report is to make a difference it has to be (1) evidentially solid it its conclusions, (2) practical in its recommendations and (3) obvious in its implications. This report is all three.

      This does not mean it will make a difference, of course, but if a report is capable of making a difference, it is this one.

  2. Do you think that Cressida Dick refusing to accept the panel’s conclusion that the Met is institutionally corrupt is ironically a confirmation of their conclusion?

    1. Perhaps, though there are other bad reasons to explain Dick’s unimpressive response.

      But not a good one.

  3. What I find odd is that the Met acknowledge that corruption affected the first investigation yet they did not say what it was and no-one seems the wiser. Yet there must be some evidence and someone in the Met must know for them to have made the acknowledgment. Either that evidence has been disclosed and investigated or not. If so, what happened? If not someone’s hiding evidence, including, presumably, someone involved in authorising the acknowledgment.

  4. The response from the Met so far appears to be one of straight denial that there are any failings. Or at least contending that any individual failings do not amount to a problem with the institution as a whole.

    Just a few bad apples (which will spoil the whole barrel, incidentally).

    So perhaps we need to start at at the bottom and work up.

    Did the police fail to bring the guilty to justice, multiple times?
    Did the police put misinformation into the public domain?
    Were there repeated denials of failings? And fail to acknowledge individual incompetence and venality, and managerial and organisational failures?
    Did the police fail to take a fresh, thorough and critical look at their past failings? Did they continue to conceal and deny, to obstruct and defend? (To such an extent that an independent inquiry was required, because they could not be trusted to do it for themselves.)
    Did they fail to cooperate fully and freely with the inquiry? Did they prevaricate and obfuscate, putting a series of obstacles in its way, over a number of years?
    Was that all in pursuit of defending the institution? At the cost of the victim, his family, and the wider public interest in this case and the probity and reliability of the police as an investigative body.

    All of that is plainly true, I would suggest.

    So, given this was not just a few individuals, but the approach of many at the organisation, does that amount to a form of “institutional corruption”?

    (That is not a new term, by the way: for example in 2017, and in 2013, part of and you can go back to 1996 or 1978 and no doubt even earlier )

    We can define it as “systemic and strategic influence that undermines the institution’s effectiveness by diverting it from its purpose or weakening its ability to achieve its purpose – including weakening either the public’s trust in that institution or the institution’s inherent trustworthiness”.

    The continued confident denials are further examples of a body is complacent and insufficiently self-critical.

  5. I listened to the podcast David and found it a concise and forensic examination of the report. A couple of things:

    1. Sky news did one and a half hours of paper review from 10.30pm on Wednesday night. Daniel Morgan’s death and the report did not get a mention (less than 12 hours after the report published). Demonstrates how quickly news moves on.

    2. Does a problem exist at the College of Policing and it’s course structure for the development of senior police officers? I appreciate there should be some continuity of approach, but if they are churning out people who perpetuate ‘institutionalised corruption’. then there must be something systemically wrong there.

    1. Hi David

      On (2) – as far as I can tell, the College of Policing is generally on the right side of things – as it is criticised by those officers who don’t see anything wrong!

      The problem may be how little effect training has in respect of institutionalised corruption.

      1. Indeed. No matter how good the training, it’s difficult to resist the culture of the oranisation you emerge into.

  6. On accountability: the current government has taught us that, no matter how bad things may be, if you tough it out people will forget and move on. Seems a pity.

  7. Thank you for this DAG and to have the ability to comment, whereas the FT has bottled out (again) of allowing comments on your piece. The question raised by Tim W. above remains germane. What does a corrupt police officer have to do to be tried? We are all aware of tiny minority of police officers who are sacked or prosecuted and how much they are allowed “to mark their own homework” and police officers’ ability to take early retirement and thus automatically suffer no further investigation which is itself a disgrace to the public. I always understood the UK police were supposed to be servants of the public. Would you agree that that no longer appears to be the case?

    1. The FT has not ‘bottled out’ – and I have published your comment only to rebut it

      Moderation of comments at any quality news site, done properly, is resource-intensive – especially where there are sensitive legal issues

      1. The FT has a well established policy of not allowing comments on issues that are sub judice, but it also has an increasing tendency to disallow comments on subjects it believes to be “sensitive”, hence no comments on any article about Israel. It has also bought a US algorithmic moderating system which is a challenge for commenters. I appreciate moderation is expensive, but then so is the FT, of which I have been a subscriber for thirty years. This is a subject which deserves to have comment in the FT, a commentariat that is probably the best informed of any newspaper in the world. Not quite the “without fear and without favour” of its masthead. And the question remains unanswered…

        1. Well: had you not insisted on the gratuitous ‘bottle’ comment, you could well have had an answer! Priorities.

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