Bully of Gleneagles to run UK Border Agency Inspectorate

Former Chief Constable of Tayside Police John Vine CBE has been appointed head of the Inspectorate of the UK Border Agency. Placed there in recognition for his services to the British ruling class, he recently awarded himself a performance bonus of £17,000 on his final salary of £123,000 at a Police Board meeting, where compliant councillors took just 10 seconds to vote to exclude the press and public from any open scrutiny of his record. Vine’s record does, however, need serious examination to forewarn us all of his likely performance in his new post.

In June the BBC website revealed that Vine’s force had received 588 complaints between January 2007 and May 2008. This included 87 accusations of assault, 19 of excessive force and 49 of harassment or oppressive conduct, as well as 32 complaints of unlawful arrest or detention. Vine earned a reputation as the Bully of Gleneagles from 2005, when he deployed a Chinook military helicopter against peaceful anti-G8 demonstrators, organised ID cards for eight-year-olds and illegally detained citizens on the highway. He followed this by sanctioning the use of Special Branch spies against Muslim students and pupils in Dundee. Of course as a top cop he had his sense of humour and sensitivities – what about that suicide bomber joke to the Perth Bar Association?

Vine now goes on to inspect a corrupt, brutal and racist agency which of late distinguished itself by excluding the father of Baha Mousa when he tried to enter this country for an official meeting with the Ministry of Defence. Baha Mousa was the Iraqi civilian beaten to death by British soldiers in a Basra detention camp. Vine has clearly developed the skills and outlook needed to supervise this government force and the UK Border Agency should have no problem with a man of this background – a safe and loyal pair of hands to oversee the dirty work of harassing and attacking refugees and their supporters.
Michael MacGregor

FRFI 204 August / September 2008


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