I have a fitfully sharp memory and news of the conviction of Met chief Commander Ali Dizaei for misconduct and perverting the course of justice (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8504308.stm) reminded me of something I read a couple of years ago in The Daily Mail:
Race war at the Met: We reveal what's REALLY going on at Scotland Yard
The whole article is well worth reading, and you might need to read it in full to cast the following extracts in context. These, however, are the sections pertinent to the BBC:
What better location, then, for the most recent annual conference of the National Black Police Association (NBPA)?
A delegate recalls one session in which several speakers advocated an official policy of positive discrimination to advance black officers.
The compere - BBC reporter Barnie Choudhury - said that if proof were needed of modern racial discrimination, they had only to consider one 'black' officer who was sitting in the audience.
'He told us that this particular delegate had passed all the required exams, yet his force still refused to promote him to the rank of commander,' said the delegate.
Who was this unfortunate victim?
In the body of the hall, Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei could afford himself a private smile. And not only because he was the anonymous officer to whom the sympathetic BBC man was obviously referring.
Within 24 hours, the sharply dressed, Iranian-born Dizaei would be unveiled as the new president of the NBPA. No other policeman was put forward as an alternative candidate.
Ugandanborn Ghaffur will be alleging a litany of racial discriminations. Certainly, it was Dizaei who was given a prominent slot on BBC's Newsnight and yesterday's Radio 4 Today programme, where he was allowed - almost unchallenged - to discuss racial grievances within the Met.
Then this week, with the latest allegations of prejudice, an even deadlier blow was struck. A source at BBC Six O'Clock News told us that the reporter who came to them with the exclusive story of Ghaffur's legal action was none other than Barnie Choudhury, Dizaei's cheerleader at the NBPA conference.
Rum goings on, don't you think? Here's a transcript of a Barnie Choudhury Newsnight report from 2003 ("an exclusive interview" no less) on an earlier court case involving the corrupt police commander:
Barnie still works for the BBC.
UPDATE 9/2: The story was passed over in just a few seconds by last night's Newsnight.