It is right to call for more accountable policing, but senior officers must not be sacrificed to expediency or the public mood
"Not, then, men and their moments. Rather moments and their men." So wrote the sociologist Erving Goffman in 1967 to convey how we are not ordinarily authors of our own destiny, but shaped by webs of visible and invisible, conscious and unconscious influences. It is an insightful instruction for making sense of the current crisis engulfing the Metropolitan police. For if we want to understand why Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates resigned, and how and why the Met has come to find itself in the midst of its latest institutional crisis, we need to connect specific acts to a broader and deeper "moment" in the relations between the police, politics and the press.