Today the new-look Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) had an “awayday”.
Traditionally, organisations hold these in expensive country house style venues, miles from anywhere, stay overnight to “bond” and use them to agree anodyne mission statements.
The MPA approach was different: the venue was less than 100 yards from New Scotland Yard and the MPA offices, and, while the St Ermin’s Hotel has a fairly grand facade, it has seen better days. (In fact, in its better days it was the place where all the right-wing plots in the Labour Party from the 1950s through to the 1980s were hatched see Fightback: Labour’s Traditional Right in the 1970s and 1980s by Dianne Hayter. I am not sure that this particular history would have endeared the venue to the MPA’s new leadership.) The day itself lasted till about 3.00pm and the bonding occurred because the room was so small that members were crammed knee-to-knee in enforced intimacy.