“I regard him as a political opponent, but I like him very much.”

In the Sunday Tribune, republished by the excellent Newshound, Suzanne Breen brought some, evidentially, much needed sanity to the recent tabloidesque coverage of Hugh Orde’s private life – and it’s worth pointing out that Orde still has, potentially, a substantial career ahead in law enforcement.. which such coverage might well have as a target

Let’s not get carried away. Orde’s police force might be an improvement, yet it’s far from squeaky clean. At Sean Hoey’s Omagh bomb trial, police lies were uncovered. Most recent paramilitary murders remain unsolved and the PSNI is useless at dealing with anti-social activity. There’s much more to tackle Orde about than his extra-marital activities.

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  • Up to a point, Suzanne is correct. But Orde’s character is revealed in the fact that he lied to his wife, he broke his wedding vows, and he put sporting frolics ahead of memorial services for murdered RUC officers. Liberals like to pretend the fact that a man is a liar and a cheat outside of working hours has no relevance to his ability to do his job. But common sense dictates otherwise. Even for the ubercop.

  • Pete Baker

    David

    I prefer to assess how he actually does his job.. rather than infer how he does his job based on a moral judgement of his private life.

  • susan

    I officially gave up speculating why some men I don’t know cheat on some women I don’t know when another Hugh, Hugh Grant, cheated on Elizabeth Hurley. It’s officially beyond me, and in all honesty the only people fit to judge a relationship are the people in the relationship, and possibly their children.

    What does concern me about the Hugh Orde business, however, is not that another man had an affair outside of his marriage but that the Chief Constable in one of the most politically sensitive posts imaginable had an affair with a detective. If it is true that she was involved in any sort of sensitive undercover work (please excuse that truly unintended double entendre), that she or her work might be in harm’s way if her identity was exposed, than Orde left himself unprofessionally vulnerable to blackmail, intimidation and/or manipulation. Even the appearance of such vulnerability was irresponsible. A man straying from his wife is tabloid, a Chief Constable straying from his wife and fathering a child with an undercover detective is pure Scorsese.

    As a personal aside, I’m amazed how wonderfully carefree Orde does look in those marathon photos with his lover. I suppose by now he’s realised it’s not Brazil…

  • Pete Baker

    susan

    “If it is true that she was involved in any sort of sensitive undercover work (please excuse that truly unintended double entendre), that she or her work might be in harm’s way if her identity was exposed, than Orde left himself unprofessionally vulnerable to blackmail, intimidation and/or manipulation.”

    Read Suzanne’s article. They met as members of the Stevens team.

    In short, there is no apparent breach of any regulations or ethical considerations.

    The only danger to either of their work is in the sudden, and I’d argue unwarranted, exposure of their identities and connection.

  • joeCanuck

    Nobody’s business but their own and others directly affected.
    Move along folks.

  • roger

    “Nobody’s business but their own and others directly affected.
    Move along folks.”

    I’ll second that Joe

  • The Dubliner

    DV has a fair point: a man who shows a complete lack of integrity by betraying, lying to, and deceiving those who are closest to him is not a man to be trusted. Still, as it is illegal to fire him for being a deceitful cad to his wife, we’re stuck with him for now. Doubtless, his poor judgement in flaunting his mistress in public (despite Scotland Yard concerns about security issues should said mistress [inevitably] enter the public domain) is likely to be applied elsewhere in due course. By the way, it’s cute of Breen to tell us what a charming man he is (despite such information about his private life being as relevant/irrelevant as the other).

  • Pete Baker

    “DV has a fair point: a man who shows a complete lack of integrity by betraying, lying to, and deceiving those who are closest to him is not a man to be trusted.”

    Dubliner, that was an assumption by DV, and by yourself.

    I’ll repeat my response to David..

    I prefer to assess how he actually does his job.. rather than infer how he does his job based on a moral judgement of his private life.

    If any of the critics can provide something other than a moral judgement on a private life then I’ll pay attention.

  • susan

    Pete, I’m not I understand your reasoning that because the two met as members of the Stevens Inquiry, you believe Orde did not leave himself potentially vulnerable to blackmail, intimidation, or manipulation?

  • Pete Baker

    Susan

    In short, there is no apparent breach of any regulations or ethical considerations.

    Unless someone points to evidence otherwise.. the rest is moralising.

  • susan

    I am questioning whether Orde’s actions left him needlessly vulnerable to coercion in the fulfillment of his professional duties. Your declaration that my question is “moralising” does not make it so, nor does it invalidate the question.

  • BeardyBoy

    DV – I support your position on this – if someone betrays his wife what would he not betray?

  • Plum Duff

    ‘…a man who shows a complete lack of integrity by betraying, lying to, and deceiving…’

    Sounds like the average CV for some police witnesses in the not too distant past.

  • USA

    Regarding your little debate over Hugh Orde’s personal life, I think McIntyre put it in perspective when he said “He had an affair but I can think of plenty of senior cops who have committed crimes here.”
    Pity some other “police officers” in the wee six didn’t limit their crimes to mere bedroom frolics.

  • PI

    Pete
    I think you may be wrong on your assumption that there were no regulation breaches. While your support and defence of the CC is admirable, it may end up being misplaced.

  • fuiseog

    I sense that some posters here are missing an important point

    In the PSNI there is an immensely formidable culture, sometimes labeled the ‘canteen culture’ that sees having an affair on your wife as almost de rigour and certainly power for the course as those impressionable young pony-tailed female (clones) sorry recruits forced to spend long hours in squad cars with their male counterparts are discovering weekly. Indeed in special branch or one of the more ‘elite’ ha units/depts its a badge of honour !!

    Despite the ‘Patton reforms’, this canteen culture also sees cluedos in masochism, elitism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, binge drinking, drink driving, wife beating and a general sense of male chauvinistic attitudes that are arrogant, paternal and reflect that hypocritical ‘do as I say not as I do’ attitude !!

    Hugh Orde as leader of the PSNI is merely conducting himself as per the ethos of that organisation. He is getting away with it because in that world ‘its no big deal’ in fact as I understand it your suspiciously not ‘one of the ‘lads’ or ‘ladettes’ if you are NOT doing it !!

    Is mise
    Fuiseog

  • BogExile

    Despite the ‘Patton reforms’, this canteen culture also sees cluedos in masochism, elitism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, binge drinking, drink driving, wife beating and a general sense of male chauvinistic attitudes that are arrogant, paternal and reflect that hypocritical ‘do as I say not as I do’ attitude !!

    Tedious agit-prop which merely reflects the culture of uniformed organisations the world over and emmanates from someone who is clearly jealous of the power he sees misused by others.

    Grow up and get a life.

  • RD

    Fuiseog
    Despite the ‘Patton reforms’, this canteen culture also sees cluedos in masochism, elitism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, binge drinking, drink driving, wife beating and a general sense of male chauvinistic attitudes that are arrogant, paternal and reflect that hypocritical ‘do as I say not as I do’ attitude !!

    Aside from the fact you’ve a huge chip on your shoulder regarding the police (and if I can play amateur shrink for a moment probably authority in general) I’d like to see you present some evidence to actually back some of that up.

    Susan
    A man straying from his wife is tabloid, a Chief Constable straying from his wife and fathering a child with an undercover detective is pure Scorsese.

    Scorsese? Are you sure you’re not exaggerating a tiny bit?

  • Diluted Orange

    Only in Northern Ireland would someone be judged inappropriate to continue in their job because of unrelated issues occurring in their private life. Whilst I don’t condone his extra-marital activities one should consider that since the UK rate of divorce is about 1 in 2 it seems that plenty of other people are up to the same shenanigans as Hugh Orde.

    Despite what the ‘good’ people of our society think of this moral conundrum, affairs are not particularly controversial in this day and age outside the medieval religious bubble that Northern Ireland finds itself in. Just imagine the outrage if he was gay! Let he who is without sin cast the first stone (and I hope people don’t take that saying too literally). I personally think Sir Hugh is doing as good a job as could be expected.

  • Jocky

    If this was goig on in France, they’d be more dissappointed if he hadn’t had an affair. Some consider it a sign of success.

  • gerry

    ‘This its no ones business but his own’ is moralising too. The ‘I don’t judge people by their private life’ attitude, therefore I’m better at judging etc etc. When Gonzo put up the thread on Orde, Pete gave him what for. This is his private business blah de blah de blah, and then HE goes and puts up a thread to continue his moralising.

    Betrayed by your actions pete? Gonzo got there and uncovered the under cover cop……credit where its due.

    As to Orde he got caught with his pants down. The guy is a cheat and a liar, and that is everybody’s business.

  • Diluted Orange

    OK, well maybe I’ve got a bit of moralising to do. How is it more controversial for Hugh Orde to be caught with his pants down than it is (if reports are to be believed) that Gerry Kelly, a murderer with fairly psychopathic tendencies, will play a significant role in a future policing board?

  • GrassyNoel

    ‘Only in Northern Ireland would someone be judged inappropriate to continue in their job because of unrelated issues occurring in their private life’.

    Don’t know about that…Remember a guy by the name of William Jefferson Clinton, in a country called USA? He barely survived impeachment proceedings and a big inquiry there a few years back that many considered to be the defining legacy of his (2-term) presidency.

  • fuiseog

    Bogexile wrote:
    Tedious agit-prop which merely *reflects the culture of uniformed organisations the world over and emmanates from **someone who is clearly jealous of the power he sees misused by others.

    * Oh thats okay then, sure it must be if its happening everywhere, apologies for even mentioning it 😉

    ** Jealous? No !! I merely believe that such attitudes, values and behaviours are damaging and can be extremely hurtful to people. All in the interests of low self esteem in people so toxic they can only value themselves when they are devaluing and debasing others. Just like your post ‘Bog’ its interesting but not surprising to me that you would stridently defend such notions. So please consider yourself exposed, challenged and rebuked for your inner ugliness and toxic posting.

    RD wrote
    Aside from the fact *you’ve a huge chip on your shoulder regarding the police (and if I can play amateur shrink for a moment probably authority in general) **I’d like to see you present some evidence to actually back some of that up.

    *Chip? No I simply expect that, at the danger of such ugly notions spilling out upon contact with the community at large, those afforded the privilege of enforcing law ought lawfully conduct themselves in a manner which reflects the best a society has to offer and not merely play lip service ^ to notions of moral upstanding and ethical conduct.
    ^http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:e–3fJczuhsJ:www.psni.police.uk/policy_directive_04-06_equal_opportunities_policy_directive.pdf+psni+officers+sexual+harrassment&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=uk

    **Evidence?
    Sexual harassment:
    http://www.equalityni.org/sections/Default.asp?cms=News_News&cmsid=1_2&id=42&secid=1_1

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6210002.stm

    Drink driving:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/4993174.stm
    http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2006/1114/breaking17.htm

    Sectarianism:
    http://www.caj.org.uk/policing_II.html
    http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1746606&issue_id=15042

    Racism:
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79828

    I could go on but I really must return to the life as Bogexile opined on above

    is mise
    Fuiseog

  • RD

    Fuiseog
    Many thanks for your references. Let’s look at the results…

    Sexual Harrasment – 2 counts. Unacceptable in any worksplace, but 2 counts would indicate it’s not rampant in every police station.

    Drink Driving – 57 counts. Totally and utterly unacceptable, I won’t argue about that. It’s this type of behaviou that gives cops a worse reputation.

    Sectarianism – the CAJ link you provided doesn’t give any details of policemen being prosecuted for this offence. Additionally there are only two references to sectarianism in the report – both in the context of proper training not being in place. Not good but given that the report is for the year 2002-2003 I would hope that this has been addressed. The other link is subs only so I can’t view it.

    Racism – the link you provided again doesn’t show any real evidence of this having taken place or of officers being convicted. The link has a short article, even shorter on substance by someone called clodagh that simply reads like a rumour that’s being peddled. Where’s the stats?

    I could go on but I really must return to the life as Bogexile opined on above
    No, please do go on as you still haven’t covered (from your original list)

    masochism (looking forward to your source for this one)
    elitism
    homophobia
    binge drinking
    wife beating

  • susan

    Rd, to better explain my Scorsese comment. I’d avoided the details of this story as much as I could. Naively, perhaps, I’d even hoped some good might come of it. Because my general impression of Orde is one of decency and competency, I’d assumed he was now an involved parent to his baby son. So many children are born out of wedlock now, by choice or by chance, and having a public figure like Orde live up to his responsibilities could only set a good example. Whether they have sons or daughters, are married to their children’s mother or no, fathers matter, both to their children, and to society.

    I only became concerned about security concerns and professionalism when Gonzo highlighted the SUnday Life article stating: “Sunday Life was asked last night to withhold the detective’s name and identity over what Scotland Yard described as “serious security concerns.” (http://www.sundaylife.co.uk/news/article2281770.ece)

    I do not agree with decisions of bloggers or the press to make the female detective’s identity or image public. I do not think it is a matter of any public “need to know.” However, if Scotland Yard is telling the truth that there are “serious security concerns” over making her identity known, both Orde and the detective showed piss poor professional judgement in allowing themselves to be photographed running hand in hand with “What happens in Tyneside, stays in Tyneside” abandon.

    I don’t believe Orde’s professional ambitions end in the post he now holds, although they may as a result of this scandal. If the female detective’s personal safety or her participation in any ongoing policing operations is jeopardised, she bears part of the responsibility. As parents, as policing professionals, they should have at the very least conducted their private, personal affair in private. They left themselves needly vulnerable.

    I definitely do not, however, feel either of them should be sacked, although sadly not so very long ago both salesgirls and schoolteachers have been sacked for less. And I understand the fresh hurt relatives and policing partners must feel at Orde’s decision not to attend the RUC memorial.

  • RD

    Susan, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t think that what Orde has done merits the sort of kicking some would like to see him get.
    Don’t get me wrong, doing something as he has done causes a lot of people a lot of hurt but I think it’s a private matter.

    It would be different if he had been taking class A drugs or something that you could argue would affect his judegment.

    PS – I watched Scorsese’s The Departed the other night. It’s a great show.

  • nmc

    A couple of points before I shoot the crow, will reply tomorrow if necessary.

    Who here knows how Mrs. Orde feels about this? Who here has the right to judge, given that Mrs. Orde might think it’s a great idea. I actually know a woman, (she’s about 60 now), who allowed her husband to play the field so she wouldn’t have to sleep with him. That is her choice. As Mrs. Orde can most likely read, she must now know about this affair. If it doesn’t bother her then WTF has it got to do with you?

    On a second, and slighly pedantic note, would people be looking to hang Hugh because he didn’t attend a ceremony commemerating the deaths of officers in England, Scotland or Wales? Because Hugh Orde was never CC of the RUC. He was involved in the Stevens Enquiry, which probably gives him an insight to the beast that the RUC was. His only involvement with the RUC was investigating their crimes, why would he want to commemerate their dead?

  • susan

    NMC, memorials are to comfort those left behind as much as to remember the dead. Police, like firefighters, like comrades in arms the world over, will drive all night, leave hospital beds, forget ancient grudges, etc., just to be there. Out of respect for a fallen colleague, out of the knowledge they might be next, as a way both they and their families cope with the potential disaster any tour can bring — someone else can explain it far better than I.

    RD, we were probably watching “The Departed” the same night, and I agree with you, very entertaining! And if I could better evaluate how “serious” Scotland Yard ‘s “serious security concerns” really are, we’d probably agree more than we disagree about how important Orde’s public discretion was… or wasn’t.

  • The Dubliner

    Yup, when faced with competing theories, he would apply Apologist’s Razor (the reverse of Occam’s device) and cut out the most likely theories, leaving only the wackiest and most obfuscating ones to be viewed through a mucus-smeared prism.

    Ergo, we should dismiss the simplest (and proven) theory that affairs involve systematic duplicity, lying, betrayal, and sordid chicanery over a sustained period in favour of the theory that none of those factors are involved because the wife gave her blessing to her betrayal and public humiliation.

    Forgive me if I don’t use Apologist’s Razor, preferring to apply Occam’s Razor to cut out all of the obfuscating crap, assuming the most probable is the actual until proven otherwise. It seems a more reasonable assumption than saying that paedophilia isn’t a necessarily a despicable practice because we don’t know for sure that the child didn’t enjoy the experience.

  • fuiseog

    We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. Anais Nin

    I sense that no amount of evidence will suffice on this issue but I’ll try a few more.

    Machoism:
    edited link – moderator

    Homophobia:
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/law/2005-580.html

    Bigotry:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5194744.stm

    Is mise
    Fuiseog

  • RD

    Yet more links that don’t actually provide any evidence of policemen being found guilty of the corresponding crimes.

    Masochism – Your link for masochism is a story about an attempted kidnap operation being foiled by the police. And some of the police have worn balaclavas (which, IMO, was completely feckin stupid). Now, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve read some of your posts on Slugger before. If memory serves you were jailed, rightly or wrongly, for IRA activity. So I’ll assume you’re not adverse to donning a balaclava yourself.

    Homophobia – your link states “Although the majority of lesbian and gay people were satisfied with the PSNI’s work, around 25% said they had suffered discrimination from officers based on their sexuality”. So the majority of gay and lesbian people were happy with the PSNI.

    Bigotry – the case hasn’t been completed therefore we can’t forecast the outcome.

    This would have been a waste of time for me were it not for the fact that it was useful to point out that most of your grievances are in your head. Have a smoke and relax.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge fan of the police. In a number of dealings with them I’ve found some of them arrogant as you have stated. But if you’re going to make allegations at least have evidence.

  • RD

    I sense that no amount of evidence will suffice on this issue

    That’s cos you’ve hardly presented any.

  • Pete Baker

    Getting back to the topic…

    Susan

    My apologies if I unfairly questioned your motives but, to date, the criticism of the revelations of Hugh Orde’s private life have been both sensationalist and moralistic.

    My response was, in part, in exasperation at the previous repeated comments following that line in this thread – which have since re-started.

    That doesn’t invalidate your question, but there is nothing to suggest that his private life – pre-media coverage – increases the dangers you pointed to. And, despite the speculation of others, there is nothing to suggest that any breach of regulations, in his professional life, took place.

    Btw, I happen to agree completely with your comment that

    “I do not agree with decisions of bloggers or the press to make the female detective’s identity or image public. I do not think it is a matter of any public “need to know.”

  • fuiseog

    RD

    You have asked for evidence, I have presented examples. You have rejected them as either not weighty enough, irrelevant or weak. We are quite obviously poles apart on this issue. For example I point to an obvious case of bigotry and you state the case hasn’t concluded when in fact it was the very fact that there even was a case that denotes the bigotry !!!

    Yet thats okay. You have your views, I have mine. I’m learning to resist being stung or goaded by ‘net’tles on the world wide web 😉

    Yes despite your blunt attempt at a derogatory remark u are correct when you say they are in my head, but no less real for that as in my view perception ‘is’ reality !!!

    Thank you for your time and the discussion.

    Is mise
    Fuiseog

  • susan

    No harm, Pete. Do me a favour, though, and never again presume I’ve ever commented without first reading a link — I seriously doubt you have many blood relatives who’ve staggered through more of your links than I have. ;o)

    I have no appetite to bay for the man’s blood over this. To answer your point, though, I would argue that it was precisely the potential threat of media coverage of his private life, rather than his private life itself, that increased the dangers I pointed to. Both Orde and the detective, if not susceptible to blackmail, were potentially more susceptible to pressure. Police being what they are, many of his colleagues, and hers, knew all this for some time. Why did it come out now? Pure chance, or payback of some kind? I don’t know, but surely someone should look into it.

    The detective has been identified, her safety compromised, her ability to do her job compromised, her successful career perhaps stalled over this. The threats and the damage to Orde’s career? Still playing out.

    A mess.

  • susan

    A small point, Fuiseog, but that Anais Nin quote? She may have repeated it, but the Kaballah said it first.

    (No, I haven’t read the Kaballah, but I feel in love with that quote when I saw it on a fridge magnet years back. It explains so much about human behaviour, at both its best and worst)

  • fuiseog

    Thank you for that correction Susan, I love learning stuff like that, I picked that quote up on a course I did last year. I shall look out for more on the Kaballah tomorrow.

    Warmth
    Fuiseog

  • Pete Baker

    Susan

    I have no blood relatives who stagger through any of my posts.. never mind my links. ;o)

    But, after making whatever decisions are within our control, we have no ultimate control over what the media do with our private lives. The decisons made on those issues are for individual editors and journalists and bloggers.

    That’s where I think any blame rests for harm caused – where the public interest is not served beyond revealing anything more than the barest facts of the initial story.

  • sevenmagpies

    “the wife gave her blessing to her betrayal and public humiliation.”

    Or possibly her relationship with her husband is more complicated than your simple tale of moral outrage suggests and she is no way betrayed or humilated by this situation.

  • susan

    Fuiseog, if you come back, it came to me late last night that the quote wasn’t from the Kaballah, after all, but from the Talmud. I’ve never read The Talmud, either, but I’m thinking I should: http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/pol/pol37.htm Enjoy!

    Pete, I don’t want to speculate about other people’s private lives or private pain, and clearly neither do you. Where we disagree is that I do hold Orde and the detective partly responsible for not protecting her identity and privacy more fiercely. It wasn’t a case of paparazzi with long-range lenses spying through the hedges — the pair of them were beaming for official race photographers like schoolchildren in race after race. Even if Scotland Yard’s claim that there were “serious security concerns” re: revealing her identity is pure fabrication — and I’m not convinced it was — it was always in the best interests of the children — his, hers, and theirs — that they actively protect their privacy in public. I wish I still hadn’t a clue about who Hugh’s bedded and/or wedded, but I refuse to have lower parenting standards for a 40-something male CC than I would for an anonymous teenage mother.

    Sin-é. It’s getting very cold up on this soapbox, and I’m officially climbing down.

    (sorry about the blood relations, btw — if it’s any consolation, I’m told you’re huge in Japan)