There won't be many policemen on the beat mourning the passing of Sir Ian Blair. He was always a political copper - Tony Blair's best friend in the force, determined to ingratiate himself with New Labour, thoroughly apprised of the need for PR tactics etc. Given that political pedigree - the same sort that saw Alastair Campbell's 'best mate' John Scarlett eventually promoted to head up MI6 - it is a bit rich for the under-whelming Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to talk about the dangers of politicising police apointments. That was done when Blair took office.
That the Met Commissioner didn't have the confidence of the new Mayor speaks only favourably of the mayor. Blair has presided over some truly appalling errors - the killing of Jean Charles Menenez being merely the most tragic - and has, moreover, shown little sign that he really appreciates this. He may agonise about his public persona, but he has agonised precious little about where his wretched leadership has been taking the Met. To maintain the capital that this act has given him, Boris doesn't need to suggest a political appointment to succeed Blair - he merely needs to engage the services of a good copper who understands the job.