Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Dire Wheeze of Police and Crime Commissioners....

Tomorrow in England and Wales we have elections for the new post of 'Police and Crime Commissioner'.  After much thought I have decided to spoil my paper and support the campaign to do so.  I hope that there is a record number of spoilt papers.

First, it needs to be said that this is at best a dire wheeze.  Improving the Police Service is to be welcomed, as is improved accountability of the Police Service and better links between the Police and Community.  No one has explained to my satisfaction how having a Police and Crime Commissioner does any of this.  At best it is a sideways step.  And a remarkable indication of where the Con-Dem administration's priorities lie.

There is also much to be said against creation of the post of PCC.  The politicisation of the Police Service is a dangerous thing.  Sure Independents can stand but they will be at the disadvantage of not being able to use emblems and the name of their Party.  They will also have to find a 5K deposit.  5K is nothing if you win and gain a juicy salary starting about 80K a year and get deposit back anyway.  It does put off the poorer Political Parties.  And speaking of which, how is an honest independent going to find no strings funding.... so yes, not only is the PCC a potential route into politicisation of the Police Service but also has inbuilt potential for corruption.  All for an unhelpful layer between the Police Service and what remains of the Police Committee and Local Authority (a police panel in West Yorkshire).  Now had the Con-Dems genuinely wished to give the Independent Electors of West Yorkshire a democratic opportunity they could have transferred the Police Service and other County functions back to a County Council......

And yes, the Conservatives in particular seem rather enamoured with personality politics, as shown in recent drive to introduce Executive Mayors to English Cities (a boris in every village).  And replacing elected volunteers with richly paid professional politicians.

Leading again to the issue that the deposit has been set at £5000 but this is for a single candidate (unlike the £4000 for a slate at the European Parliament Elections or £500 for the Westminister deposit) it is much too high. 

So enough.  It is a most dreadful wheeze.  Will whoever is elected be able to stem the cuts in the police service and privatisation that the insane ultra-thatcherite Con-Dem administration has planned?

As an Independent Elector I have 3 choices.  To express a preference, to spoil my paper or to not vote.  Here in West Yorkshire there are Tory, Fib-Dem, Labour and one Independent candidates.

So vote Tory for privatisation and cuts in the police service?  No thank you!  Then there is the Fib Dems.  Ditto.  Or Labour, the Con-Dems in drag.  There is an independent who used to serve in the police service.  I hear that he didn't perform all that well at the hustings saying his priority would be to increase siezure of drugs.  Making a priority of seizing more drugs is not the most sensible of drug policies.  Seizing of all drugs does not mean an end to drug related crime.  For a while it once happened in Glasgow, and Glasgow was entirely free of heroin, but then prescription drugs went missing by the caseload to fill the gap.  I have had a look on his website but alas it does not inspire much confidence. 

So why not stay at home?  In view of how hard the Chartists and Suffragettes fought for the right to vote, not to say my Granddad risking all fighting the Nazis.  This is put rather well by Sarah Hall in The Electric Michaelangelo:-

-Can I start piercing folk?
  -No you bloody can't. Not in my shop. It's gimmicky. It's for people who don't understand the craft.
  Nina tutted loudly and tossed out the remaining inch of leafy tea from her cup into the sink. Cy was reading a book in his room, with his leg up on a stool, waiting for a customer to appear. This was an argument they had had before
  -It's not fair. You wouldn't have to do any of the work. I could be in charge of it.
  -Oh, its always lip from you, isn't it? Never a moment's peace. Does it say Nina Shearer's Tattoo Parlour on that sign up there? Does it?
  Cy smiled and looked up from his book from her.
  -Speaking of, have you been to the polling station yet today, missy? Have you voted?
  -No. They're all a bunch of farts, why should I bother?
  -Listen. I don't care if you never put a single cross in a single box, but you get yourself down to that polling station right now. You've got your voting card?
  -Yes. But why the bloody hell should I go if I am not ticking any boxes? You've gone soft in the head.
  -Well, go and write 'you're all a bunch of great fat farts' across it and hand it in! At least they will know that you have been there and had your say.
  Nina was giving him a look of bemused pity, as if commiserating with his insanity, his obviously retarded condition. Or as if he had suddenly grown another head. And damn it if Cy didn't want to kick her up the backside and give her a hug all at once.
  -All I am saying pet, is that you shouldn't take these things for granted. That's all.  Now off you go.

'The Electric Michaelangelo' by Sarah Hall p 334

So there you have it.  Picture to follow when I have done the deed.  A couple more points.  Spoilt papers have to be counted, but do not count towards turnout, as according to the Electoral Commission, spoilt papers are not counted towards the turnout.  Best express choice for all candidates equally so that there is no clear preference.  Tomorrow will probably be a record low turnout.  A record number of spoilt papers won't make the Con-Dems think again, nothing will.  But we will have made our point.  I spoil my paper as a last resort, tomorrow for the first time.

And what to write.  A witty suggestion was 'A Plod on the Street, not pillocks on a fat wedge'  How indeed does giving a PCC a fat salary improve the police service?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Star Posts

Graduation Day! - br/>


Scarletharlot69 - Twit!

Scarletharlot69 - Youtube Channel/>

Wikipedia - the fount of all knowledge and wisdom