Tomorrow, voters are for the first time entitled to vote for Police and Crime Commissioners in 41 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. The elections will take place on the same day that parliamentary by-elections will be held in Cardiff South and Penarth, Corby and Manchester Central, but quite to what extent these elections will grip the public imagination remains to be seen. In my area, I have seen no publicity for any of the candidates standing, and only today, after a bit of digging, discovered that there would be four of them in total, with three hailing from the big mainstream Westminster parties and one independent. If the voter wishes to see what each candidate stands for, it is necessary to trawl through their statements online such as at this site here entitled quite simply Police Elections.
Some will argue that the chance to elect the Commissioners will make the police more accountable to the local electorate, but given that a considerable proportion of those who turn out to vote will not know what the candidates stand for, can this be adjudged to be an effective democratic exercise? Moreover, what percentage of the electorate will bother to turn out in those areas where the numbers are not boosted by parliamentary by-elections? At a guess, the percentage is likely to be small.
Another issue that the direct election of the Police and Crime Commissioners raises is that of the overt party politicisation of the police. Do we really wish to have individuals acting in line with party political agendas in such positions? Would it not be better for the police to attempt to remain aloof from party politics altogether? Moreover, at a time when the police are experiencing cuts in their budget, is spending money on these elections a good use of funds? Could they not be used to better effect elsewhere?
Obviously the latter, to politicise the police and take control. The police should be completely independent and ACPO shut down.ReplyDelete
I and my wife will be voting for the independent candidate in the hope that we can if nothing else, help to get him his deposit back. It's either him or the LabCon in my area.
I wish Kev Carroll all the best, I hope he gives them (main parties) at least a scare and it looks like the Muslim contingent have put up their own independent candidate, which will steal votes from the main parties.
On another note, but still electorally based, this is an interesting post from Guido Fawkes. Don't bother reading any of the comments, because few have anything to do with the article.
But the outcome of this will be very interesting. Especially if respect do another Bradford. Will the main parties wake up to the problem of the block Muslim vote - I doubt it.
By choosing the Independent, I think you made the best choice available RH. It may have been naive of me, but I was very surprised when I discovered that the majority of the candidates were party political. It's a bad idea. Thanks for the link; I'll take a look.Delete
I glad I voted for the Independent candidate, because not only did he keep his deposit, he won it!Delete
Yes, that's one in the eye for the LibLabCon!
Well, at least that's one small piece of encouraging news!Delete
I don't think these elections should be taking place and I would prefer they weren't happening but since they are I did (reluctantly) take part in them. Although they aren't my prefered party, I voted for the English Democrats and an Independent.ReplyDelete
As with RH, it seems that you made the best choices available given the situation. Did you manage to find out much about the positions adopted by the candidates?Delete
No, not much. My household only obtained a polling card a few weeks ago and one very small leaflet/card from UKIP a day or so ago. I found out about the others from the police elections website. I am a nationalist and would probably have voted BNP if they had stood but they didn't so out of UKIP and the English Democrats I chose the ED's as they are better. Although this has nothing to do with these particular elections, the English Democrats do have some sensible views on globalism and the economy and I think that this distinguishes them from UKIP in a good way (UKIP's apparant devotion to Thatcherite globalist economics is one of their worst points and perhaps is the real reason why that party has yet to make a real electoral breakthrough.ReplyDelete
Your reason for favouring the English Democrats over UKIP is a very sound one, for UKIP's devotion to Thatcherite globalism is perhaps its greatest flaw; a ruinous one.Delete
it is naive to think that the police are not already politicised.ReplyDelete
that has been amply demonstrated by the way the miners strike was opposed and the way that the UAF, (David Cameron's chosen ones), can do as they like against what the EDL can not.
the ACPO is a private registered company, so the police are already controlled by a private entity.
total privatisation may only be a matter of time.
i voted UKIP, no english democrat put up here.
You are right to say that there already exists a general politicisation of the police, but for this to be formally expressed in party political fashion seems to take this bias to a new level. As for creeping privatisation, it is a worry.Delete
There were ten candidates here in Devon and Cornwall. One of them labelled himself Independent, but is/was Lib Dem when on Council duties!ReplyDelete
Regarding turn out. I went up after the polling station had been open for about three hours. I was the only one voting, many jokes about being 'killed in the rush'. I asked how many had come before me. I was told I was the 8th voter.
That's rather an impressive number of candidates! Did anyone stand from Mebyon Kernow (although I suppose that they really wouldn't poll well in Devon)? Eight voters in three hours: your polling station may be featuring on the national news tomorrow as having been one of the busiest.Delete
With regard to turnout, I live in the Tory stronghold of Brentwood, Essex (MP Eric Pickles) which normally has good turnouts for general elections, local elections and even EU ones but when I voted at around 4.30 PM there was only about five people (including me) in the polling station and the staff must have been bored rigid seeing as there was a monitor showing something on one side of the hall which I have never encountered before. I asked the clerk if they had been busy and she laughed a little and said no!ReplyDelete
Oh dear. It doesn't really seem to have been £100 million well spent, does it? That's the figure that I've heard bandied about, but could the cost of this mistaken experiment really have been so high?Delete
Police are held in contempt by large sections of Britons so it does not matter how they are directed or managed. Their behaviour and attitude towards anyone from the car driver to the political activist is bullying and hostile. Thousands of people have been subjected to police harassment and false arrest for simply expressing an opinion or standing up for their rights. This is the backdrop to the election for PCC's. Thats why voter support is rock-bottom. Its nothing to do with the November date. Its a tainted concept which combined with opportunist political candidates ensured the process would be a failure from the start.ReplyDelete
I absolutely agree with you that the low turnout cannot be attributed to the elections having taken place in November. The question is: will this widespread voter apathy cause this policy to be abandoned, or will it be retained?Delete
It will be retained, no doubt about that.Politicians like it. More control,jobs and wonga for them. It will make no difference to peoples lives. There is discontent and anger in many communities over job opportunities, housing and heavy handed policing. The social storm will happen again but bigger.The health service is failing, public services are being cut, the economy is in meltdown. The state will bring the hammer down using the police as their stormtroopers. Bring it on. Why live life on our knees. Time to stand tall.Delete