.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An electoral disaster?

The Financial Times suggests that the low turnout in Thursday's Police and Crime Commissioner elections are a massive kick in the teeth for David Cameron, who championed the contests at every stage.

They say that his hope that Britain would embrace his vision of US-style elected police chiefs lies in tatters as the public turned its back on his latest attempt to change the way the country is run.

The idea being put about by the Prime Minister's spin doctors that it was all the fault of the London-based national media for failing to cover the police campaign properly is just desperation to be frank. There was good coverage in local media, but the lack of investment by the UK Government in a freepost mailing meant that most people did not know enough about the candidates and consequently many did not venture out to vote.

There was also a strong feeling amongst voters that we should not be politicising our police force that contributed to absenteeism and spoilt ballot papers. Other factors include the timing of the elections and that the Government had not made the case for change.

Personally, I think that this piece in the Daily Mail's Black Dog column sums up one of the problems with the new posts:

Anyone who believes new police commissioners will go round, Wyatt Earp-style, rounding up outlaws, can forget it.

Speaking with all the gun-toting swagger of the balding Tory chartered accountant he is, Britain’s first elected top cop, Wiltshire’s Angus Macpherson, spluttered less than chillingly: ‘Voters liked my skill-sets – I’m drawing up a crime plan with stakeholders.’

The villains of Wilts must be trembling in their lairs. ‘Oi, Mugsy, the game’s up. We’re surrounded by stakeholders armed to the teeth with skill-sets.’

People want more bobbies on the beat, not bureaucrats.
Another rare occasion for us to agree on Peter!
Then do what happens in US elections, combine the election of this that and the other person with the national election - DUH, then the turnout is automatically higher! In fact the voter turn out is the same as the national election - DUH. When I voted on November 6, I was obliged to respond to this that and the other thing/question/local and national politician choices - 'there problem of low voter turnout fixed!' "That was easy".
Sorry Peter, but I don't see your problem with this bit of democracy; I realize your party is not too keen on having elected members of the Upper House - but y not have elected civilians in charge of the police - the UK has a civilian government in charge of the army, air force and navy.

A civilian acts a good ingredient to the pot - city Mayors in the USA have hire and fire powers - which includes the city police. It's true you can have corrupt civilians in charge, but that's why the US has another police force to root out bad cops and bad civilian executives - i.e., ones on the take or otherwise 'involved' or compromised.

If a Mayor is not happy with a police commander he can fire him on the spot - that kind of power, when used wisely, really helps. Also, Mayors can do other things very fast, like focus police on certain issues like muggings of tourists that hurt the city tourist industry, etc.

I remember Mayor Daley ordering Chicago cops to stake out an area near North Michigan Avenue to capture muggers - and he also ordered the sealing off of a well known criminal/muggers escape route. Put a BIG STOP to this issue.

A Mayor with powers can do a lot of things - perhaps its time that Cardiff cops were under the thumb of an elected Mayor of Cardiff - same goes for your 'home' town of Swansea - just look at the appalling drug problem near the main line train station in Swansea - it has killed the retail outlets there and harms Swansea's reputation. I know about it and I'm 3,500 miles away.

Y are you so against progress? So against democracy?

We have had elected representatives on police authorities for decades. The problem was that they were selected from local authorities by a bizarre formula. If the Police authorities were directly elected then that would be progress. The direct election of an individual rather than a committee reduces plurality in policing. Even so in North Wales I am happy as our man won.
The lesson for the Liberal Democrats is that where you cannot win supporting suitable Independents is a way forward.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?