Saturday, 17 November 2012

Vote for Police Commissioners

Why is it that our politicians always think they know best? And never feel the need to listen to the wishes of the people they represent. Their reaction is always that you had the choice by reading our manifesto at the general election, but what choice is that.

Rarely in the interim period between elections, is there an opportunity to disagree. One of those rare moments was in the vote for the Police Commissioners

With a  nationwide turnout of just over 14 per cent, the worst on record in a nationwide poll, the population have shown their complete disregard, and outright contempt for this flagship law and order policy by the Conservatives.

Ballot boxes in some polling stations were left empty when not one single voter showed up. The low turnout should mean that the new police bosses – who will be paid up to £100,000 a year – will struggle to claim a mandate. 

The Electoral Commission, has announced a review of the poll, saying turnout was ‘a concern for everyone who cares about democracy’, but the danger to democracy is the politicisation of our police force, which has remained independent from the influence of politics since its inception in 1839.

If they had been more aware of the feelings of the population, our politicians would have been aware that the population of the UK are not in favour of political influence in our police, which has already manifested itself in the degree of political correctness that stifles the actions of the police.

According to researchers Ipsos-Mori, only 29 per cent of us trust our bankers, while a mere 19 per cent trust the Press. In just two years, trust in our judges has fallen by 8 per cent and in teachers by 7 per cent. But these professions are positively popular compared with those most loathed and despised characters, our nation’s politicians. Just 14 per cent of us trust politicians to tell the truth, and only 17 per cent of us trust government ministers.
It is little wonder, that Parliament’s reputation is in the gutter. Many of us will never forgive our MPs for the grotesque avarice and corruption of the expenses scandal.
In this vote the public have shown their contempt for the major parties,
Proof of this is that 54 of the 192 candidates standing were not linked to a political party, and across Britain the public rejected Tory, Labour and Lib Dems to elect a raft of independent candidates.

"The plan for Police and Crime Commissioners was central to Mr Cameron, and in opposition, his "big idea" was the redistribution of power from the centre, and the election of police commissioners was cited as a key example, along with the revival of elected mayors, but making the vote for police commissioners a vote on party political divisions once again centralises power. The difference Mr Cameron, is that the police have always been independent of politics, whilst Mayors have not.
The Tories, point out that even on a low turnout, the police are now more democratically accountable than when they were overseen by the police authorities. Or should they have said, that they are even more politically accountable.  The old Police committees were apolitical. 

Keith Vaz, Labour chairman of the Commons Home Affairs select committee, said no one expected to see independent candidates to do so well.
He told BBC News: 'It seems that the public have decided that they don’t necessarily want party politicians to be police commissioners and instead they want people who are independent of political parties, and that’s why they voted for them, which is very similar to the system we had under police authorities where there were a lot of independents who were present on  those committees.'

The Prime Minister today tried to defend the police, telling the BBC: 'Turnout was always going to be low when you’re electing a new post for the first time. But remember, these Police and Crime Commissioners are replacing organisations that weren’t directly elected at all.'  I couldn’t agree more Mr Cameron, and that is the hub of this discussion. The Police should remain free of ALL political influence. Don’t forget other instances where police have fallen under the influence of politics, and that has always meant less democracy for its citizens, where you could envisage a police commissioner leaning on the police chief to take action to suppress any opposition to his views. KEEP OUR POLICE APOLITICAL!

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