Tonight my blog is published on the eve of the PCC elections. An idea floated on a wave of public control over the Police, which will wash up a scummy detritus filled tide of Political control over the pristine beach of criminal justice. Anyone who thinks or even cares about how Policing is run has to do so on the assumption that if is fair and just, above the grasp of political manifestos, agendas and preferences. After all we wouldn’t want our Police Chief being instructed to baton and tear gas plebs when they fail to know their place, neither would we want our Police Chief to decide that only proper English people have the God given right to walk the streets. It may not happen in Walsall, it may not happen in this campaign but there is a worrying trend to the Right and a democratic vote means the most popular gets the job irrespective of their viewpoint or ability. This is, for me, the most worrying aspect of electing a PCC, aside from spending £100k on yet another bureaucratic salary with absolutely no added value; is that any politically supported candidate will have a politically considered mandate. This mandate will not provide the best possible outcome for the policing we deserve, it will deliver budgets and achieve targets dictated by Westminster. We will get Police PLC by proxy. The swingeing cuts and myopic privatisation often threatened will become so much easier to achieve and when it is finally recognised as a mistake, the PCC will get the push and the Government’s hands will be clean, their collusion absolved as it was our choice to elect them in the first place.
Aside from the fact I am deeply unimpressed with all the candidates for my PCC, none of which appear comfortable in front of a camera or able to make a single convincing statement despite hurried grooming. I am totally against putting this issue into the public forum. This election is about Policing, a very real and required service and yet it is being set up by Government to fail on a massive scale. The cost of losing control and losing services, wholesale cuts with impunity to those who commanded and railroaded it, will cost £4.1 million per year, based on 41 PCC’s @ £100k. Based on 4 years to do irreparable damage to the Police and privatise it to someone who can do it properly, say G4S, ATOS or even A4E, £16m is small change compared to the profits of privatisation, that will line the coffers of the off-shore tax accounts of our trusted and honest politicians. I bet the Kray’s wished they were still in charge of London… and alive.
Well I guess I have nailed my cross to the wall, not that I need a cross being a Pantheist Buddhist (let’s see if I can get any more Pantheist groups following me on Twitter) but I have a conundrum. I don’t want the elections or an elected representative and yet the value of my vote has been made very apparent to me. So to satisfy both obligations I will be voting “None of the Above, please count this as a spoiled vote“
You may consider this a waste of time and energy but if you genuinely cannot be convinced by the electoral arguments for candidacy, I urge you to do the same, it will at least make the count interesting and when it goes to rat shit and you are having your brains beaten out by politically motivated and publicly financed thugs, you can utter, “I didn’t ask for this” in your last breath.