Saturday, November 03, 2012

Police Elections: turning a flagship policy into farce

The Electoral Reform Society has said the Government has some serious questions to answer, as the Prime Minister in this week's PMQs brushed off criticism of the expected low turnout in the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Mr Cameron echoed the Government’s official line-to-take that first elections are ‘always difficult’. The Electoral Reform Society, which has conservatively estimated turnout at 18.5 per cent, has said evidence from previous ‘first time’ elections clearly demonstrate this argument isn’t a 'get out of jail free card'.

The Prime Minister's comments follow a week of chaos as £350,000-worth of English-only ballot papers went to the shredder in Wales. That's our money. And this week many voters are just beginning to receive direct mail from authorities - some on the same day that voter registration closes.

Good, innit?

His Grace has now received his official voting card, but has heard absolutely nothing about or from any of the candidates in his area. Frankly, this is appalling. Yes, it might be available on the internet, but if His Grace can't be bothered to do a search, how many of the cynical and un-engaged will bother?

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:
“To make one mistake in this election could have been regarded as misfortune. To make the dozen or so blunders the Home Office have made to date just looks careless.

“There have been epic mistakes in every last detail of this election – from timing that will keep most voters at home, to huge deposits that have kept serious candidates away, and now ballot papers which will be shortly heading into landfill.

“The UK Government has turned a flagship policy into farce. We have a role charged with serious powers that is now at risk of becoming a joke.

“The Home Office have obliged with a few videos and a website, but this has all come too late in the day. Few people know this election is happening, and even fewer really understand the nature of the role.

“There are plenty of big questions that the Government will have to answer post-election.”
The Society has examined turnout in first-time elections for English mayors. Katie Ghose added: “A 'difficult first election’ does not give the Government a get out of jail free card on low turnout. The relatively low figures achieved in first time elections for English mayors are a million miles away from November’s expected numbers. The Government isn’t just repeating past mistakes. It’s thrown in some new ones for good measure.”

Here is some usful data on 'first-time elections' – the turnout for mayoral elections in England:
Watford 2002 – 37%
Doncaster 2002 – 27%
Hartlepool 2002 – 29%
Lewisham 2002 – 25%
Middlesbrough 2002 – 42%
North Tyneside 2002 – 42%
Newham 2002 – 26%
Bedford 2002 – 25%
Hackney 2002 – 26%
Mansfield 2002 – 19%
Stoke on Trent 2002 - 27%
Torbay 2005 – 24%
Tower Hamlets 2010 – 26%
Salford 2012 – 26%
Liverpool 2012 – 31%
So, a projected turnout of 18.5 per cent for PCCs may be seen to be far more about Government incompetence than a little 'first-time difficulty'. It's almost as if they didn't really believe in devolution, localism, or trusting communities of people..


Blogger DeeDee99 said...

UKIP is fielding 24 candidates for Police Commissioner posts and members have been urged not to vote for a second choice. If the turn-out overall is low, our committed, politically interested membership may produce results that Mr Cameron won't enjoy reading.

Mrs May's newly acquired 'golden girl' status is about to take a hit.

3 November 2012 at 08:59  
Blogger David B said...

My plan, if I can be arsed, is to walk down the road to the polling station and write on the ballot paper that those responsible for this dumbass poll should be removed from office and have their assets sequestered to pay for it.

David B

3 November 2012 at 09:11  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Goodness what a Carry On glad I am no longer registered to vote now

How could anyone still wish to be associated with this system, I much prefer the Jewish way of doing things, set up tribal councils and present your demands

Jews even have parlaimentary representation within the EU now, without even having a member state

That is more than the English have, even though the English are said to be in the EU because a Marxist Jew signed the treaty

God awful system of misrepresention

3 November 2012 at 09:11  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

This is top/down, imposed localism - just as much a response to public interest and demand as John Prescott's English regions.

When he issued his consultation paper, the overwhelming response was opposed, so his department lumped all responses together as "showing an interest in regionalisation".

Perhaps the 5,000 block leaders whom the government are training to "empower" the "Big Society" should be mobilised to get the vote out.

3 November 2012 at 09:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

My postal vote arrived this morning. Three candidates (Conservative, Labour Party, and an Independent) are on the paper. I was sent a URL a week or so ago which I haven't bothered to look up yet. I know I ought to but I'm not enthused by the idea.

3 November 2012 at 10:15  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Vote for yet another layer of cash guzzling bureaucracy? I don't think so.

I second David B

3 November 2012 at 10:29  
Blogger Matt A said...

For those readers who bank with Barclays, and who do not want any of their hard earned cash to go to the Stonewall awards ( I you can complain here:

(If that link does not work, then follow the link from here:

Tell them that you will move your account if they continue to sponsor these awards.

3 November 2012 at 12:31  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

With an air of inevitability, the Coalition has made a total mess of what is a good thing. Here in Somerset, we have also received no material on any of the candidates. I found out who they are in the web; there's a three line or so bio/why me? paragraph for all of the candidates - bar some Labour bloke who has nothing about it at all.

I am minded not to vote.

3 November 2012 at 12:33  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

@Edward Spalton said...

This is top/down, imposed localism - just as much a response to public interest and demand as John Prescott's English regions.

Agreed - though it was and is the EU's English regions, not Prescott's.

3 November 2012 at 12:34  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Most definately another EU agenda and whoever would be dumb enough to elect a police state

We have all witnessed the steady growth in political policing don't give consent by voting

3 November 2012 at 13:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The important issue here is that whatever happens we will have elected police commissioners. As for a low turnout, don’t count on it.

When this man arrived in Gloucester, he couldn’t walk more than 150 yards down the main drags without being pestered by some down and out in a closed shop doorway. What few beat policemen there were would be conveniently walking on the other side of the street. When the PCSOs came on the scene, they swept the problem up.

Interestingly, the county police force has changed tactics in the last few months. Instead of waiting for a break-in to happen and then investigate, they actively pursue anyone on their public nuisance list. Keeping tracks on them at all times. The strategy has paid off, with handsome reductions in that crime statistic.

It looks like the police have already adapted to the new regime. After all, they are finally going to be responsible to a man or woman who will themselves answer to the people.

This is going to be an example of Britain at it’s best, what !

3 November 2012 at 14:05  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Inspector, you have just described the bobbies doing their job, which is the least to be expected from them under normal conditions

David Cameron claiming he cannot get a reduction in our payments to the EU as if our Nation has been subjugated by the mere signature of a Marxist Jew is hardly Britain at it's best

Blunketts bobbies (PCSO) cheap policing is just another way of diverting tax payers money abroad

3 November 2012 at 14:41  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

Thirty years ago, the abolition of the House of Lords and the redefinition of legal marriage to include same-sex couples were both peculiar to the "Loony Left". The first was most associated with Tony Benn, while the second was most associated with Ken Livingstone.

Both are now the policy of the successor to the SDP. Both are now the policy of the Conservative Party. The only party that remains less than convinced is Benn's and
Livingstone's own. The third leg of the stool, bringing the IRA into the government of Northern Ireland, was accepted in principle by all three parties all the way back when John Major was Prime Minister.

Out of the same stable comes the attempt to subject the police to political control. That is the otherwise wholly mysterious origin of Police and Crime Commissioners. Labour should promise to abolish them. The turnout at the forthcoming elections will more than justify such a commitment.

3 November 2012 at 15:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I gave in and checked the website. Unusual bunch for me. Labour's has no chance, I'd say.

3 November 2012 at 15:20  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

We have had our voting cards for two weeks but as yet no leaflets from any of the candidates(S Wales Police). Poor show!

3 November 2012 at 16:18  
Blogger Berserker said...

In North Somerset we have four candidates but " one (Labour) has not yet provided an introductory statement to the'

So what about Dave's 'big job for a big local figure'?
The big local figure seems to have disappeared into Wookey Hole never to come out again! They seek him here they seek him there but not apparently in North Somerset. You would have thought that an introductory statement would be the first priority for any candidate. After all it's no more than a ten minute job.

3 November 2012 at 16:46  
Blogger William said...

I see that Thames Valley have a UKIP candidate. Looks like I won't be staying in watching re-runs of Inspector Morse after all.

3 November 2012 at 16:54  
Blogger Dave said...

In South Yorkshire the police need some independent scrutiny. They have failed both to show leadership in sorting out their own muckheap (Orgreave and Hillsborough)and have succumbed to anti Christian political correctness allowing the persecution of young white girls by muslim men for their un interrupted pleasure. There are five candidates and The English Democrats, UKIP, Tories and Liberal candidates have spoken against the Labour candidate as he has been on Rotherham council and vice chair of the police authority and done precious little to force some action from an institutionally politically correct police. This would not happen without the removal of the cosy relationship between the police 'service' and the authority.

Provided the Labour candidate does not get in, things can only get better, if the commissioner does as promised. If he doesn't then he can be voted out. My feeling is that the establishment has gone cold on the idea after realising some ordinary joe might get in and actually do something.

3 November 2012 at 16:57  
Blogger John Henson said...

A very low turnout (as seems likely) opens an opportunity for a fundamentalist religious group to "get their man in".

Hazard a guess as to which fundamentalist religious group might be well-enough organised to pull off this coup.

I therefore urge all right-thinking people to get off their backsides and vote.

3 November 2012 at 17:04  
Blogger John M Ward said...

One of the biggest issues with this election is holding it in November.

Not only are we unaccustomed to elections at this time of year (causing something of a psychological block in some electors, I suspect) but the weather and lighting conditions – especially for those who now go to work in the dark and come home after sundown – will be a further impediment to decent turnout.

I gather this timing was a concession to the Lib Dems, though I have no details of this. By next time, four years hence, hopefully it'll be held in May as is the norm for most elections in this country.

3 November 2012 at 17:05  
Blogger John M Ward said...

In my home county, by the way, several of the six candidates have been very active, and there has been some election material coming to us as well as the street stalls and a fair number of public hustings events around the county.

So it can be done; but it is a very large area to cover – unlike (say) American Sheriffs, whose electroate tends to be numbered in the tens of thousands.

Ours are in many cases over a million, including here in Kent...

3 November 2012 at 17:09  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I hope fundamentalists do get their man in, every time I have dealings with the bobbies they send an Asian

Monarchy and Marxist collusion to police England using foreigners would be to blame

3 November 2012 at 17:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, His Grace, Esteemed bone. We don’t want the local mullah getting in. It’s difficult enough to police the Pakistan-UK heroin route as things stand.

The Inspector salutes the PCSOs. Should be given powers of arrest and elevated to the position of ‘Civic Police’. The other uniformed crowd being renamed ‘Criminal Police’. The division line of their duties being that which is a felony and that which is a misdemeanour.

Bravo PCSO types !

3 November 2012 at 17:48  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

No need to worry about Mullah Commissioners inspector, nothing a permanent UK based UN peace keeping force could not monitor

PCSOs could be replaced by the Pensioners work force and perhaps incorporated into the lollie pop lady system

3 November 2012 at 18:03  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

It's another cynical ploy to deflect from the fact that the EU pulls all the strings that matter and we get to elect the local sheriff and dog catcher - no big deal - nothing to see here folks now move along before you get booked for breathing in a non multicultural manner.

3 November 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

There’s an idea. A mechanised auxiliary force of wheelchair pensioners charging rioters, with knives fixed to the wheel hubs, in the Ben Hur fashion...

The charge commencing on the lowering of a lollypop...

3 November 2012 at 18:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One can picture it now. A looting armed black drug dealer looking in horror as the wheelchair pensioners approach. He pauses in fright. Takes aim and shoots two of the front pensioners dead, but is then rooted to the spot in petrified fear as the chairs continue at him at 15 mph despite their brave occupants slumped to one side lifeless. His last action to cry out in panic as the chairs cut him down, and send him on a early arrival in hell.

hmmm. Must write the book and secure film rights...

3 November 2012 at 18:28  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Why does the drug dealer have to be black?

It would never make it past the censors, the drug dealer would have to be white and straight

The hero could be a black, gay, disabled pensioner. Sell the idea to the BBC!

3 November 2012 at 19:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

He doesn’t HAVE to be black. He just is...

Anyway, one's second book is to be a collaboration. “Harry Potter and the Arse Bandits”. An adult story of shocking predation by the dearly loved uber people. By JK Rowling and JK Inspector.

Of course, one needs to meet up with the booktress first. To discuss the plot, film rights and the millions coming this man’s way...

3 November 2012 at 19:37  
Blogger Span Ows said...

Is the image in the blog post the right one, the actual ad for the elections? Are they going for the pink vote?

3 November 2012 at 23:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...


I do like the idea of the pensioner police force.

Here's a suggestion for the story line for books and films. Dispense with wheel chairs and use modernised Darlekesque machines with flight capacity and armed with lazers and other weaponary.

Exterminate .... Exterminate ... Exterminate

4 November 2012 at 00:19  
Blogger non mouse said...

Hmmm, Your Grace. Nobody seems too chuffed wi' this notion.

Since the masters clearly think we're too daft to resist this latest imposition, I agree with those who suspect the game will carry on regardless.

At the same time, the self-styled "leaders" perpetuate their myth that communicating with us is a waste of time... because it's impossible. So all they'll really need now is bigger prisons and lots more of them; that is, unless this new "force" turns into a fully fledged euro militia with a license to shoot first and never answer questions.

Regardless, this copycat version of 'policing'is a sorry fate for our proud and exemplary tradition.
How very sad, that, before long no one will never know what we meant when we sang:

England swings like a pendulum do,
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two,
Westminster Abbey, the Tower of Big Ben,
And the rosy-red cheeks of the little children

4 November 2012 at 02:48  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4 November 2012 at 03:03  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

It is particularly foolish to spend all this money on electing Police Commissioners when we are cutting what we spend on running the force and making policemen/women redundant. Another coup for ineptitude!
The shredding of single language voting papers is another example of political correctness running mad in this country.

4 November 2012 at 03:13  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Come on you suckers,vote for me,so that i can get a better position in ACPO.

4 November 2012 at 09:00  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

The farce is that all the parties have entered politicians for the posts, and if voting is on the usual lines for county councils, they might just as well instructed the County Councillors to make the appointments. I would have been cheaper and I doubt if the outcome would be any different.
Nevertheless, my vote for UKIP will be put in the post just as soon as the rain stops!

4 November 2012 at 13:07  
Blogger Laurence Durnan said...

Matt A mentions a petition above.
Here is another petition followers of the Archbishop may like to peruse and sign:-

Stonewall doesn't just get money from our banks it also avoids tax which is not fair.

4 November 2012 at 14:04  
Blogger Laurence Durnan said...

Would Bred in the Bone please stop making racist remarks, or otherwise provide his home address so that we can go round there and throw a brick in at the window?

4 November 2012 at 14:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Did anyone hear that massive explosion ?

It was a bone going off...

4 November 2012 at 14:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Julia Gasper: "Would Bred in the Bone please stop making racist remarks, or otherwise provide his home address so that we can go round there and throw a brick in at the window?"

I'd be careful saying stuff like that if I were you.

4 November 2012 at 16:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oh, sorry. I appear to have typed in the wrong name there. How on earth did that happen?

4 November 2012 at 16:13  
Blogger Dave said...

It doesn't matter. You made a threat. The intention was clear.

4 November 2012 at 16:28  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I have made no comments on race which can be identified as racial slurs, my comments are supportive of tribalism, not opposed

My oppopsition is to political ideology which forments division, through giving minority rights, which oppose the rights of host nations

The authorities are capable of getting my address if I am to be charged

Would it not be better to do things lawfully, bricks are such a sad silly method

4 November 2012 at 16:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Let those of you without guilt be the first to stone the bone...

Er, not literally of course {AHEM}

4 November 2012 at 16:40  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"I'd be careful saying stuff like that if I were you" 4 November 2012 16:13

Take no notice Danjo dear fellow, Laurance is probably a state asset attemting to induce a scenario in which the bobbies can intervene

That is not advisable either, given that I am already known to the crown for my dilligent efforts in keeping the peace, in which we share a common interest

4 November 2012 at 16:45  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oh I don't think it will actually happen. I meant legally.

4 November 2012 at 16:54  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Crime will always happen Danjo, that is why we pay for bobbies to assist in uphold the law

Political policing will legaly seek to shut me up, which is more probably where Laurance comes in

4 November 2012 at 17:07  
Blogger Laurence Durnan said...

"Laurance is probably a state asset..."
What a funny lot you are. I'm glad you're no longer registered to vote, Bred in the Bone, and I hope you stay that way.

4 November 2012 at 17:51  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

For and on the record the term "asset" was a mispelling of the word ass

4 November 2012 at 17:59  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Then again anyone who really knows me recognises I prefer the term arse to Americanism

And also place my faith in a Rock over a Brick, although feel no need to throw them through windows

I will leave the voting to you

4 November 2012 at 18:08  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I am off to bed now, where I can sleep safe in the knowledge we are soon to have a Police Commissioner voted in by the brick thrower

Typifies the failing system I wish to discard somehow

4 November 2012 at 22:40  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

Good morning to you.

Please could you post, asap, another of your outstanding contributions today such as why is Cameroon going on a re-invigorating' tour of the middle east etc, just so Ernst does not have to read another comment on your august blog about homosexuals and gold lame pants etc, before I go completely bonkers.

Bless you.

E S Blofeld

5 November 2012 at 09:45  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Would Blofeld give me his address show I can shove my prick through his letter box ;-D

5 November 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger len said...

Amen to that Ernst.(5 November 2012 09:45)

Then we would have one both sides of the door Mr Bone!(5 November 2012 18:13)

5 November 2012 at 20:24  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Really len, thats you off the jury then!

5 November 2012 at 21:25  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...


And you really wanted to raise the standard of the discussion?!!

What on earth are you sayinglen?!


5 November 2012 at 21:54  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Excuse the expression but I interpret it as Pr*cks on both sides of the door.


And possibly one in the letter box!


5 November 2012 at 21:57  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, No just ONE on both sides of the door.(Bone is outside and inside the House)

Try to visualise(perhaps better not!)

6 November 2012 at 18:59  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I just tried, it works!

6 November 2012 at 22:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

bone, delighted for you old chap. Do you know some of us have barely enough to piss with...

6 November 2012 at 22:37  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

In our house we have a Cocker Spaniel who savages anything coming through the letter box.

You have been warned Bone!

6 November 2012 at 23:05  

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