Last updated on May 8th, 2023 at 11:42 amReading Time: 3 minutes
Next month will bring us the 2016 elections for Police and Crime Commissioners. At this precise moment I have no idea how they will go. Most areas have Local Authority Elections on the same day which will hopefully improve the turnout over the 2012 disaster, but who knows, time will tell.
The government seem to be intent on tilting the playing field in their favour. They have declared their hand by nishing the free leaflet drop which will comprehensively disadvantage any candidate not allied to a major political party, i.e. the Independents.
Rumours have been reaching the press in recent weeks how the Tories overspent on their election expenses in some constituencies at the last General Election, showing the contempt they have for the Electoral Process. The last four years has proved to them the PCC system has not exactly fulfilled their plans and the popularity of Independent candidates such as Mike Pannett and Kevin Hurley has clearly got them rattled. They seem hell-bent on gaining as many victories as possible this time round, and Theresa May has entered the fray urging everyone to vote Tory.
Purdah? What Purdah?
So, unless Common Sense prevails (didn’t happen in the General Election) we should prepare ourselves for a plethora of Tory PCCs. We have seen just what a good impression some of those have made of being government puppets. Northants, North Yorkshire, Dyfed Powys to name just a few. They have all given a damn fine impression of obeying Theresa May without question.
So, what can we do about it if it all goes wrong?
Personally I’m not a huge fan of “Blue Flu”, it’s never really very popular, hardly ever effective and may send the wrong message to the public.
I prefer the #DoItRight philophosy. Do absolutely everything by the book. It normally takes much longer than taking the shortcuts, you can’t be wrong and you can’t, justifiably, be criticised.
Alongside this, my personal preference is to withdraw all of the things we do on a totally voluntary basis, such as driving Police Cars and/or carrying firearms etc etc. I know many will not agree with that stance and that is your right, but let me just tell you this;
One dark day I was involved in an accident driving a Police Car, nobody died, nobody was injured but there was a very expensive pile of junk left at the side of the road. The Garage Sergeant appeared to be shocked that I was sober at 9 o’clock in the morning and that I was Guilty of being stationary whilst being hit by a 113 mph Porsche and I was accordingly prosecuted for this heinous offence. Acquitted at Court with No Case To Answer, I had received no assistance from the Federation except offering to pay my legal bills. Upon acquittal a Traffic Chief Inspector said “we all know what happens at Court son, the Innocent go down and the Guilty go free”. On that day I vowed NEVER again to exceed the speed limit on duty, NEVER to creep across a set of red lights, NEVER again to do one single thing driving a Police Car that would put my personal driving licence in jeopardy. The Presumption of Guilt saw to that.
If a significant number of officers adopted similar views, Response Times would go out the window, jobs would stack up waiting to be done and it would become blatantly obvious that we need MORE cops, not less, just to tread water and get the Job done.
Not all of you will agree with me, and that’s fine. I merely ask you to consider it, and if there is anything that you can stop doing, or do less, that won’t get you into trouble, then consider it. Direct Action is seldom ignored, but I’m not sure that we can emulate the French Farmers and cover Parliament with cowshit or blockade our ports. We cannot strike, that’s currently a No No, but if there is anything at all that we can lawfully do, that doesn’t breach the Discipline Code, just think about it. I don’t want one single one of you to drop yourselves in the mire, but I am convinced that there are things that you can do (or not do) that will be noticed and make a difference.
Hunt’s speeches in the HoC over the last two days have shown how much sympathy and concern we can expect from the government, he has just been priceless.
I hope that the Independents will be successful next month, or at the very least, that the Tories fail, but if not you may need a Plan B.