Last updated on September 23rd, 2023 at 03:24 pmReading Time: 3 minutes
That is the question……
Some of you will know that I was going to stand for the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia until Call Me Dave and the Cabinet Office tilted the playing field against Independent candidates.
Many of you will know that I subsequently applied for the position of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia but was unsuccessful.
For these reasons I feel that I am entitled to hold an opinion and comment on the outcomes.
First off, the position of Police and Crime Commissioner went to a Conservative Councillor from Wyre Forest District Council, John-Paul Campion, who, bizarrely, follows me on Twitter so will doubtless see this post. The previous post-holder had been an Independent and his, then, Deputy, entered the fray as an Independent this time round and finished 4th. The Independents relegated from 1st to 4th.
Possibly the intervention of Theresa May had something to do with it, with her unsolicited emails supporting the Conservative candidate. Where did she get non-Party Members email addresses from? Did somebody abuse the Data Protection Act?
Come the recruitment time for Deputy I took the view that I had nothing to lose and would try to inject some balance into what I saw as a bad situation for Policing in West Mercia.
My background, antecedents and experience speak for themselves. My CV and Personal Statement were checked out by some people who know about these things. You know who you are and I am truly grateful.
And……………I didn’t make it through the short listing. 20 applicants, 6 made it on to the Short List. I have no idea what the short-listing criteria were but I was disappointed not to make it.
For what seemed like an eternity I sat and patiently waited while the interviews were conducted and eventually the successful candidate was announced………..a Conservative Councillor from Wyre Forest District Council. Incredible coincidence.
The local Press have not been slow to pick up on this amazing piece good fortune.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion defends appointing Wyre Forest District Council colleague Tracey Onslow as deputy
One of the above Press articles makes this very valid point, and implies, if not states, that both are hanging onto their Councillor jobs as well, contradiction of that would be most welcome if this is not the case;
The West Mercia PCC represents the people who live in four local authority areas; Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire.
“John Campion is a Wyre Forest DC and Worcestershire County Councillor. Tracey Onslow, is presently a Conservative Wyre Forest DC Councillor so we have a PCC and deputy PCC who are both from the Wyre Forest area of Worcestershire.
How WILL they adequately serve the people and Police of West Mercia if they also have “day jobs”?
I did manage to get hold of a set of the questions put to each of the 6 candidates who made it through to the interview stage, naive in parts, possibly tailored for a certain kind of person in others
The final insult for me personally is a pinned Tweet on Mr Campion’s personal Twitter account
Earlier in the week I was angry, today I am more sad. Even if nepotism has not raised it’s ugly head, the people and Police of West Mercia surely deserve better. This is a clear reminder of what can happen when you mix up Policing and Politics. I blame Theresa May for that, Well Done, and for that, she is likely to be our next Prime Minister.
Please feel free to Unfollow me Mr Campion, but I have had just about enough of politics interfering with with Policing, and quite honestly, I’m GLAD I get didn’t the job as your Deputy.