Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'Allo 'allo 'allo

So our new police commissioner is Anthony Stansfeld, a bushy-eyebrowed Tory who served in the forces before a career as the MD of an aircraft manufacturer. He campaigned on a platform of reducing rural crime and burglary - no doubt motivated by a desire to stop his pheasants being rustled.

My vote went to Geoff Howard on the grounds that his statement was sensible, he had experience managing whopping budgets and - most importantly - he was an independent. The most impressive statement, I thought, came from Tim Starkey, but as someone affiliated to Labour he wasn't going to get my cross.

Of the others, one was a UKIP candidate ('nuff said), one made a big deal about having been a victim of crime on several occasions including being involved in two road accidents (odd to boast about being a bad driver...), and the last was a well-intentioned no-hoper whose experience extended to a spot of volunteering in the charity sector.

Much of the talk in the wake of the election, inevitably, has been of the low turnout. Ours was among the lowest at just 13.3% - Stansfeld polled just over a third of the votes that were cast, hardly a significant mandate. Yet it's bemusing to hear pundits wringing their hands at the general public apathy - what did they expect when there were no centrally allocated funds available to candidates for promoting either themselves or the elections, and when voters were unclear about the nature of the role for which they were being asked to elect people?

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