Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Hereditary Police Commissioners ?

Hereditary Police Commissioners ?

While our MPs are busy ensuring that their wont be any elections to the House of Lords - they have at least given the consolation prize of elected Police and Crime Commissioners.

Anyway, there hasn't been any great outcry over the dropping of elections to the House of Lords - even Liberal Democrats who are usually reported as ultra-in favour of an elected Lords don't seem too miffed.  The wiser ones
probably realise they do better under the current crazy appointment system than they would do under elections.

So in November you will be able to vote for your 'local' Police and Crime Commissioner.   I bet you haven't been so excited since you had the chance to take part in the referendum on the Alternative Vote system.

Oddly enough many of the arguments against an elected House of Lords apply to elected Police Commissioners. Well, probably not oddly, as politicians, like the rest of us, tend to be a contradictory and flexible lots
There is no great public demand for Police Commissioners, the existing system though illogical seems to work sort of OK, no one seems sure what the purpose of elections is when the are contested in huge constituencies where few people know anything about the candidates and most crucially what powers they have (virtually none)

Elections for Police and Crime Commissioners are already descending into farce.  Third rate ex-MPs who in the old days would have gone to the Lords or become an Euro MP can now sew up a £80,000 a year job on the basis of
the votes of a few hundred party members.

We know that the winner in Surrey will be the Conservative nominee just as we know Liverpool will elect the Labour nominee. Turnout is predicted to be so low that even Postal Vote Fraud will be OK as long a sit ups the turnout.

In contrast defenders of the Lords tend to be enthusiastic about the institution -  plenty of people think the totally and later mainly Hereditary Lords should never have been got rid of. Rather then elections, they warm to the idea of "experts" being appointed to the Lords.

So why not consider Hereditary Police Commissioners - and if they didn't want to take up the post they could appoint an expert in their place until they wanted to take up the role.  It would be alot cheaper than holding elections with a derisory turnout  for a post with no real power.

I am joking. Really Police and Crime Commissioners are a bad idea and should be scrapped.

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