Richard North, 15/11/2012  


You can always trust the Guardian to get it wrong, I wrote in my last piece. But hadn't then accounted for the dismal Telegraph which seems to have made as its mission a determination to lead the entire media pack in the race to the bottom. Thus did it offer yesterday:
They [police commissioners] deserve, to begin with, as robust a mandate as possible, which is why it is of great importance that people get out and vote tomorrow. In doing so, they will begin to make policing once again the local service it is supposed to be.
Today it offers its pages to the dubious John Yates, former UK Head of Counter-Terrorism, to pontificate on police commissioners, telling us that "the PCCs are a good idea, but poorly executed and at the wrong time". "In terms of policy", Yates of the Yard dribbles, "the Government are right to allow people a say in how their local area is policed, and to provide someone they can hold to account".

Of course, what immediately screams out - where we are to have a police commissioner for the area of West Yorkshire - is that 2.2 million people is not ****ing local. Not in a million years can a police force covering nearly 800 square miles, "serving" over two million people be considered local. There are over 100 countries with populations smaller than West Yorkshire.

As for "holding to account", how can one person hold such a system to account, when the structures are so fundamentally flawed, and where the people, as such, have no ability to strike back?

But that is the Telegraph for you. This fare is on offer from a paper which, alongside the media in general, tells us they are the guardians of our "democracy". And this is why we need the "freedom of the press"? What we do need is the Harrogate Agenda.

UPDATES: Low turnout seems universal. At just gone one o'clock, I was the fifteenth through my local polling station, and I'd only come to spoil my vote.

Another forum member reports 20 when a general election would have been "deep into the hundreds". At 1400hr–ish, a friend in Wales reported being voter 27 out of 981 in a ward that normally does 50 percent-plus.

It seems we have a voters' strike in progress – the only sensible response to such a cockeyed idea. "Surveys suggest that the national turnout could be as low as 15 percent, says the Independent, "a figure that would fuel accusations that the victorious candidates have a minimal democratic mandate".

And how many heads will roll, do you think?

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