Later this year we will have the first elections for Police and Crime Commissioners in England. There is currently no UKIP candidate for the job for West Mercia Police but Labour and the Conservatives have announced a candidate each who will be up against an independent.
UKIP is opposed to the election of Police and Crime Commissioners because it will politicise the police force and do nothing to improve accountability or performance but believes that if we must have elected Police and Crime Commissioners then the Commissioner should at least have the common sense and decent values you’d expect from a UKIP members. The fact that there is no top-down policy for UKIP Police and Crime Commissioner candidates reflects the party’s opposition to the politicisation of the police.
Although there is no candidate for the West Mercia police area, there is one for the neighbouring West Midlands police force. Bill Etheridge was revealed as UKIP’s candidate for the West Midlands last month and our own Cllr Jill Seymour is his campaign manager. If you want to help with Bill’s campaign they’ll both be pleased to hear from you!
Back to the West Mercia Police election now and a quick look at the candidates.
The Conservative candidate is Hereford Councillor and farmer Adrian Blackshaw. He makes much of his experience with public/private partnerships whilst promising that public/private partnerships aren’t on the cards if he is elected but all is not as it seems. According to the Hereford Heckler, Cllr Blackshaw has tried to talk down the idea of greater transparency for regeneration partnership, Hereford Futures.
The Labour candidate is former leader of Labour’s MEPs in the EU Parliament, former Trade Champion for the now-defunct unelected regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, former board member on the unelected West Midlands Development Agency and former Director of the unelected Birmingham, Coventry & Black Country City Region, Dr Simon Murphy. Dr Murphy was responsible for sucking Telford into the City Region, costing Telford & Wrekin council taxpayers a lot of money and diverting investment away from the town to Birmingham. Murphy is an avowed europhile, supports the break-up of England into euroregions, supports the UK’s membership of the €uro and is required to put his oath of allegiance to the EU above all others in order to keep his very generous EU pension.
The independent candidate is former Police Superintendent and Shropshire resident Bill Longmore. Longmore shares UKIP’s distaste for the politicisation of the police force. He is the only candidate with any policing experience and in the absence of a UKIP candidate would seem to be the sensible choice. Which is why he will probably come last, a victim of the political tribalism that has neutered the electoral system for decades and will end the independence of the police force overnight on the 15th of November.