Weekend Update – Sunday 22nd April 2012

Labour Shortlists

In addition to those previously identified, shortlisted Labour Candidates are as follows:-

Cambridgeshire – Ed Murphy and there must be at least one other.

Cumbria – Michael Boaden and Patrick Leonard.

Durham – Ron Hogg, Peter Thompson & Bill Dixon.

Northumbria – Former Solicitor General Vera Baird and Sunderland Councillor Tom Foster. Sue Pearson was not shortlisted.

Nottinghamshire – Former MP Paddy Tipping, and lawyer Adam Mohammed – go on, click the link, if only to have a laugh at the arrangement of the candidate photos. Chris Winterton did not make the shortlist, and Penny Griggs withdrew (as has Conservative Bruce Laughton).

Staffordshire – Joy Garner and former Police Authority chairman Michael Poulter.

South Yorkshire – Rev Canon Dr Alan Billings, Kash Walayat OBE and former Chief Constable Med Hughes join Shaun Wright, who has been backed by local MPs John Healey and Denis MacShane.

Warwickshire – Ex-MP James Plaskitt & Rugby councillor Claire Edwards.

West Midlands – Bob Jones and Yvonne Mosquito. Mike Olley is trying to appeal. I’m told, however, that there is no appeals process and complaints around the country are getting nowhere.


Labour Shorter-list

It seems that in Bedfordshire the Labour shortlist has just got shorter. We wouldn’t normally name a Civil Servant, however it is already public that Simon Bullock was on the shortlist, but his employers have told him to withdraw due to political restriction.

As your editor is a former serial victim of political restriction rules he is keenly aware that in the Civil Service the rule is that you can’t be involved in national politics, but local politics, including getting elected, are OK. Bullock explained that his employers have decided to treat Police and Crime Commissioners as national politics! But wasn’t this localism? I guess PCCs will have a greater mandate than most individual MPs, and will use that weight at all levels but, come on guys, be reasonable!

It can’t have helped that his twitter profile describes him as localism policy lead for the Home Office, working on Community Safety and Police and Crime Commissioner implementation, but rules is rules, and it is odd that his application got so far without this being addressed.

My own view is that in most instances political restriction is wrong, and that a register of political interests would usually be better, and far more informative. People can hold political views, be open about them, and still provide good advice, and it would be better if we knew where they were coming from. It is counter-productive to exclude the people most interested and experienced in government from being elected to government.

Labour Even-Shorter-Lists

Labour selections produced shortlists of one again in the following areas, meaning these people are the official Labour candidates and local members don’t get the one-member one-vote selection process they were expecting.

Leicestershire – Leicester City Councillor Sarah Russell.

York – York Councillor Ruth Potter.

Conservative List

The first details have begun to emerge from the Conservative selection process. This consists of a national stage where, following application and interview, successful candidates are added to a Police and Crime Commissioner list. Selection arrangements beyond this are local, and may differ from one area to another, hence the avoidance of the term ‘shortlist’.

In Staffordshire, for example, Robbie Marshall and Neill Harvey-Smith appear to have got on the list, but it is admitted that a third candidate could yet be added.

The following have openly declared they are on the list – Peter Walker in North Yorkshire, Bernard Rix in Bedfordshire and Steve Waight in Sussex.

Not confirmed as listed yet are Darren Jaundrill in Thames Valley, or William Wallace and Ken Maddock in Avon and Somerset. In the last case though, as Councillor Maddock resigned from his role as Leader of Somerset Council to run for Police & Crime Commissioner in Avon & Somerset in the same week as the results began to filter out, it’s just possible that he is on it. His move also has implications for other Council Leaders hoping to be PCCs. Police Minister Nick Herbert has already said he sees the two jobs as incompatible, and Cllr Maddock clearly thinks he needs to give up the job in order to make time for the campaign, even before being selected.

Other Developments

A local report has the Liberal Democrats expected to field a candidate for PCC in Sussex, while the Greens there are undecided. Is there anyone in Sussex who isn’t standing for PCC?

Former Lancashire Labour hopeful Chris Maughan confirmed he is supporting Mark Atkinson to be Labour PCC in Lancashire.

Jon Collins has noted that of the 34 shortlisted/selected Labour candidates for PCC we know about, 9 are current/former MPs, 4 are ex senior cops, and 14 are councillors

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has put up a briefing for Police and Crime Commissioner candidates.

Victim Support complained about PCCs taking over their funding arrangements. Policy Exchange’s Rory Geoghegan said he was “Disappointed, but not surprised, to see a 96% state-funded charity @VictimSupport trying to retain monopoly position“, and Bedfordshire Conservative Bernard Rix took the view thatBedfordshire will benefit from Government changes to victim support

Richard Ford reported that Nick Herbert said PCCs could get responsibilty for local justice services in the future.

Sussex Labour hopeful Paul Richards complained of the impact of the policing arrangements on Brighton for a visit by the English Defence League, saying “If I was Police Commissioner I would want serious thought given to whether it’s acceptable for a small group of EDL to march thru Brighton.” Asked whether this was not an operational issue for the Chief Constable, he replied that he had chosen his words carefully, and he would like to test it in discussion with the Chief Constable. Perhaps while he’s at it, he might ban the Labour party from cluttering up Brighton with a big police operation next time they fancy having a conference there?

Seeing as this update is published slightly late, we are past the embargo on Paul Richards’s latest Press Release for St George’s Day, in which he says that if he is elected as Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner he will “introduce an immediate policy to favour firms which manufacture in Britain like Land Rover”. Richards says “Sussex police spend millions of taxpayers’ pounds on everything from police cars to uniforms, from waste paper bins to firearms. During my campaign I will be asking the hard questions about how this money is spent, and how it can be used to boost local firms, create local jobs, and back British industry.” A number of questions come to mind:-

1. Is it April 1st? – no it’s the 23rd.

2. Is it legal? Can we really favour firms just because they’re British? What would the EU think? Would we have to leave the EU? (please say yes)

3. Is it sensible? If a British and a German firm are charging the same for an equivalent product, I can see the sense in buying British. If the Brits are charging less or the same Richards’s policy changes nothing, so it only makes a difference where they charge more. How much more is he willing to pay? And as he has to get that money out of British taxpayers, are they any better off?

4. Is it still the 21st Century? This reminds me of governments shoring up lame duck companies. This reminds me of the 70s. This reminds me of the money spent bailing out Rover. And while we’re on the topic, it reminds me of driving around in police cars that were Metros and Maestros that the police should never have bought, but perhaps they thought they should buy British, or was it “never mind the quality, feel the price”?

5. Do we do anybody any real long-term favours when we shield them from free trade?

6. I note that he says that foreign-owned companies are ok as, “if they invest and employ workers in Britain, then the British police should be giving them a boost”. I guess Sussex police will be buying all their books from Amazon then, regardless of their company’s tax status.

There, I’ve probably offended enough people not currently covered by equality laws to get a real debate going without me actually getting prosecuted.

This week in crime…

Ah, another week gone by. Where does the time go?

Well in court, it flies by faster still – take this case, where a total of 442 years for a repeat child sex offender was transformed into just 13.5 years by the magic of concurrent sentencing. There’s nothing like British justice.


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