A tale of two elections

We report this week on celebrations at Rudyard Lake but as far as the two approaching elections go — The Election No-One Cares About and The Election In Which No-One Tells The Truth — we’re apparently stuck in a Rudyard Kipling short story.

The Election No-One Cares About is for police and crime commissioners. The apathy is unsurprising: in an era of diversity, Cheshire can only offer the option of four white guys in suits. Staffordshire gives us four white guys and a white woman in suits.

The basic problem is politics. Some years ago a white guy in a suit went to America and saw elected sheriffs. He thought it would look good on his cv if he did the same over here. (Whether it benefited the public would not be a concern).

He omitted two elements. Firstly, that most sheriffs represent a small area, wear a uniform and do police work. They’re not holed up in a gated police HQ, claiming that Twitter keeps them in touch.

Secondly: local elections in the US are not run on political lines. A man or woman wants to be sheriff and they stand. People judge them individually.

Over here, it’s the party system putting up loyalists in suits. Even the party faithful don’t turn out to vote.

Staffordshire’s current white man in a suit claims success with his Cars Behind Bars and the issue of iPads but neither is much to shout about.

Stopping cars being driven illegally — that’s his job, criminals and all that. He just happened to be in post when someone created a database for tax, insurance and MOT, and ANPR cameras came in.

As for iPads: we doubt the police claimed credit when whistles were invented, or cars or walkie talkies. Steve Jobs invented iPads, and as every business in the world can tell you, computers are useful. It’s not a secret known only to the PCC.

At least Staffordshire’s white man in a suit has an eye for PR. Now we come to think, we can’t say what Cheshire’s white man in a suit has done. Nothing springs to mind at all.

The election is today (Thursday). We hope these stirring words have inspired you to vote. If you live in Staffordshire, vote Natalie Devaney. She’s independent and a former police officer.

***

Then there’s The Election In Which No-One Tells The Truth, that one about Europe.

Having researched both sides over the last few weeks, here’s our handy guide to help analyse the various claims: assume they’re made up. Fibs. Porkies.

We heard Nigel Farridge on the radio last week but had to turn him off or risk a stroke when he repeated his lie that seven houses a minute are built to house migrants. It was a lie in the general election and it’s still a lie now.

The in camp has it harder, because to stay means no change and we all know what the problems with the EU are. The out camp can say whatever it likes and it’s all feasible. Possibly.

The bookies have the odds for us to stay in. The out camp seems to be aware of this and is going down the UKIP route of pretending the establishment is against it, and they’re left with lone-wolf outsiders such as Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and possible future prime minister, and Lord Rothermere, owner of the world’s biggest news website.

“The media” is apparently against them, despite the fact that 80% of our national newspapers are owned by five right wing media billionaires: Rupert Murdoch, (Sun/Times), Barclay Brothers (Telegraph), Richard Desmond (Express/Star) and Lord Rothermere (Daily Mail).

A future prime minister and 80% of the national media: how can the out camp cope with being so badly abandoned?

The Express/Star owner Richard Desmond gave £1m to UKIP to buy a lordship, at least according to  Private Eye. The Sun has been making it up: “Queen backs Brexit” etc. Telegraph readers to a colonel are pro-Brexit and its letters pages are universally in favour of leaving.

The Daily Mail reported the recent speech from the US president as: “Obama’s grim warnings on Brexit falling apart”.

As for the rest: The Independent is gone, its on-line presence slowly committing suicide by placing adverts half way through its videos on cats that look like Angela Merkel.

That leaves the Guardian and the Mirror. The latter guards workers’ right so it’s for staying: “what the Brexit brigade dismiss as Brussels ‘red tape’ is your earnings, your holidays and your rights,” is the kind of thing it writes.

We’re not sure what rights it means: the EU has no (or little) power over most of our “rights” — health, education, housing, and law and order do not come under its remit.

But then, who cares if any of it is true?

 

One thought on “A tale of two elections”

  1. Good article, Jem. I can’t really fault any of it – and you make the salient point. Politics have no role in local government – or police governance. Because its all about the people.

    Slightly off topic, but I believe that Cheshire Police have a PC PC (that’s a not a grammatical error) of the year award. It went to a woman because they don’t have any ethnic or black officers. I think she brewed the best tea. You couldn’t make it up.

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