Apathy the big winner

Tuesday 20th November

The elections for Police Commissioner came and went, and I bet most of you have forgotten them already.  This was a flagship policy of the Government, but if so their arms must be very tired because there was not much waving at all.  This was another one of these ideas which seem to have come out of nowhere with no groundswell of support, even from the politicians let alone the general public.  And the general public gave their answer in the most sensible way – by not participating.  There was on Friday morning a fair bit of media discussion as to why people didn’t vote – cold November weather, lack of publicity, no free maildrops for the candidate, no media interest – you pays your money and you takes your choice.  But the real reason wasn’t any of the above, though they all may have contributed, the real reason was not even apathy.  The public, stupid in many ways, realised that it would make bugger-all difference whoever was effectively in charge of the Police.  There would be no more money available, and in fact the post of PCC and their staff would only eat into an already reduced budget.  In reality too, although the PCC could hire or fire the Chief Constable, it is almost inconceivable that this would happen.  We all know that the role of PCC will be ineffective and when it comes to re-electing them there will be the same level of apathy as before.

Whether this was apocryphal or true, a reporter on the streets of Swindon on Friday morning had asked passers-by who they voted for, and the first six thought he was talking about I’m A Celebrity, it does neatly sum up the whole fiasco.