A non-partisan journal of the left.

Police & Crime Commissioners and the Tories

Sat 17th Nov 2012

The
chaotic and rambling drumbeat of the Tory march has been laid bare for the
questioning ears of the world once more, as the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP
denied that the incoming Police & Crime Commissioners (PCC) would lack a
democratic mandate, telling the BBC




"I
never set a turnout threshold for any election, and I'm not going to do it now.”



 



This
refreshingly pure belief in the democratic will of electoral participants flies
in the face of the growing rag tag band of right wing chicken hawks within Ms
May’s party, who have been urging the Prime Minister to step up his relentless
attacks on trade unions and the most vulnerable workers in society, with
increasingly raucous demands that votes for industrial action with a turnout of
less than 50% be deemed unlawful, with the legal right to industrial action
withdrawn under those circumstances.



 



For
those of us campaigning against the constant rainstorm of hatred and prejudice
thrown down upon the plebs by millionaire Tory MPs, this contradiction of
policy comes as no surprise.



 



The
PCCs are largely unwanted by taxpayers. I cannot see how the new system
improves in any way upon the old one. Under the ‘Police Authority’ system,
decisions are taken by democratically elected Councillors. They work in
partnership with Chief Constables, and have the power to hire and fire. This is
no different to PCCs, save that a PCC earns around £70,000 per annum before
pension, and in so far as has been made clear by the woeful publicity campaign
by the Home Office, will be working with less operational oversight than the
current committee system. The entire process has cost well in excess of £100m,
and the electoral turnout in some areas is said to be struggling around the 5%
mark.



 



Compare
this with the histrionic comments from Tory Mayor of London, Boris Johnson,
bemoaning the members of ASLEF and RMT, who voted democratically for industrial
action over a wide range of issues, on a much higher turnout than in the PCC
Election, and who have to endure having their jobs threatened, integrity
questioned, and being abused not just by understandably frustrated passengers,
but also by professional politicians who have never meaningfully worked in
their lives, and who quite frankly should know better.



 



Further
to this, almost every time a union dare show the audacity to stand up to
increasingly hawkish and aggressive employers, they find themselves having to
wade through a quagmire of judicial treacle, with high paid barristers trying
to persuade Judges that the collective voice of Train Drivers, Council Workers,
Hospital Cleaners or Civil Servants must be silenced due to a miniscule
technical error, grammatical oversight, or voter turnout not to the
satisfaction of the offending company managers.



 



All
these things happen with the explicit support of a Tory party incandescent with
rage at the failure of their beloved ‘free market’ ideology, and the inability
of their hapless leadership in passing the burden of fiscal recovery onto the
poor in its entirety.



 



Trade
Unions must seize upon the latest display of ideological duplicity by this
rudderless government. The Labour Party still seems to be running scared of the
press on the issue of union activities. Despite the fact that the union
movement is the ‘proud parent’ of Labour, the party our forefathers created
treats us like an ‘embarrassing uncle’. We have to turn this PCC election into
the ghost that haunts the Tories, and chases them into an embarrassed retreat
down the oak panelled halls of their country estates, each and every time they
dare to question the democratic rights of organised labour to take collective
action.



 



I
sincerely thank Theresa May for exposing her frayed ideologies, and those of
her pals. If it is acceptable for another painfully beige political apparatchik
to earn £70,000 making decisions affecting the public off the back of an
electoral turnout of 5%, it is surely acceptable for organised workers to LOSE
money off the back of taking the tough decision to affect the public by
withdrawing their labour in a democratic vote of much higher proportions,
without those workers suffering the high handed wrath of a misguided,
ideologically septic, and feckless governmental elite.



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