Today, I trolled up to the Mary Williams Memorial Hall in Sancreed to vote for a new Police and Crime Commissioner. Back in 2012, I didn’t bother, along with almost everyone else. Back then, the 15% turnout was blamed on various factors, such as the fact that the election was in November, and laziness (or fecklessness) on the part of the voters. Because today’s election wasn’t held in November, the two people manning the polling station were sitting out in the sunshine when I arrived. Sancreed isn’t especially busy, even for general elections, but it’s pleasantly rural, with the trees coming into leaf and the birds singing, though in November it can be a bit bleak.
If it had been a general election in November 2012, or a council election, I’d have gone to vote. My not going to vote wasn’t because it was in November, or because I was lazy, it was because I thought the whole thing was a farce. I have no idea what would qualify someone to be a good Police and Crime Commissioner, beyond the desire for a fat pay packet. However, a lot of the candidates stood wearing their political party connections on their sleeves. One thing that would definitely not qualify someone to be a good Police and Crime Commissioner is party affiliation. The police aren’t the military wing of a political party.
I hoped that by voting with my bottom in 2012, along with almost everyone else, I might prevent the charade being repeated, but that isn’t the case. So today, when it wasn’t November, and the weather was good, and I wasn’t lazy (or any more feckless than usual), I turned up at the Mary Williams Memorial Hall and put a blank ballot paper in the box. I apologise to the two whose sitting in the sun I disturbed, but I assume they were being paid, and by the looks of things, most of the rest if the 85% were doing the same as they had in 2012.
Can’t we get the police to sort out a Police and Crime Commissioner? They presumably know what qualifies someone to be a Police and Crime Commissioner, being involved in policing crime. Instead of wasting the money on a misguided election, the government could set up a table outside the Mary Williams Memorial Hall and hand out free Pimms. It would get people off their bottoms, and it’d probably be cheaper.