...a blog by Richard Flowers

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 3783: Police Action! aka Correcting Conservative Contradictions on Constitutional Change


Doesn't it seem EXTRAORDINARY that sections of the Conservatory Party are crowing about last week's rejection of AV while AT THE SAME TIME trying to implement a HUGELY BIGGER change to the way we elect our public servants than ANYTHING the Alliterative Vote might have done: namely replacing APPOINTED police authorities with ELECTED Wild West Marshalls, er, I mean Police Commissioners!

I mean, our coalition partners couldn't be MONSTROUS HYPOCRITES could they. So they must mean that the "No2AV" vote is ONLY a rejection of a not-very-good electoral system and are keen as mustard for MORE FAR REACHING REFORM.

Certainly anyone who claims that Constitutional Change is off the agenda for a thousand years (or thereabouts) is clearly an opponent of Mr Balloon's REFORM AGENDA, and so not at all to be taken SERIOUSLY.

And that is why it CAN'T be right to suggest that the Conservatories are fighting tooth and nail to STOP any locally elected presence overseeing health, when they are clearly GAGGING FOR locally elected oversight for crime! I mean, that would be like suggesting that they want to rig up a system of elections for HANGING and FLOGGING (where Conservatories think of themselves as STRONG), but not for CARING and SHARING (where Conservatories might think Hard Labour would be more likely to be the election-winners)!

Liberal Democrats are, of course, IN FAVOUR of giving more power back to our bosses, the people of Great Britain. That's why it's right there in the Coalition Agreement that:
We will introduce measures to make the police more accountable through oversight by a directly elected individual…
Though we might just have to put a steadying fluffy foot on our partners to restrain their FERVOUR to overturn the constitutional status quo and remind them that that sentence finishes:
…who will be subject to strict checks and balances by locally elected representatives.
That's why it is QUITE RIGHT that Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords stepped in to call a pause to this ADMIRABLY RADICAL race to change to our DEMOCRACY.

Call us OLD-FASHIONED, call us CAUTIOUS if you must, but we thought – as with Mr Andrew Landslide's Health Service Reforms – it might be better to GATHER EVIDENCE and RUN TRIALS before diving in with all four fluffy feet into an UNTRIED and UNPROVEN policy.

For example: we asked one Police Commissioner about his SUCCESS in reducing crime through a policy of allowing a BARKING MAD billionaire-in-tights to go vigilante on his city's ass, but, being fictional, Commissioner Gordon declined to comment.

There is, of course, as much evidence for the existence of BATMAN as there is for the benefits of the Conservatories' policy.

So, while we are VERY GRATEFUL that the Conservatories want everyone to know that "No2AV" means "Yes 2 REAL CHANGE", let's do this in a MEASURED and EVIDENCE-LED way.

In fact, I think that – since he is the MAIN MAN in charge of guiding constitutional change – Captain Clegg needs to step in, take this reform away from the Home Office and make it part of a PROPER LOOK at local democratic representation, perhaps linking it to greater accountability in HEALTH as well.

Best of all would be to make it part of a LOCAL REPRESENTATION ACT and introduce reform to the whole of local government elections – starting with using British PR for council elections.

I'm sure that that is JUST what the Conservatories want! It's certainly what they DESERVE!

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