Tuesday, 30 October 2012

To Serve and Protect...?

Just two weeks from now, England and Wales get the rather unwanted opportunity to elect Police & Crime Commissioners in 41 districts. These new roles, as covered in an earlier post, replace the somewhat more inclusive and democratic committees that have had oversight of the police service until now. The Home Office and the Coalition Government apparently believe that having a single "personality" in charge will somehow "restore trust" in the police system, according to its website.

Prescott running for Police Commissioner
Yet just precisely who are some of these personalities? As the Guardian showed, most are simply serving or former local politicians, with some ex-police and servicemen. Perhaps the most prominent is the former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott who is standing in the Humberside region. Although now a member of the House of Lords, "Prezza" is still keen to make his mark in his native area. Given Labour's apparent inbuilt electoral strength there, he should be a dead cert; but with turnout likely to be the lowest in history, with predictions as low as 10 - 15% of eligible voters, any sort of upset is possible.

Facing Prescott is the UKIP candidate, one of their sitting MEPs, Godfrey Bloom. He has a checkered record in terms of his service as a Euro-MP for Yorkshire and Humberside, starting with all sorts of weird comments about women. In the police election, reducing the number of speed cameras and speed traps is one of his main concerns, in spite of their proven utility in reducing accidents and deaths.

But arguably one of the most controversial episodes for someone standing for a policing post was the film he made himself standing next to a Greenpeace boat applauding the bombing by limpet mines of the Rainbow Warrior by the French Secret Services back in 1985, a terrorist act which killed a photographer, Fernando Pereira, and sank the environmentalist ship. "Vive La France!" he intoned with a Eurosceptical smirk.

"Godders" seemed to think it was all a bit of a wheeze, though to be fair he had apparently forgotten about the fatality, which he found "extremely regrettable and indeed unacceptable" when I wrote to remind him back in early 2010. However, rather than go on to condemn the actual bombing, he wrote that

"The biggest threat to us today is not terrorism but eco fascism.  It is eco fascism closing conventional power stations, trying to stop the building of new ones that work.  Destroy whole communities with the ludicrous windmill fanaticisml Hundreds die every year of hypothermia, thousands more will join them after 2015.  Green taxes and significantly higher fuel bills will drive industry abroad and impoverish old age pensioners....." 
It seems that environmentalists ."..bear responsibilities for deaths on a much bigger scale than the IRA or Al-Quaeda, and all based on fraudulent and junk science of which ordinary people are now being made aware.
Yours sincerely
Godfrey Bloom"
So, if Bloom becomes PCC for Humberside, we may face some "interesting" new initiatives being proposed to the police in pursuit of his peculiar view of true crime. Voters beware.

And here, for the record, is Bloom's video:


  1. This is exactly why I do not support these posts.

  2. Yes Bloom's a rabid climate sceptic. And his support team in the 2009 Euro Elections consisted of young women in short purple dresses with plunging necklines.

    That's my dilemma about the commissioner posts - do we vote do keep the prats out or do we ignore the whole thing, or spoil ballot papers.