Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Blunkett Innoculated Against a Democratic Plague

There are many who would say that if someone like former Home Secretary David Blunkett says that something is very wrong, then that’s the way to go.

Mr Blunkett said that directed elected police commissioners should be avoided “like the plague” following his review of police accountability.

He said that not only would it politicise the police force but could also lead to far right groups “able to play to particular issues at particular times getting elected and being in control of our police services.”

Welcome to planet Blunkett, where the police no doubt patrol the quiet streets of Britain, probably with round red-cheeked faces, saying a jovial “mind how you go” to little old ladies. Oh, and on this planet the police are not politicised.

This, from a former home secretary in a Labour government that has done more than any other to turn the police into a politically correct, hamstrung by not only bureaucracy but an agenda driven from a left-liberal political establishment which has little to do with protecting the public and nicking bad people. Of course,the Left would say that started under the evil Thatch, but whatever, we arrive at much the same place now.

As is fashionable these days, Blunkett has called up the spectre of a favourite bogeyman (when it’s not terrorists or paedophiles), the (misnamed) “Far Right”. He seems oblivious that one development that has given the Far Right Left traction is the fact that the police, increasingly, are seen as being directed by a politically correct agenda that bears little relation to the priorities of those the officers are meant to be serving.

The fact is that with directly elected police chiefs, which is Conservative party policy now, it is unlikely that a candidate of the Far Left, who actually enjoy the support of only a small minority of voters, will either get elected or even see support increasing once a truly locally accountable person is at the helm of the local police force.

As long as Commissioners and Chief Constables have to answer to unelected ministers they are in a political environment. In particular, when the Home Office falsely uses national security grounds to encourage the Met Police to arrest an opposition politician, then the police are politicised. When officers arrest a heckler at a party conference who was simply expressing a viewpoint, the police are politicised.

As I have noted before, one man’s politicisation is another’s democratic accountability.

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