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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Alarm sounded by police boss vote

MY polling station didn’t look at all darkly deserted – thanks to three patient ladies waiting for a voter to turn up.

EM Anne Pickles
Anne Pickles

Their giggles were cheering and, it being a cold, dank evening, their warm welcome was unexpectedly heartening – since we were all on a hiding to nothing.

They seemed happy enough. So much so, in fact, temptation was to put the kettle on and join them for a cuppa and a bit of chat. And that has never occurred to me in a General Election.

“Not exactly a rush then?”

“Nothing like,” replied one, as she handed over the ballot paper. “You’re the first we’ve seen for hours.”

But in that chirpy way the dutiful have of finding the best even in disaster, she beamed her better news.

“I’ve written all my Christmas cards though!”

“And I’ve made these tassels for my tie-backs,” her friend and fellow staffer chipped in, holding her needlework aloft. The third – had someone really anticipated having to manage three queues? – couldn’t have looked more pleased with herself had she written a 350-page crime thriller.

So, having posed the question a couple of weeks ago, the answer is now obvious. I did decide to vote in the police and crime commissioner election. Not necessarily for the listed candidates, but I did keep faith with Emmeline and her crew. Women having thrown themselves under racehorses and chained themselves to railings to win me a vote, it felt only right to make some kind of effort.

A couple of miles away another voter was greeted enthusiastically by a young man engrossed in a novel.

“You’ve only read 50 pages, it can’t have been that slow,” he said.

“This is my second,” the chap replied.

So now, the most expensive bit of electoral foolishness having passed, we’ve a new PCC who will start work on Thursday. In the meantime we have a hiatus. A force with a temporary chief and no proper boss – like a ship without a captain to order the rearrangement of deck chairs.

Thank the Lord for patient, diligent midshipmen and women eh? And a cautionary lesson of democracy’s inaction. If we now know it all happens whether we vote or not, what fate awaits future elections? Apathy, anger, more protest in abstention? The PCC vote sounded a danger alarm. Disengagement from politics is the bite that takes the nose to spite the face.

Have your say

He is not the Boss of the Police. He cannot give an officer an order to do or not do something

Posted by R Peel on 23 November 2012 at 16:17

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