Thursday 2 May 2013

Corporate Corruption Of Our Police Force?

A little later today, after I pick up Mrs TBF from work, I will be visiting my local polling station to vote for...myself.

A situation far different from November last year when I deliberately, and on principle, boycotted the elections for a Police and Crime Commissioner. As I noted at the time how long would it be before a scandal erupts, where a PCC of a certain party persuasion is advised by a government of the same party to lean on 'his' police force whose constables are investigating a corrupt MP of the same party?

Now today we learn that the Police are set to be "sponsored", a proposal naturally couched in terms of "huge potential benefits".
A police tsar has held talks with a possible sponsor for his force in a bid to survive "austere times with a shrinking budget and workforce".

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Dorset, Martyn Underhill is considering private sponsorship, on an arrangement involving all five PCCs in the south west region.

The former detective chief inspector for Sussex Police wrote on his blog that he could see a "huge potential benefit to forming appropriate sponsorship relationships with reputable organisations".
The implications of this are enormous. The Police will now go from upholders of the law to a force that has to bear in mind where its funding originates from, thus turning it from a service supposedly accountable to the public to one that can, and will be, de facto, if not de jure, influenced directly by outside interests This begs all sorts of questions; would potential sponsors now have preferential treatment from plod? Would potential sponsors influence other aspects of upholding the law? Who decides who are "reputable organisations" - certainty not the people, given the horrendously low turnout, and the above average spoiled ballot papers in the election.

When Cameron stops faffing about with promises he has no intention of keeping he might like to reflect on that tonight when the bad news filters in (I doubt he will). What this illustrates is the discontent goes much deeper than a simple vote on the EU, to the extent that even The Sun newspaper has given up:
THE Sun is not going to tell you how to vote today.

From our very first paper, 44 years ago, we have always remained politically independent.

We have never served any set party — and we never will.

Sometimes we endorsed Labour or the Tories at election times.

But today, as 18 million people have the chance to elect new local councils, none of the big four deserves our support.

Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and yes, even UKIP, have all proved beyond your trust.

David Cameron’s Conservatives should be the best at getting value for your pound.

But many of their councils have defied the PM’s demand to freeze council tax for struggling workers. That is unacceptable.

Labour is still in complete denial about the economic mess they created while in power.

And to judge Ed Miliband’s competence, look no further than his shambolic last few weeks.

Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems remain as two-faced as they ever were, cutting in Westminster then moaning to the heavens about it on doorsteps.

And UKIP? Nigel Farage has shaken up Westminster’s cosy elite with admirable plain talking. But little of it really stands up as proper thought-through policy.

And how can you trust a chaotic mob that mistakenly puts forward so many fruitcakes and extremists?

Who you choose today must be a local decision, not a national one.

Read the leaflets. Listen to what all the actual candidates are telling you, and judge them individually.

Did they deliver on their 2009 promises? Have they the right priorities for the next four years?

Let them all win back our faith the hard way. One by one, from the bottom up.
We need another way, urgently.


  1. Good comments TBF, are you standing as an independent? Whatever, good luck!

    Not so sure about the Sun though, they deliberately picked on UKIP (alone) for their derision...

    ...Somewhat different in substance than Richard's derision, which might be arguable, theirs looks suspiciously like something emanating from CONservative Central Office.

    And yes, the Harrogate Declaration is a "good thing" as "Sellars and Yeatman" wrote in "1066 and All That".

    1. I'm not convinced that Murdoch has been briefed by CCHQ in truth. Murdoch seems unconvinced by Cameron...the Sun's about turn just before 2010 was less an endorsement of the Tories but more a criticism of Labour

      Plus I suspect he hasn't forgiven Cameron for Leveson.

      Above all else he's a pragmatist he bets on a clearly winning horse - and then only when it's 4 miles in front with a couple of furlongs to go. Not once has News International ever pre-empted voter's concerns...instead they're usually years behind.

      Murdoch has worked out that "none of the above" is the current (bun) winning horse

  2. Anti-corruption strategies must go beyond blanket condemnations. Privately, at least, one must be very shrewd about where to begin and how. One must involve local people in the analysis of the costs and benefits of various kinds of corruption in international business transactions in the country in question.
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