« Mail on Sunday revisits Cameron and drugs questions | Main | David Brooks could be a new guru for David Cameron »


What should we expect? As far as most BBC employees are considered, toryism is an evil ideology, and Tories themselves are footsoldiers of Satan.

I agree that we need to get a higher profile for senior members of the Shadow Cabinet. Not sure how it's possible though - I get the impression if comes out the leaders mouth they'll report it but anymone else gets ignored pretty much.

All I see is that the Conservative Party appears to be on course to consolidate it's position as the Official Opposition, this leaves them in a more secure position to be able to challenge Labour's position in future, there has been very little substance so far - Labour has had difficulties and the 2 other main parties have largely floundered and failed to capitalise on them and David Cameron has been trying to portray himself as the heir of Blair when people want something new and different, if David Davis had won the leadership in 2005 I have no doubt that there would have been a clearer position and the Conservatives could seriously consider the possibility of forming a majority government in the next parliament, if IDS had been kept in place in 2003 it might have been enough for Labour to lose it's majority in 2005.

I have just been watching the Politics Show. I live in South Bucks and when the programme switches to "politics in your area" ours switches to the London Area. There is normally representation from the the Conservative, Labour and LibDems, today there was no Conservative Party representation.

The local programme covered two subjects in the panel discussion: the recent shootings in London and the refusal for Leases to be renewed to Harley Street Clinics dealing with Abortitions. When dicussing the shootings they got round to suggesting that responsibility for behaviour should be taken back to the community and family - much of what David Cameron has been saying this week. With regard to the panel discussion on the Abortition Clinics they touched on the arguement of the recent Bill introduced by Nadine Dorris proposing bring the limit down from 24 to 21 weeks.

Whilst it was unfair as a viewer and as a Conservative Party activist, my Party's view was not given the opportunity to be heard. It was also unfortunate that this gross imbalance of opinion was allowed to take place.

Does anyone know: were we asked to provide someone for the programme or was it that no-one was available?

Elected Police Chiefs??? Is Captain Dobey free? What a farcical idea, nobody votes anyway so lets get them not to vote about what kind of policing they get. Mindless.

Directly-elected police commissioners: Ken Clarke may think the idea is "mad"

Not often I agree with Ken Clarke, although I do like and respect the man - something I can't say for a certain somebody else.

They really are scraping the bottom of the barrel for outrageous ideas now. How about topping this one with all-gay candidates lists?

I fully support elected police commissioners Steve. We might end up with a police service that focuses on the public's priorities rather than politically correct and target-driven causes.

"I fully support elected police commissioners Steve". So do I. As for " It was also unfortunate that this gross imbalance of opinion was allowed to take place". READ THE BOOK - Mine's on order. The BBC might be in trouble sooner rather than later.!! I do Hope so.

I've just been reading about this public meeting in Henley, and I don't see how electing a Police Commissioner for the whole of the Thames Valley Police area could possibly help with this.


"Town not impressed"

"Packed meeting offered DIY solution to help make our streets safer"

"RESIDENTS packed Henley Town Hall to tell South Oxfordshire’s top police officer they want more police on the town’s streets.

But Supt. Jill Simpson told them she was using all the officers available to her. She would, however, welcome volunteers who could become special constables or help keep the police station open."

Note how Supt. Jill Simpson is not the chief of Henley Police, which was founded in 1838 but ceased to exist as a separate town force under local control and with its own budget in 1857, when it was absorbed into the Oxfordshire Constabulary.

She's "South Oxfordshire's top police officer", but as police in South Oxfordshire became part of Thames Valley Police in 1968 she can only work with whatever resources she's been allocated by Thames Valley Chief Constable, with or without input from the Thames Valley Police Authority. Hence later:

"Supt. Simpson said: “I could always do with more officers,” but added: “You have got a proportionate resource in Henley compared to everyone else.”"

That is, compared to everyone else across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Milton Keynes, and we're damned lucky that hasn't yet been extended to include Kent, Surrey, the two Sussexes and Hampshire which is what the government wanted to do for the greater convenience of the EU.

"Elected Police Chiefs??? Is Captain Dobey free? What a farcical idea, nobody votes anyway so lets get them not to vote about what kind of policing they get. Mindless."

As so often unfortunately seems to be the case, this is a statement by someone who thinks anything that's a novel idea in the UK means it's something totally new and untested in the real world. That's simply not the case. 95+% of the counties in the US elect their sheriffs: just as a prominent example, I'd advise you to a look at the heavily-contested 2006 race for sheriff in Los Angeles County-- by far the most populous county in the country with roughly ten million people--if you think nobody votes or pays attention.

"They really are scraping the bottom of the barrel for outrageous ideas now. "

How is this an "outrageous" idea? I mean, I can see debating whether it's good or bad policy, but does it actually somehow offend your moral sensibiities?

I, too, support the idea of elected police chiefs. It works very well in the US, where the idea of local democracy is far stronger than it is over here. As for Steve's "nobody votes" argument, IMO if you don't vote you forego your right to complain. To me, this can only be a good thing with police seeking a local mandate to enforce their own interpretation of the law (e.g. Maddox (?) deciding not to prosecute drug users in North London a few years back - under this plan that would have had to be part of his manifesto and the public could have judged him on it and its success)

So David Cameron reckons the Conservatives are half way up the mountain to success. One the other hand, they could be half way down to failure.

I would rather elect a Police Commission than a Police Commissioner.

Currently with the fourth largest police force in the country there are 17 Members comprising:

• 9 Councillors
• 3 Magistrates
• 5 Independent Members



9 Councillors (Presently 4 Labour, 3 Conservative and 2 Liberal Democrat), from the 5 district councils in West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.

So-Called "Independent Members"

Naheed is a highly experienced trainer and consultant. She specialises in personal development, team development and equal opportunities/diversity policy development and implementation. Naheed comes from a background of working with community, minority and disadvantaged groups, and local government. She has worked for Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Dewsbury College, and West Yorkshire Fire Service.

Valerie is a trained facilitator; she has spent the majority of her working life within the National Health Service in a variety of roles. She spent 5 years as Company Secretary for a small company, serving as a Board Member. She is currently a Non-Executive Director for North Kirklees Primary Care Trust.

Trevor has an experienced background at Senior Executive and Director level in the hotel and hospitality industry. He now specialises in recruitment and resourcing across that industry sector.

Born and educated in Lancashire, Ann first moved to Yorkshire in 1975 to attend Leeds University. She spent most of her working life in the Post Office, before taking early retirement in 2002. She is now training to be a counsellor.

Janet is a Chief Executive of a housing organisation offering supported accommodation to vulnerable people across the city of Leeds.

Formerly, she worked in the Youth Justice System, employed to develop and manage a Bail Support Scheme for Adolescent Offenders. She has experience of working within a social service and probation setting.

Janet spent 5 years as a mature student at York University firstly obtaining a BA in Philosophy and then continuing to gain a Diploma in Social Work and a Masters Degree, specialising in Criminal Offending Behaviour.

Now how are the Police being held to account by these "Counsellors" as so-called Independent Members of the Police Authority ?

I see this as the central question - if there were elected police commissioners,
what would be the constituencies for the elections? Suppose the constituencies were smaller than the police area, so that relatively well known local figures could stand for election, and if later found useless could be voted out and never again elected. Let's say one such constituency was Henley town, in which case the budget would still be outside the control of the Henley commissioner and he could only plead for a greater allocation of resources from the Thames Valley Police budget, in competition with commissioners elected in other areas. On the other hand, if the whole of the Thames Valley Police area was one constituency, would it possible to hold a meaningful election when hardly any of the voters would know anything about the candidates or how to choose between them?

Let's say one such constituency was Henley town, in which case ... he could only plead for a greater allocation of resources from the Thames Valley Police budget

This policy is one I haven't done a great deal of serious thinking on yet, but it would seem obvious to me that budgetary areas ought to match those represented by the commissioners, not the other way around. I can't envisage how this would work if the commisioner was not the budget holder, as this would seem to be at the root of democratic accountability.

Elected police commissioners? Part of the localism agenda, I assume. Good intentions, at least, although, as some expressed on the Politics Show, I do fear this will further politicise the police.

Elections weren't won at fringes.
No,but they can and will be lost there especially if;

"There would be no pandering to the core vote," .

The person who needs electing is the Chief Constable. He is in charge of the Police and has the power of hiring and firing. If he held his job on a four year tenure subject to election it would concentrate his mind wonderfully. A Commission for the Police would be a powerless talking shop. With individual election, could come the ability to set a four year budget and raise a specific tax (preferably, though its a completely separate argument, a flat rate income tax).

On the larger issue 36% is exactly half way between the 32% we had and the 40% we need. Talking about crime (elected Chief Constables) is part of the remaining four per cent but I don't think ID cards or drugs are any help.

I do fear this will further politicise the police.

I am so pleased the police are apolitical and that they are not subservient to the Home Secretary.

It is wonderful how Sir Ian Blair runs London and the chap at ACPO wanting to have free prescriptions for heroin on the NHs while I pay £6.65 for legal drugs....

I am so pleased we don't get any of that silly harassment of people critical of homosexuality or intimidated by a politicised police.

After all the British Police are the envy of the world - especially on postcards with red telephone boxes and other scenes from an Ealing Comedy...ah yes, Merrie Olde England with Passport to Pimlico running in every cinema

"There would be no pandering to the core vote, he insisted. Elections weren't won at fringes."

Core = Fringes??!!


"There would be no pandering to the core vote, he insisted. Elections weren't won at fringes."

Core = Fringes??!!


David Cameron is very sweet to be so kind about Hague, Davis and Lansley, but to be honest Davis is a drudge (and a slippery drudge at that) and the other to are just sickening. My guess is that he'd do better to be completely Blairite and do much more himself. The thing is though that he still needs a Campbell and a Mandelson to say nasty things about the other side, and to be honest someone like David Willetts would do that job much better.

I'm afraid the current leader-cult will rebound on Cameron. The so-called "rebranding" of the party is entirely centred on him, and it will fall with him in due course.

I'll wager that if you took a poll on the matter the only leading Conservatives who have any visibility factor at all are people like Hague who had a high profile in the past.

We have a one-man band and a pretty bizarre one-man band at that.

Cameron's sole selling point is novelty. With Brown in the saddle and, after Labour wins the next election, a new young LibDem leader, Cameron is going to look distinctly shopsoiled.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker