- the posts, and thus elections for them, are unnecessary;
- the organisation was staggeringly inept;
- the election continued the stream of misrepresentations, distortions and and self-serving attitude emanating from all our parties.
2. It was incredibly inept to hold the election in November (no longer a regular time for elections) and allow the candidates no free-post literature. Why on earth introduce a democratic innovation and give it the participants no assistance in publicising their views? David Cameron blames the media for giving the campaigns little publicity, but this is not, in my experience, true. Both Radio 4 and our local television news service, Look North, made frequent references to the campaigns and candidates. I believe the candidates also had spots on local radio.
3. a) We were told that the existing Police Authorities had no democratic accountability. This is is untrue. As far as I can make out, in my own area 10 of the 18 members of the Authority in West Yorkshire are elected councillors from the local authorities authorities making up the area, so they do have some democratic credibility,
b) We were told that a directly elected individual could better represent the views of the public in the area far better than the existing system. Even with a a mandate backed by a strong majority in a high turnout this would be nonsense. Surely the 10 elected councillors in an area a diverse as West Yorkshire can together form a better picture of the various concerns than one individual. Presumably the eight appointed members have some additional experiences to add to the mix, though a return to the old Watch Committees, comprising very local councillors and magistrates before the centralising, big is better, craze, would have been better still.
c) Our Police and Crimes Commissioner is to be paid a salary of £100 000 a year. How this compares with the cost of the current Police Authority, with its members presumably collecting expenses, I don't know, but in an era of alleged austerity, when provision for the disabled and others in need of help from the public purse is being cut, this rightly sticks in the electorate's craw.
So altogether an "own goal" by the Tory populists which merely adds to the discredit to which our democracy is currently being subjected