I tend to be out of the country during elections. This is good as it means I miss most of the pre-election razzmatazz. It is less good because I have to go to some lengths to exercise my franchise which is something I feel I should do.
Fortunately, I have the option of appointing a proxy who can vote for me. I am in the happy position of having Green MEP, Keith Taylor, as my proxy which means that not only does he have to schlep down to the polling station for me, but he is ideally placed to advise me on how to vote in the event that I am unsure.
|Keith ignores pier|
Just such a situation is looming now. In a few days time we are being treated to the chance to vote for a police commissioner. We are told that the old police authorities are being scrapped to make way for politically appointed, sorry, democratically elected commissioners. This sucks as it is likely to result in a competition to please all of the people all of the time which of course will fail. So they will try to please the loudest people by pandering to the lowest common denominator. Think X Factor or Britain's Got Talent with tasers [Hmmm, nice idea - Ed.].
Expect to see a pillory and stocks on the Steine sometime soon. No doubt the ever resourceful Mears & Co will be on hand to sell rotten vegetables.
My instinctive image of a police commissioner is Commissioner Gordon:
|"I think the Pavilion is that way..."|
but we will not be offered anything as entertaining and the Dashing Duo and Gullible Gordon on this occasion. It turns out that Brighton’s three front runners are this lot:
|The Tiresome Trio (who cares what their names are)|
Of course the opinion polls indicate that most people don’t give a damn. Very few seemed to know about police authorities and even fewer care about replacing them with party apparatchiks. This may actually be a good thing. One way to discredit an elected position is for a very low turn-out at the polls.
Even Ian Blair, ex-commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is urging people not to vote.
So my proxy, Keith, is going to not vote for me. This is a little perverse as I could have not voted myself.
Come to think of it I am not voting… That means I will be not-voting twice.
Is this an offence?
Is this an offence?