I've take five minutes out to have a look at the declared candidates for the police commissioner post. Sadly the great Ian Driver has dropped out - he would have been my choice - so I thought I had better look at the alternatives...
Firstly is the incumbent, Ann Barnes. Ann is standing as an independent with a strap line to keep politics out of policing. She is being backed by Martin Bell. All good stuff except that keeping the politics out of policing didn't happen in Kingsnorth at the Climate Camp and Kent Police's refusal to allow 20mph limits without traffic calming. My rating: 4/10
Secondly is Ken Little standing as an independent. I can't find a web site for him but he has set out his manifesto in the press here. Sounds an OK manifesto, he also pledges to take just an average wage of £25k and use some of the spare money to employ a deputy. He has no website that I can find and no experience so he's not a serious contender unfortunately and my rating has to reflect that a little. My rating: 4/10
Dai Liyanage is also standing as an independent. While he was Mayor of Medway, Medway UA tried to sue me for £750k and the letter informing me of this arrived on Christmas Eve - nice and it puts me off him even though his role as mayor was ceremonial. Can't see much in the way of a manifesto other than more bobbies on the beat which is about as unimaginative as you can get. My rating: 2/10
Craig McKinley is the Tory accountant who has declared an absolute war on drugs and a ‘No Broken Window’ policy. I think those three points: Tory accountant / war on drugs / broken windows (WTF???) say it all. My rating: 0/10
Steven Uncles, English Democrat candidate. I read the first line of their 2005 general election manifesto and it went something like: "we are not a racist party". I think the lady doth protest too much as his posting of racist jokes on the internet shows. Uncles wants no "politically correct" prioritising; crime victims who may have committed crimes
in defence of their property to be given the benefit of the doubt where
appropriate and zero tolerance of drugs and persistent
pursuit of organised or career criminals, together with less focus on
motoring offenses. So that means racism, shooting burglers, criminalization of people with health problems and letting those who kill 1500 people a year get off scott free. My rating: don't vote for him under any circumstance.
Let's hope it gets better...
Fergus Wilson. Buy to let millionaire standing as an independent on a ticket of tackling antisocial behaviour - clearly doesn't like his properties being graffitied (but then who does). Fergus is not just a millionaire - 700 properties don't come cheap. Not sure he has much going for him. My rating: 1/10
Harriet Yeo the Labour candidate. She's against privatisation of the police (unlike her party used to be) and she wants to step up the war on drugs. A friend tells me that she's OK so despite her party and her hard line on drugs (I hope the hard line is on producers not users) my rating is 3/10
Piers Wauchope, the UKIP candidate. No webpage, no manifesto so fingers crosses, no hope. Ultra right party of privatisation and racist overtones. Shouldn't be allowed anywhere near Kent Police. My rating: 0/10
Ok so it looks pretty bad. None have got even 50% and the front runners are the current greenie bashing commissioner and an unknown who has no track record. The rest range from the BNP lite and the ultra right UKIP to Tories and Labour stooges with a couple of uncertain independents thrown in. Oh joy...