This government is a lot like a rottweiler chewing on a postman's leg: one thing is certain, it's never going to let go. Yet another example of this is the dropping of the plan for directly elected members of police authorities. The ever-increasingly irrelevant Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, caved into pressure from senior officers and Labour council chiefs, both groups only interested in protecting their much vaunted positions of power from the threat of being made accountable to the meagre serfs of this country.
What is truly eye opening, and eye wateringly painful, are the reasons that were proffered. The weakest argument comes from Ms Smith: that the police force would become 'politicised'. Ahem. I think if she looks at how her department acts with regard to the police force, she may find this has already happened. Then there is the downright crass from Keith Vaz, who fears that a far right organization could capture police authorities. Another politician who needs to open the window and have a look round: the police have already been captured by a bunch of fascists (i.e. the government). And to add further insult to the voters, he piles on the idiocy by claiming that electing authority members would reduce accountability. To this swamp of ineptitude we'll add the vested interests of the Labour Group of the LGA (Local Government Association) who feel that it would fragment the relationship between police and councils. Which can't be a bad thing, considering that the police aren't supposed to be at the beck and call of councillors, unless of course the councillor is a victim of crime.
Wresting control of the levers of power from any politician these days is nigh on impossible; if they are wearing a red rosette it's even harder. In the meantime we shall continue to dream of the day the police are allowed to protect us and do their jobs how they want to. For now they will remain nothing more than a private army for the government to direct against the population.