Another reason the Home Secretary can go hang


  No one actually does manage to serve as Home Secretary without the innate authoritarianism of the department infecting their views. We could have Peter Tatchell there in office and within months he'd be demanding that we lock 'em all up. But despite our knowing this, despite our understanding that the greatest threat to civil liberty is that very department tasked with overseeing law'n'order, there's still times when it's necessary to point to excesses too great even for them. This is one of them:

Failing crime tsars could be sacked by the Home Secretary under radical plans to rescue the Conservatives’ tarnished law and order policy.

No, absolutely not:

Granting the Home Secretary the power to sack PCCs in extreme circumstances, such as in South York-shire where Mr Wright is clinging to his job despite key figures insisting his position is untenable.

No way.

We simply do not have, and should not have, a system in which one part of the governing apparatus gets to fire an elected official.

It's fine to have basic rules about what might happen if someone were convicted of a crime: an MP has to go if they get sentenced to a year and a day in prison for example (think that's right). But we absolutely cannot have a system whereby one group of politicians, or one officer of the state, can decide that an elected official must go simply because they're a bad'un.

The Home Secretary does not have the power to sack an MP: because we elect MPs. The Home Secretary does not have the power to sack the First Minister of Wales: and it is right and proper that she doesn't.

It might be that we should have PCCs and it might be that we shouldn't. It might be that they should be appointed and it might be that they should be elected. But given that we do have them and that they are elected.....well, it's us that hired them by voting for them and it'll be us that fires them by not voting for them and the Home Secretary can go hang.

Imagine if someone suggested that at some future date a Labour Party Minister should have the ability to sack the duly elected Member of Parliament for Maidenhead? Theresa May would be first upon the barricades protesting this vile intrusion into the democratic process. Which is a useful point for all to remember. When in power never try to claim powers that you really wouldn't want your opponents to have next time around.