Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Police Commissioners must not be politicised - vote Sarah Flannery in Cheshire

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As the British electorate will, no doubt, reluctantly go to the polls on Thursday 15th November to cast ballots for the new Police and Crime Commissioners, I have a nagging worry that we are heading towards a politicised police service.
Polic officer next to a police box
In 1829, Sir Robert Peel, created an organised police service and the UK has enjoyed an independent police that has generally been free from political interference. There have been occasional, disappointing examples of politicians trying to twist arms, over ride, bully and use the police for political ends but overall during the past 183 years we have been fortunate to have a reasonably fair police service (compared to other nations).
Cheshire Police on duty during Second World War in 1940
I support having better transparency and accountability and, as someone who served briefly on a police consultative committee, I saw the weak democratic  leverage over the police, as they knew they did not have to worry about community members having any real influence. So, in theory, having democratically elected Commissioners with a mandate from the public, seems to makes sense. However, the reality is that one person who can, with respect, come from any background setting out police priorities, is asking for trouble. We need robust, intelligent Commissioners, sympathetic to police strategies but willing and able to challenge and offer a wider perspective on public priorities, without compromising the police in an era of funding cuts
BUT my biggest concern is from those individuals who are members of political parties. No matter the squeals and protestations that they will take an oath of independence, the fact that they are subservient to a party will mean that they are compromised and have two masters; the public and their political party. They will have to look over the shoulders at David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg before demanding change and wanting resources to be moved. It is inevitable that PCC's will be politicised, if they are elected as political candidates. That, in my opinion, is fundamentally wrong.
Meet Sarah at Chester University hustings
Sarah Flannery in Chester talking to local residents
That is why I am supporting Sarah Flannery in Cheshire and I hope Independents will be elected across the UK providing they have a clear vision of their role and will work in partnership with the police. Every voter has two votes, so it is very important to give first preference to Sarah. She has the strength of character, bright ideas and in-depth knowledge of the police and local communities to make a positive change to local policing in. Cheshire. Vote Sarah Flannery.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Obama to win US Presidential election

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President Obama re-elected - just
Tonight President Obama will (I predict) win re-election against Governor Romney but he will have an up hill struggle to accommodate a hostile House of Representatives and tiny majority in the Senate in governing the country.
Obama has faced huge economic problems in his first term but deserves a second chance - witness his achievements:-
  • death of Osama Bin Laden, 
  • passed a Hate Crimes Bill
  • been a champion of clean energy
  • ended the War in Iraq
  • started to wind down the War in Afghanistan
  • expanded healthcare with Obamacare
  • Ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) in the armed services

Governor Romney will come very close but fail in his bid for the presidency
The Electoral College of voters may give Obama 303-235 but the narrow victory in the key battleground States demonstrates that he could have so easily lost it. Against a consistent more strategically alert Romney, Obama could have still lost but with the US economy improving at a snail's pace the voters will give him the benefit of the doubt.
[Of course, if you are reading this I am a completely wrong then it shows that Bloggers are as bad as everyone else at predicting elections.]
Here is my prediction:-
State Obama Romney
Alabama   9
Alaska   3
Arizona   11
Arkansas   6
California 55  
Colorado 9  
Connecticut 7  
Delaware 3  
DC 3  
Florida   29
Georgia   16
Hawaii 4  
Idaho   4
Illinois 20  
Indiana   11
Iowa 6  
Kansas   6
Kentucky   8
Louisiana   8
Maine 4  
Maryland 10  
Massachusetts 11  
Michigan 16  
Minnesota 10  
Mississippi   6
Missouri   10
Montana   3
Nebraska   5
Nevada 6  
New Hampshire 4  
New Jersey 14  
New Mexico 5  
New York 29  
North Carolina   15
North Dakota   3
Ohio 18  
Oklahoma   7
Oregon 7  
Pennsylvania 20  
Rhote Island 4  
South Carolina   9
South Dakota   3
Tennessee   11
Texas   38
Utah   6
Vermont 3  
Virginia 13  
Washington 12  
West Virginia   5
Wisconsin 10  
Wyoming   3
TOTAL 303 235
270 to win
If Obama wins Virginia called around 7pm ET and Ohio around 7:30pm ET, then even if Florida goes for Romney at about 8pm ET, I would expect that the television networks will start to call for Obama around 9pm Eastern Time.
I sincerely hope though that Obama will reach across the aisle in his second term and build a new consensus with moderate Republicans to boost the US economy and deliver for the poor, sick and vulnerable.