Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meeting a candidate for the position of Police Commisioner

My 1st impressions were  very disappointing on meeting Christopher Salmon, the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys. My illusion was shattered that I would be meeting a character similar to Commissioner Gordon from the late 1960's Batman series that Andrew (currently 6) has been watching.  Maybe Christopher will evolve into that sort of character, if elected, and get a red telephone.

Actually I was very impressed by the man. He gets that there are problems in the way the police and public interact and appears to have a balanced view of both sides, being pro-police and pro-public while understanding the police have a very hard job to do and some members of the pubic can be real >insert appropriate phrase here<.

He seems to be modest, approachable, unassuming, interested in your story and perspective. Clearly the Commissioner role is political, but I am not convinced it needs to be party political role, indeed it is clear that no one really understands nationally how this role will fill out. Christopher  came across as liberal rural Conservative. One of my criticisms of the majority of local(and possibly national) politicians is their lack of experience of the wider world, not having been out and about. In my book, someone who has been an officer in the British Army in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Iraq qualifies as having been out and about.

If he had stood as an independent candidate, I would be voting for him without a 2nd thought. The Thatcher legacy of the 1980's still seriously colours my voting judgement. That said Gordon and Tony had a similar impact for different reasons on my attitude to voting Labour, they were no less arrogant in their own way.

I have not meet the competition for the post of Commissioner, but by web footprint they seem to be a far more political individual and   does not seem to have a great track record of achievement. Her background as a Council Development Officer does not count as "having been out and about".

I know I have said for many years I would rather die in a ditch than vote Conservative. It might well be the ditch for me next month. So I hope Christopher gets the red phone, but the big difference with his late 60's parody  counterpart is that he would get to decide who the bat-person at the other end of the phone is.

To balance things out in party terms, I meet Paul James on Thursday who by reputation and word on the street is one of the hardest working and best liked councilors by those he represents. Nice chap.

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