I can assure readers that Councillor Bob Jones has not got a hope in that place which is opposite to the meaning of heaven, from becoming the Labour Party candidate for elected PCC.
The man is a bag of wind at police authority meetings and given how at the last meeting his amendment to a an amendment of an amendment etc. was resoundly rejected by the majority of authority members indicates that they do not follow what he suggests.
He has been part of the problem of police authorities, which has culminated in the decision to have PCCs if he had been any good then why would there be a need to replace the authority.
How do I explain utterly cynical politics to you, Gerry? There is no case for changing the system because of performance. Crime has been falling steadily in this country for fifteen years or so until this year. The reliable figures are those of the British Crime Survey since actual offences figures are affected so much by changes of police policy. "The decision to have PCCs" is a purely political one made by David Cameron and his advisers.
Cameron is a supremely cynical political operator and this policy, like its parallel of foisting 'elected mayors' on big cities, is purely party political. He and his advisers know the example of the US, where naturally left voting urban areas can be attracted by right-wing populist candidates. Schwarznegger as Governor of California and Bloomberg in NY are obvious examples. They have noticed how similar figures have won mayoral elections in naturally Labour areas here: Robocop in Middlesbrough and the 'English Nationalist' Peter Davies (father of the very right-wing Tory MP Philip Davies) in Doncaster. So they are going to institute the system here. What they hope for is a right-wing populist figure to stand and win police commissioner jobs and also 'elected mayors' in urban areas. They will settle for a very rightwing Labour win (Mike Olley here) because that suits their ideology. They will like a Carl Chinn or a Digby Jones becoming a mayor. In each case it will help the Tory party or the rightwing individulaist tough-on-crime ideology which they have made their own. The odd rule preventing present memebrs of authorities from standing - a spiteful and stupid rule denying people with experience the right to stand, and which might fall on legal challenge - is just a little nudge towards the position they are manouevering people into.
He has been on this authority, nice little money earner, for too long.
He would not in my opinion appeal to the 2.8 million constituents of the authority area and I feel he does not have the numbers in the Labour party to support his bid.
In my view he has not been voiciferoous enough over issues such as the authority allowing the resignation of a senior employee involved in the obtaining of £200 in unauthorised expenses as reported in the media. If you or I stole £200 quid we would be arrested, charged and prosecuted.
In my opinion Councillor Jones is too weak to be our PCC, we need a strong and capable person to assist the Chief in effective policing of our area and to hold the Chief to account on behalf of residents.
Of the present candidates who are interested in the Labour nomination, I would certainly support Bob Jones. He is experienced and has a good track record. During his period as chair, police performance was very good. (Bob and I have clashed in the past on other things so I've no personal reason for saying this.) The puzzle Gerry is your personal antagonism, expressed more than once, to Bob.