Some voters express their view

 

Judging from the results of 3 by elections and the Police Commissioner elections there has been a shift in opinion in the last two and a half years from Lib Dem and Conservative to Labour. The Lib dems have suffered the bigger drop in vote share from being in a Coalition government than the Conservatives. Labour achieved a 16.8% swing from Lib Dems in Mancheter and an 8.4% swing from the Conservatives in  Cardiff South.

The Corby result came from the one serious by election contest, where Conservatives put in their  biggest  effort of the 3 by elections. Labour won it comfortably, with Conservatives in second place. The swing was  12.67% from Conservative to Labour. The Conservative win in Dyfed Powys in the PCC election was a good result for the Conservatives, as was the Conservative win in Humberside against Prescott. The loss of Dorset to an Independent should worry both Conservative and Labour.

There has been no UKIP breakthrough. They came fourth after the 3 main parties in Manchester Central, and did not contest Cardiff South. They came fifth in the Wiltshire PCC election after the 3 main parties and an Independent. They did not get into the run off in any of the PCC elections where they stood.  They did not contest 17 of the PCC elections at all. They did best with their third place  in Corby, despite English Democrats and BNP also contesting it. The size of their vote was not sufficient to claim sole credit for the defeat of the Conservative candidate, though that seemed to be their main aim.

The low turnout in the two Labour seats at the by elections probably reflects the feeling there that Labour was likely to win. Turnout was best in Corby, where there was clearly going to be a closer contest. The low turnout in the PCC elections reflects feelings about police independence, the lack of understanding of the role or disagreements with it, and the failure of the parties to deliver leaflets to every door to explain the position and put forward their candidates.

It is now especially important that the new Commissioners work hard to offer great value for money, and to show how they can choose good Chief Constables, and influence police budgets and priorities in helpful ways.

Some have asked about spoiled ballot papers. There were more than usual, with some from people who are against these elections. In the Wokingham,  there were 516 spoiled ballot papers on top of the 16,250 valid votes cast. This was not nearly enough to undermine the result, but a higher level than normal reflecting concerns. “None of the above” was effectively outvoted thee arch of the  other candidates.

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126 Comments

  1. backofanenvelope
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that the electorate is feeling sullen and uncooperative. Whatever this government is doing it doesn’t seem to be working. You don’t care what we think, so we don’t care what you say. How was it that some of the PCC elections were run on STV – when we voted against that last year?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      They were all run on SV, Supplementary Vote, a form of AV, Alternative Vote.

      That’s because even as David Cameron was telling us that AV was the work of the devil and would lead to the destruction of democracy and the deaths of babies and maybe even cannibalism, Theresa May was having it written into law that a form of AV would be used for the PCC elections.

      Here’s David Cameron writing in the Daily Mail on February 28th 2011:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1358229/Alternative-vote-Unfair-unclear-massive-backward-step-democracy.html

      “Let’s imagine it’s August 2012. The Olympics is in London and Usain Bolt powers home first in the 100 metres. But when he gets to the podium, he’s given the bronze medal and the athlete who came second gets the gold.

      Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it – giving the top prize to someone who didn’t win? But that’s exactly what could happen in our democracy if the country chooses the Alternative Vote system in the referendum on May 5.

      Change to AV and we would not only get a system that’s used for national elections in just three countries – Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia (and there most people want to get rid of it) – we’d also get an electoral system where the person or party that comes second could be declared the winner.”

      What, like the Conservative PCC candidate in Humberside?

      • Barbara
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        AV – what even Nick Clegg called ‘a miserable little compromise’.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        I’m surprised Ed Milliband didn’t mention this during Prime Minister question time. Maybe he decided to wait until after the PCC election.

      • John Doran
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 4:30 am | Permalink

        If Cameron does not have the backbone to stop his Home Secretary bringing in a form of voting which he rightly despises, then what use is he?

        I remember thinking when he beat David Davis for the Party leadership, that the Tories had gone for style over substance. That’s looking like a serious mistake now.

        What will he do about the (adjective left out) Bercow, I wonder?
        Nothing probably.
        My Tory MP dismissed the IPSA committee as ” an appalling quango”.
        ( Bob Stewart. Kindly delete if naming is inappropriate, Mr R.)
        I despair.

        • John Doran
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          He ( Bob Stewart ) then blocked my emails.
          Guess who I won’t be voting for?

  2. lifelogic
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    UKIP are clearly strongest in Tory(ish) areas like Corby, Cameron’s lefty, pro EU, fake green, Tories doing terribly, but not quite as badly as they deserved. UKIP having nearly three times the vote of the absurd Libdems. The libdems do not have one sensible policy, other than perhaps civil liberties, and I am not sure they really believe in that.

    Cameron clearly has no chance of winning in 2015, without a serious change in direction (or perhaps a deal with UKIP which would anyway need a new leader with some credibility on the EU issue). Well done (word left out) Louise Mensch and especially the foolish Cameron for putting, the selfish, self publicist, (etc) on his absurd A list.

    At least the public did not elect Prescott, perhaps the only good news around, that and the fact that Libdems lost their deposit in Corby.

    Cameron’s idiotic leadership going down exactly as one would expect it to with voters. If he could not even beat G Brown he cannot beat anyone. Especially now everyone knows exactly where he really stands, at heart a Ted Heath, John Major, Ken Clarke types of pro EU, fake green, socialist.

    The only question seems to be how many electoral terms he will bury the Tory party for. Will it exceed Major’s 3 and 1/2 terms so far?

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      I see Sir Simon Jenkins too has noticed that the traffic lights in London just serve to make congestion worse and exert state control. I lived in London for about 20 years until I left the UK five years ago and watched as all the roads were gradually constricted and blocked with islands, endlessly more traffic lights (with absurd anti car phasing), environmental zones to make you drive further, bike lanes and other absurdities. The traffic flows far far better then the lights are broken or switched off in general. Do politicians have shares in these traffic light companies and coloured tarmac companies one wonders?

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2233693/It-sounds-daft-roads-miles-safer-tore-traffic-lights.html

  3. JimF
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Yes, don’t worry about UKIP at all. You can safely ignore them. Their anti-EU sentiments aren’t echoed in any of the opinion polls, and the LibDem and Tory votes held up well in Corby. A slight drop in the LibDem vote, perhaps, but that was only people showing greater appreciation of the Conservatives for keeping to their policies and promises made in the last election.

  4. David Hope
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I have friends who spoiled the ballot paper. They were generally against some notion of appealing to the common man in a crude lock em all up sort of way.

    Amusingly some were barristers and solicitors who go mad at the idea of any removal of trial by jury!

    I hope this scheme succeeds, it’s not adding to bureaucratic layers so I see no issue.
    The idea that the pinnacle of democracy is having a vote between two people once in five years is absurd and one day in the future will be seen as so. It’s a good thing I have a say in more things that affect you.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      There will still be Police and Crime Panels:

      http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police/police-crime-commissioners/partners/police-and-crime-panels/

      “Each police and crime commissioner will answer to the public on the delivery and performance of the police service in their area. Police and crime panels will scrutinise the actions and decisions of each PCC and make sure information is available for the public, enabling them to hold the PCC to account.”

      And that’s a good thing, in my view.

      • Disaffected
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        They will make no difference at all. Nor will the PCCs.

  5. Roger Farmer
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    My interpretation of Corby is that there was a vote against the coalition as a whole. The Lib/Dems going to Labour where they really belong and the Conservatives going to UKIP or staying at home. Pragmatic conservative voters took the same decision as Mrs Mensch that in effect they were fed to the back teeth with a conservative parliamentry party and government that is no longer conservative, and has no interest in the wishes of the electorate.
    As far as the police commissioner election went it was a farce. No information to the electorate, and far too much party politics in the candidates on offer. The inference drawn from party candidates is that they will just do what party H.Q. tell them to do and ignore the electorate, much as their MPs do.
    The action required by the conservatives to retrieve the situation, is in my opinion, to face the big questions of the day and stop nonesense diversions like trying to impose gay marriage on the church of england. Until Cameron gives the electorate an in/out referendum on political europe, to be held before the next election, he is a busted flush. If he refuses or prevaricates further he must be told to go, much as Chamberlain was. I have conclude that he must be in hock to some grouping of influence to be so pig headed in his disdain for the electorate.Perhaps it is the left wing metro liberal opus dei alluded to in the Daily Mail yesterday.

  6. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I hate the expression but you just don’t get it. The electorate is heartily sick of politicians particularly those representing the three main parties. Many people didn’t vote for police commissioners because they don’t agree with the concept, they received no information about the candidates and they don’t want the police politicised. Why on earth should results for police commissioners be examined as you do as a political swing from one party to its shadow? What about ability to do the job? You can live in your dream world and try and belittle Ukip or anyone who doesn’t support one of the main parties but we are sick to the teeth of all of you, see little difference between you and don’t trust any of you.

    • John Doran
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

      So sad, so true.

      • Disaffected
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Spot on. JR is trying to change people from voting UKIP as it destroys the Tory base more than any other party.

  7. a-tracy
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Most of us didn’t have a clue what these elections are to achieve other than to waste more of our money!

    I voted, as did my family, but the information to make my decision was poor, the briefest of statements from each candidate for an expensive job role, Their cv’s should have been online for us.

    Didn’t all applicants have to deposit £5000 to put themselves up for the role, much easier for the wealthier parties to fund. I didn’t hear when an independent or how an independent would have to apply for the position. How many of the people up for election hadn’t previously worked in the public sector or been Councillors?

    It all seems like more jobs for the boys and girls in the know than a sensible decision to improve law and order in the UK. I’d have preferred more prison places with the money to take the worst offenders off the streets in the first place.

  8. Disaffected
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    What a flawed analysis of both PCC selection and MPs. Will crime and police commissioners be allowed to choose chief constables from outside the police or the pool offered by the SCC?

    The biggest failure in your analysis is the low turn out for both elections and why people are fed up with politicians because they do not trust them. Cameron and Clegg have resisted and failed to make any changes in parliament whatsoever. The speaker is currently trying to wind back the clock to influence/dominate the IPSA. You also fail to mention the difference in voting allowed, single vote system in some areas and a single and second vote system in others for the same process. What on earth are Cameron and Clegg thinking about? The public have already given a determination about AV, when will they get it?

    Have no doubt JR, the Tories are going into opposition for a long time. Not long to go.

  9. Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    The PCC elections were a waste of time and money. I only voted because I have a postal vote, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered. Even so, it was hardly worth the effort of walking to the post box! If there had been some good independent candidates standing, it might have been worthwhile, but most candidates were the usual political wannabes who will no doubt do exactly what their party masters tell them to do.
    The only vote most people want is on getting out of the EU, but as the majority of our politicians dream of getting a highly paid sinecure in Brussels, they won’t do anything real to get us out. Any vote here will be something like “We’ve negotiated new terms to stay in, do you approve of them?” There will, of course, then be a low turnout which will “prove” people aren’t interested in voting on the EU and will be used as an excuse for never having a referendum.

  10. Jerry
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    First lesson, don’t politicise the police, second (especially if any form of PR is used) there needs to be a [ ] Non of the above box at the bottom of ever ballot paper and be counted just as any other candidates vote and the result accepted (in other words the election be rerun with non of the previous candidates standing if NotB ‘wins’).

    But more importantly, this very low turnout in the PCC election really must put to bed any idea this (or any other) government might have to alter the law on union ballots, if an election sanctioned by Parliament, for national/regionally paid Commissioners only saw 1/6th (and no-where 1/3rd) of the electorate bothering to cast their vote why should a union ballot require anything like half the membership to vote any given way before the result becomes a legitimate result (and let’s not forget that, besides, that some MPs have less than 33% of the popular vote themselves!).

    As for UKIP, once again, lots of bluster and kite-flying but nothing transferred into real votes, the three by-elections and the PCC elections just goes to prove that UKIP can’t get elected, even when they are standing for a parliamentary seat where two of the main parties are about as popular as a Skunk trapped in a pup-tent… Not only should UKIP have come (at least) second in Corby if their leaders rhetoric is to be believed, but if one extrapolates their ‘support’ from the results of the PCC elections -prime ballots for getting the UKIP vote out and noticed- they did even worse, coming forth, even fifth, on average from what I’ve seen of the results. UKIP aren’t even the party of the protest vote any more…

    • keith
      Posted November 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      slowly slowly catchee monkey

  11. JimF
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    And I note that the Conservatives came second in Corby, despite the BNP and English Democrats also contesting it.

  12. Bryan
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Regarding the PCC elections, here in my part of Kent I received no details at all about any of the candidates and it was not until reading the local paper, published on the day of the election, that I discovered who the candidates were and their political affiliations, if any.

    I did not therefore vote and if this local experience was replicated in the rest of England then it is no surprise that the turnout was so poor.

    In fact it was not until I read the result for Hull that I learned that the AV system was being used. Why? given that this was comprehensively rejected in a referendum?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      It was mentioned at the time of the AV referendum.

      In fact I find that it was mentioned on this very blog on May 4th 2011, in a reply to a reply from JR:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2011/05/03/av-does-not-humble-the-safe-seat-holder/

      “JR: “I think AV is unfair because I do not see why some people vote more than once when the rest of us only vote once.”

      Yet we’ll be using a form of AV to elect police and crime commissioners next year, under Clause 57 of Theresa May’s Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill which has passed through the Commons and is now with the Lords:

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldbills/062/11062.33-39.html

      I don’t know whether it was you, but somebody posting as “Bryan” had read that article and commented:

      “The biggest reason not to vote Yes to AV is that it is supported by both the LibDems and the Green party.”

      so there would have been the opportunity to read about the already fixed intention that the PCC elections would be held under a form of AV.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Yes it’s funny how MPs complain when the way they’re elected is changed but don’t complain when others public figures are elected the same way.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      @Bryan: Indeed, my area fared a little better, the local press being a little more clued up, publishing a list of candidates the week before polling day, I suspect that of those who bothered to turn up and vote most probably voted on ‘gut-feeling’ rather than any real knowledge, perhaps this is why independents did so well as people attempted to keep the police non-politicised?

  13. Amanda
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    You are getting complacent about UKIP Mr Redwood, in a group discussing politics yesterday, everyone of whom in the past would have been highly likely Conservative voters, every one of us declared UKIP would be our choice at the next election.

    If we think the Tories are going to lose anyway, and on Dave and George’s performance to date that is a sure bet, we will give your party a throughly good kicking – we have nothing to lose. UKIP will split your vote at the next election, that is the damage they will inflict, and maybe then you will rid youselves of the arrogant cuckoos in your nest, and reinvent a true, pragmatic, party of the people.

    If there is no UKIP we will look for an Independent – you are right to be worried about that.

    The one glimmer of hope yesterday is the slow sinking of the the LibDems – we can only hope this seedy, turncoat, tart of a party sets in the west for good.

    The papers wrongly talk about voter apathy, it’s not apathy it anger – and there too lies the reason for spoilt papers. None of the above should be included on the paper.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      @Amanda: What size was this group, what profile were they? Of course is a group of UKIP supports get together they are all going to declare that they will vote UKIP – WOW, what a surprise! More info Required me thinks… :)

      If we think the Tories are going to lose anyway, and on Dave and George’s performance to date that is a sure bet, we will give your party a throughly good kicking – we have nothing to lose.

      Talk about a “Brighton or Bust” philosophy… Surely a eurosceptic government is better than a europhile government, better a Tory government than a Labour or Lib-Lab coalition?!

      If there is no UKIP we will look for an Independent

      Sorry but this is starting to sound like a grudge against the Tories, the EU being just a means to an end.

      The papers wrongly talk about voter apathy, it’s not apathy it anger

      Anger about what, not knowing who the PCC candidates were (most probable), or some unmentioned anger that stopped people voting in an elections that many actually considered to be -or should have been- non-political? If so, they might have been angered about the number of political party candidates standing but then their anger would have been directed at UKIP too for jumping on the bandwagon.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Previous comment stuck again….

    • John Doran
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      Anger is the mood I’m in.

      I did not want the police to be supervised by one overtly political individual.
      This is a profound mis-step for our society.
      I can already see the headlines “PCC dismissed For crony fraud”
      I bet people are already running a book.

      I did not turn out, thinking a low turnout figure might be the best message.

      A lifelong Tory, who has spoiled his papers at the last few elections: ” no votes for lying, thieving incompetents”, I am now seriously thinking UKIP.

      • John Doran
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:05 am | Permalink

        What was wrong with the old Police Authorities?

  14. alan jutson
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Aware that mid term elections are usually against the government but:

    Conservatives are now paying the price for not clearly spelling out the massive financial legacy left by Labour.

    For the so called promotion of austerity programme of cuts (of which there are few) when spending and borrowing ever more money.

    For the whole range of direct tax rises that is now coming home to roost, as people have less left to spend out of their income.

    The fact that work now seems less likely to actually pay, than a life on Benefits where only the VAT increase has made any impact on such claimants.
    We all suffer price rises

    The traditional working man and women who had previously voted Tory because they were proud that they could provide for themselves, have seen savings interest decimated, are denied any help because of their savings, and face the prospect of losing a home to pay for care.

    Pension Annuity rates at an all time low, so unless you are in the civil service, local government, or work for the NHS, your pension pot is worth progressivly less each year (so why bother)

    Immigration is still massive, as more and more people come here to work, legally or otherwise.

    We seem to have an inability to chuck out undesirables.

    The justice system has been undermined by soft sentencing and the early release of prisoners.

    Thus in the circumstances its a wonder the Conservatives did as well as they did.

    Just shows like many Labour supporters, some Conservative voters will put up with anything, and still vote the same way.

    The Police commissoners election was simply poorly thought out and executed, and quite rightly many people showed their disgust at the system.

    Why is it that politicians simply cannot seem to get anything right.

    Do they not understand human nature ????????????

    • alan jutson
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Almost forgot the most important reason.

      We have suffered all of the above and more.

      BUT WE ARE DEEPER IN DEBT THAN EVER BEFORE.

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Yes I did vote in the PC elections.

        Simply looked on the web, read the candidates statements, and voted for the one who I thought had the best experience for the job in hand.

        Having said that, I thought the government should have given a better outline as to what exactly the past position had been, and what the new position and powers of the PC will be.

        Most people we know did not bother to vote, and said if they (the candidates)cannot be bothered to inform me, I cannot be bothered to vote for them.

        The £5,000 deposit needed I thought was rather High, and the huge areas covered by a candidate meant that leaflets were simply too expensive to distribute, without any form of outside funding.

        No doubt future elections may be better recieved as people perhaps learn to search out information for themselves, but many simply do not have access to the web, and would thus be excluded.

        • ChrisXP
          Posted November 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          Most people we know did not bother to vote, and said if they (the candidates)cannot be bothered to inform me, I cannot be bothered to vote for them.

          That’s exactly what I think. Even if thousands of leaflets weren’t financially feasible for door-to-door, then large posters in strategic places such as supermarkets and shopping malls would have caught people’s attention. If candidates want to be elected then they need to promote themselves, NOT expect the public to run around seeking information on them. As we say in the south-west, that’s doing things “arse-back’ards”.

        • forthurst
          Posted November 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          “The £5,000 deposit needed I thought was rather High”

          …but essential to keep out the BNP. Had you considered the consequences of the BNP being in charge of the police (etc etc)? Clearly not.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            @forthurst: Any elected PCC might miss-use their position in public office, if this is a real risk then it is a reason to either scrap the entire idea or improve the checks and balances, not diminish democracy for all.

          • keith
            Posted November 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

            Plus ça change (plus c’est la même chose)

        • Bob
          Posted November 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          @Alan Jutson

          Why do you think that the deposits have been set so high?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget about privatising the NHS and popular schools being closed to force students to attend academies. A lot of people aren’t happy about those.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Conservatives are now paying the price for not clearly spelling out the massive financial legacy left by Labour.

      Alan, TWO AND A HALF YEARS into any government the governing party(s) have to defend their record, so please Alan, change the stuck CD please! So what the Coalition has done, we all know that Labour had to bail out the finance industry and banks FIVE years ago, we all know why the country is in debt up to our necks. What ever next, are you suggesting that the Tory party will be fighting the 2015 election on what happened in 2007-10 and not what has happened between2010 & 2015?…

      Do they [politicains] not understand human nature ?

      I suspect they understand far more than the average political blogger, after all it is part of a politicians job description…

      • John Doran
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:26 am | Permalink

        Our govts have run deficits for 30 out of the last 34 years, building up debt our children & grandchildren will be paying off.

        This Tory? govt is on course to leave us with more debt incurred during it’s 5 tear term than was accumulated during the previous 13 years.

        go to “What’s up with the economy”,
        a 17 page report in layman’s terms from the Cobden Centre & The Adam Smith Institute, a must read.

        We urgently need a law which prevents govts living beyond our means. I’m not holding my breath.

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Jerry

        Funny you mention the CD being stuck, had to take my player in for repair yesterday, seems 10 years is about the life of a laser reader !

        No, not carping on about Labours debt mountain, but think it should have been highlighted BEFORE the last election in a full, detailed, and honest manner.

        Why, because then you can explain fully why you need to run a certain policy to resolve those issues, because you cannot continue to borrow and spend more than you get in income forever.

        I agree fully that any Party should stand on its own record, and the Conservatives results are poor, absolutely no question about that (indeed I have listed many failings for you), but for you to simply cast aside Labours 13 year record, and not even retrieve it as past memory is simply daft and one sided.
        We are where we are, and that is in serious debt.

        On Banks, just remember who was in charge of Regulation.
        The FSA was given the job by Brown during the EQUITABLE LIFE FIASCO,.
        Brown even stuck with them after the FSA were deemed guilty of 10 years of maladministration by a Commons select committee.

        No we did not have to bailout the Banks as Brown did with taxpayer support to the level that he did, there were other solutions, many of which have been discussed on this site.

        I try to look at politics in a balanced way, difficult though it is at times, shame more do not do the same, but are simply tribal in their views.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          @Alan Juston: “No, not carping on about Labours debt mountain

          No, not much, just another 235 odd words upon the same theme you claim not to be carping about…

  15. Nick
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately for the Tories, UKIP have shown they can get you out of office. They took sufficient votes to change results.

    On spoilt ballots. Just think. 516 turned up just to register a protest. Many times that number registered their disgust by not turning up.

    Ho hum. It’s only going to get worse. All that debt hidden off the books. If only you could spend more, …

    • Jerry
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      @Nick: “Unfortunately for the Tories, UKIP have shown they can get you out of office. They took sufficient votes to change results.

      Indeed, but they risk looking like the spoilt child who takes his football home when not allowed to be a team captain and thus pick the policies…sorry, I mean, team…

      Ho hum. It’s only going to get worse. All that debt hidden off the books. If only you could spend more

      No need to spend more, just make different cuts (and thus spend the available money if a better or more deserving way), interestingly reasons have started to be found to start cutting/freezing the international aid budget, as you say, ho-hum…

  16. mick
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    There has been no UKIP breakthrough !!!! how wrong you are john, UKIP came back from the GE 2010 in corby with a handful of votes to third place with over 5000 votes that to me is a BIG breakthrough, so i think its about time yourself and others got your heads out of the sand and realised it , UKIP are on a mission to get OUR once great country back to us, the times are changing,

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, perhaps UKIP will be second in 2014 Euro elections, despite the BBC’ clear bias on the issue shortly before Cameron has to go to the country.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Well given that these elections use PR, rather than FPTP it’s entirely possible.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        @Lifelogic: Most people would say that accusing someone of future biased is being bloody biased yourself…

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps UKIP will be first in the 2014 Euro elections. As I challenged Peter van Leeuwen, just give me 10-1 against and I’ll bet a tenner.

  17. JoolsB
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    John,
    My worry is that the Conservative are being complacent about the UKIP vote. They achieved a fantastic result in Corby which will now only re-affirm to all those Tory voters who are thinking of defecting to UKIP that it isn’t a wasted vote afterall. Cameron’s Tories are kidding themselves if they believe that all those Tory voters who vote UKIP between now and the GE are only doing so as a protest vote and will all return to the fold come 2015. To many of us who have always voted Tory, UKIP are now the real Conservative party and not the ones who are currently calling themselves the Conservative party.

    I don’t think the UKIP result in the PCC elections can be taken as an indication of voting intentions in a GE. As you say, UKIP did not contest many of them anyway. Although I intend to vote UKIP come the next GE unless Cameron and his motley crew suddenly surprise us all and start acting like Conservatives which I doubt, I did however vote for the Conservative candidate yesterday as my first choice and the UKIP candidate as my second choice and I did so, not on party lines but because I felt the Conservative candidate had the edge on suitability for the job.

    • Bob
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      @JoolsB
      “unless Cameron and his motley crew suddenly surprise us all and start acting like Conservatives”

      It’s quite possible that they may start acting like conservatives in the lead up to the General Election. Emphasis on the word “acting”.

  18. m wood
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    It was a mistake not to provide a free mailshot for PCC candidates. When I was delivering leaflets, many people said “whats it about, whose standing?” Only one had taken the trouble to look it up on the web. People are unlikely to go to the polling station when they don’t know who the candidates are.

  19. Acorn
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Clowns (Labour) to the left of me, jokers (UKIP) to the right
    Here I am, stuck in the middle with you (Con-Dems) [Bob Dylan].

    The PCC thing went as well as expected and will join the long list of populist knee-jerk reactions to moral panic and media hyped victim hysteria. Along with pasty tax; national forests; caravan taxes; pledge to let voters “recall MPs” and the rest of the thirty two U-Turns so far (D’ Mirror).

    These independents, on average, make it look like the Chief Constables, will remain much more politicised, than the Crime Commissioners. With ACPO writing the scripts for Chief constables, they can keep the PCCs permanently behind the eight ball. Still, a PCC will probably have much more impact on your local community that the 10 – 12 MPs, whom the PCC, now excludes from local police matters. An MP is not going to have a go at a PCC from the same party, and vise versa. But an Independent or Opposition guy, will be game on.

    • Downing
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Not Bob Dylan, but Stealer’s Wheel.

      • Acorn
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        You are right, now I think on it, thanks.

  20. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    You don’t mention what was the most important point for many of us, viz UKIP’s best ever parliamentary result–12% I think it was, beating the Liberals in to 4th place. We can build on that. Another bad judgement from Cameron.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      UKIP still came third, still no Westminster MP after 18 years of trying), basically UKIP lost -so much for the break-through, so much for their best result! The only thing UKIP achieve is to allow the europhile Labour party a clear win.

      Vote UKIP, get Labour…

  21. Matthew
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    The lack of boundary changes and the UKIP vote in the marginal’s could damage Conservative chances at the next election.
    The dwindling prospects in the Euro zone and the impression of inertia and dither that the coalition radiates on European affairs, gives Mr Farage some fertile ground.

    Hope that Mr Cameron goes for a referendum pledge.

    • Bob
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      @Matthew
      “Hope that Mr Cameron goes for a referendum pledge.”

      A cast iron one presumably?

      • Jerry
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Tell me “Bob” what promises have UKIP kept?…

        I know, it’s their promise to keep the lights shining bright on the Show-boat, apart from that they have broken every promise they have made -why- because they have always failed to get even one Westminster MP elected.

  22. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    You don’t need to be a genius to realise that the Conservatives need to win back UKIP votes in order to be successful at the next General Election. UKIP got nigh on 15% of the vote at Corby. A little thought will lead to a realisation of what needs to be done: (1) A Conservative manifesto that calls for substantial repatriation of powers from the EU, with a commitment to renegotiate, and (2) Candidates that are Eurosceptic so that the manifesto commitment is believed.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Funny how the party (members) without any MPs thinks that the party in government is the party that has to change, what utter arrogance…

    • Jerry
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Just to add, Lindsay have you ever consider the possibility that whilst the Tories might regain the 15% that would otherwise go to UKIP (if Mr Cameron does as you suggest) they will loose a greater percentage that will otherwise go to Labour or even LDs, it’s called loosing sight of the middle ground were all elections are won or lost – and is why the UKIP still have no Westminster MPs after 18 years of trying…

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted November 20, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

        Really? Did Mrs Thatcher fight on the middle ground in 1979, 1983 and 1987? Edward Heath called for a government of National Unity in October 1974; did he win? John Major stood on a sort of middle ground in 1997; did he win? George W Bush didn’t bother with the middle ground in 2004; he made sure not to offend Hispanics and Karl Rove got out the core vote for him – and he won. In 1968, when Enoch Powell was more popular than his Prime Minister, was Enoch standing on the middle ground? Did de Gaulle make any concessions to fashionable opinion?

        It’s futile for the Tory Party to go chasing Labour and LibDem voters, other than those with Eurosceptic opinions and those that think deficit reduction is important.

  23. ian wragg
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    UKIP took 14% of tyhe vote aat Corby and the LimpDumbs lost their deposit. Year on year their share increases but you still expect us to vote for your non Tory party.
    The way things are shaping the Tories will be wiped out in 2015 unless Cameroon and his sidekick are replaced. As this doesn’t seem to be a possibility then opposition it is.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      UKIP is being even less Tory when all they do is allow Labour a clear win!

      The way things are shaping up in 2015 it will be UKIP who is wiped out once again with not one Westminster MPs, every election, every by-election, UKIP promise this is the big break-through, ever time they are part of the the also-ran results. There only notable success is allowing Labour to win Tory marginals. Vote UKIP, get Labour…

  24. graham
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The capacity for the politicians for self delusion is boundless – it’s all the public’s fault for being apathetic! No good blaming not sending out leaflets, or people not understanding it all. They understand only too well. More likely they just don’t want another layer of self serving troughing politicians at all, and not just running the police. This is the first step to political control of the police as otherwise why put party aparatchiks up in the first place.? Had they all been banned and only independents allowed to stand maybe there might have been a little more interest.

    Still it was good fun seeing Prescott get a bloody nose. Looks like he’ll have to travel to the Lords for his £300 a day now to keep out from under Pauline’s feet, instead of staying at home and having his £100,00 shovelled into his account.However will they manage?

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      @graham: “and having his £100,00 (word left out) [paid] into his account [for doing the job]

      Like will be happening with the elected PCC you mean? Ho-Hum, best not mention which party sponsored the elected candidate, but I bet someone will write a s tory about it all…

  25. Mark
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    “None of the above” was the big winner – perhaps most in Manchester Central, where there was no excuse about not knowing about candidates, although perhaps an excuse about the election not having much purpose, with yet another “donkey” candidate for Labour, who spouted the agreed party rhetoric for her acceptance speech.

    The police elections were a shambles. Some of the blame goes to Clegg and the Lib Dems for insisting on them being held now, rather than in May, and perhaps for other elements, such as campaign funding, horse-traded away. The one screen manifestos on the “my PCC” site were hopelessly inadequate: you’d get more information about contestants in a game show. As I pointed out the other day, to find out what the PCC is supposed to do entailed downloading over 50 separate pdfs from the Home Office website hidden in 4 obscure corners. Failure of organistion of a party in a brewery comes to mind.

    It is obvious that there is no rationale for spending £100m on opening polling stations across the country as a separate exercise away from more general local elections. It’s an interesting question as to whether a single elected official is the answer when the Police Committee Panels will still exist with much the same composition as current Police Authorities – i.e. co-opted councillors. Perhaps the PCP positions should be elected, without a party ticket. It is noticeable that some of the PCC candidates were former politicians who chose not to stand on a party ticket.

    I read Charles Moore’s claim that PCC positions are political. On the basis of his argument, a politician should run the customer complaints department of any company. The public disagree: they want simply to know that the police will be run competently, and will address the elements of crime they most fear or encounter, while not wasting time on those they regard as unjust inventions of the state, such as the pettier motoring offences, or “hate crime” that is not hate at all, but a wish not to be forced to do something that in many cases was even not legal itself not so long ago thanks to our Kafkaesque laws.

    Perhaps more to the point, politicians have diminishing power because too often they have chosen to abrogate responsibility to Brussels, or a newly created quango. The minister is no longer responsible when it is the quango that fouls up, not his civil servants. The local politician is not responsible when the council officials are the ones with the real power. Yet we see the shadowy influences of a “long march through the institutions” as exposed by 28gate at the BBC and the Mail’s investigative work on the role of Common Purpose and allied organisations.

    Carswell is right: we need the disinfecting qualities of sunlight shining on the cockroaches that hide in these institutions. Electing them all is not the answer, but it should be a key role of those who are elected to turn over the stones and reveal the festering mass beneath.

  26. David John Wilson
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    To be clear about some of who spoilt out papers. It was not due to a lack of understanding of the role of the PCCs. There were two reasons.

    Firstly it was clear from the information on the web that some of the candidates either did not understand their future role or to give them the benefit of the doubt could not communicate how they intended to carry it out. Either clearly made them unsuitable candidates.

    Secondly this new role should not be political. It was totally wrong that political parties should have been indicated on the ballot sheets or should have been allowed to support individual candidates. I found the Thames Valley Conservative Party leaflet supporting their candidate inappropriate and almost offensive. I have no objection to individual candidates putting forward a manifesto based on their political views. However this should be done openly not hidden behind a party banner.

    I know many people who support these views simply did not vote rather than taking the trouble to spoil their papers.

  27. merlin
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    UKIP is a small party with a small amount of money, but the fastest growing party in Great Britain, the Corby by-election was the best result that UKIP has had in a by-election ever, so as a party we are absolutley delighted, and this was an incredible achievement. UKIP is 20 years old, we are a new and growing party, we are up against parties that have had a considerable length of time to establish themselves. Our first target was to become the third party in Great Britain we are very close to achieving this. In the North West we are the third party and are 2% behind the Conservatives, and will be the opposition in this area very soon. At our recent annual conference it was stated that the number of members attending is growing while other party’s attendances are diminishing, particularly the Conservatives under Cameron. As far as UKIP is concerned we were delighted with our performance in all election contests, and will contest every seat in the forthcoming county council elections in 2013. We are under no illusions that it will take considerable time and effort to achieve our objectives, but we will do it, my views, are stated as an individual member, which is what I am. I am extremely optimistic for the future of UKIP, the fastest growing party in Great Britain, the party that puts Great Britain first.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for that, whilst I am not a member just a voting supporter, once was a member of the Conservative Party who has realised a while back it is pointless arguing UKIP’s case here.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      UKIP is not a small party, UKIP has more money than independant PCC candidates combined yet the independents out performed UKIP at ever level…

      UKIP is 20 years old yet has never had a Westminster MP elected, on the other hand a comparable party, the SDP, had 3 MPs elected within their first 18 months of being formed in 1981.

      • Tom William
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        True. But the SDP was started by turncoat MPs

        • Jerry
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          @Tom William: Talking of “turncoats”, how many UKIP supporters (on this very blog) have demanded that eurosceptic Tory MPs should cross the house and give UKIP a scalp? Me thinks some protest to much…

  28. Paul
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    The Corby result shows that UKIP is now a major political force that cannot be ignored. As Norman Tebbit said, a vote for UKIP can no longer be seen as a wasted vote. UKIP is regularly beating the Lib Dems in the polls and is now the third biggest political party in Britain. You cannot seriously expect UKIP to win in safe Labour seats. As long as the Conservatives lose, we’re happy. Becoming the third party in British politics was a key aim of UKIP. The next priority is to beat the Conservatives and Labour in the 2014 European election.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      That is why it came third, cos it is a major political force! The only thing UKIP does, and does it well, is get Pro EU Labour candidates elected…

      Vote UKIP, get Labour (and more Europe).

      • Bob
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        “UKIP on the whole did rather well. In the very low poll at Manchester, UKIP came within half a dozen votes of overtaking the Conservatives. At Corby, where the Conservative vote collapsed, UKIP scored a respectable 5,000-plus votes, triple that of the Lib Dems, and at Cardiff they marginally increased their vote.

        In short, while Labour seems to have stemmed the loss of votes to BNP, the Tories are still losing support to UKIP; and even worse for Mr Cameron, UKIP is strengthening in advance of the 2014 European elections. The Tory cry that a vote for UKIP is a wasted vote may be wearing a bit thin.”

        Can’t disagree with that Lord Tebbit

        • Jerry
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          How many words does it take a Lord to say “UKIP lost – and once again handed victor to Labour” …

          • Bob
            Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry

            Seems like UKIP have you seriously rattled!

          • Jerry
            Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            Yes Bob they do, if the country wants a Labour Government then it can vote Labour, we don’t need UKIP’s help thanks!

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Or vote Tory stay in the EU and get governed as though by Labour! I’ll keep voting UKIP thanks as they offer a route out of the EU. You do what you like.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          @Jon Burgess: UKIP only offer a route to a Labour government [1], thus your only hope then is that Labour will have a resurgence of the Socialist left and thus return to their europhobic views of the 1970s and away from their “Nu-Labour, more Europe” Blairite policies of 1997 to 2010…

          [1] due to eating into only the Conservative vote

          • Jon Burgess
            Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:37 am | Permalink

            I want the people of this country to be given the choice on staying in or leaving the EU. Not much to ask, is it? My preference is to leave the EU, so i support UKIP because it’s their preference too. What’s the point of having a party whose policies you agree with and not supporting them?

          • Jerry
            Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

            I want the people of this country to be given the choice on staying in or leaving the EU.

            Indeed but what hope, unless there are seismic changes from Ed Milliband, what chance, of that from a Labour government and as all UKIP seem to have achieved in 18 years is to allow labour candidates to win key marginals that would otherwise have gone Tory, so much so that even UKIP were boasting that it was UKIP who stopped the Conservatives from gaining a parliamentary majority!

  29. Ashley
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    What exactly do the Tories expect to achieve by tacking ever further to the left and openly ridiculing their traditional core voters? It’s a very odd way of trying to differentiate yourselves from Labour. What on earth does the current government represent other than a miserable continuation of big government waste, nanny state and pro EU New Labour? That is why voters are now moving rapidly towards UKIP.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      @Ashley: Perhaps they realise that the country has moved politically to the centre, remember that it is now 35 years since this country has had a Socialist government, it is over 20 years since it has had a “traditional” Tory government. Also don’t forget that the UKIP doesn’t actually describe its self as being of the Right, nor Tory and certainly not ‘Tea Party’, even though there are a lot of ex (and mostly old, if I may say so…) Tories in the party, officially UKIP describe themselves as being “Centrist”, whilst being anti the EU. In fact some of UKIP policies would not have been out of place in a post-war Liberal manifesto!

  30. David Saunders
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Unusually for him JR seems stuck on the ‘Let’s belittle UKIP’ record. There are clearly many voters (mainly natural Tories) who are repelled by the main parties contesting narrow centre ground and ‘me,too’ policies and feel better represented by UKIP, even if there is no chance of winning, especially on the EU referndum position. The vote for Independents shows voters are sick of mainstream politicians.

  31. Barbara Stevens
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Cameron called UKIP, fruit cakes and fools, who’s the fool now?
    Cameron is not going to win the next election, simply because he’s broken so many promises he’s not believed anymore. His stance on Europe is against the nations wishes ,and he refuses to acknowledge it. That will be his downfall. We now see his Europe is going to ignore his veto on Nato and the setting up of a new EU armed forces, similar to Nato. This will of course bring problems with the USA who are against it and of course we are members of Nato; we cannot not and should not have feet in two camps. He has to realise the Europeans are hell bent on making a United States of Europe, so they can dictate policy, and ignore the UK. We would have reduced say in and influence if this come to pass, unless of course we refuse to join, which I hope we will. Our loyalities lie with Nato and the USA, as it’s always been, who in their right mind would get involved with a revised (centralising) idelogy. That is why Merkel as agreed to helping Syria rebels, it will make the EU army more palitable. These elections have shown up we are not a united nation under this coalition, and that is dangerous. It is up to the Conservatives to restore our faith in them, and they would do that if they followed the wishes of the nation and not the whims of a few ministers.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Cameron called UKIP, fruit cakes and fools, who’s the fool now?

      The UKIP official(s) and supporters who promised that this will be (again!) the big breakthrough, only to yet again loose, yet again fail to gain their first Westminster MP in 18 years of trying, perhaps?…

      Carry on being a Day-dream-believer Barbara if it makes you feel better/happy!

  32. Tad Davison
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I’d say if this swing was repeated at the next general election, we’re in serious do-do. A Labour government would soon have us in debt (again) and a slave to the socialist-orientated EU. Yet the answer is simple really. Talk to anyone, ask them about their values, and the greater proportion will echo those of mainstream Conservatism. The Conservatives should, therefore, be more Conservative. That lesson was lost on people like Major, who went around in ever-decreasing left-wing circles until the inevitable happened, and his administration eventually disappeared up it’s own chuff! And what a price we’ve had to pay for his failings ever since!

    Cameron is doing a job, of sorts, but hints that he is severely hampered by the liberal pro-EU left, yet I’m not convinced were he totally unfettered, he’d be doing that much differently.

    He needs to spell out now what he would do were he to lead a majority Conservative government, and show the clear blue water, common-sense policies befitting a man of courage, commitment, and determination.

    The Lib Dems are doing so badly, because the people can now see through them. Before, they were an unknown quantity, but they have well and truly nailed their political colours to the mast of a discredited and sinking ship that is the EU, with all it’s waste and misappropriation.

    I hate to see someone miss an open goal, so what’s stopping Cameron?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      The Conservatives should, therefore, be more Conservative. That lesson was lost on people like Major,

      That is why Major and the Tories lost to a landslide Labour victory in 1997 [1] then, who remained in power (with healthy majorities) for the next 13 years [2], because the electorate wanted their government to be “more Conservative”?!…

      [1] and only won in 1992 because Labour, more precisely their leader, lost the election in the last few days of the hustings even though they often won the argument

      [2] even though the Tory party elected Thatcherite leaders between 1997 and 2005

  33. Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    And that was before people became aware of William Hague’s damaging, naive and ignorant comments on Thursday……

    Oh dear.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, which comments were these?

      • Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        The ones where he blames Hamas entirely for the bombing of Gaza, calling for them to immediately cease all violence and for Israel to de-escalate.

        Has he not realised yet that the Israeli government always provokes the need for a defensive invasion/massive bombing to get some rockets launched at Israel just before an election?

        Does he not see that Israel has a military machine which can cease violence but Hamas in Gaza simply doesn’t for very obvious reasons?

        Clearly not.

        I was a supporter of Welliam Hague’s but since his debacle over Assange and South America and his silly comments on Thursday I’ve changed my mind. He’s a massive liability.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          Likud supports a one state solution – 100% Israel and no Palestine. Hamas supports a one state solution – 100% Palestine and no Israel. Neither William Hague nor anybody else can bring peace to the area in such a situation. We in the United Kingdom are a medium size nation, 3000 miles away from the action and having long ago given up our bases in Egypt, Cyprus and Malta. The most influence that we could bring to bear would be to sell arms to both sides; I trust that we won’t.

          If you want a constructive two state solution, try giving the Palestinians a portion of land north and south of the West Bank, with Israel taking over all of Gaza and deporting its Palestinian population to the land conceded. That way, Israel would not have the intolerable interference of Palestinian people criss crossing and over-flying their territory. Jordan and Palestine could form a federal state; there is enough empathy (I think). This solution must await changes of government in both Israel and Palestine.

          I’m curious; how is it that left wingers like you are far less prepared to acknowledge the shrinkage of British power than lapsed Empire men like me?

          • Posted November 20, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            My only point is about the quality of William Hague’s performance as Foreign Secretary which has been disturbingly bad recently.

            However given your interest I suggest you examine the Geneva Accord for positive ways forward.

            I’m not left wing. I believe in systems of state which devolve power so far as possible to the individual but organise (in ways which are as transparent as possible) in situations where it is clearly beneficial to organise. I do believe in working to protect people who could contribute effectively to society against the kind of poverty which will prevent them doing so but I don’t think many people are to the right of that.

            You can achieve power through force or you can achieve power by behaving intelligently and constructively and so commanding respect.

          • Posted November 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            Also just to clarify – had William Hague simply called for an immediate cessation of all violence that would have been fine and uncontroversial in the circumstances.

  34. David Langley
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I do not know whether I am disappointed by UKIPs showing in Cheshire or not. We came last just behind the Liberals. On balance it was probably a great result considering we have come from nowhere and a lot of the public think we are just an out of EU project party. Our candidate is an intelligent person who could have been at a great disadvantage against a fairly proven if not police biased pair of hands in the Conservative candidate. Track record and a certain maturity shall we say should probably be the personal job description of a candidate for the role. Nonetheless we shall keep on trying and UKIP is no longer a fringe party but a serious contender in a county which is probably as conservative as you can get.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      @David Langley: UKIP (in Cheshire) came last but it’s a great result, yeah, if you say so. Sounds bit like the Owners and designers of the Titanic expecting a commendation medal for getting their passengers three-quarters of the way across the Atlantic…

  35. Martin Ryder
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I voted in the PCC election and voted for the Conservative candidate, partly because he seemed the best qualified for the job and because his being a Conservative gave me some idea of how he would approach the job. I didn’t vote for the Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates for same reason.

    I was surprised to see that AV was being used even though the general public voted against the idea in the referendum. So much for the will of the people under the Cameron/Clegg government. I used the second vote for the UKIP guy, not because I wanted him to win but because I am so fed up with the Cameron Conservative party.

    Cameron is a PR man who looks good and sounds good but couldn’t organise a booze up in a brewery. Everything that he touches goes wrong. The farcical PCC non-event was classic Cameron. He did nothing to make it work, probably because he couldn’t work out how to make it work, and then bleats that a low turn-out and total incomprehension amongst the electorate was to be expected because it was a new idea.

    I think that in a couple of years – during which time he will have sold the pass on the EU – he will turn to Samantha and say, ‘Being PM has been fun, especially when I am in the good old USA with my friend Obama, but five years is enough and so I am taking a job in New York with Louise.’ He will then waltz off leaving a massive fight going on in the Conservative party over who will replace him and Labour will be in for another 13 terrible years.

    • Alan
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      I don’t think it was AV, I think it was single transferable vote. But I too was surprised to find it was being used: I hadn’t given any thought to who to give my second vote to.

  36. Normandee
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    When you and the rest of the conservative party are consigned to opposition for probably another long term visit, will you be happy as long as UKIP don’t do well either, have you got that narrow in your vision ?
    It is always possible that it will be unimportant who wins because thanks to your efforts we will be submersed completely in the (authoritarian-ed) european state there may never be elections as we know them again.
    I am prepared to have a small bet that you retire at the next election if the party’s chances are as low as they are now.

    reply Why do some UKIP supporters have to be so unpleasant about Eurosceptics doing their best to battle against the EU machine? I intend to fight the next election in Wokingham. Instead of constantly bashing us UKIP ers should be grateful that a serious number of Conservative MPs are daily highlighting features of the EU we do not like, speakinbg and voting against them, and urging the government to veto the unacceptable.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–As my old glass-chewing boss used to shout at us, you don’t get marks for trying, you get marks for succeeding–and though I love you like a brother many of us see no hope at all of the Conservatives achieving much on Europe. If only I were wrong!

    • Normandee
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      You haven’t answered my question, and why should UKIP supporters thank you for what is turning out to be completely ineffectual opposition. It will be UKIP’s efforts that are and will change Camerons direction, not your tut tutting from the sidelines.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        @Normandee: …and UKIP have done what in the Commons to arrest the tide of EU regulation and law?

        Come on, don’t be shy, you can boast amongst friends….

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      It’s the frustration that you remain wedded to a party that is pro EU. Get Cameron to give us an in out referendum and I’ll be grateful.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Normandee: Many might ask the same of UKIP and their supporters, when UKIP have consigned the country to another Labour government (and possibly even more “Europe”), and UKIP fail yet again to get a single MP elected, will you [UKIPers] be happy as long as the Tories don’t do well either?…

  37. forthurst
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    George Entwistle’s failing was his incuriousness. There is however, a chain of command through Lord Patten to David Cameron which appears incurious about anything other than whether the applicant is a europhile, one of us. The disasters at the BBC are intimately linked with incuriousness as well as the organisation, ‘Common Purpose’.

    According to the DM, many of those who are paid by us are trained at our expense and belong to an organisation glorying in the title of ‘Common Purpose’. The acolytes are encouraged to network amongst themselves through ‘360 Community’. Some of them appear to have been given roles by selection panels which have included other acolytes but for which strict non-partisanship would have been expected by the paying public. One of those intimately involved in this organisation is now Head of the Civil Service. Has this government given explicit permission for this outfit’s activities?

    There is an incuriousness about Cameron’s conduct. This is deeply worrying because those that are incurious fail to understand what is happening, often beneath the surface, and consequently can be surprised and overtaken by events. In fact the only area in which Cameron appears proactive is in following the neocon script for the ME which has got absolutely nothing to do with him or us.

    The only sensible response to Corby for the Conservative Party is to cleanse itself of Cameron and his europhiles and come to an accomodation with UKIP. It needs then to find a leader who is curious and patriotic, someone who does not need a ‘Mainframe Computer’ to tell him how to think, someone who understands that allowing a group of leftwing europhiles to create a civil service top tier, infesting all areas of government, is absolutely not in the public interest.

    • Bob
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      What is this “Common Purpose”?
      Did you know this was going on Mr Redwood?

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      @forthurst: “According to the DM”

      Is that code for the Daily Mail, if so did the DM cite any references for their claims or is this just another one of their many anti BBC rants that -once actually investigated- doesn’t hold up to scrutiny?…

      • forthurst
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        “Is that code for the Daily Mail, if so did the DM cite any references for their claims”

        More an abbreviation than an esoteric reference for the exclusive benefit of the cognoscenti on this site.

        I offered a very short precis of what was an in depth expose of names and and their machinations; any pack drill would be to follow, although I suspect that that is unlikely because unlike the BBC, I expect the DM employ lawyers because they do not have licence fee payers to fund their costs.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          @forthurst: Sorry but the Daily Mail can -and sometimes does- publish a full page article, printed in a 10pt font, yet not cite one reference or any fact, hence my question – that you failed to answer…

          Without any facts, citations or references this could be a script for a remake of the “The Beiderbecke Affair” (or some such), mistakenly printed in the politics section rather than the drama section, how would we know?!

  38. Rupert Butler
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I have trouble making sense of the percentages in the BBC report of the Devon & Cornwall PCC result. The report leaves 3.24% unallocated which I take to be the proportion of spoilt votes. Your Wokingham count works out at 3.18%. It is a disadvantage of postal votes that it is easy for voters to make this gesture and therefore both the gesture and any proper vote signify less than any vote in the polling booth. It would be interesting if the returning officers could report spoilt votes separately for each ballot box and for postal votes.

    I doubt if the loss of Dorset to an Independent should worry the Conservatives. I think we in Devon would not have chosen any Police Authority veteran to be our candidate if one had stood. The whole point of PCCs seems to be that the police authorities are discredited. Mr Underhill’s statement is far more appealing than Mr King’s.

    I have mentioned before the LibDem almost-habit of putting up party members alongside their official candidates. You might be chary of any reference to personalities and do not refer to the Hampshire case. The independent who beat the Conservative candidate is clearly another Conservative privateering, this time telling the Conservative selectors of Hampshire what they must have known about Mr Mates for years. Presumably Mr Hayes has sidestepped the issue of Party discipline by resigning in good time.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Mr Hayes is Chairman of Crimestoppers HIW and a past Chairman of Hampshire Police Authority. As an Independent, he also propogated a stromg anti-Party message. So I’m not surprised that he got elected.

      We now 15 Conservative PCCs, 12 Labour PCCs and 13 Independent PCCs, with one undecided. Over the coming years, we shall see if there is any disadvantage in being an Independent.

  39. Bert Young
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I voted on Thursday for the candidate I considered most qualified to do the PCC job ; he stood as an Independent . My wife chose not to vote because – as so many have said , she did not have any previous information about the candidates . When I voted ( in South Oxfordshire ) I was the only person to do so from my village ; it was mid-day . The whole thing was a shambles and a reflection on what the electorate think about the state of our politics today . I note that UKIP decided not to contest most of the elections ; I considered them wise not to do so . Cameron and co have to take responsibility for the very poor preparation and failing to get the message across ; it has been a shameful waste of money . UKIP’s increasing presence is another wake up call for the Conservatives to do a deal with them ; as so many of the responses have indicated , they are staring at a major defeat ahead . I have always admired JR’s eurosceptic stance and his loyalty to the Conservative Party ; I suspect he really would like to make an even stronger case were he really free to do so .

    Reply: UKIP fought 24 out of 41, a majority of the positions on offer.
    I do make the case I wish to make, as I have done ever since I voted No in the original referendum on European Union.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Latest Comment on Latest Reply–Yes, of course you are on a right track and we all know it on this site but that is a different point from whether we think you are doing all you could do. O me miserum but the answer to the latter is No you are not. The reason it is No is that many of us believe that if you joined UKIP, presumably as Chancellor in waiting, and with as much fanfare as possible, that alone would or certainly might well be enough to give UKIP a sufficient leg up AND at the same time be one in the eye for Cameron and his absurd ideas, which in itself would give UKIP even more of a leg up in comparison. Duck soup as they say (in America).

  40. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    When the civil service wanted to use the idea of free schools as a power tool to take over from the county, they used several tricks – delaying, not helping, demanding silly things and making us attend committees and so on. They have done this twice round here very effectively.

    No doubt the same kind of stuff was used to ruin the Police Commissioner idea too. `it is so easy to separate the election from the real election and to put it in November. It is so simple not to allow publicity. It is really too easy to not try and publicise or explain.

    Or maybe it was just another case (as Charles Moore thinks in today’s Telegraph) of clever people in the government just not bothering to ram home their message hard enough.

    Anyway. It is a disaster.

  41. Tom Bennett
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    This is the first time I have made conscious decision not to vote, why the complete lack of choice (North Yorkshire) more of the same old, same old don’t dare say people didn’t understand the issues. Its you who doesn’t understand. The people who count don’t want more of the same old party political nonsense, if I had been presented with a real choice I would have voted.

  42. Tom William
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Soon after his election Tony Blair said that his (first) administration would be judged by the success of the Millenium Dome. A pointless waste of money.

    Will the PCC elections shamble be seen in the same way about the Coalition?

  43. ROGER THE PILOT
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    In my area, Tony Lloyd, who was a Labour MP until last week, has been elected as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester.
    He was a Member of Parliament from 1983. Before that, he was a councillor on Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council from 1979-84 and was deputy leader of the Labour group.
    This man is a career politician. If you cut off his leg, it would say ‘Labour’ all the way through it!
    Now, there is nothing wrong with that. But don’t tell me that a man who has lived and breathed political dogma throughout 33 years of political infighting, is now not going to be ’political’
    It is just not feasible! Policing needs to be independent of party politics.
    These PCC’s should not be elected, if elected at all, on political grounds. The whole idea behind this badly thought out scheme was to bring impartiality and the voice of the people to bear on policing priorities. But on a 13.5% voter turnout, no one in their right mind can this this result is truly democratic.
    However, the one saving grace is that Lord Prescott has failed in his bid to become the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside!
    And if further proof is needed that the whole scheme is political, Lord Prescott speaking after his defeat said: “I said at the beginning, this is a Tory marginal seat. It’s not a safe Labour seat. It’s not even a Labour seat.”

    I rest my case!

    • Jerry
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Time will tell, but it is quite possible for people to keep their personal politics out of their professional life, just as most MPs do so when serving the needs of their constituents.

  44. Electro-Kevin
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    The policies which affect the police most are centralised.

    The over use of cautions, recruitment of short, diminutive police officers (political correctness) the withdrawal of beat policing.

    Beat Policing

    I was involved in both area policing (Metropolitan) and beat policing (City of London – my force)

    I crewed response vans, area cars and so experienced Metropolitan Police work.

    My division at Snow Hill in the City neighboured some high crime areas. Yet my division was known as “Moonbase Alpha.” Were there no high value targets to raid ? Were their no rich people to rob ?

    Of course there were – the robbers prefered to target pensioners in Old Street rather than Ludgate Hill.

    It’s interesting that the banking and political district choose beat policing to protect themselves while decent people on housing estates aren’t given it.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Not intimating that bankers and politicians aren’t decent btw.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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