I received my voting card for 15th November’s elections for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner in the post a couple of weeks ago. Until last week, the only opinion I have had about this election is that using the acronym PCC for this new job will confuse both Anglicans and anyone who followed the Leveson inquiry.
Since we don’t watch local news on telly and don’t regularly get a local paper, we have had no idea about who is standing or what the job entails. So in my quest to have an informed vote, I duly googled and found a BBC website which gave me the lowdown on the candidates (there is also a national site that will enable you to see candidates).
There is the usual collection of political candidates and three independents, but the person who stood out for me is one of the independents. Derek Webley is a local guy (he’s based just up the road from our parish), who has excellent relevant experience (having already led the West Midlands Police Board – the first independent to do so) and he is a Christian. I don’t want to see policing politicised and a win for Derek Webley would keep policing out of party hands but not deliver it to someone inexperienced and unsuitable. I wonder if people’s dissatisfaction with politicians at the moment will deliver us any independent Police and Crime Commissioners, though? Or are we so stuck with the political system, with its teams of leafleting volunteers, that independents have no chance? I shall be encouraging people to vote, as usual, but I’m a little despairing about the outcome.