From the Daily Telegraph we learn that Theresa May is to introduce legislation to allow foreign police chiefs to “run” police forces and to change the conditions of entry and the grades at which those entering will so do.
The Metropolitan Police, in their definition and history of policing advise that:
“The origin of the British police lies in early tribal history and is based on customs for securing order through the medium of appointed representatives. In effect, the people were the police.”
and as far as I am aware the people still are the police, in other words the police force in this country is answerable to – and owned by – the people; the police force does not belong to any government or any government minister.
In the manifesto produced by the Coalition, one on which I would remind readers not one person had the opportunity on which to vote, it states (on page 13) that
“We will have a full review of the terms and conditions for police officer employment.”
note the omission of any regard to the wishes of the public. Note also that in the Conservative Party manifesto (page 57) it states:
“Policing requires assent”
and that there is no mention of reforming the qualifications to be a member of the police force – at which point one has to stop and ask exactly where is the assent to the measures Theresa May intends to impose? This is not democracy – this is the imposition of political diktat and ideology.
Back in 2009 David Blunkett introduced a proposition that the police must and should be accountable to the people – the title of his paper was “A people’s police force”. Readers must forgive pedancy entering this post, but in the English language the use of a noun followed by an apostrophe followed by the letter ‘s’ denotes ownership of something – ergo Blunkett thus admits that the police force belongs to the people and not, I repeat, not to a government or a government minister.
Is it therefore not required that the people should be consulted on Theresa May’s plans? As the police force in this country is funded by means of taxation extracted from the people, it being their money must surely mean that the people should have the deciding voice where changes to policing are concerned.
This point is one of the Demands of the Harrogate Agenda in that where local democracy is concerned: the foundation of that democracy shall be the counties (or other local units as may be defined), which shall become constitutional bodies exercising under the control of their peoples all powers of legislation, taxation and administration not specifically granted by the people to the national government – is it not for local people to decide what form of policing and the level of tolerance to social behaviour is concerned? Is it not right that when considering the spending of people’s money by the state yet another of the Harrogate Agenda’s Demands is met, namely that no taxes or spending without consent: no tax, charge or levy shall be imposed, nor any public spending authorised, nor any sum borrowed by any national or local government except with the express permission of the majority of the people, renewed annually on presentation of a properly authenticated budget which shall first have been approved by their respective legislatures?
Once again, with this latest news, is the fact confirmed that democracy in this country no longer exists.