Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Passmore: Hang ’em!

with 3 comments


Passmore: Likes Hanging and Roses.

“Tim Passmore, a Conservative candidate, beat Labour’s Jane Basham in an extremely close contest yesterday.

After second preference votes were counted, Mr Passmore polled 36,946 while Ms Basham had 35,005.

Independent candidate David Cocks received 14,217 first choice votes and UKIP’s Bill Mountford 11,179 but neither went through to the second round of vote counting.”  Reports the East Anglian Daily Times

Ipswich Spy makes an important point,

What will concern the main two parties is the fact that, where people voted for an independent or UKIP, they were more likely to give their second preference vote to the other minor candidate than to give it to either the of the main two parties; 9,284 of their second preference votes were not for either of the Tories or Labour.

This is the percentage of  how it initially played out,

Winner: Tim Passmore
Party: Con
34.99% of first preference votes

Second: Jane Basham
Party: Lab
35.07% of first preference votes

Turnout, 15,36% – in the top half of the country-wide turnout.

The Spy claims that Jane Basham campaigned “from the centre”. In fact she had a broader constituency, from those simply attracted to her presentation, the  liberal minded, community activists, the Labour Party, and what the Spy calls the “far left”, that is trade unionists and socialists. Trades Council members in Ipswich were amongst those who distributed her literature house-to-house.

Mr Passmore complained about “ridiculous” aspects of the election, that there was no free postal address, and that it was held in dank November.

We are more concerned about other issues.

Passmore is a career Tory politician.

Commenting on his role as the leader of Mid-Suffolk Councillor, Andrew Stringer, leader of the Suffolk Green group has said,

There is a clear conflict of interest here and not only that the time needed to work on behalf of not only the tiny minority of citizens that voted for Tim but everyone in Suffolk will mean that the time needed to conduct the role of councillor will be seriously reduced.

“If Tim does not see his way to resigning as a district councillor perhaps he would like to consider his position as Police and Crime Commissioner.”

He faces this (BBC):

Suffolk Police has announced it will cut 300 uniformed and civilian jobs.

The force has been outlining how it will make £13.6m of savings over four years when it has an annual budget of £130m this year.

Chief Constable Simon Ash said it had to work within a 20% cut in the grant from the government.

Passmore has also called for a “debate” on the death penalty,“I do feel it is something that should be back on the agenda.“I think it is something that should be considered by the judiciary in certain circumstances.”

Tim Passmore is also director of a public / private partnership with BT and the County Council for “improving public access and back office functions”. This cosy deal is notoriously costly. It is not hard to see how he will act over privatisation of police functions, regardless of the long-term price it will mean and the kind of poor service private companies in public service always  bring.

Like all the candidates he claims that the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner has is not the place for politics.

Here are some more of his very political right-wing views,

  • Problem families are a huge cost and they can disrupt neighbourhoods and nothing is done about it
  • Why don’t the council and police get together to sort out some of these disruptive families
  • Some older people don’t feel they receive a proper response when they raise an issue
  • We need better contact details for our local police especially during the night as it is difficult to get hold of anyone
  • Rogue traders are a problem but they don’t seem to get prosecuted – just a slap on the hand and then they carry on
  • Response times are not good enough – sometimes it takes several days before anyone comes round
  • What will your relationship be like with the Chief Constable
  • We need a much greater emphasis on educating children and families on respect for law and order. This includes parenting skills and what responsibilities a parent has for bringing up children properly
  • Should the death penalty be brought back for murder of a police officer.
  • The interference of the ECHR on the extradition of Abu Hamsa is unacceptable. We should have our own British Bill of Rights
  • Why don’t we have a crackdown on untaxed and uninsured vehicles

A major criticism of introducing Police Commissioners is that it will politicise the function.

Attention will focus on the office-holder, and her or his views.

It will make the Police look like an arm of a politician, liked or loathed, and will weaken the Police’s consensual standing.

Clearly it Tim Passmore this will happen sooner rather than later.


Written by Andrew Coates

November 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Actually, I think there is a case for seeing the PCC elections as a de-politicisation of Policing.

    Of the 12 so called independents who won, several of them were Tories in disguise, as routinely happens in many shire county elections – but something more unusual also happened. I count five of the 12 independent victorious PCC candidates who were ex-coppers: Dorset, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Surrey & West Mercia. The bloke in Lincolnshire has spent the ‘last 4 years working for Lincolnshire Police Authority’.

    Furthermore, the extremely low turnout could well weaken the authority of the elected Commissioner relative to the Chief Constable.

    So, paradoxically, it could prove that this exercise in ‘democracy’ will weaken the authority of democrats relative to managerial technocrats.


    November 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

  2. In this case however, Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Passmore is both a technocrat (BT) and very right-wing.

    Andrew Coates

    November 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm

  3. […] Or they only voted once.  The breakdown of these discounted votes was not published, despite the misleading impression given by Ipswich Spy (more stupidity than duplicity, and its something that Andy Coates fell for as well).  […]

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