15 November 2012
The Weekly WHIP 15 November
Police and Crime Commissioner elections
They are the elections you've probably not heard about, but if you live in England and Wales you've got the chance today to decide who oversees your local police. Unless you're in London like me, and then we just get Boris. Currently the 41 police forces are supervised by a police authority which includes local councillors. Promised by the Conservatives in their manifesto and backed by the coalition, the new posts aim to give direct democratic accountability to the police.
Efforts to inform the public included adverts in the middle of Downton Abbey and a specially commissioned information website, another site from think tank Policy Exchange was unfortunately down earlier in the day when most people would want to use it, because too many people were trying to use it. Which is probably good because polling stations weren't doing a roaring trade this morning.
Tim Davie got tied up in knots in his first day on the job, caught on camera ending an interview by walking away and berated for his lack of neckwear. At least on his second day he found his top button and a tie to match his suit.
With the BBC covering the BBC's coverage of the BBC's crisis it would be easy to think that this was all about Auntie's management structure. But the investigations into Jimmy Savile and related allegations of sexual abuse continue and seem to spread by the day.
Along with votes for the Police and Crime Commissioners, by-elections are also taking place in Corby, Manchester and Cardiff. The Corby vote comes after Louise Mensch stepped down to spend more time on her own social network Menshn.
The Conservative campaign was sent into a spin with allegations of a pact between their campaign manager and an independent candidate running on an anti-wind farm platform. The Greenpeace undercover video suggested there was a co-ordinated effort to put the issue on the agenda, and while Theresa May slapped the campaign manager down as 'silly', Chris Heaton Harris denied any co-ordinated conspiracy.
A crime wave seems to have hit the House of Commons, and carried away on that wave was an MP's salad. Leicester MP Liz Kendall was clearly trying to keep in tuna with public opinion and be a have-a-go hero. Later she thought about giving lunch a miss altogether, maybe because according to the BBC the idea of three square meals is a pretty novel idea.