Anthony Stansfeld Answers

Anthony Stansfeld has issued some interesting answers, to my questions on his views of police privatisation.

Subsequently to my earlier post and the revelation of @StansfeldPCC as the true Twitter account of of Anthony Stansfeld (the Conservative Party’s candidate for Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner), we have some answers to some of the questions I had raised.

I could ramble on about it, but it’s far simpler to just let Cllr Stansfeld do the talking. So here is the question I asked him, and his response(s):

Which is certainly food for thought, don’t you think?

At first glance, I have a few criticisms to make of this as a response:

  • I’m not entirely sure what company he does run, and indeed it seems there is some controversy on the matter (see here and here). Perhaps, whilst he’s on the subject, Cllr Stansfeld might like to answer those questions?
  • The “Liberal&Labour” shot at the opposition is probably not surprising, but a little disappointing. I’m not going to defend privatisation and PFI, as I believe under the last Labour government it was a short-sighted mistake. However, before Cllr Stansfeld gets too high and mighty, I’d ask him to remember who privatised the railways (a glorious success, Mrs Thatcher — I think not), and who invented PFI (Sir John Major, I’m looking at you). The blue pulpit from which he preaches is, if anything, bloodier than others on this count.

Now, I know many would disagree, but I endeavour not to be blindly partisan on this blog. And in that spirit, I think this is very encouraging. He specifically says “In the case of the Police…it is far better to keep things in house”. So, if he wins and if he holds to his word, then it seems like neither G4S or any of its fellow unsavoury private security firms will be gaining a foothold in the Thames Valley.

Additionally, I like his view of privatisation. It’s something I’ve long thought — if there is profit to be made, why not have the state make it itself, and plough the proceeds into improving the services. And that way, you don’t run the risk of private companies profiteering by dangerous cutting of corners.

So the fight is still on. There are questions of policy and other still to be answered, and a long way to the elections in November. But both of the main party candidates have now declared themselves against outsourcing police services. So anyone watching the humiliating mess that G4S have made of the Olympic security, and even a kids judo scheme, can breathe a (limited) sigh of relief.


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