Shaun Wright should go, but, really, why would he want to?

by Kevin Meagher

Of course Shaun Wright won’t resign as the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, why would he? For starters, he’s earning 85k a year and surely knows his political career is shredded. Ed Miliband has no mechanism to remove him, and if he can withstand the personal brickbats, he may think he can hang on in until his term of office ends in 2016. After all, he’s directly-elected so it’s his mandate, even it came courtesy of just 14.9 per cent of the electorate.

Indeed, given the government’s original intention with police and crime commissioners was to encourage independents to stand, Wright may consider that, unencumbered from party allegiance, he is an embodiment of the true spirit of what an elected police and crime commissioner should be.

He may even delude himself that he is the best person to actually fix what he is, in part, responsible for breaking. He was, after all, Rotherham Council’s executive member for children’s services between 2005-2010 when the abuses laid bare in Alexis Jay’s report were first reported to council chiefs but no action was taken.

For South Yorkshire Police, dealing with a snaking line of scandals ranging from Hillsborough to the fact it tasers someone every two weeks, Wright’s predicament represents something of an opportunity. With the commissioner effectively emasculated, power drains away from him and back to the Chief Constable and senior officers.

For South Yorkshire Police, this is the natural order of things. This is the force, let us not forget, that instituted a cover-up so large and mendacious after the Hillsborough disaster that it stretched from the then Chief Constable to frontline officers, who were instructed to fabricate witness statements to lay culpability at the door of innocent Liverpool fans. If ever a police force needed the disinfectant of public accountability, it is South Yorkshire’s.

None of this is to argue that Wright shouldn’t resign, he should. He is a disgrace. A busted flush. An embarrassment. But he is, unfortunately, symptomatic of a municipal political class that takes the money for ostensibly making decisions, but pays no attention, or simply isn’t smart enough, to actually understand the implications of those decisions.

This explains why he didn’t act to protect young girls from gang rape when he should have done.

And it is because of that shaming failure that he should quit today.

Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Labour Uncut

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7 Responses to “Shaun Wright should go, but, really, why would he want to?”

  1. Tafia says:

    Somebody in Labour needs to start showing a but of actual leadership and order the immediate and very public expulsion of every Labour member involved and for life. They won’t though – it will be committees and meetings and the usual weak flim-flamery of the kind that actually caused this to begin with.

    Does Labour actually possess someone with balls big enough to do it? Come on, squeak up. If you can’t sort out one council then there is no way you can run a country.

    Labour has a unique opportunity here to force the issue about what routinely goes in in Pakistani communities – spousal abuse, child abuse, discrimination against women, vote-rigging, benefits abuse etc etc and demand the end to these communities deliberately isolating themselves and continuing to live the way they did in their parent country. You come here to be one of us and live like us and adopt our way of life as your own – other then that if you won’t then f*** off you aren’t welcome. And that needs ramming down the throats of community elders whether they like it or not.

    There is no excuse for this to have happened other than blatant and total cowardice.

  2. swatantra says:

    In the name of God, go!

  3. Rallan says:

    Labour will pay him off in secret, and he’ll resign (with full pension). Ed Miliband (and Unite) can’t have him around till 2016 reminding everyone what the Labour Party really stands for.

  4. swatantra says:

    Its always worries me when in some parts of the country we get virtually an all Party ‘state’ with Labour, or the Tories commanding obscene majorityies that there is virtually no opposition apart from one man and his dog. Thats when Labour has to e en garde against corruption arrogance and the devine right to rule mentallity that exists in such places. And thats when things start going drastically wrong. There is no corrective mechanism. We used to see that i such places as Liverpool Newcastle Lambeth and Hackney and Barking and Dagenham. The Tories also have their own Rotten Boroughs. There is something drastically wrong with an electoral system that delivers such deviancy; its unhealthy for democracy and does not serve the people at all well. Thats when the Party has to look tvery closely at the councils and individuals involved, and root out the rotten stuff, by the scruff of their necks. Either that or suffer the consequences of being culpably responsible too with those responsible.

  5. Ex labour says:

    Saw him interviewed on local TV last night. Usual excuses, “didn’t know”, “message didnt get to senior managment”, “police didnt react” …..basically “not my fault gov” . Can you now leave me alone to enjoy my £85K a year please.

    Typical thick, arrogant Labour councilor. Is it strange that when Labour apperatchiks get a nice little earner their sense of equality, fairness, concern for the poor suddenly disappears. Mind you the local Labour MP was the criminal McShane – enough said really ?

    Another women Labour MP appeared with the usual platitudes about the community coming together blah blah blah…..not one word about Labour’s role or the people affected.

    Shameful from Labour and absolutely no leadership from Moribund.

  6. bob says:

    Many Labour councils have had this problem Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford and Telford. If what has happened here is representative then God help us. A former colleague had adopted a girl from a very disadvantaged background, she was more than a handful, eventually she became pregnant drug abusing. The baby was in effect adopted after a long fight through the courts by the grandparents but not after so many appearances and proving social workers lied in court, for which they were censured. This was in a Northwestern metropolitan council area. Again there was an element of race involved.

    But back to the point. Rotherham CLP needs to be purged, in particular when councillors are accused of trying to bully and harass social workers into giving the addresses of vulnerable women in refuges. What else did these councillors try to influence, cover up or try to use racism accusations as a means of ensuring silence.

    Whilst it maybe the Mail, has this woman been ‘got’ at, remember that the Crown Prosecutor for the NW who demanded that the Rochdale case went ahead and it is rumoured that he received death threats. The previous head of the CPS in the NW did not take this case forward. I would be interested in what the GMP knew and did or more importantly did not do in these cases.

    McShane has admitted he had done little because he did not want to rock the boat, where were the councillors, maybe it is time to have a version of PR in local councils to stop one party state oligarchy’s. In the NW, Liverpool Manchester Knowsley Sefton are one party states. Strangely in Liverpool, the so-called Mayor, Anderson and the Chief exec Fitzgerald (ex Rotherham) are both on annual leave today as the local BBC Radio Station have been trying to get hold of them for comment.

    Wait until the next election this will be revisited and Labour in this town will hopefully be slaughtered at the polls.

  7. John says:

    He is just another greedy, useless Labour bastedo

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