Last Friday, June 12, I listened to the Rony Robinson Show on Radio Sheffield. The IPCC had just announced there would be no inquiry into police conduct at Orgreave in June 1984 and Rony’s socialist sympathies were bubbling just below the surface.
I sensed he was looking forward to three hours of point-scoring against the police.
Unfortunately for Rony, and unusually, the show’s producer had booked two guests of the day, who weren’t singing from the BBC’s hymn sheet.
No matter how much he tried to steer them into having an indignant rant over the IPCC’s decision, they declined to get wound up on the subject.
The next guest was Dr Alan Billings, PCC for South Yorkshire, ‘in the hot seat’ between 11 and 12. Rony’s anticipation was palpable, here was one of the architects of the ‘People’s Republic of South Yorkshire’ from the early Eighties. Surely they could manage to do a hatchet job on the police between them. Dr Billings didn’t take the bait. Rony’s disappointment was obvious, all he gave Dr Billings at the end of the hour’s grilling was a cursory ‘Thanks’.
For a man who doesn’t believe in the position of PCC, Dr Billings fills the post perfectly.
I didn’t vote for him last time round, but should he decide to stand again now that the post will not be abolished under the new government, he will definitely get my vote.