Today's Mac cartoon in the Daily Mail is, for me, a cut out and keep. It epitomises everything that has gone wrong with policing in Britain - a copper running past thieves to nick an old lady who has wrongly parked. And it touches on a wider theme: this is why regard for the police has fallen in the last dozen years. Their priorities seem to have switched from those of the public to those of the bureaucratic elite.
This impression is, of course, deeply damaging and will be tough for the Tories to reverse. The plan for directly elected police chiefs, and Nick Herbert's seminal work on the subject, did seem to make sense to me. But not much has been said about it since. The Tories are, of course, in two minds about it. There is a significant chunk of opinion that fears it means letting go of controlling the police - so how, then, could the Tories be tough on law and order? I say they should stuck with Herbert's original plan, and learn to let go. But this indecision means yet another good Tory policy is not getting the committment it deserves.