Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Poetry Please

So, it would seem Mike Maiden has left the helm of the new NPS after just two months for personal reasons, but after nearly a month I notice there is sign of life over on the Napo forum pages at long last. I hope the author Anonexpo of the following will not mind me quoting their endeavours in full.

If (with apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

If you can fail to think when all about you
can see your errors and point them out to you,
If you trust yourself when professionals all doubt you, 
And fail to understand their doubting too;
If you can fail and not be tired by failing, 
And lie about, whilst still denying lies,
And being hated, spend your time denying, 
And don’t look good, nor be remotely wise: 

If you can’t reason, and make dogma your master; 
if you can’t think, and believe it makes you no less;
If you can cause both cock-up and disaster
And treat those two impostors as success;
If you can’t comprehend that what you’ve spoken
Show you and all your peers to be such fools,
If you ensure that which works gets broken,
Placing public protection in the hands of greedy fools.

If you can use statistics that are broken,
Claiming failure where we do not even work,
If you refuse to pilot in the open, 
And cover up the risks with PR murk,  
If you can be a most fascistic bully,   
Ignoring risks and the advice you get,  
Issuing demands that must be met fully, 
So civil servants act now, later to regret. 

If you can make one heap of all your earning,
Keep it, then risk others’ safety on a toss,
Then lose, and start again without learning,   
And yet deny the existence of your loss;
If you claim you’ll save the public money, 
Then give companies that rip us off free reign,
Yet not realise that it’s so sad it’s almost funny, 
That you still exalt greed and private gain.

If you can ask the questions that are needed,  
Yet fail to hear the answers that ensue, 
If you can make sure people don’t feel headed, 
Whilst pretending it is listening that you do, 
If you can fail to provide working systems,  
Using technology outdated by the ark, 
And toe the lines that come from big corporations,  
Despite the fact that they’re so off the mark 

If you can bullshit crowds and have no virtue, 
Walk all over us and have no common touch,
If everyone can see so clearly through you,  
If all staff you meet hate you so much,
If you can waste each unforgiving minute,
By talking much but still saying not one thing,
Then you’ll ruin probation and everything that’s in it, 
And much blood will be on your hands Mr Grayling.


  1. Were Mike Maiden the manager of Gillingham Football club and there was a rumour about his resignation there would be media reports - if there was any speculation about the resignation of a national football manager there would be media following him and asking questions of EVERYONE in the media.

    Probation only deals with the liberty of UK Subjects -it is being changed beyond recognition yet barely gets ANY media coverage and now not one Media outlet - according to Google and News Now is reporting the unexpected and untimely resignation (apparently) of the National Director - when the Ministry of Justice is amidst negotiations to wreck the structure of the good ship probation.

    This is an outrage

    Andrew Hatton

    1. Blimey even Gillingham?! Surely not?

    2. I think even resignation of Braintree Town FC manager would have BBC sports news coverage within 12 hours and they are a Conference Team - but doing very well -

      Andrew Hatton

    3. Were the Gills a stab in the dark or did you know about this story on the BBC website 13 Oct?

      ""It is with great regret that the club announces the contract of Martin Allen has been terminated with immediate effect"

      Serendipity? Or is there a mysterious power to Jim's Blog? Has Jim been hanging around with strangers at any crossroads lately?

  2. http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKBRE99E04R20131015?irpc=932

    Could the same concerns not be raised with MoJ outsourcing contracts? Too much all going to the same contractors?

  3. ADVICE by Email


    Teachers in the Greater London Area are taking industrial action on Thursday 17th October. This will result in many schools being closed and may cause problems for my members who have child care responsibilities.

    My advice to you is to take Emergency Care Leave in accordance with Section 6 of LPT's Leave Policy (see below)


    6.1 Employees with primary responsibility for the care of another person (e.g. a child, elderly or disabled person) may be granted emergency care leave by the line manager when normal care arrangements for that person fail.


    6.2 Emergency care leave may be granted to a maximum of five days’ paid leave in any 12 month period.

    6.3 The leave is to be used in emergencies where the employee is required to be absent from the workplace whilst arranging alternative care or cover for the person.

    6.4 Emergency care leave may be applicable when the dependant’s normal care arrangements have broken down because they are sick (e.g. a sick child will not be accepted to day care). Generally, it is anticipated that emergency care leave would only be for the first day of the dependant’s illness to allow them to source alternate care arrangements for the length of the illness. The granting of emergency care leave for more than one day will be for local determination taking into account all aspects of the absence.

    If this is not applicable then I would advise you to request TOIL. I know that many of you work excessive hours so this is the time to claim back some of that time. You should only feel obliged to take annual leave as a last resort.

    And for those of you who do not have child care responsibilities my advice to you is to resist being pressured into covering all your colleagues' work.

    We should support our colleagues in the teaching unions. Their struggles are not so very different from ours.

    Pat Waterman (Branch Chair)"

    Applies to members and non members throughout England and Wales who are Probation Trust employees.

    This is the bread and butter of Union work that ALL staff benefit from - whether or not they pay a subscription to a Trades Union

    Napo Membership is still open for new joiners as I presume is Unison's and the GMB's!

    Andrew Hatton

  4. It is official:-

    from Twitter

    @MoJPress 18m

    Mike Maiden steps down as director of the new National Probation Service for personal reasons, new arrangements to be announced shortly.

    - - - - - -

    Andrew Hatton

  5. Just read this and just because Bubb gets a mention and its my area I thought I'd highlight it.
    It may be of omnishambles interest too.


    1. Thanks for that - very interesting indeed. I think you'll find the arse refers to his performance as 'barnstorming' in his most recent blog post. Apparently it blew the socks off a 90 year-old woman in the audience 'best speech in years' she told him, and the rest of us of course. The man is an arrogant, self-centred tosser and a dreadful advert for the sector. Just my view of course.

  6. Here is the new bloke Colin Allars - I have tweeted a quote from him that comments on importance of localism for probation trust members.

    but here is a profile, MOJ wrote: -


    And the local quote from April 2011 here: -

    The current economic climate and the shift in focus from centralised delivery to local delivery with new partners from the private and third sectors requires some different skills to achieve success. Our appointments to the role of Trust Members will reflect the change in focus and differing skills needed in the future probation environment."

    In this : -

    Briefing Pack for Probation Trust Chairs


    Andrew Hatton

  7. With government contracts under review for private outsourcing companies, and with the threat of loosing considerable amounts of income, which together with the US shutdown, would knock more then a few pence from their share dividend, both Serco and G4S must be pretty upset at press releases this week. It is after all only Tuesday.
    Yesterday it was revealed that a Wrexham man remanded to the G4S run prison Altcourse on Merseyside had died less then 24 hours from entering their custody. G4S may not be at fault of course, but recent events will mean that many eyebrows will be raised.
    Today is Sercos turn for more concerning disclosures. Reported in the London Evening Standard today under the heading 'Woman prisoners 'face intimidation' an unannounced inspection has discovered Serco transporting men and women together in the same 'sweat boxes'. They have of course got to bleed the pennies out somehow, but as the article points out, the toilet arrangements on these vans are plastic bags. Unpleasent it may be for male prisoners, but females?
    Accross the board these two companies are prepared to cause suffering, humiliation, and crime to realise profit. Not only should the government terminate any existing contracts, and refuse bidding on any more, but the government itself should be held to account for allowing these outsourcing companies bring so much misery to peoples lives already.
    Bad news for outsourcing is good news for me.

    1. Link for above comment and should read 'woman prisoners exposed to abuse'.


  8. Jim,

    Noticed that the ' dynastic succession' as Dir of NPS was sealed with indecent haste!! ... I recall a number of meetings at which the new incumbent was present - previously he was the less than ' high profile' Dir of Probation/Contracted Services at Noms... & depressingly said not a jot to promote the wk of the PS!!....I endeavoured to get him to speak at GLB Napo meeting w/o reply...

    So he is no 'canary in the mine' about to forewarn PS of the O/shambles ahead.. but a biddable NomsMoJ appointee-

    See you at AGM ....

    Germinal they all cried!



  9. Thought this NOMS release from way back when might help ("meet the DOMS" - he was DOM of the SW region) - its not very inspiring. Apologies if its a duplicate of earlier entries - kit isn't working right today. There's also been a new MoJ damage limitation release regarding the DOPE situation.

    "Potted CV:
    Colin started work as a mechanical engineer at Rolls Royce, then moved to the Prison Service and undertook roles in technical, design and production management. Retrained as a food hygiene and safety officer and undertook policy work on market testing. Later became the Prison Service’s Head of Pay Policy then Head of Pay and Industrial Relations. Moved to the Home Office as Secretary to the Management Board and headed up the Performance and Strategy Unit. Switching across to a policy role in IND, led preparation of a White Paper and then delivery of the 2002 immigration legislation before becoming Head of Enforcement in IND. After undertaking the EU delivery role (see above), became a director in pre-agency NOMS then undertook various corporate service roles until becoming interim Director of Capacity in the new agency, his most recent role."

  10. That press release of 15 Oct 2013 from Jeremy Wright

    Colin Allars, the current director of probation within the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), has been chosen to take up the new role following Mike Maiden’s withdrawal after an initial appointment in August this year.

    Sarah Payne’s appointment as director of the NPS in Wales is unaffected and the two will work together to lead the new service. It is due to launch in April 2014 and tasked with protecting the public from 30,000 of the most dangerous offenders in England and Wales each year.

    The appointments mark a crucial step forward in the delivery of our wide ranging reforms to the way offenders are rehabilitated that will help tackle the country’s stubbornly high reoffending rates.

    The new directors will work alongside private and voluntary sector organisations who will be delivering rehabilitation services to low and medium risk offenders through 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies across England and Wales.
    Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said:

    “Unfortunately personal family reasons have meant that Mike Maiden is no longer able to take up this role. We wish him all the best.

    “I am delighted that Colin Allars has accepted the challenge to lead the NPS in England. His experience and passion for the service make him well qualified to lead this new and critical body.”

    Under radical changes to probation set out in May this year the NPS will work alongside a range of private and voluntary sector organisations replacing the existing 35 probation trusts. It will have overall responsibility for public protection, building upon the expertise and professionalism of the existing service.

    The NPS will also be charged with ensuring tough action is taken where lower level offenders breach the terms of their licence or community order, including missing appointments, refusing to engage with their rehabilitation or slipping back into drugs and alcohol abuse.
    Commenting on his appointment Colin Allars said:

    “Probation has a critical part to play in protecting the public and reducing reoffending. I look forward to taking on this important role, keeping communities safe from serious offenders.”
    Notes to editors:

    Colin Allars is currently the board director responsible for probation trusts and contracted services. He has experience of probation both as a former director of offender management in the South West and as an agency board member responsible for probation for the last two and a half years.
    Sarah Payne is currently the Chief Executive of the Wales Probation Trust and has previously worked as the Chief Executive of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) England & Wales (now Platform 51). She has also held posts in the Home Office and NOMS. Her new role will cover the management of both prisons and probation services in Wales.