I have a confession to make. I haven't got anything much to say today and was therefore tempted not to post, however, I see that my last post has attracted nearly 60 comments and is becoming unwieldy to follow. So, please feel free to add any observations, links, quotes, thoughts or ideas regarding this TR omnishambles, or indeed anything, here. Your contributions will help ensure there's no blank space tomorrow.
Just before I close though, I did note a couple of things from yesterday's Sunday Times. Firstly Nick Herbert, the former Tory criminal justice minister doesn't seem enthused about the plans for probation at all. Writing about Police and Crime Commissioners he says:-
"Instead of creating larger probation areas and moving to national contracts for justice services such as electronic tagging, we should re-localise these services and put an elected official in charge, who would have a powerful incentive to break the cycle of local crime."
Secondly, I notice the business editor Dominic O'Connell had this to say ahead of the appearance of Serco and G4S for a grilling in front of Margaret Hodge and the Public Accounts Committee later this week:-
"Unless the government is going to retreat from outsourcing - and I would bet a large sum that it won't, regardless of the outcome of the next election - it needs a strong, competitive market. If Serco collapses, that market will be weakened. A test is coming next year with the planned part-privatisation of the probation service. It's already a controversial deal, with public sector unions campaigning hard to stop it. If Serco and G4S were forced to withdraw, only a couple of bidders would be left. It would be extremely difficult for the Ministry of Justice to go ahead with a credibly competitive tender."