They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and this week is certainly proving the saying to be right. A major bank, recently on the verge of going bust, is found to be under the control of a coke-snorting dodgy Methodist minister who knows nothing about banking and the police regularly fiddle the crime figures in order to keep the government happy. 'Gadget where are you?!
We live in a country that has a proud history of public service of the highest standard, but we are witnessing it's corruption and destruction on a daily basis by politicians found to be mostly corrupt themselves only fairly recently.
How can it possibly be politically acceptable for our present government to be considering privatising yet more public services when we learn that G4S 'has difficulty knowing the difference between right and wrong?' I like the way the PAC Chair summed things up yesterday and expressed in a tweet I saw:-
Margaret Hodge summarises Serco evidence to #PAC: " So what you are saying is, 'we ripped you off in the past but we won't in the future'
We learn that G4S 'has not decided yet if they will bid for any of the probation contracts', but magnanimously they, along with Serco, Capita and Atos, 'would happily agree to greater transparency on government contracts', as reported here in the Guardian:-
Britain's four biggest outsourcing companies have agreed to respond to demands for greater transparency by allowing the government's auditors access to their books and giving greater leeway to freedom of information requests.
So, of the 17 PO/PSO staff in our team there are 7 off in various stages of collapse & exhaustion; that's not quite 300 cases to be fitted in on top of existing workloads. Our fallen colleagues are reassured wherever possible that they are not dumping on anyone by taking sick leave & that they need to be out of the office until they are deemed strong enough to return. Some of the strongest hearts and minds are being damaged by Grayling's pet project. Its sad. And unnecessary.
Most of those fallen colleagues have been open about being significantly affected by the uncertain future; the indecent haste of, paucity of information about, TR (and that includes NAPO); the unhelpful rumours being shared; the obvious lack of any understanding of what we do by the political clowns who created this unmitigated disaster; the promises of a cuck:oo-land mu:tual; the unrelenting travails of nDelusion, OMYgod-R and escalating caseloads.
It sort of puts that amazing patronising letter from the Chair of London Probation Trust to her staff into context doesn't it?
Finally, we may get to hear what's really going on in London with the Serco Community Payback contract, Grayling's flagship project that paves the way for the TR omnishambles:-
Please be advised that the BBC is now intending to broadcast their story about Community Payback in London this Thursday (21st). Reports are likely to appear from 4pm on Radio Five Live, followed by Newsnight on BBC2 at 10.30pm.
PS - Harry Fletcher is already hard at work on the Offender Rehabilitation Bill and tweets:-
2 amendments down tonight. No selloff before a pilot and Probation trusts should be the supervisors of less than 12 months
first amendment = risk register suggests foolhardy to roll out so pilot first.Written brief for MPs now. All to play for!