The unions representing probation staff are not campaigning unions, they are more interested in securing membership numbers and focusing on day to day stuff. But come the big battles they are not fit for purpose. Grayling and MOJ researched how effective probation unions would be and came to the conclusion that they were not capable of combating TR. the opposition to TR and attacks on other aspects of the CJS have NOT been co ordinated, by unions involved, or the TUC or labour. I'm sure the civil servants who did the initial TR risk assessments will confirm that.
The SGM appears to be a farce and the decision to amend various napo constitution elements to facilitate and legitimise TR is already done. Why do you think the SGM was arranged for a Wednesday!!!! Not only work commitments but family commitments etc will see few ordinary members attend. The fight to prevent TR is all but over. The staff split has happened, Key senior managers either appointed or leaving under voluntary redundancy, Hundreds of years of professional experience gone never to come back, Logos for new CRCs have been produced by MOJ, New staff id's being prepared, Profiteers meeting trust senior managers, visiting trust buildings, shite systems being put in place, case allocation system, re escalation systems, etc etc.
Hundred of probation staff and MOJ staff taken off their normal duties to enable TR at the tax payers expense to simply hand over to profiteers - it's all but over, there is nothing in the pipeline from the unions, labour to ramp up opposition to TR. No doubt as part of the recriminations union reps will blame the inactivity and apathy of union members, which may well be the case, but the unions have failed to galvanise and motive probation workers. Plus ask yourself, why so many anonymous posts on here and elsewhere, that's a true indicator of worker fear, expressing opposition in today's workplace does bring with it recrimination-fact.
So there you have it, in 2 or 3 years time a London CP situation will come to light, due to whistle blowers, more than likely a new government will need to pick up the pieces of a smashed once proud, internationally acclaimed probation profession. But whatever happens what will be lost on the 1st June 2014 will never be put back together again. The profiteers and TR supporters will have filled their pockets to varying degrees, whilst highly trained, dedicated and loyal ex probation workers disappear into oblivion or are found stacking shelves in a supermarket. The future is bleak, the future is TR. unless... Happens!!!! Discuss.
What has become quite obvious to me, ignoring for one moment the fact that TR is an utter pile of shite and will quite quickly prove to be a complete disaster, is that we have become embroiled in a much bigger ideological battle. This is not just about the rights or wrongs of a daft idea to privatise probation. Everywhere you look there is a pernicious attack on all public services and every part of the post-war settlement that we have come to know as the Welfare State.
When pondering what the hell to write today, I was struck by yet another amazing piece of serendipity. Last night I found myself in the company of a small band of concerned citizens for the purpose of a private viewing of Ken Loach's epic antidote to today's travails 'The Spirit of '45'.
A wonderfully uplifting trip down memory lane, this 90 minute epic splendidly captures the joy and excitement as a nation, worn down by war, unequivocally decided to cast off the old class structure that perpetuated poverty and instead enthusiastically embrace socialism through public ownership and common purpose. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian writes:-
The events and attitudes revived in Ken Loach's documentary-homage are so exotically distant that the "the spirit of '45" might as well mean the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. It consists of archive clips from the postwar Attlee government that brought in the welfare state, and interviews with surviving members of that generation – not the high-ups, but the doctors, nurses, trade unionists and general citizen-consumers of the new statist consensus that survived until Margaret Thatcher arrived in 1979. There is perhaps something a bit patrician-nostalgist in Ken Loach's movie, but I found myself increasingly swept along by the calm simplicity of its presentation, which makes it clear that the NHS is our last stand, the last survivor of the Beveridge spirit; it arose from the war, and this film reminds us that admiring the health service has become a distinctively patriotic virtue. There is no shortage of medical corporations licking their lips at the rich pickings it represents — a mass of privatisable loot. There are corporations who wouldn't be averse to putting ex-ministers on the directors' board a few years down the line, corporations who are naturally delighted at every anti-NHS news story. The Loach '45 spirit may be mocked – yet it seems preferable to the 21st-century spirit of austerity and paradox in which we found money to nationalise failing banks, maintaining the spirit of what Milton Friedman called socialism for the rich, free enterprise for the poor.
I've heard a lot about this film; the standing ovations at cinema screenings; the public meetings it spawns; the tears that it provokes. It's all true. As we continue the fight to save the Probation Service, the National Health Service and every other Public Service, get to see this film and get prepared for the nonsense politicians will be spouting as we head for the General Election of 2015.