Friday, 30 May 2014


Karen Steele's photo.

From the new National Probation Service website:-
The government undertook the Transforming Rehabilitation consultation to understand where changes could be made. It found that reoffending rates are too high – which is detrimental to victims and communities and causes unnecessary costs to the taxpayer. To counteract this, we've begun to change how we deliver our services. 
Until 2014, probation services were run by 35 regional trusts. Now, we're maximising impact and efficiency by transforming this structure.
The work previously done by those trusts is being split. 21 private sector Community Rehabilitation Companies will manage low and medium-risk offenders, whilst high-risk cases remain in our care. We're committed to cutting crime through working with offenders and these changes are giving us the means to do so.



    Shame on all those slippery two faced politicians and wannabes who have brought this about. Your great ideas will create more crime, more victims... more customers for your corrupt friends. Well done.

  2. If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

  3. Liars, vandals, bullies, cheats -
    Another shameful, unnecessary death
    But the true extent of the tragedy has yet to unfold,
    The victim's voice will be heard
    In the fullness of time,
    And The murderers' deed is done.
    There is no whodunnit,
    No mystery surrounds the means
    Of ambush and torture to the death.
    A villainous act of cold, calculating cruelty.
    The neighbours knew; they heard the screams of despair
    But they pretended all was right.
    They never made that call,
    And now they bow their heads, too late.
    She was 107 years old, respected, loved even.
    And today she will be laid to rest.
    They say her spirit will never rest until they are caught,
    Until they are brought to justice.

    To be continued...

  4. Probation is dead
    Sold to the highest bidder
    Grayling pulled the plug

  5. The Government undertook the TR consultation to understand how many greedy bastards wanted a piece of the action. It found that grasping gits were everywhere - which is detrimental to victims and communities and causes unnecessary costs to the taxpayer, but hey, who cares? To capitalise on this we've forced through changes against all advice.

    Until 2014, probation services were run by 35 regional trusts. Now, we're ensuring misappropriation of public funds by defiling this structure.

    The work previously done by those trusts is being split. 21 inexperienced Community Rehabilitation Companies will try to give the impression that they can manage low and medium-risk offenders, whilst high-risk cases remain with a few poor souls who don't know what's hit them yet. We're committed to maximising profits whilst working with offenders is incidental, and these changes are giving us the means to do so.

    £££££ KER-CHING £££££

  6. Forgive the language - it is Kipling again:

    I have done mostly what most men do,
    And pushed it out of my mind:
    But I can't forget, if I wanted to,
    Four-feet trotting behind.

    Day after day, the whole day through
    Wherever my road inclined
    Four feet said, "I'm coming with you!"
    And trotted along behind.

    Now I must go by some other round,
    Which I shall never find
    Somewhere that does not carry the sound
    Of Four feet trotting behind.

    My Mum was a huge Kipling fan and I cannot tell you how many times I have read this little poem, it resonates across all kinds of human flaws, emotional trials and tribulations and in the main, we adjust, pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and do our best.

    I have always felt worthy, and in the main respected by clients, they have always taught me more than I could ever pass onto them, and I felt comforted that I worked for an organisation, I could count on and who shared my values and outlook. Today, I must go by some other round - to replace what is being ripped from my heart and my profession, sadly, I don't hear the sound of compassion, integrity, devotion, courage or dignity coming from the NPS and most certainly, it will never be found in the CRC's - so sorry, so completely overwhelmed with sadness today, as I have been for the last 18 months.

    To return to a previous analogy - (J Conrad - Heart of Darkness) The Horror! The Horror!.

  7. This is the end, beautiful friend
    This is the end, my only friend, the end
    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    I'll never look into your eyes, again

    Can you picture what will be, so limitless and free
    Desperately in need, of some, stranger's hand
    In a, desperate land

  8. DON"T MOURN ORGANISE (and protest)

    There is a demo outside the MoJ in Petty France today at 1 o'clock. Not content to do a spot of leafleting activists from Napo Greater London Branch are proceeding to the heart of darkness in a desperate attempt to enlighten Grayling. All are welcome and the media have been informed. Obviously the more people who attend the stronger the message will be. There might even be a few impromptu speeches. PCS members in the MoJ are keen to show their solidarity too.

  9. I for one, have had enough
    Enough of these sold out wretched ppl who have sold us out to the fat dogs, who are interested in nothing but selling
    Selling what u might ask. making profit from crime, from the less powerful the weakest. denied opportunities in society by a unique set of circumstances
    Just remember that could have been u.
    I believe in fate & what one does, comes around in it's own way to bite you back when you least expect it.
    Remember u sold us out for your own greed & your own personal gain. Yes that's your principle, based on nothing but greed and power.

    1. A sad day indeed sat at my desk wondering why it got to this. I AGREE WITH ANARCHIST PO it will come back and bite.
      Dino ��

    2. I Echo that. I am determined to keep fighting . I've been on leave this week but saddened to hear no one in my office went out demonstrating at lunchtime. I've been tweeting selfies etc all day on twitter to highlight the fight . Su mc did us proud on bbc Cornwall
      I've met kindred spirits on twitter and Facebook and I know I am not alone

  10. I just hope that Grayling & Co are crucified at the next general election for all the privatisation mess they've caused and more!


    1. Probation is a less well-known branch of our justice system, compared with, say, police and prisons, but that doesn't make it any less important. Hundreds of thousands of offenders each year are rehabilitated back into society by probation, which is crucial for the public's safety. That's why the government's half-baked, reckless plans to privatise and break up probation should worry us all.

      Over recent weeks, as we head towards the 1 June key milestone in the government's plans this weekend, I've heard some truly alarming reports on the chaos privatisation is causing: staff shortages caused by rocketing sickness levels and dozens of unfilled vacancies are crippling the service.

      As a result, a backlog of cases is building up, including offenders who have committed serious, violent crimes like domestic violence. Oversight of sex offenders has been handed to staff without the right expertise. High-risk cases aren't receiving sufficient supervision. Court reports are going unwritten. Senior management time has been sucked into restructuring, neglecting day-to-day duties rehabilitating offenders. New software designed to assess the risk that offenders pose to the public was rushed into service without adequate staff training. It is a shocking state of affairs, which could have catastrophic consequences for public safety.

      It needn't be like this. No one questions the need for the probation service to reform and that more needs to be done to keep our communities safe. It's a scandal that those coming out of jail on short sentences are being left to their own devices.

      We know that probation works best when the service has close relationships with the police, prisons, local authorities and health service, enabling resources to be pooled and priorities aligned around the specific circumstances of the offenders most at risk of reoffending.

      Instead, what we see from the government is ideologically fuelled, evidence-free codswallop. They're heading in precisely the opposite direction, replicating the failing work programme, outsourcing service delivery to a handful of large private providers while local probation trusts are abolished and long-established working relationships ripped apart. All of this is being done without any piloting or testing to see if it works and doesn't endanger the public.

      Experts – including the chief inspector of probation and even justice secretary Chris Grayling's own officials – have warned that the plans are a massive gamble. They fear that confusion caused by a lack of clear responsibility for those on probation will lead to dangerous offenders falling between two stools. What's more, the public will no longer be able to find out information on any failings and hold providers to account as most of probation will be out of scope of freedom of information laws.

      None of this worries Grayling. He boasts of trusting his gut instinct over evidence. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but I think the need to maintain public safety demands something more than a chemical signal given off by a mix of juices in the secretary of state's stomach.

      It's also unacceptable, in an election year, for Grayling to sign away a whole swath of the justice system on 10-year contracts. It's undemocratic, binding the next secretary of state, whoever they may be, to this policy and reducing their ability to choose an alternative route to reform.

      I am demanding the £6bn contracts aren't signed this late in the parliament. And if agreements are made they must include get-out clauses to allow a change of government to walk away free of financial penalty. If contracts remain unsigned at the next election – and Labour wins – I will bin them. If anything is in place by May 2015, I will get the best legal minds to find all possible ways to get out of them.

    2. I am demanding the £6bn contracts aren't signed this late in the parliament. And if agreements are made they must include get-out clauses to allow a change of government to walk away free of financial penalty. If contracts remain unsigned at the next election – and Labour wins – I will bin them. If anything is in place by May 2015, I will get the best legal minds to find all possible ways to get out of them.

      Labour's alternative vision builds on strong, local, publicly run probation trusts, close to those they're supervising. Trusts have told me they'd take on supervising short-sentence prisoners within existing budgets. This makes a mockery of government claims that privatisation is necessary to free up resources to cope with prisoners serving less than 12 months.

      We would set tough new targets to cut reoffending and have zero tolerance of failure. Trusts would be free to decide how to meet these targets, capturing the expertise and innovation of local charities and companies without the need for wholesale privatisation. Real change happens when the people responsible on the ground are empowered, not micromanaged from Whitehall.

      The probation service has a fundamental role in keeping our communities safe. Yes, it can do better but instead of gambling with public safety, we must build on what works.

      Sadiq Khan

    3. Probation Service Privatisation Protests

      Friday, May 30, 2014GMB Members In 30th May Lunchtime Protests Over Break Up And Privatisation Of Probation ServiceReport earlier this month featured a litany of very poor performance in another part of the public sector by some of the firms seeking to take over the 21 new probation companies says GMB.Members of GMB, NAPO and UNISON employed in the Probation Service are staging public protests at lunchtime today (30th May) over government’s proposals to break up the service and turn it over to profit-making private companies.35 local Probation Trusts will be abolished next week. Staff will be transferred to either the new centralised National Probation Service or one of 21 government-owned Community Rehabilitation Companies. These government-owned companies will be sold off to the private sector later this year.Sharon Holder, GMB National Officer said,“The pace of transforming probation services and contracting out leaves many aspects unclear and still ill informed. GMB remains concerned that this will have a direct impact on both services and staff and have yet to be properly addressed.GMB fully support today’s protest and the campaign will undoubtedly continue until the government answer the many questions on the future of the service.Earlier this month the Howard League for Penal Reform published a report, titled “Corporate Crime? A dossier on the failure of privatisation in the criminal justice system” featured a litany of very poor performance in another part of the public sector by some firms seeking to take over the 21 new probation companies.It showed as follows:How unlawful restraint contributed to the death of a 14-year-old boy in a secure training centre run by Serco.How a Serco children's prison became the most violent jail in England and Wales, accounting for one in 15 of assaults in the entire prison system.How a woman in a Sodexo prison was allegedly forced to clean her cell after miscarrying.How a woman was held for five years in solitary confinement in a Sodexo prison.How roads had to be dug up after a £900million GEOAmey contract involved the purchase of prison vans that were too big to get into court premises.How a GEOAmey prison van embarked on a 96-mile trip to drive a prisoner 50 yards because of a lack of suitable vehicles in the vicinity.That is why GMB plans to continue to campaign to protect the new government owned probation companies from privatisation.”EndsContact: Sharon Holder, GMB national Officer on 07713 508725 or GMB Press Office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880 

  12. RIP INDEED. More red tape, more managerialism, more useless assessments. If only the public knew the truth about what these cretinous so called politicians were doing!!

  13. Feels like a death, so very very sad

  14. This is a very sad day indeed. Good colleagues who have contributed to the aims and objectives of the Probation are now split into two; with those within the NPS considered to be superior than those at the CRC. Napo asked us to strike, not once but twice - what outcome did we achieve? Nothing! Apart from showing members how weak and ill-prepared Napo is for the fight! Lack of direction and leadership from the top table. Ian Lawrence's message to members seems yet again weak. It feels like the grassroots are doing much more than National.

  15. A jolly and satirical ditty plagiarised by my own hand.

    Supervising offenders' across the universe,
    On the Supervision Enterprise under Captain Chris.
    Supervising naughty boys' across the universe,
    Only going forward 'cause we can't find reverse.

    Mr Khan, report.

    There's privateers on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow;
    there's privateers on the starboard bow, starboard bow, Jim.

    Analysis, Mr.Khan.

    It's probation, Chris, but not as we know it, not as we know it, not as we know it;
    it's probation, Chris, but not as we know it, not as we know it, Captain.

    There's the MOJ on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow;
    there's the MOJ on the starboard bow, starboard bow, Jim.

    Medical update, Dr. McPeeoh!.

    It's worse than that, it's dead, Chris, dead, Chris, dead, Chris;
    it's worse than that, it's dead, Chris, dead, Chris, dead.

    It's probation, Chris, but not as we know it, not as we know it, not as we know it;
    it's probation, Chris,but not as we know it, not as we know it, Captain.

    Starship Captain, Chris Tiberius Grayling:

    Ah! We come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill;
    we come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, men.

    Mr Khan.

    There's privateers on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow;
    there's G4S on the starboard bow, scrape 'em off, Chris.

    DR. Mc Peeoh!!

    Och, #!*& Jimmy.

    It's worse than that, it's privatised, Jim.

    Bridge to engine room, warp factor 9.

    Och, if you give it any more she'll blow, Cap'n!

    Tis how I see it. RIP!!

  16. I hadn't cried until I read 'If' and I haven't stopped since. Yesterday was my last day at work and I got 3 bottles of wine, (one from our CO and Chair given to everyone - nice thought) flowers, chocolates and the book '50 Shades of Grey' re-covered with Grayling's face and re-titled '50 Shades of Grayling'! I loved my career as a Probation Officer and told everyone at work that i will come back when it's public again. I know some of you have offered to help and I will need help to carry on fighting and I will not give up, but for now i just can't stop crying.

    1. Joanna you're not alone xxx

    2. I'm crying too.
      Joanna I will help you anyway I can

  17. The demise of Probation is part of the demise of social democracy and it needs to be seen this way. Britain like America has financialised its economy, casino banking, derivative trading and insurance are over 40% of the economy. We live from bubble to bubble and we don't make things on any significant scale any more. Neo-liberalism, privatisation and the rule of the market is the dogma of the elite. What this means politically is that the class forces of the rich have almost total power. Not until this changes will things start to get better. We are in the 1930s again society is starting to divide UKIP on the right and Left Unity on the left. I think what happens next in Greece may be very important to what happens here in the next few years because they are much further down the road that we are. Hold on people because the next 20 years is going to be a very rocky ride; Grayling and his ilk are indeed on the dark side. There is no hiding place now might as well start to fight.


  18. Whilst we can not hold back the tide, it is not too late to stop it. The resistance starts here.

    I swear now by all that is precious, I will do everything in my power to cost this incoming showers of shits, whoever it will be, more than they ever dreamt was possible.

    Don't get mad, get even!!!

    1. Well its going to get harder now 2:26 today a letter in an e mail instructions of half time JNCC limit in line with national statement on facility too easily agreed by Napo so that wont help local reps cause. Followed by their wishes to see NAPO duties confined to Mon and Fri . Well you will all appreciate the sentiments I am thinking but a nice weekend spoiler and just the sort of thing I needed to refuel some energy to fight harder. So that's the game they want to play !!! I will keep you posted on the arguments to come.

    2. That is disgusting .. And I bet the directive came from those who were quite ok with TR as their nests were can't limit napo work two Monday and Friday . What about us who work part time. People need representing when they need representing .
      I am flaming well
      Going to fight this

  19. RIP Public Sector Probation, we will never see your like again......

  20. Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
    Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
    Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
    The short and simple annals of the poor.


    1. THE future of the Probation Service might not be as bleak as some say, North Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner believes.

      The privatisation of probation work with offenders is set to begin next month with private companies to be made responsible for overseeing all but the most difficult to handle offenders during sentence.

      Speaking at the Safer York Partnership Crime Summit in April, Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said the changes "will either work very well or very badly".

      This week, Julia Mulligan said "the status quo was simply not satisfactory", as almost 25 per cent of offenders in England and Wales went on to re-offend within a year of release, and she believed the new system would be an improvement on the current one.

      She said: "One of the important features of the new system is that offenders released from jail for sentences of under 12 months will now be supervised, whereas before they were not. In addition, Police and Crime Commissioners and local police forces are being offered significant input into the new system and helping ensure local needs are met.

      This week, Margaret Hodge, from the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said the changes "carry significant risks", "has not been fully piloted", and no contingency plans had been set out in case a private firm fails or pulls out of a contract.

      She said: "The scale, complexity and pace of the changes are very challenging and the MoJ’s extremely poor track record of contracting out gives rise to particular concern."

      Mrs Mulligan said she did not recognise the picture painted by those opposed to the plan, and had met with the Ministry of Justice and the new head of local probation.

      She said: "I am confident that whilst there will undoubtedly be issues, our area is not experiencing problems on the scale described.

      "What's more, there is a real opportunity for PCCs to make sure that local services are tailored to local needs.”

    2. Might do well or go very bad?
      Fingers crossed then- and thats a terrible comment from a PCC by the way.

    3. oh really ? Proves what she knows N Yorks in chaos...

    4. Interesting from a North Yorkshire perspective...No surprise from the PCC through public comments but behind that is the realisation that far from having a relationship with the now departing Pete Brown from YNY Trust she will now have to vie for the attention of the CRC lead Martyn Davies - who will , without doubt have his hands full with three PCC all demanding their part of the world be well serviced when in fact the focus will undoubtedly be on Hull (25% of the CRC crime statistics) and not on sleepy Skipton, Whitby, Sleaford and many many many other places in this vast area......More surprising is the comment from the highly respected Tim Madgwick , he is calling it 50/50 which for a very senior police officer is almost like saying "this crock of shite has no chance of flying" or similar!

      And the comment "What's more, there is a real opportunity for PCCs to make sure that local services are tailored to local needs.” read into that we will have to fight tooth and nail to make sure this crock of shite works or I am out on my ear.......

    5. A 50/50 risk assessment? The same accuracy as tossing a coin then. Clearly well thought through by NOMS/MoJ.

  22. Joanna Hughes30 May 2014 16:56 - I have never met you but i wanted you to know that you have been an inspiration to many. your courage and conviction is absolute, water tight. We will continue the fight until probation is together again.

    1. I second that. Joanna you are absolutely brill, I have already offered to help in any way that I can, you have my email and I again offer my support to help you in this fight. You are not alone.

  23. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
    Mark 8:36
    To all Probation staff of any faith or none, let us remember our values

  24. Last day as a proper Probation Officer (I'm off to the CRC) and I did it in perfect Friday afternoon style. 3.30 appointment arrived and after an hour of very disturbing conversation; I was extremely concerned about her. She agreed that a referral to the Vulnerable Adults team would be a good thing. I let her go and she told me how much she trusted me. Rang the Social Services Safeguarding Team at 4.30 and apologised for doing this to them! The duty officer had to turn her computer back on (she was on her way home), agreed with the urgency of the situation and sent it straight to the Emergency Duty Team. At 4.55pm I got a call from a Social Worker rejecting the referral, telling me to send the client to our local Drugs Agency or if it was really worrying to contact the police. At 5.05pm I rang the police. Then I went home. I might have saved that young woman's life this weekend. I'm proud to be a Probation Officer.

    1. Though it always happens at the end of a Friday and always when you want to be somewhere urgently ....This is the most FULFILLING part of being a PO - I have lost count of the many times I ring home to say I will be late home 'cos I have something important to finish ...there is never a question from home when this happens 'cos they know it is important ....I hope we don't have a culture develop of passing this type of issue onto call centres

  25. Off topic, just read this article, about disgusting G4S-

    Bill Gates has sold off some of his shares in controversial British security giant G4S after the billionaire computer software magnate was criticised for his investment.

    The G4S shares were bought in June 2013 through the philanthropic organisation he runs with his wife, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    The investment was in more than 3% of company. But a filing at the London Stock Exchange on 28 May, 2014, shows that this has now been brought down to below 3%.

    Gates is under fire from campaigners over G4S's work in the Israeli prison system.

    It provides security systems to some of Israel's prisons under a contract signed with the Middle East state's government in 2007.

    Campaign group War on Want argues that G4S is complicit in Israel's taking of political prisoners.

    They claim that the transfer of prisoners from occupied Palestinian territories to prisons elsewhere in Israel is in breach of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

    And Israel is accused of holding children in its prisons as well as torturing incarcerated Palestinians, both of which would also breach international law.

    For these reasons Gates was attacked for his charitable foundation's investments in G4S.

    1. Sorry forgot to add that our Government wants to sell contracts to the likes of these companies. I have no words to describe these despicable people. I hope you are reading this Grayling these are the sorts of firms you are selling our beloved Probation Service to. What does this say about you, you are complicit in the degradation and torture of human beings, as long as you and your chums are making money.

    2. I remember a time when probation was very active on human rights issues. I recall how people were encouraged to actively campaign on global political issues. Makes me wonder whatever happened to probation over the years.

    3. Indeed.During the miners' strike my house phone was tapped.Confirmed by a mate who worked for BT at the time.If you went on a prison visit up the M1 the car would usually stopped and searched at road block by police.Two POs in a car.Bound to look didgy!

    4. Meant dodgy.Curse of auto spell

  26. One of our colleagues fell last night. A heart attack, we were told. There are no adequate words.

    1. Oh no I am so very sorry

    2. Very sorry to hear that and sincerely hope for a speedy recovery. Keep us posted.

    3. Maybe I had been too subtle with reference to 'the fallen'. Our colleague is dead.

  27. I dedicate this short piece to the officers of the probation service I used to know and who changed my life forever. And I aim it squarely and unapologeticaly at the politicos and Whitehall wonks who want to "improve" the Probation Service and get "tough" on crime, but who have tangibly demonstrated their evidenced folly.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with the Probation Service of the 70s and 80s.

    I joined the Probation Service (The Probation and After Care Service it was then-take note) and was in the job until 1998, when I moved on to a different vocation. I had done a student placement with an area office in '78 and felt compelled to join by the example of many older, astoundingly compassionate but extremely tough officers I met. (Some had fought in WW2, one had been a Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot). There were ex-cops, all sorts of people, from all walks of life. They were the opposite of macho, far too genuinely strong to waste their energies on such insecure posturing. Male and female, there were some formidable characters.

    One ex-submariner PO who was one of the kindest and most competent officers I have ever met had such a tough reputation with the local criminal fraternity that a parolee who missed a single appointment though oversleeping handed himself in to the police that very evening as he was so worried what his PO would do! All true.

    We knew what it meant to get under the skin of our clients and help them to face their real fears. I recall a man with an appalling record of violence, glassing, knee-cappings etc crying like a baby in my office when we really got to the truth behind his rage. I know of many many serious serial offenders who we helped to stop offending through this kind of |down, dirty and dangerous" work. Get tough? Get real Mr Grayling.

    We all had a proportion of our caseload classed as "VPAC". That's "Voluntary Prison After-Care". We were there for anyone who came out of prison, and did a lot of intensive and utterly knackering work resettling people. No extra resources, it got in the way of other things, but we were of a mindset that I now understand had more in common with the armed forces background of my older colleagues than any Whitehall wonk will ever understand. That 'we just do it' attitude is the same one we saw so poignantly illustrated during the Olympics security debacle, when the British Army, many just back from Afghanistan were detailed to cancel their leave and cover for G4S's risible cock-up. Its called "public service". You do it because it is right, and it needs doing, not because it is profitable, convenient, cheap or glamorous.

    So all this vacuous verbiage and "airy persiflage" about the 12 month sentence cohort is so much redundant and historically ignorant claptrap. Truth is, we used to do it. They stopped us doing it. Now they are abolishing us because we aren't doing it. Even though we said we would. Got that? No, me neither...

    All this just goes to show that Shakespeare's description of the wannabe wonk is so apt. The words of the villainous Iago in the opening scenes of Othello describe Grayling and his accolytes in a way I could never hope to improve upon:

    "Mere prattle without practice
    Is all his soldiership..."

    Last month, The Guardian reported a quotation from an inmate at HMP Oakwood who said "It's a sh*t-hole staffed by kids who should be stacking shelves". Soon the CRC's I am convinced will increasingly see staff of a similarly inappropriate level of skill and experience filling the ranks. Well, Mr Grayling, who would you rather have dealing with the burglars, robbers and domestic violence perpetrators of our land-someone whose attitude and presence of mind was shaped fighting to the death for the freedoms we see you and your ilk eroding on a daily basis, or the kid from the Tesco trolley team...?

    Now I know it's a close call, and call me "Mr Pickie" if you like, but on balance...

    1. I have taken the liberty of re-publishing.



  28. Replies
    1. I am anon 05:49. Thank you.