Friday, 24 October 2014

Taking Stock

I thought it was high time to have a bit of a reflection on things as it's been a manic couple of weeks, and likely to get more so as we lead up to the long-awaited announcement as to who has won the poisoned chalice that the former gold cup world-class probation service has become.

As I write this, we are now well into week 21 of the TR omnishambles and regular readers will know that each Sunday I publish a compendium of the most astonishing examples of how Chris Grayling has managed to destroy a 100 year-old proud, professional and well-functioning public service that was the envy of other nations. 

Belying the MoJ spin and bullshit that these are just 'teething problems', astonishing comments like these are routine:-
TR has turned Probation into a bloody shambles. I have never, in all of my days, seen an organisation destroyed by institutionalised incompetence the scale of that displayed by the MoJ during the last six months. I am ashamed to be associated with this farce. Deeply ashamed. I am surrounded by capable and experienced professionals who have been totally compromised by half-wits and fools. This is dangerous. This is stupidity on a national scale. A joke perpetuated by charlatans.
I'm with you. Ashamed, embarrassed, depressed and powerless. Actively looking for a different job. I do not want my name or reputation associated with this horror story. Two colleagues in tears today. These are professional, capable people. Reduced to this.
There are 20 weeks-worth of stuff like this, but every single one is anonymous. They have to be because draconian warnings are regularly issued by the MoJ and their CRC CEO puppets about any member of staff found to have been saying anything negative about this whole bloody mess. It's clear that if anyone is caught they will face disciplinary action and possible dismissal, just for posting something deemed as negative on any social media site. 

The MoJ has its sad bunch of minders tasked with trawling the internet on a daily basis, down in the dimly-lit Petty France bunker, looking for anything that might 'bring the service into disrepute'. Quite ironic when you think about it, as it's their boss Chris Grayling who has managed that all on his own. 

It's not just sad, it should be worrying to anyone who cares about our democracy that the government is able to get away with this, not least because the media in all its forms routinely seems to show zero interest in anything that comes from anonymous sources. In the absence of a martyr stepping forward as a sacrificial lamb, it looks like we can keep cataloguing mountains of this evidence 'til we're blue in the face - it simply doesn't get effectively reported. One of the biggest disasters to ever befall one of our key public services goes almost unnoticed because no names can be attached to the information coming in daily. I think that in itself is a bloody story!

Of course it's just a matter of time before some horrible disaster unfolds as a result of this mad and dangerous TR plan and there's still plenty of scope for 'whistleblowing', especially when or if the privateers are unwise enough to get involved in a line of business they know absolutely nothing about. I'm told the MoJ has been been blown away by the scale of the ignorance displayed by some of the bidders, and yet the whole mad scheme is still being 'spun' as a good news story. Bidders need to have in mind the recent example of Tesco and what has happened to the share price when a single 'whistleblower' told the truth about dodgy practices just in adding numbers up.    

Then there's been our little local difficulty with the union. It took a mammoth kick to get any bloody movement on a legal challenge, but at long last things are in train and despite the fear deliberately fostered by the MoJ, fortunately plenty of colleagues have been willing to come forward and give evidence as to the true horror of TR. 

Given the strength of feeling, Napo dare not dither any longer in relation to a legal challenge, or the union is history. I'm sure this message has finally registered with both the MoJ and bidders as well. We all owe a special vote of thanks to Joanna Hughes and colleagues for their ongoing intrepid and tenacious work behind the scenes in trying to make sure this fight is prosecuted with the utmost vigour. I have to put it in these terms because we continually hear plaintive messages such as this on twitter from our continuing ally Harry Fletcher:-
MOJ aiming to sign off in next 2/3 weeks, maybe less. MPs desperately need evidence of chaos to argue the speed is unsafe.
The question surely needs to be asked, why are MPs desperately needing evidence of chaos to argue the speed is unsafe, when Napo has an officer supposedly tasked with this very job? Why don't we hear more questions in Parliament about this whole sorry saga? Dame Ursula Brennan is appearing before the Justice Affairs Committee next Tuesday 28th October. Can we safely assume members of this key committee have been adequately briefed? 

We know the announcement regarding preferred bidders is due very soon, appropriately timed for Halloween week and 'trick or treat'. When it comes, we need to make sure there's a cacophony of noise lest anyone think we've 'got over' the split and are resigned to just playing along and quietly seeing this omnishambles through, destroying as it does our profession. It might be worth noting this, also from Harry, indicating there's likely to be a propaganda war being cunningly planned for next week:-
MoJ thought be be compiling list of influential twitters ie reality and truth. So twitters beware!!
Time to move things up a gear me thinks. 

24 comments:

  1. Do you mean a list of naughty people' who dare to tell the truth ?

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  2. If moj is reading this i would like to say you lot are a bunch of idiots.

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  3. Surely no coincidence that Panto Dame Brennan is due before JSC on the day preferred bidders to be announced.

    Trusted colleague has recently spent time in Petty France. Their view is that "no-one there has a clue about how probation works; nor do they particularly care. They operate on what they're told to do by their superiors. They have no idea what all the fuss is about - not because they hate probation but just because they generally have no idea what it is/does."

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  4. Trusted colleague has recently spent time in Petty France. Their view is that "no-one there has a clue about how probation works; nor do they particularly care. They operate on what they're told to do by their superiors. They have no idea what all the fuss is about - not because they hate probation but just because they generally have no idea what it is/does."

    Yes I've heard the same. What an epitaph!

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    Replies
    1. If they don't know how we work or what we do, then they will soon find out when things don't work and there's SFO's due to their incompetent systems. On this basis we're fucked because we can't fight "stupid".

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  5. So no idea and not interested in listening to the people who do the work, what a farce.

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  6. Thankyou for your tenacity in maintaining this blog day in day out. Without it I would have felt very alone. Its reassuring to hear that other areas are experiencing the daily chaos we have become accustomed to. Rather than management blogs that reassure us that everything is réinsertion.

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  7. Sorry about above It should read everything is fine. I have à kindle that writes in French.

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  8. No surprise if Sodexo are preferred bidders for BeNCH CRC. Management already spouting propaganda on their behalf.

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  9. @ Anon 08:50 Lol. I think your Kindle may have been right first time.

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  10. It's 4pm... Anyone heard anything ??

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    1. I've been waiting too, keep looking at the blog to see if anything has been posted.

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  11. Saying in the office that even after announcement cant tell anyone for several days due to legal reason for appeals against awards

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  12. Napo email in - to advise that in light of response received by napo today from treasury solicitor (on behalf of SoS), a very short further period of time is being given for SoS to respond to our substantive points.
    Also that SoS confirmed no crc contracts signed before 24 Nov.

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    1. Stick to your guns Napo. No need to give more time. MOJ are playing games with you.

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    2. Me thinks you are right.

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  13. will we still know preferred bidders on 28th October?
    If contracts signed on 24th November what date does that take us up to due diligence

    I hope SOS is not stalling and buying time. As far as I'm concerned he knew the information we required so what we received should have been crystal clear with no need for delays for clarification.
    why should be give him extra time to justify himself when he's not afforded us the same courtesy??

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  14. When were contracts going to be signed before ?

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    1. 17th November

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    2. I thought gave names of preferred bidders on 28th Oct and THEN had 5-8 weeks of "due diligence" ie when they check reality of what they bidding for so could pull out and then MoJ confirm whos got bid. Is that the same as signing as surely we don't that to take place? Is there any clear guidance anywhere?

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  15. this on facebook " Termination oasys completed by my colleague on an offender who had passed away.

    Percentage chance of reoffending in first 12 months 0%.

    Percentage chance of reoffending in 2 years..... 8%???"

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  16. which bright spark decided a final OASyS was needed on a client who had died?......What is the point?......Bobbyjoe

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    Replies
    1. For posterity ? A eulogy ? Who else is gonna care? Maybe the PO cared.

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