The last day of the year has finally arrived and I really must find something to say, not least because I notice the comment thread on the last post has sprung into life. It's been a good break, but the novelty is definitely wearing a bit thin and I'm definitely missing the banter.
Lets start with the news that the former CEO of London, Heather Munro, follows a previous illustrious incumbent, one Paul Wilson, in being elevated to the Order of the British Empire. Idly googling around, I see she's also become a trustee of the Centre for Justice Innovation, a very strange Anglo-American outfit that seems to operate well below the radar:-
With a commitment to sharing learning between the US and UK, the Centre combines research and international evidence gathering with expert support to front-line practitioners to help build a more innovative and dynamic criminal justice system.She joins the likes of this anonymous chap, someone I've never heard of, but I get the very uneasy feeling it's his like that are pulling the strings behind the scene:-
Gordon Wasserman is an internationally recognised expert in policing and criminal justice.
From May 2010 to March 2012, Lord Wasserman was Advisor on Policing and Criminal Justice to Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May. In January 2011, he was appointed to the House of Lords as Lord Wasserman. He is a member of the Conservative Party in the Lords where he takes a special interest in policing and criminal justice matters.I notice they are holding a conference in February 'Better Courts 2015' in conjunction with the New Economics Foundation and given the current destruction of the Probation Service, this sort of guff gets me pretty angry:-
From 1983 to 1995, Lord Wasserman was Assistant Under Secretary of State for Police Science and Technology in the Home Office. In 1996 he moved to the USA as special adviser to the Police Commissioner of the NYPD. From 1998 to 2002, he was chief of staff of the Philadelphia Police Department. He subsequently set up his own consultancy practice and, in that capacity, provided strategic advice to a number of other US police departments, the US Federal Government as well as to US and UK companies serving the public safety market. Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Lord Wasserman came to England initially as a Rhodes Scholar.
People in trouble – whether it’s addiction, debt or homelessness – often find that their problems lead them to court. But, all too often, courts don’t have the tools to address those underlying issues. However, emerging evidence from around the world suggests that innovative new approaches can help courts to find more effective ways of handling the most difficult cases. By connecting to social services, holding people to account more effectively and ensuring that justice is seen to be done, courts can find long term solutions to complex problems.Of course 2015 is election year and I'm going to really enjoy seeing that weasel Nick Clegg getting his come-uppance and for no better reason than his two-timing abandonment of Probation. For those with long memories, it could potentially be as enjoyable as seeing Michael Portillo getting booted out of Enfield.
Just to allay any concerns, I fully intend to keep the blog running in order to catalogue the on-going TR omnishambles and closely examine the innovative new ideas that emerge from Probation's naive and blissfully ignorant new owners. It should prove interesting to say the least. I'd also like it to continue to be a lively platform for informed debate and hopefully mutual support in what will inevitably be another difficult and traumatic period for everyone that cares about Probation.
2014 has been a hell of a roller-coaster year for this blog. It took four years to get the first million hits, but the second million is likely to only be a few months away. Quite amazing when I reflect on the sheer power of words, bashed out on a laptop connected to the internet. No wonder politicians are getting jittery with so many people now publishing and communicating directly with each other and bypassing mainstream media which so often is seen to be falling down on the job.
So, here's to another lively, informative, thought-provoking and fun year! Please keep the info coming in and please feel free to make contact with ideas or text for guest blogs - they always get a good reception and it gives me a bit of a break.
Warm thanks go out to all my readers and contributors, as it's you that makes this blog what it is and makes it all so worthwhile. I'm always blown away by the erudition and wit that appears on a daily basis, even in such difficult times, and it continually reminds me why Probation is such a special family. I will be raising a glass to you all tonight.
Happy New Year!