Friday, 8 May 2015

Election Reflections

What another amazing election! Scotland virtually declaring UDI and in the process proving the claim that voting SNP would ensure we'd get another Conservative government. But at least Nicola Sturgeon's scope for causing mischief at Westminster has been reduced somewhat by the emerging national picture.

It's not just Nick Clegg who is likely to fall on his sword, but Ed Miliband as well with the news that the loathesome Ed Balls has been ousted by just 422 votes, thus serving to confirm how bad things have been for Labour. It looks like it was the UKIP vote that enabled the Tory to oust him and his wife Yvette Cooper could well become the next leader, yet another Labour politician I simply can't abide.  

It does make you wonder about many of your fellow citizens when after five years of pernicious 'nasty party' policies, David Cameron looks almost certain to return, but this time with a majority, albeit a very slim one. It will be fun though seeing how he deals with his troublesome back-benchers. It also makes you wonder if Ed's brother might not have been a better bet after all?

Thank goodness we've seen the back of TR apologist Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg has certainly been suitably humiliated. The Liberal Democrats screwed up big time, setting back the cause of Electoral Reform when they had the chance, actively promoting the destruction of a successful public service and becoming utterly seduced by the trappings of power and as a result they paid the price. 

It's great to see the dreadful George Galloway get his marching orders from Bradford, but in contrast really pleasing to see Caroline Lucas holding on to Brighton. The Greens did well, as did UKIP, but that just serves to highlight how the 'first past the post' system must go as it effectively disenfranchises so many people. UKIP getting 3.5 million votes, and the Greens 1 million but only 1 MP each, is not democracy in my book. 

It looks like Nigel Farage is unlikely to get a seat in Westminster and therefore if he's true to his word he will be standing down from leading UKIP and despite Boris Johnson winning comfortably, his aim of becoming the next Tory leader will be on hold for some time. It will be fun seeing him laying down in front of the bulldozers with his Labour opponent when a third runway at Heathrow becomes government policy!        

55 comments:

  1. Lets not forget to thank the electorate for ousting Esther McVey too.

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    1. yeah, she annoys the hell out f me too!

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  2. I was a PO from 2007 - 2015. I didnt leave 'because' of TR but I found a job elsewhere and was feeling tired of how my PO life had become. I feel saddened by the TR mess. So I feel a special happiness this morning that Simon Hughes especially lost his seat and that the LD party in general have been trashed.

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  3. and didn't we get kicked when we were down by being presented with C G's smug face, telling the country that he was looking forward to seeing his party 'finish the job that we have started...' And repeated on the car radio this morning,

    F.....k the poor, the disabled, the vulnerable, the unemployed. and shame on all those who didn't give a toss.. god help us all.

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  4. Just cant help yourself, can you? The SNP had nothing to do with you ending up with a tory govt. England did that all on its own. Check the figures- labour could have won every seat in scotland and they would still have lost this election. Saor Alba.

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  5. I agree God help us all

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  6. Seems like LibDems have been blamed and almost wiped out because they were Tory lap dogs and where Probation split was concerned, they took a turn at holding the dog lead.

    I just hope we do not get the social consequences I fear as a consequence of a vital part of the jigsaw of social order being shattered by the people with ultimate responsibility to maintain the peace of the nation.

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  7. The only consolation I can think of is that the Tories will have to pick up the almighty Probation mess in the future!

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  8. Feeling depressed no hope for us now.

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  9. GE2015 Result response from #Napo Gen Sec - Getting what you deserve, or not : -

    https://t.co/5zvp2P95sV

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  10. I'm gutted and devastated and I've lost my labour mp to a Tory

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  11. Mr grayling wants to stay in the moj to fck it up more

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    1. He can't fck ut up anymore. It's totally fcked up as it is.

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    2. Wonder how many Pimlico flats he'll be able to syphon off during this parlimentry term?

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    3. Yes it is in the Epsom Guardian - HEADLINE: -

      " BREAKING NEWSChris Grayling makes pitch to continue as justice secretary after increasing vote in Epsom and Ewell"

      For article : -

      http://www.epsomguardian.co.uk/news/12939107.Chris_Grayling_makes_pitch_to_continue_as_justice_secretary_after_increasing_vote_in_Epsom_and_Ewell/

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    4. BBC TV announced about 10 or 15 minutes ago that Cameron is expected to make main ministerial announcements during the next hour.

      it is said first news likely to come via Twitter!

      https://twitter.com/Number10gov

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  12. May god help us all

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    1. I think the Tories have privatised religion. He'll help you, but there will be a small 'admin' fee.

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  13. On a positive note - it least Chris Grayling will have to deal with the shit that's he's created.

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  14. He'll have to have his nose well rubbed in it though else going on his past behaviour he probably won't notice the smell! (or he's so used to it he can ignore it...'what mess? its all working fine '..)

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  15. Vince cable, Simon Hughes, (dopy) Danny Alexander and Nick Clegg

    Bye Bye you f*ch ups. Serve you right hypocrites.

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  16. Interesting twitter account

    https://twitter.com/LibDemDeposits

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  17. Grayling will stay on a a he is an asset to the Tories. NPS budget cuts will be next and they will be BIG

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  18. Fecking hell! Cameroon was not even in power for one hour before we hand 3 more people on the dole!!!! Funnily enough Top Gear are looking for new presenter. Farage will likely be Clarkson.

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  19. http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/social-worker-suspended-failing-respond-9220880

    really interesting read. this could happen to any probation worker - sudden, drastic, increased workload; lack of proper 1 - 1 supervision; I think its a cheek they used his illness against him - our sickness policies are so draconian I can understand anyone not wanting to disclose information that could be used against them by an unsympathetic manager.

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    1. Wow that makes interesting reading......where are the sanctions for management? Who picks up when someone is not coping? Think about ours positions.....I would urge everyone to read this and reflect on our positions now.

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    2. jim can you expand this?

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    3. A social worker was suspended by a health watchdog for failing to respond to child protection concerns while working for Sefton council.

      Martin Joseph Sands has been handed a 12 month suspension from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register on misconduct grounds following a conduct and competence committee hearing.

      The panel heard that an investigation took place in December 2012 following an allegation that Sands had failed to make statutory visits within required timescales and had falsified records relating to those visits while working within children’s social care at Sefton council, having qualified as a social worker in 2011.

      At a subsequent disciplinary hearing held in March 2013, he was given a first written warning.

      In May 2013, an investigation into further allegations against Sands took place over his failure to make statutory visits to service users, failure to progress cases and falsifying records.

      He was dismissed from his position with Sefton council following a second disciplinary hearing held in November 2013.

      The panel found proved a number of allegations, including that Sands:

      - Failed to make a referral for a child who told him she was self-harming.

      - Failed to make visits to four children on dates between 2012 and 2013.

      - Did not carry out risk assessments for a child between June 25, 2012 and around May 15, 2013.

      - Failed to respond to child protection and/or welfare concerns by not carrying out home visits in respect of three families between February 2012 and May 2013.

      - Deliberately recorded false information over Children In Need plans when meetings had not taken place.

      Sands did not attend the HCPC panel hearing, but told the committee in an email that he was now working outside the profession and wished his name to be removed from the HCPC register.

      In mitigation, the panel said there was evidence of “serious management failings in relation to monitoring and supervision of his caseload”.

      The committee said there was evidence of a significant and sudden increase in his workload leading up to summer 2012, and said he was recorded as having 51 cases, “which was recognised as being excessive”.

      Sands was said to have qualified relatively recently and the panel stated it appeared he had received “little or no close scrutiny or supervision”.

      He had also been assaulted by a service user’s relative in 2011, with evidence he had suffered significant health problems as a result, and had assisted Sefton council with its investigation and made admissions from the outset.

      But the panel found that he had displayed a lack of insight into the effect his health had on his professional practice at the time, and failed to bring to the department’s attention the needs of the children and families in his care.

      It added that he had not sought appropriate support from his manager or his employer’s occupational health department and concluded that, while his misconduct had taken place in the context of significant workload pressures and personal difficulties, it was serious enough to warrant a suspension order.

      Panel chair Rachel O’Connell said: “The misconduct was serious, occurring as it did across a range of child care cases and over a wide period of time.

      “Whilst Mr Sands has made admissions and expressed remorse for his former behaviour, there is no evidence that he has taken steps to address that behaviour and there is, therefore, a likelihood of a repetition.”

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  20. Interesting to see people happily picking up the increasing number of additional paid reports. Also interesting to watch as they do this in core hours.

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  21. Come on, Sodexo. Hurry up & get Chris in a headlock, sort out how you're going to honour the redundancy agreements enshrined in the CRC contracts, get the slicing & dicing over & done with, get shot of them owld moaning minnies & let the dog see the rabbit. The quicker you act the quicker the CRC can thrive. You've now got the government you need to help you make this profitable. You've got the opportunity to heave the nay-sayers overboard at relatively modest cost. The longer you let them hang around the greater risk they might cost you more. Make the incision, clean the wound; physician heal thyself. Its time for a new paradigm in managing social dysfunction. Plenty of us want to work in CRCs. Let those that don't go; let them join the NPS or social services or Tesco. I want to be surrounded by enthusiasm & energy & like-minded colleagues, not miserable sods who whinge about "the good old days"; "it was never like that in my day"; "we wouldn't do that".

    So come on!! Lets make those changes and get this CRC show moving!!!

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    1. Epsom Guardian

      "Mr Grayling, who served as Justice Secretary in the last government, said he is "happy to do whatever David Cameron asks me to do" if a role in the Cabinet is offered to him again.

      But he said taking control of the country's justice system - a role for which he has received widespread criticism from the legal profession - would be his "main choice".

      “I would be very happy to be Justice Secretary. Lot of work still to do," he added.

      “My main choice would be to stay there. I’ve enjoyed it.”

      Earlier in the evening, Mr Grayling said he was "genuinely sorry" that Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Simon Hughes lost his Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat to Labour after 32 years, adding the pair had "worked well together".

      Speaking about the mood surrounding the general election, he said: "I have been all over the country with this campaign and I come away with the overriding sense that we are making a difference.

      "If you are a more prosperous place you can afford to provide better public services, education, health, the support for the needy and the things you need to be able to do.

      "We want to continue to make Britain a better place, that’s what we’re all in politics for.""

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    2. Anon at 7.09. You are clearly a company man ( or woman). I am thrilled for you. The problem is that there are huge holes in the operating models. We are duty bound to draw attention to them. To wait until they reveal themselves is negligent.

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    3. i'm anon07:09 - No 'operating model' has ever been without flaws. Radical non-intervention, nothing works, what works, prison works, we are an enforcement agency, we are the world, Eithne's merry dance, dances with wolves, noms, nimbys, desistance, dyspepsia, etc etc.

      Targets for Change is maybe the only piece of practice that has proved its worth across the 20th & 21st centuries. That was castigated when launched, but it has proved effective & durable.

      So, duty bound at 08:03, let Sodexo & the CRCs worry about the holes in their models. Either work with the changes or retire to your allotment. Neither you nor any of the whiney "its not right" brigade have made any significant lasting difference to the wider population of those who commit offences. You may have been compassionate, empathic, enabling & supportive, but not a lot has changed in reality. So let the CRCs try to hit their targets. The battle is lost, the CRCs are in situ. If they reduce reoffending by any amount, hurray. If they don't, then you can shout "yah boo sucks" from your greenhouse. I personally believe not a lot will change, just that the measuring stick will be re-calibrated to suit a new scale.

      No, I'm not a corporate bunny. Its simply hard enough dealing with clients who are low and defensive and intractable every day, I don't want to have to deal with miserable, reluctant colleagues as well.

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    4. Reminds me of a Sting song: "If you love someone, set them free"

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    5. The problem with the argument above is the assumption that any of the magic bullets listed was ever anything more than one more tool. Targets for Change has remained because it is not one tool but a wide selection of tools. That is not the point. The issue is the removal of the other thing that has stood the test of time: the offender/practitioner relationship. The call centre approach will render all other interventions meaningless. I will be going when the time is right. Not because I do not believe in the value of Probation but because I do not believe that the proposed models are anything more than a pretence. I am too young for an allotment but I will be looking for something that has some integrity. It will not be a Sodexo CRC, of that I am sure.

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    6. One is never too young for allotment. And you are right in what you say that kiosks or telesales are not helpful. I'm just weary of grumpy old has-beens making my working day more difficult than it needs to be.

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    7. "grumpy old has-beens" oh I feel so great reading that aged 50+. Says it all really about the standard of staffing and perhaps why TR got through in the first place.....hope you never have to deal with anyone "old" in your job...they'll get a lovely discriminatory officer

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    8. I'm happy to be a grumpy 50 plus if it means I have not lost my moral values and am committed to highlighting the fiaws and dangers of TR. I wouldn't last long in a CRC as I would close my eyes and pretend everything was ok

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    9. 'Would not close my eyes '

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    10. What does« too young for an allotment mean» anon @ 9.15?

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    11. "grumpy old has-beens" will be back on contracts soon enough.

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    12. It means I resent the implication. It was a polite way of telling the company man to f*** off. It had nothing to do with allotments. Clear?

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    13. Presumably it relates to my comment at 8:31 about retiring to the allotment?

      I work positively & enthusiastically & without prejudice with all of my caseload; and I understand the CRC is politically (and probably practically) toxic, but I haven't the energy, time or patience to work 100% with my caseload and then be subjected to the incessant whining & moaning & time-wasting of colleagues who, because I'm stressed to fuck & non-stop busy, are not helping me by loading me up with their stress. I used the phrase "Grumpy old has-beens" because most (not all) are in the twilight of their professional careers, are evidently distressed by the decimation of probation, but are still yowling on day after day some 2 years down the line. I don't disagree with their complaint; I don't dislike them; I just wish they'd shut the fuck up, behave like professionals they tell everyone they are, & do some office duty!!

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    14. You utter tit.. bet the soles of your feet hang from the obvious place. Would love to see how yr coping 30 yrs down the line but that won't be possible because spineless axxeholes like you will be long gone.

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    15. presumably old clients aren't worth your time either.....soon be dead eh?

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    16. To Anon 14:11 and previously.. No wonder people around you are complaining, it probably relates in large part to having to work next to the likes of you...ignorant, naive and evidently of the self ( deluded ) opinion that you are simply the best,,how dare you, many of those people you, patronise and , don't dislike, how very generous of you , would likely have been those that invented half of what you do and think you know

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    17. I'm taken a bit aback by some of today's reactions. I've read through this thread & I see it differently in that I see someone saying that the damage is done, accepting crcs are here, saying they want to work but find the office environment stressful. And yet not one response has recognised that. Everyone seems hellbent on hurling abuse. We don't know the poster's gender, age or qualification/s - yet a number of replies are very specific in their abuse. Perhaps they know the poster?

      I'm a 50+ year old male PO. I didn't feel attacked by the post. I felt sad that someone finds their workplace and colleagues contribute so significantly to their feelings of stress, and thought how poor the local management must be. And I also had to pause and think how often I grumble to new colleagues about TR and reminisce about the golden olden days. Perhaps the post is complaining about me?

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  22. Probation 'works'?9 May 2015 at 10:44

    If you look around there's lots of 'tools' for working with offenders. We've a multitude of programmes, ideas, etc. Not sure what happened to SEEDS??, but it had positive stuff borrowed from Canada. Probation has always been about using new ideas and methods, and adding this to our core skills built up over many years. Even a flick through the recent probation journal introduces two new ones.

    The journey of developing and applying a one-to-one structured supervision programme aimed at addressing offending behaviour
    http://m.prb.sagepub.com/content/62/1/20

    Predicting women’s recidivism
    Validating a dynamic community-based ‘gender-neutral’ tool
    http://m.prb.sagepub.com/content/62/1/33

    Then TR hit and decimated probation! That aside, the reason probation works (or worked) is not because of tools but because of the commitment of probation staff. Quality work and support with offenders cannot be achieved by a school leaver in a call centre, or by a kiosk, or by a probation officer driven to despair by cuts, targets, micro management and payment by results.

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    1. ^^ this post above was in response to Anons 08:31 and 09:15.

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  23. I work in the Court team as a PSO. Over the past two - three months I've seen both a rise in people appearing for Shop Theft (with mitigation being Benefits Sanctions) and the Court mainly sentencing to Conditional Discharges. I think many of the Bench in my area of aware of some of the issue which are now occurring under the Tories and I was wondering if this has been replicated across the country? I fear that with the planned welfare cuts we are going to see a lot more of these cases.

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    1. We had someone in last week on shop theft, he was very miffed that he wasn't put in prison, he was very vocal about why he had done it. Some steal to feed a habit, others are stealing to feed themselves, mostly due to being sanctioned.

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  24. I work in Manchester Mags Court. The number of people who are appearing before the bench for shoplifting must have doubled compared with previous years. Ppl are committing offences simpley because of being sanctioned and have no other means are going out offending.

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  25. Tough on the causes of crime? How about 'tough on the means of rehabilitation'. 'Worse than doing nothing'? Sound familiar?

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