Thursday, 7 September 2017

Something A Little Different

Every now and then this blog goes off piste and as it happens tomorrow I'm having another short sojourn to le continent where internet access may be somewhat restricted. Whatever, I know you will all keep things ticking over and your eyes peeled for any relevant news and developments. 

So, a guy called Peter Reynolds recently resigned from the Tory Party. Enjoy:-

My Resignation From The Conservative Party

Dear Chris,

After the disastrous handling of the EU referendum result, the ludicrous decision to appoint one of the most incompetent and out-of-touch ministers as prime minister and her farcical election performance, I have been wrestling for some time as to whether to renew my membership. The Conservative Party is now far divorced from its fundamental principles of liberty and small government and Mrs May is an authoritarian bigot stuck in some 1950s delusion of what Britain is today.

Following her ridiculous announcement last night that she intends to stay on as leader I am now tendering my resignation forthwith. She has no mandate, no respect and in my view is held in utter contempt throughout the country. It is also self-evident that all other minsters are too weak, cowardly and neurotic about their own jobs to do anything to stop her.

Mrs May failed consistently over six years at the Home Office. She is a Remainer and should never have been permitted to lead the party or the country after the referendum result. Mrs May and all ministers failed entirely to plan for a leave vote and they have dithered, waffled, dodged and tripped up again and again, achieving absolutely nothing in the period since the result.

Brexit was a huge opportunity for the UK but the Conservative Party has wrecked it and damaged Britain irreparably in the process. If I had my way Mrs May would be led in chains out of Downing Street and placed in stocks in Parliament Square to endure the humiliation she so richly deserves.

I refer you to my article ‘Has There Ever Been A Worse UK Government Than This?’ which has produced the biggest response to anything I have ever written about politics in more than 30 years of journalism. It well sums up the tragic and diminished state in which she leaves our country.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds
August 31, 2017

Has There Ever Been A Worse UK Government Than This?

I am a member of the Conservative Party – just. My annual subscription is due and I feel physically sick at the prospect of doing anything that is supportive of the appalling collection of third and fourth rates that presently sit round the cabinet table.
The Conservative Party has Lost Its Way. We Need To Get Back To Being Tories.

We need to re-focus on our fundamental principles: individual liberty, individual responsibility, small government, free markets, evidence-based policy and a benevolent, responsible, one-nation approach.

Let’s face it, we’ve had a privileged toff, little more than a ponce on the nation, who from his position of wealth found it very easy to impose austerity on people with whom he was totally out-of-touch. Throughout his political career he vacillated and dithered on policy because he has no principles except self-advancement. Now we have some fake Tory, an authoritarian bureaucrat with big government, nanny state instincts, daughter of a high Anglican priest stuck in some 195os delusion of what Britain is today.

Meanwhile, a socialist activist but a man with integrity, courage and vision has stolen our place. Jeremy Corbyn provides more leadership in the UK than the entire Conservative cabinet put together. He was magnificent at Glastonbury, seizing the hearts and minds of not just the young but the young at heart – seizing the future! Where is the Tory alternative? There is great excitement, belief and enthusiasm for Brexit, 17.4 million people voted for it! Where is the Conservative spokesperson passionately declaiming this? The party has been hijacked by Remainers, determined to undermine the referendum result, interested only in the ambitions and concerns of the Westminster Elite.

When I try to talk to my MP, Sir Oliver Letwin, formerly number three in Cameron’s cabinet, although I am talking to someone a few months younger than me, I feel I am talking to my father’s generation – and to someone particularly old-fashioned and out-of-touch. My local Conservative Party branch, charming though many of the members are, is like an episode of Last of the Summer Wine, as disconnected from the rest of the UK as Cameron is from anyone on less than £250k per annum. At 59, I’m a youngster.

It’s outrageous really that my party has got itself into such a state with years of weak opposition, popular support for non-socialist policies and, until Corbyn, an absence of effective alternative leadership. It’s nothing less than disastrous and unless we change now we are doomed. The membership is old and dying. If we don’t get a grip within five years we will be gone forever.

A Perfect Storm Of Failure, Corruption And Arrogance

I’ve been fascinated by and active in politics since the late 1970s. Never in my lifetime have I seen such a combination of mistakes and scandalous cock-ups. Brexit has been sabotaged by dithering and delay – and I’m quite ready to believe this is a calculated deceit. With the BBC, the bankers and the Twitterati renewing Project Fear on a daily basis, is it any wonder that the going is tough? Cameron resigned because he said we needed a Leave supporter to take charge but instead we have a Remainer, one of the worst performing government ministers ever. How, after six years of persistent failure at the Home Office, she became PM is beyond belief but even more incredible is that after her terrible election performance she is still in No.10. It is ridiculous!

The failures are all too easy to see but let’s list them to be certain that the huge scale of this crisis is understood.

Brexit – Total failure to plan, perhaps deliberately, best illustrated by the absurd spectacle, just last month, of the Home Office commissioning analysis of the economic and social contributions and costs of EU citizens in Britain. Surely something that should have been done years ago? Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have both proved themselves to be lacking in courage and leadership skills. The bumptious fool Dr Liam Fox, who does seem to stick to his principles on Brexit, shames us by his foreign adventures, recently praising the murdering thug President Duterte of the Philippines as having ‘shared values’ with Britain.

NHS – Persistent deceit from ministers, including the utterly in-credible Jeremy Hunt, about how much money in real terms the health service is receiving. Scandalous failure to keep multiple promises about mental health having parity with physical health.

Democracy – The UK’s system of government is now a joke compared to other modern democracies. Our electoral system is primitive. Conservative and Labour parties conspire to keep the system as it is because it keeps them both in power. It is obvious that we should be moving towards some form of proportional representation, online voting and a radical shake-up of the House of Lords. MPs also need to be much more accountable. The terrible murder of Jo Cox has let too many of them off the hook that the expenses scandal put them on. Recently they have been whining about the abuse they get online. In general they deserve it for the terrible job they are doing. Also, they get protection from the police for such abuse. The police are useless when it’s a member of the public under attack. We need a job description for MPs, rights for constituents and a complaints procedure with teeth.

Social policy – I am ashamed at how Conservative ministers in reality are indistinguishable from the populist caricature of the ‘arrogant, uncaring, effing Tories’. The Grenfell Tower tragedy encapsulates everything that is wrong with the high-handed view that they take of the people who pay their wages.

Justice – After food, shelter and health what is more important than justice? The destruction of legal aid is one of the most dreadful developments in my lifetime. All governments delight in making more and more law but what use is it if it cannot be enforced? There is no justice if it is not available to everyone. I am delighted at the Supreme Court’s ruling that makes legal aid available once again for employment tribunals Without it employment law was literally useless and thousands have been deprived of their rights. And for his disastrous, destructive, incompetent and thoroughly nasty attitude the man who defines injustice in modern Britain is Chris Grayling. No other minster has more disgraced our party. He is unfit to be in government and why he remains anywhere near ministerial office is unbelievable. No one individual better epitomises the nasty, arrogant, incompetent Tory.

Prisons – There is no greater truth than that in a free society we are defined by how we treat those we send to jail. This is a terrible condemnation of Britain. Our prison system is a production line for turning petty criminals into alienated, aggressive, violent repeat offenders. There is no one who deserves the additional punishments we impose on top of deprivation of liberty. I would make an exception for Chris Grayling who really should be made to experience a taste of his own medicine. The Netherlands is closing prisons because it doesn’t send enough people to jail. We should swallow our pride and copy their system exactly.

Technology – As the nation that has led the world in virtually all new technologies, we are now falling a long way behind. The government has failed miserably to give enough priority to high speed internet. We will never catch up now and our children and our businesses are forever disadvantaged. Progress is hampered in development of new energy sources, transport and infrastructure by bureaucracy, endless bickering between special interest groups and weak strategic management. The EU has magnified all these problems and prevented progress in GM foods and other technologies that are essential to our future.

Transport – With Chris Grayling at the helm and the farce that is HS2, there is no hope for a sensible transport strategy. I simply don’t buy the argument that a slightly faster journey time between north and south will do anything to create a better future. Train fares are ludicrously high. The conditions commuters are expected to travel under are ridiculous. The Southern Rail scandal is a microcosm of government incompetence and inaction. It should have been re-nationalised at least a year ago and there should be massive fines and penalties on those responsible for the chaos, including individuals. I see no conflict with Conservative principles in re-nationalising the whole network. The mess that has prevailed since privatisation could not be any worse and compare us with railway networks and service on the continent for a true picture of our national shame and decay.

Environment – Technology and transport converge with environmental policy and this is a difficult, challenging area of policy. What we need is strong leadership – no, not the empty claims of Mrs May but the real leadership of Mrs Thatcher. Even the despicable Tony Blair showed more leadership than we have had from any current Conservative politician. We need to take bold decisions and act on them. Ecology and controlling pollution must be a real priority but we must not be distracted by the greeny loons and their endless prevarication and delays. I have no objection to fracking as long as it is strictly regulated and in recent visits to Ireland I have seen how forests of wind turbines do not destroy wonderful countryside and can have their own beauty, just as we now revere Victorian aqueducts and civil engineering. Most of all though we should racing ahead with tidal power. As an island it has to be our future and its potential is unlimited.

Northern Ireland – I hope one of the by-products of Brexit will be a united Ireland. There is no longer a real majority of unionists in the six counties and it only ever existed because of immigrants from Scotland. The UK’s shameful history in Ireland places a heavy obligation on us. We are one and the same people and the damage inflicted by the English Parliament on our neighbours must be put right. We are far closer to the Irish than we are to the French, the Dutch or the Belgians. As independent nations, with Ulster properly restored, we could be closer than ever and if Ireland wishes to remain in the EU, we should respect that.

Drugs Policy – No policy better demonstrates the incompetence, prejudice, cowardice and corruption of government ministers from all parties. Deaths from drug overdose have reached an all time high. There has been an explosion in highly toxic new psychoactive substances and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 has increased harms, deaths, associated crime and potency, exactly as was predicted, warnings the government chose to ignore. The government has refused to consider or take any expert advice on introducing legal access to medical cannabis, something that virtually all other modern democracies are moving forward on. Its continuing policy on cannabis defies scientific evidence and real-life experience from places where reform has been implemented. It also supports the criminal market, encourages street dealing, dangerous hidden cannabis farms and the production of poor quality, low-CBD, so-called ‘skunk’ cannabis.

Defence – A catalogue of cock-ups, dullards in charge and weak, indecisive leadership. In my view we should cancel the renewal of Trident and spend more on conventional weapons and defence measures which we may actually have to use. We should retain some battlefield nuclear weapons but invest more in our soldiers and their technology. We should also look after them far better when they leave the service

Foreign Affairs – The UK is the world superpower in ‘soft power’. Our culture, language, history give us more influence than any other nation and we should be proud to exercise it. We should have the courage to stand for our principles, independently of the USA and Europe. The £12 billion we give in international aid is far too much when there is real poverty at home but even if we halved the present budget we would still lead the world. We are responsible for the injustice perpetrated on the Palestinian people when we facilitated the seizure of their land in the 1940s. We should be standing up to Israel which has become an out-of-control monster. We created it and we must take responsibility for bringing it to order and helping it to live alongside its neighbours respectfully. Its conduct is unacceptable and we should be pursuing war crimes prosecutions against Netanyahu and many of his cronies.

Housing – The housing crisis needs a courageous, radical solution, not the pathetic, sticking plaster gimmicks and gestures that is all we have had for 50 years. Massive investment in social housing would create jobs and boost the economy all round. We shouldn’t hesitate. We shouldn’t fear a dramatic fall in house prices caused by massive extra supply. We have to get real and government must stop shirking its responsibility for a strategic role that only it can fill.

I have not yet decided whether I shall renew my membership. I’m not even sure if there is any future in the UK for me. Brexit was a great opportunity which has been sabotaged, perhaps fatally. Britain may well become a tourist destination, fascinating for the way such a small nation led the world for centuries. We are being led by weak, ineffectual, self-serving, out-of-touch and out-of date politicians. As the Conservative Party is dying, it is dragging Britain down with it.

Peter Reynolds
August 6, 2017


Why I Have Joined The Conservative Party

I would vote against Theresa May. She would be a disaster for Britain and for the Tory Party. Sadly, I will not have been a member long enough to vote in the leadership election.

Now, more than ever, we need to walk towards the enemy, not run away. The entrenched, bigoted, old-fashioned, anti-evidence faction of the Conservative Party, of which Theresa May is part, is the enemy of Britain and the enemy of a progressive, enlightened society. I will work from within the Tory Party to campaign for more rational, reasonable and responsible policies. We need to tackle the future head on and only from within the Conservative Party is there any realistic possibility of having meaningful influence.

I resigned from the Liberal Democrats shortly before the EU referendum because I believe its support for the remain campaign was a betrayal of fundamental values of liberalism and democracy. Support for the unelected, unaccountable oligarchs of the EU is the nemesis of the Liberal Democrats and Tim Farron’s subsequent hate speech, branding all who voted leave as ‘intolerant, closed-hearted, pessimistic and inward looking’ has moved his party’s talent beyond self-harm to political suicide.

Clearly, in my special interest area of drugs policy and particularly medicinal cannabis, the Conservatives, and particularly Ms May, have not been our allies. Yet another reason why I, and others, must now grit our teeth and get involved with the Tories. We will make no progress unless we do. We have to appeal to the libertarians, to those who value personal liberty and who believe in evidence-based policy, not prejudice.

The response of both remainers and the left to the Brexit vote has been appalling. Aside from Tim Farron’s conduct, the chattering classes, particularly the soft left which dominates the drugs policy debate, has been defeatist, bitter and negative. It will spend its time, as it always does, in endless circular discussions talking amongst itself, the same old faces, the same old ideas. Someone needs to take the fight to where the real battle is.

I recognise that my decision to join the Tories will be difficult for many to understand. It will not be an easy path but the drugs policy and cannabis campaign needs someone to lead it into battle, to take on the establishment, to engage with and change minds.

The Labour Party is unelectable and if it survives at all, it will never see power again for many years. All other parties are irrelevant. There is no other route to power in the UK except through the Conservative Party.

Peter Reynolds
June 30, 2016


Peter Reynolds is a writer, communications advisor and proud Welshman. He lives in the picturesque village of Sutton Poyntz just a couple of miles to the north east of Weymouth, sandwiched between tall moorland hills and the rugged cliffs of the Jurassic Coast.

After “dropping out” from life as a hippy musician, Peter experimented with direct sales and the motor trade before training as a copywriter and eventually making it to the top of his profession as a creative director with Saatchi & Saatchi. Along the way he developed special expertise in technology and healthcare working with clients such as IBM, Hewlett Packard, GSK and the Department of Health. He also worked as a freelance journalist and had a weekly column in The Independent based on the simple idea of riding a bike but ranging across subjects such as politics, sport, technology and the media.

More recently he has worked as a consultant to organisations such as Nokia, the British Army and Pinewood Studios. He now writes for a wide range of publications on subjects as diverse as technology, politics, healthcare, medicine and thecountryside. He is presently writing his third novel.

Peter has been a cannabis campaigner for more than 30 years. In February 2011 he was elected leader of CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform, the UK’s largest drugs policy reform group.


  1. This is a shite government,a very uncaring government, and a government that works for no-one.
    They have been responsible for growth however.
    Massive increases in food bank use.
    Huge increases in homelessness.
    In work poverty is at its highest for 150years.
    Prison population is at an all time high,with suicides and selfharm at record levels.
    Rising rents.
    Rising council tax.
    More people then ever leaving the public sector.
    Huge levels of deskilling.
    Record numbers of privateers let loose to abuse the public purse.
    And the money spent on failed projects by government departments has reached eye-watering levels.
    There's certainly been lots of growth.
    Yet I can't honestly think of one government policy introduced since 2010 that could be called a success.
    Peter Reynolds is right. This government belong to some different era. I'm certain that some of them still think the Empire still exists, and those that realise it's gone are busy trying to create a new one.
    Austerity? Poverty? Hunger? Stiff upper lip old boy! We are British you know!
    I'd exile the lot of them-if you could find somewhere that was willing to have them!

  2. The government has abandoned the sale of NHS Professionals, the state-owned agency that supplies more than 90,000 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers to the health service.
    NHS Professionals was created in 2001 to provide a “bank” of medics who could work flexibly across the health service. It is used by about a quarter of the roughly 250 NHS trusts in England and saves the NHS £70m a year by supplying staff more cheaply than private sector agencies.
    Shortlisted bidders, which included Staffline, a recruitment agency that also provides probation services to the government, had been expected to be told whether they had won the competition within days. Instead, the Department for Health said the agency would remain in state hands because its financial performance had improved and none of the bids “reflected the company’s growing potential”.
    Philip Dunne, health minister, said: “Our priority throughout this process has been to ensure the best possible outcome for NHS Professionals and our NHS as a whole — so I am pleased that the company’s improved performance means it will be able to modernise and improve services to NHS Trusts, while remaining under public ownership.”
    The government’s move to part-privatise the agency — announced in December last year — had been vociferously opposed by NHS unions, doctors and campaign groups. Cat Hobbs, director of the anti-privatisation group WeOwnit, said the decision to keep it in state hands was a “huge victory for everyone who uses the NHS”.
    “Once again, the ideology of privatisation falls short when confronted with the evidence. Now we need to stop handing over contracts to private companies and selling off NHS assets,” she said.
    The decision is the second climbdown on privatisation in just over a year. A plan to sell off the Land Registry, the body that has recorded the ownership of property in the UK since 1862, was also shelved by the government last September following trenchant criticism from the Competition and Markets Authority, unions and campaign groups.
    The government is keen to build up NHSP, which is currently a limited company owned by the Department of Health that employs 506 people, as part of a drive to cut back on temporary workers. The NHS spends £4bn a year on agency staff and staffing accounts for about 70 per cent of a typical hospital’s costs. Nurses hired through private sector companies are 15-30 per cent more expensive, with little of that passed on in clinicians’ salaries.
    Mr Dunne said that the decision would “not only help in our drive to reduce the use of expensive agency staff across the NHS — which has further reduced by 22 per cent in the first quarter of this year — but will also mean that savings can be reinvested in frontline services for the benefit of patients”.


    Interested in your experiences: probation, prison, CRC or NPS. Update me in confidence.

  4. Bristol march. End austerity, fund our city. Saturday 9th March at College Green Bristol. Unite and Unison are supporting= thumbs up. NAPO are not= thumbs down.

    1. It may well be that there are individual Napo members attending the March. I think your comment is somewhat childish. Glassjar.

  5. For a long time I have not had any positive feelings towards the Tory party give or take the odd Tory MP who might be called wet or compassionate. I no longer see them as conservative rather radical ideologues. I now believe they are incompetent. The TR debacle started me towards that conclusion and not a lot since has deflected me from that destination. I joined the Labour party as a result of TR more than my my left centre political position. Surely their tenure in respect of the Criminal Justice System is marked by its incomprehensible designs and subsequent degradation. INCOMPETENT.

  6. As someone who is paid to not be overtly judgemental and to see the good in individuals, I do struggle with these twats who employ us. I feel we are in a good position for a peaceful revolt of some kind. They are not gonna sack us are they. They cant get anyone to do the bloody job. Who's in? If only we had a Union of some kind.

    1. I'm in! There's so much we could do or refuse to do, in the nicest possible way of course.
      But there has to be an underlying set of principles used as a basis for actions and non- actions.
      For example either
      1 always prioritise actions which promote progress for the service user, referrals, advocacy, time spent with service user, giving access to telephone etc, write to charities for funds, prepare cases for housing which service user can take to his local MP ( they have case workers), liaise thoroughly with organisations which can help with things like welfare advocacy, PIP applications, freedom passes, ID, bank accounts etc. Time consuming yes but time well spent Prioritise these over HETE , globes and other endless bureaucratic fiddling about with the systems. -or:
      2 for non- dangerous service users prioritise doing everything possible to prevent people from being returned to prison and do everything to get them out asap. This is for duty of care, prisons have now become dangerous and damaging places to send people. So where defensible HDC reports done faster than recalls and before deadlines ROTLs likewise. Seek out people on licences who fall off the radar even if it means going to their address ( if they have one.) Make their visits to the office worthwhile for them. Post sentence: don't do light supervision when that is not appropriate. Where post sentence supervision has been outsourced work closely with person from the outsource company, make them part of your team. All the above to the exclusion of every bit of useless bureaucracy imposed on us. Or:
      3:Refuse cases allocated to you when you are above a certain number. Or:
      4: challenge every bit of nonsense imposed on us from above in team meetings to get our line managers to realise they are not just messengers but they are participants. Make sure they know that sitting on the face is the most uncomfortable place to be. They need to come down on one side or the other. For CRCs this means openly and verbally as well as in writing countering managerial statements such as:
      "We can't afford bus tickets/fares/electricity moneyadmin support/ proper IT systems etc, we haven't got the money. "
      How much money did the company make last year?
      "Yes I know HETE it is nonsense but this is what the MOJ want". How about telling MOJ that the HETE data bears no resemblance to reality. In the NPS where they still have admin workers these input the data based on nothing but the flimsiest information. And it will be highly inaccurate. So tell the MOJ : no we're not doing this. It will not hurt your already dubious career. Like many bullies a spot of firm and united resistance will send them scurrying off. They will not be able to tell you what they need HETE for.

  7. Working links ARE morally reprihensible and unfit to run their 3 CRC's. Managers who adopt the tortoise position are weak and cowardly. They are not fit to have the power vested by MOJ. So many vulnerable sercice users being failed. Staff being bullied and failed. YOT in all areas should refuse to hand over vulnerable 18 year olds, particularly care leavers under 21 as they are not getting adequate service. Vulnerable women, men and adolescents are being failed and the fault is with working links who have cut by 40% and another 10 to 20% leaving since then or off sick. Safeguarding needs to urgently take place in all areas and MOJ needs to step in with urgent remedial action. The ship is going down.

  8. Worth a read

  9. Not content with barefaced lies & £billion bribes with public money, here's how the Tories intend to expedite & enforce their vicious programme of change: