Monday, 11 June 2018

General Secretary Election 16

Yes I know you couldn't wait for the next election special, so here it is - a few questions I'd like to pose to Mike Rolfe. They are straight off the top of my head in order to try and stimulate a bit of discussion and I'm sure he'd welcome more if readers care to submit them.

Before you ask, there's little point in posing questions of Ian Lawrence because he doesn't even acknowledge the blog. Sad, but a fact. Incidentally, it's simply outrageous in my view that he is able to stifle meaningful debate by not providing any suitable dates to appear at branch meetings as under union rules, all candidates have to be present.

Questions to Mike Rolfe

1. Seeing as you stood as a candidate in the General Election last year, is it correct to assume you still have Parliamentary aspirations and could simply be 'off' should another be called any time soon?

2. Given the absence of knowledge regarding probation, are you a team player able to listen, learn, take advice and possibly even direction from practitioners at all levels within the profession and union?

3. Are you someone who is comfortable in recognising your weaknesses as well as strengths and hence able to delegate meaningfully to suitably experienced colleagues in appropriate circumstances?

4. In some quarters there is a suspicion that you might have an agenda that includes the short to medium term aim of the union possibly splitting and/or merging with another. Is this an unwarranted view?


  1. In November 2016 MR said the following in the Guardian,

    "That is why it is essential that the running of the prison system is left to the experts in the field: the staff.
    Many organisations have strong views on the number of prisoners that are locked up, the care they receive, the education and support needed to turn a prisoner’s life around. But the core role of security, discipline, control and order should never be interfered with by an outsider. Those on the outside may not always agree with how these services are delivered, but for prison officers to achieve them they must be supported in their methods and not demonised."

    The 'expertise' needed in probation is different to those needed by a prison officer.
    Does MR still agree with that sentiment now he looks to be NAPO GS?

  2. I’ve five questions for nominees and would like them to answer as a GS;

    1. What is Napo going to do about CRC’s asking for more money and threatening to end probation contracts?
    2. Why has Napo allowed NPS staff to be subject to police-style vetting, which is being justified as “required for access to Visor”, even though we do not need to use Visor and Vetting could render staff unable to practice as probation officers or forced into other roles against their wishes?
    3. When will our pay rise be achieved?
    4. Why are Napo member subs so expensive and when will they be reduced?
    5. What is the Napo position on the Probation Institute?

    1. Anon 17:18 I think I'd like to jump in ahead of any possible response from Mike and say your questions are somewhat ambitious in scope and hardly fair of a contender with zero inside knowledge!

    2. Totally unfair I agree, but I think MR will take them on. Something IL will not do even though he is the GS and should have the answers..

  3. Just checked the Napo website.nothing been posted since 29.05.18.
    Nothing about elections, nothing about wages, nothing about TR, nothing about the service in crisis etc. etc. etc

  4. Jim there is no point in jumping ahead of what are actually very basic questions and any prospective GS should easily know how to deal with these.

    Q1 Most likely nothing. The MoJ can give money for sweets to kids in a playground if they wanted and that is fairly consistent with the whining's of CRCs . They make up a blame story on the WAV banding rates and then cry for sweetie monies. It comes rolling in. It worked once or twice so why stop bleating when you can shake the MOJ money tree.
    Q2 It is a matter of fact that an employer who displaces staff via a new selection criteria is in the wrong. However your NAPO officials either do not understand this or just cannot be arsed to advise and counter. Members should therefore raise a national AGM motion or a local through the NEC. Call for this to be priority business and get the motion to insist on any or all cases of such a displacement after staff had been appointed in roles for years to seek a legal redress. Course NAPO wont want to spend your money on taking a case to protect its members why do that work. The top table may be shop display models only you might try and force them to do something for the memberships. They MOJ just scrape up from a level of useless to completely inadequate. They are after all NPS centric yet they are letting everyone down. All staff should fully reject these role variations.
    Q3 Who knows but it wont have anything to do with NAPO influence.
    Q4 Why are Pirates Pirates ????? BECAUSE they ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!! The subs are clearly so extortionate in order to pay that massive severance arrangement that has been published on here . You do not get any value from them do you?
    Q5 This is a matter that should have been embargoed years ago but it appears to have gotten confused with Jim Browns Blog. The blog is embargoed while the faux wolf in sheeps clothing that appalling bunch of PI sell outs wont stay any course longer than a year or two now its all coming to an end.
    Jim says " at branch meetings as under union rules, all candidates have to be present" So what and why would any contender expect help from an incumbent it is a completion I am surprised no one has under a bus. Napo centrally has not funded any branch to pay for the travel arrangements of the candidates so how could hard pressed branches fund that? It is not meant to happen read between the lines.

    1. Anon 19:38 Thanks for answering these questions. Humour included, that’s better than Napo have ever done. Q1. I do not expect Napo to do anything too because it unable. Q2. Napo is already patting itself on the back for “supporting” Vetting-failures into other roles. Q3. The only pay rise Napo seems to achieve is for its exec committee members and expense accounts. Q4. Pirates have code and honour, I’m not sure Napo does. Q5. Very true, Napo embraced the PI which romanced TR. Id like to know why.

    2. You make perfect sense to me. They do it simply because doing nothing is easier than objecting. In our VLO pay campaign the Vice chair acted out her role as an accountant for the NPS a secret job evaluation team and a real series of scandalous responses. They sold us out. They cannot be re elected to new roles an when the election starts we will be looking to holding their terrible records to the test.

  5. t's a pathetic situation when an incumbent seeking re-election goes to ground. Is this engagement, is it showing any respect to the membership who pay the wages? Is this typical of Napo officials, who once ensconced forget their responsibilities to the membership. How can IL bang on about member engagement and then disappear when members would like answers to some questions before extending his contract for another five years. IL does not seem to want to engage. I don't know if he expects a coronation, because his campaign seems based on the usual inertia giving just enough votes. He won't care about turnout and I guess the lower the better from his point of view.

  6. To anon17:18

    1. Jackshit
    2. Because HMPPS has them by the short&curlies; they have no choice
    3. No reply
    4. To pay for numerous trips to Devon & Cornwall
    5. Grabbing its ankles

    1. Have you thought about anger management. It is calming and might help your deep rooted anger . Peace and Love because your obviously raged. xx

    2. 6 month waiting list. Also...




  7. Don't want to interfere with todays discussion 12/6/2018, but I think that this should be flagged.