Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Best of the Week 3

“So instead, we stay in our self-imposed madness, keeping the curtains locked down tight, patrolling the light switch, and dismissing anyone who speaks the truth.”

Sounds like a normal day working at the probation office. This is exactly what civil service ‘parrotism’ has done to us.

The senior executives of UK plc like to maintain a significant level of control over the proles. One sure fire method is ensuring that crime, substance use, inequality & unrest remain issues of concern, thereby reserving the leverage of political power & the illusion of addressing the public concern.

Our incumbent CEO, the erstwhile durty shagger, career fantasist & serial liar Johnson, is very happy making empty promises while emptying the public purse & fomenting the necessary divisions that suit his selfish agenda. And while his tenure is supported by equally self-serving fuckwits, wannabes & lickspittle acolytes, UK plc will continue spiralling into the abyss, dragging all but a privileged few down with it.

At least this blog, the comments & the commentary might remain in a digital form, waiting for a future historian to trip up over it & discover there WERE dissenting voices, some people did disagree, it was NOT the time of harmony & shared wealth as portrayed in the 2025 best-seller & multi-prize winning book that underpins the New History curriculum: "Boris's Book of Brilliant Britain - How I Built Jerusalem on England's Green & Pleasant Land".


"out with the old, in with the new" - but should we be careful what we wish for? The NOMS/HMPPS legacy was always going to be the dissolution of the formerly independent Probation Service & absolute assimilation of its duties into the civil service penal estate.

Aided & abetted by a carefully selected, focused & ambitious senior management team, a trade union missing-in-action & the invited interim 'muscle' courtesy of the privateer CRCs, a once proud, professional independent Probation Service has had every last gasp of breath squeezed out it. Wrapped in the HMPPS flag, the broken body of the Probation Service is lifeless; just days away from being lowered out of sight, out of mind; forever.

The NOMS/HMPPS legacy was overseen by, in date order:

Martin Narey (2004 to 2005)
Helen Edwards (2005 to 2008)
Phil Wheatley as Director-General (2008 to 2010)
Michael Spurr (2010 to 2019)
Jo Farrar (2019 to present)

If you have the chance, pocket your £40,000+ & clear off before (1) you make yourself even more unwell &/or (2) they change their minds & give your EVR to someone else (again). NPS is a disaster-in-progress. Bale out while you can.

Beautifully put, I have been advising younger Officers (I am about to retire) to leave Probation which is entirely and utterly compromised. I say this with much sadness as this was not always the case. Anyone able to either retrain or have a career elsewhere as a valued Professional should consider doing so in my view. I do also take the long view that maybe in 5 or 10 or 15 years time things may change for the better... I just can't afford to wait for that (maybe) positive future for Probation.

"She was released the following year but recalled a few months later after criticising her probation accommodation and support workers in a tweet." This fragment of the story tells you all you need to know about post-TR probation & the priorities that motivate NPS.

"She was released the following year but recalled a few months later after criticising her probation accommodation and support workers in a tweet." Yes that leapt out of the page at me. I am not sure how much longer I can keep drawing the pay check. I was so proud of and inspired by the Probation Service I joined last century. I am counting down to retirement and hanging on in for the wages and pension but I find myself embarrassed to say that I am a Probation Officer these days. Ashamed. It's not good for mental health. I have flagged this up before, but it is traumatic: it has been identified as "moral injury" which is at the root of the burnout I and other old moaners are experiencing. My best bud colleague is about to retire early in a couple of months time, for this exact reason, as are other older experienced colleagues, who have managed their financial planning better than me. I am coming to the conclusion I will have to get out early, and subsist on ships biscuit, rather than peg out in harness. I can't find answers to two questions: 1. What to do about the damage to our institution and profession 2. How to do any of the precious work I want to do, which no longer seems to be what my paymaster requires.

I'm sure there was much more to it than simply posting a critical tweet. She would hardly be the first recalled service user to downplay the reasons for her recall.

Coming to this late as I've only just seen this thread. But yes, I too was struck by the readiness of posters here to accept - without question - the account given by this woman and her legal reps. Not saying there might not be a kernel of truth but seems unlikely to be anything like the full story. Perhaps this is at least part of the reason why the profession is so often under scrutiny.

Everything has an angle; everyone can be criticised for taking 'a view'. Perspective & context is everything. Who will know the truth of that recall? Probably no-one. The basis for any recall, in my experience, is down to whether the 'decision-maker' wants the recall to happen.

I've had recall requests refused, only to see more serious events unfold & the subsequent investigation find that my original request went 'missing' - "there's no evidence of such a request"; and had other recalls imposed upon cases in circumstances where I was trying not to recall for, in my view, sound professional reasons. "Over-ruled".

So, I can understand how/why someone might be left with the impression that a simple text/tweet was the basis for their recall; or, in fact, that that was enough to inspire a wounded decision-maker into making that call.

"Perhaps this is at least part of the reason why the profession is so often under scrutiny."

Profession? It's long gone. Scrutiny? What scrutiny?

MoJ/HMPPS/NPS have gotten away with murder, both metaphorically & literally; they have thrown £billions of public money at their chums. The only scrutiny seems to be when frontline staff are crucified for management's failure to manage.

The inquest into the Fishmongers’ Hall attack, as well as finding that the killings of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were unlawful, has revealed that this was a wholly preventable tragedy. The attacker, Usman Khan, wasn’t so much cleverly exploiting loopholes of the system as taking advantage of one that was wide open. A deadly mix of catastrophic naivety and a woeful lack of co-ordination between the police, MI5, prisons and probation services contributed to the awful events of November 2019.

Here was one of the most dangerous offenders in the entire prison system. Yet after release he was put under the supervision of police and probation officers who lacked the training and experience to deal with someone who was deeply ideologically motivated and deceitful.

"But treating offender management as a service in its own right, a service delivered by a probation system which is invested in, nurtured and valued, will undoubtedly reduce the risks and help save lives."

Danny Shaw will no doubt be aware that no-one listened to that argument in 2000; or in 2007; or in 2010; or in 2012/13/14/15...But at least he's trying to get the word out.

Two glaring issues raised by Danny's piece:

1. "From 31 March 2014 Probation Trusts will cease to operate and be replaced by a National Probation Service dealing solely with the highest risk offenders" (Probation Journal, 2013); but Grayling's favoured child, the 'new' NPS, seems to be the service that has failed most spectacularly.

2. Resources.

"the system for rehabilitating all offenders, for managing them in the community, for protecting the public has been severely stretched to the point where, in some areas of England and Wales, it is all but broken... “There will be inherent risks,” the chief inspector warned, citing “acute” staff shortages in some places... the reforms are not a “magic bullet” and must be backed by extra resources, particularly so that vacancies can be filled and staff receive the training they need."

Lol Burke, Probation Journal, 2013: "...the skills of appropriately trained practitioners in supervising offenders and delivering interventions can contribute to reducing reoffending and improving other outcomes. This is supported by international evidence (Raynor et al., 2013) that more skilled probation staff produce better results from the supervision process."

The Govt response in 2013/4? Sign contracts with private companies which had substantial job losses built in - primarily targeting the 'expensive' longer serving, more experienced staff - to improve CRC profitability.

The Govt response in 2020/21? Once again use public money to cut jobs by budgeting for an Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy scheme, i.e. lose the experienced & knowledgeable whilst replacing them with newly indoctrinated on-message recruits.

But look where reinventing the NPS got them... understaffed, under-resourced, over-stretched, tied up in redtape, burdened by bureaucracy, with shit or non-existent IT & aspiring bullies in managerial posts. Why would anyone listen now?

Probation has become a police force pure and simple. It's really no longer an agency of "rehabilitation" in the context of what I consider 'rehabilitation' to mean. For many offenders, particularly those leaving custody, being subjected to probation is just part of the sentence that needs to be navigated through, a time bound period to jump through the hoops, keep your problems to yourself, keep your head down and just get to the end.

I think today's probation officer, in the eyes of the offender, is seen as just another authoritarian figure no different then the landing officers waved goodbye to on discharge. All part of the same system. Probation no longer represents new beginnings, it's become the arse end of the penal system. Really it's become a process where whatever side of the desk you're sitting, both parties just want the probation period to reach its end date without any problems. Time served! No SFO and no recall. Success! Not sure if that makes for better people though.

The reality is that real rehabilitation does not gain votes or profit. Private Prisons and Probation don’t go out and find income sources, they make profit by cutting cost or people returning.

Liz Truss is known as an ex-environment secretary and current trade secretary, few remember that she was ever a justice secretary. Michael Gove is remembered as a Education Secretary, stabbing BJ in the back and as a pro leave campaigner, few remember that he was ever a justice secretary. Even failing Chris Grayling is remembered as the transport secretary clown, few remember that he was ever a justice secretary. The brief of Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary does not have any impact on them, few remember that they were ever justice secretaries.

I know loads of nice good people who are very caring in life but who turn when you discuss Rehabilitation. The feeling is that “layabout criminal scum” are allowed to do what they want to society and are rewarded with a bedroom with bed, TV & Xbox’s and 3 meals a day at worst. They feel that the way to reduce crime is, minimum sentences only with no end date. Lock them in a cold dark dungeon type cells, with no heating, bed or blankets. Leave them there for years. Maybe if they beg to be allowed the utmost privilege of working towards their rehabilitation they may eventually earn society’s ultimate mercy of being released, but only once they have proved beyond doubt to a sceptical panel that they are fit for release. Then let them be on probation for life scared that a officers whim could recall them back to prison where the journey starts all over again. These opinions are from a wide range of demographics that I know, including teachers and nurses.

If Liz Truss, Robert Buckland or anyone else was to suggest “rehabilitation” methods to the public they would be horrified. The “rehabilitation” approach could easily be used against people in power. The days of tackle the causes of crime are long gone. Members of the public truly believe that harsher prison and probation methods will yield lower crime, they want to believe it and are determined to believe it no matter what. Those in power, profit and professional management know that the only way to lower offending is through unpopular and somewhat costly methods that serve no benefit to them personally.

Many people in this forum argue, understandably, for more second careerers, more life experience, more lived it experience PO/PSO’s. The forum wants more people who will want to make a difference for the next 20 years as a main grade officers rather than trying to raise the ranks or to develop new career opportunities. The sad truth is that the longer term committed will want to usher in a rehabilitation approach and ask difficult pro rehabilitation questions while challenging anti rehabilitation approach. The ambitious, short termers will happily fill out the data in an office because they hope it won’t be their problem in 5, 10 years and it's good for their CV. There is some benefit in data collection and data managing. Those that are in a dominant position look adequate and not negative, and so it removes a negative impact from their portfolio.

Is it therefore better all round and overall that we have a probation service that is data collecting, management controlling with some good rehabilitation work rather than no rehabilitation at all or worse still no probation service.

Probation is no longer a long term passion and career where we undergo the challenges to protect the public and change people’s lives. It is a run in the life career ladder which demands that in order for us to increase our income, and through that move forward with our private lives, we must constantly find new ways of making ourselves more attractive to the market of better pay.

To all those reading this, is it not that short term is good, you must now move on to new pathways so you assimilate to the new ways of doing things and do not try to hold back the tide of progress. (No, don’t you dare say the powers that be progress only).

"Is it therefore better all round and overall that we have a probation service that is data collecting, management controlling with some good rehabilitation work rather than no rehabilitation at all or worse still no probation service."

No, it isn't. I always tried to work on the principle of 'do a job right or not at all'. We've already seen the evidence (evidence the MoJ tried to hide) that well-meaning amateurs tinkering with behaviour-change programmes doesn't work, e.g. SOTP & other OBPs. We know that people engage with skilled professionals, and equally that they 'play the game' with those they know are ticking boxes.

No probation service would, in my view, be better than the bastard hybrid system we're having to manipulate in order to survive. It's like watching a Gallagher brother eat soup with a fork.

The saddest part is that the incompetent selfish numbskulls in charge don't really know what they want the service to be - they just want to please their political masters & reap the plaudits every time HMIP dubs them "excellent leaders". That they are not. They are accomplished bullies. They excel in acquiring adoring acolytes who they reward handsomely to shore up their egos, justify their misplaced ambition & applaud their non sequiturs.

If any meaningful form of Probation Service is to exist again it needs a team of leaders who are prepared to fight for freedom from political interference, who have a knowledge of & commitment to professional standards, and who can demonstrate a collective understanding & clear argument for an independent professional Probation Service. The work of the Probation Service is too important to be driven by political whimsy, by electioneering chancers or casual racists.

As for Circles - my experience of working with them has been nothing short of superb. The recruitment & training of volunteers to work with the case I nominated was excellence in motion; the supervision those volunteers received from the area co-ordinator was second-to-none; and the work they did with the case was far beyond anything I could have hoped for. The removal of funding was a complete travesty, and the subsequent damage it did to the person at the centre of that circle was irreparable.

There's a 'culture' that's developed over the last twenty years or so around 'risk' & 'dangerousness' that I feel has proved to be deeply unhealthy in so many ways. The change seems to have been the high state of kudos attached to being 'chosen' to manage a high risk/high profile case, the excitement of secrecy where case notes are 'need-to-know', the privilege of restricted access, the mystery meetings with 'special branch' or similar.

In my experience all that has led to is a toxic combination of the monetisation of 'risk management' and the weaponization of privilege, of being a chum, of being 'allowed to play'. Time was when experienced staff, managers & main grade alike, supervised a series of very high risk cases with no drama, no fanfare, no wetting of underpants. There was no 'sexiness' or sense of excitement; it was the job.

I noticed a general trend (not applicable to all, of course) that as the experience & age levels of management reduced, the trend towards overt expressions of excitement, of intrigue, of thrill-seeking, increase around the management of the more serious cases.

It was as if the case work, the professional day-job, had been transformed into a series of exciting tv thrillers for a handful of subscribers (aka chums). Not a very edifying image for the probation profession, not very respectful of the victims & their families, not very helpful to the case being managed.

A brief example - Some years back I was managing someone who I saw as a very serious threat to the public. It was transferred in as a medium risk case but, after some brief reading back through the bundle of paper files that followed, it became apparent that concern for the obvious risk was missing. I escalated the risk & meetings were held. About a month later, at one particularly large gathering with many faces I had never seen before, I was asked how & why I was concerned. I waved some old papers at people & explained my thinking... after some frowning & glances being exchanged around the table the case was taken off me & reallocated to the team manager's 'number one officer' (a far less experienced but wholly on-message member of the team) there & then. I was told I had to be 'de-briefed' & whisked away to another room. The case became invisible & I've no idea what happened to this day.

Within a few months of that meeting the manager's 'number one officer' became a senior manager. Echoes, perhaps, of the chumocracy we now endure as a nation where a privileged few - privileged by dint of birth, schooling & financial advantage - enjoy even greater privilege as they 'cash in' on their chumminess, leaving everyone else to pick up the tab.

Hands up those who have an ennobled family sending a butler to your house to deliver paid-for takeaway food? Clue: Boris Johnson's fast food is delivered & paid for by Lady Bamford, wife of Lord Bamford, provider of the private jet registered tax free in the Isle of Man to whisk the PM around the UK free of charge - also the same Bamford family (JCB) who supply the Israelis with vehicles to flatten & clear Palestinian houses, to build illegal Israeli Settlements & [accidentally?] run over Palestinian protesters.

It seems everybody's silent, bar the odd one or two, e.g. "counsel for the coroner, Saskia, & Jack’s family @njbarmstrong"; no-one else gives a flying fuck, no-one else feels they owe anyone anything. Probation & local police were excluded from MI5 intel; and MI5 were (if its at all possible to accept) seem to have been excluded from probation & local policing intel.

Hancock & Johnson & Gove & Jenrick & Patel & the rest of the cabinet were complicit in the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of UK citizens. Despite the outrage & the outcry & the evidence, you'd be forgiven for thinking no-one gives a flying fuck.

"A butler secretly brought around £27,000 of luxury organic food into Downing Street for the prime minister, it has been claimed. The food was said to be ‘smuggled’ in unmarked bags which included pre-prepared meals and wine after being delivered on a Boris Bike. The fancy food was first delivered in May last year, and the drop-offs continues until February." Hands up those who have spent £27,000 on 'fast-food' deliveries in the past ten months.

People are dying. People are struggling to survive on benefits. People have been refused furlough or business grants. But the Fat Fuck that is squatting in No.10 with his bit on the side thinks that £27K of fast food paid for by someone else is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle.

And, generally speaking, no-one gives a flying fuck. What a nation. What a world. For me, the shame is painful beyond comprehension, and it's nothing to do with me! For others it seems it's all perfectly normal & they have no issue whatsoever with the lies, the deceit, the theft, the bullying, etc.

Think on... if you're ten years in & more, why not just take the EVR. En Masse. Leave the immoral fuckers to their own devices. They've publicised their massive recruitment campaign. They're all very pleased with themselves. Leave; and leave them to it. Spend the £EVR on developing a new career - something that isn't tainted by or involved with the lying scumbags, something that you WANT to do, that you've ALWAYS wanted to do.

It will only get worse.


  1. With last weeks announcement that 1000 new probation officers have been recruited in mind, I wonder if the increase in numbers will help resolve or increase problems like this?



    1. A JUDGE claimed the probation service was failing to properly prepare cases for court – telling lawyers yesterday: “This has just got to stop.”

      Judge Michael Gledhill QC made the comments as he was forced to adjourn the case of a convicted burglar accused of breaching his community order.

      In 2019, George Courtney-Jacobs was given the two year order after he admitted burgling a home in Headington. He had tried to clamber through an open window but woke the householder up when he grabbed onto her leg to try and steady himself.

      The 23-year-old has denied breaching his order and was due before Oxford Crown Court on Monday for the hearing.

      Jonathan Veasey-Pugh, defending, said his client had reportedly been sectioned over the weekend and asked the judge to adjourn the case for further enquiries to be carried out.

      Judge Gledhill agreed to the request. But he asked Richard Atkins, appearing for the probation service, why no evidence papers had been uploaded to the court’s digital system.

      Mr Atkins said he had not been given permission to access the digital file. The judge replied: “What is the point of you appearing if you have not been given access to the digital file? It’s shocking and this is not the first time it has happened in this court in the last two weeks. The last time it happened the probation officer asked the judge what sort of evidence he had in mind.”

      The judge said it seemed to him the probation service was not instructing lawyers to represent them “to save money”.

      “I’m shooting the messenger, I appreciate that,” he told Mr Atkins. “This has just got to stop. We can’t have breach proceedings constantly not going forward because the probation service don’t know how to conduct them.”

      The case was adjourned to July 5.

      The Ministry of Justice, which manages the probation service, was approached for comment.

    2. Its not about numbers. Twenty thousand new recruits won't compensate for the loss of knowledge, experience & professional standards. Its a toxic combination of pisspoor training, an organisation that has lost its way populated by managers at all levels who don't know the job, and who indulge in arse-kissing, bullying & winging it as a means of pocketing the cash.

  2. "The last time it happened the probation officer asked the judge what sort of evidence he had in mind.”

    If it wasn't such a sad & cutting indictment of the shyte that masquerades as the modern probation service, that would be funny!

  3. The judge said it seemed to him the probation service was not instructing lawyers to represent them “to save money".

    Our Trust did just that in 2008. They ended the contract with a local law firm & said the Trust's own solicitor would advise on & prosecute contested breaches. I think I'm right in saying that between 2009 & 2014 not a single trial was won by the Trust. The cases were generally either withdrawn on the day or the trials collapsed shortly after beginning. Local solicitors would simply advise their clients to contest any & all breach allegations & often the breach would not be proven - even with the most overwhelming evidence. Court ushers said the DJ would weep with laughter in the retiring rooms.

    The Trust's solicitor refused to accept they were out of their depth right up until they received a huge bucketful of TR cash when the Trust was dissolved. It was rumoured that they were subsequently employed by HMPPS.

  4. Just watching employment rights debate in HoC, not least being the fire & rehire tactics used by employers. The duplicity of the minister's words are not lost on me vis-a-vis the TR strategy of losing hundreds of probation jobs, handing £millions of public funds agreed for severance to private companies who failed to share those funds with staff, then re-hiring thousands of new employees.

    I laughed until I was sick :o

  5. This is off topic, but 'Getafix raised it a few days ago and I was awaiting a suitable moment to raise it:-

    BBC website:-

    The creation of a central NHS digital database from GP records in England will be delayed by two months, the government has announced. The system was due to begin on 1 July, but the date has now been pushed back to 1 September.

    The NHS had been calling for a delay to allow patients more time to learn about the system. The British Medical Association and the Royal College of GPs had also expressed concern.

    Speaking in the House of Commons, Health Minister Jo Churchill said the GP data programme would "save lives".

    However, she said the government was "absolutely determined to take people with us on this journey" and had therefore decided to push the implementation date back to the beginning of September.

    She said ministers would use the extra time to "talk to doctors, patients and charities to strengthen the plan... and ensure data is accessed securely."

    "Patients own their own data," she added.

    Labour's shadow health minister Alex Norris welcomed the delay but argued that the "current plans to take data from GPs, assemble it in one place and sell it to unknown commercial interests for purposes unknown has no legitimacy."

    He criticised the government for a lack of "public engagement" and said the plans had been "snuck out under the cover of darkness".

    Under the proposed system - the General Practice Data for Planning and Research - information from surgeries in England will be added to an NHS Digital database. The includes data from records created up to 10 years ago.

    Simon Bolton, head of NHS Digital, said all collected data would be protected or pseudonymised before it leaves the GP "to ensure patients cannot be directly identified".

    He added that the data would only be accessible to organisations "which will legitimately use the data for healthcare planning and research purposes, and they will only get the specific data that is required". He also said patients would be able to opt out of sharing their data.

    Earlier this week, the British Medical Association and Royal College of General Practitioners expressed their concerns "about the lack of communication with the public". In a joint letter, they urged NHS Digital to "take immediate action to run a public information campaign".

    Analysis by Chris Vallance, BBC Technology reporter

    It was evident last week that NHS Digital wanted a delay to a programme that proposes to transfer information from the records of every GP patient in England to a central NHS database.

    Doctors representatives were clear: patients needed more time to learn about the programme to extract data and the job of informing them couldn't be left to GPs busy with the pandemic and its aftermath. Now the government have conceded that a delay is necessary after maintaining as late as Friday that none was needed.

    It's news that will be greeted with a strong sense of déjà vu with those who remember the cancelled Care.data programme, a previous effort to collect centrally GP record data. It foundered in part because of a lack of awareness among patients, in spite of a national information campaign.

    Today the Information Commissioners Office told me "the success of any project will rely on people trusting and having confidence in how their personal data will be used".

    The NHS will need to use the time this delay affords to rebuild just that: trust.

    1. It's the level of stealt being applied that I found concerning.
      When asked why nobody knew about this with the opt out date set for June 23rd, the response was that the government had provided plenty of information on the subject by stocking every GP surgery with leaflets and pamphlets explaining everything!
      With covid restrictions, just how many people have been to their GP surgery in the last year?
      Not many I feel, probably not enough people to realise or notice the number of GP surgeries that have been sold off to American private companies in the last year, which probably accounts for the big increase of private healthcare advertisements on TV.


    2. With Dildo Hardon tipped as a solid bet to lead the NHS it seems there's evidence of her discussing the value of patient data with Cambridge Analytica. Maybe they're waiting for her coronation as Queen of the NHS so she can get privateers to get their hands on the data? I'll try to find the link to the article.

    3. Two links

      1. https://www.theregister.com/2019/12/12/nhs_england_database/

      2. Via Carole Cadwalldr on Twitter, which links to video of Dildo in discussion with CA's Alexander Nix

    4. https://weownit.org.uk/blog/here-are-gp-practices-taken-over-us-health-insurance-giant-centene

  6. This govt sticks two fingers up to the law yet again; High Court says contract to Cummings' mates was unlawful, govt say "so fucking what?"

    PMQ's - Worzel claims fire-&-rehire strategies should be reconsidered as aceptable by acas "when it means protecting jobs". Uh??? Presumably the HMPPS model can be held up as an example, i.e. Get shot of hundreds of skilled,nexperienced staff & replace them with thousands of freshers eager to do as they're told.

  7. How are they funding these new staff? by downgrading the banding of crc intervention staff many of whom have been through the tr process as we move to a better together as long as your cheaper model of delivery. The work you do isn't valued the same as trust days or even the same as the privateers, but don't worry you will be pay protected.

  8. Has anyone thought about not just how long we had to wait and how hard it was to reduce the pay scale tiering to get a rise but the new order impact. We know any pay increase is frozen but what about the fact that the nps closed offices and now as not enough space want people to work from home and pay to park when they are at work. They do in our area anyway. The cost of this will be huge per month and strips our salary back even further. Is there anything else they can take from us? It's professional work but we are treated as disposable, bottom of the pile, jump through hoops or you get no pay increase workers. Disgusting state of affairs. It's not merging back its civil service dictatorship with a like it or leave attitude.

  9. A bit off topic, but does anyone know if we are actually getting our contracted pay rise this year that we were supposed to receive in April, ie moving onto the next point on the pay scale? I have been asking around, no one seems to know and I cannot find any communication about it.

    1. Nafo put a letter out from Lawrence. It reads as if staff transferring are going to get some pay surprise. Nafo says it isn't anything to do with them. Oh no then what was all that agreed transfer about then nafo.

    2. Interestingly, I am aware of 2 colleagues that qualified the same day. One CRC and one NPS. As from 1/4 the CRC colleague went up the pay scale, the letter said in line with NPS changes. NPs has remained the same. Currently £2000 a year difference. NPS colleague told theirs will be back dated once it’s agreed with govt.

    3. Thanks for the update. Much appreciated.

  10. Phrases that have a familiar ring... Could be describing any of our 'excellent leaders' (boy or girl) in NPS, HMPPS, MoJ:

    "He is brilliant at remembering his own successes and rather less able when it comes to recalling his failures. If indeed there were any, which he is fairly certain there weren’t. Though, when pushed, he might just about concede that things would have been a whole lot worse if he hadn’t been in charge..."

    "[his] style is to enthusiastically kiss arse when it comes to those above him, and to lord it over those beneath him. The passive-aggressive..."

    "Never again would he be so shy about assuming he knew what was best. His high opinion of himself was in inverse proportion to his competence, as by the end he was merely repeating or contradicting himself."

    "On the few occasions when he was really challenged, he became decidedly snippy as he tried to talk over them."

    " “It’s good to be able to set out the truth about what really happened,” he lied"


  11. Boris Johnson today: "I am Churchill"

  12. "Cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus have more than tripled in a week with 42 people now confirmed to have died after testing positive for the variant, 12 of whom had had both vaccines doses.

    Public Health England (PHE) said that as of Wednesday, the UK has seen 42,323 confirmed cases of the B.1.617.2 variant first identified in India, up 29,892 from 12,431 a week ago, and an increase of 240%."

    Check out the crowds at the cricket; or at the Euros; or in Cornwall; or The Lakes District; or at your local pub...