Wednesday, January 10, 2007

As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap

Another day, another crop of Home Office disaster stories.

The reverse foreign criminal scandal.

Acpo spokesman, Paul Kernaghan, told MPs that until his association took over the job of updating criminal records last year, offences committed overseas were not being entered into the Police National Computer (PNC).

Instead, information on convictions was left "sitting in desk files" at the Home Office rather than being properly examined.

In total, details of 27,529 cases were left in files at the Home Office, according to Acpo.

Which the Home Office were unaware of.

Home Secretary John Reid, who was only told about the issue on Tuesday, held an emergency meeting with police and the Criminal Records Bureau the next morning.

He later announced an internal inquiry would take place.

Or were they ?.

Chief constables wrote to Tony McNulty, the Police Minister, three months ago and the letter was then passed to Joan Ryan, a junior minister.

The letter advised Mr McNulty that given earlier problems over foreign national prisoners it might be wise for the Home Secretary to be briefed on the issue.

Ms Ryan’s office acknowledged the letter in December, according to a report on ITV news.

The row almost overshadows the everyday Home Office fare.

The absconding prisoners.

Opposition parties have criticised the Prison Service after its head admitted not knowing the number of inmates on the run from open jails in England.

Phil Wheatley said there was no central system to count escapees who had been recaptured, but such a database would now be developed.

The policy of putting killers in open prisons.

Duncan MacNeil, 41, and Paul Michael Neale, 50, were reported missing from Sudbury Open Prison on Wednesday.

MacNeil from London was jailed for life in 1982. Neale was sentenced to life imprisonment in Bristol in 1983 for a murder in Wiltshire.

On Sunday, Gary Smith, 41, from Liverpool, convicted of manslaughter in 2002, failed to return to the prison after temporary release.

The decriminalisation of many crimes.

Just half of the penalty notices for disorder are paid within the required 21 days; offenders who fail to pay may still end up in court. A Whitehall consultation paper last month revealed that each penalty notice costs £91 to enforce - more than the value of the penalty.

The notices for disorder followed Tony Blair's claim that yobs would think twice before misbehaving if they faced being marched to a cash machine and fined on the spot.

How can such things be ? How can the criminal justice system (CJS) be in such a mess ? Call me naive, but I'm wondering if the culture of the people running it has a bearing.

There was a wonderful student photo of Sir Kenneth Macdonald in the Sunday Times when he got the job of head of the Crown Prosecution Service. A classic hippy circa 1972. This was around the time he was convicted of sending cannabis through the post to a friend.

Take a look at the head of the Youth Justice Board, Rod Morgan. Or at the rest of the board - let's see, a social worker who's a trustee of the Refugee Council, a former "Chief Inspector of Careers Services within the DfES", a former BBC Religious Affairs correspondent, a child psychiatrist, a children's charity worker (for the Church of England Children's society, a body who believe that no child should ever be imprisoned - including the Bulger killers), a magistrate, another charity wonk who also works for the left think-tank the IPPR, a "regular contributor to Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4" and a "Professor of European Youth Policy at the University of Glamorgan (formerly Bridgend Technical College)".

You can see why youth crime is almost non-existent, can't you ?

Last, read the CV of Helen Edwards (profiled in yesterday's Times), newly appointed head of the Offender Management Service NOMS, the body tasked with keeping the lags on the straight and narrow while they're being supervised 'in the community'.

Sociology at Warwick and Sussex Unis in the early 70s, two centres of leftwing student radicalism. Social worker with Sussex Council. Then charity work with Save the Children before 18 years at the pro-criminal lobby group NACRO.

From Chief Exec at NACRO to Home Office, Director of Active Communities Directorate 2002-04; Director-General of Communities Group 2004-06.

Is this a CV which will have criminals quaking in their boots and vowing to turn over a new leaf ?

(She came from a charity to the Home Office. Her predecessor, Martin Narey, has left the Home Office - to go to a charity. One which gets a lot of taxpayer cash, of course. As one door closes another opens.)

People like these have been in charge of our criminal justice system for thirty-odd years, with the happy results noted at the start of this post.

We can see the touch of the Youth Justice Board in the treatment of Alan Steel, a 26-year old smackhead with four previous convictions for dangerous driving and 13 previous convictions for driving whilst disqualified, dating back to June 1996. I wonder what other convictions he had ?

He was free and on the streets to pay £700 (doubtless saved from his paper round) for a second hand jeep. Pausing only to fill up with fuel, heroin and methadone, he set off on a ride which ended in the death of Paula Stead and a ten-year old girl losing a leg.

Not much Youth Justice for Danica Green, was there ?

A girl of ten screamed 'I hate you' across a courtroom yesterday at the hit-and-run driver who left her with one leg and killed her aunt.

From her wheelchair, Danica Green shook and wiped away tears as she unleashed her fury on Alan Steel.

She has undergone months of surgery and emotional counselling since Steel, high on heroin and driving 'like a maniac' to escape police, mounted a pavement and ploughed into her, her aunt Paula Stead, 32, and Mrs Stead's daughter Bridie, 11.

Danica was knocked to the ground before the wheels of the black Cherokee crushed her legs. Bridie was thrown into the air. Mrs Stead was swept on to the windscreen and carried along before being thrown into the middle of the road. She died instantly from injuries which included a fractured skull, a gash to the head, 18 rib fractures, a ruptured spleen and a ruptured liver.

But the story has a quasi-happy ending - the killer's been "jailed indefinitely". Huzzah !


Steel was told he will only be released from prison when probation officials believe he is no longer a danger to the public. He will have to serve at least five years.

When probation officials believe he is no longer a danger to the public ? He'll be out this weekend, then.


verity said...

I am surprised that others do not seem to realise the obvious - this destruction of our stable, deeply-rooted, thousand year old civil society is deliberate. Tony Blair has always intended to destroy the cohesiveness of Britain.

This is ably helped along by not teaching children British history, so they don't know where they came from.

This is all Gramscian destruction of society and this government, with its "human rights" centred attitude to law and order - meaning, no law and no order - has deliberately picked apart the fabric of our country that it took centuries to weave.

This makes it easier for the country to be taken over, either by Europe or the Islamics, who Blair seems to favour.

But it's thought-through and deliberate.

verity said...

I should have added that diluting the cohesiveness and closeness of British indigenes by flooding the country with alien immigrants is also part of the plan.

Laban said...

Nah. It's culture. We had one. We lost one. We're seeing the consequences of bad ideas - bad ideas which were around when Blair was still in shorts.

"All you need is love"

"If it feels good, do it"

"the kids are alright"

"the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom"

I come from that 60s/70s culture, Verity. I understand it. No conscious conspiracy, just a sense of who was on 'our side' and who was not.

Plus the killer argument - these people can't organise anything else.

verity said...

No, Laban. I do not agree, although I understand your point and I do think that the 'me' generation greased the slide and made it easier to accept the dangerous platitudes. "Human rights" has succeeded the deeply moronic, in the Vietnamese context, "winning hearts and minds", for example. In other words, they unwittingly did the spade work for what came later.

But it is classic Gramscian philosophy: the destruction of society. This is why the British population is being diluted with floods of immigrants. Muslims were best, because they are so alien and their being embraced by the lefty establishment was destabilising to the average Brit of all income levels - but especially forceful on those in poorer areas.

But now the public is demanding an end to letting the islamics in, they've cunningly grabbed the E Europeans.

At the same time, suicide bombers and illegal Arab fundamentalist organisations that attack Israel with long-distance rockets are known, in Beeb-speak, as "insurgents". It's a deliberate perversion of the language. Orwellian, in fact.

I used to think, Laban, that this was the gang that couldn't shoot straight. But they're not. No set of people - for instance, the Mickey Mouse British cabinet - could be so destructive by accident. They were organised and sly enough to get into office. And to hold office through two subsequent elections.

Dave said...

I think you are both right, most of them were just hippies but some had a much bigger agenda.

Devolution is another method of destruction. Look at the chaos that is going to cause once different parties control different parts of the UK.

James said...

Look at the chaos that is going to cause once different parties control different parts of the UK.

Yes, I agree. How would England cope without a Scottish socialist/nationalist party in charge?
[/tongue in cheek]

Devolution is actually about Europe and destabilising the UK to make, say, the West of England become postal Area K of Europe. (That is it's new name, seriously.)

Anyway, agree with both Laban and Verity. In order for the 60s Me Generation to come about, the educational elites had to be circumvented. Plus, the mainstream Christian sects were circumvented by beardy commie hippies in the 60s, too.

Anonymous said...


None of those bodies shopuld be permitted to be quorate without either a retired general or a former member of the Malayan Special Branch on the panel.

JohnM said...


I don't think the changes date from the 1960s. The roots go back much further. Reading, say Virginia Wolf, you get the same sense of alienation from the modern world as any Guardianista - she reagrds the society she lives in as essentially wicked and unreformable and wants it to be replaced.

My personal view is that such people always existed but normally their voices were drowned out by the majority. However, the shock of the First World War absolutely destroyed the confidence of the cultural elite in the belief that they belonged to the civilized society. The second world war reinforced that attitude. Thereafter it was a growing movement where more and more people outside the cultural elite came to agree with them. The sixties seem to me to be the time when this movement reached a critical mass.

However, I think it simplistic to write People like these have been in charge of our criminal justice system for thirty-odd years. I doubt they would recognise this picture themselves. I suspect it closer to the truth that each wave of graduate entrants will regard themselves as radicals entering a reactionary sphere and therefore they will never accept that their changes are making a bad situation worse. Rather they see any failure as justification to push the boundaries further.

One of the peculiar features of this generation and the current government in particular, is that they always talk as if they are anti-establishment. They are so divorced from reality that they cannot see that they are indusputably the new establishment.

Anonymous said...

I also think you are both right. At one end are the zealots who believe that once we have destroyed the Royal Family, common manners, deference, marriage, education, religion etc then we will reach a socialist nirvana.

Then there are the fellow travellers who sort of believe elements of that but really just want to stick it to the man.

verity said...

Thank you everyone for some very insightful comments.

Yes, the current anomie did spring from the 60s when youth was suddenly seen to be more insightful than people with years of experience under their belts and who depended on intellect and logic to argue their case rather than catchphrases. (Re the Viet Nam war - "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem". "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" and similar infantile simplismes.)

This was indeed when the ravening, destructive, malicious left got its feet under the table at long last. And yes, agree, that the First World Warm produced a terrible destabilisation. But we would have got over that in a couple of generations.

But you had Sydney and Beatrice Webb and Bertrand Russell and all that group busy gnawing away at accepted norms that had provided a stable society for generations.

John M says: "I suspect it closer to the truth that each wave of graduate entrants will regard themselves as radicals entering a reactionary sphere and therefore they will never accept that their changes are making a bad situation worse. Rather they see any failure as justification to push the boundaries further." I agree with this point.

And we shouldn't forget the role drugs have played. I am guessing that most,if not all, of the current cabinet were very heavy into marijuana, feeling rather clever and daring, and some of them still are. And there is plenty of evidence that long-term use of marijuana produces psychosis.

So the destructive, vicious left has been on the ascendant for at least 40 years, with a lofty left in the 1920s providing the intellectual underpinnings, also known as 'excuses' for putting oneself first no matter what the cost to society.

Why did it take root with such terrible viciousness in Britain, though? America underwent a much more intense Viet Nam experience than we, mere observers, did. The left in the US is just as disloyal as the British left - some of the liberal Supreme Court judges should have been strung up, and CAIR today has the bit between its teeth.

But it nevertheless is not nearly as successful in the US as it is in Britain. Is it because it is a more optimistic country? Has deeper religious values? Most states have steadfastly stuck with the death penalty for murder and they use it. They imprison rapists in most states for very long periods of time - like 30 years. They've still got their heads screwed on.

I would be interested in reading the thoughts of others here as to why Britain self-destructed so spectacularly when really, most people in Britain were deeply conservative (small c). Yet they let the destructive left take over to create the utter mess that is British society today.

Blithering Bunny said...

These people remind me of that silly naive lefty woman who used to go on TV with Lord Longford to support Myra Hindley in the 70's. She was a talking head on the recent TV programme about Hindley. She felt eventually that she'd been foolish and taken for a ride by Hindley. But she still didn't seem to have left the "punishment is evil" camp.

alfie said...

Ahhh, Tony McNulty, quite possibly the dumbest minister in the Government. Arrogant, ignorant, bombastic...... but still in a job!


verity said...

Ellee Seymour has said over on The Croydonian, in what sounded like a tone of approval, that schools are teaching "global warming" in geography classes.

Now, this is wicked. They are indoctrinating children with garbage science and teaching them that progress is bad and that humans are bad. Any global warming that's taking place is coming from increased sun activity and there is nothing the malignant left can do about it. I would be livid if I found out my child was being indoctrinated with propaganda and junk science in school.

dave fordwych said...

The continuing chaos at the Home Office may be connected to the revelation last year that 38% of the head office in London are now from ethnic minorities?

According to a Telegraph report on 23/07/2006 ,this has happened despite ethnic minority staff underperforming in internal examinations.

Needless to say measures such as, "reducing skills to be assessed" and "allowing candidates more time for the exercises" have been introduced with results which are becoming clearer by the day.

Voyager said...

Her predecessor, Martin Narey, has left the Home Office - to go to a charity.

Yes it is called Barnardos and get 66% income from H M Govt

I knew pantomime would exit the stage and integrate into real-life but never imagined Blair could introduce it for such a long run in Whitehall

Voyager said...

BTW - Laban - the CV of the woman is interesting but you must really dig deeper and find out who she slept with back then that keeps her in the Loony Left Rolodex..........after all this is a Govt which finds something for the old lags...........just think Sue Slipman

Observer said...

I should have added that diluting the cohesiveness

Verity, what do you think of the term cohesion ?

Voyager said...

JohnM, I suspect that the return of a Labour Govt in 1964 with a Liberal as Home Secretary - aka Woy Jenkins is what caused the problem.

Wolfenden did his Report in 1967 on homosex but failed to tell the public his own son was an alcoholic homosexual who died of drugs/booze and that rather as Comprehensive Schools were the Middle Class means of overcoming the stigma of Dim Little Johnnie going to the school with the "riff-raff"; so the Middle Class didn't want Cedric going into klink with rough trade just because he had a fling with the policeman in the public conveniences.

Then along comes Woy and gets Backbenchers to float Govt policy as a Private Member's Bill - bye bye Death Penalty, hello Consenting Adults, and how about making prisons chummy places so we can all feel redemptive

It was Woy wot did it to us

Verity said...

Observer - You are correct. I should have written 'cohesion'. I must have been having a fit of polysllabic pretentiousness.

Voyager said...


Jeremy Wolfenden, Moscow correspondent of The Daily Telegraph was blackmailed into helping the Soviets after being seduced by a barber in the Ukraine Hotel. As the couple got into bed together, a KGB photographer jumped from a wardrobe shouting in Russian: "Hello, Hello, what's going on here, then?"


verity said...

I followed your link, Voyager. I think Matthew Parris is a prize drip, although sometimes he writes well. But,like many homosexuals, he is a professional gay. Like Andrew Sullivan.

Umbongo said...

This is all very well and I couldn't agree more with Verity et al but where do we go from here? Time was when you could (more or less) depend on a Conservative government to provide a push to the pendulum - not all the way, of course, there was always Butskellism and the Heath EU lunacy. Unfortunately, the only possible alternative to the current shysters in office is BluLabour led by a know-nothing PR spiv whose latest triumph of "opposition" is to defend a senior government minister from accusations of hypocrisy.

BTW the rot was clearly evident in education in the mid/late 60s when Mrs Umbongo was teaching at a newly unstreamed comprehensive in South London. She despaired even then that the evidently bright and hardworking were victimised and disadvantaged by their fellow-pupils and, worse, by the bien pensant headmistress and staff.

JohnM said...

I'm not convinced that it was "Woy Jenkins".

In the 1950s we had a report saying that Homosexuality was not a psychiatric disorder. That was a necessary preliminary. Did it start then?

In the 1930s the elite were seeking anti-enlightenment solutions (as they are today). Consider the Mitfords or the Cambridge spies. Prior to WW2, fascism was at least a credible alternative to many in the elite. Think "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie". Did it start then?

Anonymous said...

It is not we who have "destroyed the Royal Family" but the self-serving Royal Family that destroyed us, by shirking their constitutional duties and acting as a rubber stamp to the excesses of an out-of-control Parliament.
Time and time again the Queen has shown she is only interested in preserving the institution of monarchy at the expense of the nation, even to the extent of handing over our national sovereignty to foreign powers.

Voyager said...

In the 1950s we had a report saying that Homosexuality was not a psychiatric disorder. That was a necessary preliminary. Did it start then?.

Yes but the Wolfenden Report was the end-product of a decision that had already been masde as these Reports usually are.

My point is that Wolfenden was the cover for a political decision; Jenkins used Backbenchers for his proposed legislation on Homosexuality (Abse); Hanging (Silverman), Abortion (Steel)

No doubt certain journalists wrote helpful articles.

Foxhunting was a Backbench Bill too.

THe new trick is to lose an ECHR Case such as over gays in the military by nolo contendere.......or to use the Council of Ministers to have the EU "force" the Govt to do what it wants but dare not say.

In Germany Govt policy would appear in Bild or Die Welt on Sundays - always a weekend edition to soften up the public for new laws

We live in an Administrative Democracy manipulated by men of very average intelligence and extraordinary deviousness

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in reading the thoughts of others here as to why Britain self-destructed so spectacularly when really, most people in Britain were deeply conservative (small c). Yet they let the destructive left take over to create the utter mess that is British society today.

Its lack of accountability.

Even today, if the general public were to be given the chance to vote for Police Commissioners for example, the likes of Ian Blair would be history.

We have a far more centralised system of government than the USA, and once the levers of power are in the left hand, irreparable damage can be wrought.

verity said...

John M - Agreed. I think it went back to the 20s, with Sydney and Beatrice Webb, Bertrand Russell, etc. The progression has been extraordinary.

I lived in the US and can assure everyone that voting for the local police commissioner works. He knows he will only get voted back in by doing the will of the electorate. Same with the fire chief. All schoolboards in the US are elected. So are most county sheriffs. Accountability works.

American governance is not centralised at all. In a couple of states, you can get married at 14. Most, but not all, states have the death penalty. Some states do not allow citizens to keep guns, but some do. Some states, like Texas, allow citizens to "carry concealed" and some allow guns but no carrying concealed. In Texas the death penalty is by lethal injection. In Utah, you can opt for the firing squad.

Voyager said...

Serf, in many ways it was WWII. Prior to WWII the Local Council with its Aldermen ran the bulk of services in people's lives - the Gas Works, the Electricity Works, the Board Schools, the Municipal Hospitals.

Then from the wartime Emergency Health Service came the NHS and Municipal Hospitals were nationalised; the 1944 education Act created a Secretary of state for education with powers over schools; the Gas and Electricity works were nationalised; Buses and trams were nationalised which is how BET lost its core business.

Nationalisation passed power to London and stripped Councils of commercial revenues.

Increasing centralisation and the control of Local Council borrowing through the Public Works Loans Board where the Treasury made a spread on any loan taken out by a Council.

So if a Council borrowed it would have to surrender any funds to the Treasury and borrow at a higher rate from the Fund with the treasury making a profit.

All these issues made Local Councils increasingly unimportant and removed local democracy.

verity said...

Voyager - How very interesting, and thank you!

Anonymous said...


All this unsavoury talk of briefs encounters reminds one that it was Hilary Benn who decriminalised the solicitation of homosexual sex in public lavatories.

It occurred to me at the time that just as Ernie Bevin was known as 'The Dockers' KC', the Hon Viscount Stansgate In Waiting should have been dubbed 'The Cottagers' Friend'.