Wow! Did We Really Just Do That? 196


The Levellers Play Doune the Rabbit Hole

I find it hard to get my head round the fact that this is the little festival Jamie started nine years ago with a group of his schoolfriends and the money from an endowment life insurance I took out for him the day he was born. 2018 was the year Doune the Rabbit Hole finally attained critical mass, and everything went right.

As the years go by, I have become more rather than less involved in helping run the show. I also have got older. I find that I am still capable of working like crazy for the week before and during the festival and averaging only three hours sleep a night for seven days. But what I can no longer do is recover easily from it. I have effectively been out of action for the last ten days, having come down with a sore throat and cough on the Festival’s last evening that simply will not go away, coupled with exhaustion. It is a hard thing to admit we are past our physical prime and on the slope towards extinction, but there we are.

I know some readers resent my taking time off from blogging to run music festivals, because some readers write and tell me so, but I am afraid it is an important part of what keeps me going, and while I am extremely grateful indeed to those who pay subscriptions to keep the blog active, it does not purchase any part of my life. Regular readers will recall that finally in December I got paid years of arrears for work done in Ghana. Well, I quixotically invested much of this – a six figure sum – to keep the Doune the Rabbit Hole and Eden Festivals going, both of which share the philosophy of being non-commercial with no sponsorship, no advertising and no rip-off pricing, and both of which were in danger of going under. largely due to 2017’s appalling weather.

Amazingly, the Scotsman got precisely what we are trying to do, in a four star review of DTRH 2018:

The atmosphere was, as ever, bohemian and laid-back, probably more akin to the free festivals of the 1970s than the corporately sponsored affairs which draw large audiences nowadays.

While this review from eFestivals picked up on an atmosphere which precisely matches my description before the Festival of why it is important to me and why I find renewal there (and no, I don’t know the author):

The reviews from people who just went along to enjoy have a similar vibe:

As a seasoned festival veteran (albeit I had not been at one since 2005) I have to say that I was totally blown away by this festival due to the intimacy of it all. Far removed from the commercialisation of big festivals, this was right down to earth, you could freely chat to most of the bands and it was easy to get up the front of crowd without having to maintain your position for the entire day!
The vibe was nice and friendly and as the festival goers were there to see the music rather than want the kudos of a Glastonbury Facebook check-in it was a lovely atmosphere…But, there is so much more to this event than simply the music. The boys (8 and 10) had a ball in the kids area, the free deckchairs that were scattered about sporadically were a marketing masterstroke and the bar sold a nice selection of cold local ales. (Added to this the free drinks for the children – a lovely touch)
We sang, we danced, we chilled. I even took in part of the World Cup final with the Levellers! What a memory that will remain. (again to highlight the intimacy of the event, the bands generally mingled with their fans rather than being penned in to a huge backstage commune far from the madding crowd)…
The support of local bands, up and coming bands and the sheer variation on offer meant it was a brilliant weekend loved by us all and we cannot wait to return in 2019. It was a triumph and I thank the organisers for a great show in a beautiful setting.

Doune the rabbit hole is an experience I would recommend to everyone.
What a fantastic weekend! Never have I seen so many happy people!
A super family friendly atmosphere. There’s lots for the kids to do. There’s showers if you don’t mind paying a little. Lots of space to lay about in the sun and relax.
The music was amazing, you are guaranteed to be dancing all weekend. There’s something for everyone.
The estate is beautiful too, so many trees to lay under or lounge around in deckchair.
I had such a brilliant weekend!

First time at this festival and it was absolutely brilliant. The toilets were always clean and never without toilet roll or hand sanitizer! the variety of seating available in the main arena was unlike any other festival I’ve been to. Great variety of music and alcohol available as well as food. Absolutely loved Pyroceltica and loved the night time camp fire. Fantastic atmosphere, everyone seemed friendly and it was a wonderful festival suited to all ages. I can’t wait to go back again next year!

My first time at DTRH and I was only there for the Sunday. I had a fabulous time though. Love that dogs and kids are welcome, love all the fun stuff laid out to entertain kids – and mostly for free. We took our son to Belladrum last year and everything cost extra money once you were in there so it was lovely to see it was only face painting and hugging an alpaca that cost here. I saw lots of very different bands and loved several of them. Lovely laid back vibe around the place, nice size of arena for the number of people. Hope to come back, with my son, in future

Felt like one big happy family in a field for the weekend. Great mix of music. Young & older, shoulder to shoulder sharing unforgettable festival experiences. Perfect introduction to festival life for our young daughter who had a whale of a time. Doune the Rabbithole put a lot of effort & imagination into the weekend resulting in a laid-back, thoroughly enjoyable time. An absolute treat of a wee festival

First time at DTRH which is surprising as live right next to site ! How to describe this wonderful little festival .. . Well as a late 30s gent who gave up my festival going after some fairly poor experiences at other events ( and a belief that I was getting on a bit and passed it ) my love of getting away from it all and listening to some good music is restored ! Doune is a family friendly ( and dogs so many lovely mannered four legged friends ! ) festival small in size but jam packed with character. From Friday to the Sunday night the stages offered something for every music taste or opportunity to create your own jam in one of the many tents dotted around the site where you could sit relax or get your groove on. Hammocks filled with giggling children or glorious deck chairs were a fantastic addition and offered somewhere to watch the unique and interesting characters that passed by or to fill bellies with the awesome food on offer notably the haggis man truck and gastro gorillaz ( seriously this was one of the best meals I’ve had at a festival ! ). We spent the majority of time between the campsite and main arena easily within walking distance and drama free throughout the weekend. The behavior of all in attendance was as chilled as the atmosphere. Never had an issue or witnessed anything concerning or that would have ruined your weekend ( and the toilets weren’t awful either ! ) In short will be back and highly recommend anyone who loves the festival atmosphere of old but without the drama to attend as you’ll definitely find something at DTRH that will bring back those memories of how good it used to be and can apparently be again ! Great job

There are many more, but I trust that it comes across that this event is about the people and the way they interact socially – in a “pop-up society” that is kinder than our normal one – and thus it gives a glimpse of society’s potential. This year it felt like we succeeded in doing precisely what we set out to do. I am extremely grateful to the readers of this blog who came along to work as volunteers with me in the bar or elsewhere, or just to take part in the festival – I was approached by scores of people including from Moscow, Warsaw and Berlin! Happily everyone seemed to “get” that it was about lifestyle not about political analysis.

I should love to be able to tell you that bands react to the non-commercial nature of the festival by charging us less than their full commercial rates, but sadly that would be untrue, and the artists always hide behind their agents. Supporting musical talent is of course a key aim, but I have to confess I worry sometimes that we have people working many hours – often weeks – for love of it, while some chap turns up, strums a guitar for 45 minutes and walks away with thousands of pounds. But I suppose that is the nature of talent. On the positive side, they do almost all react by chilling out and joining in with everyone else when not performing.

So, for those wondering why articles are few and far between lately, there is your answer. I continue to live a very full and varied life. I just need to pace it a little better!

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196 thoughts on “Wow! Did We Really Just Do That?

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  • Sharp Ears

    It just came to me. Our verbose ‘friend’ on here, so keen on giving out advice, is a reincarnation of Bernard Lee in the 1961 film Whistle Down the Wind. His daughter Kathy was played by Hayley Mills.

    🙂

  • Sharp Ears

    How many more times do we have to read about the failure of government outsourcing? This time it’s the TORIES and C(r)apita who were given a 7 year contract in 2015 to operate back office functions in OUR NHS

    It has been an unmitigated disaster with patients’ lives put at risk.

    As usual, we are not told the value of the contract.

    NHS contract with Capita could have put patients at risk – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44953080

  • Nevermind

    Reesy Moggy has just moved his second company to Ireland, a true Brexiteer to his hypocrit words, what. An establishment pug.

    • Xavi

      Doing it in plain sight, yet will continue to be portrayed by the media as a sincere, passionate Brexiteer. So too Bozo, despite having been loudly pro-EU throughout his time as London mayor. Nobody would take them seriously as Brexiteers without the media’s dishonest complicity. Same way nobody ever viewed Corbyn as an existential threat to Jewish people until the media decided that was how they’d frame him. Truth and reality mean nothing to the mainstream British media, yet they are the ones who have been railing since 2016 against ‘fake news.’

      • Herbie

        You can rate fund managers, using tools available on the big fund investment websites.

        It’s amazing how poor most of them are, in terms of returns over time.

        Their charges and churning responsible for many of the problems.

        For many funds, you can get equivalent ETFs charging one tenth of what the fundies charge.

        But, who knows, perhaps Moggie is a superstar manager, or has employed same, delivering excellent results.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I’m glad it was a success but time to move on quickly as the Anglo-American world is going down the tubes rapidly with Trump behaving like a thitd-world dictator, and May trying to catch him.

    • Republicofscotland

      Not forgetting Bannon, who’s travelling around Europe druming up support for right wing movements, and concocting some sort of alt-right plan with BoJo, post Brexit. When the UK and the NHS for example become fair game for the money men.

          • Sharp Ears

            What a stupid and irrelevant remark.

            A. I worked in the NHS.
            B. I have paid income tax for all of my working life and so did my late husband. I have been fortunate enough never to have claimed benefits, even when I cared for my mother here for eight years as her health declined. She lived here with my husband and myself. He loved her as much as I did.
            C. A close relative gave 40 years of his life to the NHS as a surgeon.
            D. I, with others, campaign for its continuance as a health service free at the point of need.
            E. Yes. I owe my life to the NHS, as do millions of us and we thank God for Aneurin Bevan and the post war Labour government.

            Yourself? Tell us more or push off and stop cluttering up the place.

          • Charles Bostock

            The remark is neither stupid nor irrelevant.

            You spend much time telling us that OUR NHS is being destroyed, sold down the river, privatised, put into the hands of private entreprise, sold out to American vulture interests and so on. In other words, that it’d being turned into a crock of shit if it hasn’t been already.

            I simply pointed out that your own personal experience – and for that matter, Craig’s personal experience – showed thagt that point of view was absolute rubbish.

            As rubbishy as claiming that the UK is a “fascist state” and seeing no contradiction between claiming that on a public blog and suffering not the slightest consequence for so doing.

            PS – you worked in the NHS, yes. But as a secretary and not a front-liner (nurse or doctor)

          • IMHO

            OMG.a “patriotic” Habba, not attacking SE for the love of the NHS but for the love of israel, bwahahaha. God help us from the wellbys.

          • Sharp Ears

            Habbabkuk had better update the file he keeps on me. I was not a secretary, a job he obviously belittles by association with me. If only he knew that in the main they keep the system going.

            Perhaps one of these days, he will provide his own CV on here.

    • Hatuey

      A third world dictator who goes around imposing peace on the world. If an arms trader was on here slagging Trump, I’d think “fair enough, the guy’s livelihood is on the one”.

      And that’s the side the fake left haters are on, the side of arms dealers and war mongers.

      Trump has done more towards peace in a year than Obama achieved in his whole presidency.

      Additionally, US gdp is growing at around 4% pa under Trump.

      And guess what… it’s been government policy in the US to separate children from parents where the parents commit crime for several decades. It’s the same in the U.K. too.

      Commit a serious crime and get caught up in prison and the courts and I promise we won’t punish your kids and put them in prison with you. You should be relieved to know this.

      Maybe tighter border controls will deter parents who put their kids through these dangerous excursions.

      • Brian c

        But the true left, personified by you, supports Trump and his tax cuts for billionaires, hard right SCOTUS picks, warmongering with Iran, pitiless advocacy of I*rael … Try engaging with reality.

        • Hatuey

          Where to start…

          First of all, unless we clarify exactly what is meant by terms like “left” and “right”, there’s not much point in continuing to discuss it. When I use the term “left”, I am usually referring to the Labour Party and its supporters — it’s understood (by me at least) that in objective/meaningful terms, there’s actually very little that is left wing about “the left”, the Labour party, and its supporters though.. I think the phrase “Red Tories” sums them up perfectly in that sense.

          I’m not sufficiently interested in Trump’s tax policies to look into them. I’m more interested in his peacemaking. His tax doesn’t impact on me and, assuming you are in the the UK, I’m wondering what they have to do with you? As I understand it though, he has cut taxes for everyone, not just the rich.

          Trump has been in office just over a year. In that time he seems to have totally defused the Korean Peninsula, pulled out of Syria (where Hillary wanted to draw a line in the sand and go to war with Russia), and initiated rapprochement with Putin. Not bad for a year or so in a job.

          I’m sure he will tackle the problem of Israel, its undue influence in US politics, and its aggressive ways, in due course. If he criticises NATO members for not stumping up enough, it of course makes sense for him to question the billions of dollars worth of free “aid” that the US sends to Israel every year. Give him a couple of years to work out how best to approach it and I’m sure we will see results.

          Worth pointing out that no other US president has done a thing to contain Israel over the last 50 or so years — not one. If your assessment of Trump rests on his role there, then at worst he is performing as well as his predecessors.

          • skyblaze

            I’m sure he will tackle the problem of Israel, its undue influence in US politics, and its aggressive ways, in due course.

            —-

            dont hold your breath. Trump MUST keep the votes of the nutcases in the evangelicals who weirdly support Israel MORE than the USA. Trumps core support is low so if he does anything against Israel he will lose the 2020 election

  • Republicofscotland

    So Theresa May says we should all take comfort in knowing that she’s stockpiling blood, medicines and other vital supplies.

    Oh what a bloody horrible mess the British government has made around Brexit. Throw in the possibility of a no deal and Britain will collapse on the first day of Brexit, well according the British governments impact reports it will, and that’s not even the worse scenario assessment.

    Add in that it’s unlikely that an extension date to the Article 50 process will be forthcoming, and we can see this Brexit slow motion car crash for what it really is a f*cking utter disaster implemented by egotistical cretins.

    The PM also said that minister (by stockpiling) were being responsible and sensible. Well if that’s the case why are we in this position in the first place, I wouldn’t trust this lot with picking up by dog’s shit let alone running the economy.

    • Ishmael

      A bunch of people so wealthy nothing they do to the whole country effects them whatsoever.

      What does one expect I guess. …Look says NF, there is pie in the sky, won’t it be great! ….Endless Bentos pie. (founded by a German).

      • Republicofscotland

        The controlling stake in the Tory party, and sympathisers in the Labour party (no use in denying it) have delusions of grandeur, that Brexit will be the first step to restoring the glorious empire, where the sun never sets.

        If the sentiment weren’t so pathetic and damaging to the economy, it would be almost laughable. However the Oxbridge wealthy Brexiteers and non Brexiteers are well insulated financially from the clusterf#ck that is Brexit, Joe Bloggs and his family are not, guess who’ll suffer at the hands of Brexit. Westminster is packed to the gunnels with desensitised greedy back stabbing inept prevaricators, who think a sharp suit/dress and privileged lives makes them suitable to lead.

        We’ll pay a heavy price for their incompetence?

        • Ishmael

          What kind of economy.

          “We’ll pay a heavy price for their incompetence?”

          I don’t know if you can separate brexit & the crash. & it’s certainly part of it’s motivation.

          No, they are competent, Enforcing a system since the mid 1800s that we have alway paid the price for. Brexit is clearly a reactionary scapegoat action. They are in panic mode.

          And not many people are really facing the actual issues, across the political spectrum. The whole market system was based on delusions of grandeur.

      • Hatuey

        it doesn’t make sense to judge politicians way you do. It only makes sense to compare them to the realistic alternatives on offer. Corbyn and Labour are pro-Brexit too, don’t you know that?

        We get this with Trump haters too. They compare him to angels. When they are asked to compare to the realistic alternative, Hillary, their arguments fall to pieces.

        It’s all very childish and if you get some sort of satisfaction out of feeling morally superior with arguments like this, well, that just means you are delusional as well as childish.

          • glenn_nl

            We get a lot of this. As soon as someone points out the actual, manifest and on the record in reality corruption and incompetence of someone in office, the Mystic Megs will pop up with “Yes, but.. but.. but… Clinton/ Labour/ [fill in anyone else _not_ in office] would be much worse!”

            This is a nice get-out. Because instead of discussing the actual record, we only have to discuss a comparison of their corrupt hero with a mythical, demonic fantasy.

  • Petra

    Sounds brilliant. A Scottish haven in a UK hell. Think I’ll pop in next year. Well done Criag and to all who made it such a fab event. And, eh, don’t apologise for taking time out Craig. This type of event is what we’re hoping will eventually emerge all over an Independent Scotland.

  • Republicofscotland

    Really? The Moggasuraus (and there’s no doubt he’s a dinosaur) stuttered and mumbled when asked (channel 4 news) if Brexit damages the British economy (a forgone conclusion) would he resign from politics.

    The beady eyed weasel, wouldn’t give an answer preferring to gish gallop, what a tosser.

  • Charles Bostock

    “It just came to me. Our verbose ‘friend’ on here, so keen on giving out advice, is a reincarnation of Bernard Lee in the 1961 film Whistle Down the Wind.”

    And it just came to me that the writer of the above is a reincarnation of the much-loved Miss Marple of too many films to mention.

  • Frazer

    Sorry I missed it this year pal…slumming it in Malawi..Will be over there for the next one in 2019..Glad it all went well…

  • grafter

    CRAIG………..This stuff is not important. It is a mere distraction. Get on with hounding the enemy or I will cancel my direct debit.

    • Robyn

      What the enemy is doing and getting away with is so horrifying we all need the occasional break from hounding for the sake of our sanity.

      It would be nice to hear from Craig more often, though.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Barnier blows inept May’s Chequers dud plan out of the water.

    “Michel Barnier has warned that attempts to appeal to EU leaders over his head were a waste of time, as he tore up Theresa May’s proposals on customs after Brexit, in effect killing off the Chequers plan.”

    “Against a backdrop of British cabinet ministers travelling across Europe to persuade governments of the benefits of the proposals, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator insisted that there was no difference in opinion to exploit.”

    “Anyone who wants to find a sliver of difference between my mandate and what the heads of government say they want, are wasting their time, quite frankly,” he told reporters at a joint press conference with the new Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, in Brussels.”

    http://archive.is/Z4GQ2

  • Tatyana

    Oh, everyone is here! 🙂 while you’re having small talks
    Assad claims: the White Helmets members, who don’t give up their weapons and don’t use amnesty privilege – those will be treated as terrorists and will be killed.
    He also said they are Al Quaeda and An-Nusra, their leaders left Syria, others joined terrrorists in Idlib.

    • Republicofscotland

      The western backed propaganda outfit the White Helmets need to leave Syria, because they were outed as working for the western aggressors to produce fake images and videos denouncing the Assad regime.

      If they’d been a genuine rescue/aid NGO, then they’d be no need to flee Syria. Now those that come to the UK, will need to to squeeze into the rooms above the womens clothes shop where the other widely mocked and derided so called SOFHR resides.

      Maybe the helmets will go up for sale in the clothes shop, and start a fashion trend.

  • Sharp Ears

    I think BJ was implying that Hamas was responsible for the broken water supply. Probably doesn’t know that Hamas who are in Gaza have nothing to with the Jordan Valley which is in Occupied Palestine, 100 miles away. Such is the level of BJ’s understanding.

    • bj

      I wasn’t implying anything.

      To resist and fight the murderous state there, my money is on Hamas.

  • quasi_verbatim

    Who is that shifty-eyed individual standing near to the patrician Monsieur Barnier at the news conference as he, Barnier, declaims that Mrs May is wasting her time sending her handrags around the Chancelleries of Europe in order to chisel a better deal behind his back?

    For, as Barnier loftily observes, there is not a “sliver of difference” between the Commission’s position and that of its twenty-seven constituent governments and never will be as far as les Albion perfides are concerned.

    And has not Madame L’Oiseau, confidant of le Garcon Empereur, chimed in to state that we face a “brutal divorce”?

    Ah yes, it’s Dominic the Rat, one of England’s finest, outmanouevred and outclassed.

  • Sharp Ears

    There is no show without a Johnson. Rachel appears on Sky News’ The Pledge and in ‘The Lady’, Boris was and Jo is in the Tory ‘government’ and now the father who has already appeared in ‘….Get me Out of Here’, will be in the party of geriatrics on a freebie to India which is some sort of reality show. I have never watched any of the previous series.

    The Real Marigold Hotel starts next Wednesday..

    ‘The other stars taking part are former Breakfast Time presenter Selina Scott, former Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham, actress Susan George, Grand National-winning jockey Bob Champion, comedian Syd Little, Ian and Janette Tough (aka The Krankies) and Peter Dean who played Pete Beale in EastEnders between 1985 and 1993.’
    https://www.whatsontv.co.uk/news/im-a-celeb-stanley-johnson-real-marigold-hotel-508663/#XhisVA0Qrdu05QEH.99

    Oh dear. How the mighty have fallen. Must need the money.

  • Ishmael

    “They did not think that fascism offered a long-term solution, but, given the threat of revolution, they welcomed Mussolini and the Blackshirts. As von Mises remarked in 1927, fascism “has, for the moment, saved European civilization.” Even in the late 1930s, Wilhelm Röpke, another leading neoliberal, would unabashedly declare that his desire for a strong state made him more “fascist” than many of his readers understood. We should not take this as a light-hearted quip.”

    No shit.

    https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/neoliberalism-world-order-review-quinn-slobodian-globalists

  • Chemical Britain

    Charlie Rowley was presented as a junkie in the ITV interview.

    That means that he is definitely not one.

    He must have a military and intelligence services connection and is part of this false flag operation.

  • Chemical Britain

    Does that not make him a dealer and an intelligence services asset?

    In such an interview, he would have been made to look at least a bit respectable.

    Instead he was presented as someone acting as a junkie.

    Why was he give a three hundred thousand pounds home if he was a junkie?

  • Brianfujisan

    I’m Glad I went to the Festival.. Even though the recent heat waves has got my chest Knackered.

    I shall Buy the Early bird ticket for next year, a Bargin even if only to camp in the Highlands for a few days.
    the big tent beside me, I think the couple only went to the festival Twice. But happy to just sit in the Good air.

    Up inside the Festival theres all Smilling merry people, young children everywhere.. Amazing Clothes and Styles. well priced food, music Galore. Not forgetting a real Cold Pint on a Hot day

    It’s always good to See Craig, Clark, Nevermind, and Sqounk

    There was a beautiful Picture I wanted to capture, of one of the Trees lit up with Multi colour lights.. but I was too weary at the End.

    Best memory for me was Standing with Nevermind watching the Levellers.. the sight of Dozens of teeny infants on parents shoulders, Rocking it out at near on 11pm.

    Great stuff all who made it happen, Well deserved Praise for you all.. Cheers.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig Murray,

    Congratulations on the success of your Festival. I had no idea, that it started largely as a family affair. You never really said. I really love festivals like that. I just brought my son home back from the airport, and he told me the most extraordinary story (when absolutely everything goes wrong at the same time) – but not just for him..he thought he was in dire straights…but ends up helping another guy – who had the same problem but even worse…( a bit like climbing up mount everest and you fall down a hole – but not involving ice or snow) wtf are you doing here? Φαίνεται ότι έχουμε το ίδιο πρόβλημα

    Then when we got home I read this. This is a Masterpiece, but I can’t mention the author’s “Christian name”, cos its a banned word here.

    “Helsinki Secrets”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49924.htm

    My wife and I are camping at a festival again next week, after I have taken my son, back to the airport to continue his adventure.

    Tony

  • quasi_verbatim

    Don’t you just love the Rat’s hard-knock school of negotiation? Threaten to Welsh on the £39billion, despite two previous commitments to pay it. I feel a blood goon rising.

    The War of the Brexit Secession is on the road to Sarajevo.

    Meanwhile, Mrs May is channeling Julie Andrews in the Tyrolean Alps. No wheatfield is safe.

  • Sharp Ears

    Failing Grayling cont’d.

    Controversial private probation contracts scrapped at a cost of £170m
    The controversial contracts, part of major reforms introduced by Chris Grayling in 2014, will be scrapped two years early.
    https://news.sky.com/story/controversial-private-probation-contracts-scrapped-at-a-cost-of-170m-11450709

    ‘Agreements with 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) to manage low-risk offenders will now end in 2020, two years earlier than planned.
    There have been fears they would not survive due to companies underbidding, along with less-than-expected numbers of offenders they had been set up to deal with.
    CRCs were part of a major part-privatisation programme for England and Wales introduced in 2014 by former justice secretary Chris Grayling.
    Under the reorganisation, the publicly run National Probation Service (NPS) dealt with the most high-risk offenders, while the supervision of low and medium-risk offenders was farmed out to privately run CRCs, who secured contracts worth almost £4bn over seven years.”

    Probation inspector at centre of row over wife’s job at outsourcing firm
    Paul McDowell’s wife is the deputy managing director of a private justice company that runs some UK probation services I can remember one of the contracts being given to a company run by the wife of a probation officer.

  • Sharp Ears

    Failing Grayling cont’d.

    Controversial private probation contracts scrapped at a cost of £170m
    The controversial contracts, part of major reforms introduced by Chris Grayling in 2014, will be scrapped two years early.
    https://news.sky.com/story/controversial-private-probation-contracts-scrapped-at-a-cost-of-170m-11450709

    ‘Agreements with 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) to manage low-risk offenders will now end in 2020, two years earlier than planned.
    There have been fears they would not survive due to companies underbidding, along with less-than-expected numbers of offenders they had been set up to deal with.
    CRCs were part of a major part-privatisation programme for England and Wales introduced in 2014 by former justice secretary Chris Grayling.
    Under the reorganisation, the publicly run National Probation Service (NPS) dealt with the most high-risk offenders, while the supervision of low and medium-risk offenders was farmed out to privately run CRCs, who secured contracts worth almost £4bn over seven years.”

    Probation inspector at centre of row over wife’s job at outsourcing firm
    Paul McDowell’s wife is the deputy managing director of a private justice company that runs some UK probation services I can remember one of the contracts being given to a company run by the wife of a probation officer.

  • quasi_verbatim

    No, I was wrong about Julie Andrews. Mrs May is headed for the Salzburg Festival to take in ‘The Magic Flute’.

    There’s a Queen of the Night in there somewhere. Better get your black rags out.

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