A Gangster State 1085


Max Weber defined a key attribute of a state as holding the monopoly on the legitimate exercise of violence within a given territory. For anybody other than the state to use substantive physical force against you or to imprison you is regarded as an extremely serious crime. The state itself may however constrain you, beat you, imprison you and even kill you. That link is on deaths in police custody. I might also quote the state murder of 12 year old British child Jojo Jones, deliberately executed by drone strike by the USA with prior approval from the British government.

That is but one example of the British state’s decreasing reticence over the use of extreme violence. The shameless promotion of Cressida Dick to head the Metropolitan Police as reward for orchestrating the cold-blooded murder of an innocent and unresisting Jean Charles de Menezes is another example. So is Savid Javid’s positive encouragement of the US to employ the death penalty against British men stripped of citizenship.

There are a class of states where the central government does not have sufficient control over its territories to preserve its monopoly of violence. That may include violence in opposition to the state. But one further aspect of that is state sanctioned violence in pursuit of state aims by non state actors, done with a nod and a wink from the government – death squads and private militias, often CIA supplied, in South America have often acted this way, and so occasionally does the British state, for example in the murder of Pat Finucane. In some instances, a state might properly be described as a gangster state, where violent groups acting for personal gain act in concert with state authorities, with motives of personal financial profit involved on both sides.

It appears to me in this sense it is fair to call Britain a gangster state. It has contracted out the exercise of state violence, including in some instances to the point of death, against prisoners and immigration detainees to companies including G4S, who exercise that violence purely for the making of profit from it. It is a great moral abomination that violence should be exercised against humans for profit – and it should be clear that in even in most “humane” conditions the deprivation of physical liberty of any person is an extreme and chronic exercise of violence against them. I do not deny the necessity of such action on occasion to protect others, but that the state shares out its monopoly of violence, so that business interests with which the political class are closely associated can turn a profit, is a matter of extreme moral repugnance.

Rory Stewart appeared on Sky News this morning and the very first point he saw fit to make was a piece of impassioned shilling on behalf of G4S. That this was the first reaction of the Prisons Minister to a question on the collapse of order at Birmingham Prison due to G4S’ abject performance, shows both the Tories’ ideological commitment to privatisation in all circumstances, especially where it has demonstrably failed, and shows also the extent to which they are in the pockets of financial interests – and not in the least concerned about the public interest.

I should add to this that Tories here includes Blairites. Blair and Brown were gung-ho for prison privatisation, and even keen to extend the contracting out of state violence for profit to the military sector by the deployment of mercenary soldiers, which New Labour itself consciously rebranded as “private military companies”. Iraq was a major exercise in this with British government contracted mercenaries often outnumbering actual British troops.

The reason for the state to have the monopoly of violence in any society is supposed to be in order to ensure that violence is only ever exercised with caution, with regret and in proportion, solely in unavoidable circumstances. It is the most profound duty of a state to ensure that this is so. The contracting out of state violence for private profit ought to be unthinkable to any decent person.


1,085 thoughts on “A Gangster State

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  • Douglas

    I’ve heard it said that one should ‘Never waste a good crisis’.
    Brexit is a huge crisis.
    It will not be ‘wasted’.
    Privatisation of state violence is only just beginning.

    • Sarge

      No doubt about it. The Tories intend to use Brexit as cover for privatizing the NHS, in an exemplar of the art of disaster capitalism. It’s all there in the Naylor Report – £10bn of public money to be spent priming the NHS for sale to United Health, a bankster-controlled health insurance outfit, sixth-largest corporation in the Fortune 500.

      • Bert.

        How absurd.

        The tories will turn what has been shown repeatedly to be the most efficient health delivery system in the world into what has been shown repeatedly to be the most inefficient health care delivery system in the world.

        I am still left wondering how long it will take people to realise that the tories are the very worst possible government for the people of this country.

        Bert.

        • Shatnersrug

          Bert, my parents are old, still ticking over, they’re convinced the Tories are more sensible. They are in awe of Jacob Cheese-Knob. They cannot process the complexities of politics in a way they once could but they still vote, the deterioration of their critical factor that has been replaced with a bizzare trust in anything spoken in Received Pronunciation by a man in a suit or a woman in a posh frock.

          I believe this type of mild demention is very common in their age group, however unlike previous generations, there are a lot of them. I remember when my grandfather got like this my mum dismissed him in an irritated tone saying “you’ve got old and daft” now it’s befallen my parents. It makes me very sad sorry for the anecdotal nature of this, and I in no way mean all old people go daft, look at Tony Benn! But I do think it affects a lot.

          • Lokych

            Given the prevalence of closet alcoholism, from my own experience with this demographic of Brexiteers, I do have a nagging suspicion there is some level of cognitive impairment at play.

        • Goodwin

          The NHS is stil wonderful and saved my life. The rampant demands on its services as a result of the policies of successive governments (of whichever kidney) whether budgetary, immigration or a welfare system which encouraged rampant breeding as a way to more booze and fag money are all factors. It’s not just those nasty (and frankly hopeless) tories.

      • giyane

        Sarge

        The Tories are trying to privatise the whole UK lock stock and barrell by means of Brexit. they want to sideline Parliament and have a cartel of rich businessmen like Rees-Gawdblessusall run our diplomatic relations with the rest of the world. Why do you think Mr Privatise Jeremy Hunt has been put in charge of Brexit? And why do think Brexit has taken so long?

        When the UK is officially privately out-sourced to these Tory rich bastards, by default the NHS will be a gnat to privatise. If anyione believes Tories are in it for anything but greed and power, please think again. You’ll all spend a long time trying to destroy their Dystopian vision of total Govian destruction.

      • Sharp Ears

        Virgin plans bid for NHS community health services in West London
        Virgin Care are launching a bid to run all community health services in Ealing as part of a 10 year deal worth £450m. The contract will cover all the healthcare for adults and children that takes place outside of hospital.
        Many of the services covered by the contract are currently being provided by London North West University Healthcare Trust, who also plan to bid for the contract. Central London Community Healthcare, another NHS trust are also reported to be considering a bid.
        EXTRA The news comes days after a national news story revealed that Virgin had already won over £2bn worth of NHS contracts in the last 5 years. The NHS Support Federation who helped compile this latest research and has been working to raise publicly the impact of outsourcing, pointed out that the company already has several similar contracts in Bath and North Somerset, Essex and Devon.
        In preparation for their bid Virgin Care arranged an event in Ealing Town Hall on 31 July “to engage with local community organisations to understand how services could be transformed”.
        Ex NHS Support Federation.

        They also have an item on their latest newsletter about the £10billion plan for the NHS à la Theresa May.

        https://www.nhscampaign.org/

      • CanSpeccy

        The Tory Party used to be run by aristocrats with a good education and a sense of obligation to the lower orders on whose backs they rode. Now the Tory party has been taken over by the scum of the earth, a bunch of wide boys like Cameroon and Savage Javage and the wives of money-grubbing nobodies such as Philip May: in other words, by scoundrels of the same quality as Blair and Brown.

        We need to go back. Mass democracy has resulted in mass imbecility, mediated by an education system that has morphed into a brainwashing mechanism. Maybe each person should have one vote for one IQ point, plus another vote for every thousand quid in taxes paid. Then at least the government could not get away with talking bollocks on all occasions.

      • Butties

        Dear Bert, you are missing the great advantage of Brexit. After Brexit we are but one general election away from ridding ourselves of the ‘very worst possible government’. The fear created by JC is evident in the orchestrated smear campaihn by the IGATS and MSM and it has failed just like project fear. The internet and social media is turning the tables in favour of the ‘plebs’. Hurrah!

    • Stephen

      With all due respect Britain has always employed “mercenaries” in al their wars, peace keeping operations etc. Explain the black and tans in Ireland or the continued use of Ghurkha soldiers to this day. Nepal is not a member of the British empire now (if it ever was) and their troops are pure mercenaries with their state being paid for their services by the British government. As far back as the Anglo Boer war mercenaries like the Australian Breaker Morant have been used by Britain. It’s a little too late to bitch about it now.

      • Dungroanin

        Waterloo was won by mercenaries and the bankers who lent Wellington the funds to afford it.

        William the bastard son of Falaise invaded Britain and Ireland with the professionals of what is now Belgium..

        The Romans …

        The number of mercenary outfits with Mayfair offices, ex Generals and MI types is staggering. SCL is a revolving door between the establishment and the conquesting forces of the bankers and Bell Pottinger PR types. Embedded in our media too.

  • Carl Olsen

    The link in your first paragraph states, “The newspaper reported that the successful strike had previously been kept quiet over fears it may have also killed her 12-year-old son Jojo.” So, appalling though drone strikes are, there is no suggestion the killing of the son was deliberate, and indeed, they’re not even sure whether he or even his mother Sally (the intended target) was killed.

    • craig Post author

      Carl,

      Don’t be an arse. They targeted the mother with a bomb in the full knowledge her young son was with her. That they might have failed in killing one or the other does not change the intent. It appears increasingly certain they did not fail. That they tried to hush it up, as your quote demonstrates, for fear of public reaction at killing a child in this way, is evidence of culpability, not of innocence.

      • Carl Olsen

        No need for the personal attack Craig. The son may well have been killed due to uncaring negligence, nevertheless I see no suggestion the boy was deliberately targeted, as required by your “state murder” characterisation. That was my point.

        • pretzelattack

          what evidence of negligence do you have? they didn’t care at all about the kid, just, belatedly, the ramifications of publicity. not sure about the uk, but in the u.s., say a cop shoots at a bank robber and kills a bystander, the bank robber can get prosecuted for murder. there was a lot more intent to kill the kid on the part of the british government than there would be on the part of the more pedestrian criminal.

          • Carl Olsen

            I don’t think Craig is arguing on the basis of a clearly absurd US law. Regardless, I disagree that there was intent to kill the boy. Indeed even by their immoral standards, they would no doubt have preferred not to, in order to spare them the embarrassment. Killing him gained them nothing. As I said, it was uncaring negligence. Overall though, I fully agree with Craig’s “gangster state” characterisation.

          • Clark

            From the Sun

            “Jones regularly used her son as a human shield”

            So the US knew he’d likely be with her.

            “The Americans zapped her trying to get away from Raqqa”

            It seems unlikely she’d have left him behind.

          • pretzelattack

            where is your evidence that imputed intent is not present in british law? where is your evidence that a clearly foreseeable action was not intended? you’re straining at gnats to excuse the british government, here.

          • Carl Olsen

            Clark, as none of us know the actual circumstances of the drone attack or of any prior instructions to either kill or avoid killing the boy from the British government or anybody else, you are engaging in empty speculation.

          • Carl Olsen

            Pretzelattack, Craig needs to provide evidence to back up his assertions that Jojo Jones was deliberately executed, and that such deliberate execution was given prior approval by the British government. Without evidence it is not incumbent on me to prove a negative, either in a court of law or a blog discussion for that matter.

          • pretzelattack

            he has to back up his assertions, and you have to back up yours about british law of imputed intent, as well as disregarding the clear approval of britain for assassinating sally jones whether or not her son was with her. but then the us killed another child of a target, didn’t it? and how many children did britain acquiesce in murdering by backing up the progaganda for the second iraq war? to pretend they have qualms about children dying is laughable.

          • Carl Olsen

            Are you seriously asking me to prove that British law requires evidence linking the accused to the crime? Do you honestly not understand that it is incumbent upon the prosecution to prove its case with evidence? In Craig’s article, he provides a link that one would assume backs up his allegation that the British government gave prior approval for the killing of Jojo Jones, but it does no such thing. So “no evidence”. Speaking of evidence, the reason I’m “disregarding the clear approval of Britain for assassinating sally jones whether or not her son was with her” is that I’m not aware such evidence exists. As it’s so clear, perhaps you could provide it? The phrase that this entire disagreement hinges on is “whether or not her son was with her”, which I gather is a sly way of saying that they specifically expressed their prior approval for Jojo’s death. I’ll be very blunt here: There is no evidence whatsoever that they did so. Indeed, the very article Craig links to states, “The newspaper [The Sun] reported that the successful strike had previously been kept quiet over fears it may have also killed her 12-year-old son Jojo” and “US intelligence chiefs have said they are not 100 per cent certain that she [Sally Jones] is the one was who killed as it is impossible to retrieve DNA evidence.” Got that? They’re not even sure they killed the intended target, Sally, let alone Jojo. If there is hard evidence contradicting this, why on Earth did Craig choose this particular link, which entirely undermines his claim of “the state murder of 12 year old British child Jojo Jones, deliberately executed by drone strike by the USA with prior approval from the British government.”?

            I have great admiration for Craig. He has demonstrated tremendous courage and the utmost integrity in speaking ugly truth to power. Indeed, I heartily agree with his overall thesis that the UK is a gangster state, as is the US. But the fact remains Craig provided a link that contradicted his controversial claim. For pointing this out he calls me “an arse”. Most disappointing.

        • Hatuey

          And from a moral standpoint you’d struggle to slide a cigarette paper between what you’re calling murder on one hand, and uncaring negligence on the other.

          • Carl Olsen

            Craig, not me, is the one calling it murder. I believe that it was negligent homicide, not the same thing. Facts matter.

          • Alex

            You don’t need intent to kill to commit murder… intentional violence, with death as the result is sufficient. If you intend to ‘only’ to punch and break a man’s nose, but he falls and (unexpectedly) dies, that can be murder.

          • Charles Bostock

            Alex

            Isn’t intention what distinguishes murder from manslaughter?

            Any criminal lawyers reading this?

          • Hatuey

            Carl, I shouldn’t need to repeat myself. If a terrorist indiscriminately shoots into a crowd and kills someone at random, is that any less of a crime than it would be if he picked someone out specifically?

            Of course, no, it isn’t. Some would argue that the former was in fact more reprehensible.

            And if that terrorist in the second example missed his specific target and killed an innocent bystander by accident, would you regard that as a lesser crime again?

            I don’t need to grapple with this crap — since I condemn all of this equally — but you with your flimsy arguments do need to grapple with it.

          • Carl Olsen

            Hatuey, my argument isn’t that manslaughter is less of a crime than murder, it is that unlike the killing of the mother (the intended target), the child was what is callously called “collateral damage”. I’m not a lawyer, but generally for a crime to be considered murder, there has to be intent to kill. Wilfully negligent in this case? No doubt, but not murder. Why does the distinction matter? Because one of the fastest ways to lose credibility is misrepresentation. Such misrepresentation may seem trivial to the choir, but the sceptics (the very people Craig is aiming at), will seize any misstatement to dismiss the entire argument. That is one reason I said that facts are important.

          • Hatuey

            Carl — “Why does the distinction matter?”

            It was you that introduced the distinction. Further to that, I think your distinction which now seems to rest on a legal definition is flatly incorrect. There are different types of murder, first degree etc., and I’m confident the example given by Craig would or could quite easily constitute murder in a court of a law.

            If a burglar, for example, in this country, deliberately set a house on fire so as to bump off a potential witness and, intentionally or not, killed people in the house next door too, he would very likely be charged with murdering them all. It’s up the the CPS in England though and the PF in Scotland to pursue such examples as murder charges.

            Things like this have happened. I can find samples if you wish.

          • Carl Olsen

            By all means, and while you’re at it provide evidence that the British government gave prior approval for the boy’s killing, as I suspect that would be a rather important point in a court of law.

          • Ian Gibson

            “Isn’t intention what distinguishes murder from manslaughter?”

            If that is the case, can anyone explain how it is that the death of Dawn Sturgess in Salisbury is being investigated as murder?

          • Carl Olsen

            Ian, considering the highly suspicious circumstances, it not surprising that Dawn Sturgess’s death would be investigated for (possible) murder. What puzzles me though is how you think this supports Craig’s claim that Jojo Jones was “deliberately executed by drone strike by the USA with prior approval from the British government.” Care to expand?

        • Manda

          So to target a particular person the drone operator has clear sight of them for identification, they also make the decision to target who is with them at the time. They call it collateral damage in a targeted killing. I call ‘targeted extrajudicial killing’ aka cold blooded state murder of a citizen and whoever happens to be near them. Uncaring negligence my arse!

          • Carl Olsen

            Manda, where is your evidence that the drone operator had clear sight of both the mother and the boy? That’s just a convenient assumption, isn’t it? But more importantly from the viewpoint of Craig’s argument, where is the evidence that the boy was murdered “…with prior approval from the British government”? Craig provides none, and all the information I can find strongly suggests that Whitehall gave no such approval. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

          • Hatuey

            Carl — where is the evidence that prior approval was given…

            Again, you reveal a lack of understanding of both the law and how these things work politically through delegation and plausible deniability.

            In legal terms, it would be incumbent on those facing charges to prove that they determinedly acted to avoid what you are calling collateral damage. You have it back to front and put the burden of proof on the prosecution.

            Herein lies the problem. If you scheme to kill someone and inadvertently kill an innocent bystander too, the dead innocent bystander is the proof that you didn’t take measures to avoid collateral damage. That equates to murder.

            It’s not a great defence, is it? “Yes, I meant to murder person A and clumsily killed his friend person B too… but let me assure you I did everything I could to avoid collateral damage…”

            You’d simply be charged with two murders.

          • Carl Olsen

            As I replied to Pretzelattack: Craig needs to provide evidence to back up his assertions that Jojo Jones was indeed on the prosecution. It is you who have it back to front. deliberately executed, and that such deliberate execution was given prior approval by the British government. Without evidence it is not incumbent on me to prove a negative. As for my “lack of understanding of the law”, I know with absolute certainty that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. It is you who have it back to front.

          • Carl Olsen

            Sorry, my last comment was garbled. I’ll try again:
            As I replied to Pretzelattack: Craig needs to provide evidence to back up his assertions that Jojo Jones was deliberately executed, and that such deliberate execution was given prior approval by the British government. Without evidence it is not incumbent on me to prove a negative. As for my “lack of understanding of the law”, I know enough to know with absolute certainty that the burden of proof is.

      • exiled off mainstreet

        As somebody who practiced as a lawyer for decades before going inactive and retiring I can state that this is the correct legal view according to any system adhering to the rule of law. The fact is the effort to kill the mother is itself legally a war crime and would be prosecuted as such except that the yankee imperium has successfully managed to exempt itself based on its power from war crimes jurisdiction. If it is likely that somebody else will be killed as a result of actions by a murderer, it is considered murder even if, by negligence, the actual target survives and somebody else, in this instance her 12 year old child, is killed instead. Anybody arguing “negligence” as a defence in such cases reduces himself to the status of apologist for criminal behaviour.

      • Carl Olsen

        I detest the callous term “collateral damage”, Indeed like most of us, I detest war and all the propaganda attempting to “justify” it and trivialize the casualties. However, negligent homicide by any other name is still not murder, and even if it were, where is the evidence for Craig’s claim that the British government gave prior approval?

    • giyane

      Carl Orlsen
      ” there is no suggestion the killing of the son was deliberate,”

      No, there has been a deliberate “spin” trying to avert that suggestion. Craig was attacking your credulity, not you personally. Sometimes commenters feign credulity to disrupt the thread. In your case there’s no suggestion of double-think, just a lack of reasonable suspicion of politicians.

      • Carl Olsen

        Starting a response by calling the commenter an arse is not an attack on that person’s credulity. In fact it’s nothing more than a cheap, utterly counterproductive insult. As for your other allegation, one’s level of trust or distrust in governments doesn’t obviate the need for Craig to back up his assertions that the British government “deliberately executed [Jo Jones] by drone strike by the USA with prior approval from the British government”, when the available evidence, both circumstantial and specific(British government), suggests otherwise.

          • Shatnersrug

            Have you read Craig’s book, murder in Samarkand?

            His dealing with state sanctioned murder may lead him to have a very short fuse when someone appears to be protecting callous state action as you did.

            But yes he shouldn’t have called you an arse. But I do believe that it’s unrealistic of you to believe the death of the son any less a murder than the death of all these kiddies at the hands of the Saudi’s last week. Britain and America act like the mob abroad. In fact the only reason I can see that the mob are illegal at home in the west is because the don’t serve the interests of the state.

          • Carl Olsen

            Thanks SR. I don’t care personally whether he calls me an arse or not, beyond the fact that Craig provides a vital counter-narrative to the establishment spew, and ugly personal attacks can be a big turn-off to fence-sitters he might otherwise win over, particularly when I correctly pointed out that the link he provided to back up his claim that Britain gave prior approval to Jojo’s killing directly contradicted his claim. That is an indisputable fact. My comment made no mention of my opinion beyond what I took directly from the article he, Craig, linked to. If he doesn’t believe what the article claims, why on earth would he link to it? See the problem?

  • glenn_nl

    Also worth mentioning is the perpetrating of entirely deliberate “collateral damage”, which is absolutely going to – not just “might” – kill large number of innocents. A good example was the bombing of a restaurant in which, intelligence supposedly had it, Saddam Hussein was dining that evening, in the lead up to our war of aggression in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    So it was duly bombed and all inside killed. Unfortunately – dash it all – SH was not there. Rotten luck, and all that. No mention that innocents were always going to be killed in large numbers, and absolutely no regrets, less still condemnation of our Partners In Peace for such practices.

  • Hatuey

    Well, since I have no reason to distrust private companies any more than I distrust politicians or public servants when it comes to violence, I’m inclined to question the general thrust of this piece. I suppose the argument goes beyond that though and takes issue with the idea that some people might profit from their involvement in certain areas..

    If we are to be serious though, we’d concede that the word “profit” might easily be broadened to include the rewards of those who make colossal earnings in the public sector too. What difference is it to me or some jailbird that the prison governor is in the public or the private sector when, either way, his wages amount to a couple of hundred thousand per year?

    I’m an anarchist. Institutions, whether public or private, if the involve people, will behave badly. The bigger and more detached from communities those institutions are, the more badly they will behave.

    I’m against privatising things generally if they are things that society depends upon and people must have; to me, doing so is a sort of theft. But I wouldn’t lie awake with excitement if they decided to re-nationalise prisons or railways or anything else.

    I’m worldly enough to know that the public sector can be just as obnoxious and terrifying as the private sector. The blood-stained pages of history books testify to that.

    • duplicitousdemocracy

      The dangers of privatisation are obvious. In it’s current state, our politicians are responsible for the integrity of police/prisons/justice system in general, if you think that the private sector getting in on the action won’t be detrimental to an already collapsing system, just hope you are never caught up in it. Whether you trust politicians more or less than executive directors is up to you. I’ll stick with a body that is accountable to the ballot box, as flawed as that may be, rather than an organisation trying to please shareholders.

      • Hatuey

        Please explain to me how someone who manages a prison in the public sector is more answerable to you than one in the private sector.

        I’m not arguing that one is more detrimental than the other. In the current context, though, given the pressures of party politics, the ever present corruption of politics and politicians, the private interests of politicians and those who donate, etc., etc., I fail to see what real difference it’s like to make either way.

        If you think it necessary I can go through a lengthy list of public sector organisations, representatives, and institutions, including hospitals, that have not only failed in terms of serving the public but have exhibited levels of corruption and irresponsibility that are way beyond anything I would be able to find in similarly placed private bodies.

        Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of Jimmy Savile and the publicly funded BBC cover up of his murky shannanigans, the scandal at Alder Hey, the countless examples of child abuse that have taken place in government run orphanages and care homes, various degrees of corruption in government and councils, some of which relate to literally millions being pilfered, and, of course, the MPs expenses scandal must be included (especially since you place so much emphasis on accountability which, to be clear, means accountable to corrupt politicians and parliament, not ordinary angelic souls as you suggest…), and I could go on all night quite happily….

        • AliB

          You are choosing to compare prison governors in the public sector v private sector. Butin the private sector above the prison governor are the senior management people of the organisation – G4S in this case, where the CEO “earned” £3.4m http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-5600361/IN-MONEY-G4S-chief-exec-Ashley-Almanza-took-pay-cut-nearly-1m-earned-3-85m.html
          and of course all the payouts to shareholders etc. When a private sector company is running a public service they cream off money that should be being used for the service to go to high salaries for the top managers and dividends to shareholders- that is the crucial difference.

          • Hatuey

            AliB, I get your argument but the whole point of privatisation is to reduce costs to the taxpayer.

            I have problems with the left’s arguments for nationalisation. The idea of public ownership in itself isn’t a problem, in principle I’m fine with that, it’s the question of who gets to decide which sectors and industries are worthy and which aren’t.

            My experience and understanding of the Labour Party suggests they are only interested in nationalising or renationalising industries that (for one reason or another) appeal to them and their rank and file who with their third rate degrees are looking to get snouts in troughs. As per usual, everything is cloaked in the loftiest of ideals.

            Personally, I have no desire to further subsidise English commuters though. When you boil it all down, that’s what nationalising railways means; U.K. taxpayers as a whole are to pay more towards getting some thick guys in Wolverhampton to work in London. And into the bargain, an army of Labour Party pigs get to stick their snouts in a new trough.

            Fuck all that. That’s as unpalatable to me as paying towards trident renewal.

          • Clark

            “…the whole point of privatisation is to reduce costs to the taxpayer”

            Is it? Or is that merely what the political right and the private sector ‘news’ media would have us believe?

            Privatisation also moves taxpayers’ money into the private sector.

          • glenn_nl

            @Hatuey : Could you provide an example of a public service being profitised/ privatised, which has benefited the country? Benefits would include saving taxpayers money and improved the service to the public.

        • exiled off mainstreet

          The private control of prisons leads to financial interests desiring a secure supply of prisoners as a source of profit. This leads to an odious form of corruption where draconic laws are put into effect to benefit the corrupt interests making money off those designated as prisoners based on corrupt laws created mainly to create rationales for profitable incarceration. This is rife in Yankee jurisdictions and probably is affecting British criminal law as well.

        • Royd

          Surely, you couldn’t go on ‘happily’ Hatuey? Why would one be ‘happy’ in the face of manifest failure in the public sector? Could you ‘happily’ list the failures of the private sector? I think that would be an even longer list to be honest but one that might not be so easy to compile.

          One of the main reasons that you can list the failures of the public sector is because the organisations concerned are actually obliged to tell the public. Those operating in the private sector are not. Until the ‘sh*t hits the fan’. See the difference?

    • giyane

      Hatuey

      The Tories sacked thousands of experienced probation and prison staff and replaced them with bods off the street who had no experience. this enabled money to be paid to shareholders from the savings. The problem with Thatcherism is the homage paid to profit for shareholders, for which reasonable levels of care are sacrificed. You must be bonkers if you think the cost of care should be sacrificed for profit. As usual you are flying a kite, in this case pseudo- anarchism. If that’s what you want, there are plenty of places you can find it. Why not go before Brexit makes it difficult to travel on a British passport?

      • Tony

        Why will brexit make it difficult to travel on a British passport? Being in the EU hasn’t made it any easier.

        • Laguerre

          Travelling on a British passport is quite easy at the moment, except for countries where we’ve created trouble, like Iran. Schengen has made travel much easier. No-deal Brexit means more trouble, whatever it is.

          • Tony

            Nope. Schengen hasn’t made travelling on a British passport any easier than it was before we joined the EU. We didn’t sign up to the Schengen agreement, so we still have to show our passports when entering the Schengen zone. No different to before. But surely you know this?

        • giyane

          Because we will by then be a xenophobic non-entity in the world. Brexit will cancel grandfather rights to roam at will. we will be starting again on the same level as Catalonia, at the bottom of the pile. imho

  • duplicitousdemocracy

    The contempt with which ‘we’ are held has never been more apparent than with Cressida Dick’s promotion. Two fingers were stuck up at the rule of law regarding the brutal murder of the unfortunate Brazilian but it also sends the message that ‘we’ will never be given basic access to a fair justice system. Considering the privatisation of both prison and the ‘street to suite’ service being used here in Lincolnshire, it would appear that unless a change of policy is forthcoming, the whole system will be even more rotten than it has been to date.
    Perhaps UK politicians have seen the huge money making prison scams in the US and want a piece of the action. It’s bad enough trying to keep the Police Service fit for purpose using state employees, managing it using G4S and others will be impossible.

    • MaryPaul

      I think expecting the Metropolitan police to be accountable for anything is a lost cause. I cannot speak for what it is like in other UK police forces but imagine it is pretty much the same thing in many others – South Yorkshire and Hampshire spring to mind but I am sure there are others who are equally a law unto themselves

  • Den Lille Abe

    I agree full Craig! But let me add the domestic violence you describe is mainly because Britain is to small, to inept to pick a fit wit other states… So what is outward lost, most be inward made up. Britain has morally had a Brexit years ago, many years ago and now sliding into a US like dystopia.

  • Clark

    The Independent article (Craig’s first link) is sourced from the Sun

    A Whitehall source told The Sun […]

    The Sun has to be the most jingoistic, pro-war paper in Britain. It is the gutter press, in that way and every other. That Whitehall should chose to release through the Sun, exclusively, is itself a disgusting propaganda ploy; deliberate glorification of state violence, and presumably intended to boost the Sun’s readership – by the most macabre means possible.

    EXCLUSIVE – By Harry Cole, Westminster Correspondent and Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor

  • Arby

    I’ve been in security for 18 years. I’ve worked for G4S as a grunt guard (in Canada) for 12 years. I’m only making $14.84 an hour. That should tell you something about the company. That should tell you something about capitalism.

    • Charles Bostock

      I’m afraid it does nothing of the sort.

      You would need to supply more information to put that into a Canadian context and UK readers would have to consider a few other points to put it into a UK context.

      Let me give a few pointers.

      Were you earning that in the UK, you’d be getting roughly £ 8.90. The UK national minimum wage is £ 7.83 and that is in a country where both direct and indirect taxes and some excise duties are higher than in Canada and the cost of living substantially higher.

      So to see that in a Canadian context we would have to know at least two things : firstly, how does that hourly rate stand in relation to the Canadian national minimum wage (if there is one) and secondly, what are the average hourly wage rates for blue collar workers in Canada.

      As for the UK, we would have to know what a G4S grunt earns per hour in the UK so that we can see how it stands as compared to the national minimum wage. We already know that the average UK wage is around £ 25.000 per annum (corrections welcome here, thank you).

      Finally, one must of course point out that Craig was talking about G4S in the context of Birmingham Prison, so he was talking about G4S people working in prisons. I suspect that you work for G4S as a common garden security guard, which is of course not quite the same thing.

      Which raises a further question you might be able to answer for us : does a common garden G4S security guard earn the same as a G4S prison guard in Canada (assuming the latter exist there).

      Ler’s debate and discuss!

      So to

    • Anon1

      Perhaps you should look into changing career? I mean don’t blame “capitalism” for your own failure to earn anything after so long.

      • glenn_nl

        Crap argument, ANon1. Prison guards are necessary, right? So they should be paid for their role in society. Saying that we need these people, but they’re to be badly underpaid and it’s their fault for fulfilling the role is immoral.

        What right wingers like yourself don’t seem to know or care about, is that society has to pick up the slack for underpaid people. All manner of benefits and subsidies come from the taxpayer, so apart from enriching some miserable CEO and shareholders, how does this benefit the country?

    • Disinterested Bystander

      Don’t take any notice of Charles Bostock, Arby. He’s always demanding that other posters supply links and citations to back up their arguments but never provides any to support his own questionable positions.

      As you can see he’s made the assumption, without any evidence, that you are not a prison guard therefore your experiences are of no consequence.

      Your hourly rate equates to £8.89 per hour which strikes me as being a low wage that can only be made worthwhile by working the long hours often expected of people in your profession although, no doubt, Chas will say he could live like a Lord on that princely sum.

      • George

        I’d also pay no attention to Anon1 whose glib career change suggestion paints an image of capitalist wage slavery as it it was some kind of holiday camp fairground romp where anyone can do anything they want without worrying about maintaining a subsistence income.

      • Ian

        Also typical of ‘Charles’ that he seizes upon a point which he considers germane to his baiting strategy, demanding answers and justifications on a topic which is beside the point, thus dragging the discussion away from the article and its argument, wasting everybody’s time. Then he will disappear, feign ignorance or just not answer questions himself, while demanding everyone else does. He will be joined by a couple of others of similar disposition.

        • Charles Bostock

          Very unfair comment. What I am saying is that the simple statement that “I am a G4S grunt and paid CDN 14.84 an hour ” says little – by itself – about G4S as a company and even less about the capitalist system.

          Why don’t we let the original poster supply some other essential information as requested and for someone who is UK based to supply information about G4S wage rates in the UK and then discuss the matter further on the basis of that information?

          Much more constructive than to simply toss around suppositions and insults, surely?

          • George

            And then there is the posing as the only objective polite partaker in the argument. Oh bless my soul – why all those insults against poor little me?

      • Charles Bostock

        “As you can see he’s made the assumption, without any evidence, that you are not a prison guard therefore your experiences are of no consequence”

        I did assume that, but if I’m wrong Arby can always correct me, can’t he. Anyway, even if he is, that would not invalidate any of my questions save the last one.

        Mire generally, you’ve made a very unfair comment. What I am saying is that the simple statement that “I am a G4S grunt and paid CDN 14.84 an hour ” says little – by itself – about G4S as a company and even less about the capitalist system.

        Why don’t we let the original poster supply some other essential information as requested and for someone who is UK based to supply information about G4S wage rates in the UK and then discuss the matter further on the basis of that information?

        Much more constructive than to simply knee-jerk and toss around insults, surely?

        • George

          It says he gets paid very little – and that tells you a lot about the capitalist system.

    • Michael McNulty

      There are other problems with using private security to replace police and prison officers. When the next major riot comes about, private security individuals facing the wrath of those people on the streets will take off their uniforms and deny ever wearing one. That likely means prison riots too, and many prisons could soon be breached and emptied, especially so the private ones.

      The whole country is heading for collapse first, then the near-total destruction of state institutions and most commerce. It will be awful for a long time, months to a few years, but maybe conflagration is the only way to rid ourselves of what we endure now and further face.

  • Republicofscotland

    One could add to that fine summary, that severe welfare cuts, have indirectly? Led to the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of citizens. I guess the Tories, since 2010, thought to themselves on Welfare, that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

    http://calumslist.org

  • Charles Bostock

    Perhaps Craig’s desire to cast his net as widely as possibly (UK prisons, Northern Ireland, Irak, the CIA and South America, etc…) – no doubt to afford responders to address whatever they feel loke sounding off about – has led him to overlook something.

    That something is best encapsulated in the following extract:

    “It is a great moral abomination that violence should be exercised against humans for profit – and it should be clear that in even in most “humane” conditions the deprivation of physical liberty of any person is an extreme and chronic exercise of violence against them.”

    By Craig’s own definition of violence, the violence which has been exercised against someone currently in prison was exercised at the time of his sentencing and was exercised by the state acting through the judicial system. As far as i’m aware, the judicial system is part of the apparatus of the state and has nothing to do with private companies whether acting for profit or not.

    The violence(not using the word in Craig’s definition) with which some detainees appear to have been/be treated in privately run prisons is an unfortunate aspect of the original violence employed by the state, a violence which Craig concedes is legitimate.

  • FranzB

    CM – ” …. and so occasionally does the British state, for example in the murder of Pat Finucane”

    Heard an interesting interview with the daughter of one of the Ballymurphy massacre victims on women’s hour on BBC R4 today. The massacre was carried out by the paratroop regiment in August 1971 against republicans in N. Ireland protesting against internment. The BBC has now reported that the UVF may have been involved. It’s generally thought that the UDA in collaboration with state security services were responsible for the murder of Finucane.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-44983770
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-43975900

    A film has been made about the Ballymurphy massacre – The Ballymurphy Precedent (which is a reference to further activities of the paratroop regiment on Bloody Sunday)

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8661580/

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig,

    Glad you are back writing. Hope you enjoyed the Festivals. There is nothing much you have written here that I can disagree with, though it is all rather depressing. The fact that the UK is a Gangster State, has been obvious to me for quite sometime…and others for considerably longer. Have you met Mark Curtis? Even the title of his book tells you everything you need to know about The UK Gangster State.

    “Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam”

    However, as far as The White Widow, Sally Jones, is concerned I think her entire existence is probably a media/MI6 fabrication, as are all stories about her. The image promoted of her by the Daily Mail and others is almost the identical mirror image including dog of a book cover from 1995 by Colin Bateman, called “Divorcing Jack”. It seems extremely unlikely that that could have happenned by coincidence, and simply indicates a complete lack of artistic creativity in the “Intelligence” morons who produced it. They probably thought no one would notice, or it was a Friday afternoon, and they were on their way back to the pub, and slapped it out in 20 minutes.

    https://i1.wp.com/spidercatweb.blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/wpid-img_20151123_170613-1.jpg?w=1200

    Tony

    • Kempe

      It’s a much younger Sally Jones because the photo was taken during her punk rock years in the 1990s in imitation of the book cover.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Kempe – Funny – but must try harder – though that was one of your better posts.

        Thank You,

        Tony

  • N_

    G4S may get some juicy Brexageddon work too, when long thin “towns” sprout up on the motorways and hordes of starving “Morlocks” are out and about.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      N_

      We export nearly as much food to the EU as we import, whilst a large percentage of our farmland is doing absolutely SFA, which admittedly I kind of like. We could grow considerably more food than we do. I’ve even got a chilli plant growing in my back garden, and the fruit is very much hotter than the imported stuff, most of which does not come from The EU.

      Hopefully, it should mean, that some of our best farm produce, like English Lamb is not exported, and we can actually eat if fresh at home for a reasonable price.

      Tony

      • MaryPaul

        I am still puzzling, is there any outcry on the Continent over where they are going to sell say, Dutch cheese or Italian pasta or German cars and kitchens or Danish bacon after Brexit! if there is concern, it’s expression has not reached my ears here yet. My sister, a keen Remainer, tells me they will just sell it to each other instead. Is that really true? The UK seems rather a large market for some countries to just abandon. I am particularly interested in where they will sell luxury German cars if Trump also restricts their sale in the USA.

        • Aslangeo

          The German cars, Dutch cheese, Italian pasta etc. will still be sold in Britain because there are not that many alternatives. The UK government can be ultra stupid by putting on extra tariffs or other barriers and I would not put it past them but the public don’t want this. There are markets in Asia for the cars anyway. What I would be more worried about if I was a continental exporter to Britain is whether a re espionage hit UK will be able to afford the goods particularly with a falling pound.

  • Casual Observer

    Just a thought here, the ‘State’ must reserve the right to exercise the Ultimate sanction against those who threaten it ?

    Given that there is every reason to suppose that Ms Jones was prepared to threaten those of us who reside beneath the umbrella of the UK State, her elimination to face the final judgement, could well be justified ?

    As for her son, who depending upon which side one talks to, may well have been one of the ‘ISIS Cubs’ filmed shooting hostages in the head, there must be a serious concern that the child was in fact irredeemable ?

    And the two Herbert’s allegedly part of Jihadi Johns Beatles group, should their involvement be proved beyond reasonable doubt, then they would test even the most ardent opponent of capital punishment ?

    The whole ISIS episode was one which by its very nature was going to test the perceptions of liberty held by many. But we should not lose sight of the fact that Mr Bagdadi’s merry band embarked upon a campaign of barbarism that has likely not been seen in many a long year. Rather than dwell upon the fate of a few gullible, or calculatingly evil individuals, suspicions of State Gangsterism might be better directed at the extent to which HMG gave succour to those actors who displayed consummate ease in shifting between ‘Democratic’ opposition, and medieval methods of control and propaganda.

    • giyane

      Casual Observer

      I completely agree with your comment, but would add that in my opinion Western governments created all of this irredeemable behaviour by torture rendition brainwashing in order to discredit the good name of Islam.
      So far nobody on CM blog has managed to get their head round this concept of our government colluding with Zionist zealots who hate Islam, the religion of truth, by creating a Fankenstein version with which to terrify the British public. I must say I do find it odd that the lateral thinking contibutors to CM blog are unable to see the malign alliance between British neo-colonial yearnings for former empire and Neanderthal Zionism yearning for the custody of God’s religion of monotheism , which was taken away from them and given to first Christianity and then Islam.

      If one denies the prophet who was actually sent to one, and one refuses to obey him, i.e. the messiah, Jesus pbuh, it follows that you reject those who follow his teachings or the prophet who followed him, peace be upon all of them. Strange therefore that the Christians team up with Zionists who categorically despise them and what they follow. The demonization of Islam by torture rendition brainwashing involves making a companion with a religion that rejects all that you believe in, mercy, humanity, honesty, justice, with the carrot of future colonisation of the Muslim lands. An unworthy alliance for an extremely unworthy aim.
      There’s nowt so queer as folk.

    • joeblogs

      Only the best card-carrying Nazi could have put that better than you ‘observer’.

  • Anon1

    Knock on the door at 3am for anyone caught cooking cuisine not from their ethnic origin. You have been warned.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Anon1,

      You mean like this, and I do feel sorry for him. He used to be really good. Shayler treatment I reckon. At least they didn’t jail him or kill him, and he was really strong,swearing like a trooper and exceedingly provocative especially to the Royal Family though didn’t break any laws. I hope he gets better. Maybe he has been recruited now. How would I know?

      The video is truly terrifying, of the police battering down his council flat door, with his daughter and grandson inside screaming, yet he had broken no laws, and was found guilty of nothing…just a few days in a police cell, then they did it again.

      That’s enough to break any man.

      http://chrisspivey.org/harrassed/

      Tony

      • Clark

        What? Raising a rabble to harass bereaved people isn’t an offence? Bloody well should be.

        You’re defending my local demented skinhead, Tony.

        • John

          Nonsense. No rabble. No evidence of bereavement.

          And if Chris is demented, why would they (MI5, media, plod) go to such lengths in their efforts to silence him.

          • Tony_0pmoc

            John,

            Exactly. Thank You. I think he is back on top form now. He even published my post, and I don’t like tattoos, nor most dogs (I make an exception for Labradors)

            Tony

    • giyane

      Anon1

      Was the cooking accompanied by a loud bass vibrating through the entire building and lyrics defaming law and order and peace with all?
      You don’t provide all the facts, so hard to tell what was going on.

  • fwl

    David Hare’s Worricker trilogy:

    Page 8; Turks & Caicos; and Salting the Battlefield

    is a tight, theatrical and entertaining take on corruption and private black prisons with a bloody brilliant cast of Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Rachel Weisz.

  • Keith

    It won’t be too long before UK judges are being bribed with cash to send more people to privately run for-profit prisons (it’s probably already happening), as has been the case in the US for many years where several corrupt judges have been caught and jailed themselves which is a little ironic. The profit motive always produces unanticipated consequences and unwanted externalities, even with the best regulation there are those intent on bypassing them for personal gain.

    • giyane

      Not sure about bribery.
      A friend had his landrover stolen in Wiltshire and the police followed it all the way up the M5 up to Birmingham. The thieves were apprehended by some forensic material they left in the vehicle but the Magistrate believed them that the owner had given his permission to take the vehicle. They were then jailed for a more serious crime.

      There are some people who believe that a different set of rules apply to them, and the police apply a different set of rules for those who don’t believe the rules apply to them.

      • Keith

        I accept that both public and private service providers (and even charitable non-profits) are equally liable to corruption and bad practice. Unfortunately, poor regulation and more importantly the lack of effective audit/monitoring bodies with the power to enforce compliance, seems to becoming increasingly a problem within all organisations providing public services often on a shoestring budget. My own experience from interractions with the police recently is that there is an increasing incentive to ignore “minor” crimes as a result of having to prioritise limited resources and a growing need to meet targets at the expense of following the rules and what the evidence may indicate. Neither of these is conducive to operating an effective and appropriate police force in a democratic nation, one that should be acting primarily in the interests of the public that funds it and not just slavishly following the guidelines laid down by the state.

    • giyane

      So who’s going to stop people doing it. Are you another finger in the mouth pseudo-innocent troll, trying to disrupt the thread, or do you really need help with your political nappies changing?

      • SO.

        I’m what you’d normally call a monster with a conscience or just an animal as some say.

        If you wish to argue either ‘will’ or ‘capability’ you’ll have a starting point for a potential discussion though so try not to display your own nappies. We could eventually evolve the discussion to include half assed ideologies whereby someone would presume or assume to the “right” towards violence by something so fucking stupid as a simple majority vote but i suspect it would go no where.

      • Charles Bostock

        For once I agree with Giyane.

        He could have refrained from throwing the cheap “troll” gibe at poster SO though – so bad mannered.

        I hope poster “SO” will answer Giyane’s very pertinent question “So who’s going to stop people doing it”. The response at 00h35 is just an incoherent and irrelevant mish-mash.

        I second Giyane’s question to poster “SO”.

      • joeblogs

        Giyane: yet another pseudo Nazi in the making – I would suggest I have only the right to self-defence, not the right to violence, as you presume to do.
        However, if you physically threaten or assault me or my family using your presumed ‘right’, I then have the right to self-defence, and would measure your length on the boards with a swift RH to the chin.
        Does this clarify.

    • Contrary

      Have you heard of the innocence project?

      https://www.innocenceproject.org/about/

      Take a rummage around their website, it is remarkable the number of wrongful imprisonments in America. I did a free online course a few years ago ‘witness psychology’, and there were many examples used from America on how not to treat witnesses, on how badly things can be done, and how easy it is to get someone to confess to something they didn’t do – honestly, it does happen frequently. That is by-the-by, it just indicates to me how any justice system should NOT be modelled on any American system, I.e. privatisation of any part of it without serious regulation is really not going to work.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Contrary August 21, 2018 at 08:52
        Nearly all the high-profile IRA jailings in England were found unsafe, after the people wrongfully found guilty had spent years in prison.

      • Robyn

        Yes, Contrary, a lot of good work done by various Innocence Projects. Also podcasts dealing with wrongful convictions, notably Truth and Justice and Undisclosed. Agree – the US justice system is often very unjust, not only wrongful convictions and extreme sentences, but conditions in their prisons.

  • Antonyl

    British Isis wife ‘wants to flee Syria but her young son is refusing’ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-isis-wife-white-widow-sally-jones-flee-raqqa-syria-12-year-old-son-refuse-islamist-militant-a7868456.html

    “It’s disgusting he’s been brainwashed.” Jo-Jo’s grandparents, as well as his father, said they recognised him in a widely distributed propaganda video, in which children appear to shoot kneeling prisoners in the head.

  • Sean Lamb

    Re: Jean Charles de Menezes/Cressida Dick

    “The four suspected London bombers wanted to scar the city with a “burning cross”, setting off explosions in its north, south, east and west, in the hope of being revered as martyrs by fellow extremists, a British newspaper reports.”

    I always found it intriguing – in relation to the “burning cross” theory – that Jean Charles de Menezes was killed in the precise subway location that the fourth bomb should have gone off, if the bomber hadn’t screwed up and tried to take a bus instead.

    This is why we need greater private sector involvement – I bet they would have made sure everything went off smoothly the first time round.

  • Ros Thorpe

    It’s terrifying that the state can view the killing of a child as collateral damage or a price worth paying. While I have no sympathy for the woman targeted, the action crosses the line and is barbaric.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Ros Thorpe August 21, 2018 at 06:03
      Madelaine Albright opined the deaths of half a million children as ‘collateral damage’ in the Iraq sanctions was ‘worth it’.
      I’m pretty sure Bliar (and plenty more) felt the same way, but he’s too smart to admit it.

      • pete

        Re Madeleine Albright and the half a million figure, I happened to be reading Norman Finkelstein’s the Holocaust industry, she gets a mention there:

        “After the United States-led coalition devastated Iraq in 1991 to punish “Saddam-Hitler,” the United States and Britian forced murderous UN sanctions on the hapless country in an attempt to depose him. As in the Nazi holocaust, a million children have likely perished. Questioned on national television about the grisly death toll in Iraq Secretary of State Madeline Albright replied that “the price is worth it.””

        The million figure comes from Geoff Simons, The Scourging of Iraq

  • Mark in Mayenne

    Hi Craig, The words “In the public interest”. don’t mean “In the interest of the (general ) public”. There is no apostrophe to indicate the possessive. The word “public” in this context means “pertaining to government”. So when an investigation into alleged wrongdoing of a senior official is described as not in the public interest, the government is stating that they are deploying the law selectively to their own ends.

    • Dungroanin

      Public Interest does not have a legal definition afaik.

      A convenient means for the forever owners to get away from being prosecuted and punished.

  • Sharp Ears

    Good to have you back Craig and trust you are fully rested.

    Hunt, the new Foreign Secretary of our gangster state, will make his ‘first major speech’ in Washington (where else?) by demonizing Russia and raking up the Skripals’ poisoning’.

    Jeremy Hunt calls for US and EU to respond to Russia’s ‘malign behaviour’
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/08/20/eu-should-stand-shoulder-to-shoulder-america-imposing-sanctions/

    It is being fully signposted on all the news outlets today. Pathetic little Charterhouse boy.

    • Mochyn69

      BBC Radio 4 Today giving THE *UNT full freedom to further impeach those peskies Russkies for launching a weapons of mass destruction attack against ‘the West’.

      Although in fairness Martha did try her best to squeeze some answers out of the snake, which were not forthcoming. Just some strange words about the police having to ‘apportion/ attribute blame’ or something like that.

      I thought their role was to collect evidence and leave It to others to ascertain grounds for prosecution and findings of guilt.

      Silly me.

  • Sharp Ears

    10/10 for Carl Olsen , Bostock and others for creating and extending the opening long-winded diversion.

    We are living in a GANGSTER STATE ffs.

    Liam Fox is currently being shown touring an English vineyard in company with Ms Fairhead, latterly of the gangster state’s bank, HSBC, and it’s broadcaster, the BBC.

    Former BBC chair Rona Fairhead given ministerial post
    Life peerage also given to Fairhead, who resigned from BBC after being told she would have to reapply for role
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/sep/28/former-bbc-chair-rona-fairhead-given-ministerial-post

    Warning. Scary photo.

    Her sole interest declared on the HoL site is a shareholding in this company, B2B New York Limited.

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08563171/officers

    She is now Baroness Fairhead. Theresa rewarded her in October last year when she was given a job.

  • Dave

    There were plans for “Titan”, mega prisons, funded by PFI, they may have been dropped, but this was certainly heading in the privatised US direction, where the business model is to crimalise and jail the people for misdemeanours to fill the mega prisons to make them economic and profitable for the shareholders. Just as you need to sensationalise burglaries’ to frighten the people into buying burglar alarms, which I’m told are the homes burglars target on the presumption they contain something to steal. I.e. crime pays, for the security industry.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Living Wage fails to cover families’ basic needs, charity finds
    20 August 2018

    Low-earning parents working full-time are still unable to earn enough to provide their family with a basic, no-frills lifestyle, research suggests.

    A single parent on the National Living Wage is £74 a week short of the minimum income needed, according to the Child Poverty Action Group.

    A couple with two children would be £49 a week short of the income needed, the charity said.

    But this was better than last year, when couples were £59 a week short.

    The National Living Wage is £7.83 an hour for those aged over 25.

    A government spokesperson said fewer families were living in absolute poverty: “The employment rate is at a near-record high and the National Living Wage has delivered the highest pay increase for the lowest paid in 20 years, worth £2,000 extra per year for a full-time worker.”

    Living Wage fails to cover families’ basic needs, charity finds
    20 August 2018
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45242008

    As Jack Monroe says: ‘It’s not a ####ing living wage then, is it?’

    • Rod

      By itself, the term living wage, is an inaccuracy or misnomer. It helps little in earning the what is termed a living wage if the total number of hours employed each week are insufficient to sustain a family. If a person is subject to working a zero hours contract, that person will not necessarily be earning a living wage.

      The term is totally misleading and should be scrapped.

      • Michael McNulty

        They also talk of the minimum wage when for most people on it it’s actually the maximum wage because they’ll not get paid more.

  • MaryPaul

    The wife of a former inmate of Birmingham prison was interviewed on a news show yesterday. She said he stayed locked in his cel when in there l because he feared he might be killed otherwise. He was on medication which he was not getting because there were no warders to accompany the nurse. She said there were only 2 warders on his wing. They were relieved when he was transferred to another prison.p where there are 5 or 6 warders per wing. And how are they able to easily fly in drones?

    I think there are some services which should remain in the public sector and the prison service is one of them. Privatisation is about saving money. In the case of the Prison service, there are supposed to be “tight” contracts in place, with the MoJ monitoring what is done and how much profit is made ( from 5-8% if memory serves.)

    Prisons are full of violent poorly educated men. How does G4S recruit their prison staff to control them, given they were unable to recruit enough security staff for the London Olympics and the Army had to be drafted in?. There must be staffing levels in their contract which are simply not being met. Running private security services is not the same thing as running prisons. And why should the Tories and answer Labour believe there were big savings to be made by privatisation?

    . Rory Stewart is clearly out of his depth and, presumably encouraged by his civi servants and SPADs at the MoJ, where no one has a clue is reduced to negotiating with G4S on what to do. Say what else you like above Gove he did at least seem to have a plan when he was in charge of the Prison service.

    Britain has the largest prison population in Europe. At the risk of stirring things up here, how far does this relate to the rapid increase in the UK population in recent years? The Old Man did jury service a couple of years back. The case concerned a Bulgarian, a Romanian and a Somali. Apart from anything else there were three interpreters and a raft of translation services involved for several weeks with the incumbent costs. I suspect this is not unusual.

    • Mochyn69

      How can privatisation be about saving money when there are executive directors’ troughs to fill with swill and juicy rewards for shareholders?

      Looks like you haven’t really thought this through properly yet!

      • MaryPaul

        well ok it means getting costs off the government’s books and paying less for the same services as before, due to increased efficiencies in running them . In theory. In practice it seems to mean doing less less efficiently with less people while helping the chancellor of the day announce he can balance the national books – due to how clever his party is.

        • Dungroanin

          So a private army and police force is preferrable because it would be ‘cheaper’ to run?

          ‘Balance the books’?

          Do people still believe government finances are the same as their own personal finances?

          People really need to throw off the brainwashing that they have willingly allowed to be pepetrated on society.

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