Brexit and the waning days of the United Kingdom

Started by Josquius, February 20, 2016, 07:46:34 AM

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How would you vote on Britain remaining in the EU?

British- Remain
12 (12%)
British - Leave
7 (7%)
Other European - Remain
21 (21%)
Other European - Leave
6 (6%)
ROTW - Remain
34 (34%)
ROTW - Leave
20 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 98

Josquius

#29055
In more British moaning...
I just had a last minute doctors appointment about my ongoing cough and throat issues developing into full on wipe out over the weekend.
The doctor was good unlike the one I saw a few months ago. He didn't just say "Its a cold go away".
He sent me through for blood tests and x-rays right away in that very building.
Blood test was no issue, I did that along the way.

But....X-ray lady says no.
The doctor hadn't sent a request according to her.
So I go back to the receptionist and she presses a few buttons and tells me its sent so I should go back. The x-ray controller- nope.
I get a print out of the doctor's request, right there- x-ray lady, nope, can't do anything with this.
The receptionist herself goes to speak to the x-ray lady, nope, no requests have come through since yesterday lunch time. The GPs system is broken.
The x-ray department is a satellite of a local hospital rather than part of this GP it shares a building with, so I wasn't the only one in this situation, there was a handful of other people who had come from different GP surgeries. All quite a bit older than me.

One poor old woman with a stick had came from a mile away, she was struggling to breathe and didn't know how she'd come back for at least another week as her son was going away tomorrow and she was reliant on him giving her a lift to go anywhere (public transport? Whats that? Unless you're going to the city centre we don't have that)
Really annoying to see all this massive disconnect.
And you just know this comes from typical tory practices of penny wise pound foolish selection of vendors- I asked if was a capita system but no, apparently ice.  I've not ran into them before.

I really shouldn't leave the house until Labour have had a bit more time.
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Sheilbh

Obviously they don't matter - but I suspect it'll be a fairly contentious leadership election in the Tories. Both of these from The Times' Political Editor.

For example - probably the favourite - Kemi Badenoch, the last point is particularly perfect :lol:
QuoteSteven Swinford
@Steven_Swinford
EXCLUSIVE

Kemi Badenoch used first meeting of shadow cabinet to criticise Rishi Sunak's election campaign amid concerns colleagues are failing to grasp enormity of defeat

* Badenoch said that Sunak's decision to call an early election without informing his Cabinet was a mistake and bordered on 'unconstitutional'

* Badenoch said that instead of telling Cabinet ministers first Sunak had opted to inform a small group of colleagues, including his PPS Craig Williams who subsequently admitted placing a bet on the election date. She described Williams as a 'buffoon'

* Badenoch said Sunak's decision to return early from D-Day commemorations was "disastrous" and had dominated the election campaign, adding that colleagues like Penny Mordaunt would still be MPs today if he had stayed longer in France.

* She said many Tories were clearly still traumatised. She said Suella Braverman, former home secretary, appears to be having a 'very public' nervous breakdown

* She said Sunak should stay on to ensure an orderly transition to his successor

* She was said to be speaking for colleagues, particularly former ministers who had lost their seats. She spoke of the importance of shadow cabinet discussions not being leaked.

Let's bomb Russia!

Tamas


Josquius

Now we know how absolutely hilarious those discussions will be when they're leaked. Popcorn ready indeed.

Got to love the whole attitude of we just weren't nasty enough
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Gups


Sheilbh

Meanwhile on the legacy left for the government to clean up. The comment from a figure "from the previous administration" (weird phrasing :huh:) is disgraceful:
QuoteStarmer 'shocked' about prisons crisis as early release scheme prepared
Government to announce terms which could free more than 20,000 inmates in coming months to manage capacity
Pippa Crerar, Rajeev Syal and Jessica Elgot
Wed 10 Jul 2024 22.30 BST
Last modified on Wed 10 Jul 2024 22.41 BST

The "shocking" prisons crisis is even worse than feared, Keir Starmer has said as the government prepares to release tens of thousands of inmates early in a bid to prevent jails becoming full.

The prime minister suggested he was opposed to freeing violent criminals and sex offenders when ministers announce the terms of a new prisoner release scheme for England and Wales on Friday.


The Guardian understands that ministers are examining whether the scheme can exclude domestic abusers.

It is expected to allow early release for those who have served 40% of their sentence, instead of 50% under current rules for inmates serving determinate sentences. Whitehall sources have said this could lead to the release of more than 20,000 inmates over many months.

The former Conservative justice secretary Alex Chalk is understood to have pushed the former prime minister Rishi Sunak for months to change those rules, but Sunak is said by insiders to have repeatedly overruled Chalk, believing that it would be politically toxic and that numbers could be managed within existing systems.

One figure from the previous administration said: "We held our nerve on this for months and found other ways to keep the system operational and get new prison places online – Labour have bottled it."

Speaking to reporters on a trip to the Nato summit in the US, Starmer said that Conservative government had been reckless in letting prisons come within a fortnight of reaching overflow.

"It is shocking for our country to have got into a state where we have too many prisoners and not enough prison places," he said. "To a point where any government is now in a position where it has to release prisoners early. That is a shocking indictment. That is a total failure of government."

Prisons are understood to have been operating at 99% capacity for 18 months with 100 net prisoners being added every week. A government source said: "What we encountered when we came in was a shocking act of self-harm to the country. They had pulled small levers to try and delay prisons reaching capacity by weeks, but had never taken the tough decisions. There are now no good options."

A decision must be made this week to prevent full capacity being hit by 1 August. The justice secretary, Shabana Mahmood, will make a statement on Friday about the terms of the prisoners' release.

Starmer pointed to a report in May which found that a high-risk prisoner had his release date brought forward despite a history of stalking and domestic abuse, and being subject to a restraining order.

Asked what the terms of the prisoner release scheme would be, Starmer said he had "pressed Rishi Sunak hard" on that case in parliament, adding: "We will set that all out when we make a statement in coming days. But you know from my question to Mr Sunak ... where I stand on this."

Starmer said: "Some of what we've found is shocking ... The situation is worse than I thought it was. I'm pretty shocked that it's been allowed to get into that situation.

"It's reckless to allow them to get into that place ... We're going to have to set out the state of affairs; what we intend to do about it, but it will include this question for risk categories."

Labour's manifesto promised a tough line on domestic abuse and pledged to halve violence against women and girls within a decade, including dedicated "rape courts" and domestic violence experts taking 999 calls.

On Wednesday a Home Office adviser warned that the pledge would put more pressure on prisons, with an additional 10,000 domestic abuse convictions if just one in three victims came forward.

Nicole Jacobs, the government's domestic abuse commissioner, wrote to Starmer to highlight that the current prisons crisis was taking place at a time of historically low rates of convictions for those perpetrating domestic abuse.

Other experts warned that the early release system was a short-term fix and the overcrowding crisis would need significant investment in the coming years. Tom Wheatley, the president of the Prison Governors Association, said Starmer appeared to have heeded warnings for emergency action, but warned that investment would also have to be found to fix a broken system.

"We're hopeful that the penal populism of the last government is a thing of the past and that the new government is willing to invest in our service so that we can effectively protect the public by reducing the likelihood of reoffending," he said.


Mark Fairhurst, the national chair of the Prison Officers' Association, said Starmer's promise to act followed years of neglect by Tory governments.

"By the end of July, prisons will be full," he said. "So no matter what people's opinions are, or how unpalatable the announcement may be, there is an urgent need to decrease the prison population and give our members some breathing space so we can start to reverse the chaos of the last 14 years."

Last week Starmer appointed James Timpson as his prisons minister. The owner of a successful chain of keycutters, Timpson has long employed ex-offenders and has argued the country is "addicted to punishment ... locking people up far too long. And we're sending people to prison when actually all the evidence suggests prison is not the right place for them."

A Ministry of Justice source said there were no plans to extend the early release scheme from 70 days early, as announced in May. It was previously extended to 60 days, from 18 days in March. The government is understood to have no plans for a queuing system for sentences and it is hoped that the releases will buy enough time to begin efforts to build capacity and start to address reoffending rates.

Speaking to the Today Podcast, Chalk said the releases were "the right way to proceed" but said it would "buy you 18 months, but it won't buy you any more than that. You have to, as the new justice secretary, be very frank and credible about the long term."

On his way to Washington for the Nato summit, Starmer also warned there would be no immediate fixes to the small boats crisis of asylum seekers crossing the Channel, suggesting he expected numbers to rise over the summer months. He said the government would not put any number on when they expected the crossings to begin to fall.

"That unfortunately is what we've inherited – we can't change that overnight ... Nobody but nobody should be making these crossings. The numbers are going up, not down," Starmer said.
Let's bomb Russia!

Josquius

It's interesting to me that this is the first thing labour are acting on, as I suspect there's an awful lot the tories have left hanging on by a thread.

I wonder whether it's a get the horrid one done early or focus groups suggest prison reform is good to build a base sort of situation.
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Sheilbh

I think it's where the crisis is most acute. There have been reports about this building for a while and basically the prisons are full.

I would add that under the coalition the government shut down and sold 17 prisons, four of which are now tourist attractions. They were basically smaller prisons as the coalition view was that it was more efficient to have focus on the larger sites (I suspect not great for prisoners or outcomes though). Some were in old buildings, like Lancaster and Dorchester, but those two had been refurbished under Labour and had two of the highest ratings from the Prison Inspectorate. So they looked old fashioned but seems to have worked.
Let's bomb Russia!

Richard Hakluyt

The Lancaster prison was literally part of the castle there  :bowler:

It was a category C prison concentrating on the rehabilitation of prisoners, which it was very good at by all accounts. It seems it was costly to run but I wonder if they looked at the bigger picture? Low rates of recidivism  would save a fortune on future imprisonment costs and there would also be the wider benefits of fewer crimes being committed.

I wonder if it made sense for the prison service to shut it but made no sense at all from the point of view of the UK as a whole?

Syt

Has the government considered sending the prisoners to, say, Rwanda? :P

(I guess Australia is not an option these days.)
I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.
—Stephen Jay Gould

Proud owner of 42 Zoupa Points.

Josquius

Always possible sound holistic financial decisions were made.
But where the Tories are involved always suspect by default it was short term penny wise pound foolish thinking.
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garbon

Streeting's first move for the NHS is an investigation?
"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

Sheilbh

Quote from: Richard Hakluyt on July 11, 2024, 04:09:58 AMThe Lancaster prison was literally part of the castle there  :bowler:

It was a category C prison concentrating on the rehabilitation of prisoners, which it was very good at by all accounts. It seems it was costly to run but I wonder if they looked at the bigger picture? Low rates of recidivism  would save a fortune on future imprisonment costs and there would also be the wider benefits of fewer crimes being committed.

I wonder if it made sense for the prison service to shut it but made no sense at all from the point of view of the UK as a whole?
I read that Ken Clarke talks about closing Lancaster as one of his big achievements as Justice Secretary but it seems like it was just a broad modernisation vibe that it was, as you say, literally a castle. But it was also very expensively refurbished by Labour and one of the best performing prisons in the country.

I think on pound wise and penny foolish it was also part of the general sell-off of government assets. 17 sites to sell - just like the MoD etc buildings that were sold off, or Admiralty Arch being sold (on a 99 year lease) to a luxury hotel company. I imagine they were under pressure by the Treasury and closing prisons cuts and selling off the land is going to please the Treasury (in the short-term - until they realise there's a capacity crisis that requires loads of up front expenditure to fix...).

My understanding is most of those 17 were category C with a good record - I imagine lots of those prisoners are now in the Wandsworths etc, probably with a far higher rate of recidivism.

QuoteStreeting's first move for the NHS is an investigation?
This is a little bit of a concern I have with this Labour team.

This'll probably be fine if it's a quick investigation and gives the outcome Streeting wants. Plus a useful "independent" stick to beat the Tories with for the next decade.

But I also saw a story about maybe appointing Nick Boles to do an independent review of planning laws. My wider worry is those sort of things can take a long time (at a point when the government has maximum political capital to do difficult things) and also, bluntly, if you've been in opposition for fourteen years you should have an idea of what you want to do rather than needing to commission reviews to tell you. But also I just worry that it's all a little process focused and think that's a risk with Starmer's Labour that it displaces action for a dusting of legalism - lots of reviews, consultations etc.

Hope they prove me wrong (ending the de facto ban on on shore wind on day one was a good start).
Let's bomb Russia!

Josquius

Definitely the vibe of independent report yeah.
We're going to assemble a committee to investigate the proposal to draft a strongly worded letter condemning this problem.

Hopefully it is more in the vein of we've done our homework, with that to go by please independently check it makes sense.
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garbon

Quote from: Sheilbh on July 11, 2024, 05:31:51 AMThis is a little bit of a concern I have with this Labour team.

This'll probably be fine if it's a quick investigation and gives the outcome Streeting wants. Plus a useful "independent" stick to beat the Tories with for the next decade.

But I also saw a story about maybe appointing Nick Boles to do an independent review of planning laws. My wider worry is those sort of things can take a long time (at a point when the government has maximum political capital to do difficult things) and also, bluntly, if you've been in opposition for fourteen years you should have an idea of what you want to do rather than needing to commission reviews to tell you. But also I just worry that it's all a little process focused and think that's a risk with Starmer's Labour that it displaces action for a dusting of legalism - lots of reviews, consultations etc.

Hope they prove me wrong (ending the de facto ban on on shore wind on day one was a good start).

Yeah agreed. Hopefully they'll move quickly despite this language/announcement which implies the opposite.
"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.