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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘fairness

Broken Promises. Broken Britain. Brokenshire.

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Mad? Bad? Or both?

The most important principle espoused by David Cameron and Nick Clegg in the election campaign was fairness.  They promised us that their government would be fair and by extension that the policies it pursued would be based on facts and evidence, not on prejudice, misinformation or distortion by vested interests.

This promise is broken and in the most crass, blatant and disgraceful fashion by the attempt to remove scientists from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).  Never has a more corrupt intent been revealed by a British government.  Never has a minister, James Brokenshire, demonstrated his intent to misinform, deceive and lie more clearly.  Dr Evan Harris, the former LibDem shadow science and health minister, explains the intricacies of this attempt to subvert the law here.

The Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971 was progressive legislation in that it created the ACMD and required government to seek its expert scientific advice before criminalising the use of drugs.  Because, increasingly, the government does not like the ACMD’s advice, it is now seeking to remove the Act’s requirement that there must be scientists on the council.  Is it possible to conceive of a more ridiculous or corrupt idea?

In fact, the government takes no notice of the ACMD anyway.  When ministers wanted to ban mephedrone earlier in the year they ordered the council to provide the advice that they wanted and banned it despite there being almost no evidence at all.  More members of the  ACMD then resigned and the Home Office is now trying to recruit replacements.   That may be the truth of what is happening here.  The government simply can’t find scientists prepared to sit on the council.  I wonder why?

James Brokenshire says: “Scientific advice is absolutely critical to the government’s approach to drugs and any suggestion that we are moving away from it is absolutely not true.

This is simply a bald faced lie and self-evidently so.  If scientific advice is critical, why does he wish to remove the obligation to have it available?

James Brokenshire regularly speaks untruths or dissembles on behalf of the government.  The facts prove that beyond doubt and his reputation is well established.  For instance,  the Home Office claims that there are no medicinal benefits in herbal cannabis and that this is based on advice from the ACMD.  No such advice has ever been given.   Furthermore, Professor Les Iversen, present chair of the ACMD is also a founder council member of the British Medicinal Cannabis Register (BMCR) and next week lectures on the subject “Bringing Cannabis Back into the Medicine Cabinet”

James Brokenshire is in the vanguard of this contemptible and corrupt behaviour.   He may be put forward as cannon fodder by more senior ministers because the nonsense he speaks and the positions he takes are so manifestly ridiculous.  When the truth is out and his shame is revealed he will easily be dismissed by Theresa May.  If, as Minister for Crime Prevention, he had any real interest in preventing crime he would be resisiting this attempt to subvert the law.

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A Fundamental Problem At The BBC

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I am very close to being the BBC’s biggest fan.  It is a remarkable and entirely unique institution.  Somehow it occupies a place between the state and the people which I can find no comparison for.  It would be easy to define it as some sort of socialist idea but it is genuinely independent from the state.  I do, however, have some concerns about its accountability.  I am very concerned about the way it handles complaints.

No Complaints Accepted Here

I have grown up with the BBC and I trust it.  In fact, I think that it’s done a better job of maintaining Britishness and values of integrity, tolerance, fairness and justice than any UK government of any political complexion.  That’s why the curmudgeons in all political parties turn against it.  I think Jeremy Hunt’s recent attacks and comments were particularly poorly judged.  He hasn’t a had a good start in government at all has he?

I made a complaint to the BBC recently and I am very, very unhappy about the way it has been handled.   The subject is not relevant here.  I shall write about it in future but for now it would distract from my point.  I am horrified to discover that the BBC does not handle complaints itself.   They are outsourced to Capita in Belfast which describes itself as “the UK’s leading outsourcing company…at the leading edge of redefining and transforming services to the public.”  For me that needs a huge pinch of salt, a mountain in fact and even then I’m choking on it.

Handling complaints should be at the very heart of an organisation.  It is the essence of your brand.  There is no more important management function.  Contracting them out is an abdication of responsibility.  More than that, it is a complete failure of integrity, a massive mistake.   If an organisation is truly committed to meeting its customers’ needs it must be as close to them as possible.  This irresponsibility strikes at the very heart of everything I value about the BBC.  I am deeply disillusioned.

If this disastrous decision had resulted in a well administered service then that might be some consolation but not a bit of it.  It is dreadful.  Every bit as bad as any horror story you’ve heard about British Gas, BT or yes, even a bank.  This is the British consumer experience at its very worst.

Not What It Used To Be

In sharp contrast to the rest of the BBC’s websites, try making a complaint online.  It’s like something from the very early days of the internet with clumsy, badly aligned fields and an archaic feel.  I almost expect to hear a modem whistling away in the background.  From a complainant’s point of view it’s quite useless.  You don’t get any option to save a copy of your complaint or email it to yourself.  You don’t even get an acknowledgement once you’ve completed it so you’re left with a completely unsatisfactory feeling of uncertainty.  Did they get it or not?  Will I get a reply?  When?

It gets worse.  Complaints are lost.  They don’t get answered at all.  They certainly don’t get answered within the 10 working days promised.  One answer I received was just laughable in its anodyne, crass simplicity.  It was nothing more than an patronising acknowledgement of what I was “unhappy about”.

Useless

I could go on even further but I won’t.  It does get even worse and it becomes embarrassingly so when Capita start to trot out the oldest excuse of all about “system problems”.  It is an excruciatingly bad, defining example of appalling customer service.  I’d say it takes the biscuit.

All this is the inevitable result of outsourcing your complaints procedure.  That aspect of business that should be one of your most important tools.  What’s worse is that Capita are absolutely useless at doing the job.

It is no exaggeration to say that, for me, this rocks the very foundations of everything I believed about the BBC to the very core.  It is not the organisation I thought it was.  I feel betrayed.  I am “disgusted of Tunbridge Wells”.   In fact,  I am very, very, very disgusted of Weymouth, Dorset.

Keir Starmer – The Next Lord Widgery?

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No Better Than A Terrorist

The scandalous decision not to prosecute PC Simon Harwood over the death of Ian Tomlinson is reverberating right across the world.

British justice has become a laughing stock and our proud history of freedom, liberty and fairness is heaped with derision – and deservedly so

When the establishment needs to dissemble and misinform it calls on its tame lawyers and paper tiger figureheads.   Keir Starmer, the DPP, is clearly angling for his peerage and his place on the government roster of professional liars, deceivers and propagandists.

In 1972, when British soldiers murdered protestors on the streets of Londonderry, they wheeled out Lord Widgery who produced a report of such crass dishonesty and fundamental deception that it took a further enquiry lasting 12 years and costing £200 million to expose it as nonsense.

When millions across the world have witnessed the unprovoked assault from behind on Ian Tomlinson, they have wheeled out Keir Starmer, another tame QC, to demonstrate a complete absence of integrity and deliver a deeply corrupt, manipulative and unforgivable decision not to prosecute.

In the last 50 years more than 1,000 people have died while in police custody in the UK but not a single policeman has been prosecuted.

Is it any wonder that we have pond life like Raoul Moat feted and worshipped by the underclass when they suffer under the yoke of police oppression, when they see no justice nor fairness nor hope?

The truth is that PC Simon Harwood and Raoul Moat are two peas from the same pod.  Police websites, such as the notorious Inspector Gadget, reveal serving police officers’ attitudes just as perverse as those that supported the Raoul Moat Facebook page.  The police are completely out of control, ineffective, mismanaged and corrupt.

It took 30 years for the Metropolitan Police to admit that one of its officers was responsible for the death of Blair Peach.

The suggestion from the extreme left is that we are being softened up and desensitised against a future where with swingeing public expenditure cuts we can expect to see riots in the streets and more police violence.  I don’t buy this conspiracy theory but I am desperately worried for the future of British justice when men like Keir Starmer are in charge.

It isn’t just incompetence.  It isn’t just misjudgement.  There is clear intent to pervert the course of justice.  He knew that the six month limit on bringing a charge of common assault was passing.   He knew that the conflict between expert evidence was for a jury to determine.  He knew that never was it more essential “in the public interest” for a prosecution to be brought.

Keir Starmer is every bit as dangerous to the fabric of our society as any terrorist or subversive.  Look at how many lives Lord Widgery’s behaviour was responsible for.  Look at how his lies prolonged the violence and fed the divisions within Northern Ireland.  The same thing is happening all over again.

PC Simon Harwood, Raoul Moat, Keir Starmer.  They are all the same.  They are all a danger to society.   They should all be behind bars.

Who Is The Unfairest Of Them All?

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Amidst the roar of gunfire from the deliberate, calculated massacre by evil Israeli stormtroopers and the tragedy of a crazed lunatic in Cumbria, there is yet another political scandal that cannot be allowed to pass.

Overpaid, Incompetent And Unfair

John Fingleton, Chief Executive of the Office Of Fair Trading, the man who let the British banks off the £40 billion they stole from British consumers, turns out to be the highest paid civil servant in the country.  See here.  This is the most unfair trading of all and makes a mockery of any concept of “fairness”.

He is responsible for the disastrous failure to protect British consumers from the greedy banker robbers who plundered their accounts with outrageous and illegal charges.  He led the badly organised legal challenge to the banks thievery which the Supreme Court turned away as misdirected.  The Supreme Court then invited the OFT to revert to them on a different basis but for reasons that have never been properly explained, Fingleton just gave up.  See here for the full story.

This man is not only unfair but incompetent.  No one is responsible for more unfair treatment of British consumers than he.  It is a scandal that he is even still in his job let alone paid at such an exorbitant rate.

Politically Correct Fools

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griffinspitfire

Come Fly With Me!

It is a crazy and entirely self-defeating idea to protest at the appearance of Nick Griffin on Question Time.

Similarly, to complain of the BNP’s use of World War II images and propaganda is just nonsense. Those who cling to the oily and sticky ideas of political correctness prove themselves to be fools again and again.

I’d rather have some straightforward anti-Nazi nutter chanting in my face than these slimy, unpleasant, dishonest, machiavellian meddlers. These creeps who stir up opposition even to the BNP’s existence, who are so utterly hypocritical in their wish to censor and repress the BNP.  Are they so insecure in their own beliefs that they think the BNP can ever make any real progress?

I applaud the BBC for having the courage to show a pretty young protestor being dragged across a polished floor screaming “This is what they do to protect the Nazis. Shame on you BBC!”.

On the contrary, congratulations to the BBC. Your conduct throughout this affair has been noble and of the highest standard of fairness and equality.

I think Nick Griffin is a pretty dubious and unpleasant character. I would like to hear more from him about his policies and I’d like to see him quizzed by Andrew Marr or Jeremy Paxman. At present I don’t understand exactly what he really advocates. Like millions of British citizens, I do not consider myself a racist but I do believe in Britain for the British. I don’t understand why a Muslim Lawyers or a Black Police Officers organisation is OK but an organisation for white British is denounced and reviled.

This debate needs to be aired.  We need to hear more from Mr Griffin so that we can make up our own minds.  Those who seek to silence him are their own worst enemies.