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Monday Message 05.08.13

CBA Chairman’s Update:
Michael Turner QC



Personal Email: [email protected]
Tel: 07951157030
1.       Do Right Fear No One; Chairman’s Comment
2.       The LSB approves QASA: The Fight is truly on
3.       Rally for Justice: A Report Back
4.       A G4S and SERCO Investigation Special
5.       My Own Investigation into what lies behind gifting public services to the
          private sector

6.       Dean Durham of the Sunday Mirror slams the Cuts
7.       Lord Igor Judge steps down
8.       Design the CBA T – shirt
9.       “Somewhere on the Western Circuit” goes undercover and discovers Grayling
           trying to out message the CBA

10.     A Poem for Justice:
11.     Our Wilde Cartoonist returns from holiday
1.       Do Right Fear No One: Chairman’s Comment
I am coming to the end of my service. One of the many lessons I have learnt is that both the Bar and the Government fall into the same trap. We are guilty of concentrating on our own small world. Each Government Department concentrating on their own budget and specific aim. Government does not look at the needs of the Country as a piece, assessing each policy against the needs of the Country as a whole and has seemingly no interest on building any structures that will last longer than the life of a parliament. The last Government with any long term vision was that of Clement Atlee in 1945. The cornerstones of democracy they put in place, the National Health Service, Education, Housing, a National Railway System have all slowly been dismantled. At the Bar, we have tended to be reactive rather than pro-active. Attempting to structure one hair brain scheme after another, which attempts to re-structure legal aid at ever more greater expense, to the best advantage of the public. The system is now broken, indeed many of the Country’s system are broken. The private sector is sucking the blood of the nation, growing ever fatter and more uncaring in the process. We can no longer shirk the fight that is to come. It is a far wider one than the future of the legal profession; it is a fight for the rights of every citizen, our democracy and our way of life. We would do well to pay heed to those who have already spotted the trend HERE
Do Right, Fear No One
2.       The LSB approves QASA: The Fight is truly on
Last week the LSB gave the BSB approval for the go ahead of the QASA scheme, with some yet to be seen modifications HERE.
The Handbook has been long promised but has yet to be seen.
It is truly astonishing that the Bar has been in existence for 800 years. It has regulated itself and educated itself to standards which have become the envy of the world. Yet suddenly come 2013, we need a costly Quality Assurance Scheme. The closest example of such a scheme in operation we have is that currently employed by the CPS. That should tell you all you need to know as to whether such a scheme achieves quality in comparison to a rigorous and competitive market place. It plainly does not.
We shall not be moved. As soon as the Handbook is out you will be the first to know.
3.       Rally for Justice: A Great Occasion
The Rally for Justice was terrific. It was a real bonus for me not only to meet our brilliant cartoonist Stuart Wilde in person but so many of our hardworking bloggers and tweeters. Lou Unwin is one of them. She is a homelessness officer for a local authority. She has been so inspired by the fight she is seeking to become qualified. Just the kind of person we welcome into the profession.
Gemma has done a wonderful report of the Rally on her blog and I cannot match it HERE.
4.       A G4S and SERCO Investigation Special

Adult detention related contracts

25 July 2013: The G4S-managed Oakwood and Serco-run Thameside prisons are among 3 worst-performing prisons in England and Wales – overall performance is “serious concern” in annual ratings
–         2012 G4S Oakwood cost per prison place was only £13,000 à less than half national average
–         The Guardian – Two private prisons among worst three jails, inspectors find
Report available HERE
12 July 2013: G4S & Serco under investigation by Serious Fraud Office for overcharging on electronic tagging for offenders
–         Existing contract with Ministry of Justice for £700 million
–         G4S charged Ministry of Justice for tagging 18000 offenders per day when only 15000 were actually monitored
–         Serco billed Ministry of Justice for non-existent services dating back at least to 2005 or as far as 1999
–         The Guardian – G4S faces fraud investigation over tagging contracts
Report available HERE
9 July 2013: British jury finds that Jimmy Mubenga (father of five) was unlawfully killed during his deportation to Angola at hands of 3 G4S guards
–         The Guardian – G4S Jimmy Mubenga guard found to have 65 racist jokes on mobile phone
–         Our Kingdom –Unlawful Killing, Why Jimmy Mubenga’s death is British business
28 June 2013: Assaults soar at G4S-run Birmingham Prison since having managed the jail in 2011
–         Between 2010-2012 assaults inside the prison soared up by 46% whilst attacks on staff similarly rose by 27%
14 May 2013: Serco-run Thameside prison criticised for extended lock-down 
–         60% of prisoners locked up during the day
–         Some prisoners spent 23 hours per day in cells
–         Association for prisoners only at weekends
–         343 cases of segregation within 6 months
–         The Guardian – Thameside prison report criticises extended ‘lock-down’
Report available HERE
5 May 2013: G4S-run Oakwood prison accused of “cherry-picking” compliant prisoners 
–         Out of an intake of 40 male prisoners Oakwood turned away 23 to state-run prisons
4 November 2012: G4S stripped of Wolds prison contract – to be handed back to public sector
–         High levels of prisoner drug use
–         Prisoner idleness – up to 30% of prisoners on the wings did nothing with their days
–         1/3 single cells had been doubled up 2 hold two inmates inadequately
–         The Guardian – G4S loses Wolds prison contract
Report (august 2012) available HERE:

Immigration detention/Asylum housing contracts

21 July 2013: At least 3 asylum seekers evicted from housing after G4S contractors allegedly failed to pay rent to landlords
–         2012 G4S £324 million deal for seven year asylum housing contract
23 May 2013: G4S-run Cedars  institution refutes end  to child detention for immigration purposes
–         28 of 37 children entering immigration detention between January – March 2013 were detained in Cedars
Report available HERE.
15 May: G4S fail to pay rent for asylum seeker and subject her to harassment in forced relocation to avoid paying arrears
14 April 2013: Asylum-seeker dies hours after being released unaccompanied from Serco-run Colnbrook removal centre having been judged “unfit for detention” the previous day
19 March 2013: G4S subcontractor (Mantel) resigns whilst others (Live and Cascade) have expressed similar difficulties in managing aspects of the £620 million asylum housing contract share 
–         Including the “ability to address high number of property defects” and “issues with pastoral care offered to Service Users”
–         G4S had already previously dropped United Property Management from the asylum seeker contracts in June 2012
–         Another G4S scandal: UK’s privatised asylum housing market is falling apart
27 February 2013: Asylum housing providers demonstrate “abject disregard for basic human dignity” – Sarah Teather MP 
–         Serco and G4S share £620 million asylum housing contracts with Reliance
–         Asylum seekers face harassment, non-investigation of complaints and seriously poor quality accommodation
–         Their secret is out, but for G4S and friends ‘abject disregard’ for human dignity persists

Report available HERE
14 December 2012: G4S asylum seeker housing is “Category 1 Hazard” and unfit for human habitation in current condition
–         Mother and new born moved by G4S into damp accommodation with rotten  floors, mould, cockroach infestations and slugs in a racially hostile area
–         Homes, G4S style: Rubbish, rising damp… and ‘roaches’
12 December 2012: G4S main contractor for hostel that evicted a pregnant asylum seeker on day that her baby was induced – justified by “following orders”
24 October 2012: G4S Stockton asylum seeker housing akin to living in “cells” in conditions “like a prison”
–         Resident to 31 women and 32 children under 2 ½ years old
–         Oppressively small rooms with space only for beds, cots and storage, and a sink.
–         Nine mothers and babies share each kitchen
–         G4S (and its subcontractor) received £22,000 per month for the property
–         After Mubenga unlawful killing verdict: Could asylum seekers have a worse landlord than G4S?
–         G4S, Jomast Stockton hostel and the mother-and-baby-market
23 October 2012: G4S-operated Cedars immigration institution use force against women and children
–         Force was used on 6 of 39 families
–         “Substantial force” was used against a pregnant woman, causing “significant risk of injury to her unborn child”
–         Children and parents were forcibly restrained, involving the use of handcuffs on 5 occassions
–         Staff received no mental health awareness training and there were no mental health facilities available to detainees
–         Over half the families had been arrested in dawn raids which have been criticised for being unnecessarily distressing
Report available HERE

Child housing/detention contracts

22 July 2013: G4S conceal identity in children’s homes planning applications to avoid local opposition – applied for in singular name of a company director
22 July 2013: G4S guard that fatally restrained a15 year old boy promoted to “Safety, Health and Environmental Manager” at G4S Children’s Services
4 June 2013: Serco-run Ashfield Youth Offenders Institution subjected detained youths to “unacceptable levels of violence”
–         In 2012 2 youth detainees had bones broken by staff
–         Routine strip searching of youths when entering/leaving reception (of 3773 searches in 12 months, only 1 successful find)
–         Safety of youths compromised as exposed to unacceptable levels of violence
–         Ashfield YOI inmates ‘had bones broken by staff’
Report available HERE
7 March 2013: Serco-run Ashfield Youth Offenders Institution’s punishment ruled “unlawful”
–         A group of boys were held in “segregation by another name” without “critical safeguards” after protesting over conditions
–         Serco admitted that certain procedures were not followed
4 March 2013: Serco-run Ashfield Youth Offenders Institution high number of strip searches despite end of routine strip searching in 2011
–         Out of 25 children’s establishments there was a monthly average of 85 strip searches
–         Ashfield had an average of 399 strip searches per month
–         43,960 children forcibly stripped naked in custody. Ignites memories of being raped, children say

Health contracts

11 July 2013: 2012 Serco out-of-hours Cornwall GP service failed to meet national standards, falsified data on its performance (252 times) and had a “bullying culture” – Public Accounts Committee
–          £32m five-year contract with the primary care trust, NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, until 31 March 2013
Report available HERE
29 January 2013: Serco managers tell staff at Cornwall out-of-hours GP surgery to cut 999 calls in order to meet targets


12 June 2013: Serco bin-men mix household waste with recycling
21 May 2013: G4S executive retires at 52 as multimillionaire (excess of £20 million)
2 April 2013: Serco-employed West Sussex County Council strike over no pay increase for 3 years, despite assurances from Serco
14 December 2012: Serco-operated Northlink Ferry’s staff go on strike against potential job cuts
–         First instance of strike action by seafaring ferry workers since 1966
29 November 2012: Serco-operated refuse collection fail to collect waste for four weeks
5.       My Own Investigation into what lies behind gifting public services to the private sector.
This week I met with a civil servant high up in Government procurement and very interesting it was too. My source was highly revealing. The primary motivation behind the policy of privatisation was two fold, I was informed. Firstly, the desire for Government to rid itself of employee liabilities, salaries, pensions etc. The second was to achieve a fixed cost regime, so that Government could predict its liabilities, for say, the next 15 years and could plan accordingly.
In the context of our own world I found these stated aims ran entirely contrary to the policy deployed in respect of the CPS. Firstly, because the model created has massively increased its employee liability to well in excess of the £27 million it expended on the buying  services from the Bar. Secondly, because having created that model the Government has not created a fixed cost regime but one that leaks in excess of £100 million a year in wasted costs as a result of the disasters, of which there are now many and various around the Country on a daily basis.
That is a picture mirrored almost everywhere we look as the Bureau of Investigative Journalists exposes in respect of the Court System HERE.
However, I was keen to test these aims still further. Given, I asked, that the private sector takes on the employee liabilities and then often makes the workforce redundant, re-employing either not at all or on the minimum wage and/or zero hour contracts: did the contracting department take into account the on cost to society in other ways of such a policy? i.e. Costs to social services, increase benefit costs and reduced spending power in the market place. No was the blunt answer.
Then I asked how any Government could achieve a fixed cost regime if the contracts they negotiated were short term 3 – 5 years, of which there are many examples. In my sources view they could not.
All thoroughly depressing.
6.       Dean Durham of the Sunday Mirror slams the Cuts
Whilst the Daily Mail and the Sun continue to demonstrate that some of the Press are mere organs of the State, the Sunday Mirror shows its metal HERE.
7.       Lord Igor Judge steps down
 Lord Igor Judge was a fine Lord Chief Justice who understood the importance of traditional values in a modern world. He will be missed. Sir John Thomas, who takes his place will have a lot to live up to. We can do no better than Philip Johnson’s tribute in the Telegraph on SaturdayHERE.
We wish him a long and happy retirement.
8.       Design the CBA T – shirt Competition
Since we may be all be out on the streets soon we thought you might like to have a hand in designing our new CBA T-shirt range, for wearing when collective action is required. You never know it may become the next must have fashion item.
The tools you will need for this job are:
Do Right, Fear No One
The Latin for the same
Recte faciendo neminem timens
The CBA Logo
T – Shirt design should incorporate. CBA logo and motto Do Right Fear No One. Inclusion of latin version is optional.
The prize has yet to be decided upon and will depend on the age and gender of the winning entry. One thing is guaranteed it will be more generous than anything Mr Grayling might offer.
Winning entries to be announced in the first Monday Message of September.

9.       “Somewhere on the Western Circuit” goes undercover and discovers Grayling trying to out message the CBA.


Personal email: [email protected]
Tel: 07220 220220
1.       Take Fright, Fear Everyone: Minister’s Comments
2.       MoJ Weekly
3.       Red Cross Parcel – how the CBA is in disarray
4.       Press Office – how we are winning the PR battle
5.       G4F’sS – another success story
6.       Mr Turner sidesteps the truth yet again
7.       Out for the count – only 14,999 to go
8.       CBA inefficiencies exposed – check the facts
9.       Lord McNally tries his hand at some satire 
10.     Notices
1.       Take Fright, Fear Everyone: Minister’s Comments
This week I am upbeat as usual. Morale is at its highest levels in our Ministry; some of our members have even been found crying with joy in the lavatories on receipt of yet another piece of good news involving outsourcing or tagging. Just when we think it can’t get any better it always seems to.  We started in April with the very highest levels of euphoria it’s possible to achieve until we invented some even higher levels and we’ve now attained those too. So the only way is up. For you and me now.

2.       MoJ Weekly
Some of our staff members have complained that the devil has all the best tunes and why can’t we have our own weekly rallying cry? So I am pleased to announce the arrival of the ‘Monday Massage’ containing news of how the Ministry’s most important figures are given the full personal treatment and manipulation they require leaving them refreshed and feeling like 220 million dollars. And in this inaugural edition there is much good news to report.

3.       CBA Throws in the Towel
If any confirmation were needed that we have the CBA on the run just look at its recent election for vice-chairman. If it had any stomach for a fight it would not have elected the well-known Northern softie Tony Never Gets Cross. View his You Tube manifesto where he talks of his love of flower arranging, origami, crochet and his tranquil Sicilian upbringing, all set against a backdrop of soothing music and you’ll see what I mean. As for the next one into bat Mr Lithman, who can forget his speech to the save UK Justice Conference? ‘We shan’t fight on the beaches, we shan’t fight on the landing grounds, nor in the fields and streets and certainly not in the hills. We will always surrender’. These CBA chairmen are a pushover and just like fluffy animals. It would almost be worth meeting one someday.

4.       Press Office
The message is really getting through now. The media is on our side. The papers are packed full of positive stories about us and our contractors daily. As Gerald Ratner rightly said ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’.  Members must be impressed by our ability not to have a whole series of newspapers on board of which the jewel in our crown is the Mail on Sunday. If I had said to you at the beginning of this campaign that we wouldn’t have its support you simply would not have believed me or anything I ever said. But it just shows what you can achieve if you do the wrong thing all the time.

5.       G4F’sS
More good news:  a year on from that golden, silver and bronze summer our principal partner in crime, G4F’sS, has been recognised for its Olympic and many other achievements. I have just awarded it a prestigious and lucrative new Government contract to organise a very inebriated mass party in a place where beer is produced. This must be a doddle after all its other successes. I’ll report back next week to let you know how it goes. But you don’t need one of Mystic Mike’s crystal balls to see what will happen. I’m sure its shareholders, the Justice Select Committee, the Public Accounts Committee and hard working taxpayers will all be very impressed as usual.

6.       Mr Turner
Yes we have the evidence. Mr Turner can run but he can’t hide. At a Bar Council meeting he was forced into another humiliating U turn. He had to admit that when he reported he had routine, regular meetings with all the leaders of the Government team he hadn’t really.  The truth is Mr Turner still refuses to meet me. My door is always open to him though. What is he frightened of?
In my experience of really huge cases, where liberty is at stake, it’s so much better when the two sides can just sit down together at the start or at any stage for that matter. At the very least they can identify the areas where they can’t agree, perhaps reasonably so, and there then may be a need for a trial.  But in many cases when they do sit down together they can sort out so much and a hearing becomes unnecessary or it’s much shorter. They can help each other. You can demystify your opponent and just get on with what we are all here for; which is the rule of law and justice, efficiently dispensed in a civilised country. You won’t agree with all that’s said but you may agree with some. It’s worth trying.  We all know that because we do it day in day out. If it doesn’t work out what have you lost? An hour or so and a few words. You shouldn’t be frightened of that should you?
Come and meet me Mr Turner. 
7.       Out For the Count
The wholly unprecedented, unexpected and therefore totally unplanned for responses to our so far two-part consultation led us to create thousands of emergency summer jobs for illiterate people to help with the avalanche. As a result progress has been rapid. One response so far has been read in full, from a Dame Ursula of Petty France, which was extremely complimentary about our first set of proposals. In light of that we don’t intend to read any more.
8.       Our Website
I’m afraid it’s only right I point out there have been some teething problems with the MoJ South Eastern Region website ‘Tell the CBA How Efficient We Really Are’. Although it has been on line now for 20 years no one has yet been able to submit any examples of where we have been efficient and saved the taxpayer money. Quite the opposite. This is due to some sort of technical hitch which the contractor that supplied us with the flawless Xhibit system is looking into. I very much hope that this vital tool in telling the public the truth will have ironed out its early problems soon. Keep your submissions coming. I’m sure one will get through soon.

9.       Some Satire
Sometimes humour can be a very effective tool in getting our important message across to the public and keeping up morale. Here is an extract from Lord McNally’s nicely-judged stand up routine on Radio Four. Hysterical.
‘Take my mother in law, no seriously, take her…I may have my knockers but I’m more of a lower end man…there were these three men who didn’t have a strong connection with this country on a train and the ticket inspector said…I’ve made my fair share of boobs in my time but…settle down at the back there Love, I’m the comedian not you…and there’s more, sadly…it’s the way I tell them…feel free to clap…you’ve been a lovely audience if somewhat incredulous…my name’s Tom McNally, goodnight’.
10.     Notices 
·        Members will recall I announced on 2nd July that a fundamental flaw had been discovered in the foundations which was threatening to lead to a total collapse.
         You will all have seen the frantic renovations which have been going on since then; happily placed safely into the hands of outside contractors. I am very
         confident that the rebuilding work will be completed by the Autumn. In the meantime can I remind you to wear your hard hats and flak jackets at all times?
         You will need them.
·        Please can members on all floors ensure their dogs’ food bowls are washed up after use?
          We’ve had complaints from the cleaners.
·        Due to demand the hairdressing salon on the fourth floor is now open on Wednesday afternoons as well.
·        The date of the memorial service for our much loved and sorely missed Question 17 will be announced in the
         next edition of the Monday Massage, if there is one.

10.     A Poem for Justice
We love poetry as well as satire and this piece by Karen Withecombe has given us a chance to re-enliven our occasional poets corner: Thank you Karen.
Factory Farming
“When you sit, shell-shocked, uncomprehending, in a cell in something called a ‘suite,’
Remember this will be only the first of very many euphemisms you will hear.
This is the post-apocalyptic world of Legal Aid, less bombed to bits, more stabbed to death by gangs.
This stark, anonymous, blank place is just a holding pen, a catch net for the likes of you.
Innocent until you’re proven otherwise, but disapproval and suspicion start right here.
The cushion between horror and a chance is written on the balance printout at the ATM;
The difference between someone on your side and factory farmers who don’t care.
Justice once was held in balance by a blindfold figure who would disregard your class;
But politicians didn’t care for that, they scorned the Magna Carta and the sense of right and wrong.
They said, “who cares for symbols of a bygone age when we have breakdowns, business, KPIs?”
Who cares for that man in the cell, pushed through the system like a piece of meat?
His tiny peep of protest mechanically recovered and spewed out in sausage skin.
“We have to pay for all of this,” they said, your liberty commodity
And somehow attitudes like these make this man your superior, modern, good.
You’re not even supposed to be here, but their turnover, and not your life, is king.
And once you have been cattle-prodded into giving up your case, your chance, your fight
And shipped off to the abattoir run by the self-same company that sent you there,
You will at last see all the other haunted souls displaying odd behaviour, aggression and despair.
This is the end stop of the factory farm for those whom some would call disposable
This is the real conclusion of the schemes dreamt up by other men, ambitious in their suits.
But wait! The hour has not yet struck, the clock stands at eleven fifty nine you see
Do right, fear no-one for one minute and the man walks free.”
11.     Our Wilde Cartoonist returns from holiday

Do Right, Fear No One
Michael (Bloody) Turner

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