Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brown Steps in to Slap Down Jack Straw

Gordon Brown's decision to veto a planned 37 per cent pay rise for prisoners was absolutely right. But what does it say about Ministers at the Ministry of Justice that they allowed it in the first place? Not a lot seems to have changed since the Prisons Directorate left the remit of the famously 'not fit for purpose' Home Office.

Of course, Brown's action has the added benefit of putting Jack Straw in his place. His 'safe pair of hands' reputation and his stature as the 'if Gordon has to go' caretaker leader have suffered a blow.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Gordon Brown's decision to veto a planned 37 per cent pay rise for prisoners was absolutely right."

Arguing against the increase because it is a high Percentage is nonsense in a situation where the actual amounts involved are tiny.

The proposal was to increase prisoners pay by only £1.50 a WEEK.

Blue Eyes said...

So prisoners get heat, warmth, good food, Sky TV, X-Boxes and training to become better criminals next time around and then they get pocket money too?

No wonder "prison doesn't work".

JamesB said...

A rise from £4 to £5.50 a day - the first since the mid-90s - doesn't seem that unreasonable to me, to be honest.

And an example once again of the Government stepping in and interfering with supposedly independent processes as PR management.

Smacks of panic, really.

Chris Mellish said...

Why now the day before it was due to come into force? Surely not an attempt by Brown to grab a good headline and slap down Jack Straw in one move? I can't believe he only learned of this now and instantly decided to slap it down - quick decisive action does not appear to be his main strength.

Casual Observer said...

The really surprising bit is that McBean even knew that this was happening. You would have thought he had matters of greater importance on his mind, like what is he going to do with himself when he gets dumped...

Clearly the Ministers at the Ministry of Justice were focused on the 'bigger picture'.

Anonymous said...

The arseholes should be getting nothing , they are in jail because they are scumbags. Time they cut the Sky subscriptions as well and got the beggars doing some rock breaking.

lettersfromatory said...

What a control freak!

Alex said...

So who else would make a fuss about a £1.50 payrise every 10 years. Of course the tabloids would have a field day talking about prisoner fat cats, but if Brown was trying to avoid bad headlines on that issue, he really has got problems. The "wages" paid to prisoners are just a token to avoid accusations of exploitation or slave labour. Increasing them from 10p to 13.75p an hour after 10 years og no increases is hardly worthy of comment.

The sum is derisory (I am not saying it should be any higher), so any fuss over raising the amount is laughable. The resources wasted in Downing Street and the media over the issue will cost far more than the pay increase.

JuliaM said...

"The proposal was to increase prisoners pay by only £1.50 a WEEK."

Oh, boo hoo! My heart bleeds for them....

"The "wages" paid to prisoners are just a token to avoid accusations of exploitation or slave labour."

Well, we can't have tokens, can we? Abolish them. When the usual suspects jump up and down, just tell them where to go.

Anonymous said...

JamesB said...
"A rise from £4 to £5.50 a day - the first since the mid-90s - doesn't seem that unreasonable to me, to be honest."

It is £4 a WEEK.

Chris Paul said...

Thanks to anonymous 8:58 for joining the dots and explaining that this increase of a super soaraway 37% was actually only £1.50 a week. From around £4 to around £5.50.

If you want prisoners to reduce smoking then failing to keep their pocket money up to speed for 10 years and then giving them approximately accumulated inflation is hardly a bonanza.

Provide the facts Iain. Just running the percentage is a ridiculous omission from a newly promoted Telegraph TV anchor.

Anonymous said...

Of course it is now pretty clear that Jack Straw wasn't involved in this decision and so Iain's story and headline are nothing more than spin - presumably planted by David "desperate" Davis

JamesB said...

Oops, apologies there anonymous. I did *mean* week.

This is also a stellar example of how moronic it is to talk about percentage rises. 37 per cent sounds like a fortune to the casual viewer/listener.

When it's equal to £1.50 per week increase after over a decade, you also realise this is a below-inflation rise that's been cancelled.

Idiocy. Utter idiocy.

Anonymous said...

So Bean tries to shaft Straw, will Field return to shaft Bean if Bean tries to wriggle out of his face-to-face promise?

CF A Granita conversation of years ago?

Ronnie Biggs said...

That's it. I'm definitely voting Tory.

Penfold said...

Why are prisoners paid?
They get Sky, 3/4 square meals a day.
Free medical and dental treatment on demand.

They're in prison to atone for their sins against the mores of our society. {Unless they're a pensioner who'se refused to pay their rates.}
So why arn't they working hard and being made to bloody suffer as they've made others suffer.
Blasted bleeding heart liberal swines have screwed our justice system, jail is clearly a better option for many, in between crime sprees.
It's really time for the people's revolution, time the tax~payers to retrieve their country from the machinations of evil politicians and 'ista's of all ilks.
A pox and plague on all.

Harry Basset said...

I wonder if the "Pay" rates for Scotch prisons are higher than in English prisons?

Roger Thornhill said...

"...from a newly promoted Telegraph TV anchor."


Get her!