Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Monday, 21 May 2018


From the days of Margaret Thatcher outsourcing has become a watchword for successive governments.  The philosophy behind this form of contracting was and is that much of the expenditure was off the current balance sheet, capital expenditure could be reduced with the price paid  being contracts that were not fit for purpose and trade unions would not have power over the outsourcing company`s employees as they (the employees) would be beholden to the company and not direct government) thus reducing union ability to control or influence said workers.  There have been many scandals affecting these companies and many have direct contracts with the MOJ and Home office  eg running prisons, transportation of prisoners to and from court, probation services, providing translation services for police and courts.  One such company is Sodexo. In 2013 the company was intimately involved in the horsemeat scandal.  In 2016 at Its Bronzefield Prison there was the tragic death of a prisoner.  A year ago its Northumberland Prison registered a death in custody.  

There were 354 deaths in prison in 2016, including three homicides. This compares to 257 deaths in 2015 and 8 homicides. In 20161, there were 204 deaths by natural causes, 120 deaths by suicide and three homicides. 27 deaths are currently classified as ‘other’. This includes 18 deaths classified as ‘awaiting further information’ and nine deaths classified as ‘non-natural/other’. There were 120 deaths by suicide in prisons in 2016, the highest annual number since records began in 1978. This figure may rise when the outstanding AFI deaths are re-classified. There were 90 deaths by suicide in 2015 and 89 in 2014. There were three apparent homicides in prison reported in the media in 2016. There were eight apparent homicides in 2015, the highest number of homicides on record since 1978, where there were five homicides. There were three homicides in 2014 and four in 2013.

Last year Sodexo won a large order for the Department of Work and Pensions. However last week the company was fined £304,925 for operating a river cruise boat  without a valid Domestic Safety Management (DSM) certificate. This omission put the lives of passengers at risk.

In the mind of this capitalist supporting blogger outsourcing in general, not forgetting the scandals involving hospitals and care homes, has reached its sell by date. This and previous government by not restraining raw capitalism which has been allowed to run riot, the Carillion collapse of last month being just the latest example, is bedding in the possibility of Marxists entering numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street. With the current occupants there tearing each others eyes out over Brexit they have lost sight (pun intended) of the basis on which this country has provided our still just about coping standard of living.  MAY MUST GO before it`s too late. 

1 comment:

  1. Having been involved with an outsourcing contract before mercifully taking early retirement, I was never able to understand how they benefited the organisation. After all outsourcers have overheads that the ceding group don't (, VAT) so to be cost competitive they have to be able to shed large numbers of staff. This begs the question that a competent management in the ceding group should be able to undercut an outsourcer by an order of magnitude. We've sadly seen that companies rarely see the true cost of outsourcing until it is too late. Government is no exception.