An old latin maxim.. “If the wind will not serve, take to the oars” is an apt metaphor for my post today. In The Telegraph this morning there is a report that Jacqui Smith, arguably one of the least effective holders of the office of Home Secretary in living memory, told MPs at a select committee hearing that out of 550,000 cases leading to arrests last year, 160,000 were dropped. The maths is fairly straightforward. Roughly a third of cases don’t make the cut to prosecution. Someone somewhere is doing something wrong; but the good news is that the wasted expenditure pales into insignificance with the mind boggling figures being chucked at rapacious and incompetent bankers – many of whom are soon, effectively, to become servants of the state through government ownership of their bank.
The Telegraph reports: “It is eight times more than the number originally predicted by the Home Office when a new system was introduced, in which police handed to prosecutors the power of charging serious offences to help save time and money, and increase conviction rates at court.”
So, who is to blame? Are the Police being careless? Are the prosecutors incompetent? Or is it just ‘circumstance’? Perhaps the credit-crunch is to blame… or the problem came from America?
The Telegraph hints at the usual Great British *fuck up* with the passage…“The first review of the scheme found that present processes were “inconsistent, overly complex, inefficient and lacking in pragmatism, often leading to avoidable delays and frustration”.
I just had to put this comment on the post page…!
“Arguably one of the least effective”!?
She makes Reginald Maudling look like a political giant.
One the other hand, if your measure of effectiveness is to create a neo-fascist, authoritarian, surveillance based, snooper riddled, police state, then Jacqui Smuts is the greatest home secretary we have ever had.