Dealing with crime

I reproduce below the Lord Chancellor’s letter to MPs setting out his new proposals, as I think they are good.


I am writing to inform you that the Government has laid before Parliament a White Paper entitled ‘A Smarter Approach to Sentencing’.

This paper sets out the Government’s proposals to deliver on manifesto commitments to crack down on crime and protect the public by ensuring dangerous criminals are kept in prison for longer.

Our current sentencing and release framework is failing to give victims and the wider public the confidence they should have in our criminal justice system. Too often the time offenders spend in prison does not match the severity of the crime, with some of the most serious criminals being released after serving only half their sentence.

At the heart of this paper are reforms to the sentencing and release framework in England and Wales, which will see certain sexual and violent offenders serve longer jail time, while new measures aim to tackle the underlying causes of criminal behaviour and improve the rehabilitation and supervision of offenders in the community.

Keeping dangerous criminals in prison for longer

Our white paper sets out plans to make whole life orders the starting point for child killers, as well as allowing judges the discretion to hand out this maximum punishment to 18-20-year olds in exceptional cases (where, currently, only those aged 21 and over may receive a whole life order). We are ending the halfway release of offenders sentenced to between four and seven years in prison for serious crimes such as rape, manslaughter and GBH with intent. Instead they will have to spend two-thirds of their time behind bars, like those serving determinate sentences of more than seven years already do following the legislation we brought in earlier this year. We will also introduce a new power to prevent automatic release for offenders who pose a terrorist threat or are a danger to the public and are serving standard determinate sentences. We will also legislate to increase the time discretionary life sentence prisoners and certain sex offenders must serve in prison before they can be considered for release by the Parole Board.

Tougher community sentences which tackle the underlying causes of crime

The white paper includes plans to make community sentences stricter, better monitored and more targeted at cutting reoffending by tackling issues associated with criminality. More vulnerable offenders who do not pose a risk to public safety will be diverted into treatment programmes to recover from these serious issues, such as mental health, alcohol or drug addiction programmes. This will help them lead crime free lives, ultimately helping drive down reoffending rates alongside strengthened supervision to ensure compliance.

Community sentences will be made tougher by doubling the amount of time offenders can be subject to curfew restrictions to two years for more serious criminals. Courts and probation staff will be given more flexibility to use those curfews to support rehabilitation. For example, by having lesser restrictions Monday to Friday to keep offenders in work, but stricter curfews of up to 20 hours a day on weekends. The robust measures aim to provide strong but rehabilitative punishment in the community.

GPS tagging for burglars

Meanwhile, for the first time, GPS electronic location monitoring will be used to track burglars, robbers and thieves when they are released from prison. Reoffending rates among these offenders is amongst the highest across all offence types, with individuals convicted of theft who reoffend doing so on average five times over their lifetime. The technology will allow probation to monitor an offender’s whereabouts and where appropriate share this data with the police to support them investigating and prosecuting these crimes.   

The move builds on Government’s plans to make greater use of electronic tags to cut crime, following the rollout of GPS monitoring over the last twelve months and plans to begin using so-called ‘sobriety tags’ to tackle alcohol-related offending.

Reducing Re-offending

There is more that we, across Government, need to do to address reoffending. Reoffending weakens public confidence in the criminal justice system’s ability to deal with offenders. It also has a significant financial cost, not only to the criminal justice system, but to wider society. This paper introduces cross-government work underway to develop ambitious plans to reduce reoffending, focusing on employment, accommodation, and substance misuse. An important first step is supporting ex-offenders striving to turn their lives around through work by reducing the time in which they are required to disclose certain convictions for non-sensitive roles.

Alongside this, work is underway to boost education in prisons. Ministers will deliver on the manifesto commitment to develop a Prisoner Education Service, focused on work-based training and skills. It will build on recent reforms that have already enabled Governors to commission education services that meets the needs of their prison populations and local economies. The ability to improve prisoners’ functional, vocational and life-skills is key to support wider rehabilitation and reduce reoffending on release.

Next steps

The Government will bring forward legislation next year to deliver on the proposals set out in this paper.

You can view the White Paper at

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  1. Mark B
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    All good but can you add the “Three strike rule” ?

    Commit 3 crimes and go to jail for life.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Didn’t a certain Tony Blair promise that?

      • PJS
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        FROM TELEGRAPH Covid restrictions ‘could mean elderly in care homes have no visitors for a year’
        Charity warns of ‘enormous risks’ posed to older people’s mental and physical health by cutting them off from visitors


    • Hope
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      JR, what a load of tripe. Another fake Tory policy. Was it not Ken Clarke who further diluted sentencing? How many times are murderers, killers and violent allowed out to commit further violent crime?

      Liberalization of criminal justice since the 1960’s has failed. Same for comprehensive education. Howard tried against Home Office wet lefty group think to make bird pay. No longer. Prisoners are treated better than people in care homes, trace lodges. Immigrants get four star hotels!

      Your govt has history for failing to keep us safe. You remember events on a bridge in London last year? How many politicos thought it cool to say they took or take drugs? Does Gove and co consider what sort of crime emanates from their London liberal metro life style actions? We had a Lib party leader candidate publicly saying she enjoyed it!

      This is like your immigration policy say one thing in public but turn a deliberate blind eye.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Who are the boat people. How many will cause us significant harm, as several have already. How many have been sent back? Priti Useless needs another visit to Dover to welcome the 400 who arrived today. Local demo by local people in Wales last night opposed to them and their threat to their safety. 300 young unknown males what could possibly go wrong. No MSM coverage. I wonder why? Wokeness is a sickness and it has infected many.

    • matthu
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Starting off with all those MPs or government officials who have forgotten to wear a face mask on public transport or otherwise broken lockdown provisions?

      • Hope
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Huge unemployment will bring a huge surge in crime. Young people will not be able to see they even have a future!

        I think today will be the last straw for most people. The Fake Tory party will be out of office for decades.

        Incompetent, inept in every policy issue. Today will mark the worst self harm economic disaster by the govt. The Tory govt. has chosen this course of action.

        JR fails to mention the double standards being applied in the criminal justice by his Govt over ten years. We currently witness double standards BLM and ER. MPs in his party advocate for these causes by claiming they are noble! People are sick to their back teeth with it.

        May ranting at Johnson last night. He allowed her to remain in the party and rewarded her husband to carry on her treacherous behaviour! She needs to be investigated and punished. Same for all those suspected of colluding with the EU against public mandate.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      my better half (and I mean it) has sat 2 driving courses kindly arranged by the boys in blue. On each occasion she was filmed doing 2 mph over the road sign – miles before.
      If she does it again will the 3rd offence mean car and licence confiscated? After all the law wouldn’t lock her up for remaining life – would they?

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I put this on your blog yesterday.

    “Criminals being let off by the police to ease pressure on the courts, Telegraph investigation finds

    Meanwhile law abiding citizens are being threated with arbitrary £10,000 fines.

    Riot police are charging into lockdown protesters without provocation, while they allow Black Live Matter and Extinction Rebellion to deface Churchill’s statues with the word RACIST.

    Please, can all Conservative MPs end all these lockdown restrictions now. This Government is destroying this country. We must write to all our MPs, before it’s too late.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      “This Government is destroying this country.” – – yes – and it is CLEARLY deliberate.

      • Hope
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        It is clearly a Fake Tory govt. choice to wreck the economy and spend money that we do not have and will take decades, yes decades, to pay back. This will impact jobs, u employment and crime. Buckland lets out those who are detained to be deported to be lost among the crowd, what hope is there he will lock people up! Get real.

        For those who thought this was a Tory party think again. I am not convinced Corbyn would have been worse on performance to date.

      • PJS
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Sir John and his colleague must now fight to make sure they do everything to stop further restriction before it’s too late.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Have written to mine!
      Yet reply came there none!

    • Sharon
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Stephen P

      I have, numerous times! And I’ve written to Boris too, several times.

      The government seem to have impaired hearing.

      • PJS
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink


        Most MPs seem to be stuck on PPE, Masks, track & trace and don’t seem to care about anything else.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        That is the least of their disabilities.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink


      Too true Stephen

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      If you look on the Worldometer chart for Spain, cases are GOING DOWN

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      I’ve written to mine.

    • matthu
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      We already know that they know.
      And they know that we know that they know.
      Why bother to write?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        what they don’t seem to know is that this is their last hurrah.

    • PJS
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Incorrect chart from Sage on tv yesterday. Spain cases are going down. Worldometer Spain shows the latest figures.

      Dear Sir John,

      Even the chart on which Sage based their incorrect figures are incorrect. Please ask the Prime Minister to meet with scientists and virologists who know how to collect and interpret data correctly so that the covid measures and lockdowns can come to an end.

    • NickC
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Stephen Priest, I have written to my (Tory) MP. He could not take on board that the covid19 death toll is below that of influenza and pneumonia. He trotted out the party line as though we back in March, but refused to give any evidence despite being asked.

      When you add in HS2, Hinckley C, illegal migrants, failure to reduce legal migration, battery cars with no fuel or fuelling infrastructure, a WA that keeps us under EU control but was claimed to be Brexit, and a PM who looks ill, then this Tory government is in trouble. They’ve listened to the woke media too much, and forgotten the people who voted them in.

    Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    We know the two main parties couldn’t care less about harm to people, crimes rates and reoffending. The lack of political action to halt the horrors we have seen since 1998 is the evidence the public needs to confirm our suspicions that you only act to protect the interests of both main parties and the protection of the Tory-Labour Parliamentary status quo

    When is Patel’s report being published?

    When will Labour be exposed?

    Why does the Tory party protect Labour from political harm?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink


      • Hope
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Priti Useless is too busy booking coaches and finding hotels for the boat loads of economic migrants crossing the channel. Tours of Anfield will still go ahead because it is not a game!

        Adult social care should not be an issue if the govt. can afford to waste £4 billion of our taxes on people who have not contributed a jot and some who have been deported from here before!

    • Hope
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Dominic, There is no difference between the two. It currently appears Corbyn is in office. People laughed when he said he won the argument! Fake Tory govt implemented Red Ed’s policies!

    • Longinus
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Patel is too busy facilitating the mass migration of Africans and Asians into GB to worry about social cohesion & law and order in the UK. Worst Home Secretary ever.

      • NickC
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Longinus, Priti Patel does seem to have been taken over by the vacuous ‘we-must-have-more-migrants-to-pick-fruit’ establishment blob, but she’s a long way to go before she’s as bad as Theresa May.

  4. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Not forgetting there will be early release because of Corvid in some metropolitan borough, and the cancel brigade will dream up a scenario that causes this Government to bend and get down with it.

    All good sensible realistic and practical approaches with be stymied by the WOKE fraternity and the MSM that has this Government under its control. Then factor in the unrepresentative unaccountable Lords. There is no chance of anything playing out in practice

    That’s why lockdowns don’t work and we haven’t got our ‘Clean Break’ we voted for from the EU.

    Best of luck with that!

    • Hope
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Buckland allowed out hundreds of illegal immigrants under Chinese flu awaiting deportation!

      I wonder who will be rounding them up or will they disappear like the 250,000 under May or the 56,000 under Rudd. Where do Tory ministers think they live, work, get educated or get health treatment from? We had the former border agency head claim fear of another Windrush has prevented the govt from acting!

      JR talks about causes of crime but no mention of this? I take it his blog today is satire or a sick joke because it bears no resemblance to reality or his govt record over ten years.

  5. agricola
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    These thoughts on crime and criminals are no more than that, even when the legal framework changes to accommodate this new approach. The greatest deterent to commiting crime is getting caught. The police force are the supposed catchers, but a more limp wristed collection of knee takers it would be hard to imagine.

    The same bunch of social engineers that are currently telling those in Parliament how to think have already knobbled our police force. A process which started way back in the sixties. I relate a true story.

    Many years past my neighbour was a retired Assistant Chief Constable who over dinner one evening recalled his experience of passing through the police staff college at Bramshill. The lecturers were almost 100% social scientists, hardly a thief taker amongs them. You went along with the thinking or failed the course. The product of this thinking is now running our police force to no great effect as far as crime is concerned. Until there is a seed change in the upper reaches of policing the current situation will continue much to the chagrin of all the law changers in Parliament. You do not alter the current situation by changing the rules, you do it by catching criminals.

    The thinking in present police attitudes to crime must have its roots in the Home Office. That is where the tsunami must first occur, moving via Bramshill to senior policemen. Given leadership the police on the street would I am sure relish getting on with the job unencumbered with the PC crap that governs them.

    • agricola
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      For those who do not like what I say I would point out that detection rates leading to a prosecution have fallen from 9.1% to 7.8% in the UK. What greater incentive could a criminal have than a 92.2% chance of success.

      One element I have omitted in the fight against crime are the judiciary. We need them to be 100% on side and free from social engineering.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        I do like what you say and agree 100%.
        I always wonder if right thinking and apparently sane MPs actually KNOW how they are being played?
        Don’t they look around and see the carnage?
        See them lining up now ( except wonderful BB) for what is no more than soviet brainwashing!

        • Hope
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Agricola, I think it was about 1992 not the sixties. Still on a positive note we read it is now happening with all armed forces!

          Oh, if only we had a Donald Trump or Nigel Farage. For those of you who voted Fake Tory hang your head in Shame. JRs party helped Red Ed Miliband get elected rather than Brexit Party. You recall Cameron warned you of Red Ed. May saying in parliament she was building on his policies!

          Johnson currently following anyone including Sturgeon!

          • agricola
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

            Well I thought it all started with Roy Jenkins in the 60s

            Apparently Rules of Engagement dictate that you have to wait fot the Taliban to open fire before you are allowed to destroy them. Utterly bizaare.

            The conservative party have not been truely Conservative since they saw off Margaret Thatcher. They either find themselves after January 2021 or they become yesterdays chip paper.

        • Timaction
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          No. That prize goes to Mrs May. She is a close second!

      • agricola
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Yet another reason for not sending criminals to prison is that our prisons are full. 11% of those in prison are not UK citizens. Why don’t we return them to prison in their country of origin, so freeing up space for our own criminals who ought to be in prison. We also save money in not housing them.

        Then there are those who after the granting of citizenship take to crime. Should we not consider revoking their citizenship and expelling them from the UK. We did it for immature Isis camp followers, why not for other categories of criminality.

        • Hope
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          Decriminalise BBC enforced license fee to free up 1-10 cases at court!

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          agricola how many British criminals are in EU prisons? What % of the Prison population in each Country?

          Prisoners that re-offend need to know they will have a stricter sentence the next time they offend and will not be placed in a prison near their home so visitation would be restricted. They should on their second offence be put in stricter, harsher regimes. Third attempt a croft on the Highlands looking after goats.

          • agricola
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            Tracy you will have to do that research yourself. I do know that at last count there were less tha 120 Brits in prison in Spain, mostly for drug offencec.

            Not fair to goats.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink


    • Nigl
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Yes indeed. Politicians once again treating us as stupid. More effort being allegedly put into ‘COVID crimes’ by ordinary citizens than the ‘real’ criminals.

      Why because like traffic wardens, easy pickings.

      If HMG was really serious about crime they would ‘decriminalise’ some drugs becoming the official supplier cutting out vast swathes of county lines etc.

      They won’t because they have zero political courage.

      • agricola
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes there is merit in government taking over the business providing the product is administered under proper medical supervision with clean needles and a programme of rehab. Problem is, drug addiction is much more widespread than most of us realise, particularly as many see it as a recreational habit rather than addiction.

        I suspect ones genetic make up has something to do with it. I was addicted to tobacco many years ago but forced myself off it. Alchohol I can take or leave without feeling any compulsion to use it out of need, unlike my attitude to tobacco some fifty years ago. I suspect others have the same mixed response to the current drugs of the day. Any response by government needs to be carefully thought through with with medical expertise.

        Yet another response would be to buy the crop at farm gate prices and encourage the peasant farmers to grow apricots. Afgahnistan could be our next trade deal? I realise it is not as simple as that, destroying the home market by take over should be the first step.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      +1 – Getting caught there’s a thought

    • BOF
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      I am right behind you.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      This Cultural Marxist re-engineering of society is longstanding; however, people should not assume it happens by some mistaken application of progressive thought. It is a consequence of the presence in Western societies of those who seek to undermine it. It has never been understood why these people of alien origin behave in this way; however, the way to defend ourselves from them is not to try to understand them but to eliminate them from our midst. It goes without saying that those that are of this kind will often seek to follow a career where they can cause us maximum harm. So expect to find them where they can control the public discourse through changing and administering the law and through control of the media. This is how we find ourselves living in a country which looks less like England by the day and which feels less safe by the day as the conspiracy to flood our country with unassimilable aliens until we become a minority is achieved.

      This is why we need politicians with skills far more associated with scientists: the ability to investigate and analyse problems effectively, the capacity for problem solving leading to effective solutions through changes in the law. What we have are politicians, some of whom are patriots who find themselves constrained from speaking out by laws created by parliament which they should wish to reform.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        They tell me repeatedly that they win the arguments – and lose the votes. We do NOT need politicians with analytical ability, we need someone with the desire to WIN. Like Trump!

        • forthurst
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:01 pm | Permalink


  6. NigelE
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    A step in the right direction, if a small one.

    Now do something about police arrest and conviction rates.

    • Hope
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Oh please. Police patrolling is not considered worthwhile. Look at the huge number of departments working 8-4 Mon-Friday. Met has more officers looking at hate crime (900) from offices than some small forces have in total number!

      Avon and Somerset police watched and allowed a statue to be torn down by a mob rolled half a mile on a road then dumped in the river. The chief constable on TV stated he supported his officers!

      Drug offenses not looked at, down graded to be pointless for the police to take action. Offenders go on courses or activities! JRs Fake Tory govt.

      Have you not read or followed reports from the Manchester bombing inquest. Utterly disgraceful failings by police through political correctness. Grooming gangs….. not allowed to discuss thousands of white girls tortured, raped, imprisoned and public services knew and did nothing for fear of being called racist!

      • NickC
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Hope, Just so.

  7. Nigl
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Always looks good on paper. It will get a few headlines which is its main objective but the resources to make it work effectively will not be provided. Does anyone truly think community gadabouts are punishment or that there will be anything other than a ‘lick of paint’ provided for the mentally ill etc. If so looking at past history they are deluded.

    We allegedly already have a strikes policy with knife crime, the police do their utmost to let people off with the lightest caution possible to reduce their work and not that long ago, a prisons minister was telling people to let out or reduce the so called less dangerous because the prisons were over capacity.

    I don’t believe you.

    • Hope
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I don’t believe you.. is an understatement. It is a con. How many strap lines, czars, task forces have we had over the years to deflect Fake Tory minister incompetence. We had a drug czar, how did that work out?

      Priti Useless has some sort of former marine directing dinghy traffic in the channel! I forgot the amount of extra czars Kim Jon Hancock has! How is his test and trace czar getting on? From what I saw she was clueless, the same person as part of the board who advocated for Cheltenham races to go ahead!

    • NickC
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      As others have said, it is the certainty of being caught, not whether the time served is half or two thirds of the sentence. Harsh sentences are no compensation for incompetent policing.

      And any government blurb which claims a “smarter” approach, or announces a “crack down” is likely to be garbage, on past experience. “Crack down” on immigration? “Smart” motorways? “Smart meters”? “Smart” sentencing? Ugghh!

  8. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Since crime is credibly estimated to cost seven percent of GDP – and contingent costs even more – this is not before time.

    This absolutely dwarfs expenditure on European Union membership, overseas aid, etc.

    Furthermore, since our crime rate is about twice that of the Mainland’s pro-rata, if it could only be reduced to the European average then that would represent huge savings.

    However, that would mean a radical restructuring of UK society in a way which would not suit the wealthy, ruling, elite, British Establishment, which John’s party epitomise, so we’re probably stuck with it.

    But carry on wailing about sing-songs in the Albert Hall and such matters instead.

    • rose
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      If we hadn’t had free movement of people we would have had much less crime. We have been a magnet for criminals and gangs from the Mainland.

    • miami.mode
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      ……..since our crime rate is about twice that of the Mainland’s pro-rata…….

      Probably because, whilst in the EU (or Mainland if you prefer) with their free movement, we seem to have imported half of their criminal fraternity.

    • jerry
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      @Martin in Cardiff; “Furthermore, since our crime rate is about twice that of the Mainland’s pro-rata,”

      You mean you live on Barry Island, I didn’t realise Barry had such a crime wave!… 😛

      Why are you so obsessed with the EU and Brexit what ever our host wished to debate, are you employed by the EU to troll this site?

    • agricola
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      The Home Office estimated the cost of crime in England and Wales at £59 billion. Why they left Scotland and NI out I know not. It’s level relative to the EU or anywhere else is irrelevant, but as you point out, it is mind boggling high. I wonder whether the HO include the taxes lost on the profit from crime in their figures.

      Your call for the radical restructuring of UK society implies that the groups within the establishment you highlight are the beneficiaries of crime. A stretch by any imagination. I cannot see crime halting were the establishment you describe removed completely. Nevertheless I too would like to see an equality of opportunity established throughout UK society. I submit that it would create even greater wealth from which the disadvantaged in our society could be properly looked after.

      The night at the proms was one of lifes fringe activities, in the hands of and disaproved of by the BBC. A BBC that could not epitomise that metro elite establishment more strongly than any other conceived part of it. They made their play and society rejected it. Society was not distracted by Covid19 to sufficient degree as to ignore what the BBC were up to.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      I agree Martin, and the vast majority of crime is committed by ‘the New British’ swarming into the country every hour God sends.
      They should all be sent back to their last point before entering the U.K. – France. ALL OF THEM.

    • Cliff. Wokingham
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink


      You are the only Welsh man I know who refers to England as the mainland:-)

      Sir John,
      I hear on the news today that Michael Barnier is coming to London tomorrow for talks with PM Johnson. Tell me, is that actually legal or should he quarantine himself for two weeks? If someone made a complaint to the police, could MB be arrested or fined?

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        He has been told by Mrs May we are staying in the EU and as we are seeing Boris will jump to any instruction, go back on his posturing and desert all promises made.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Martin told us he is English.
        Still lives in Cardiff – -amazing isn’t it!

    • NickC
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Martin, It is actually quite difficult to compare the crime rate in different countries due to variations in what the crime is, and in the ways of recording it. Your sweeping claim that UK crime is about double that in the rest of Europe is therefore bogus and simplistic.

      According to the UN an assessment (2016) of homicides per year per 100,000 inhabitants puts the UK at 174th out of 220 globally. For general crime, Numbeo ranks the UK as 8th out of 39 in their European Crime Index; the worst being France, Ukraine and Sweden. The UN records (2017) rates for robbery per 100,000 as: France 154; Germany 47; Italy 51; Spain 132; Sweden 87; UK (E&W) 131. None to boast about, but certainly not your false “twice”.

  9. Adam
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    From: 1 Jan 2021:

    COMPEL every male offender to wear a conspicuous Govt-issued black & yellow zig-zag kit displaying his Risk Barcode ID.

    PROTECT us with Risk Bar scanners in designated safe areas to activate police alarm & photo capture.

    AUTO-SENTENCE anyone not wearing their kit to 4 years imprisonment.

    TREAT women equally, with feminine kit.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Ever more draconian sentences do not work.

      The US has the death penalty, but their murder rate is five or six times the European Union’s pro-rata, which does not have it.

      It is necessary to look at what leads people to crime, and Labour under Blair were successful in that regard, achieving striking reductions.

      It’s notable that this country has de facto legalised what are crimes in others too. For instance, a good few public figures in France are in prison for “traffic d’influence” – I need not translate – whereas in the UK it would appear to be the usual, legal method for raising party funds.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

        What might their murder rate be without those sentences?

      • Adam
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

        Nothing harsh is proposed, Martin: merely that existing law is ENFORCED simply and efficiently.

        Progress and money are wasted locking people up. The ZigZag uniform devalues offender intent by wrongdoers realising that they need to behave well to gain cooperation and trust of fellow citizens each day.

        Law enforcement is naturally firm and fair. You don’t carelessly jump off a 12-storey building: because the Law of Gravity would reject your appeal for broken body remission without even a hearing.

        Where risks are conspicuous, such as a black and yellow ZigZag outfit identifies, both the offender and the innocent victim can avoid what would otherwise result in harm to both.

    • jerry
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      @Adam; How would your ideas classify vigilantism?..

      Seems to be far to many on the hard right want retribution, not trail and (just) punishment/rehabilitation.

      • Adam
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink


        Vigilantes emerge when laws are unenforced. The ZigZag uniform would help deliver the safety they intend automatically.

        Every offender serving a sentence would be a conspicuously recognisable risk. The public would be much more aware of offenders within their presence, and offenders would be much more aware of needing to behave properly, with their previous deviance on display reminding them that is what hampers them.

        Employers could recruit ZigZaggers in useful work, and those contributing most good to society can earn privileges on their path to better their lifestyles.

        Vigilantes who intend harm are latent offenders, and may need ZigZagging themselves.

        • jerry
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          @Adam; “Vigilantes emerge when laws are unenforced.”

          No vigilantes emerge when such people believe laws and / or punishments do not go far enough. Some even going as far as engaging in entrapment, which is often a crime in its self, the vigilante thinking only they are above the law – and when encouraged by the State that is exactly what they often become.

          “Employers could recruit ZigZaggers in useful work,”

          As many do, via the open prison and probation system for lower risk inmates and those on-licence, all without the need for (ex-)offenders to wear 1930s style insignia.

          Tell me, who would decide what crimes warrant such a “Zigzag” status, with the anti car lobby now so powerful perhaps any motorists who has had a FPN in the last 10 years should have to affix Z plates to their vehicles, to warn others road users?…

          • Adam
            Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink


            The collective wisdom of Parliament decides, with possibly more balance than the extremes you envision.

          • jerry
            Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

            @Adam; Stop trying to reflect your extremes onto me, you’re the person who wants to encourage vigilantes – not me.

        • jerry
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          @Adam; Your vision of a future “Zigzag” & vigilante filled society is that captured by the writer Anthony Burgess and later immortalised in film by Stanley Kubrick…

        • Cliff. Wokingham
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          Interesting thoughts Adam… I worry that some young people may see the zigzag clothing as a badge of honour.

          • Adam
            Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            In Thailand, police had to wear ‘Hello Kitty’ badges if they deviated from good behaviour themselves.

            There are many effective means of preventing unintended outcomes, Cliff.

            Thai authorities might want offenders to wear pink helmets with flashing lights on top, and require wearers to re-charge their batteries twice a day to be allowed out!

          • jerry
            Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

            @Adam; In Thailand you are arrested if you criticise the Crown or State…

            “There are many effective means of preventing unintended outcomes,”

            No there is not, especially when it is the State who over steps their authority and in effect becomes judge, jury and (metaphorically) executioner!

  10. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    The prisons are full and the help to prevent re-offending is over-stretched.
    What we need is less criminals, and initiatives to achieve that aim.

  11. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Phew – an improvement but no longer required since Parliament took the power to impose full life solitary confinement sentences on us all.
    Is this Bill called Lock Down Too?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Ha! Yes!
      My thoughts exactly.
      Bit late when the entire population is imprisoned and the only criminals are those folk who eschew germ, virus and mould ridden masks and take their dog for too many walks!
      Oh sorry…and buy too many loo rolls.
      And get fat.

    • Peter
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink


      • Peter
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Not me.

        A different Peter again

    • Fred H
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      its to be called – Lock Up!

  12. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Prison works.

    At worst it keeps offenders away from non-offenders

    Why sentence a criminal to 7 years if that really means 3.5? Why not just sentence them to 3.5. I could understand letting a criminal who has demonstrated good behaviours out 6 months early on a long sentence but not after half to two thirds of their term. That just means that tariffs sound tough but are not.

    If we are letting criminals out early because we don’t have enough space then build more prisons and deport foreign criminals and pay for their incarceration in foreign jails.

    We do not need to worry about the conditions faced by those serving whole life terms as they should not get out and do not need rehabilitation. They can suffer horribly in prison, I am partial to dungeon style incarceration for these types.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      There’s the problem with Prison in a nut shell – we let them out

    • Andy
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Prison doesn’t work.

      75% of ex-inmates reoffend.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Not while in prison they don’t

      • agricola
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps the practical solution to avoid re-offendind is to keep them away from society where their re-offending takes place.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Let out too soon then.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Only when they are no longer in prison! So letting them out of prison is a disaster as you say.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Says he who has obviously never experienced a violent neighbour or partner.

  13. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Why is the murder of a child worth a longer sentence than the murder of an old lady?

    Premeditated murder or murder as a consequence of other premediated actions that could have harm as their consequence should all carry a full life tariff with no possibility of getting out.

    An eye for an eye.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink


  14. ColinD.
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I think crime committed by minors needs to be addressed. Someone aged 10 knows the difference between right and wrong. We should certainly set the legal barrier at 13. No minor aged 13 or over, and who is found guilty, should have the luxury of having their name withheld from the media. We also need to review lenient sentences being handed down to some minors, most especially where it is a repeat offence. Sentences which are far too lenient are an affront to the victims.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Lenient sentences are there to keep the police etc in jobs. Slap on the wrist and off you go. Rinse and repeat, repeat, repeat. Tax the decent, law abiding working public to pay for it all. Luxury cars for the police to race about in and wreck. The criminal gets a fine – and WE get the bill for new police cars.
      As for your last sentence Colin, the victims are expected to carry on working and being taxed, while the criminal walks free, unemployable, happy in the knowledge they’ll NEVER have to work.

    • miami.mode
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Anyone of voting age should be treated as an adult.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Exactly so in Scotland that will be 16

  15. SM
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    “Vulnerable offenders who do not pose a risk to public safety” need treatment programmes in a safe environment, such as – dare I say it – a mental health hospital, the kind of establishment so vehemently rejected by psychiatric profession since the 1960’s.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Many in the community who pose very, very real & serious risks to the public too. Often/usually this is very well know to the authorities and many others. We see this time and time again when someone is murdered or attacked and it all comes out in the court case. Everyone knew but nothing was done to prevent or deter it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Charles Moore is right today:- No, we should not be giving the NHS the George Cross.

        We need to sort the second rate NHS with its 1.3 million staff by introducing charges and real competition. Plus sort out the appalling & hugely political “unanimous” Supreme Court. This mess left to us by Blair along with many others.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          Get Moore to the BBC to sort that out now please.

          • Nigl
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

            Unless he gets ‘swallowed’ by the Blob(by)

      • Peter
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        During lockdown I have been cycling around the Epsom ‘cluster’ a group of mental hospitals in close proximity that even had their private rail system at one time.

        They are all closed now. New housing developments are now on the site with aspects, like an old water tower, left as an attractive feature and a nod to past history.

        This was purely to save money. ‘Care in the community’ was the phrase used to mask this. Changes in care for the mentally ill could still have taken place in those institutions, which were very well built and in attractive green areas. The patients would be better cared for and there would not be a danger to others from those who could not cope outside on their own.

        However, money talks.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      And demolished thanks to Thatcher taking lessons from Reagan in “Care in the Community”which worked oh so well….NOT!
      Land where the mental hospitals were sited was conveniently stolen ( it had been at one time a public asset) and used for houses ( white flight from cities was already a reality).
      There was such anti asylum propaganda that the outcome was inevitable.
      And now we have seriously ill people getting virtually no care yet masses of benefits ( which often get them into trouble) being told that they can live totally normal lives.
      The cruelty of government ( which we see now) knows no bounds.

      • SM
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Everhopeful: American psychiatrists were pushing the US Government, and it was followed by the UK – don’t blame Mrs T as if she instituted it; asylums were being closed by the last Labour government, against the protests of many experienced psychiatric nurses and members of voluntary Patient Care organisations.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Well she didn’t exactly stop it.
          My mother was a pharmacist in a mental hospital.
          It was more like a village than an institution and when it was shut down many were just made homeless.
          I remember my mother helping to find flats for some of the discarded patients.
          The human cost was huge.
          And now it is a huge housing estate.
          Ker ching!

  16. Peter
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    There is no mention of the cost in this article.

    One of the great things about the American system is the lengthy jail sentences for criminals and the worst recidivists in particular. I don’t know how they finance it- whether it is at state or federal level. This country should try to follow their example though.

    However, I have always thought that cost-cutting was one reason for the light sentencing policies we find in the U.K. A cynical interpretation of the letter, based on previous experience, is that it will be all fine words to mollify voters but nothing fundamentally will change.

    • BOF
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Peter, your final sentence sums up the attitude of Parliament to its electors.

  17. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I assume that all of these monitoring and re-education programmes are going to be staffed by additional people, because the existing system does not seem to work, and seems unfit for purpose.

    No mention of building more prisons, if you are going to increase the amount of time people spend in prison, then you will need more capacity, simples.

  18. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Crack down on crime? Foreign criminals get here by committing crime – -AND YOU PUT THEM IN HOTELS . Crime doesn’t pay??? It certainly does if you get here illegally. Free lives for you and your family – -you can even start demanding this country changes to what you left. The govt will comply with your demands.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      More and more coming every day and yet MPs do nothing!
      They may say things but nothing gets done.
      So we must assume it is part of the agenda which is presently hammering the final nail into the UK’s coffin.

  19. John E
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I think Parliament needs to pass a law to stop the government breaking international law.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Oh you mean like accepting economic migrants claiming to be ‘asylum seekers’. You may have a point!

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Well for most crimes we need real deterents and they need to know they are likely to be caught. I have over my lifetime reported many crimes car damage, theft, burglary, fraud, assualt, vandalism. In none of these have the police ever done much at all to try to catch anyone. Even though in some cases this was quite easy.

    They did however once prosecute me for an MOT that has run out three days earlier (as I had not noticed) plus I have had many parking fines, bus lane fines, hatch junction fines. Many as they have clearly designed the system to trap people. It is all a question of priorities. We can all see where the states priorities are. Do nothing unless it raises money.

    I see that the appalling Mayor of London (who is set to be re-elected – no serious oposition) have made bus lanes 24 hour as part of his road blocking and fund raising policy.

  21. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    One of the main problems at the moment seems to be the reluctance to prosecute some crimes, the police seem to have almost given up on so called low level crime because the punishment if any does not fit the crime, so what is the point.

    I would suggest that if the smaller so called low level crime is not nipped in the bud, then many offenders are encouraged (by lack of prosecution) to continue with a life of crime.

    Just issuing crime numbers to the victims for the record, is not very helpful unless you need make a claim on an insurance policy.

    • Hope
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink


      Jill Dando institute for crime confirms your view to be a fact. By not dealing with minor crime leads to much more serious crime. Prisons are far better than their homes. No need to budget, worry about food, bills, no dysfunctional family, inmates become pseudo family.

      Brought to you by the Fake Tory party/govt. to destroy the nuclear family with laws and values based on Christianity over millennia. Tory Govt currently engaged in brainwashing vulnerable children men are women, there are no genders etc. not based on science and parents threatened with fines if they do not let their children be brainwashed!

  22. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    While I agree that criminals should be appropriately punished and removed from our streets, has anyone calculated the cost of keeping someone ‘inside’ for life?
    ….and just what is the point?

    Outside the EU we can bring back the death penalty for those we consider unfit human beings; terrorists and child killer, for example.

    Why on Earth would anyone want to keep these foul individuals alive — Just what is the purpose?

    The liberals will no doubt say that ‘all life is precious’…and I would thoroughly disagree — Time we all recognized that we’d all be better off not keeping someone alive, just to eventually die in prison, who was not fit to be amongst us…. and the financial burden is something we could do without!

    • Fred H
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      and what was the result of the last MP vote on Capital Punishment?

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      No justice system is perfect and mistakes will be made. Any justice system must be capable of reversing a sentence when there is a proven miscarriage of justice.

      How, exactly, would you propose reversing the death penalty?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        Over a hundred innocent people have been killed by murderers let out of prison.
        Where is your sympathy for them?

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

          Murders let out, or innocent people who had their convinctions overturned after a proven miscarriage of justice?

          Don’t conflate two different things.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            *Murderers let out

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        The evidence against would have to be solid before they were killed by the state… IF that cannot be achieved then something major needs to happen in our alleged justice system

        But I know if I was convicted, rightly or wrongly, of a crime carrying the death sentence that I’d rather die than rot in prison — It makes no sense to lock people up for 20 + years, neither economically nor in terms of Humanitarianism.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          Define solid. There are plenty of supposedly solid convictions that have turned out not to be.

          I suggest you look at cases such as the case of Stefan Kiszko as to why all sentences need to be capable of being reversed.

  23. Everhopeful
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    How many times?
    How many times have we been down this “tough on crime” route?
    Which police are going to implement it?
    Certainly not the knee benders that the Tory govt loves.
    New police force? New judiciary?? New prisons, maybe, cos they’ll be getting awfully FULL!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      What money is there going to be for any of this?
      The demolition of the economy carries on apace!

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      +1 agree – its all talk

    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    We know what the British political class have morphed into. Crime is a political inconvenience not a social ill that damages our lives and our world

    Both parties approve of crime, the right sort of crime if it delivers political gains. BLM rioting and violence formed the basis of the political classes embrace of a politics that underpins their abiding hate of the majority population

    Pulling down statues is criminal damage and yet the authorities approved of it because it delivered their political ambitions of cultural re-engineering

    It is very simple. The Labour-Tory monopolistic grip on power has caused huge damage to our nation, our democracy, the rule of law, our culture, our freedoms and our finances and of course the demonisation of the indigenous population that is nothing less than a crime against humanity perpetrated by people obsessed with the slave trade and colonialism and uses these issues has a political weapon of denunciation

    We now live in a managed, politicised world in which total State intervention infects our very being and your party and that stain in opposition are directly responsible

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink


    • Iago
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink


    • Timaction
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:37 am | Permalink

      As always +1

  25. formula57
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    So automatic early release is going to mean “…they will have to spend two-thirds of their time behind bars” rather than half if sentenced to four to seven years.

    The result is between an extra 8 months and 14 months in gaol. If that does not teach them to mend their ways then nothing will!

    The Justice Secretary seems largely to be tinkering whilst delivering business-as-usual failure.

  26. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    An interesting piece from Melanie Phillips on ‘ coerced conformity’ — regarding efforts to instill ‘“Unconscious bias training” ‘ on our MP’s.

    The Times reports today that up to 40 Conservative MPs will refuse to accept the ‘training’

    It really is time parliament took a stand against this creeping marxism.

    One of the rebel group stated: I would really rather gouge my eyes out with a blunt stick than sit through that Marxist, snake oil crap.
    Quite right too… The time is overdue for sensible politicians to fight back against this foul indoctrination.

    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Whilst you are offering empty promises for law and order in this Country citizens in Penally in Pembrokeshire are being threatened by police and dogs who are installing illegal immigrants in an ex army camp.
    This is not been reported by our useless media as so often happens in this country these days.
    and these illegals will be allowed out into the comunity without let or hinderance.
    I think these actions deserve an explaination from the PM.
    As a life long Conservate I am afraid that your party will no longer have my support.

  28. BW
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Assaults on emergency workers. Mandatory 5 Years would be good.

  29. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    It’s not enough. It will not deter. It does not punish – but then it’s all about rehabilitation anyway isn’t it?

    No doubt some people who put this together will have given themselves an nice warm feeling thinking they will get lots of credit but the rest of of us will see no change.

    It’s ok to have us reported to the police by our neighbours for meeting one more person than we should and get an unaffordable fine but thugs and drug dealers are treated with sympathy.

  30. glen cullen
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Punishment or reform

    A blend of both doesn’t work so please decide

    Is prison to punish an offender or to reform them ?

    Everything else like the sentencing policy is meaningless

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      I agree with glen, what we are doing presently isn’t working.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink


  31. acorn
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    The MoJ is a classic example of Conservative government austerity. Some on this site mistakenly believe that if government spending has gone up in cash (nominal) terms, there has been no austerity. Have a look at You only have to read the charts on page 2 to see austerity in action. You will find very similar charts across all departments.

    So you shouldn’t be surprised at C19’s effect on the UK. Any resilience the nation had back in 2010 to a “black swan” event, has been austeritised out since then.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      No amount of State spending would ever be enough for you acorn because you believe in the MMT economic theory.
      Just create money endlessly until you end up like all socialist dictatorships.

  32. BOF
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    It would be a start Sir John, if the length of a sentence handed down in court was actually served, instead of halved, and also when multiple crimes are committed, each sentence served consecutively.

  33. They Work for Us?
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The primary role of any government is to protect its citizens from harm. Prison works by protecting the public from exposure to known criminals, when you are in jail you cannot burgle, vandalise assault or intimidate the law abiding public. Possible reform of prisoners is a luxury, “it would be nice if” adjunct but is not essential. Light sentencing, suspended sentences, community service etc are no deterrence and do not protect the public.
    As in the USA sentences should be consecutive for multiple crimes and Fraudsters should have a sentence based on the time required to pay back their theft at the mimimum wage for the money not recovered. It should not be possible for someone not to be imprisoned because it is ” too difficult” because have numbers of dependents who need looking after.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      There is community support work that fraudsters and other motherly criminals could and should do at home and in their local area, I see many volunteer Mums with their prams and a litter sac attached to it picking up litter in parks, their little darlings could help their mother to make amends. If they have a child over 16 that child could look after the younger children on weekends whilst the mother makes amends. People stealing nearly £100,000 and just getting away with it makes me sick, that debt should never be cancelled it is owned until such a time it can be served.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Where does it state your opening sentence in any “constitutional” UK documents?

      Sorry, but there is no formal requirement for the UK Government to do that, and they make fond use of that fact, I think.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        It is accepted and agreed that protecting the public from external and internal threats is the primary role of Government. There is no conflict.

  34. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Just read 5 BF boats are out in the Channel picking up yet more for us to keep. Priti and her underling doing a great job.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Unless the government get a grip of this issue I can’t see people voting for Conservatives again.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      It would appear that Dover recorded 27 boats crossing today, one of them carrying 32 illegals by all accounts.

      Thats well over 6,000 that they know about so far this year just crossing by small boats, excludes those in lorries or anywhere/anything else.

      Farcical, just farcical now, defies sensible comment or reasoning.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink


  35. na
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Poor areas get second rate policing.

  36. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    This post is about justice, so not exactly off topic. Boris is effectively closing our businesses down again. I have just spoken to somebody who was on the govt mandated maximum of £2,500 per month during furlough.
    In the interest of justice, the PM, all MPs and Civil Servants should refund their salaries for this year to date, retaining £2,500 pm (max) and continue at that rate until the country is free to earn its own living.
    To add insult to injury, I understand that many people on benefits received more than £2,500 per month throughout this political crisis, tax free.

    • miami.mode
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Lynn, it’s been reported that Boris Johnson has been moaning about his lack of personal income, so it is definitely not going to happen.

      • beresford
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Mmmm, didn’t Lukashenko (I refuse to call him President) say he was offered a large bribe to impose a lockdown in Belarus, but turned it down?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      We are ignored – I like thousands of self employed, we haven’t had work nor income for months and just when things look to be improving the government steps in

  37. BOF
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Off Topic ( or perhaps highly relevant to today’s topic).

    Why are Witty and Vallance seemingly dictating Government Policy?

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Because they are in charge backed by non-existent science. Remember their predictions and expectations earlier.

      And of Course they and the Government receive full pay

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      I think Vallance must have become a stereotypical politician, he manages to say something that the data does not say (I refrain from a VW joke despite the temptation).

      The data at can be summarised as

      (i) Positive tests by specimen date showing a rapid increase from 27th August to 6th September then plateauing
      (ii) (Smoothed) positive tests by report date as a percentage of pillar1&2 tests by report show a growth from about 0.5% to 1.5% over a similar period. It is appears to be slowing thereafter, perhaps taking 10 to 14 days to reach 2% (i.e. not doubling in a week, but there is insufficient data). The unsmoothed data of this percentage has a worrying step at about 6th September, this could be real but looks odd.

      All of the above is non-informative (apart from what it indicates about Vallance’s presentation) since

      1. It does not separate Pillar 1 and Pillar 2.
      2. It does not allow for a changing false positive rate (the labs have been having problems and staff changes, we do not here reports of external quality assessments),
      3. It does not allow for a changing population presenting for testing,
      4. It does not include number of specimens to allow a percentage of positive tests by specimen date (which presumably is what we actually want)


      there seems to be no causal analysis of the uptick in elderly deaths with Covid, this of course is where the hazard from the risk has most impact. Where / how did these vulnerable people become infected is surely (one of) the most important questions to urgently answer – this is where life saving levers could be identified.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        @2 ‘hear’ not ‘here’

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      W&W have become politicians. Rather than Blair’s “dodgy dossier” we have a dodgy science presentation. With no questioning or proper explanation of (for example) false positives, immunity figures and many other factors.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        “Make smoke and retire” is present policy, it appears.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Indeed – more like a pea soup London fog!

          “It is not a prediction,” the Government’s chief scientific adviser insisted twice. It is an illustration that “simply showed you how quickly this can move”.

          So what on earth is the point of it then Mr Whitty?
          In short it is complete and utter drivel and has nothing to do with logic, science or reason – you have become a politician’s stooge mate.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      BUT THEY TOLD US – The World is flat’.

      That should be enough for you.

    • agricola
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Because nobody in government is qualified to argue with them. Medics make medical decision, politicians make political ones.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:27 am | Permalink

      Politicians have been surrendering their responsibilities in the form of Supra National bodies and QUANGO’s for ages. The government is doing the same here and it announced it by claiming that they would be led by the science. Even if said science us false.

  38. Iain Gill
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    The new trend is for knifemen to use e-bikes or e-scooters, both of which can be easily modified to go far faster than their maker intended. And so modified there is nothing the cops have that can keep up with them through busy urban streets.

    We should seriously consider banning anyone with violence convictions from using an e-bike or e-scooter. Stuff like this would help a lot. At least then they could be nicked simply for being out on one, as at the moment the cops dont have the reasonable grounds to stop them and search them for knifes etc.

  39. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    What does Prime Minister Whitty say about this ?

  40. Norman
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Remember always, Christ died not for the righteous, but to bring sinners to repentance. Therefore, a Gospel-enlightened nation should indeed administer justice justly, but always tempered with mercy. Every criminal is a tragedy, both to themselves, as well as to the victim. God values us all, and none are beyond redemption.
    We should not speak of vengeance, but rather sorrow, and with a view (if at all possible) to restore those who have erred to a better way, leading to a new life – even eternal life. We all have a role, and will all be held accountable, even for ‘every idle word’: not that we should be lax, but rather, ready to forgive – albeit the temporal penalty must be paid. Think of it as if it were your son or daughter in the dock. Take heed, even judges must one day appear before the Judge! But…in the words of the beloved apostle John, there is a remedy for us all:
    “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” 1 John 3:1-3

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      If I wanted a sermon I’d go to church.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        😂😂you would never hear Christian doctrine in Church! Obviously you have not been in a while …

      • Fred H
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink


    • Peter
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      The Old Testament is more punitive though.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Or ‘just’?

      • Mbj
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        Yes Norman the ethics of this puts all the little judges in their place,all the thoughtless big heads into a dunces corner and gives us hope to endure and change the world by example.

  41. beresford
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    OT, the dimwitted Government have announced new restrictions on pubs. Not only must they be SHUT at 10pm, which means last orders must come some time earlier, but the nonsensical obsession with ‘table service’ has returned. The establishment I attend serves 13 ever-changing real ales so you can’t just sit down and order ‘a beer’, you have to walk over to the board and see what is available. The people making these rules probably never enter a normal pub except for election photos.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Julia Hartley Brewer has got it bang on. They have no policy or joined up thinking lurching from one knee jerk to another, as Starmer rightly says because their test and trace etc, allegedly world class has been frankly decidedly not.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Our dear PM’s sister suggested the other day that alcohol should be banned until ( I think she said) we have a vacccine!
      Obviously they all have a thing against booze.
      I have thought this since Cameron. save the bl**dy NHS maybe? For whom I wonder??
      Get brewing everyone!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        That’s what South Africa did, banned alcohol and tobacco through lockdown.

  42. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    All these offenders with tags. Who is going to police it all?

  43. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Sweden has achieved herd immunity according to some reports.

    Their crisis is over.

    The UK has far worse terrors than CV19 and one of them is that we are headed towards lawlessness during an economic crash.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      And the Government will let it happen as there is no plan ‘A’ let alone ‘B’

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      If Sweden has now done so it is likely that much of the UK (the areas already hit badly) has to0. I see only a second ripple not a significant second wave in the UK.

      CV19 is clearly less of the problem that many other things in the UK. Deaths due to failures of the the second rate, monopoly and part shut down NHS for example. Or the job destroying lunacy of the idiot war against plant food CO2 for example.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Sweden achieved under a stable behavioural pattern, taking advantage in the natural differences in contact rates between people. UK has not done this, swinging from see no one lockdown to see everyone panic buy & eat out to help out. UK lacks the advantage of stability.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          They just told everyone to treat it like the flu

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Good for them — wish we’d done the same

  44. Caterpillar
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I do not think we should be discussing this now. Now we live in a pathologically tyrannical dictatorship, it is this that MPs need to stand up to. We have a Govt that aims to instil fear into, bully and abuse the general population for living their everyday lives – it is not time to encourage them. Persecution is still persecution however equally it is applied. I used to think it was mainly Hancock and Sunak that needed to go, but clearly the PM needs to be brought down within days and Conservative MPs need to get on with this for the sake of the country.

    (On the topic, if we ever live in a free country again We need police freed up and supported to actively police, preventing as well as catching real criminals breaking real laws. We also need to stop the identity counting and proportionality seeking, either someone is s criminal or they are not.)

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      You are of course totally correct.
      The MPs are tolerating all this…effectively supporting it all.
      They are supposed to be representing us.
      The govt. is terrorising the population.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      yep I think the government has gone too far, and risks significant civil unrest.

      the way illegal immigration is being allowed in, and riot police are being deployed against normal working people who protest is absolutely not policing “without fear or favour”, or in any way representative of the many promises about immigration the Conservative party have made.

      that so much blatant non scientific clap trap has been allowed to come out of the mouths of government scientists and ministers is ridiculous. what a laughing stock.

      I think the British public are being pushed too far, and I for one wont blame them if they react very very badly to all this nonsense.

      Made worse by the official opposition not actually opposing any of it.

      Where are the politicians speaking up for the views of the decent majority?

  45. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    From the MsM, Prof Gloom and Dr Doom are suggesting the UK will have an infection rate 50% higher by population count than any other Country has yet experienced. All happening by mid October. The figures are from unverified science once more. Its not science if it cant be proved or cant be peer reviewed.

    These people have yet to learn ‘Project Fear’ in any disguise will not get people on-board, it just causes kick back and dis-interest.

    The amusing bit is today’s papers showing these guys with Boris walking into No 10 without face coverings. We are not in this together folks.

    In the meantime Starmer does and says nothing and is the most popular politician around. That should help with Macrons latest venture of getting the remainers lined up to cancel Brexit.

    Maybe we should fill the prisons with this government and their ill-advisors

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Yep! I drove a hour (each way) this afternoon to view a house. On arrival I was required to don a mask and gloves. I left without viewing.
      Great way to do business.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        better to lose a possible house sale than you give them Covid. Did you have a virtual viewing beforehand?

  46. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    John, it would be helpful to know if tge new restrictions announced today will stay the same for 6 months or could they be escalated in a few weeks time? I and others are reluctant to plan anything.

  47. XYXY
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    A step in the right direction.

    Prisoners are like school children – when you put them together they have a bad effect on each other. Finding a way to keep them apart for (much) longer periods would prevent this.

    Giving them useful work to do in order to earn having their sentences reduced at all (even 1/3 should be subject to doing something useful).

    I would start with recycling rubbish. Have them working to sort rubbish into recyclable, land-fill and other sub-categories. All while being under video surveillance and only being able to do it with a robot arm moving items on a conveyor belt that’s behind toughened glass so that they can’t filch anything that might be “useful”.

    There will be a non-prisoner overseeing the output – if they try to be silly then the quality control person will see that and it can be established by checking the video who did what and what effect that should have on sentences.

    At the moment we have citizens expected to sort items and lots ends up in landfill that shouldn’t be there. This could be a win-win for society.

  48. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Of topic, but many here with an interest in the Royal Navy will be relieved at the statement made in the Commons by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace yesterday, concerning the replacement Fleet Solid Support Ships.

    “I intend to announce the procurement timetable for these (up to three) warships in due course, after market testing has completed”.

    The key word here is “warships” – at last the government has accepted this definition. This is important because according to government policy, ‘warships’ must be built inside the United Kingdom.

    Also noteworthy are the visits this month to HMNB Clyde (aka Faslane) of two US Navy submarines – USS John Warner, a Virginia class nuclear attack boat and USS Seawolf, one of only three of this class of hunter-killer submarines.

    These visits signify acceptance of Faslane by the US navy as a suitable and secure berth for these highly capable nuclear powered submarines and greater interest in Russian naval activity in the area.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Yes – but FORT ROSALIE and FORT AUSTIN entered service in 1978 and 1979. (I visited the lead ship at a Navy Days BEFORE I joined the Navy, and have since completed a full career and a large chunk of retirement.) These two ships are now, according to Wiki, in ‘Extended Readiness’. And orders for their replacements have yet to be placed. This is an appalling example of capability management by the MoD under a Conservative government.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink


    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink


  49. Everhopeful
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Obviously we are heading for martial law.
    Assuming the govt can scrape together enough soldiers ( EUFOR?).
    Govt. will probably emergency train all the criminals and illegals thus solving two problems.
    And still our MPs will sit and nod in approval.
    If people are really getting ill then it is NOBODY’S fault.
    Illness is a fact of life.
    How can govt. speak of “Dealing with Crime “ when they behave like this and treat us thus?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      When I posted that I had no idea that B the B had actually threatened us with the army!
      But I see that he HAS!
      He is losing support big time.
      And he hasn’t even delivered Brexit.

    • herebefore
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Now you know what the empty football stadiums are for

  50. Hank Rearden
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Increase the number of prison of places or it’s all just deck chairs on the Titanic noise

  51. RichardP
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    On the 30th September Parliament will have the opportunity rein in this authoritarian government and restore democratic control. MPs are elected to represent us and if they choose not to carry out that responsibility then they should forfeit their salaries until they do.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      I hope to God they do….tho I bet they won’t.
      Fear now stalks this land.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        tho I bet they won’t.

        of course, they wont, ever.

    • beresford
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      According to the latest output from the Government’s bingo-caller, 30 people can attend a funeral (including the deceased?) but only 15 are allowed at a wedding. So my suggestion to those who want a larger wedding is to identify one of the many people who die with no surviving relatives and hold a funeral for them. You can exchange vows over the coffin and neither Boris nor the virus will be any the wiser.

    • Andy
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      I heard a Tory backbencher called Graham Brady moan about this on just about every media outlet yesterday. He is chairman of the 1922 Committee – so named because most Tory MPs are still stuck 100 years in the past.

      Anyway Mr Brady was moaning about Parliament having a say. But if you listened to him he didn’t mean Parliament at all. He meant the Conservative Party.

      He was outraged that the Conservative Party didn’t have a say in all this.

      As a member of the 58% of voters who rejected the Conservative Party at last December’s election, I could not care a jot what the Tory party think. We have no voice at all – ignored by an incompetent authoritarian leader of an incompetent authoritarian party.

      This is not my prime minster. It is not my government. I don’t care what restrictions these failed clowns announce. I will live my life as I see fit and I really don’t care about their dictats. Oh, and I am in the majority and you lot are not.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        I hope you are better at facts and figures in your business than you are in your election result calculations.

        It’s like saying, more athletes came second third fourth and fifth in a race they won the race.

      • agricola
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        As part of a selfish minority do not expect any sympathy on being prosecuted for behaviour likely to spread disease to yor fellow citizens. Your flights of factual fantasy are acceptable as lite reading, but any action infringing other peoples freedom is not. Keep us informed of what you get up to and the level of pleasure it gives you.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        But Andy many of us have been just living our lives, maskless, for months! Sorry to burst your bubble.
        PS unless you emigrate this is your Government and PM.

      • steve
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink


        “As a member of the 58% of voters who rejected the Conservative Party at last December’s election”

        Yet the conservatives were returned with a massive majority of 42%, according to your mental arithmetic.

        “Oh, and I am in the majority and you lot are not.”

        No Son, your voting preference did not help secure a win. Yours is therefore a minority.

        Suffice to say you’ve lost your faculties.

      • steve
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink


        “This is not my prime minster. It is not my government.”

        Probably because your vote turned out to be that of a minority.

        ” I will live my life as I see fit and I really don’t care about their dictats.”

        A revelation for you Andy – you’ve been living most if not all of your life in compliance to dictats of the EU.

        • steve
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          Also –

          “It is not my government.”

          Very true. It is actually Her Majesty’s Government.

  52. Original Chris
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink
    • glen cullen
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Just shocking….words now fail me

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Voting Leave didn’t help much, did it?

      Calling the French what Johnson did probably helped even less too.

      • steve
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink


        The French are deliberately dumping migrants on our shores in breach of EU and international law, because they don’t want the problem.

        What does that tell the about the French, and your beloved EU ?

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          Well why doesn’t the UK prosecute France under International Law and the UN. They are already breaking UN agreements with the way they treat immigrants in France read the reports. It’s almost as though its an agreement without the people being brought along, if our Government wanted to do (and Priti is being told by our lawyers she has to just accept all this, who gave our lawyers this power that is the question?) this it should have put them on a Ferry.

    • beresford
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Nigel Farage said earlier that he had information that hundreds of migrants were about to set out and if he knew then the British and French authorities definitely knew. This made it a test case as to their willingness to curtail the flow.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink


      • com
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

        Nigel Farage said earlier that he had information that hundreds of migrants

        Farage has lost the plot
        we are living in a police state tyranny

    • Andy
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Small children among them. Well to our country little ones. You are safe here. You are welcome here. We hope you thrive and prosper and remember that the majority of decent people in this country are happy to have you. Ignore the haters.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        They are safe in France.
        Modern day slavery by evil criminals and gangmasters
        You need to open your eyes and see what is really going on.
        Some are forced into prostitution.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          For clarity I mean adult immigrants.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

          Completely agree

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        But why wasn’t your beloved France and EU civilised enough to take them ?

        Why did they condemn them to muddy fields ?

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        You’re wrong. Three quarters of the British public would happily seen them sent to their countries of origin.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          +1 seems like a vote winner, if only a party would adopt it

      • Fred H
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        We already have lots of candidates for the Mother Theresa award.

      • steve
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink


        “Ignore the haters.”

        Like for example those who hate pensioners, Brexit voters, conservatives and anyone who believes in this country.

        You should know Andy.

        • NickC
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          Steve, Exactly right.

      • Pud
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Small children whose criminal parents put them at risk by paying other criminals for passage from a safe, civilised country across a dangerously busy shipping lane in unsuitable small boats. I don’t believe I have ever come close to agreeing with Andy before but perhaps there is a case for taking the children into the care of Social Services and deporting the parents.

      • Barbara
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Have you asked the majority, Andy?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      I’m a Conservative Party member and am now contemplating yet another resignation. It’s time to release the Nigel.

  53. a-tracy
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Is the 10 pm curfew a now go back home curfew or can people just gather in the street with their music blaring and drinks?

  54. glen cullen
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I reported a few weeks ago that my friend who is a senior civil servant was told that their working from home would continue for a further six months – how did they know before the PM speech today

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Like my dentist…as I have mentioned before!
      A very biddable little virus.

  55. PJS
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Nothing seems to be getting any better

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      It was before the PMs speech today

  56. gregory martin
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Sentancing is not the major issue, for it can be readily altered.
    Of reported crime, the rate of detection does not exceed 9 percent, yes 9%. This is defined by whether charges are brought, not convictions achieved.
    So every criminal goes out with the expectation of only 1 in 11 chances of being prosecuted. No wonder there is so many doing it time and again. Without custody, bail enables multiple offences to be committed in a short time . 5 1/2 million recorded crimes in England last year, how many criminals?

  57. hefner
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    O/T By referendum held this week-end and approved by 69.6% of the electors, Italy is reducing its ‘deputati’ (MPs) from 630 to 400 and its ‘senatore’ from 315 to 200. An example to be followed?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the info

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Hefner, Oh, yes? Presumably there will be a major attempt to ignore the Italian referendum result. So which side will you be on? Let me guess . . . .

      • hefner
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        obviously, omniscient as you are …

  58. Original Chris
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I would be disinclined to use the term “smarter”. Anything the government has designated “smart” has been anything but. I wonder if readers here know that the government in its great “wisdom” is proceeding with converting another 7 motorways into “smart motorways”.
    They apparently don’t give a damn. Another extraordinary, ill judged decision by our PM. He is not fit for purpose, in my view.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      some important people clearly cannot tell the difference between scientific wise advice and horseshit.

  59. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Bye bye the hospitality and leisure industry.

    I’m not risking two weeks house arrest for a miserable carvery in a pub whilst wearing a mask.

    “Work from home if you can and keep schools open.”

    WTF ?

    There is going to be NOTHING left at the end of this and we’re looking at Spring 2022 by the time we emerge from this. (The historic length of a pandemic is 2 years)

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      length of pandemic 2 years ?

      That was when the world didn’t have the internet, trained doctors & nurses nor modern medical equipment, hospital or drugs – today it should only be 6 months

    • D Note
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      There is going to be NOTHING left at the end of this and we’re looking at Spring 2022 by the time we emerge from this. (The historic length of a pandemic is 2 years)

      It was all pre planned in EU roadmap to vaccine for all, 2018-2022.

  60. Javelin
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Boris “locking up the vulnerable would be hellish” so “lockdown everbody”.

    Chinese whisper

    China > WHO > Whitty > Boris

    trash West people > protect West health > protect British health > protect British economy.

  61. Kristo
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    The Police with the army in aid on the streets- PM ruling by decree- maybe curfew? followed by huge fines and possible imprisonment? All happenong with a six months lead in time- ring any bells?- to deal with Covid or just getting ready for civil unrest post 31st December

  62. GilesB
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Can we please get the police prioritised on real crime and not about whether a handful of activists claim that someone somewhere might have been offended.

    And close down the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink


    • GilesB
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      Like this

      See new Tweets

      Donald J. Trump

      A few weeks ago, I BANNED efforts to indoctrinate government employees with divisive and harmful sex and race-based ideologies. Today, I’ve expanded that ban to people and See new Tweets

      Donald J. Trump
      A few weeks ago, I BANNED efforts to indoctrinate government employees with divisive and harmful sex and race-based ideologies. Today, I’ve expanded that ban to people and companies that do business…

      …with our Country, the United States Military, Government Contractors, and Grantees. Americans should be taught to take PRIDE in our Great Country, and if you don’t, there’s nothing in it for you!

  63. Iain Gill
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I see more public (private for any Americans) schools are buying Covid testing machines at 30 to 40 K each. I think more of this will happen as organisations give up on state controlled testing and just go for the independent approach.

    • Margaret bj
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      Criminals have to be caught first .Barristers and lawyers need to be incorruptible and objective. Police need to target the criminals and not make victims of the innocent for an easy catch.

  64. steve
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink


    Just watched Boris’s address to the nation. I thought it was a very good.

  65. ukretired123
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    As many have noted there is much injustice going on 24/7 not only in Britain but elsewhere. Technology is used and abused increasingly to commit crimes and online videos and TV dramatically reveal its extremes. Seeing what the emergency services have to deal with on the ground is often just appalling.

    Blatant disregard of respect for the police and the recent violent deaths of vulnerable PC officers should be the litmus test of law and order. I believe this test is critical to the future of Britain and we ignore it at our peril. We are on borrowed time.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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