Tuesday, April 25, 2006

With such utter incompetence at the top... it any real wonder that this country is in such a state of rapid decay? 1,023 foreign prisoners released without deportation, and the Home Secretary outright admits that the Home Office cocked up (but uses casual language to try to minimise the potential damage of the confession - the Home Office "took its eye off the ball".

Some comments on parts of the article:

1. "Charles Clarke said he did not know where most of the people, who include three murderers and nine rapists, were." - well that's bloody reassuring. Not only were they released improperly but their whereabouts are unknown. Do people not verify small details like, oh I don't know, addresses given on release?

2. "Mr Clarke said the 1,023 prisoners, who were released between February 1999 and last month, should have been considered for deportation or removal." - With the costs of keeping someone in prison ranging between £23,000-£30,000 a year, paid for by the taxpayer, that's £23.52 million to keep all of them in for one year alone at the cheapest
end of the scale! Thus your tax money is going towards the upkeep of people who are not only criminals but often don't even have the right to be in the country in the first place!

3. "The Home Office later revealed that of those, 288 were released from prison between August 2005 and March - suggesting the problem continued after it had been raised with the government.

The National Audit Office told ministers last July that preparations to remove foreign criminals from the UK should begin "much earlier" and not be left until the end of their prison sentences." - So even though the Home Office were aware of the
issue, it still continued for over 7 months. It doesn't begin to justify thecomments below by the Home Office lackey.

4. "On Tuesday evening a Home Office spokesman said: "Additional resources were directed to this, but the system continued to identify more cases than we could consider.

"Now there are sufficient resources, and we are confident no further convicted foreign nationals will be released in this way." - hear that, folks? You can all breathe a sigh of relief. The coast is clear. After the release into the wild of 1,023 criminals over 7 years for a variety of offences including murder, rape and burglary, the Home Office has FINALLY acknowledged there is a problem and has put sufficient resources in place. All hail our wise and efficient government, able to contain a problem and stop it from getting worse over a protracted period of time. No doubt the extra resources were attending 9-week diversity courses at the time, unable to be allocated to anything else until that was completed.

5. "Mr Clarke had said the failure leading to the 1,023 releases was "deeply regrettable" and conceded that people would be angered by the oversight." - once again, a total lack of an outright apology and the deployment of both understatement and meta-language to cushion the blow. There's a one-off oversight, then there's 1,023 "oversights" over seven years, which is more colloquialy known as "sheer bloody incompetence".

Some will inevitably be angry over this, others may end up dead as the murders, rapists and burglars exploit their newfound freedom and reoffend at the cost of the same taxpayers who paid for their upkeep whilst inside, of a country they didn't even have the right to be in, safe in the knowledge that if they do, they'll probably get assigned more rights and protection than the victims and their families. Isn't Britain a wonderful place to be!

6. "So far the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) has located 107 of the total, leading to 20 deportations." - so of a roughly 10% recapture rate, there's a 18% deportation rate within that already pathetic number. Fills you with hope and confidence doesn't it!

7. "Among the offenders, five had been convicted of committing sex offences on children, seven had served time for other sex offences, 57 for violent offences and two for manslaughter.

There were also 41 burglars, 20 drug importers, 54 convicted of assault and 27 of indecent assault." - clearly some fine upstanding potential citizens then that our shores have been accommdating at the taxpayers expense, and that are now roaming free without anyone knowing where they are.

8. "The Home Office said it did not have full details of offences committed by more than 100 of the criminals, but 237 were failed asylum seekersand 54 were still having their asylum applications considered.

More than 870 were serving at least 12 months and 13 were serving more than 10 years. " - I simply refuse to believe that an administration that is noted for its obssession with audit, bureaucracy and ensuring EVERYTHING is written down cannot hold full details on over hundred people held in the prison system. The figures once again show that more should have been done to keep track of them. These are not petty criminals, with the majority serving over a year's worth of custodial sentences at least.

9. "Pressed by the BBC to explain why he should not resign, Mr Clarke said: "I certainly don't think I have a duty to the public to go - I have a duty to sort this out.

"It is a massive issue and it's true to say, with the vast growth of foreign national prisoners, we took our eye off the ball.

"The first priority at this moment is to get the situation under control - that is what I'm focusing on.

"We don't know exactly where everybody is ... I know where about 100 of those 1,000 now are and we are going through the most urgent cases." - does this mean he'll resign AFTER it's been sorted out? After all, in any other industry, and indeed in the public sector itself, most people would be getting the boot for such a monumental screw-up over such a long-period of time, ESPECIALLY as it continued happening even on his watch when he was aware of it, in spite of the Opposition's argument that he doesn't need to go.

10. "Mr Clarke, who is likely to make a statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday, following calls by Speaker Michael Martin, said the Prison Service and IND had "failed to carry out their responsibilities in the way they ought to
have done".

But he said both had taken steps "to lead me to be confident that it is now being done properly"." - well thank God for that then. I mean, it's only taken seven years.

Finally, Downing Street add their voice of concern to the issue:

11. "Downing Street says Tony Blair has "full confidence" in both Mr Clarke and Mr McNulty.

"It is unreasonable to expect ministers to know what is going on in every nook and cranny in their department," said Mr Blair's official spokesman." - yes, because the prolonged failure of the system to keep accurate records of the crimes of foreign criminals; failing to process their release and subsequent deportation properly, and for it to continue even after the Home Office were alerted to the matter is just a 'nook and cranny', a trivial matter that the Secretary need not concern himself with.

Blair's line is bollocks and he knows it - under the doctrine of Individual Ministerial Responsibility, a minister MUST take full responsibility for what goes on in his department, and cannot claim ignorance or lack of knowledge of what goes on as an excuse. In Clarke's defence, he isn't trying to, so why is Blair's spokesman trying that one?

Methinks the government is quite embarrassed that this became public.

I shall be leaving this country in the near future - and I won't be shedding a single tear! When you read about people at the top making mistakes like this, you really do wonder if what you do at the bottom is making even the slightest bit of difference in the long term and in the grand scheme of things. I've reluctantly accepted that it hasn't and doesn't, and am slowly biding my time until I emigrate. Sadly I think there's not much hope left for this country - when you've got a government that can't even manage decline properly, you know things are screwed!

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The pols and civil servants didn't 'make a mistake' as you so charitably put it. It is the deliberate policy of these people to destroy the country. The pols are mostly fromer members of the Trots & Marxists. They haven't abandoned their old beliefs - they've just shaded them a bit so they can get elected.

And the tactic of these groups since 1917 is to destroy the fabric of public life so they can rebuild it in the way that they and their EU chums want.

Don't you get that? There is no 'mistake' here. They WANT to flood the country with criminal immigrants. They WANT to emasculate the police, so that the public come to see the police as being the protector of the criminal, and the enemy of the decent people.
blimey, is the apocalypse coming? Funny really as the last time I checked, we vote people into power, and if we dont like what they do, we give them the boot! Although saying that, they all come out with the same crap and dont learn from the mistakes that previous governments have made!
On a different, but slightly relavent note, its also a shame that the police service is turning the same way as it seems to become more and more political. Leave politics to politicians and let the police do police work!
When the Chief Constable of Humberside was criticised in the Bichard Report (in respect of failings which occurred before he took office) he said that he should remain in post as he was best positioned to sort the matter out. As I recall, his very kind offer was not met with any great enthusiasm by the Home Office. As the esteemed Charlie Brockett says "What comes around goes around!"
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