> Another victory for outsourcing…
Teachers at a ‘shambolic’ jail have been left fearing for their safety after inmates are turning up ‘drunk’ and ‘on drugs’ it has been claimed.
A member of staff, who works for Manchester College and teaches at HMP Northumberland, said staff were faced with inmates coming into lessons visibly drunk or high on drugs.
Often, 12 classrooms were monitored by a single prison guard, leaving members of the teaching staff afraid for their safety – despite having access to panic buttons.
An HMIP report on the jail revealed one in three inmates said it was easy, or very easy, to access drugs behind bars at the Sodexo run jail.
A letter seen by the NEC said civilian staff were regularly in contact with intoxicated ‘unpredictable’ prisoners.
“The teachers inside the jail are civilians working for an outside college and we rely on the officers presence to ensure our safety.
“Now the officers have been drastically reduced we are having to work with only one, or no officers present in the various education areas on the site, sometimes with upwards of 12 classes in one area and our safety is severely at risk.
“Teachers have repeatedly voiced concerns about not feeling safe because of the lack of officers but our management do not act on our concerns.
“We are having to deal with inmates turning up to class drunk and on drugs and their behaviour is unpredictable.”
The anonymous letter said some inmates had been found with ‘blades’ in class.
Staff and campaigners have voiced serious concerns about the dramatic fall in staffing levels at the jail, from 441 in 2010 to 270 in 2013.
> Well, what do they expect ? Shareholders demand higher profits, and paying fewer wages is an one way to do that. Profit above all else.
In the past year 12 members of Manchester College have left the jail which the staff member has put down to safety concerns.
Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck where the jail is based, has raised his concerns with justice secretary Chris Grayling in the House of Commons as well as calling for a review of Sodexo’s contract to run the jail but in his latest response Mr Grayling said he looks forward to seeing the prison improve.
Mr Lavery said:
“My office is now receiving lots of anonymous allegations about HMP Northumberland, all of which express serious views on the safety of everyone on the prison estate be it employees or prisoners.
“The latest was from a concerned prisoner describing the place as a ‘nuclear bomb ready to explode’.
“I will continue to raise these issues and will not back off until the prison is seen to be a safe place to be for everyone.
“I don’t want to be any way responsible for ignoring the desperate pleas for help in indeed a tragedy were to occur.”
A spokesman for Sodexo Justice Services said:
“The safety and security of prisoners, staff and visitors at HMP Northumberland is our highest priority.
“We have regular contact with Manchester College which runs the education courses at the prison. College staff can raise any issues through the appropriate channels which they are aware of and we urge them to do so if they have any concerns.”
A Statement released by Manchester College said:
“We take our duty of care to staff seriously, and work closely with Sodexo to maintain a safe working environment at the prison.
“We provide procedures for teachers to raise their concerns, and when they do we investigate thoroughly in conjunction with prison management.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 17 Feb 2015
A racist thug has been fined for damaging a mosque after a far-right rally in Sunderland.
Connor McIntosh launched the attack on the Jami Masjid mosque in Chester Road, Sunderland, drunkenly kicking a drainpipe.
The 19-year-old had been at a demo over proposals for a new mosque in Millfield on March 30.
> What I dont get is why they were at the Jami Masjid mosque, and not the site of the proposed new mosque, some distance away ?
Also, I’m told that the new mosque is for a seperate strand of Islam than that followed at Jami Masjid – rather like protesting about a new Baptist chapel outside a Roman Catholic church.
Still, that’s the EDL for you – if you thought too deeply (or at all…) about such matters, they’d probably deny you membership on the grounds of being dangerously intellectual. EDL = Easily Distracted Loons.
He was arrested after being captured on CCTV lashing out at the building.
Sunderland magistrates were told how he ranted about Islam and bragged about being a member of the EDL during his interview with police.
He pleaded guilty to causing racially-aggravated criminal damage.
Penny Bottomley, prosecuting, said McIntosh, an unemployed scrapman, was so drunk at first that he did not know why he had been arrested.
She said: “The defendant, when he was interviewed, was asked why he had been detained.
“He thought it was because he was too drunk, but then said there were too many mosques and they (Muslims) were grooming our kids.
“He said he had a child on the way and he did not want his child getting involved in all of that.
“Then he said the police should stop them burning our poppies.
“He confirmed he was a member of the EDL, and he was the male on the CCTV, and had ripped the pipe off the building himself.”
Jason Smith, defending, said father-to-be McIntosh, of Heathgate, Houghton-le-Spring, had never been in trouble before.
He said: “Usually, this is a matter that should have been dealt with by way of a caution.
“I accept the reason why it was not is because of the nature of the allegation, and because of his involvement with the EDL.”
Mr Smith told magistrates that the protest McIntosh had been to was organised with the “understanding” of the police and that McIntosh had the right to air his views.
He added: “Unfortunately, he had a bit too much to drink, and at the end of the march he caused damage to the drainpipe, then he walked away.
“He did not cause any more damage and he did not shout and swear or abuse anyone.”
McIntosh was fined £110 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the mosque, along with £85 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Source – Shields Gazette 19 April 2014
Defrocked UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom, a swivel-eyed loon of the first order, has come up with another one – ban the unemployed from voting.
He has attacked the fact that some will still get a vote even if they have “contributed nothing to the national exchequer at all and maybe never will”.
You might well think he’s talking about corporations who pay no tax here, or rich individuals who can afford accountants to bend the rules to avoid paying their fair share, but of course no…Bloom subscribes to that weird right-wing theory that the poorest are to blame for everything, and are probably doing it just to be spiteful.
No, his solution is that the electoral system needs to give “more electoral power” to the wealthy who “create the revenue”.
In other words, a system where the vote of the richest is always worth more than that of the poorer electorate, and those at the bottom getting none at all.
Good thinking Godfrey ! When the worst off in society cant even comfort themselves with the thought of voting idiots like you out at the next election (even though that prospect is a rank outsider at the best of times) then maybe bombs not ballots will become the order of the day. Because once you’re totally disenfranchised, what have you got to lose ?
He explained his rationale further – “I do not expect to vote in a Unite ballot because I am not a member and pay no dues. I do not expect a vote at Marks and Spencer’s AGM because I am not a shareholder. We need to get to a system where the interest of the individual and the state are more compatible.”
Yes Godfrey but… you see, this is a nation, not a company or a trade union. The vast majority didn’t apply to join it, we just ended up here as an accident of birth. If the accident had been slightly different some of us might have been born with silver spoons in our mouths and would spend our days trying to dodge paying taxes rather than scraping by.
And this idea that the poorest contribute nothing. Bloom, who apparently worked as a financial economist (although it may be worth noting that in 2008 Bloom’s company,TBO, was fined £28,000 by the Financial Services Authority for ‘posing an “unacceptable risk” to customers) doesn’t seem to realise that however poor you might be you still pay taxes – Council Tax and VAT at the very least. Some unfortunates also have to pay the Bedroom Tax. So lets have less of this “contributing nothing” crap.
Of course the man’s an arse, although what that makes the people who voted for him I shudder to think (and I am almost tempted to suggest that they are the people who should have their right to vote removed).
He is a member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a tax-exempt libertarian organization located in Auburn, Alabama. Its website states that it is dedicated to advancing “the Misesian tradition of thought through the defense of the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention” and has published views critical of democracy, which authors in Institute publications have called coercive, and incompatible with wealth creation… so I think we have pretty good idea of where he’s coming from.
Bloom, who seems to hate women almost as much as the poor, confessed that has visited brothels in Hong Kong. He claimed however he never consummated the visits (even the most hard up prostitute has to draw the line somewhere …) and also claimed “terrified young women beaten into prostitution often from Eastern Europe […] is only a very small aspect of the flesh trade”, and concluded that “in short, most girls do it because they want to.”
After inviting students from the University of Cambridge Women’s Rugby Club to Brussels in 2004, he was accused of sexual assault, making “sexist and misogynistic remarks” and using offensive language during a dinner party. One student handed a formal letter of protest to the President of the European Parliament, heavily criticising Bloom’s behaviour.
Bloom who sponsored the club with £3,000 a year, admitted making misogynist comments but denied sexual harassment. Perhaps, given his Hong Kong experiences, he thought his three grand actually entitled him to act like that.
In December 2008, Bloom was carried out by an intern after making a speech in the European Parliament while drunk, the second occasion on which he was accused of being drunk in the chamber. During the speech, Bloom denied that MEPs from Poland, the Czech Republic or Latvia have the ability to understand economic relations.
On 24 November 2010, Bloom was ejected from the European Parliament after directing a Nazi slogan at German MEP Martin Schulz who was speaking in a debate on the economic crisis in Ireland. Bloom interrupted Schulz and shouted “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer“ at him.
Bloom was filmed at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen congratulating the French for bombing the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship, in 1985.
In the clip, posing in front of the present Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior II, Bloom said, “Here we have one of the most truly fascist boats since 1945, well done the French for sinking (it).”
Truly a prince among men…