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Archive for the tag “Chris Grayling”

Grayling Takes Another Swipe at Justice

Let me start by telling you a little story. Some years ago I was involved in an accident, no one was hurt but I was charged with ‘Driving without due care and attention’.

I went to the Magistrates Court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, maintaining that it was an error of judgement on my part not as charged and was indeed an accident in the true meaning of the word. Having made my opening statement the magistrates paused proceedings and the Chair pointed out to me that if I maintained my not guilty plea then there would have to be another hearing and a witness would have to come from Southampton and should I be found guilty then I would be responsible for his travel expenses, loss of earnings and in all probability an overnight stay.

The hearing was adjourned for a tea break to give me time to think. I changed my plea to guilty as I couldn’t afford to take the risk. Just for interest sake the magistrates said they would fine me the minimum allowed in law with the minimum points on my licence.

Now Grayling, that unqualified disaster of a Justice Minister, has brought in new fees, which come into force on 13 April, are not means-tested and will start at £150 and can rise to £1200 for anyone convicted of any crime. As my example above shows many people will plead guilty to something they have not in fact done rather than risk the extra penalties that may be imposed.

The only advantages will be money for the government and a sharp rise in police conviction rates.

However! JUSTICE WILL BE DENIED & JUSTICE WILL BE PERVERTED.

Choices

Let’s face it this country is in a mess! It’s like a ship in a raging storm heading towards rocks and the captain shouts “Hold this course!” His Lieutenant who hopes one day to become captain shouts “Hold this course but slow down a bit.” The little cabin boy can see the rocks but feeling helpless crawls into  his hammock and puts his hands over his eyes and cotton wool in his ears, holding on to a blind trust in the madness of the officers because to do otherwise would require him to DO something.

The UK, along with other Western nations, owes money, a lot of money and so it was rightly decided to reduce this debt and this is where our witless leadership went wrong. They had no one with vision or moral integrity and so they set about taking money from those who had little, those without, they believe, power, attacking the sick, the pensioners, students, the lower paid workers who actually produce the wealth that makes us the 6th richest nation on Earth. They chose not to rein in the bankers and financial directors, they chose not to go after those who avoid paying their proper share of taxation amounting to tens of billions each year because they themselves belong to, or aspire to belong, to that elite band. They chose not to save up to £200billion by cancelling the Trident nuclear weapon system which will never be used and deters no one simply because this would deprive them of a seat at the top table of the United Nations. Instead of strutting they may have to walk like the rest of humankind.

They chose not to invest in a massive social housing programme that is desperately needed for millions of our citizens and would create and safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs. In it’s wake this would generate spending power for the workers thus creating more employment and in addition, tax revenues. A bi product would also be a likely reduction in ever increasing housing rental costs which (some) greedy landlords are reaping in such places as London where tenants are now to be evicted because of government cuts to housing benefit. Instead they chose borrowing even more to fund rapidly increasing unemployment which is a tried and tested method of keeping wage increases to a minimum. Not such a surprising choice either when many of those currently in power like Chris Grayling, are indeed wealthy property owners.

We too though have choices. Even in this poor democracy of ours we do not have to be like the cabin boy; the power ‘they’ hold is in reality, our power that we lend to them. They stick together but they are only a few, we are millions and if only we can stick together and demand a new way, a new vision, then we can take back our power and steer our ship away from the rocks, into calmer waters of fairness, justice, democracy, co-operation and peace.

But have we the guts?

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