Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Truth Will Out

Cocktail Sausages
Offensive Weapons?
At last the real reason that the CPS decided not to prosecute anybody in the cash-for-honours scandal may have emerged. It appears that they may have had bigger fish to fry.

Today in Manchester, a judge has strongly condemned the decision of the CPS to bring a case of assault to court in which a 12 year old with learning difficulties is accused of throwing a cocktail sausage (under 1 inch long, no sharp pointy stick involved either) at an elderly neighbour. He has told them to go away and reconsider their decision to prosecute, and I suspect given the tone of the judge's comments the case will be quietly dropped.

Will there ever be an end to the parade of stories of such ridiculous decisions from the realms of officialdom. Have the levels of common sense in some of our public services really fallen as low as they would seem to have done? I suspect in many cases they have. To understand why you only need to consider the fate of the official who made this decision. I suspect they will point to some vacuous policy paper and claim that they were just following procedures and at that point no further action will be taken either against the person who made the decision, or the the one who drafted the policy.

If I had made a decision in any of my jobs in the private sector that had caused such public embarrassment to my employer, my fate would have been very different. In the case in hand, the employer doesn't really give a toss; they are exist by statute and face no competition. It is this difference that I believe contributes to the many indicators that while management in the private sector gradually improves from year to year, that in the public sector stagnates at best.

As for the 12 year old at the heart of the case, his case will probably soon be closed. The costs that will have surrounded it would be fascinating to know, but then again it's only taxpayer's money, so I don't think any of the state employed actors involved in the case would really be that concerned about the total bill.

Apparently the kid involved did have a bit of a track record, but he's still only 12. At least now the case is almost over the fingerprints and DNA samples that were taken from him at the time of his arrest will soon be destroyed. Oh, no, of course they won't now, will they? Not in NuLab's police state; they'll just be added to the ever growing national database of DNA taken from unconvicted juveniles that the state is so keen to gather.

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