I thought I’d include this early on in the BLOG to set the scene for what is to follow:
Alan, in the four years I’ve sat on the … bench my disappointment at almost all that I’ve seen has remained very high.Many of the rules upon which we have been given to follow are often idiotic, and no-one seems to notice nor care.The quality of justice we provide in Bedford is very poor indeed. No-one cares.The efficiency with which we run the courts is astonishingly poor. No-one seems motivated to fix them.These “difficult circumstances” I hear so much about cannot excuse simple, persistent inefficiency.I have seen management charts which show me that the “manager” who prepared them is totally adrift with no clue what he’s doing.I have met with a probation manager and that meeting tells me she is simply not nor never will be – management material.In general, the probation service are horribly below standard, and strangely pro-offender – we accept their recommendations, we nod stuff through. It’s easier, and hey – we don’t want to make a fuss, do we?Every single sitting I document several miserable instances of institutional idiocy. There seems to be no will to do better or even to acknowledge how bad things are. We just push on regardless.Serious issues remain unaddressed for YEARS by “the correct channels” as you’ve termed them in the past,whilst my attempts to address them promptly and directly have been met by hostility. This leaves me with no alternative but to sit tight and try to function as best I can in what I see as an embarrassing shambles. Tackling things on a point-by-point basis in court sessions is largely futile and unpopular.I have sat like a thorn in the side of the bench for too long, and your “little note”, and the back-biting it evidences, is the final straw. Finally, even I can’t stand it any longer. I don’t have to do this, so – effective immediately, I will no longer do it.If the public knew how we do what we do, they would be extremely angry, and rightly so. Perhaps I’ll write a book.Good luck with it. I am very glad to have finally admitted defeat.