This story (see http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/union_backs_prison_work_parties_1_4113520 ) nicely illustrates why I have given up on the pathetic right wing farce that passes these days as trade unionism.
If the paid full time ‘area manager’ of a large trade union doesn’t know that the sole punishment of a convict is to be imprisoned, and that prisoners should not be subject to a 'punishment' (even passed off as 'therapy' or 'rehabilitation') that has not been specifically laid down by the judge, then he is unfit for the job. And any trade unionist who supports a practice which abuses the basic rights of another human being deserves to be treated by other working class people with every bit as much contempt as those who run immigrant labour scams in the UK or child labour factories in poorer countries.
Because prison work parties are a modern form of slavery, often directly for large corporations with a poor record of human rights or indirectly with the ‘supervision’ costs passing to such pond life. And whatever public statement is made by the DHA the truth is that prisoners who refuse to be slaves will be marked down as ‘difficult’, find themselves unable to be considered for parole, or even to get proper access to their legal counsel or families as the law is supposed to ensure because the screws keep ‘losing the paperwork’.
But of course, Salter doesn’t give a monkeys about that. His sole interest is in ensuring that any of his members who might be called upon to assist in such disregard for the law and human rights get a handsome kickback for…well, basically for sitting about watching someone else do the actual work.
I suppose the minister in charge of the DHA who thought up this scheme (see http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/on_the_chain_gang_1_3976309 ) is only the latest in a line of inadequates with a government portfolio. For as long as I can remember we have only had one Education Minister who could spell his own name without assistance, and we currently have a Health Minister who prefers prayer and other voodoo to science, so a Minister for Home Afairs who does not know how courts operate, or that judges determine the punishment of offenders (and not friends of politicians wanting cheap labour for government underwritten sweatshops and scams) is just par for the course in Manx politics.
But we cannot depend on the Manx courts for justice either, or for the judiciary to stay independent when government is riddled with such idiocy.
For example, when that minister, just a few hours after warning the public not to get drunk at Christmas, got so rat-arsed at public expense at his own department’s Christmas party that he puked up on the bus home (see http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/no_police_action_over_juan_s_drunken_shame_1_4093699 for more) he paid just £60 to clean up the bus – and even that was only because the press, for once, ran a story on it instead of looking the other way.
By comparison, a mere member of the Manx public this week got a £150 fine for being so drunk he threw up in a police cell. As the prosecution only asked for a £50 fine plus £50 costs the new deemster yet again demonstrated why Manx justice is such an oxymoron.
But is the Manx justice system as hypocritical and moronic as those who run the DHA itself? Better judge for yourselves, because the judiciary seem either unwilling to judge or incapable of judging anything.
2 years ago