There are occasions when words speak for themselves without any need for commentary. Sometimes these words immerse the speaker, especially if he is a judge, in rather a large tub of hot water. Judge Peter Bowers received his comeuppance a few days ago from the bigwigs at the Office for Judicial Complaints for his intemperate remarks about the so called courage required to be a burglar. Presumably in the limited confines of the world that he might assume to inhabit saying boo to a goose merits a George Cross.
On the other hand when it occurs to a boy watching a king parade in the altogether with no clothes on, to shout out that said king is as naked as the day he was born, those of us not immersed in a Whitehall culture of weasel words and obfuscation can do nothing less than congratulate the boy, namely HH Judge Peter Kelson QC, on his remarks re the naked king AKA known as the probation service. It is universally known that that service is starved of funds, has a workforce with declining morale and is subjected to such pressures from government that it is a wonder it can still function in a meaningful form. Indeed in a neighbouring court they were assured this year by the probation head honcho that certain services would be provided on the basis that staff were available. Of course staff were and are never available (as honcho knew only too well at the time) and thus his assurance was argued as not being misleading. But returning to HH Judge Kelson; he expressed his anger in court when told by a probation officer that a defendant “diagnosed” as having anger management problems was ineligible to undergo a Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage course because he had insufficient convictions to warrant his inclusion. The Sheffield Star report is available here. No more comment is necessary.