Abolition of the Youth Justice Board

Baroness Murphy

Lord Warner

Lord Norton has already commented on the Government defeat over the abolition of the Youth Justice Board. I was one of the Crossbenchers who voted against the Government. The debate was seriously interesting, see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/110328-0001.htm#1103289000828. I went into the Chamber quite prepared to vote with the Government on the basis that the YJB had largely achieved its purpose, that it is in many areas advisory only and it might well be time for a new style of initiative to carry on its good work.  Rod Morgan, a former Chair of the YHB has argued just that, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2010/oct/26/youth-justice-reform-bold-steps.  Lord Warner, a former Chair of the YJB,  tabled the amendment. What I was waiting for was a plan from the Government about the new arrangements and a convincing strategy for continuing the successful reduction in young people going into custody and the support of local Youth Offending Teams. But the eloquence of argument was all from the Opposition, Lib Dems, Crossbenchers and some unconvinced Tories. The Minister for Justice Lord McNally stuttered, muttered and seemed to have lost all hope of turning the argument round. He had no plans. Perhaps he knew he was on a losing wicket but he seemed defeated before the vote. Not surprisingly almost all of the crossbenchers voted with Lord Warner.

It is the nature of politics that this decision will probably be reversed in the Commons; indeed it may well be right to do  what the Government wishes to do, but it had better have some  very coherent and well thought out strategy before the Statutory Instrument arrives to confirm the abolition.

If you want to learn about the work of the Youth Justice Board, go to http://www.yjb.gov.uk/en-gb/ but you better be quick, the Government is closing their web site on 4 April. That tells you everything about their determination to press on regardless.

11 comments for “Abolition of the Youth Justice Board

  1. Bedd Gelert
    29/03/2011 at 8:53 pm

    This was an interesting debate on ‘Today In Parliament’. Especially the comment about not wanting to ‘fix’ a car that was working perfectly well…

    The Government really should pay more attention to the Lords – but one wonders whether this may be ‘collateral damage’ after the well-meaning ‘filibustering’ which went on recently.

  2. Lord Blagger
    29/03/2011 at 9:07 pm

    That tells you everything about their determination to press on regardless.

    Nope. It tells you everything about the state of the government finances.

    You’ve spent it all and more.

    There is no money.

    There is just debt.

    Hence you can’t afford things like the YJB.

    Not that it was any good. Lots of criminals still coming onto the market.

  3. MilesJSD
    30/03/2011 at 6:06 am

    The baroness waxes cool-headed;
    but is still unclear, because her information (and therewith ‘intelligence’) is seriously limited and limiting.

    (1)Any such “well thought out strategy”, as Baroness Murphy insists the Con-Lib government must “have” before the Statutory Instrument arrives to confirm the abolition, is more likely to be just another blinkered and short-term Policy, amongst a Carbuncle of other disparate and conflicting policies largely scraped together independently by Civil Service chiefs, all vying to stand in place of Britain’s Grand Strategy which Britain does not have, for many years has not had, and evidently still kids itself it can do without.

    At best, baroness, you may see a sub-strategy; but there will still be no essential longest-term Grand Strategy to contain and nurture it.
    (2) I recorded some of the so-called “Youth Parliament” near the end of 2010 from the green-seat Commons chamber, and quite frankly judging from the lack of the three basic principles of good-communication and honest-argumentation .1. Clarity
    .2. Charity
    .3. Self-Corrigibility
    and lack of any comprehensive cutting-edge, which was evident not only throughout the Youth numbers crowded in there but from (very dominantly ‘not from’, however) the oligarchically initiating and smarmy-politicking senior-adult political sponsors including infringement of the best skills of commujnication and problem-solving by the House of Commons regular Speaker who simplisticly kept on over-praising even the puerile, the pusillanimous, and the inconsistent parrotings of a number of that ‘highly-select’ British Youth-but-mostly-universities-and individual-capitalistic Representative Body.

    I find no hope from Britain’s Youth, who nonetheless are partly to blame for their pupppet-like blinkerednesses,

    the overarching and overwhelming cause of which is undoubtedly the lack of longest-term exemplary and sustain-worthy Leaadership from their controlling directors, teachers, parents, peers, mentors, media and neighbour-hooding British People.


  4. Lord Blagger
    30/03/2011 at 8:13 am

    I find no hope from Britain’s Youth,

    I agree. The Baroness and her ilk have run up such huge debts that the youth are going to have to pay, they are stuffed.

    Oversight of Parliament?

    Nope, looting of the treasury.

  5. Baroness Murphy
    Baroness Murphy
    30/03/2011 at 8:15 am

    Bedd Gelert, I didn’t get the feeling that this was anything other than a straight debate with much strength of feeling . It’s the constitutional bills like the Fixed Term Parliament Bill which attract the political side swiping from those long experinced in the art.

    Lord Blagger, I know it won’t do any good to say so but parliament is not Government. I have never been in Government and as an independent member of the legislature won’t ever be. But your mistake is a common one among responders to the blog.

    Milesjsd, the youth of Britain seem very much as they used to be when it was us rather than them. How quickly people forget their own youth.

    • MilesJSD
      30/03/2011 at 10:18 am

      Bedd, and your good self perhaps Baroness, may be missing the fact that political and party-politicised win-lose Debating
      has cuckoos-eggs-like killed-off People’s and Parliamentarians’ first-stage information-sharing,second-stage cooperatively-focused-conversation, and third-stage constructively-cooperative rational discussion,
      all three of which stages should precede and be preparatory for the ultimate ‘battlefield’ that is ‘we win all/you lose all’ competitive debating.

      Debating should not(have) become a place for information-competing and agenda-cornerings, nor for enthymemes (leaving out certain necessities), nor for the dilution of the three basic principles of good-communication and honest-argumentation: Clarity; Charity; Self-corrigibility.

      So I think that is why there is so much difficulty at every level of Governance in Britain – which is a truly very serious Matter now that the English language is increasing in use as the Whole World’s means of peacefully-planning the Future.
      Albeit it is a bit of a counter-politicising non-sequitur-ing
      (the sub-topic having been that the Con-LibDems are going to bulldoze-through their new legislation right-or-wrong – which might actually be precisely because there is not enough money to drag it out debatively, or even to give it fail-safe Scrutiny)
      the ‘sense’ of Lord Blagger’s overall comment was clear enough, I think: that it is Britain’s parliamentary-governance that has spent too much money;
      and that the YouthJusticeBoard had only resulted in (still) lots of (young ?) criminals ‘coming onto the market’ ((very nice incisive snapshot, nonetheless, Lord Blagger)).

      Non-Government Parliamentarians are still in Governance; in fact they are largely responsible for holding the Government (Executive) to Account;
      so perhaps Baroness Murphy might like to re-visit her contributory effort there with a view to Clarifying our (common) confusion ?
      In my youth I was an anglican-choirboy, a boy-scout, a junior-training-corps cadet, and an ARP/Civil-Defence messenger, as well as being welcome in Community places, in Dancehalls & Army-camp canteens (I played piano) and (in khaki uniform by day) at roadside Cuppas-for-the Troops and NAAFi snacks and table-tennis randoms; and was even elected onto the local village-hall committee;

      but never could we actually seek-out ‘governmental’ information and share it, nor enter into any kind of public deliberation particularly over un-toward matters and our own losses.

      Since then we have been increasingly en-abled to learn-in-general, to hold serious discussion, do simple research, and make constructive submission to governance bodies and to charities;

      but given the number of decades of almost continuous peace-in-Britain since 1945, and the obviously increasing lifeplace-recreational-enablements and pre-workplace-skillings of our infants, children, youth, and young-adults, the Resulting Youth Strata’s democratic-enablement and competence has moved forward proportionately far less than did ours when we were young, Baroness.
      Opposite my parents’ house was a Chapel with a ‘wayside-pulpit’ board, one captivating quotation upon which read

      “Remember Thy God In The Days Of Thy Youth”;

      and our own ack-ack razor-sharp shrapnel pieces, and the enemy’s bombs, were falling only inches away from its tree-like security and would-be sanctuary.

      To this day I eternally wonder which way such advice could, or should, be taken.


    • Carl.H
      30/03/2011 at 10:40 pm

      But your mistake is a common one among responders to the blog.

      Our Governmental system is one of a Parliamentary nature, you are part of that parliamentary system therefore of Government.

      The use of English language is mainly by popular demand, a words meaning can change over time as can the word. In popular circles there are two or more meanings of Government. If you are complicit by being part of the Parliamentary system this denotes in common terms being part of Government, which may or may not mean being Government in terms of the Executive.

      A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined.

      The intertwining nature of the Parliamentary system means that as a whole Parliament Governs the Country. This also of course means the Sovereign too, by giving assent, therefore has a part in Governing.

      Her/His Majesty’s Government
      the group of people who control Britain

      The Executive cannot control Britain alone it needs the assent of Parliament and of the Queen. Therefore in needing that permission from Parliament as a whole (in the main) the legislature is a higher power, infact the legislature is described as being the legitimacy of the Executive.

  6. Lord Blagger
    30/03/2011 at 8:15 am

    This was an interesting debate on ‘Today In Parliament’. Especially the comment about not wanting to ‘fix’ a car that was working perfectly well…

    Except the Lords aren’t working.

    They are attending, because they get paid to do so.

    Attending doesn’t mean doing any work.

    That’s the deliberate decision to avoid problems of fraud. After all, if its for attendance, you just turn up. No obligation to do anything.

  7. Lord Blagger
    30/03/2011 at 9:26 am

    Lord Blagger, I know it won’t do any good to say so but parliament is not Government. I have never been in Government and as an independent member of the legislature won’t ever be. But your mistake is a common one among responders to the blog.

    Not a mistake at all.

    The reason is that you claim to have an oversight over parliament.

    You’ve exercised control, and you do by voting on bills approving them, so you take the responsibility for the mess.

    The alternative, that you have no control, is that the lords is a fraud. You turn up, collect the attendance allowance, and do nothing.

    So which is it? Either your responsible, or its a massive fraud.

  8. maude elwes
    30/03/2011 at 2:24 pm

    The criminalisation of young people and children is repugnant. This country is becoming as bad as the US sending children as young as six to prison.




    And if children are becoming more difficult to civilize why is that? Could it be that we are following the ‘Capitalist’ societies who have a work ethic that no longer is family friendly?

    Children these days are abandoned by their mothers. The mother has to work, whether she is married or not. This leaves children roaming the streets like the feral kids of Brazil, do you seriously think we are not collectively to blame?

    Did this behaviour take place when you were growing up? If not, why not? What was different then? How has our country changed that would make it produce children who are so desperate they have lost a sense of decency or desire to please?

    Were you exposed to what children are exposed to today? What would it have been like for you if you had been?

    We are fast returning to children shoved up the chimney mentality. Or, putting them in the docks to watch the judge put on the hangman’s cap. Newgate 18th and 19th centuries.

    Well, there is another answer of course, send them to Australia. That will teach them a lesson!

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