I’m not happy with this.
It seems Boris Johnson’s government is thinking of letting convicted criminals – who are serving prison sentences – deliver lorry loads of goods to ease the driver shortage caused by Brexit (not Covid-19).
The option was tabled by the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, which is apparently meeting with HM Prison Service this week (although I don’t know why. Most of the prisons are run by private companies these days, aren’t they?) to ask for lorry drivers to be prioritised on the Release on Temporary Licence (
ROFL* ROTL) scheme.
The meeting comes after Nando’s had to close 45 fast food joints due to a shortage of chickens. In related news, McDonalds recently ran out of milkshakes.
And of course the nation is running out of patience.
But that didn’t stop ministers rejecting calls for temporary work visas to be handed to drivers from the European Union after overtures were made to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
The response was clear – and clearly racist: “The British people repeatedly voted to end free movement and take back control of our immigration system and employers should invest in our domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad.”
In other words: “We don’t want Johnny Foreigner coming over here and helping us out of a problem we created because of our racism against him! We’d rather cut off our noses to spite our faces!”
The statement continued: “We recently announced a package of measures to help tackle the HGV driver shortage, including plans to streamline the process for new drivers to gain their HGV licence and to increase the number of tests able to be conducted.”
In other words, new drivers will be trained to a lower standard, and tests will be of a lower quality, in order to put more drivers on our streets. And bring more death to our roads?
Owain Gardner (below) makes some good points about it:
Now, two things:
1) Yet more UK Govt imposed #BrexitRedTape
2) I can’t be the only one thinking that this isn’t going to work? 🧐https://t.co/WiIkeiJZAJ
— Owain Gardner 🇪🇺 (@Odbe34) August 23, 2021
And so does Richard Murphy:
UK food firms beg ministers to let them use prisoners to ease labour shortages https://t.co/sga9fWDIhh WTF are we coming to when it reaches this point?
— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) August 23, 2021
We’re coming to a point where we don’t mind who we trust to deliver our food – or what condition it may be in when it arrives. That’s why I don’t think such a scheme will work.
Which prisoners would the government allow to be used? What crimes would the government deem to be harmless enough to allow them to deliver food to us? How would they be supervised?
My guess is that the answers to these three questions are: any, all, and not at all.
And that creates a danger to us. It only takes one con with a chip on his shoulder to cause all kinds of problems. I’m sure I can leave the consequences to your imagination.
Oh, I’m exaggerating; overdramatising. Sure.
But we have prisons to stop dangerous people from doing dangerous things. This scheme will give them free rein to do it.
And I’m only wrong about this until something happens to prove me right.
*ROFL is of course an Internet acronym meaning “Rolling On the Floor Laughing”. I mention it because of its similarity to ROTL, and also to connect with Keir Starmer’s howler at his latest relaunch of his party leadership, in which he used the slogan “Winning The Future” (WTF). You’re probably aware that WTF is Internet-speak for “What The F***”.
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