What if Jim Callaghan had won the 1979 election?

Image © brizzle born and bred

Mike Guilfoyle 

In a fascinating debate recorded in 1983 in Hansard Lord Wells -Pestell drawing on his former role as a Probation Officer opined in response to what many in the Probation Service and beyond considered at the time an overly prescriptive approach from the Home Office on the future direction of the Probation Service that : ‘we feel that the Home Office has failed to provide a positive programme for the future development of the probation service. There is in the statement a narrow preoccupation with cost cutting which is unrealistic having regard to the importance of the service to the community’ From the middle of the 1970’s the probation service had been faced with a growing range of external pressures relating to resources, professionalism , greater accountability and a debilitating sense that its traditional faith in the case-work informed rehabilitative ideal, predicated on the almost mystical status of the Officer/Client relationship as the core task of the probation service, whose efficacy was being called into question and was facing ever newer challenges to its performance that needed to be measured and quantified. Such moves became enmeshed in the introduction of what became known by the label of  the New Public Management ( NPM) into the public sector, whose profound influence , albeit in a more attenuated form melded with the modernising strategies that later characterised New Labour’s approach to public sector reform. Read more of this post