It really is time for the New Labour brigade to shut up (Labour: we will halt overcrowding and rioting in jails, 24/12/16). Don`t the likes of John Spellar realise, that by saying such things as Shami Chakrabarti is "unilaterally abandoning Labour`s policy of being tough on crime", they are creating a rift where there most certainly should not be one? Far better for Labour to divorce itself from failed past policies, and leave the "authoritarian arms race" to the increasingly right-wing Tories, and Ukip. Not only is Chakrabarti correct to want an end to prison overcrowding, she is right to question the role of private companies like G4S, which "are profiting from incarceration".
It is to be hoped that Labour can receive positive publicity from its obvious desire to listen to experts, something which May`s government clearly has no intention of doing. What a nice change it makes, too, to see sensible judicial policies coming from someone with recent experience in the field of human rights and justice, rather than from letters written by politicians who had overseen the staffing cuts which caused many of the problems leading to the current crisis!