Criminology, probation and stuff

Some musings on criminology with a focus on probation

Policing the November 30 Strike Action

with one comment

I am showing solidarity with lecturers at my University and all other public sector workers who taking part in the strike action today – although I don’t exactly have a job from which to strike I have avoided the department (and was particularly disappointed at it not cancelling a conference occurring there today) and am not responding to work emails. I also went into Cambridge to join the UCU feeder march up to Parker’s Piece and then took part in the march around Cambridge.

Neither the feeder march nor the main march were heavily policed – despite me seeing a much heavier police presence than usual on my way in to town, there were very few police accompanying us on the actual march. Interestingly, the heaviest police lines were situated at the entrances to the Lion Yard and the Grand Arcade – the main shopping centres in Cambridge town centre. The fact that the police seemed to be mainly interested in maintaining the separation between the public and private spaces and protecting the private organisations which occupy those shopping centers in Cambridge is pretty nice symbolism for the problem underpinning and stimulating the action taking place today. Moreover, does it suggest a misunderstanding of what is happening today – are the police conflating these marches and picket lines with the riots of August 2011? Very worrying if so.

One further thought: I think that the unions need to make sure they don’t stray into the realms of ageism with their opposition to raising the retirement age to 68. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a retirement age of 68 – it’s no more arbitrary than 65 already is and there are many jobs that can be carried out perfectly well at age 68 – indeed there are people who want to carry on working beyond 65 but aren’t allowed to do so. However, many speakers on the stage as well as the placards being held up were suggesting that anyone aged over 65 is, to put it bluntly,  past it. One of the megaphone wielding Union stewards taught the crowd a chant and then said ‘if you can’t remember that now then you’ve got no chance when you’re 68’ – I think my 85 year old grandma would have something to say about that! The cuts to pensions are being driven by an ideology which predicates the private over the public; market forces over the equal distribution of capital – this is the issue; not an arbitrary 3 year difference in the pension age and the Unions would do well to remember it.

 

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Written by criminologyandstuff

November 30, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Posted in criminal justice

One Response

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  1. I very much agree with your point about ageism – I’ve had the same response to some of the comments I’ve read and heard today. Though there is a real discussion to be had about, for example, the different stresses and strains of some jobs, and the different life expectancies of those in different professions. Thanks for your support too.

    Sarah AB

    November 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm


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