Lord Janner, the CPS, and the Fight for Social Justice

During a Parliamentary debate today concerning the operations of the Crown Prosecution Service, Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale, explained that “people like Cyril Smith and Victor Montagu [and Lord Janner] were allowed to continue to abuse children because the CPS was unable or unwilling to bring cases against them, even when it had the evidence.”

Sadly this dire situation of blatant corruption, is just one of the many disgusting facts of life that we must face under capitalism: capitalism being a bankrupt political and economic system that always places profit and power firmly before the requirements of humans. This fact giving rise to the reason for their being one law for the rich and another for the rest of us.

On the matter of Lord Janner, Mr Danczuk poignantly asked: “Why is he able to contribute to the law-making process in the House of Lords, but unable to face the law himself?” Of course the answer is simply that Lord Janner was (and still is) a member of the political establishment, who happily ran our country to satisfy the needs of the super-rich — and so was summarily considered except from justice as applies to the rest of us.

But despite its serious faults, the CPS provides many services that promote the interests of us regular folk; and it is particularly those parts of the CPS that actively promote social justice that our Government are intent on destroying. One area in particular that the Tories are in the process of eradicating is legal aid; a welfare service which exists to enable everyone to have access to decent legal representation in the courts (see “Justice under the knife: Legal aid cuts interview”).

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Thus the first contribution to today’s CPS Parliamentary debate — that was roundly ignored in the media — was made by Teresa Pearce, Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead (and a former senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers). Shockingly she pointed out how “the CPS has experienced a 28.3% cut to its budget, which is estimated to be around £200 million per annum, since 2010?”

“Does it seem right” she added, “that the most vulnerable participants in the criminal justice system—the victims and the witnesses—are being detrimentally affected because of these cuts?” Mrs Pearce also drew attention to another service provided by the CPS that has born the brunt of these cuts, noting how, “Between 2010 and 2013, the number of witness care managers, whose job is to aid victims and witnesses, fell by 43%.”

So while the upper echelons of the CPS clearly protect the interests of the powerful, we must still collectively strive to protect the parts of the CPS which promote justice for the rest of us. Here one easy way of improving the egalitarian functions of the CPS would be to support the ongoing efforts of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) to do just that. One might also strengthen cross-union solidarity at the grassroots level through participating in bodies like the National Shop Stewards Network, which can help unite the working-class in their efforts to promote a more just society. A more just society being a democratic socialist Government that will represent the interests of the 99%, and whose first and foremost priority will be to place human needs firmly before the needs of capitalism.

A shorter version of this letter was sent to the Leicester Mercury mailbox on 23rd June. 

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