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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10240

Posted on 15 September 2010 at 21:01 GMT

No justice in the cuts

PCS protest outside Ministry of Justice , photo Paul Mattsson

PCS protest outside Ministry of Justice , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The Grim Reaper was spotted menacing Ministry of Justice (MoJ) workers outside MoJ headquarters on Tuesday afternoon.

Neil Cafferkey, Hackney Socialist Party

The Reaper had appeared at the behest of the Con-Dem government whose plans to cut 2 billion from the MoJ's budget of 9 billion promise a slaughter of jobs and the closure of prisons and courts.

PCS, the union which represents civil servants in the MoJ, fears that 15,000 of the MoJ's 80,000 staff could lose their jobs.

PCS protest outside Ministry of Justice , photo Paul Mattsson

PCS protest outside Ministry of Justice , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

When the announcement was made the PCS immediately launched the 'Justice Under the Hammer' campaign to prevent these cuts.

Tuesday's protest outside the head quarters of the MoJ saw MoJ workers gather in a lunchtime demonstration.

The event was a great success with the sight of the Grim Reaper threatening a fake judge in full robes and wig with a scythe of budget cuts adding a lighter note to the serious business of the day.

This was demonstrated by Kevin Greenway, President of PCS MoJ group and Socialist Party member, leading a delegation that presented leading department officials with the PCS's response to the MoJ's proposed cuts.

Kevin Greenway, President of PCS MoJ group and Socialist Party member, addresses PCS protest outside Ministry of Justice , photo Paul Mattsson

Kevin Greenway, President of PCS MoJ group and Socialist Party member, addresses PCS protest outside Ministry of Justice , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Kevin Greenway personally warned these officials that the PCS would not tolerate the loss of members' jobs and the destruction of the justice system.

PCS members at the demonstration warned of the devastating impact of the cuts if they go through. The justice system is already overcrowded with long delays for those seeking to access the service. If the cuts are implemented those less well off will find it even more difficult to get justice as long delays will mean legal fees.

These delays, coupled with a cut in prison services, could leave victims even more exposed to their abusers while those accused of crimes that do not have the resources to post bail could spend years in remand custody.

Justice delayed is justice denied. This is precisely what will happen if these cuts go through. Tuesday's protest was an important start for a vital campaign in the broader fight to defend public services and defeat cuts.

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