POA Circulars

81 | 17.05.2011

BBC Question Time - "Wormwood Scrubs"

During Annual Conference last week members of the executive were advised that the BBC’s Question Time was to be screened inside Wormwood Scrubs Prison.  The panel includes Ken Clarke, Secretary of State for Justice and Jack Straw, the previous office holder of this post whilst Labour was in office.  No one from the POA National Executive had been invited.

Following receipt of this information the new National Chairman, Peter McParlin instructed the administration to contact the BBC and producers of Question Time to seek a place on the panel, considering prisoners were to be included in the audience and allowed to ask questions (our request was rejected).

This refusal by the BBC, only serves to demonstrate the contempt those in authority hold for the union.  How can the public’s perception of prisons be changed when the BBC rely on Ministers and MPs to set out the picture and stage manage open live debates.

Please draw the contents of this circular to your members’ attention.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation.


Yours sincerely

General Secretary