Blunt the Blunderer
On Today programme of BBC Radio 4, on 15th of March, the Ministry of Justice Minister Crispin Blunt stated that, “We do have a problem with interpreters being unhappy with a system they no longer can take advantage of the way they have done before.” As there is no evidence to support claims of abuse of the previous system by court interpreters and the minister cannot prove that interpreters are staying away from the Language Service FWA because of inability to manipulate the system, the statement is deeply insulting and slanderous. For over two years, Crispin Blunt and his department have tried to portray the previous system of provision of interpreters as inefficient, open to abuse and costly. Yet in their own words the only evidence they could provide to support these claims was of anecdotal nature. MP John Leech challenged Minister Nick Herbert in parliament last autumn about the topic of anecdotal evidence, but received no satisfactory answer. In fact there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the reform of the provision of interpreters was based on very little data and one might argue that it is for this very reason that its bases are flawed and its implementation has been a disaster so far. Instead of looking carefully at the fundamentals of the new FWA the minister prefers to shift the blame on interpreters by insulting them unjustly. This affront to all RPSIs requires a public apology by Mr Blunt. The aim is to lodge a complaint with Secretary of State for Justice Kenneth Clarke so every signature by the RPSIs counts.