Court interpreting: past and present
I am one of the interpreters who refuse to serve the new court interpreting system.
Prior to Gavin Wheeldon and ALS slithering onto the scene, the service was provided by an organisation called the National Register of Public Service Interpreters. Going back to the NRPSI would be nothing but a win.
Before this happened, while the NRPSI did have shortcomings (and what organisation doesn't?), there was nothing that couldn't be remedied or improved with some sensitive and smart thinking applied.
However, instead of delicate surgery to correct the patient, the MOJ went for the hacksaw method. It wildly exaggerated issues that had been a problem in small measure in order to justify making changes that I believe it had settled on from the outset without any intention to backtrack.
I honestly wish I'd found a turf accountant to take a wager on certain aspects of this contrast. I'd have had my house on it and I'd have probably won enough to never have to work again. Then again, if you had to give a bookmaker the factors around which this contract was bound to stand or fall, I'd guess you'd have been given odds of 11/10 on it failing.
The MOJ had a great number of good alternatives put on the table in great detail by the several organisations that stand to represent interpreters. They responded to reason with cocksure edicts and arrogant dogma.
A reasonably strong interpreting profession existed before the outsourcing took place and I know that in even six months, a worrying number of us have left the UK or gone into different forms of work.
Even in just six months, the profession is starting to fall away at the edges - people on the NRPSI lists have emigrated and those that haven't are doing other things. The MOJ needs to realise that it can't wait another week or month or trimester to administer the fatal shot to the head that I have fantasised about ALS being given. It needs to do it now.