Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Hard Cell

As well as the current obsession with the weather, the soothsayers are gabbling about the latest proposals by the Tree/Liberationist alliance concerning prison reform.

This whole issue is naturally saturated with the usual irony that permeates Politicoland. During the campaigns for the Great Count (where the sticks of voting members of the populace are counted from the respective bins of the faction candidates), each of the politicos took great pains to reassure the electorate that their faction would press for firm penalties against the miscreants and ne'er-do-wells who infest Northumbrian life. Thieves, robbers and other felons would be incarcerated. End of story. Full stop.

In reality, the prisons have been filling up at such  an alarming rate that the amount of available space for up-and-coming offenders is running out. Offenders are having to book their offences in advance. Prisons are now being crowded with people who have publicly used inappropriate language, or have been overheard to have voiced their concern about the excessive amount of attention and resources lavished upon the Vikings and other minority groups. Criminals - including elderly ladies - who have dropped apple cores in public spaces, or allowed their dogs to leave brown statements on the streets have been filling the cells at an alarming and unprecedented rate. Needless to say, the hardened killers, violent robbers and other villains have treated them with particular disgust, causing all manner of tensions within the prisons. Riots have been reported to have broken out, and some felons have been in fear for their lives. Beeby See has told us, and the other soothsayers have also joined the chorus. O tempus, O mores.

The Witangemot Supremo Clerk for Justice is a rotund buffoon with a dismissive, devil-may-care manner. He has decided that it would be in the interests of Northumbria (and justice) to allow the fly-agaric dealers, the bandits and the violent to be released from prison early so that the real criminals - the fly-tippers, the dog-foulers, the unlicensed cat owners and the public airers of unorthodox opinions - can serve their sentences and pay their debt to society. Magistrates at the Moots have been told to send the violent offenders on special courses so that they can become diversity co-ordinators and fish quota accountants. No kidding.

Needless to say, many ordinary people (when they're not occupied with The Ð Factor and the tittle-tattle surrounding it) are very alarmed and angry about this. Once again, a faction has broken its promises and has back-pedalled on a solemn pledge. It all looks so familiar - like the Liberationists, who before the Great Count took an oath declaring that they would never increase schooling fees. Of course, the Reds are shouting the odds about it all like drunken oafs. But the present administration is only continuing what they'd been doing for years.

As I see it through my green eyes, the biggest criminals are the puppets who dance and sing in the Witangemot. They have neither the moral insight nor the spheres to stand up and oppose this nonsense. They are paid well for their services. They can swan about, busy with their own importance - but I can see right through them. And even Caedmon - usually more concerned with sublime and eternal things - is starting to cotton on to the idea that these idiots are not the Lord's instruments for righteousness after all. When authority rewards the evil and punishes the good, something has gone terribly wrong. Where's the prison? Inside the cell - or out?

They all need a dose of Leo. I just need a strategy to get him out of that cage...

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