Once a year Morag goes to Paris and buys a yearly agenda. The covers there come in all sorts of fancy leathers and beautiful colours and somehow the chi-chi-ness of it all chirps her up. The only problem is she sometimes goes awry with the days and months and has been known to show up on Dimanche for meetings that are really on Lundi ! So this morning when she heard John Reid’s new pronouncements she can be forgiven for thinking that against the odds Octobre might somehow mean April and that the Home Secretary was playing a fantastic April Fool’s Joke.
I called around to a few of the faithful and was told, nope, cannabis has not been legalised, it’s not April Fool’s, the drinking system at Westminster hasn’t been spiked and yes John Reid is dead serious.
So let me get this straight now. If you come from a country that is not an EU country, and you commit a crime we (as in you and me the taxpayer) will pay you (as in the criminal) £2,500. so you can go back to wherever it is that you come from where most likely £2,500 is equivalent to £50k. No catch. Well I’m seeing a business opportunity here. I was disheartened that I wouldn’t be able to participate in the new “Let me pretend I’m you and take your driving test for you – £1,500 please” as my driving skills are quite splotchy – besides they fail women three times on purpose.
But this government initiative I like – I go out – get convicted and you pay me £2,500. I go ‘home’ for a couple of months, swan about buying drinks at the local (I’d better not use a particular language or ethnicity or the PC brigade will jump down on me). When the money runs out I come back to Blighty, re-offend get another £2,500 and so on and so on. Sounds like it has possibilities. Of COURSE they are telling us it won’t work that way but I’ll bet you dollars to dougnuts, as they say in Yankland, that is exactly how it will work.
The estimated total for this exercise in stupidity is approx £20 million (pounds not pence). I don’t know about the rest of you but I can think of loads better ways to spend £20million of my hard-earned money (no sniggering from the peanut gallery) than on this kind of foolishness. To add insult to injury, whilst I would say that all criminals belong in the same boat if I were a UK miscreant and found that I was only getting £47. (yes that’s how much the locals get) – and my fellow cell member was getting £2,500. well I would not be best pleased. I understand the adage ‘Treat your guests better than your own family’ but somehow I don’t think this is what the fathers of etiquette had in mind.
There is a theory called Social Control Theory which in layman’s terms means that who you are and what you believe in, where you come from etc. determines your morals. Basic common sense. What Mr.Reid is proposing is that people who come to our shores from distant climes (like Morag) but who are not well-behaved (as is Morag) – should be rewarded for operating within our society with a moral code that is diametrically opposed to ours. AND we should pay them for their pleasure.
When I was out and about this weekend, getting stroppy with my newly found political nous and doing battle with various Leftie friends, I said said look “Say what you like about David Cameron but at least he’s not Gordon Brown”. “Oh no, we’re thinking of ditching Brown” I was told. I snorted and said “For whom????”…..”Oh John Reid for sure, he could do it”. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Kaaaaaaaaaaaay. If this is the same John Reid they were speaking about then DC can order in the crew to install Downing Street Webcam because he’ll be moving in. Anyone idiotic enough to come up with an idea such as this deserves a slap (in the proverbial sense of course – Morag does NOT advocate violence).
Prison reform has been around as long as there have been naughty people. There was a fabulous woman I came across (in books not in person Morag is not that much of an age) who floated around in Victoria times who was into teaching prisoners a trade. In about 100AD Plutarch said “The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education”. Now I suspect as Conservatives we’re not supposed to be thinking that but as someone who has been having a ‘mare of a time finding a decent plumber lately I’m thinking we should start teaching prisoners how to be brickies, plumbers, thatchers and whatever trades we’re low on down at the Job Centre. Things used to be better when they knew that time in prison meant banging out license plates, digging roads not all this lollygagging about watching Trisha and Sky Sports.
As for John Reid….keep up the good work. If this is the best Labour has to offer then we’ll have no trouble sweeping back in to where we belong.