15 March 2004

UK: no longer a civilized nation?

[source, source, source]

WHAT do you give someone who’s been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn’t commit? An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne? Compensation? Well, if you’re David Blunkett, the Labour Home Secretary, the choice is simple: you give them a big, fat bill for the cost of board and lodgings for the time they spent freeloading at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in British prisons.

On Tuesday, Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice in London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than £3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted. The logic is that the innocent man shouldn’t have been in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under regulation grey blankets.

[…] the Home Office say it’s a completely “reasonable course of action” as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren’t in prison. The government deems the claw-back ‘Saved Living Expenses’.

This isn’t a plan, or an idea being run up the flag pole. The UK government has already charged people in this manner. One of the counter-sued to get it overturned, won, and now the UK government is appealing that decision.

I like the “would have spent the money anyway”. Well, yes, that’s true, but there’s also “would have had a job anyway” as well. Perhaps instead of having the expenses overturned, the victims should use the same logic and demand compensation for lost wages.

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CNN: no anti-war event too small for headline coverage


“MORE THAN SIXTY PEOPLE” protested the war, and to CNN that’s news. (It’s currently at the top of their main page.)

I wonder how many people would have to march in favor of the war to get this kind of notice? 60,000? Apparently 4,000 wasn’t enough.

It’s probably that CNN is now only reporting stories so uninteresting that they won’t get scooped on them, like they did for the anti-Caliphascist protests in Iraq.

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