Chris Grayling plays Scrooge

23 December 2013

Chris Grayling is a nasty piece of work, isn’t he? To wit:

[N]ew rules, which forbid prisoners from receiving any items in the post unless there are exceptional circumstances, were introduced in November as part of the government’s changes to the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme.

Under the rules, families are prevented from sending in basic items of stationery such as cards, paper or pens to help people in prison keep in touch with their friends and families and wish them a happy Christmas. They are also prevented from sending books and magazines or additional warm clothes and underwear to the prison.

Almost no-one cares about prisoners, of course, so the Justice Secretary can do as he likes knowing that the press will never, ever, cause a fuss about petty and mean-spirited nastiness of this sort.

But it is the sort of small-minded – and gratuitously vindictive – measure that appeals to bullies and if Chris Grayling is not one such bully we may reasonably say his impersonation of one is remarkably convincing.

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Show comments
  • drydamol1


    Why do we knuckle down and obey a dozen peoples assorted thoughts
    .The Cabinet reach a decision then Whip their flock of MPs to pass it in Parliament it becomes Law and we duly obey .

    Grayling the supposed Justice Minister has just applauded
    Alan Turing’s Pardon for committing an Act of Gross Indecency .

    This was the charge and conviction when Homosexuality was
    Illegal .He committed suicide two years later . He did no more than opportune in
    a Public Toilet similar to Tony Blair .

    Will they themselves want Pardoning for their Draconian unnecessary
    Austerity Measures in years to come .A large proportion of the Public disagree
    with the Welfare reforms and other Immoral
    Laws ,those that do not don’t understand them .WCA’s , Benefit sanctions ‘Bedroom Tax and Workfare are disagreed with
    by the overall Majority having anything to do with any of them .

    These are forced upon us through Lies & Deceit openly
    and yet we have no redress .

    Anyone against these unjust practices should never
    question their own consciences ,that is for the instigators of these inhumane
    agenda led Policies .Always question the Moral legitimacy of a Policy not
    whether it has been voted in by Gravy Train apologists .

  • David Kay

    Prison shouldnt be a holiday camp. But if prisoners are refused basics like pens, paper, books, clothing to keep warm and even skiddies then its worth remembering the words of a great man

    “you measure the degree of civilisation of a society by how it treats its weakest members” – Winston Churchill

  • David Hurst

    Lock Them Up And Throw away the key might punish, but results in people coming out of prison worse than when they went in. My desistance from crime was supported by getting good employment and a good roof over my head, but the biggest support came with the assistance, befriending and support of others. What is Grayling going to gain by breaking the ties and caring people they have in the community.

    • David Kay

      my reply didnt get passed the mods. all i said was if Tory politicians were doing time he wouldnt have come out with this pathetic attempt at appearing tuff on crme to his pathetic party

      • David Hurst

        Yes, I think it is a pathetic attempt by Minister Grayling to be seen as being tough on Crime, but I’m not sure stopping a child sending his Dad a home-card is going to do anything other that isolate both child and parent in a way that is not needed.

  • Alistair

    @john_lea:disqus Such a shame that you can’t see beyond your own irrational views. Firstly, prisoners don;t get laptops. You should care about prisoners while they are in prison. Firstly, they will eventually be released and all the evidence shows that only treating them like humans while they are in prison actually reduces re-offending (tough prisons don’t work). Secondly, when they are released they could be your colleague, your neighbor, the parent of a child who your own child is friends with. Furthermore, family contact matters. It reduces the chance of re-offending. Also kids who have no contact with one or more parent are more likely to offend themselves. The views you hold actively harm society and are partly responsible for the reason why re-offending rates are so high.

  • anna

    If prisoners stay in touch with their families during their sentence they are six times LESS likely to return to crime on release. Giving them the means to keep up contact is actually contributes to crime prevention.

  • HenryWood

    From the link provided by Mr. Massie:
    “84,500 people held behind bars in England and Wales”

    “Since the introduction of the scheme in November the Prison Reform Trust’s advice and information service has responded to over 100 prisoners concerned about its impact on them and their families.”

    Does that mean 84,400 prisoners are not too bothered about it? If so, why is Mr. Massie so concerned? (And the recreation area in the photo at the top of the article doesn’t look too bad either.)

  • John Lea

    Aw, the poor souls – they must be crying into their laptops and digital TVs. Perhaps they should make an appointment with the in-house counselling service or life coach. Of course, one can’t help but think that, if they had really wanted to stay in touch with their relatives, they might have thought twice about a life of crime. Not only that, but to receive any kind of prison sentence these days you have to have done something pretty nasty. Rest assured that I’ll be sitting, irreconcilable, thinking of these poor chaps on Christmas day and weeping into my turkey.

  • Peter Stroud

    Perhaps this is a step too far. Unless, of course, it was quoted out of context.

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