Innocent: Don't pass go, but you still owe.
March 17, 2004 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Blunkett charges miscarriage of justice victims ‘food and lodgings’ We locked you up in jail for 25 years and you were innocent all along? That’ll be £80,000 please.
posted by thomcatspike (38 comments total)
Words fail me. Actually, not all words; tosser, wanker, fuck face, gob shite seem to be working still. Here's a handy Blunkett Policy Generator that should let you know what else is on the horizon for us in the UK.
posted by chill at 9:05 AM on March 17, 2004

i just can't understand the politics that justify this. it is just sickening.
posted by quarsan at 9:09 AM on March 17, 2004

This is really funny. I'm glad my corner of the Commonwealth isn't ruled by this crazy bastard.
posted by tiamat at 9:09 AM on March 17, 2004

Can anyone see any sort of justification for this type of behavior? My reality tunnel is a bit too opaque to see this in any positive light.
posted by Fantt at 9:10 AM on March 17, 2004

He can't see the injustice because he's blind. Really.
posted by stevis at 9:13 AM on March 17, 2004

as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren’t in prison

As the innocent men and women would have spent that time living their lives as free individuals if they weren't in prison.

What a sick fuck. I hope he loses a foot above the ankle.
posted by jon_kill at 9:13 AM on March 17, 2004

Kafka? Kafka? Call on the white phone for Kafka...Holy gods, this makes no sense whatsoever! I'm not really up on how the British Ministries work...but wouldn't the Prime Minister or the Queen or someone be able to put the kabosh on this? Anyone with sense can see that this is absurd.
posted by dejah420 at 9:18 AM on March 17, 2004

Very interesting post, thomcatspike. Thanks very much.

Can anyone see any sort of justification for this type of behavior?

The "justification" seems to consist of an insatiable yen for cash -- the "justification" given for most injustice.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:18 AM on March 17, 2004

Hey, it's no problem, they can pay it with the all the money they've were able to make in prison. What? Oh ...
posted by Songdog at 9:22 AM on March 17, 2004

Maggie must be pleased. Labor is extending her policy far better than her Tory successors ever did.
posted by BlueMetal at 9:23 AM on March 17, 2004

Nice to see a non-US official making an Ass Arse of himself for a change. How very, very sad.
posted by shoepal at 9:25 AM on March 17, 2004

Well, I'm sure that particular "eye catching initiative" is going to go down well.

I'd like to make it clear that I never voted for this witless bunch of fucktards.

I found myself seriously contemplating voting Tory in the next election for purely tactical reasons recently. Has it really come to this?
posted by bifter at 9:35 AM on March 17, 2004

My understanding; the US's judicial system is based on England's. Currently ours has spiraled down hill being sub par compared with England's today. As England in the last decades made provisions which progressed theirs with the times. Is this a result of that?
posted by thomcatspike at 9:36 AM on March 17, 2004

thank you, fold_&_mutilate.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:38 AM on March 17, 2004

The depths of this man know no bounds. And to think that this crypto-fascist calls himself centre-left. Utterly disgusting.
posted by influx at 9:42 AM on March 17, 2004

thomcatspike - Currently ours has spiraled downhill

What spiralling?
posted by stevis at 9:44 AM on March 17, 2004

This is the final straw. I never thought I'd be ashamed of voting Labour. Socialist Alliance next time for me.
posted by squealy at 9:56 AM on March 17, 2004

David Blunkett seems to be behind a lot the more questionable ideas coming from the British government these days. Including double jeopardy, no right to trial by jury, ID cards, government access to internet records of individuals.

And he's my MP too, so come next year I'll do my little bit to try and see him lose his seat.
posted by devon at 10:09 AM on March 17, 2004

Wow. The only thing I can say about this sick, evil, repugnant scheme is that it's truly "Axis of Evil" material.
posted by clevershark at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2004

I cannot wait until I can vote in general elections. I'm going to scream so loudly my MP won't know what hit him.
posted by Katemonkey at 10:22 AM on March 17, 2004

posted by dabitch at 10:27 AM on March 17, 2004

The things that's especially stupid about this, is that it'd be much easier, and far more politically expedient to just quietly decrease the ultimate damage awards. If they weren't actually spelling out 'here's your $700,000[1], and now pay me back $65,000 and then there's the interest on the loans I floated you earlier, which is another $40,000', but instead, just gave out $600,000 in the first place, nobody'd even notice.

That said, the mere concept makes me slightly ill. The idea is so ridiculously, laughably evil that the conspiracy theory part of me wonders if it isn't there to detract attention from something more nefarious but slightly less obscene. A 1984ish trick like 'well, sure, we're not going to give out huge damage awards anymore, but we're also going to stop charging people extra for solitary confinement.'

[1] Yes, I realize, pounds not dollars. But I don't know how to make the pounds sign, and it's not important enough to my point to figure it out.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:28 AM on March 17, 2004

Is Plunkett really a Tory Mole?
posted by Elim at 10:42 AM on March 17, 2004

Is this real? I have to think this is just some form of humor.
posted by rudyfink at 10:47 AM on March 17, 2004

Um yeah, I wonder if he can feel the pull of the water circling the drain and getting ready to take him with it?

This is such ridiculousness that it is beyond any satire by The Onion.

I wonder how long it will take ShrubCo to say that he got the idea from John Kerry?
posted by fenriq at 10:52 AM on March 17, 2004

I'm surprised no one's pointed out the resemblence to Brazil, which begins with our hero trying to deliver a refund to (the late) Mr Buttle because was overcharged for his interrogation.

Reality seems to have caught up with even that dystopian satire...
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:59 AM on March 17, 2004

I bet this makes those guys who just got back from Guantanamo a shade nervous.
posted by Cyrano at 11:12 AM on March 17, 2004

At least some of those affected can laugh:

"Vincent Hickey, one of the Bridgewater Four who was wrongly convicted for killing a paperboy, was charged £60,000 for the 17 years he spent in jail. He said: “If I had known this I would have stayed on hunger-strike longer, that way I would have had a smaller bill.” "

I, however, find myself fuming, with simmering hostility to that pig-ignorant cunt of a home secretary. A sorry excuse ofr a human being who seems to have absolutely no respect for anything, and is determined, as all British Home Secretaries seem to be, to bear as close resemblance as possible so some evil figure from the works of Dicken's.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:18 AM on March 17, 2004

Nice to see a non-US official making an Ass Arse of himself for a change. How very, very sad.

What is really weird to me is that I heard this on the radio yesterday.

And they made no mention of this story not being in the United States. The reporter even said that former prisoners could have to pay back as much as $80,000 (not pounds, dollars).

Being as this was in a casual carpool trip on the way to San Francisco, this short story lead to a brief conversation between the driver and the front passenger about how evil the Bush administration is.

What a weird mistake for them (the radio people) to have made.
posted by obfusciatrist at 11:20 AM on March 17, 2004

ofr = of ; so = to ; Dicken's = Dickens.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:21 AM on March 17, 2004

Is this actually true ? The only reference I can find to it is the Sunday Herald article.
posted by zeoslap at 11:24 AM on March 17, 2004

Is this actually true ? The only reference I can find to it is the Sunday Herald article
Yeah, same here, the only references I've found seem to point to this article or The Scotsman. Maybe it is a hoax that the Herald fell for. If so, it probably says a lot about Blunkett that so many of us believed it!
posted by chill at 11:53 AM on March 17, 2004

Is this actually true?

Yep. Here's confirmation from the Guardian: Ruling appeal over B&B bill. The Home Office is appealing against the original court decision for this single case, but the result will set a legal precedent for similar situations in future.
posted by raygirvan at 4:52 PM on March 17, 2004

A question, if anyone knows: is there an equal attempt to recoup "living expenses" from those who were NOT wrongly imprisoned, but have merely served their term and are now free? A much better argument could be made in support of that than going after innocent - and badly wronged - citizens.
posted by John Smallberries at 6:33 PM on March 17, 2004

At least British prisoners aren't forced to leave jail in their underwear.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:54 PM on March 17, 2004

If they know they are innocent, can they at least pre-pay for special accommodations, or cells redecorated by Martha Stewart?

of course I realise they are all 'innocent'
posted by DBAPaul at 11:10 AM on March 18, 2004

The deductions are not from money the men already have (or might earn) but specifically from compensation awarded to them for lost salary. Blunkett et al. is trying to argue "if you had not been in prison, you would have earned amount x - there you go. But as you would also have spent amount y... we'll have that, thankyou."

Asking for living costs from guilty prisoners is just not an equivalent situation.

First impressions, it is pretty churlish but if the compensation awards had simply hidden this caculation, really, no one would care.
posted by pots at 3:52 PM on March 18, 2004

Makes me wonder how the compensation was determined, ie, in a court case, in other negotiation, or just the government quickly making an offer of some amount to avoid a possible lawsuit and much higher award.

As an American, its not my first time to look at a government appealing a court decision, and wondering what the hell they are thinking. Please, someone find a way to make this Mr. Blunket pay the cost of the appeal. Seems he has strange ideas of how to spend my tax money. I don't begrudge my taxes, but damn, I don't like to see it wasted!
posted by Goofyy at 8:46 AM on March 19, 2004

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