In fact, opposition comes from within the Tory party, even from the government. There are rumours of a whispering campaign against Clarke and Theresa May’s aides are openly saying that Clarke will ‘put crime up and we’ll get the blame’. Clarke will deliver a pre-emptive strike today, pledging to make inmates more productive. Prisoners will work 40 hours a week and a law will be re-introduced that directs some of their earnings to victims in compensation. (Conservative Home has an extract from Clarke’s speech.)
This stone kills a flock of birds: support for the victim, preparing inmates for regular work on the outside and reinforcing the idea that prison is deprivation of liberty and punishment. It’s an important piece of re-positioning, aimed at the hall as much the country.