Alex Massie

Government Rules Out Recreating Workhouses, Debtors Prison Etc

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Sometimes it seems as though the British appetite for nostalgia can never be satisfied. On the other hand, it seems there are in fact limits to our willingness to recreate the past, albeit often as pastiche. Announcing plans for new prisons, Jack Straw reassured/disappointed us by promising:

"These new prisons will be neither Victorian replicas nor large warehouses," Mr Straw said.

Does this mean they'll be modern and bijou instead? Perhaps not, since rather than build three huge prisons, they're planning to construct five very large ones. And then again, the government is missing a trick here: recreating Victorian prisons might be quite popular...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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