Today, I wrote a blog post that was remarkable in that it largely made sense and argued a rational point in an informed and consistent manner. It is almost unspoofable. What am I playing at?
Last October, I wrote a blogpost which argued that rehabilitating people rather than sticking them in prison was a sensible approach in achieving long-term savings to the public purse. OK, I didn't quite say that but you get the gist.
I was the first person ever to say these things. Apart from those who had been saying them for years.
But basically, I am right. Economically and socially it makes much more sense to take a long-term view on this. Fortunately, politicians are always capable of doing this and looking way beyond the next election, especially during a period where their popularity is "shaky" because of cuts and the public demands quick fix solutions to crime. What it needs is a visionary liberal thinker like Ken Clarke to take a lead on this.
Ken Clarke agrees with me and is showing courage by making a speech today where he will agree with me publicly. I hope he has the political will to drive through the reforms to our prison and sentencing systems which are long overdue. Overdue, I might add, because money needs to be saved rather than through any desire to change a society where crime (apart from corporate crime which is a different matter and can be ignored in this argument) is largely a result of inequality, which ironically is exactly what Tory cuts may exacerbate.
All of this is a complete anathema to traditional Tory values on crime where basically we should hang and flog people if there is any suspicion they might have done something dodgy. Which will also keep the cost of prison down.
Fortunately we are in an economic environment where the State is only too happy to commit funding long-term to unpopular causes for the overall pay off society will reap in years to come rather than taking short term austerity measures. Which will all come in handy when the riots start, two years next Tuesday, about tea time.