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Wednesday, July 01, 2009 

Basic inhumanity.

What possible purpose is served by the refusal to grant parole to Ronnie Biggs? The only conclusion that can be reached is that this is pure political grandstanding by Jack Straw, designed to win favour with the more punitive tabloids. It's also an insight into the similarly ridiculous way in which the prison system works. While Biggs was clearly guilty of his part in the Great Train Robbery, those convicted of murder who reject their guilt cannot be considered for parole and so are destined to spend their entire life behind bars until they do so, as Sean Hodgson almost did, until finally proved innocent by newly discovered forensic evidence.

As Biggs has apparently refused to show repentance for his crime and has not taken part in the courses which those looking to be released usually have to pass before their parole is granted, he looks set to languish in a cell until he dies, which might not be that far in the future. According to his family, Biggs can no longer speak, cannot walk and at the weekend broke his hip after a fall. Keeping a man in prison in such circumstances is the heighth of stupidity, as not only can he not receive the help that he obviously needs, but he also doubtless takes up extra resources which could be better used elsewhere. The prison system is overcrowded enough as it is, without also having invalids who now only seem to be inside because of the perniciousness of a government minister. It would be different if Biggs' crime was similar in proportion to that of say, Ian Brady's, still refusing after all these years to reveal where his final victim was buried, but despite the huge amount seized in the robbery, no one suffered to anywhere near the extent to which it would be appropriate to inflict a similar amount of suffering on those guilty. Jack Straw seems to be just playing to the gallery yet again.

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Indeed, Straw has always been a particularly repulsive little shit. I have never understood the common view that the Home Office only went bad when Blunkett took over.

Seconded. The crime of Ronnie Biggs is nothing compared to those of the mass murderer Pinochet. His illness too is genuine, unlike that of the mass murderer. Straw is a cowardly reptile (apologies to all reptiles).

This goes back way beyond that though. This isn't to do with Straw, Blunkett or whoever. It's to do with the Establishment, whichever party is in charge, nailing a dyong old man to the wall (figuratively speaking), for making them look stupid for 44 years. Amazing how the great and the good can act like slighted teenagers when they consider themselves disrespected.

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