At the Social Affairs Unit, Dalrymple satirizes Kenneth Clarke’s opposition to prison:
If, then, the defendant is found guilty of murder it will provide conclusive evidence in favour of Mr Clarke’s view: for it will have turned out that that he, the defendant, committed murder in the very month of his release from prison: ergo prison did him no good, ergo he should never have been imprisoned, ergo he should not go to prison for murder, for there is no reason to suppose that it will do him any more good this time, and guilty or innocent he should therefore be released at once.
Thank heaven we have a Justice Secretary who sees this all clearly. Really it is an honour for a population to be ruled by people such as he of so deep an insight, so sincere a compassion and so uncompromising a realism. We may be proud of our state that it has at last overcome the primitive impulse to punish, incarcerate and incapacitate young men like Rodrigues, who so badly need help. Pity about Robert Macdonald, the victim of the attack, but the question we must surely all ask ourselves is, Did he have a triple lock on his front door? And if not, why not?