12 2 mins 9 yrs

To deepest Norfolk today for a prison visit, and a reminder of how wondrous are capitalism and free markets. My (“ehem”) acquaintance was transferred to HMP Turnip a couple of weeks ago, so I was curious about the regime.

Me: What’s the food like?

Him: Absolute sh*t. Lunch today was two slices of bread and a bit of spam.

Me: Not even butter?

Him: Haven’t seen any since I got here.

Me: Can you buy extra food?

Him: You can make a grocery order, but I’m only allowed to spend 15 quid a week, so if I buy food I can’t make any phone calls. I did order a tin of sardines last week though when I got too hungry.

Me: It must have felt like a feast.

Him: Dunno, it’s not here yet. I was told it might be here on Friday.

That’s government provision. Even when free markets provide all the tins of sardines we can handle, it still takes almost two weeks for the state to deliver. Well that’s also how the NHS operates. Twenty minutes after driving away from the nick I passed a Sainsburys. I could have had dozens of tins of sardines in a minute, but that’s the market in operation.

Instead of allowing such markets to flourish in health care, and thus provide us with a cornucopia of afforable treatments, we stick to being fed crappy health care by prison guards in white coats … eventually.

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  1. That isn’t the National Food Service.

    The National Food Service is the government giving people the Jobseeker’s Allowance and the recipient spending the money at Sainsburys.

    It works fine.

  2. Troll,

    I am never, ever, surprised at your complete lack of propriety in your comment about Pete’s friend who happens to be in jail at the moment. Are you alleging that Pete harbours the same inclinations as his imprisoned friend?

    As a matter of fact, I visited a paeadophilic priest who was on remand in Durham Jail some ten-odd years ago. Does this make me a possible abuser of small children?

  3. FO –

    That’s a taxpayer subsidy.

    Troll –

    Fortunately he’s been repatriated from the US, where he was convicted. I wouldn’t wish American justice or prison conditions on anyone, even if the food’s a bit better.

  4. no Mike it doesn’t mean that at all.

    It just doesn’t surprise me that Pete has friends that are convicts.

    I do have a question as a Catholic for you Mike. WHY? Why would you visit a child molesting priest?

    Do you feel pity for a man that has devastated the lives of young children while wearing the cloak of God ?

  5. Bernard –

    Not even the feds bang you up for not having a TV licence – yet.

    Come to think of it, he has a TV in his cell, and prisoners don’t have to fork out for a TV licence. So you can go to prison for not having a TV licence, and then watch TV without a licence. The State is insane.

  6. The National Food Service is the government giving people the Jobseeker’s Allowance and the recipient spending the money at Sainsburys.

    If the NHS operated like that- with the government funding the service but not actually providing it themselves it would be a great improvement (and that’s how most European health systems work).

  7. Prison should never be brutal, but its not supposed to be fun.

    The fact that the food is lousy, and that there are delays in getting extras sounds like the adninistration there may be on the right track.

  8. Even Muppets go to jail, you know (but I don’t think anyone should have to eat spam….blech!)

    “Sesame Street” is teaching kids about bedtime, bath time and jail time.
    The popular children’s television series hasn’t shied away from tough topics in the past, and has introduced a new muppet named Alex as a way to talk about the stigma of having a parent in jail.
    “I just miss him so much,” the fuzzy blue-haired muppet says of his locked-up dad, adding, “Sometimes I just feel like I want to pound on a pillow and scream as loud as I can.”
    The sensitive subject is being featured in an online teaching kit called, “Little Children, Big Challenges.”

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/sesame-street-introduces-muppet-dad-jail-article-1.1376845#ixzz2WhALJFuH


  9. In Hawaii and other places in the Pacific Spam is a hugely popular food, still. It is often the centerpiece of a ” plate lunch “, even in a restaurant.


  10. I appreciate the point about the uselessness of government provision. However they are in prison to be punished. It’s not supposed to be a five star hotel it’s the Grey Bar Motel.
    Don’t like the food? Don’t eat it then. Want better accommodations? Don’t break the law then. Remember it’s damn hard to get locked up in this country..you have to work at it. Usually you’ll get a softer community based punishment..that is ‘let off’ with it. Personally I want to see flogging, hanging and chain gangs so we get some work out of them. Clear litter from the sides of the roads etc. Must stop these liberal tendancies…….

    We need Joe Arpaio’s approach not Heston Blumenthals.

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