Saturday, May 12, 2007
Well Down To Standard
The Sun runs a story about Broadmoor today, referring to the 'scandal' of 'luxury' food provided to the inmates. As usual the story will have been sold by a member of staff, the very name Broadmoor guaranteeing its newsworthiness and thus marketability.
Regular Sun readers will know Broadmoor as the 'jail' where 'beasts' are 'caged'. In fact it is a hospital, run by an NHS trust, with patients whose mental illnesses make them too dangerous to leave in the community. By no means all of its patients are sent by the courts, as many are referred through the NHS.
It is an unlovely sight to see the Sun, whose journalists include some of our brightest and best graduates, and whose proprietor claims to be a born-again Christian, writing about a mental hospital in terms that would have turned stomachs a century and more ago. What do you want to see, lads? Bread and water for the 'monsters'? Shall we open the place up as a visitor attraction as they used to at Bedlam?
I have said before that the Sun has done more than anyone to corrode public understanding of the criminal justice system. Its rants had a malign influence on Tony Blair's policies, and I hope that Gordon Brown has more sense than to pander to the paper's disgusting agenda.