Thursday, April 06, 2006

Welcome to Britain, where crime pays

I came across this hilarious and thought-provoking letter in the Letters page of the Daily Telegraph. I am republishing it in full below:

Sir - As I approach my 80th year, faced with rising taxes, my dentist going private, my local hospital proposing to close several departments, I am wondering whether prison might not be the best place to be.
There, I will have my heating bills paid. I'll have three meals a day, free dentistry, medical treatment and no responsibility. I might even have free computer classes. What is the best way to go about this? What sort of crime would you advise? I don't want community service and I don't want a philanthropist paying my fine.
It is too late for me to become a Euro MP or a single mum. Prison seems the best answer. I want free food, dental treatment, healthcare and free transport to hospital. We provided all this for the Great Train Robber. Why not for me?

The letter was written by someone called Gillian Rogers. It brightened my train journey, and in appreciation, I would like to make a suggestion as to a 'suitable crime'.

Normally, in such situations, I would suggest withholding council tax, but with local elections round the corner, we can be sure she will not be jailed. Some idiot politician will pay the fine, thereby frustrating her efforts.

Instead I suggest she take a look at the front page of today's Independent. It informs us that two grandmothers have been arrested under new anti-terrorism legislation for the despicable crime of protesting outside an American military base in Yorkshire. I would suggest this crime. No need to don a balaclava, or spend time looking for firearms and the like. This crime is so convenient it can be committed in the course of a good day out walking in the woods. If all goes well, Gillian Rogers should be safely ensconsced in Belmarsh by Christmas.

But seriously ...
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