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Home > Culture and Society

Bleary ideas

29 May 2005

After last week's front page headlines declaring that Hazel Blears intends to humiliate community service offenders with Guantanamo Bay-style orange gimp-suits, this week the MP for Salford felt she had a little explaining to do.

She did so in parliament on Tuesday: 'Can I make it clear here once and for all, for the record, that I never suggested orange boiler suits should be worn. What I did say, and this I firmly believe, is that local people... want to see that work is being done and that [community service] is a tough option, not a soft option.... I am particularly attracted to schemes whereby local people can have a say in what kind of community work should be done... I genuinely believe people need to *see* justice being done if they are going to have confidence in the criminal justice system.' We agree. Amongst the work we would like to *see* offenders tackling are the following:

- the removal from public byways of chewing gum and litter

- the removal from public byways of faecal matter and spittle

- the removal from walls, railway sidings, etc, of artless graffiti

- the washing and grooming of stray cats and dogs

- bowing to the elderly

We also agree with Blears that stylish orange jumpsuits are not the way forward, but unlike Blears we have no qualms about humiliating these ruffians. On the contrary, we would like to see offenders carrying out their punishments if not entirely naked, then clad in naught but oversized nappies and unsightly iridescent cardigans, maybe with a slogan on the back which reads, 'I am a twatting disgrace'. That'd do it. That'd make them think twice about being so darned anti-social in future. So, come on, Hazel. Pull your finger out and let's have a look at your balls.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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