Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.





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Monday, 6 November 2017

WORKHOUSES:A PAST SOLUTION FOR THE PRESENT?

I suppose Charles Dickens could be recognised as the the Victorian who first brought to the wider public the day to day life of those whose refuge from the hard grime and grind of daily life provided under the Poor Law was the workhouse.  Such public responsibility for those whose mental or physical incapacity precluded their being able to sustain themselves in a raw competitive society especially after the Napoleonic Wars was a tribute to the benevolence of public authorities in an era where a collective social conscience was beginning to be accepted as the norm. Two million British homes were destroyed in the German bombing of World War Two. 2¼ million people were made homeless.  Massive amounts of money  enabled house building after the war to offer millions the opportunity  to  have an affordable  roof over their head. With the establishment of the NHS in 1948 workhouses fell into disuse and systems of national assistance were established.  How different is the situation today. Changes in civil society beyond the comprehension of those who governed in the 1950s and 60s have led to thousands of vagrants sleeping rough and/or incapable of leading what can loosely be called "normal" lives owing to addiction and/or mental health problems. With the closure of mental health asylums and reliance upon "community health" such people are being processed through the courts rather than a medical pathway. Once within that labyrinthine system they are progressed by an ever more imaginative  plethora of so called "orders".  NIMBYISM that watchword of middle class England seems to be the underlying theme of these orders. They should be termed DISPLACEMENT ORDERS if our rulers showed some honesty. They lead miscreants up a blind alley of offending, displacement and prison where, owing to the short sentences imposed, they are hardly ensconced in an overcrowded cell, than they are discharged back to where they came from. 

I posted briefly on this topic in February 2014.  Is it not beyond comprehension that looking to the past can sometimes provide viable and cost effective solutions to the problems of the present?

1 comment:

  1. Hear hear. Well, on the principle that institutional living in a strict moral environment is the least bad realistic option for some. Those who believe in the inherent goodness of all people can welcome Barry Baghead into their home and see how that works out for them.

    The presentation needs some tidying to please the modern progressive palate through. Putting on my best Newspeak, I'll suggest Justice, Equality and Diversity Institutes. Who doesn't like the JEDI?

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