Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

There was an interesting piece in the online Guardian recently which explained how in Britain victims of wrongful imprisonment are charged for B&B for the amount of time they spent in prison.

Some of these people convicted of crimes they did not commit can spend years or decades inside and if they are successful in getting their sentences overturned are required to pay some of the state’s expenses for keeping them locked up … though very often it was the state’s mistakes (or malice) that put them there in the first place.

This is not an entirely new idea. In Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil, felons and political prisoners are billed for their arrest and interrogation. There is a wonderful scene, shot from the hero Sam’s perspective from the inside of a prisoner’s hood in which going from one bureaucratic office to another his invoices and payment options including state loans to be paid back with interest are explained to him.

Gilliam’s film, which is the best film in the history of the universe (discuss), anticipated many other modern phenomena, such as the permanent war on terrorism.

I do believe Britain’s current government have studied it carefully and are nicking ideas.

“Happiness — we’re all in it together!”

By chris page

Magazine editor, writer of fiction and non-fiction; exile; cat person; red wine for blood and cheese in his soul. Chris Page is the author of the novels Weed, Sanctioned, Another Perfect Day in ****ing Paradise, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree. He is also a freelance journalist, copywriter, editor, cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in the use and abuse of false moustaches (don’t wear them — you’re welcome — the invoice is in the mail).

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