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"Drug addicts offered money to vote Labour"

That is the claim that has been made, anyway.

Before anyone gets too excited, it is not our own, dear, dear Labour Party, but rather its ideological comrades and fellow Socialist International members, the Norwegian Labour Party (known in those parts as the Det Norske Arbeiderparti) that has been doing its bit to A - get elected and B- keep the smackheads high.

The bribe was not enormous, at NOK 50, or about £4.50. Apparently kebabs were on offer for those junkies suffering more from the munchies than cold turkey.

I suppose it is to the credit of one Else Marie Romset that having been bribed, she did indeed vote for the Labour Party candidate.

As Dizzy pointed out to me, this looks an awful lot cheaper than some of the more indirect bribes / bungs passed the way of our electorate.

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Anonymous The Norweyan one from Abba said... 4:47 pm

Drugs? They'll be giving them tickets to Norwegian Death Metal concerts next.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:51 pm

I suppose one has to ask what manner of state the Labour party is in that it has to bribe junkies, or that said junkies were not a captive part of the electorate.  



Blogger Justin Hinchcliffe said... 10:16 pm

From today's Daily Mail:

Prison bosses spent £20,000 of taxpayers' money on a party at a lavish London hotel, it was revealed today.

More than 400 staff from Holloway women's prison enjoyed the knees-up at the Hilton Metropole in Paddington, west London, on Saturday - just as the prison overcrowding crisis was reaching its peak.

The Prison Service justified the £20,000 bill as a good way of encouraging better results from staff.

Prison officers and other staff from the north London 520-inmate jail enjoyed a slap-up meal and danced until 2am.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: "Holloway prison was awarded an amount of money by the prison service for being the most improved prison of 2005.

"This money was spent on a meal for staff. No alcohol was paid for by the prison. Holloway has had significant improvements in its performance as indicated in evaluations and inspectorate reports.

"All our evidence shows that incentivising good performance improves the standards of our prisons."

Another prison was given a £25,000 Home Office bonus for its "high performance" even though nearly 80 of its inmates absconded in a year. Sudbury open jail, in Derbyshire, reportedly spent a quantity of the cash on a black tie party to celebrate with staff.

It received the money after being awarded high-performing status by director general of the Prison Service Phil Wheatley.

The prison was commended in a number of key target areas after inspections, including "protection of the public", a Prison Service spokeswoman said.

She said: "The director general of the Prison Service commended HMP Sudbury in July 2006 for outstanding work in 2005/06 and granted it high-performing prison status.

"High-performing prisons are given wide recognition for their service, and they are given a sum of money to be spent as the prison sees fit. We wouldn't comment on how the prison sees fit to spend the money as it's an internal matter."

Sudbury is a category D prison for men. All inmates have served part of their sentence elsewhere.

Between April 2005 and March this year, 76 prisoners absconded from the Ashbourne jail.

Among those who have absconded from there this year is Jason Hope, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy in Leicester while on the run in May.

The 28-year-old, of no fixed address, "simply walked out" of the low security prison, where he had been serving a five-year sentence for robbery and attempted robbery, a court heard.

The Prison Service spokeswoman added: "The nature of open prisons means that we can never guarantee that prisoners will not abscond, but the number of those who do, in relation to the prison population, is now at its lowest level for 10 years.

"All those located in open conditions have been rigorously risk-assessed and categorised as being of low risk to the public. Time spent in open prisons affords prisoners the opportunity to find work, re-establish family ties, reintegrate into the community and ensure housing needs are met."

She said all absconds were immediately reported to the police and absconders could be criminally charged.

"Public protection is paramount and prisoners are returned to closed conditions if our risk assessments indicate likely non-compliance," she added.

Before the party at Pride Park, Derby, last week, an HMP Sudbury staff member, who would not be named, told the Derby Evening Telegraph: "I'm not going because I think it's absolutely disgusting.

"There are things that are needed in the prison that they can't afford to pay for and yet they can afford to pay for this. There are a lot of workers that feel like that and a lot of them won't be going."  



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