Sometimes you just know when a government minister has lost all touch with reality. Driving home tonight I listened to Richard Bacon's phone in on 5 Live where they were discussing THIS story about someone who was released from prison early under the government's early release scheme. Five days after his relief he murdered his girlfriend - the same woman he had beaten up causing him to go to prison (for the fifth time) for a year.
Jack Straw stood up in the House of Commons and said his release from jail 18 days before his sentence was due to end "was not a contributory factor" in the subsequent killing of his girlfriend. Excuse me?! If he had not been released early she would have undoubtedly lived at least another eighteen days - that's a cast iron certainty.
What I just don't get, is why the government is allowing anyone with a violent record to be released early in the first place. If prison places need to be freed up - and they do, because of monumental government incompetence - then prisoners who are non violent and not a threat to society should be the only ones eligible for early release. Only an idiot of a minister would sanction the early release of men who were in prison for committing violent crimes. To me that's just common sense. To Labour ministers it probably offends their sense of political correctness.