Prison Inc: An Interview With The Maker of Injustice – A Film About Prisons and Crime In 21st Century Neoliberal UK

As plans are unveiled for four more prisons in the UK – creating “up to 10,000 modern prison places by 2020” – and as the prison population, suicide in inmates, abuse, mental health problems, and rioting are all reaching record levels, surely it is time to reevaluate our methods of “serving justice”.

Appalled both by the way that our society is treating its convicted criminals, and by the silence and lack of solidarity on all sides of the political spectrum, one radical film-maker is seeking to spark debate and shed some much needed light on an issue we have all too happily turned our backs on.

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San Bernadino and Leytonstone: Culture, Reaction, and Labelling

Ourselves and our North American cousins share many similarities, but thankfully our views on guns are not one of them. Very rarely does this difference of opinion become so glaringly obvious, but this past week has been one such occasion.

On December 2nd, in San Bernadino, California, the married couple of Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire on a crowd of roughly 80 people with semi-automatic pistols and rifles. In less than four minutes, 14 people had been shot dead and a further 21 were injured. Four hours later, 23 police officers were involved in a shootout with Farook and Malik as they attempted to flee in a rented SUV. Both Farook and Malik were killed in an exchange where police allegedly fired 380 rounds of ammunition.

The dreadful mass shooting at the Inland Regional Centre had been the second deadliest in Californian history and the worst in the US since the Sandy Hook Massacre in December 2012.

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Maria Miller: Just Another Example of State Hypocrisy

Once again I find myself talking about state hypocrisy. It seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. No matter how many outrages, news stories and government fiascos occur, there always seems to be another just around the corner.

This week it is the story of Maria Miller. For those who don’t know, Maria Miller is a Conservative politician who is the MP for Basingstoke, and sits in the cabinet as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities. A fairly distinguished position, so much so that she was placed as the 17th most powerful woman in the United Kingdom by a show on BBC Radio 4 in February 2013.

Miller has been under pressure since 2012 because of expenses she was claiming on a second home. These expenses were paid for by the taxpayer and in February of this year, it was revealed that she abused the system and claimed over £90,000 in public money to cover costs on her second home. That very month Miller sold the home for a figure of £1.47 million. Netting her a profit of over £1 million pound.

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The Blind Eye of The Law

Though it is responsible for lies, for deceit, for the distribution of misinformation, for inequality, for discrimination and many other things, the one area that I believe is most unethical about the state, is it’s hypocrisy. Though they repeatedly claim that it is not so, there is quite obviously one rule for the state, and those working for it, and another for everyone else.

A common response to anyone advocating a form of direct democracy, participatory democracy, or anarchy, is that the rule of law will not be upheld, there will be chaos and injustice. Whereas in actual fact a move away from the democracy we have now would actually yield a more just and more equal society. The laws would still be in place, but this time, they would apply to everyone. It is in fact the current system we live under that is proving itself to be full of injustice.

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