Friday, 1 January 2010

Slavery in the 21st Century

There’s a particularly sad bit of news in today’s Manx Indie – not yet online though I’ll update if it ever is.
As I’ve blogged before, Jurby Prison has run a number of slave labour projects, passed off as charity work. Anyone vaguely aware of what passes for probation and rehabilitation on the island knows the score.
Prisoners are ‘persuaded’ to ‘volunteer’ for ‘charity’ projects in return for positive reports which enable them to be released early. More accurately, the only way they can be released at the correct time, rather than endure petty-minded bureaucratic delays or even have their sentences extended for ‘lack of cooperation’, is to play ball. The ‘charities’ involved include some of the dodgiest evangelical scams on the island, though with free labour on tap local greens aren’t too picky either.
It resembles the situation whereby remand prisoners (i.e. those arrested but as yet unconvicted) can only get bail by agreeing to live at a fundamentalist Christian bail hostel, and when (up to a year later) they eventually go before a court only those who attended the prayer meetings get glowing reports on their behaviour.
It seems the latest slave labour project involved the local pentecostal minister enlisting lags to build a crib for Ramsey’s abhorent municipal ‘Christmas display’. There’s another sick joke here, by the way, because his predecessor was himself jailed for underage sex offences.
When the ‘volunteers’ were released on time Ramsey’s godbotherer lunatic fringe (AKA Faith in Action/Fellowship of Northern Churches) had a problem: who could they get to do their dirty work without having to actually pay anyone?
Schoolkids from Ramsey Grammar School was the answer.
So, to sum up then….
A small and insignificant bunch of faith-biased lunatics cannot be bothered to produce their own Yuletide propaganda. Having first failed to ‘contract’ one source of unpaid labour (enabled by an incompetent and bigoted government department) because for a change the justice system almost worked, they find their labourers from an even weaker group of victims, with help from an only slightly more competent government department.
Doesn’t this just show how Manx Christians (even with powerful friends in government) have lost all relevance to 21st century community life and indeed all respect in the community? Ever desperate to prove their little illusion is significant or wanted they stoop to cheaper and cheaper tricks, abusing weaker and weaker victims.
Sad, sad, sad.

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