Daily Mail surprisingly relaxed about Michael Gove’s scheme to release prisoners early

What would the 'law and order' paper say if this was a Labour proposal?

 

News that justice secretary Michael Gove will release people from prison early, if they attend English and Maths lessons, has been taken remarkably well by the Daily Mail. 

The ‘Hang ’em, Flog ’em’ newspaper, not known for its humanitarian attitude to criminals, is intensely relaxed about Gove’s proposal.

Indeed, its headline is almost supportive:

Study hard … and get out of jail early

Gove’s reward for prisoners who attend lessons

Mail Gove 17 7 15

It goes on in this rather neutral way, before appearing to find its nerve:

“The justice secretary risks infuriating the Right of the Tory party with proposals that could be dismissed as soft…”

That’s more like it!

“…but he says jails in England and Wales are ‘not working’ when rehabilitating offenders.

[…] He dismissed fears that the proposals would be ‘soft justice’, saying the system would not ‘shy away from the punishment necessary to protect the weak’.

Oh. Alright then.

After presenting Gove’s position as the tough and no-nonsense option, the story closes with a quote of support from the Prison Reform Trust.

MediaWatch invites readers to imagine how the paper would report Gove’s policy if it were proposed by the Labour party. 

Where are the angry quotes from the ‘infuriated Right of the Tory party’? Where is the Taxpayers’ Alliance saying convicted criminals should not receive free education at public expense? All very peculiar.

Meanwhile, the Sun takes a different approach from this novel neutrality: if in doubt, spin, spin, and spin some more.

IT’S PASS OR JAIL

Gove forces lags to learn maths or stay inside

Sun Gove 17 7 15

And so on.

We note in passing that Gove was formerly a Murdoch employee at the Times, and his wife, Sarah Vine, is a columnist for the Mail. 

How nice to have friends in low places!

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

Daily Mail condemns unions for ‘Nazi’ jibe, then says reforms are ‘a battle for Britain’

Daily Mail swallows Osborne’s myth about women ‘winning’ in his budget

Sign up for our weekly email by clicking here.

6 Responses to “Daily Mail surprisingly relaxed about Michael Gove’s scheme to release prisoners early”

  1. stevep

    The Mail would be apoplectic if it were a Labour proposal and would probably give it front page coverage for weeks.
    But, given the Tory party`s hysterics on law and order over the years, Michael Gove`s proposal on prison reform is commendable.
    I`m no fan of either the Tories or Gove, but praise should be given where it`s due. Lets see if it works.

  2. GhostofJimMorisson

    Well considering New Labour were by far and away the most authoritarian government in UK history, passing roughly 40% more laws per year than Thatcher’s government, Labour are probably best keeping quiet on this matter.

  3. Jon Jones.

    MediaWatch invites readers to imagine how the paper would report Gove’s policy if it were proposed by the Labour party

    Daily Mail headline – “Britain facing CRIMEWAVE as Labour draws up plans to release RAPISTS and MURDERERS”

    Meanwhile…Ring, ring….phone rings at TaxPayers’ Alliance office

    Andy Silvester of the TaxPayers’ Alliance – “You couldn’t make it up. The DEFICIT must be cut, and that means councils waging WAR on WASTEFUL spending like this. I blame the BBC”

    Mail Online journo – ” Hi Andy. How are you?….Yeah, great. Good quote, thanks Andy but we’ll save that one for later.We wanted to ask about RAPISTS and MURDERERS getting FREE education and Nintendo Playstation 360’s in their PRIVATE suites – all of course PAID for by the TAXPAYER”

    Andy Silvester of the TaxPayers’ Alliance – “You couldn’t make it up.The DEFICIT must be cut, and that means prisons waging WAR on WASTEFUL spending like this. I blame the BBC”

    Mail Online journo – “Thanks Andy. Same time tomorrow?

    Andy Silvester of the TaxPayers’ Alliance – “Yeah I suppose. It’s not like I have anything else to do. I just sit here waiting for the phone to ring. To be honest I get a bit lonely sometimes – not much job satisfaction as a rent-a-quote. It cheers me up when you call. I blame the BBC. You will call wont you?”

    Mail Online journo – “Mail Online journo – “Errm. Might be a bit busy tomorrow. E-Mail OK?

  4. Jon Jones.

    Number of laws is irrelevant mate. What is relevant is whether they were good laws.

  5. dnspncr

    The TaxPayers’ Alliance really are a bunch of cunts, a sham outfit cherry picking targets and turning a blind eye to widespread corruption, a gob on a stick providing sound bites for lazy journos and creepy tory trolls… Silvester must piss himself laughing every time he sees some pleb on the TV defending the cuts.

  6. Harold

    A report out recently stated, “The comments come as a report from the Howard League for Penal Reform is published which says the total number of prison officers has fallen by 30% over the past three years, to 19,325.

    The charity said there had been 42 suicides in jail in the first half of this year – up from 30 in the same period last year.” The report was damming in that there was virtually no rehabilitation was being under taken, under a Government which claimed only five years ago it was going to lead a revolution in rehabilitation of offenders. I think the present Government has given up.

Leave a Reply