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