What is this horror doing in modern society ?
As we criticise China from afar, an evil lurks in our society almost unchallenged. It’s easy to see bad things going on “over there”. In far away places those evils are easy to handle. One does not have to feel threatened or intimidated. Try talking to people about something very nasty going on in their own society and you might not get so far. Maybe we need China to criticise us ? Afterall, they had the right idea when they executed (not that I agree with Capital Punishment) the head of their equivalent of the FDA for allowing poison chemicals to be sold in food. What will happen when we have the Olympics in 2012 ? Will British Human Rights be held up for scrutiny ? I doubt it.
Because Britain is above contempt. Beacon of Freedom and Human Rights the world over. Nothing nasty could be going on here under the auspices of the State… right ? Er .. wrong.
Like a latter day Dickens story, little Smike’s and Nell’s are dragged off to their horrific fates all the time, to these esteemed institutions that “help” people in trouble. They stand behind perimeters of tree’s hidden away like some dirty sick secret. People whisper about them in mouse like tones. People in trouble say “I don’t want to end up there!”. We instinctively know that it’s “a fate worse than death”.
Even worse, the victims of this cruel regime are taught to accept their punishment like naughty subjects of the Soviet Empire going to the Gulag for “correction”. With barely a whisper of a complaint as their health is stripped from them. Their dignity and their identity removed.
The Workhouse was abolished hundreds of years ago, but it still seems to live happily on in the 21st Century ! The barbaric treatment of prisoners was abolished along with stone breaking and treading mill wheels. But it lives on in the 21st Century !