A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Alfie! It's all too easy now!

When I was a child, it was quite something for people to break out of jail. It was considered well nigh impossible. I well remember having breakfast, listening to the BBC Home Service with Alvar Lidell reporting in sonorous tones that Alfie Hinds had escaped from jail. My father exclaimed "Blimey! Alfie Hinds has escaped!" Alfred George Hinds, or Alfie, as everyone called him, was a pallid, peaceable chap with thick glasses, and the oppressed air of a real-life Alec Guinness. He was a petty thief with an IQ of 150. Despite his undistinguished appearance, he was one of the best-known faces in Britain. In fact Alfie was famous. Infamous if you were the Home Secretary! Alfie was a safecracker and was sentenced to a 12-year prison sentence in 1953 (he pleaded innocent). What most endeared Alfie to the country was his passionate attachment to liberty using his intellect to achieve his ends. He escaped from jail three times. Alfie's breakouts were seen as getting one over on the authorities. Really, Alfie was a one-off. He was not a terrorist, rapist, or abuser. He didn't seemingly like violence of any nature, even on safes!

How things have changed. Today you don't need a high IQ to break out of jail. All you need is a Home Office that is "not fit for purpose" and you can just walk out!

Alfie would be deeply offended, I'm sure!


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