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October 08, 2003
So what kind of punishment should it have been?

Here's a startling little story from the Guardian. A Victorian punishment device (wooden blocks for immobilising your fingers) found its way to a school, as a demonstration of how things used to be, and it apparently got used for real. The eight-year-old miscreant had destroyed a pencil. So how things used to be and how things are aren't so different after all.

This is a news item that could have been crafted by a front line novelist, and who knows? maybe that's what the Mark Oliver of the Guardian will end up as. The final paragraph is particularly silence-inducing:

But the boy's stepfather told BBC Radio Newcastle: "I'm horrified that this could happen ... I'm a great believer in punishment, but not that kind of punishment."

Ouch. What fun it must be to have a stepfather who is a great believer in punishment.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 01:34 PM
Category: Violence
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