Superhuman powers

Chris Grayling, justice secretary, is sitting on a time bomb. Tons of overcrowded jails, with prisoners unable to get recreation, education or exercise, suicide rates going through the roof and a good chance of riots or serious damage.And what’s he doing? He’s playing God. having decided that prisoners choosing to read books is a really bad idea, he’s now authorising staff to use force on teenage inmates at the brand-new “superjail”. There is, as it happens, a court of appeal ruling from 2008 which declares that such a policy is illegal – after it resulted in serious injury and deaths of children in custody. I’d have guessed that a civil servant somewhere has pointed this out to Mr. Grayling (if not, what are civil servants for?) but he, like Mr.Gove before him, is a minister of state and therefore knows best. The arrogance of these people is so depressing.