Voices

These letters appear in the Monday 14th October edition of the Independent

A hard act to follow

profile Peter Vaughan He's done his time, he's grafted, now he's stolen the show, says Marianne Macdonald

LETTER: Judge deserves a knighthood

From Dr Graham Don

Man enough for poisonous porridge

Judge Tumim has been shamefully rewarded for his work as prisons inspector. But an ideal post is vacant

When trekking in the Himachal Pradesh, travel light: take just a crate of eggs, sacks of rice, porridge and lentils - and a folding table, chairs and tablecloth

The man in the turban raised the shotgun and squinted down the muzzle directly at us. Over his shoulder a Himalayan tableau of boulders, mountains and sky shimmered. We froze. It all looked horribly familiar from those staged group photographs we had seen on the front pages for months.

Such a hotchpotch of porridges

From Norman towers and Victorian country houses to Forties Nissen huts and Sixties concrete blocks, the architecture of incarceration embraces all sty les. Peter Wayne gives an insider's view

My Biggest Mistake: Gordon Baxter

The president of W Baxter & Sons, the Speyside soup company that claims to have turned down 172 takeover attempts, spent 48 years as either managing director or chairman. Here he hands over a lesson to successors with a pinch of salt.

Letter: Plutonium porridge of strange consistency

Sir: The 'confirmation' by British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) that reactor-grade plutonium used in the 1962 Nevada bomb test 'had come from its Calder Hall and Chapel Cross reactors' ('US made atomic bomb with fuel from British reactors', 29 June) is at variance with the evidence given to the Sizewell public inquiry by a team of three BNFL experts.

Italian cheese and British porridge do not mix

AN ITALIAN cheese-making plant at a women's prison, which was the pride of the new, commercially minded managers of the Home Office prison department, is losing money while polluting local waterways with lumps of mozzarella and ricotta.

General has theory on cereal vote-killer

(First Edition)

GOOD QUESTIONS / A beginning, a middle and the absolute end

ANOTHER instalment of our intellectual agony column, with a curious selection of readers' problems, all held together with sticky- back plastic.

Gruel diet 'too costly for benefit families'

MORE than 1.5 million families on benefit cannot afford to feed their children even a Victorian-style workhouse diet, new research by the charity NCH Action For Children suggested yesterday, writes Mary Braid.

FOOD & DRINK / Still the staff of life: Once spurned for being fattening, bread is back in favour. In the second extract from his book, Michael Bateman toasts the world's loaves and the flours that make them

BREAD is bouncing back. Tasty continental breads, that is, not white sliced bread whose sales have been steadily declining. In one supermarket chain, speciality breads are next in profitability to cigarettes and alcohol.

Prisoners ask for more privatised porridge

INMATES at the first privately run jail in Britain enjoy such an easy life - with little to do except bask in the sun, play pool and take drugs - that many try to prolong their stay, according to the Chief Inspector of Prisons.

TELEVISION / Sweetened porridge

40 MINUTES (BBC 2) went to Grendon prison, where they operate 'a psycho-therapeutic regime'. Here, the prisoners get into one-to- one and group situations with therapists and expose events in their pasts which may, or may not, have informed their criminal acts. It's not exactly an open prison - more an 'open up' prison. One of the psychologists mentioned 'the requirement that inmates be honest'. Let's face it, this is a bold thing to require in a prison. As Fletcher once said in Porridge, 'You can't trust anyone round 'ere - bunch o' criminals.'

Trust him, kids, it isn't 'Porridge': George Martin spent 17 years in jail. Now he keeps young people out. Mark Handscomb met him

ONCE a fortnight in the chaplaincy at Garth Prison, Lancashire, swearing, aggressive behaviour and a violent demeanour are the order of the day as a congregation of murderers and other violent offenders takes over this house of God.
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