Oliver Twist wanted more but Abu Hamza, our favourite hook-handed hate criminal has been refusing his prison lunch at Belmarsh in South London. In what is described rather dramatically by Hamza's lawyer as a hunger strike, 22 out of the 25 inmates in Belmarsh's high security wing are not eating as protest against "not being fed properly" and having to supplement their meals with extra supplies bought with their own money.
In rather less dramatic terms, a Belmarsh spokesman has described the hunger strike as more of a hunger pause: the inmates are in fact refusing to eat because the food "is not up to the usual standard," and they intend to break their self-imposed fast as soon as the food they have bought themselves is delivered. It's not much of a protest, really. Just as well, considering why these inmates were put into high security incarceration in the first place. As usual, it seems Hamza has got the spotlight on himself again - even when locked up and relatively powerless, he still finds a way to create tension and hatred, this time against cold peas and stale bread. If he had one, I'm sure he'd be shaking his fist. Readers can join in by shaking their heads.
In other prison news, ex-director of Broxbourne's Paradise Wildlife Park Steve Sampson will be let out of low-security prison Standford Hill in Kent on 23rd April - to run the London Marathon. There's something wildly anachronistic about a prisoner being allowed out to run 26 miles across London, but Steve seems to be a special case. Though he is only six months into his two and a half year sentence for his part in a £1million landfill scam (quite naughty of him considering his day job), he will be allowed out to take part in one of the world's biggest and respected sponsored runs in order to raise money for the Harlow-based Presidents Sporting Club, which provides leisure facilities for disabled children. Sampson blithely says of his sporting and charitable effort:
"I will be escaping from prison for the day to help raise much-needed money for this fantastic cause - and knackering myself in the process. But anything for a day out of jail!"
How about not committing a crime in the first place? Anyone who spots him crossing the finishing line while wearing a definite look of not stopping until he's beyond the M25 gets to eat Abu Hamza's Wagon Wheel.