1950s >> 1955 >> no-611-july-1955

Modern Times

The Rev. Frederick Thompson, chaplain of Lewes Prison, is reported as saying: “It is extraordinary the number of prisoners who do not want to go out again because they have not a happy home to go to.” (Daily Express, 25/3/55). One is reminded of a scene from the film “Modern Times.” Chaplin, because of his part in stopping a jail break, has been given preferential treatment. The prison is visited by a sanctimonious parson and his wife, after the parson and the governor have discussed Charlie’s record. The Governor informs Charlie that he is now a free man, but Chaplin pleads to be allowed to stay a bit longer, preferring his life in prison to the dubious joys of his new-found freedom. However, he has to be free, whether he likes it or not, and apparently the same can be said of many of the prisoners from Lewes Prison. What an indictment on present day society, this so-called civilisation gets more like the madhouse every day.
Phil Mellor