I am happy to see the Economist covering the wave of criminal justice innovation in the UK. I worked with allies on the package of reforms that are now the law of the land. It includes 24/7 sobriety and other Kleiman-esque swift-and-certain consequence approaches to offenders serving “community sentences” (the rough parallel of probation and parole in the states).
The Economist article highlights Nick Herbert, MP, a smart and reform minded Tory minister whom I consider a rising star to watch. It is not mentioned in the article because it doesn’t – or rather shouldn’t– matter, but Herbert is openly gay.
Contrast the British Conservatives placing an openly gay man in an important government post with the Romney campaign not even allowing a different gay man to speak on a conference call that he himself arranged. Perhaps there was some short-term electoral advantage to Romney for treating Grenell so shabbily, but in the long term, British conservatives are in much healthier shape than their American counterparts: Only the Tories grasp that a certain proportion of the very smartest people in politics are gay or lesbian, and if you flush them down the drain you not only do them an injustice, you also shrink your own talent pool.