David was certainly furious. He was also hysterical. He directed me, without delay, to order staff back into the prison. I told him that we did not, at that time, have enough staff in the prison to contemplate such a move but that many more staff were on their way from other prisons. I insisted, however, that although I was determined to take the prison back as quickly as possible, I could not, and would not, risk staff or prisoner lives in attempting to do so. He shrieked at me that he didn’t care about lives, told me to call in the Army and “machine-gun” the prisoners. He then ordered me to take the prison back immediately. I refused. David hung up.
I'm one of those people who believes that prisoners have fewer rights than the rest of us and should not be mollycoddled; prison shouldn't be all that nice a place to be. I don't, however, think that Home Secretaries should be allowed to gun them down. Call me picky.