Under pressure to find billions in savings in the upcoming spending revue, the UKs Con-Dem government is considering closing the Isle of Wight for the foreseeable future. “We have to look at where cuts can be made with the least impact to the rest of the country and I am afraid that in the current economic climate we cannot continue to justify the Isle of Wight ” explained George Osbourne as news leaked of the proposed closure.
The spending review has looked at other areas such as Hull, Northern Island and the Cotswolds as targets for closure. Norfolk was a front runner for closure at one point because “Norwich isn’t connected to anywhere else by a major road”, until it was pointed out to Ministers that the IOW is in the sea, while Norfolk grows a lot of the nation’s food and contains a number of Tory seats.
Some loose ends remain to be tied up before the IOW can be fully closed, such as what to do with the prisons formerly known as Parkhurst, Albany and Camphill. One option favoured moving them to new facilities in Liverpool ,which Boris Johnson had already offended and where it was felt that the inmates would be closer to their relatives so visits would be easier. This was dismissed by the Goverment as being “too Costly”, so the entire Isle of Wight may be turned into one giant penal colony where prisoners are left to fend for themselves as in the 1981 Movie “Escape from New York”.
Questioned about the proposal, residents of Ryde on the IOW had mixed reactions. “What will this do to property prices, that’s what I’d like to know” said Geoffrey Palmer, 68. “It’s Ok if I end up next door to a Gangland Boss but suppose an Al Qaeda cell move into the close? There goes the neighbourhood”. His neighbour Glenda Andrews, 70, was more sanguine. “Oh, it could liven things up a bit. At my age I quite fancy being some Gangster’s Bitch”