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Living in a debtors' prison
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Debtors’ prisons have a sordid history that was thought to be best left behind in Medieval Europe and in Charles Dickens’ fictionalized accounts of the 19th-century hellholes of Victorian England. America was not to be outdone, debtors’ prisons were widespread in the United States as well, and stories of the conditions in New York’s debtors’ prisons could make one question if repayment of debts was really the purpose; violent criminals were much better clothed and fed. In fact, history shows that terror and slavery have always had a close relationship with debt, and it follows a path from the Romans right ...
Debt is a human tragedy. As the house prices against which the vast sums of money that have been borrowed in my neighbourhood continues to fall, and as many loose their jobs, my role as a parish priest gives me an unusual degree of access to the private misery that is the hidden face of the credit crunch. But what is private is also political. In his New Year message, the Conservative leader David Cameron has accused the government of having 'lost its moral compass' because they are encouraging the country to borrow more and thus to get ever deeper into debt. The prime minister, ... Read More
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