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HMP Eton;Diary

THE Diary shares the nation's deep remorse at seeing Jonathan Aitken's star fall so tragically low, and we're pleased to hear he has made his peace with his family and God. But has he made his peace with his old school?

Displaying the bravado that got him into this mess in the first place, Aitken says he isn't afraid of prison. "I lived at Eton in the 1950s and know all about life in uncomfortable quarters."

Much as the Diary would like to believe this, we suspect not even famously-tough Gordonstoun ever subjected its inmates to slopping out or being banged up for 23 hours a day, three-to-a-cell with petty thieves and heroin addicts.

Still, if life at Eton really is that tough, perhaps the prison service should consider alternative accommodation for those detained at Her Majesty's pleasure. The cost of a year's stay in nick last year was pound;24,000. Three terms at Eton would only set them back pound;14k.

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