Sunday, January 25, 2009

Welcome to my world

On March 24th of this year I have a Judicial Review in the High Court in the Strand concerning the decision of the Category A Section of the Ministry of Justice to keep me a Category A prisoner after almost a quarter of a century in prison. The fact that everyone else (including the local Cat A panel) wanted me downgraded to a Cat B cut no ice with the nameless and faceless gnomes in their ivory towers in Whitehall. In their wisdom they decided that I had to remain a Cat A prisoner because I have not proved that I am no longer a bad person. How do you prove a negative?

I've been in jail almost twenty three years now. The other day a youngster of perhaps twenty three years of age came to see me. He said that he had been refused a downgrading. He had been a Cat A now for nearly two years. What could he do? I told him that if I had the answer to that I would do it myself. Then he wanted to know if it had been easy getting through all of the years I have been locked away. What he was looking for of course was a bit of reassurance that he would survive the thirty years he has to serve, or whatever it is.

I think the youngsters around here see me as some kind of wise man, a village elder so to speak. I wish I were. They come to me with all manner of little problems and ask me what they should do. Some of them could try reading a book and actually learning something instead of battering their brains to mush with the mindless throbbing beat they call music. In fact, it would do no harm if they actually learned to read at all!

One fellow, about twenty seven, so not so young, came a week or two back and asked me for advice. He said that his gir1friend wrote to him three times a week and that she sent him money and wrote nice long letters. He couldn't write back because he had no idea what to say to her, he couldn't write long letters.

"What should I do?" he cried, moronity in action.
"Look," said I, the wise man, "The problem is easily solved."
"Simple," said I smugly. "Go to the canteen and buy her a couple of nice cards every week, they only cost 80 pence. Surely you can manage to fill a card in! Besides, it's not what you write that counts, it's the fact that you have thought about her and taken the trouble to write, THAT'S what counts."
"That's brilliant!" said he. "I'll do that. See! Frankie, that's why everybody knows that you are clever!"
Off he went, a happy punter. I should charge for this advice.

So now I come back to the fellow who complained about the fact that they had refused to take him off the Category A list. I had no words of advice. Maybe I was having an off day. All I did was sigh and say, "Welcome to my world."

The Voice In The Wilderness

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