Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The more I see of men...

The actual news this week is minimal, hardly worth the mention really. The only thing of any note is the fact that I had an actual reply from the Big Boss here to the letter I sent him a couple or three weeks ago - the letter about my move here and how it seemed to be contrary to the spirit and purpose of the recent Judicial Review decision. The reply seemed a little ignorant, slightly patronising and a good deal threatening. Clearly he took the fact that I had been successful in the High Court as some form of personal attack on him. Well, I can only apologise to the ether if that is the case - I do not intend to do so to him. He needs to learn what abstract thinking is. But at least his strange letter gave me something to grin at.

Nothing else happened this week apart from recording the fact that already I am being asked for advice by one or two residents on various subjects from 'Nobody loves me' to 'How do I go about a Judicial Review?'

Well, the simple answer is, I don't have the answers. If I had the answers to life, the universe and everything I would not have heen sitting in durance vile for the last twenty-three years plus. I know nuffink!

One question came up, however, which I will mention - let's face it, there's nothing else to write about this week - and it is a question that has cropped up many times in recent years. The other morning when we were all unlocked for breakfast I went out to get hot water for tea. I had been listening to music prior to being unlocked and had a tune in my head which I was humming under my breath. At the tea urn another fellow, as miserable a specimen as ever graced a Crown Court Dock, mumbled something about he had no idea how I could be so cheerful all the time.

What makes him think I should be miserable? I don't like my current position in life but I make the best of it. I take whatever small simple pleasures I can from each day and I find it easier to grin than to cry. I've tried miserable and I've tried cheerful - cheerful is better.

However - and with me there is always an "However" - however, there is something I would like to say about my time and how I view prison life, namely that I find it quite a chore at times to come out of my kennel and be cheerful and hail-fellow-well-met because, to be blunt, I am sick of the sight of men, I'm sick of the sound of men and I am sick of the smells. Oh to live in a world completely populated by the female of the species! Let's face it, it's not as if the male is actually necessary anymore, what with artificial insemination and everything else. In fact, the only reason women need men is because they don't have to change the batteries and to buy them free drinks.

I think it was Madame Roland who said:
The more I see of men, the better I like dogs.
The Voice In The Wilderness

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Oracles of Whitemoor

We waited patiently for the answer from the parole board to my application to be either released or sent to open prison. Well, it finally arrived on Thursday 26th March and at first glance hardly seemed to be worth the wait because there is nothing there for me. After all of these years, all I have been through and done - nothing! The obsession seems to be with acquiring the right ticks in the right boxes to allow those who oversee such things to say, "See! He is rehabilitated! He has got the ticks which say so!"

Ticks in boxes mean nothing and could in fact give a completely false picture. All they prove is that the subject / prisoner has learned by rote all the correct responses to give, much like Pavlov's dog really. Actually understanding is another matter. I mantain that I did myself far more good with just one of my degrees than a thousand courses could ever hope to do.

I had to study hard, reconfigure my whole thinking processes and my values and came out of it all at graduation a better person. (In fact I did three degrees - and, thank you, I've heard all the jokes about the old girl band, The Three Degrees, but if you can't resist the urge to crack another one, feel free.) There are one or two areas where it seems that my words were either misunderstood or, more probably, misheard. But I see no percentage in trying to set the record straight in every particular - that would take on the aspect of nit-picking.

However, there seems to be a very subtle attempt to actually accord me a certain amount of help in another direction. I think that they deliberately delayed the answer to the application not out of any form of discourtesy but because they wished to ensure that their report could not be used against me in an entirely separate matter - namely the Judicial Review, which was heard on the day the parole response was issued.

Someone said to me yesterday (Friday 27th March) that all of the years of study, (I'm still studying in fact) were really a complete waste of time and that I would have been better to have continued in my disruptive campaign because then they would have taken me off the Category 'A' and moved me on just to get rid of me and I would be free now. It is a point of view, of course, and I can see how the perception can be just that. However, I don't agree. I didn't do what I did because I thought that it would impress anyone, or that the Parole Board would be influenced or so that I could demand to be called 'Doctor'. No, I did it all for the simple reason that I needed to change and I wanted to change.

I did it all for myself, selfish fellow that I am. And I am still doing it for myself. The more I read, the more I learn and the more I realise that I have a lot to learn in the future. Having said that, I'll learn nothing from a simplistic course being administered by some youngster who, to me, hardly seems old enough to be out of school. But we mustn't allow rancour or malice to creep in, that would never do - and would make a mess of the tick boxes.

So, the Parole Report/Response is back and it is there for all to read. Feel free to complain - their address is on top of it.

Finally, let me just say that the very fact of my (relatively!) balanced and unemotional acceptance of the refusal is perfect proof of my new non-confrontational attitude to life. I haven't even told anyone else about it yet, let alone created any sort of fuss.

Mind, even that could be misinterpreted by the youngsters who are training to he psychologists - the Oracles of Whitemoor.

The Voice In The Wilderness

Sunday, April 05, 2009

My complicated life

On Tuesday of last week (24th March in fact), I sent out my normal weekly package of documents to Andrew for him to sift through and either use or file, whatever he decides is best. As usual I sent, as part of this package, pages from my document, 'An Abuse of Justice', which I have been sending out a chapter or section at a time for quite some time. How long can best be seen by pointing out that I have already sent out over 800 pages exactly like this one, typed and spaced the same. Let us say that there are roughly, on average, 500 words per page, that is a total in excess of 400,000 words. That's a lot of words - I didn't know that I knew that many. So, I put the package in the post and asked that it be sent by Recorded Delivery as I do every week.

It came back on Thursday 26th March with a bit of paper telling me that my mail had been stopped. This paper is neither signed nor dated but purports to come from a Governor Juden, though I don't think he knows anything at all about it. He can't, otherwise he would know that Legal Mail cannot be meddled with whether the censor likes the contents or not.

I think I'd better. at this juncture, say a few words about 'An Abuse of Justice'. Of course it is the title of my campaign, that's the first thing. Secondly, I am fed up with the prison service saying that there is no evidence of change in me as a person despite twenty-three years in prison and everything else that has happened. So, to counter this, and after discussing it with a very dear friend whose advice I cherished, I set about to write the full story of my arrest, trial, early struggle in jail, my change to education and the further changes in recent years - which have seen me become almost a Saint!

The plan was to get it all done (all taken, incidentally, from diaries which I have kept every day of that twenty-three years plus), have it edited, to remove any pointless waffle and other matter which is of little value to the object, and then to present it as the best proof of change imaginable. As I say, I have now reached almost 900 pages and all of the story concerning the bad stuff is done and sent out of the prison. The whole thing has become so long that I have found it necessary to split it into separate parts of 400 pages each. The story and evidence of all the bad things is done and gone. I am now writing about my educational period in what has become Part III of 'An Abuse of Justice'.

This aim makes it, in my view, a legal document - it is intended to provide the evidence of the changes in me that the Prison Service says it needs in order to progress me. I have to say that I do not blame the governor, who is named but who hasn't put his pen to the note - in fact nobody has put a pen to it or even bothered to date it. I'm sure that really it is all a bit of a misunderstanding and that it will sort itself out. Perhaps the fellow who did it has misunderstood the rule or whatever it may be that he sees as a reason for his action.

Why is my life so complicated all the time? I think it was Henry Thoreau who said:
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

The Voice In The Wilderness