Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm going to feed Machiavelli's ducks!

By now it will be known, by those who are interested, that I am no longer a Category 'A' prisoner but have been downgraded to a Category 'B'.

This time last week, the Secretary of State considered me far too dangerous to be allowed to sleep right through the night without Florence Nightingale waking me every five minutes just to make sure I hadn't departed my cell via the window, or some other self-made aperture. I could not prove that my levels of dangerousness had reduced to where I no longer had to have my cell searched every 28 days to make sure that I was not creating some device for tunnelling to Australia.

But now, I am no longer considered to be a danger to the public, the police or national security should I escape. Everyone can now sleep soundly in their beds, the police can go about their affairs without worrying about me turning up in some dark alley to ambush them and, of course, Special Branch can take me off their Christmas card list.

So what has happened in the meantime to reduce my levels of danger? The answer is quite simple - absolutely bugger-all.

The only reason I have been removed from the 'A' list is the precise same reason I was on it in the first place - convenience. It will be remembered that my solicitor challenged the Prison Service in the Queen's Bench Division on their decision not to hold an oral hearing into my category. That was in March of this year, and the Secretary of State lost the case - he had to hold an oral hearing into my category. Of course he appealed, on the rather odd grounds (amongst others) that to grant me an oral hearing - as laid down by law - could create a constitutional crisis. Well, I've said all I intend to say about constitutions.

The Secretary of State appealed the decision by HHJ Jarman and the appeal went before The Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Scott Baker, and Lady Justice Smith on Wednesday 24th June 2009. The matter was between The Queen on the Application of Wilkinson - the Respondent/Claimant - and the Secretary of State for Justice - the Appellant/Defendant. It was held in Court 71, appeal number C1/2009/0816, and it took a mere fifty minutes for the court to decide:
The Appellant's application to proceed with the appeal is refused.
That's that then. The court ruled in my favour and THAT is why I have been deemed as no longer dangerous - because the Secretary of State doesn't want others asking for oral hearings; not because of any constitutional cobblers, but because holding oral hearings would be inconvenient and too much trouble for those who deal with these things. It's as simple as that really. Actually, I really did want a judgement so that others COULD use it as grounds for their own cases, but that has heen neatly sidestepped of course.

Well, their reasoning is quite simple and at the same time Machiavellian:
If we take him off the cat 'A' then the problem simply goes away!
And that is what they have done. Dangerousness or otherwise has nothing at all to do with it - never has had.

So, now I have to think about what happens next because being out of the Category 'A' system I no longer come under the Secretary of State or his minions in the matter of where I go to, what prison. Put it this way - I can now make progress.

So where do I go to? Being retired and medically unfit for any sort of work, I cannot go to a Category 'B' Training prison, that would make no sense at all. I have to go to a retirement prison and, as far as I know, there is only one in the country - Kingston in Portsmouth. So, that's the next step I suppose, to ask to go to Kingston. I understand they've got a duck pond there - I'd better start to save up my crusts.

The Voice In The Wilderness

No comments: