Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Prison politics

I had a letter this week from Campbell Malone, a miracle in itself really - not because he rarely writes but because of the Post Office lemmings who are heading for the cliffs at a rate of knots. Mister Malone has sent the information about the new witness off to the C.C.R.C. and invited them to interview the witness, a man who I am still reluctant to name in such an open forum as this. However, it occurred to me that maybe it would have shown more willing if we had sent someone to interview the witness ourselves - demonstrate our keenness to have this person as a witness after all of the barren years.

Now, are we sitting comfortably? (At times I think this place is about on a par with Watch With Mother...) Are we sitting comfortably? Excellent!

When I speak or write about my solicitor and about the case or those connected to it, I use the collective 'We'. This got me thinking about the Stockholm Syndrome and it suddenly occurred to me that right at this very minute I am living in amongst a few cons here at Long Lartin who are actually suffering from what I call the 'Long Lartin Syndrome'. It's much the same as the Stockholm Syndrome only it is pathetic.

For some reason, partial running of the prison has been gifted to a small number of prisoners. Now we shouldn't be surprised by this - for years the prison system has been doing its best to abrogate all responsibility for running the jails.

Here at Long Lartin they have 'Prisoner Committees' and 'Prisoner Wing Representatives'. These self-serving grafters have wormed their way into everything and no matter what area it is it will be the same names involved in everything. They have managed and been allowed to build themselves a power-base, and the people who ought to be doing things have allowed prisoners to take over. Only selected prisoners of course - only those suffering from the Long Lartin Syndrome.

What brought it to my attention was when I applied to a governor to have free televisions for the retired, the old codgers amongst us - not very many I may add, probably a dozen in the whole jail. We get a tenner a week pay but that is a fixed sum, it can never be improved on, although the governor, FerdieParker, fixes the rate of pay for us geriatric scum. Out of that tenner we lose a quid automatically to pay for the weekly rental of our tellies. Then, if we need some toiletries and maybe a bag of sugar and a magazine (so we know what is on the poxy tellies) we don't have much left for essentials, never mind luxuries like soap!

So I put an official application in to ask for free tellies for the decrepit crowd. The answer came back telling me that I would have to ask my prisoner representative to bring the matter up at the next meeting! I wrote back on a complaint form to tell the "Powers That Be" that I do not make applications to inmates. The answer came back telling me that it wasn't an application.

What else is it then? If I cannot bring a matter before the governor unless I go through an inmate, that's an application by anyone's criteria.

I wrote back and pointed out that I don't make requests to self-serving grafters and THAT annoyed the wing governor so much that he accused me of being offensive! Offensive to whom?

I asked who appointed these rats and was informed that they had been selected from volunteers. So I have asked other cons around the place about voluteers and nobody knows anything about any lists of volunteers. It transpires that these grafters are all self-appointed!

The worst part is that they are even trying to tell other cons what they can or can't do! The tossers actually think they are no longer in the ranks of the lowly or common convict!

Last week I had to spend an hour dissuading one of our more volatile members from committing an atrocity on one of the so-called prisoner representatives, and that should never be the case. So, we have the Long Lartin Syndrome fit and well and running the place. It's very gratifying to know that my interests are being served, it really is.

Ah, prison politics! I struggle to keep out of them, I really do - but you've got to love 'em.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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