Thursday, July 29, 2010

No news is good news

This week there is news. There have been developments of a sort that, quite frankly, I could have done without. It's a bit of a mixed bag in many ways and, as we all know, it never rains but it pours - there isn't just one bit of news, there are several. Well, isn't it always the case that we wait for hours for a bus to come along... Etcetera.

So, it all started on Wednesday 21st July when I had a letter from the CCRC to tell me that I was to be very disappointed at their final report. They weren't wrong.

Then I examined their Statement of Reasons and, to be quite frank about it, there is no reasoning there at all. They have simply ignored everything offered and trotted out the precise same response as was trotted out years ago. They have taken absolutely no notice whatever of the facts, not a word of it.

However, I have been given until the 13th September to tender my further representations, particularly if I feel they have made any errors in fact. They have made not only errors in fact but a few quantum leaps too. I shall be working on my response.

Then, on the following day - and I make no connection between the two - I had a paper from the Risk Assessment Management Board here at the Lazy L and it said that I was due a board in June of this year and would I be attending? That's a good trick if you can do it. Then, lower down the paper, it stated that the board would sit on 5th October 2010! What happened to June?

I filled in a receipt slip to inform them that I WILL be there and handed that in personally just to make sure that later in the year I don't have any of the "You didn't hand your receipt back!"

Is that the end of it? Not by a long chalk. In the same envelope which held the paper about the RAM board there was another slip, this one from the Offender Management Unit, the OMU. It sounds like one of those secret service units in the Communist bloc in the fifties. "Be very cautious, Comrade, or you may find yourself in the cellars of the OMU in Prague. And let me assure you, in the OMU cellars nobody hears you screaming." Yeah, well, this place could teach them a thing or two.

So there was a slip from the OMU and this one said, "Following your Sentence Planning Meeting, the Chairperson will submit an RC1 form to the Deputy Governor which will contain a recommendation regarding REVIEW OF CATEGORISATION and REALLOCATION ASSESSMENT. If you wish to submit your own written representation to the Deputy Governor you must bring it with you to the Sentence Planning Meeting and hand it to the Chairperson. Offender Management Unit HMP Long Lartin."

That is precisely what it says. It seems to me that there have been decisions made already. It makes me wonder why they don't just shove me onto a van and move me to a lower security dump. That seems to be the plan anyway. Why wait a further three or more months? Oh sorry, I forgot, they have to tick boxes first - they can't function without a tick in a box.

I wonder what else they do by rote, ensuring that all correct boxes are ticked. I'm making no suggestions but their family lives must be quite funny.

"Get yer drawers off, Gertie!"

"I can't, Albert. You haven't ticked the right box yet."

And that's STILL not the end of it. I've been trying to get facilities for prisoners to have their pictures taken to send home to their families - I have mentioned it before. I have now been told by our wing Governor that moves are afoot to acquire a digital camera and printer. When they are in place then we will see progress. I am to wait two weeks and then remind him so that he can check and see where things have progressed to, if they have progressed at all. Watch this space. (You'll never see a picture here but it will give you something to do on rainy afternoons when you haven't got the right ticks in the right boxes.)

Finally, Boudicea has been taking the piss again, in fact she always is. Apparently I'm a miserable old goat. Very nice of her to say so - in fact I think I'll get her to write the representations for the upcoming board.

Her latest scheme to annoy the neighbours is to encourage every stray pigeon to live in or around the house, eating the best of corn and sneering at passing cats. I've told her, keep feeding them, lull them into a sense of false security, it will make it easier for me to get them into a pie.

One of these pigeons is a white one and her niece (or is it a great-niece) who lives in Gran Canaria said that it is an angel come to see her. Stick around, kiddo, one day your Uncle Frank will be able to tell you exactly what angels taste like if that's the case.

I shouldn't have said that, now I'll have all the little girls in the world marching on the palace of the Queen of Hearts and yelling "Off with his head!" One of the little horrors will even be called Alice!

I've said it before, and no doubt I'll say it again, but it's not easy being me.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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