Sunday, December 12, 2010

A journey of a thousand miles

Mao Tse Tung said that. He said:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Well, whether we agree with his politics or ideals or not, the simple fact of the matter is that he was spot on.

Everyone is groaning now - "Aaargh! He's going to waffle on about politics! As if we don't get enough of it out of the lying, back­-stabbing rats we elected into parliament! Now HE'S going to start!"

No I'm not. I just mentioned it because I wanted to bring up the subject of the wrongly accused who languish in our prisons - and, make no mistake about it, there are several thousand of them.

There are quite a lot of people trying to do something about it, of course, both groups and individuals. One such individual is Billy Middleton. Billy, wrongly accused himself for many years, lives up there in the wilds of Scotland, and who can blame him for that? Given the opportunity, I'd be living as far away from the British Justice system as I could get. In fact, give me a few seconds and I bet I can think of somewhere else I would rather be - like lying in a hospital bed with all of my teeth kicked out (and some people would think THAT was a good idea). The point is, I would get better - and I'd be out of this place.

I digress, as usual. Let's get back to Billy.

Billy has decided, and is actively planning, to make a trek from one end of the country to the other in the, hopefully, better weather of next summer. He intends (as far as I know) to start from the very top of the land of Scotland (Rabbie Burrrrns, William Wallace, Bonny Prince Charlie and Incey-Wincey Spider notwithstanding) and walk all the way to Land's End on his Walk Free Campaign to bring awareness to the plight of the wrongly accused, and he must be commended for that.

Now - pay attention, there may be a test afterwards - I don't know all the details, but I am sure that Billy will be happy to fill in any gaps for anyone who is interested. Billy intends to make several stops along the way at strategic points to focus attention on particular cases. I don't know where most of these points are, or when he will get there, but I do know that he intends to stop at Hartlepool - I know that much.

Billy may be open to suggestions about stop-offs and might even welcome invitations, I have no idea - nobody ever tells me nuffink. All I know is what I have already itemised here. Support Billy's efforts. Give the lost, lonely and abandoned men and women who are rotting in durance vile a little lift. Offer a helping hand or a kind word to Billy as he wears out his walking boots and chafes the skin on his feet.

Billy, my son, I salute you and, as Mao said, it all starts with one step. Once you take that one step then the adventure begins. I wish I could walk it with you, I really do. It will be like a one man Jarrow march I suppose. Wouldn't it be something if others simply joined in?

Well, I wrote about Billy at the instigation of Boudica. She wanted me to mention Billy's good work and, let's face it, it's a brave man who ignores Boudica's requests - she's got a bit of a temper you know. Ha! That's like saying a Tasmanian Devil is a bit annoyed.

No news with me at all - not a word, nothing, zilch, zero, nada, nowt, as they say in Yorkshire. They say a lot of things up there in Yorkshire that nobody else understands. They are still fighting the Wars of the Roses and burning witches, I think. I've told Boudica, "Don't go to Yorkshire, they'll get you and your familiar, the pigeon." Oh yes, and her pigeon, Scruffy, never did turn up, so it looks like he has gone off to that great pigeon loft in the sky - may his corn be ever tasty.

Finally, a story in the very worst of taste. On second thoughts, forget that - I've got enough enemies without adding to them. Let's try something a little less offensive:

They say that a camel can go eight days without a drink - but who would want to be a camel?
The Voice In The Wilderness

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