Saturday, July 23, 2011

And the dance goes on

This is interesting and quite funny, in fact it is bordering on the edge of farce - a farce that Joe Orton would have been proud of. He wouldn't have written it - it's too ridiculous for anyone to accept - but he would have liked the idea. In fact, forget Joe Orton, think Tom Sharpe, Terry Pratchett with a soupcon of Monty Python, then distort it until it becomes quite Kafkaesque, and you just MIGHT he halfway there.

Everybody knows that, after over a quarter century, I have finally managed, through hard work and diligence, to persuade the Parole Board to allow me to go to an open prison - thus taking the first step toward reintroduction into the community. I have the support of everyone in this enterprise - all are quite satisfied that the time has come to end this gavotte of madness and allow me to waltz into an easier twilight of my days.

No, wait a minute - not everybody. I forgot the Smiling Assassin. The Smiling Assassin has been spreading her poison, but the best she can do is to persuade Hoss the Boss to complain about my proposed transfer to open prison. (Actually I don't really think that Hoss the Boss has a clue - he just signs his name to things - it's the nature of the Prison Service, and every other public body, after all. The moronic minions produce nonsensical papers and the fellow at the top simply signs them. After all, he is far too busy worrying about budgets to actually take any real interest in what's going on. This applies to all public areas, not just the Prison Service.)

Coo! That was a long aside. Where am I? Oh yes. Hoss the Boss has made a request to the Public Protection Casework Section at NOMS HQ. He tells me in a letter that "An appeal has been submitted". I've got the grounds here in front of me and I've never read such drivel - not a single thing that wasn't examined in depth by the Oral Parole Hearing and of course completely ignoring all that the panel has said in its letter of recommendation.

However, I'm not concerned with any of that - it's nonsense and drivel, hardly worth mentioning really. What DOES attract my curiosity is the following: 

Hoss the Boss says that the prison is challenging the Parole Board's recommendation - he calls it an appeal. Excellent! Note, he is not challenging me or my solicitor, he is saying that he is challenging the Parole Board. For all I know that could well mean that he is challenging the Secretary of State for Justice (good old Kenneth, one of the most sensible fellows in modern politics).

So, Long Lartin Prison (or, as it is more commonly referred to by those of us who know and love it so well, the Lazy L) is ostensibly challenging the Parole Board. In any legal matter the prison is represented by the Treasury Solicitor. The Parole Board is also represented legally by the Treasury Solicitor. In fact, the Secretary of State for Justice is ALSO represented by the Treasury Solicitor. I'm not being challenged, I'm just an interested bystander. My solicitor isn't being challenged either. The Golden Girls are not being challenged - and the fact is that they don't even know what is going on as far as I know.

So, where does that get us? The Treasury Solicitor will obviously be challenging himself - so how does that work?

I've got this mental picture of the Treasury Solicitor in his office, arguing with himself and coming to blows wlth himself. The police will be called, of course, and they will rush him to the A&E department of the nearest hospital where they will ask, "Who did it? Who beat you up?"

He will answer, "I did!"

He will then have to say, "No I didn't! You lying bastard!"

"You did!" he will yell and start fighting himself again.

Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous? I told you - Kafkaesque!

In the meantime, I am sitting here, not allowing myself to be stressed by it all. Prisoners are not allowed to suffer from stress, that's strictly for the poor fuckers who have to go home to their families every night - the staff. I haven't been home in over a quarter century.

The anxiety it is all causing is matterless of course. Boudica is suffering under it all, and who can blame her. I hardly sleep at night, but I have no option but to struggle on stoically. (Big sigh and huge, wry grin.)

It's all one big, macabre dance routine, that's all prison is - and, whether I like it or not, the dance goes on.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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