Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ben wins Right to Blog!

Today, I received a written response from the Governing Governor to my complaint about my mail and blog being interfered with,

" As you may recall last Weds I told you that I had spoken to the policy lead who had given [the Head of Operations here] the original policy line on your use of a blog which has resulted in [the Head of Performance, a Governor] stopping this letter after discussing it with me. On the advice we had at the time from the policy lead, that was the appropriate action. I have since spoken at length with the policy leads on both PSO 4411 and 4470. I (illegible) advised that their original advice is withdrawn and you may send material out for your Blog..."

Two things are absent from this statement. Firstly, at no point has the idiot at HQ who began this saga admitted they were wrong. This continues the long tradition in the Prison Service that holds that errors on the part of staff are just not possible.

Secondly, there is no hint of the behind-the-scenes effects of the legal forces marshalled by John Hirst on my behalf. To all those who operated in the shadows, many thanks.

Whilst my keepers were attempting to stop the Blog, I was beset by two types of advice. Both well intentioned, both contradictory. There were those who felt that my possibly provoking the Ministry was both futile and suicidal (in terms of progressing to release). Conversely, there were those who advised that I do what I do best, which is take an immovable stand, and have faith that law, reason and plain common-sense would prevail. My instincts were always with the latter group and I am pleased that I was daft enough to stick my head up.

If only more people from marginalised and politically dispossessed groups looked at their situation and realised that they have little to lose. Speaking up is always right and should be encouraged at every turn.

To those who supported me, thank you. Now I have the difficult job of attempting to populate a blog with interesting, entertaining, informative and thought-provoking material. And I thought the Ministry of Justice were hard to please...

8 comments:

  1. Something interesting - yes please!

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  2. Um, Anon, if you dont like this blog, why read it? And why is it prisonerben has the decency to sign his views while you snipe from anonymity? Gosh, how brave you are, standing up to say your piece... Away with you, silly troll.

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  3. Anyone who pisses off the MOJ has my support!

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  4. "If only more people from marginalised and politically dispossessed groups looked at their situation and realised that they have little to lose. Speaking up is always right and should be encouraged at every turn."

    Damn right!

    Congratulations Ben!!! I'm sure you'll have no trouble filling these pages - you've been doing brilliantly so far

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  5. congratulations from the middle east, Ben. keep it up.

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  6. It might not hurt to say 'Thanks, Gov, for that!'

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  7. "And why is it prisonerben has the decency to sign his views while you snipe from anonymity?" - ah, so it's brave to write using an assumed name, ok, call me 'Silly Troll' then, that can be my name.

    Why am I reading this blog? Because the subject matter interests me and I am holding out for something worth reading. Hopefully now the blog/no blog issue is sorted mr Gunn can get on with the blogging and we'll see whether it gets any better.

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