Monday, January 10, 2011


I know that sections of management are annoyed by this blog, which I take to be a sign that I'm doing something right. And there is now a lot of effort being expended to ensure that the media cannot get near me.

This can be dismissed as just another manifestation of the Great Game played behind these walls, the eternal struggle between Us and Them.

But scratch away at it, as I do in a pondering mood, and I honestly can't see why the prison service should expend such effort trying to gag me. It's not as if I'm propagating an ideology of rioting and mayhem. I'm not even lambasting and mocking my keepers with a particularly sharp edge.

If they look silly now and then, either as individuals or as a collective, it's only because they do silly things. Shining a light on those should - could - improve matters overall.

So why the fuss and palaver? What are they so afraid of?


  1. I experience the same Ben, in a different (though increasingly analogous!) situation.

    The thing is these people aren't used to having their bubble burst. They like to be portrayed as the "good guys", following the rules, providing a service to society, being just etc. This relies on the disempowerment of the people who use their services - i.e. the likes of us.

    When somebody points out some of the incompetence, duplicity and mismanagement, it punctures their bubble of both self-perception (if their behaviour isn't conscious) and of public perception.

    As you say, in this situation the saddest thing perhaps is the typical reaction of these megalithical organisations. We'd have so much more respect for them if they embraced the problem rather than blame the victim of their poor behaviour and try and squash the expression. But that's not how rubbish, generally larger, organisations work.

    I think there's also an element that they can't comment on individual cases, whereas you have the (theoretical!) right to talk about personal things; but given you're largely talking about wider issues, albeit sometimes with real examples (anonymised where appropriate), they don't even really have that excuse...

  2. I think part of the problem is that they can see your blog has an increasing following, and that the majority of us view you as a likeable, intelligent, humourous, insightful person, rather than just a number or a 'case'. It is much harder for them to brush aside or try to defend the injustice you have suffered now that more and more people know what makes you 'tick'. Well done to you and Ed for the blog, keep going!

  3. Truth will out, as they say, I for one have become a lot more critical of our failing system since I started following the blog, keep it up!! The more people are informed, the more likely they are to act for change. That, I believe is what frightens them.

  4. If giving the public the other side of the coin as far as prison life goes and when the public start to humanize prisoners and shift in public opinion about how you're treated will surely follow and those employed in the system will be held accountable and expected to do better for you.

  5. What are they afraid of? Well, basically they're afraid their parents'll reject them. Even if their parents have been dead for years. In other words, they're just insecure. You might think they could gain security by keeping to the rules, but actually their insecure bosses will blame them for any embarrassment, however caused, and they tend to see their bosses as substitute parents.
    So don't count on them changing their attitude!

  6. An interesting theory Anonymous, and stated with such authority too! Said like someone who knows!