Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Full Stop

Three governors huddled together today.  The Area Governor, who hates technology, the Establishment Governor, who wants to shut me up, and the Local Governor who has been happy for me to carry on using a word-processor.

Today, the Area Manager and Establishment prevailed.  The came and took my WP away from me.

The Ph.D. may now be now dead, and your generous contributions of fees wasted.  The blog will probably die too.

My studies, my writing, were the cornerstones of my life and my future on release.  But now, in one petty move, all I am left to contemplate are unemployment, these four walls, depression and cancer.

Note from the Ed: this incident happened a week ago, but Ben's mail takes a long time to reach me.  He is still without the word processor, hence the plea for a typewriter, which someone has kindly responded to.


  1. Amazingly, people did PhDs before word processors. You can continue to study and write. (Once you are out of your self-inflicted isolation, I mean.)

    You know the rules --so why doesn't the fact that you put yourself there estopp you from whining about it now? It should.

    And why don't you behave and thus actually allow yourself to be released? If your keepers are being petty, then surely you started it.

    If you are daft enough to continue misbehaving like this, then it is doubly doubly daft to blog about the entirely understandable frustration of those people charged with keeping you. It sounds to me that for your own sake they are trying to persuade you to behave. What else can they do ---I am guessing that a positive response from you would be welcome to all. As I mentioned last week ---a good start =have some empathy for those looking after you.

  2. I feel I should point out a few things, anon... That 10 days in the block is fairly standard for a phone, not 21. That Ben is usually a "good boy", as your comment he implies he ought to be, and this is only the second nicking in 4 years, and finally, regarding the Ph.D. his handwriting is illegible!

    I visited him today and he was quite chipper, happy to be leaving the block this evening and knowing there is a typewriter on its way. Ed.

  3. Even if hand written manuscripts used to be acceptable, they aren't any more. No university would accept one, regardless of whether Ben wrote like an angel or not; it is written quite clearly in the submission regulations.

    Even if they did, it wouldn't make taking his word processor away from him right. What a pathetic, nasty and childish thing to do. It's hard to see how it was an act that could have been motivated by anything other than vindictiveness.

    I am inclined to note (although it will no doubt result in accusations of pandering to Ben's delusions of grandeur) that, when people really start trying to shut you down, you must be starting to make a difference.

  4. Wigarse, regarding your last point, I note today the number of page views last month!!

    Sorry but I do agree it seems vindictive to take a word processor away from someone who is studying, surely positive interests and activities of long term prisoners should only be encouraged? Writing will earn Ben a living on the outside hopefully, or would people rather he spent the rest of his life at the expense of the tax payer?

    Ed I am very glad to hear that Ben was happier when you saw him. Very best wishes to you both.

  5. Ben is being moved to Erlestoke today. Well, a change is as good as a rest, they say. Maybe the Education department there will be more amenable. I have blogs that were written before taking away the WP, and he will be getting a typewriter soon. Not quite reduced to the Marquis de Sade yet then!

  6. In my opinion, the fact that Ben has only been 'nicked' twice in the last four years, just endorses my concern that the authorities are in no hurry to release him, - however he behaves.

    Taking his WP away is just another way of trying to 'clip his wings', and let him know who's still in charge.

  7. Ed, I hope this is a good move for Ben, please convey my best wishes to him.

  8. Does ben know what a blackberry is?

    Its not a piece of fruit, but a phone and a keyboard!

    He should get one!