Sunday, August 4, 2013
Ministry of Justice Press Office
I've had some pretty weird phone conversations over the years. But then, I blame that on the people I mix with.... None of whom have ever come close to being as surreal as the Ministry Of Justice Press Office.
Rumours reached me that staff at HMP Mount were going around removing televisions from cells, as per Grayling's diktat, but were being met by a certain level of, hmmm, lets say "unhappiness" from the prisoners.
I called the MoJ press office to see if they knew anything. Silly idea, but as I'm now a taxpayer I can expect a certain confluence between the title and the service delivered. It was an utterly bizarre exchange. After saying what little I knew, and asking if they had any comment, I was asked, "Are you the Governor?" Um, no. "Are you a prison officer?" No... "Where are you calling from?" "My sofa."
"Well, I think you have been a bit naughty, misrepresenting yourself. Are you a journalist?" I suggested she Google me.... And the shocking idea that a journalist should be calling a press officer....the bloody cheek of it, eh?
I said I haven't in any way misrepresented myself, and goodday to you madame, and hung up. I'm still left pondering two things. Firstly, am I really paying taxes for this level of stupidity to be levelled at me? And secondly – and more worryingly – why would they think that a prisons Governor needs tp call the press office to find out what the hell is happening in their own prison? Does this happen often...?