Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Petty Orders

We have a deputy governor here who has an unfortunate habit. Every time the No.l governor takes a holiday, the deputy starts issuing petty orders, if necessary overturning the orders of her absent boss. One of her senior colleagues once referred to her as Cruella DeVille. You get the idea.

This activity has three effects. It pointlessly raises the general temperature of the prison by pissing off both cons and screws; On his return, the No.l then has to deal with a line of disgruntled people; and our general contempt for management is reinforced.

This time - so far - the deputy seems to have restricted herself to pissing over only two previous orders from her boss. We expect further missives from the Fuhrerbunker but for now she has settled for ruining the World Cup and my PhD activities.

The No.l, in a fit of generous nationalism, put out the order that we could take time off work to watch the World Cup. Of course, we had to get the okay from our work supervisors and we would get our pay docked for that time off. Fairy nuff.

Now his deputy has overturned that order. Of course, I'm suggesting to everyone that they report as being ill but I bet most will shuffle of to the workshop, cursing the deputy governor. What a petty order this is, especially as prison work is both unessential and actually costs the taxpayers money. Add the fact that most of us are post-tariff (i.e., not here for punishment) then this reeks of panic - lest the media get hold of it. I haven't had any training in management theory but I suspect that panic-driven-management is probably not highly rated amongst the cognoscenti.


  1. She might be a regular reader of this blog; if so, then box clever, soldier.

  2. Not much different to life on the out in that respect.

  3. Ben: I read your blog every day, and increasingly wonder how you find the strength and motivation to even get out of bed, let alone write.

    To have been incarcerated for so long is bad enough, but to live with the not so minor pin pricks, pettiness and downright spiteful behaviour of prison staff must be demoralizing and frustrating beyond belief.

    It says a great deal that, despite your blog, and the information it gives to the world, the powers that be cannot be shamed or persuaded into behaving in a more civilized fashion. That says more about them than they realize.

    I wish I could offer you words to encourage and support you - after so long you deserve our concern - but I am at a loss. Just know that I , and others have you in our thoughts, and that we encourage others to read your blog and so learn, despite all the hyperbole and pc promises, how little has actually changed.

  4. Kate,

    If you or anyone else who reads this blog regularly have not yet done so, please click on the Facebook badge in the top right hand corner to find a list of actions you can take to apply pressure to the powers that be.


  5. Hello Ben

    My name is Mo. I spent almost 20 years in the system though mine was mostly in the maximum security dispersal system, 16 years, followed by 2 in a cat C and 2 in a cat D. I did get kicked out of the D cat but managed to get a judge to overturn that decision.

    I started out as a double cat A and got down to B cat in 6 years.

    My tariff recommendation from the trial judge was 10 years and the Home Sec set it at 20. One thing I learned from my experiences was that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, especially when it is wielded by the hand of a judge! There are not many people who can over rule a governor but judges, doctors, and some bureaucrats in LMU can.

    I fought the 10 year increase and beat it and got released through the courts, though it was a Pyrrhic victory in the end because I only had 5 weeks left to go before the 20 years was up. Public pressure can only do so much - the real weight comes from the lawyers. I was lucky I had Simon Creighton and he knows what he's doing.

    I used to be like you, then my own friends started telling me "you're never getting out jail, Mo".
    And I'd be like "Course I am I've got teh best lawyers etc."
    Then they said,"How long have you done and where are you?".
    I'd done over 15 years and was still in dispersals, Long Lartin. I'd never have got out in 25 never mind 20.
    I did a couple of stupid courses and they made me enhanced - couldn't believe it. I'd been kicked out of Whitemoor, after the riot, Long Lartin the first time after 10 months, Frankland after 2 1/2 years for apparently "fronting the screws with a broken bottle" total bollocks by the way. And getting kicked out of Bedford during accumulated visits after 2 1/2 weeks and banned from going back there.

    I was never a mindless thug. I was an undergraduate before I was nicked and carried on with an OU degree whilst inside, established prison magazines and if you've been to Gartree and the Debating society was still going, well I started that...

    Sometimes you have to look after yourself first, and you don't have to compromise your principles to do that. I used to pick fights with the Ministers and the LMU because they were the ones with the real power. The prison staff are only joeys - there's no fun fighting with them they're too easy ;)

    Be Lucky

    Mo Riaz

  6. Thanks Wigarse for the Facebook info.

    I don’t think that the British government would take kindly to suggestions from an Australian, but will check out my options.

  7. Hey Kate,

    Maybe not, but if you and your friends all join and promote the group then it starts to look as though people care about the issue, even if some of them are from overseas. That can't do Ben any harm :)