Wednesday, March 30, 2011

God Help Us...

The Governing Governor - "the No 1" - retired the day I left here. He has been replaced by a temporary stand in, whilst some bean-counters work out what the future of Shepton holds.

This new Governor signs himself on Notices not as "The Governor", or even as "Acting Governor". God help us, but he signs himself off as being the "Acting Head of Community." Perhaps he doesn't want his friends and family to know what he does for a living?


  1. Off topic I know but go to this link to read about Ben's blog on the Orwell Prize longlist.
    Up against some tough competition, what an achievement to get this far Ben, short-list next hopefully!


    I'm wondering what Ben's view is on privatised prisons. (I don't know if he has been an unwilling guest of any or not).

    Personally I think there is some potential for bad things and some potential for good things. On the good side is the fact that performance relating to re-offending rates is something that hurts the company more than it hurts the prison service. The negative is it can just lead to more cost cutting as "profit margin" becomes part of the budget.

  3. Your blog has changed, Ben.
    Nowadays your comments have the self-satisfied pseudo-triumphan tone of a precocious 15 year old preparing for their GCSEs. If this is what you need to let off steam/cope then fine - maybe just try keeping a diary. But a blogger has a certain responsibility to his readers. Your writer's craft is slipping; I think you know this anyway. Hope the editor passes this on. Not least because if the quality of the output is symptomatic of your state of mind (isn't it always?) then I dearly hope things pick up for you soon. Always the best. h

  4. This will no doubt encourage the same sulky responses from the POA that we normally get when things are not to their liking. As evidenced by their threat to strike - which is illegal!

  5. @ Anon 4.47 pm, there is always the ebbs and flows of life which cannot be avoided even for bloggers. I think Ben's blog is a remarkable achievement, I really do.

    Many bloggers start off with things to get off their chest and then maybe they run out of steam with it, and stop, maybe for a while maybe for good.

    Ben has kept a very high standard blog for a very long time, he deserves recognition for this.

    It must be quite a strain though to have such large numbers of readers effectively relying on one person for literary nourishment.

    I hope he goes far with his capabilites as he should do, but for the sometimes dreadful conditions of life and his incacerated life in particular, means that luck plays a significant role.

    So be lucky Ben, all the best x

    Also, I dread to think of what is going to happen to the prisoners as the goverment drafts in the army to break the strike by the POA who to my understanding of the situation are unhappy with the privatisation programme and the impact this will have on them and their environment

  6. Anonymous, above. In Ben's defence I feel I should point out that he is not too good at the moment. The aftermath of the hunger strike and the failed move to open prison have left him physically and mentally exhausted. I am sure his writing will return to its former lofty heights in the not too distant future, but meanwhile he is struggling to write at all. So please be patient. Ed

  7. @ Anonymous 4.47pm. Do you think YOU would still be springing out of bed on top form everyday of the week, if YOU had spent the last three decades in jail?

    'Unless you've walked in his shoes...'

  8. Well said Derby.....

    I think to have been invited to the Orwell Award is testatment enough to Bens' writing skills.I cannot begin to imagine how recent events have devastated Ben. To have been dealt such unfair treatment, while on the brink of a new start, would have had me back at the bottom of the pit...