Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Mountain comes to Mohammed

There are odd occasions when the improbable happens in prison, and having the new governing Governor turn up at my door was one of them. The mighty rarely descend in such a way, short of dire and career threatening emergencies.

Off we wandered to an empty room and began to talk. I daresay he was trying to size me up as I was him, attempting to divine motives and intent.

The part of our conversation that remains with me is his question regarding my writing for the ‘net. “Just what” he asked, “do you believe that you have permission to do…?” I gave him a short rundown of the events surrounding the birth of the bog and the brief attempt to shut me down. The Governor is now hunting for some paperwork to establish my assertions.

I’m assuming that if he fails to find a written permission, then an attempt may be made to shut me down again. Watch this space.

And like many staff who speak to me, he doubtless wondered whether, and in what manner, he would feature on the blog. I told him that the title would be the one above and he grinned, “I’ve been called worse!”.


  1. I have my fingers crossed for you Ben - would it help if people wrote/called/emailed the Governor on your behalf, or would that just aggravate him?
    I wish you could have asked him why your blog puts the powers that be in such a tizzy - though perhaps asking would have been OK, just that the answer would have been more impenetrable gobbledegook to cover up their lack of a believable excuse.
    Hang in there,

  2. Dear Mr Governor, Sir, Ben Gunn is a Very Important Prisoner, please don't mess, Thanks.

    Sincerely, all of us.

  3. Lets hope he is a Governor who will enjoy the battle of wits he will get with Ben. Who knows, he could make some of us think differently about Mountains. Good luck Ben.

    Can I also say that some of us are writing and emailing good old Mr Ken Clarke to 'hasten' your move to open conditions, time is running out for your target of 12 months successfully completed in that Cat before your next parole hearing in May 2012. Time to start rattling those bars again.

  4. Visit for a template letter that is available if you so wish.

  5. Dear Ben,
    I am a child blogger and I have blogged about the Easter theme of Crime and Punishment and I have mentioned your blog.
    Libdemchild @Maelo Manning

  6. Why is he so worried about your blogs?

  7. Amazes me that the powers that be would be bothered about your blog. Hope they read it they might learn a thing or two about being a 'human being' and of course they might learn too that some people in the world can appreciate and understand the good in prisoners. Keep strong Ben - keep writing. I suspect that if they close your blog down there will be many many complaints and I am sure the prison service and powers that control it would not want that to happen - and of course there is also the human right side of things. xx

  8. Thank you, Queenie, for reminding us of the need to make a fuss. I agree, it is time to move things on. An apology from Crispin Blunt was nice to have but it does not get Ben any nearer to Open Prison. The Facebook link and Prisoners Families Voices have the template letter. Ed.

  9. If the mountain moved you to the open prison where you should be your blog would no longer be his problem!