Progress of a Virtual Nomad – Sutton Bank

I’m now 176 miles into my virtual journey and am at Sutton Bank. Check out my Nomad section to find out why.

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A Woman’s Right to Choose

I read recently that Nadine Morano, the former French family minister, said publicly that she had seen a Muslim woman sitting on a French beach in a headscarf, a long sleeved shirt, and trousers, but that it was a French woman’s duty to wear a bikini on the beach because ‘when you choose to come to a country of secular laws like France, you have an obligation to respect our culture and the liberty of women. Or you go somewhere else.’ But this is a point which I have heard from a number of people and which, I have always thought, actually contradicts itself completely.

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Intellectual Property and the Thought Police

I have had a problem with the idea of intellectual property for a while now and, at last, I think I know why. For starters, I have always thought that if ideas are to be regarded as intellectual property which can be protected by law, then those laws need to be enforced on the basis of ideas, and that can only ever be done by the thought police. Who else can claim the right to tell me which ideas I am permitted to have and to manifest?

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Court on Camera

Recently, Lord Neuberger, president of the Supreme Court said “I think there is a strong case for saying that [British court cases] should be televised: that is merely the modern extension of enabling the public to enter the courts physically.”

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Common Sense Alert! 12

I feel really conflicted about this one. A while ago an officer on my wing came up to me and, out of nowhere, said “That’s an interesting blog you’ve got!” I wasn’t sure I’d heard him right at first but when he repeated himself I was really taken aback and could only think to say “Oh, right, yeah. Um, thanks.” He said a colleague had stumbled across it and asked him if he’d seen it so he took a look. But then he said something that threw me even more.

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Pen Pals

Don’t let the title confuse you, in jail this doesn’t always mean what it does on the outside. Pen (short for Penitentiary) might be an Americanism, but it is one which has crept into British jail slang, especially among younger prisoners. ‘Pen Pals’ are those people who, in prison, you consider to be good mates, but who, if you’re honest, you wouldn’t associate with at all on the outside. Not necessarily because you think bad of them at all, but just because you are from different worlds altogether.

Ok, so they might not be lifelong friends, but they are still mates, and you never want to see a mate in trouble. That’s why I got really fed up recently when one such mate ended up disappearing. He had had a minor fall out with a lad on the wing and, rightly or wrongly (I’m actually not sure), convinced himself that he was at risk of getting attacked by the lad and his mates. I hope this isn’t the case, since I speak to people on both sides of the argument, but that was enough to convince my mate to put himself into segregation for his own protection.

Now this guy is no idiot. He can handle himself. He has proved that much over the years. But since being in jail he has met and fallen for a woman who he genuinely wants to get out to. He has recently started really trying to curb his temper, he has signed up to offending behaviour programmes, and he has even been looking into working with the Alternatives to Violence Project (which I publicised through this site just a few months ago). He has been fighting as hard as he can to change and to grow. To prove he is ready to start progressing. But it hasn’t been easy for him. And now, just as he has started one of the courses he has been waiting for, a simple clash of personalities has resulted in him being relocated to the segregation unit and losing his place on the course altogether. Not because he has had a fight or done anything wrong, but because he is trying not to. And none of us who have seen his efforts to improve even know where he is now.

I honestly despair at times like this. I honestly don’t understand why people can’t just talk these issues out and then let them go. Life’s too short for this crap. I just hope he is ok, and that he knows that not everyone judges him for putting himself down the block. It might not be the ‘done’ thing, but it is better than what I know he would have done a few years ago. As far as I am concerned, he can stand tall.

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High Law

It is no secret that the use of ‘legal highs’ over traditional, illegal drugs has been steadily increasing over recent years. The effects of these substances both on individuals and on society as a whole have also been increasing at a similar rate and recently the Centre for Social Justice published a report claiming that deaths related to legal highs could exceed those related to heroin use within the next two years.

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