The Butlins Riots

birmingham-final

I want to preface this by saying that I would never encourage a riot and I hope that I am never at a prison where one breaks out, forcing me to choose whether to take part or to take the consequences of not doing so from those who are.

However, I do think that the increase in the number and seriousness of prison disturbances over the past couple of years could actually be a good thing. Of course I don’t want anyone to get hurt, whether they are a prisoner or an officer, but physical violence does not necessarily have to be a core element of rioting. Criminal damage? Usually. Mutiny and insubordination? Definitely. But physical assault? It’s simply not necessary. What you won’t read in the mainstream media though, is what long term benefits may come from these riots for people on all sides.

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Discrimination: Unnoticed, Unchallenged, and Unresolved

Most prisoners, myself included, are guilty of thinking about institutional discrimination mainly from the point of view of race and religion, but there are a lot of other examples that are far less obvious and more deeply ingrained in the system, almost taken entirely for granted.

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Return of the Mac

At least one officer a month bellows Return of The Mac at me as I get back to the wing from work and it goes right through me. It had to appear as the title of a blog post at some point though and this seems as good a time as any. I’ve neglected this of late. And I should apologise, most of all to those who have sent comments, tweets, and direct messages. It’s not that I’ve been ignoring them, simply that I’ve been focusing on other things which had to take priority. So here’s what happened…

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Stop Looking/Start Seeing

“Put yourself in my shoes,

would you fight for your rights?”

One of the things that frustrates me most about some of the officers here (and the senior officers in particular) is how often what they say doesn’t match up with what they actually do. They tell me that the only way to get anywhere is to go about things in the right way, but when I do it is those who kick off who are rewarded just to placate them. When I submit complaints they tell me to come and speak to them instead, but when I do they either don’t want to know or they say they’ll sort it out but do nothing. They tell me to follow their example, but the example I see them setting is one of bullying, coercion, and discrimination. They tell me to follow the rules, but they frequently breach them themselves. They say they are looking at it from my point of view, but they really don’t see anything they don’t want to. What they’ll never understand is that they can walk through the gate but they will never understand what it is like on our side of the wall.

Stop Looking / Start Seeing by Papa Roach really reflects the feeling this leaves you with during those moments of extreme frustration and at some point enough has to be enough. There’s a time to lead and a time to follow. I won’t take this anymore.

You can read the full lyrics to the song here and you can listen to it on my Playlist section.

Brexit or Bust

trump

The EU referendum is now imminent but the campaign on both sides of the debate has been characterised by mass confusion. It seems that no one really knows what the future holds, regardless of whether we stay or whether we leave. However, if predictions were to be made, here’s one hypothetical forecast of events to come if Britain were to go it alone.

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