April 1-15th 2015

1st – 15th April 2015

Hello friend

It’s been a fairly uneventful couple of weeks. So, with that in mind, this one goes out to Leslie Winkle ( all of you Big Bang Theory-ophiles will the reference ).

“I sit looking round, I look at my face in the mirror, I know I’m worth nothing,
without you.”

Blog problems

Because I’ve switched to doing a bi-monthly blog and I’m writing a lot more. My usual ‘typist’ has been struggling to keep up as he already has a really busy life outside of this. Fortunately, my Mother has volunteered to take up the slack. She has already added more content to the November and December 2014 blogs and is now working on catching up with the first 3 blogs of the year. If you are reading this then she has already typed up and posted the previous 6 blogs.

I’ve also had my 2nd February and 1st March blog stopped from being sent out. Security have said that it is ’derogatory’ to their department. I’m not sure what word/s they have deemed ’derogatory’ as there are none. There are, however, many words and labels they have recently used to describe me that are derogatory. For example, ’high- risk to females’, ’risk to staff ,’ a known manipulator,’ and ’a danger to females.’

Sure I’m critical of Security but given their catalogue of…mmm, what shall I call it…I don’t want to be accused of being ’derogatory ’…perplexing and bizarre opinions, decisions, and actions, I think I’m being more than a little restrained.

What is interesting is that Security haven’t had a problem with my criticisms of any other department, only themselves. Perhaps they need to stop being quite so sensitive. If they can’t handle a bit of criticism maybe they are in the wrong job? Clearly, I’ve hit a nerve.

Scrabble Club

I can’t believe that I’m still writing about this. I’m still not on the list. I forgot to mention that Security had cleared me to attend this club soon after I was transferred here in 2012, yet 3 years later there’s all of these issues. This is another one of those ‘shake your head groan in disbelief, and smile wryly’ situations.

Family Day

There’s a Family Day visit coming up on 23rd April ( my birthday ). Unfortunately, there are only 30 spaces available and there were around 90 applications, so I didn’t make the cut. However, my name ( and 2 others ) have been put forward to play some music. I predict that Security will not allow me to play, despite the many times I’ve played at previous Family Days with no issue.

Journal

I had a visit from the Business Hob Manager who brought a faxed letter and a consent order from the Treasury Solicitor. As my Journals are now, apparently, in my stored property in reception, they wanted me to sign the consent order agreeing to withdraw my claim and for no order to be made for costs.

Well, as I didn’t receive any response to my letter before claim and subsequently spent a lot of hours and expense putting together my Judicial Review application ( nearly 2 weeks wages just to photocopy and send my court bundle ) I didn’t sign it. I’ve heard nothing from them since so will now wait for the court hearing and a ruling on costs a
( and damages ).

Heart Attack

I’ve now filed my claim against ( HMP Wakefield ) the Ministry of Justice, I know some of you will be of the opinion that civil rights should be removed from prisoners. Well, that’s a whole piece in itself to write about – which I will at some point. Suffice to say, that is not my belief and I have legitimate reasons based on 12 years experience of the privations of prison to rationally evaluate my opinion. I never used to believe in litigation but in here it’s the only right way to challenge the system ( after all other avenues are exhausted ).

Also, if you think it’s prisoners who are draining public money with trivial and/or vexatious claims, think again. This claim is undefendable. The only right thing for the defendant to do is to enter into Alternative Dispute Resolution. Experience tells me that this will not happen. The Treasury Solicitor will desperately attempt to get the claim struck out, which will fail. However, the MOJ will be stuck with a bill for their exorbitant costs on top of what will in all probability be a higher amount of damages than would have been had they entered into ADR with me.

I sometimes wonder that if the Treasury Solicitor were removed and communication and dialogue were used instead how much public money would be saved?

Print Shop

Well, it’s still shut. That’s another 2 weeks behind my door. I have nothing more to say on this that I’ve not already said before.

Music

The Improvement Through Music rehearsals are going well. My voice is getting back in shape. Even the Jamiroquai number is starting to come together but vocally it’s really out of my comfort zone. Still, I’m giving it a bash.

As part of the course for me includes a song writing unit, I played the other guys bits of about 12 of my songs. I’d hoped that they could whittle it down to3 numbers. However, bar a couple of songs, they all picked 3 different tunes. So I whittled it down to 10 songs! What to do….

It has made me think again about attempting to gain an authorisation and support to put on my ‘Rock Opera’, which these songs are part of. Yes, you heard right…Rock Opera ! An everyday story of love, betrayal, insanity, gun crime, prison, suicide, and redemption through love again. Although it’s not autobiographical, it has been inspired by my various prison experiences. I need to have a little think about how to go about this. I’ll keep you posted.

The Thursday night rehearsals have ground to a halt as the last 3 sessions have been cancelled due to staff shortages. That only leaves 8 sessions left before the concert. I’ll only get a maximum of 5 more chances to run through my song choice. If you know ‘The Big Money’ by Rush, you’ll know that it’s not so straightforward, switching between 6/4 and 4/4 plus all the other musical complexities. It will be fine….?

I got issued with a positive IEP for the work I’ve put into the Beginners Guitar Booklet. So, thank you to the member of staff who did this. Although, based on Security’s opinion of me, I must have manipulated this positive IEP out of the staff member ( sigh, groan, shake head ). Hopefully, I’ll get it finished if that pesky Print Shop sorts itself out.

Be happy, be safe, see you next time.

Graham Coutts, 20th April 2015

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