And so Bouncers is over and normality returns (is this normality I hear you ask?)....
On Friday I was in HMP Parc Prison in Bridgend for the end of their wonderful 'Hay in the Parc' week of artistic endeavours that takes place alongside that other Hay festival.
I was launching a book of prisoner's poems.
It was the culmination of many sessions with many writers. I thoroughly enjoyed my workshops and found the men involved (95% of prisoners are men!) incredibly honest and forthright in their views and they opened up with very raw emotion. It may appear ironic that prisoners should be heralded as being honest and full of integrity while they're incarcerated for acts of social deviance...........but then that depends how you view people in prison doesn't it?
Aren't we all in it together?
There but for the grace of god go all of us and all that (don't get me started on god.......who mentioned him............or her?).
It has long been my view, having visited many prisons, that they are not full of the middle classes but rather the impoverished, drug fuelled section of society that is struggling to survive. Various pieces of statistical evidence supports my theory too (30% of prisoners have been in care with all the fragmentation and pain that can cause... 80% of prisoners have writing skills below the level of an 11 year old).
And they were honest.
And then on Saturday 31st May I was out breaking the law myself.... looking to join my new found mates in HMP Parc.
This was in the shape of the renewed fight for libraries.............
100 people turned out at Rhydyfelin Library for the closing ceremony and four of us chained ourselves to the library shelves until the police arrived, refusing to let the library go quietly. It was a peaceful protest but the library did not shut at the appointed hour of one o'clock and stayed open until 5pm.
I hope the point was made. It is dishonest to talk of a Big Society and all being in it together when time after time services are being switched off . Maybe we'll all end up in prison or the workhouse........
The link above is to the BBC news report and Wales Online article and photos.
We certainly didn't wish to waste police time but we felt a crime had been committed. It was one perpetrated by the RCT Council decision to decimate our deprived community by imposing yet more cuts and closures. So desperate times call for desperate measures..............
Who are the real criminals?
15% of Britain's prisons are privately run....that's people making money out of other people's misery.....
And it's not over yet....we have a Court hearing in Newport on Thursday in an attempt to be granted a Judicial Review..........................and so it goes on....watch this space!!