Sunday, 19 June 2016

No Surprises Living in Devizes: Con-Air

With Index;Wiltshire out of action this week my regular column has moved to my blog, for just this week. So all the hardcore No Surprises Living in Devizes fans will not be disappointed (all two of them.) Be sure to catch up with it again on Index next week folks!
It should also be noted this piece was written prior to the sad news of MP Jo Cox. I wish her family my sincere condolences.

No Surprises Living in Devizes

Con Air


Darren Worrow

Like Con-Air but without the air, Nicholas Cage and the bunny in the box… So nothing at all like Con-Air really; Devizes was the centre of dramatic events on Saturday when Erlestoke Prison rioted (at least three of them officially) and the officers moved one-hundred and forty inmates to other prisons. I reckon I’ve been on rowdier cub-scout pack holidays.

As ever, the confusion spread on Facebook first, “why are there so many police hanging around Northgate Street?” people queried, “Has Dunkin’ Donuts opened a branch near the newsagent?” Thankfully rumours quenched by the Gazette and BBC Wiltshire who broke the story of the riot. Stopping for a kebab on the way seemed like a good idea at the time.

An unnamed spokesman reported problems due to accommodating category B prisoners at a category C/D prison. Who would have thought convicts were so fussy over the alphabet?

It was nothing to do with understaffing, Ministry of Justice claimed. Fifteen screws per five-hundred inmates not being an issue provided they’ve all seen “the Karate Kid” as part of their training. Other theories suggested a 65-year-old guy caught smuggling a controlled substance to the visitor area caused a drought; but, apparently, it was coincidental the riot occurred after a smoking ban.

At this I wince, really? This isn’t a 9-5 office block, these guys are locked up 24-7, at least allow them a fag for crying out loud. If I was a smoker locked up with ruffians hot on assessing my prison category status in line for harassment, I’d need a tab or ten.

Unless, of course, cigarettes are now banned under the ruling that rules anything labelled a “legal high” now illegal. I’m so out of touch with psychedelia these days; how are people supposed to know what highs were legal highs, and are now illegal, when legal highs are now as illegal as existing illegal highs? Or are all legal highs now illegal, I twitch the curtains every time I put the kettle on for a cup of tea.

Yeah so, way to go to free up space at Erlestoke; should be careful with my words this week but this nanny-state is getting preposterous. The other day, at the Woodborough Garden Centre, I noticed a sign on a clothes recycling bin which said “Danger: do not enter.” Is it me or is this not on the football managers level for stating the bleeding obvious?

I mean anyone stupid enough not to have worked out for themselves that they need to take the clothes off before putting them in the bin deserve everything that’s coming to them. Do we need this sign; are there really people so destitute in Woodborough they need to resort to climbing in recycle bins for a cardy? No, it’s because we cannot be expected to think for ourselves.

If we could be trusted to think for ourselves we wouldn’t require the propaganda bombardment to tell us which way to go on this, now-getting-rather-monotonous EU referendum. I’m beyond caring now, in, out or shake it all about. David Cameron’s doing the hokey-cokey, turning around more times than Bonnie Tyler on the Gimbal Rig. Could we not, I ponder, stay in the EU but have every other weekend out of it, see how that pans out?

The worst thing about the media shelling, every celeb who is anyone queuing up to put their tuppence in. Even American celebs are having a bash, without even knowing what a tuppence is. I don’t care what Sylvester Stallone or that nerd from the Big bleeding Bang Theory thinks we should do; America, you have your own issues, sort out your bloody gun laws then worry if Britain can choose the shape of their bananas later.

The thing is we need not be swayed with facts and figures when we know they’ve been tainted. We don’t want to hear which way Sir Ian Botham or Iggle Piggle will vote; most of us, I think, opting to go with our gut reaction.

So all the best with the referendum, I hope you get what you want. Unless you’re suckered by the Sun’s be-LEAVE campaign that you will “have your country back,” and trust-fall yourself into the arms of a bunch of the wickedest far-right conservative backstabbers ever known to politics; just saying.

You won’t get “your country back,” it was never yours to get back you fool; “they” will get the country back, to do what they will. Orwell wrote in revulsion, we weren’t supposed to base our political system on it.

Still, Wiltshire Council awaits our votes and Dr Carton Brand will count them. Let’s hope he’s better at counting then the Ministry of Justice. “It’s good for democracy if people in Wiltshire are engaged in the political process,” he says. Provided you’ve not been bored into an early grave by it all, I agree, but I cannot see where this going to go any more than I can see what’s coming at most major road junctions in the county. Perhaps they could trim the grass and hedgerows while they wait.

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