Editor's note: the following harrowing tale is reprinted with permission from www.heretical.com. It is the first person account of Simon Sheppard, a British dissident who was arrested and imprisoned for speaking his mind on a controversial subject. For the record, I don’t in the least care whether he is right or wrong in his beliefs. The point is that the man actually sat in a jail cell for the "crime" of promulgating a non-mainstream take on a historical event. He is, in short, a political prisoner, if ever there was one, and hardly the only one of his kind in the West (i.e., that region of the world which, until recently, had commonly and altogether un-ironcially been referred to as the "free world"). A.N.
|Stephen Whittle and Simon Sheppard.|
by Simon Sheppard
Jared Taylor has kindly pointed out that non-British readers may not understand the legal background to these events. This is perhaps not surprising, considering that many people in Britain are still under the illusion that free speech exists in this country.
Following complaints by Jews I was raided in 2005, 2006 and 2007, each time with large amounts of book stock and equipment being taken away by police. Initially the subject of the action was the revisionist comic book Tales of the Holohoax (which had been sold in Britain for around two decades). Later, with authorisation from a Jewish Attorney General, the opportunity was taken to set a precedent using several pages on my website to extend the repression of opposing views to the internet. This despite the distribution being from California, where the site was, and still is, hosted. This too had been regarded up to this time as being completely legal.
In 2008 Steven W. (writing as Luke O'Farrell) and I were prosecuted. The relevant law was the Public Order Act 1986: for the background to this iniquitous and vague law search for "Longest Hatred Race Laws." When Lady Jane Birdwood was similarly prosecuted, the judge told her "The truth is no defence." In other words, it is only necessary for someone to say they are offended, or for a prosecutor to convince a jury (easy in a dry courtroom) that there is a "likelihood that racial hatred will be stirred up." It is not possible to argue that what you said or published was true – that is legally irrelevant.
At this point my co-defendant and I fled to California to seek political asylum. After eleven months in jail there, the asylum claim having failed, we returned to Britain and I received a sentence of almost five years. With a reduction on appeal I spent altogether three years in jail. In May 2011 I was released "under license," meaning that various conditions were imposed and if I broke those conditions, or committed another offence, I would likely be recalled to prison to serve the remainder of my sentence.
Initially the maximum sentence under the Public Order Act 1986 was two years, but an amendment was added to the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2000 which extended the maximum sentence to seven years. In 2006 (I think) a similar law was passed criminalising "incitement to religious hatred." Since then there have been extensions protecting homosexuals, the disabled etc. from "hate speech." Recently a woman in London endured a dawn raid by police after making facetious comments on Facebook about someone with Tourette's syndrome.
In January 2013, while still under license, I good-naturedly gave a single copy of my Spree Killers: The Forefront of Knowledge article to a local librarian. I had used the library to work on the article, and am rather proud of it, being probably the best I have ever written (I detailed why in my December 2012 news update). This is an account of what happened shortly after.
The beginning: 25 January 2013
My probation officer's hastily-arranged visit had ended just a few minutes previously, he was ostensibly unaware of what was about to go down. I was in the hallway experimenting with how many boxes of TOA sheets could be loaded onto my sack trolley when about four policemen started pushing the door, which had been slightly ajar. Instinctively I tried to push it back but they pushed harder. One said "Don't worry we're the police." A few moments later one of the officers confronted me, the one I was shortly to dub 'PC Believer,' and asked me if I was Steven W., my former co-defendant. It was his idea of a joke. When that was got out of the way I was arrested "under Section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986 on suspicion of distributing material intending to stir up religious hatred" an offence which, unless I'm very much mistaken, doesn't exist. Asked if I understood why I was being arrested, I said "No."
More officers shortly arrived and began donning rubber gloves to start going through my computers and possessions. PC Believer asked me, now in handcuffs, and having great difficulty coming to terms with the situation, if I was on drugs. I was in shock. They tried to arrange my coat over my hands so the handcuffs wouldn't be visible during the walk to the police van: "I've done nothing to be ashamed of" I said. After being loaded into the back I was driven to York.
Discussions at York
In an anteroom for people waiting for the custody desk was a swarthy, Eastern European gypsy woman who spoke no English. She didn't look the least bit worried. I shortly learned she'd been arrested for purse-dipping (pick-pocketing). Mindful of my caution ("Anything you say may be taken down...") I chose my words carefully, and mentioned to PC Believer that the presence of both her and me was an interesting juxtaposition, pointing out that while I was in handcuffs she was not. He responded with some rubbish which made it evident that he was a committed adherent to political correctness. I remembered him telling the newly-arrived officers – three I think – who were about to embark on a search of my flat to "knock yourselves out." Clearly me and PC Believer were not to be the best of buddies.
He told me that handcuffs were at the discretion of the arresting officer – him. I said that as a police officer he had a vested interest in believing that his job furthered a functional society, mentioning cognitive dissonance, but that my conclusion was that the police role nowadays is to foster a dysfunctional one. I'd recently come to the conclusion that by the enforcement of political correctness, practically everywhere the police go they make things worse.
|The British Stasi.|
While living in Market Weighton I learned of a story, which I told the assembly, of a farmer who's practice had been to drive his horse and cart to a pub a couple of miles away. There he would drink a skinful and invariably pass out. When he did his drinking friends would, by long-standing habit, carry him out to the cart and load him into the back. Then one would give the horse a healthy slap on the backside and it, well used to this routine, would walk the farmer home through the deserted country lanes. This continued for several years until "one of you lot" laid in wait for him one night and had him for being drunk in charge of a vehicle.
At this PC Believer objected to the categorisation and implicit tainting of himself which had been implied by the term "one of you lot." I replied that it is well-established that humans sort into categories, and in any case he was wearing a uniform. "I don't want to talk to you any more" he said. "That generally means that you've lost the argument" I replied. Apparently there was a serious proposal in rural Ireland recently (County Kerry to be exact) to issue licenses or permits to allow driving over the limit. The argument was that the traditional Irish culture of drinking, music and story-telling was under threat. One of the officers made a remark about the damage that ensues when a family is wiped out by a drink-driver, but in this case we are talking about a short journey along rural roads at perhaps 30mph with probably the biggest danger posed by the driver being to himself.
More than an hour later at the custody desk my handcuffs were finally removed. The sergeant behind it looked around 17 (he later told me he was 30) and after that I was shown to a cell. An hour or two passed and then I was pulled out to be interviewed by two detectives. I was asked if I wanted a lawyer present: I declined, knowing that one wouldn't be much help in this case and that everyone would have to sit around for several hours while he arrived. The interview was recorded on DVD disc – this was new, I was told it could record video if necessary. The lengthy interview consisted of questions about the Spree Killers article I'd written (and by this time had been published) in Heritage & Destiny. I had learnt already that my supposed offence was connected to the local library, and my growing suspicion was confirmed that it was this article. Someone had kindly made me some copies for free, and I had given the last one to the only male employee at my local library. He, apparently, had referred it to his female superior and both she and he had made statements for the police. However absurd it seemed, the police were treating it as a potential criminal offence!
The interview was exceptional in consisting chiefly of an elaboration of evolutionary psychology and the concepts and mechanisms detailed in the Spree Killers article. It was very exhausting, because the article had truly been at the forefront of knowledge. Some additional background was added however. David Buss pointed out in one of his books that the very fact that we are here, each individual one of us, is proof of an unbroken lineage: every one of our ancestors, going back countless generations, must have successfully found a mate or else we wouldn't be here. By the same measure, the fact that we have white skin is proof that men have fought to preserve that difference. At some time the mutation would have occurred, and if the distinct population had not defended itself it would have been wiped out or assimilated by a darker one.
Also discussed was the wide variation in genes and language in African and New Guinea tribes, and the ability of the former to identify members of their respective tribes, even though they all look similar to us. In New Guinea there are reported to be over 400 languages, even tribes living a couple of miles apart speak different languages. One account relates how two neighbouring tribes had a minor dispute, so one decided to play a trick on the other. On a certain day they exchanged their word for 'yes' to mean 'no', and the word for 'no' to mean 'yes.' Trade with their neighbours was certainly interesting for a while.
The mass suicide cult
The two officers went through the article, questioning me on various points, until we came to the part at the end about the government's "suicidal immigration policies." It took me a few moments to think of an example, because there are so many, but then I realised I had it from the Government's own mouth. No less than the Chief Medical Officer had stated just a week or so previously that antibiotic resistance should be treated as a critical threat, on a par with terrorism or nuclear attack. The warning was that we could all be wiped out by a common bacterium which had acquired antibiotic resistance. What was left unstated was that the major source of antibiotic resistance, particularly tuberculosis, is India and Pakistan. There, incorrectly-stored antibiotics are sold from market stalls like Smarties. Asian schoolchildren visiting relatives, for example, bring the resistant bacteria back to Britain.
The most notable feature of the interview however was the testimonial I received at the end. One of the officers said I had "a great mind" and other things which were plainly intended to send a message to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) to back off. This is certainly not the first time I have received sympathetic treatment from police officers – one even apologised on behalf of the State for the actions it was taking against me – but this was actually on record, obviously being spoken for the benefit of that DVD recorder. Definitely a novelty. With these and other officers I had by this time discussed episodic memory (similar to snapshot memory), neurotic transfer (spurious false confessions) and the Stockholm syndrome.
A couple of hours later I was called out of my cell again and stood before the custody desk. The teenage-looking custody sergeant told me I was being given bail until March. Then I waited in a glass-walled booth for a few minutes, and was beginning to think that, against all the odds, I might actually be going home. Shortly however I was re-arrested for recall to prison. The form stated as official reason "poor behaviour."
Police cells until Monday
Rather like the early days in the tank at California, in the bowels of a skyscraper in Los Angeles, it takes time for the shock and sense of unreality to fade. It seemed as if I would only get a few minutes' sleep before the constant noise of the fan, or the ever-present light, would cause me to wake with a jolt, when I would realise all over again that I was back in a cell. According to the normal routine I should be shipped to the nearest reception prison, Hull, midday on Saturday. However heavy snow put paid to that, and I was told I would be held in York until Monday. At least I was given paper, a pencil and some books to read, but it would be better in a proper jail where I could make my own tea and have a smoke. That's invaluable when you're under stress. On Sunday however the cell door opened and I was told I was being moved to Harrogate as they were running out of cells. The officer told me it was 3 o'clock, and so disoriented was I that I assumed it was 3pm. It was actually 3am. This, a new facility, was even worse than York. I only had inferior horror books to read – as if I'd want to read those in a situation like this.
Back to jail
I ended up on the induction wing in Hull. First in a cell with a flap on the cell door and then I was moved to one without. I seemed to be constantly being asked if I wanted methadone. The first time a female officer opened the flap and posed this question I laughed, but after that it ceased to be funny. One time I woke up thinking I had fallen asleep inside a swimming baths, the acoustics around the wing being quite similar. Jail was just like before and I settled down to reading a book a day and watching a less than perfect TV, with only about three channels, at night. I normally don't have a TV at all but you can't read all the time: after a while your eyes start automatically scanning the lines without taking anything in. Fortunately one of the stations was a film channel. Most importantly, I was on my own and this compensated for a lot of things. Another novelty I saw immediately was that the expiry date on the long-life milk cartons we were given every evening was later than my release date. My licence expired on 16 April and they couldn't hold me after that. In jail you notice these things.
This 'brain muscle' becomes evident when one is sick or dealing with people with mental illness. A patient in a hospital becomes rapidly exhausted by visitors, for example. Our natural tendency when transacting with another individual is to reach some midway point, to achieve some reference for further understanding. This capacity for social empathy must confer considerable survival advantage because its energy allocation has a high priority, so that in normal everyday life we hardly notice it. Only when someone is sick does that energy drain become noticeable. When talking to someone who is psychotic, one must curb the natural tendency to reach a midway point otherwise one is drawn to share the other's psychosis. This is why attendants at mental institutions can mock and mistreat patients: they are broadening the gap between 'us' and 'them' to protect their own mental health. Reportedly mental health workers have a tendency to go senile early. Mental illness can be contagious.
So in this individual the part(s) of the brain which I call the 'brain muscle' may have been weak or dysfunctional, much as I have difficulty recognising faces (prosopagnosia). Then I launched into some procedural analysis, saying that the natural domain for the male is things, taking apart car engines and so forth, while the natural domain of the female is relationships. All relational activity is really sex for the female. We were interrupted before I got any further.
I've had various prison names: "the Professor," "Jackanory" (because I told stories) and "Reader." As far as stories went, their favourite seemed to be the one about the origin of the term "rule of thumb." I would tell about the judge (it was reputedly Sir Francis Buller) who, from the bench, ruled that it was lawful for a man to beat his wife providing the stick was no wider than his thumb. This was in the days of coverture, when a husband was responsible for all the debts, and even criminal acts, of his wife.
Sociopathy and psychopathy
I think one thing of significance was learnt during this brief (5½ weeks) jail stint. In my own mind at least I have established models of the sociopath and the psychopath. A clear distinction between the two has never been obvious, according to the definitions I have seen. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Psychology, psychopathy features "superficial charm, pathological lying, egocentricity, lack of remorse and callousness." I have met and become aware of several psychopaths, both inside and outside prison.
|Portrait of a psychopath.|
My conclusion is that the sociopath exhibits superficial charm, pathological lying, lack of remorse and callousness but lacks egocentricity. All the psychopaths I have met have had a compulsion to "get one over" the other person, to always come out on top. The psychopath always has to come out better, to prevail in whatever the particular contest is. This also works in business, where the psychopathic businessman always has to feel that he has come out ahead (I think I met one such once; he was also exceptionally promiscuous). Psychopathic politicians generally use legal means, but the criminal psychopath will exploit the advantages and weigh the risks of using illegal ones.
The individual I recently shared a cell with exhibited superficial charm, pathological lying, lack of remorse and callousness but without any sign of that ruthless compulsion to prevail. The ego seemed normal or near-normal. Moreover his ploys were crudely executed, making the manipulations obvious. He was compared to a true psychopath with whom I had shared a cell in Leeds prison: that individual had lain awake at night plotting how to trick me out of more tobacco. I don't remember him ever actually asking me for a smoke, that would have been tantamount to surrender. His manipulative ability was exceptional: it's likely that he had manipulated the staff into putting me into his cell, solely because I had tobacco.
A sportsman has a strong will to win, and strives to do so, but he is not a psychopath. Here is an important distinction, because real, physical activity is involved: it might be running, swimming or throwing. The athlete's own physical limitations are of account. The psychopath has only moral and legal constraints (the former being more fluid). His activities are cerebral: he is devoid of conscience and limited only by his ability to manipulate others and plot a path for himself. The prisoner with whom I talked about 'brain muscles' evidently had a social disorder, but I don't think it could be deemed sociopathic. Most of the time during association periods I leant against a radiator and read. I would try and read a part of some educational book (psychology or science) then after I'd done my daily quota, pick up a novel again.
Move to Northallerton
After 13 days at Hull I was moved. Northallerton is a small but old prison which had formerly been a Young Offenders Institution. There were two wings, a large one for Category C prisoners and a smaller one for Category D. I had been Category D at Wolds and while at Hull I had received paperwork again stating that I was Category D (which qualifies you for an open prison).
One character I was re-acquainted with from a couple of years before had a persistent compulsion to shave his body. I doubt if anywhere was spared. I had shared with him briefly at Wolds prison but now he had a cell to himself, which was a good thing. I used to be woken at five in the morning to the sound of him scratching with a razor. I told him about the neurotic paradox, which is that regardless of how illogical or detrimental an individual knows his behaviour to be, he cannot stop himself doing it. Nowadays the fashionable term is OCD, but formerly these maladaptive behaviours were classed under the general heading of neuroses.
At Northallerton I finally managed to get hold of some toothpaste, but then came a disappointment. After mercifully spending three years inside without toothache it now struck with a vengeance. Having toothache inside and being dependent on the prison dentist is no joke. Prisoners' teeth are often extremely poor, due to all the drugs. However the nurses' station did me proud and soon I had clove oil and painkillers. A week or so later the dentist herself was much less impressive and I elected to struggle on with the clove oil. Both prisons gave me immunisations; at Northallerton there had been a recent measles outbreak. At Hull during one of the induction talks a man revealed incidentally that antibiotic resistant gonorrhoea was now at large in Britain – it could be controlled but not cured. This valuable warning was not delivered by a medic though, I don't think I was aware of a single male medical worker in either of the prisons. Northallerton was more feminine than Hull, with pairs of female officers sitting together to gossip while keeping an eye on the prisoners.
Shortly after arriving at Northallerton an Imam walked into my cell, dressed in full gown and garb, asking about religious matters. He started acting on behalf of the Christian chaplaincy by inviting me to Christian services. This is the second time this has happened, a Muslim acting for the CofE in prison, there's been some kind of directive about it. It's also practically impossible in British jails not to eat Halal food. I got rid of him as quickly as I could and engaged the chaplain later. One had already got an earful about Holocaustianity being a post-Christian quasi-religion, and quoted Chesterton, that when people stop believing in God they don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything. In Holocaustianity we have Auschwitz as Calvary, Hitler as the Devil and the Jews as completely innocent, sacrificial lambs. Us "racists" and "Holocaust deniers" are cast as the angels of Satan, seeking to disrupt the coming multiracial utopia. I think this end-times scenario is called a secular eschatology.
One man told me his situation "on the out" had been so grim that he deliberately set about having himself sent to prison. A catalogue of woe followed, the details of which I cannot give here since they would identify him and I was sworn to secrecy. Another set of people seemed incapable of managing money, short and in debt in whatever situation they find themselves, apparently never having been other than dependent on the State. Of course the prison currency is tobacco. The trick to getting by in prison is to see the best in people, and the truly bad individuals are a definite minority, certainly in the jails I have been in. There were a couple of ex-policemen in this jail, in for smuggling tobacco, and I had regular chats with one of them. I asked him if he would lose his pension but he said no, he'd paid into it for years so it couldn't be taken away. An oft-made pronouncement of mine was "If our country was governed properly, 80% of these people wouldn't be here."
One time I was standing in the queue for food and immediately in front of me a couple of prisoners were mock-fighting. One of the dummy swings came uncomfortably close, I backed away and some remark was made about my retreat. "I'm a writer not a fighter," I said. The prison authorities were very good about forwarding mail, and the other prisoners were in awe of the messages of support I received. Some were plainly jealous of the money I was sent. I told them you have to be a political prisoner to get such treatment.
A heretic inside
Word soon got around among the prison officers and inmates that I was a "Holocaust disbeliever" and this led to some interesting debates. The prison environment lends itself to some obvious parallels and my argument ran as follows: "Imagine this is the 1940s, and we are losing a war against Russia. The Russians are invading from the north, and all the prisons up there are being evacuated southward. This wing, designed for 300, is packed with 1,500 people, six to a cell instead of two, with people sleeping on the floors in addition. Moreover, the people coming in from the north are carrying fleas, which carry typhus. The Russians have control of the air. Attempts to bring food or medicine to the prison are frustrated, because any train or lorry is being shot to pieces by aircraft. That is what happened in the closing days of the war with Germany."
I have deliberately mixed the order and location of some of these exchanges to save possible embarrassment. One officer got a bit heated about the topic. "You can stick your beliefs up your arse! Three-and-a-half million people died!" he said angrily. I'm not normally very quick verbally, and usually only think of a suitable reply half an hour too late, but on this occasion I immediately retorted "It was six million last week!"
Many times I came up against a stock argument: "My grandfather was at Dachau/Belsen/wherever." Then I had to patiently explain, for the umpteenth time, that even in the orthodox version of events there were no mass exterminations at the camps on German territory. It was all supposed to have happened in the East, chiefly at Auschwitz. I sometimes told of the time I visited Dachau years ago, when I was still a believer. I had sensed that something was wrong. It had been brewing even before I saw the notice tucked away in a corner, along the lines of "This shower room was never used for extermination but was constructed after the war for demonstration purposes."
I noticed that a certain washroom-toilet always had at least one prison officer stationed outside. This apparently was for the sole purpose of stopping inmates having a sly smoke inside. When I realised what was going on I dubbed them "smoking guards" and told one that "the present regime makes the Nazis look like kindergarten teachers." A couple of days later I was passing off the wing, and had to give my name for the movement record. "Sheppard" I said, "political prisoner." "Jawohl" replied the officer and I walked off chuckling.
|Prisoner and wardens.|
On my birthday, 19th February, only a couple of days after I got access to a computer, my 'Appeal against Recall' was faxed off. The paperwork said there were "complaints to the Police by members of the public that he had distributed written material glorifying spree killers." I had given one copy to one male librarian, and the article had even been shown to Probation beforehand. My appeal said that on the basis of the information I had been given, I had not breached my licence conditions at all. I tried to contact my former lawyer to assist but learned later that his firm didn't have the necessary contract. Apparently firms need special Legal Aid contracts for matters of prison law and actions against the police. So I did the right thing going ahead with it myself.
What passes for work
In the mornings I was enrolled on a pointless computer course. I was able to skip most of the word-processing (not much to learn there, I've been doing it for decades) but reached new heights with Powerpoint. How can anyone ever manage without it? Scores of pointless print-outs had to be made, while at the same time the content witters on about recycling and reducing waste. The atmosphere there was okay however, and I was able to sketch some notes for a future article. There were some lively discussions as well; one young man said he believed in equal opportunities and I said that it was never about equality, only superiority. I quoted the survey I did in Hull in 1997, where 80% of the unemployed were male but 69% of the people working in the unemployment benefit offices were female. Then look here I said, with a huge proportion of probation officers and other administrators being female. "Do you think then that women shouldn't work?" I was asked. "Not while there are men on the dole" I said and continued, "Women are crooks who steal men's jobs." "You can't say that!" someone said. "I just did" I replied, to howls of laughter.
It was notable how the presence of even a single member of one of the "protected groups" stifled free discussion. I was sitting beside a Pakistani one day and said to him, "Do you know that the Nazis had a Muslim division?" Of course he didn't.
The worst part of prison is having a psychopath for a cell-mate, or sharing a cell with someone otherwise severely dysfunctional (into this category I include the large number of TV addicts, whose first action on waking is to turn it on). Fortunately I only had to endure this for a week or so. Hence the worst part, which I came to dread, was the work detail I had in the afternoons. This was billed as "Business Administration" but its primary purpose seemed to be keeping Manchester College in funds. Daily committee meetings, with minutes taken, pathetic "theory" exercises on how and why to give a presentation, mind-numbing minutae concerning health and safety and how to use a computer. The whole atmosphere stifled any initiative and ability. The obvious observation was that if this was how business at large was run it was no wonder the country was bankrupt.
A trickle of real work came though the door, but the important thing seemed to be completing the Manchester College forms. It had all the characteristics of a New Labour box-ticking scam. Prison when all is said and done is just a microcosm of wider society, although with added restrictions and exaggerations of policy. This afternoon work session came to epitomise the mediocrity of society at large. That is, a society replete with institutional incompetence, steered by people of doubtful ability, only a willingness to toe the party line. Some organisations go along with the dogma, having to adhere to the letter of the law, and of course there will be rationalisation (reducing cognitive dissonance, in orthodox terminology). The most insufferable however are those who wholeheartedly embrace this rubbish, and for whom box-ticking is a way of life.
One time there was a discussion about bullying, a poster was being produced about it and everyone was invited to sit around the table and contribute. I piped up from the far corner, "What about bullying by the state of people who refuse to go along with their dogma?" "We're not talking about that" was the answer. A few days later my frustration boiled over to an argument with the supervisor, at one point drawing a cheer from the other prisoners. "This is all to keep people like you in fancy salaries" I said. "I wish" was her response. "Well it's a lot more than I get" I said. The plain fact was that here we had large numbers of men working on these vapid courses, no doubt designed and marked by women, while the prison population is 94% male. We were paid about £1 per day for our contribution, and a large proportion of inmates are in prison due to being unemployed and having nothing to do except take drugs and commit crime.
The last day
It all happened on 5th March. In the morning I met a police officer who told me there would be "no further action" in respect of the Spree Killers article. This was a relief, although it might have been interesting to see how it played out. How would the media spin the trial? In essence, it is the case of a writer – indubitably in this context, a journalist – being tried for an article which had already been published after complaints by two librarians!
I asked the police officer for clarification about whether I would get into trouble for posting the SK article on the Heretical site. He seemed to be aware of my appeal against recall, but said I had little chance of release before the remaining six weeks of my licence were up. In the afternoon, the normal supervisor was on "maternity leave" (this is an approximation), some men were supervising instead and I actually got some work done. During a discussion of criminal matters one young lad said something of such naivety (he'd confided some incriminating information to a lawyer) that the laughter took a while to die down.
After work came tea, then a smoke then association. About 18:30 I was leaning against a radiator as usual when an officer approached and said "Mr Sheppard?" I was thinking, 'What trouble am I in now?' but said that I was. "Immediate release" he said, "You've got five minutes to pack your stuff." "You're joking" I said. I suspect he was enjoying himself. No, he insisted, pack your stuff. He eventually had to come and get me while I was giving things away to my shaven-headed friend and others who had got the word.
The corridor which led off the wing seemed much busier than usual, and maybe others had gathered to watch me go. As I was passing through I recognised the one who had dubbed me "Reader" and gave him my alarm clock. I'm afraid my last words to my fellow prisoners were "If this turns out to be a joke I want it back!"
At Reception something was said about this happening only once a year. It was like being in a Hollywood film, enjoyable but thoroughly implausible. I quoted a film I had watched a couple of nights before, featuring Sharon Stone as a sharp-shooting gunslinger. As if! "Why can't a girl be a gunfighter?" one of the officers asked, clearly another PC believer. The fact is that even the male ones are a Hollywood myth: their pistols were wildly inaccurate and I have seen a claim that bullets were very expensive at the time, making a mockery of all those trigger-happy shoot-outs. Whether this is true or not, handguns are still hopeless at distance even today, and the oft-repeated theme of shooting through ropes to free someone from the noose, hitting silver dollars in mid-air, or any of the other displays of astounding accuracy, are pure fantasy.
Then there was a walk to the gates with another officer, and we fell to talking about American prisons. I told him I much preferred British ones, and that the American justice system is cruel, quoting a case I had seen of a young black of 17 or so who had held hostage a group of college girls at gunpoint. None of the young women had been shot, raped or even hurt, but he got 50 years. "I'm not overly sympathetic to blacks who hold up college girls" I said, "but 50 years is a bit steep. We all do stupid things sometimes and anyone can make a mistake." "They would have been in fear of their lives" he said, adopting the opposing stance. "That's a fear crime" I replied, "it's impossible to measure and everyone is trying to scrabble to the top of the victimhood ladder."
Shortly we arrived at the 'lock,' the staggered doors which are the prison entrance and exit for vehicles. Normally all releases take place first thing in the morning; processing of departing prisoners is begun even before everyone is opened up for work movements. I was shown to a glass panel and run through a series of questions which were checked against the paperwork. Then a button was pressed, the heavy door slid aside a few feet and with a cheery wave to the officer behind the glass I stepped outside. I had a pint of bitter in a pub on the way to the train station, but it was not until I reached York and familiar territory that the realisation that I was free again finally struck home.
Librarians get writers imprisoned
Among the property returned to me was the Parole Board report though I didn't look at it until later. It directed my immediate release but made no mention of the appeal document I had sent. This affair brings to four the number of times librarians have acted as snoops and eager agents of the police: one in Lancashire and three in Yorkshire. These incidents reveal a level of collusion between librarians and police which would put the East German Stasi to shame. What seems to be happening is that the librarians fawn over the PCSOs (a sort of new, amateur police) and the PCSOs are apparently desperate to ingratiate themselves with the full-time police. The latter seek to score points with their superiors and win politically-correct credentials.
In the papers I think I can see the work of the "policewoman from Hell" I had the misfortune to meet in January 2012. The ambivalence of librarians getting writers imprisoned quite defies comprehension. I had an interesting letter in jail from a lady who had formerly been a librarian telling me how things used to be. On reading it I remembered myself meeting that attitude of public service and serving members of the public impartially, regardless of their political perspective.
The perfect crime
It doesn't require a lengthy jail term to know how to accomplish the perfect crime. In fact our prisons are full of failures, because successful criminals don't get caught. (The cynic might remark that the most successful ones are in government.) It's quite simple really. Do one, really well-planned job, then stash the proceeds as a nice nest-egg for the future. Above all, keep your trap shut and resist the temptation to flaunt your ill-gotten gains. Where most people go wrong of course is that they get greedy, do it repeatedly and sooner or later they make a mistake – usually sooner, for most of the prison population. Or they establish a pattern which eventually leads straight to their door and shortly thereafter to the back of a police van.
It strikes me now that this is what the Establishment has done. They've been banging away at me and others with similarly heretical views, to keep the puppet-masters happy for a while. That is, until they demand yet more repression to quell their resurgent insecurity and paranoia. And Big Sister has been getting away with it, helped, in my case, by a certain judge at Leeds Crown Court. This time she may have gone too far, though most of my disgust is for the librarians, because they don't have the excuse of being obliged to follow orders.
Not atypical of the cost of amateur crime was that committed by a man I shared a cell with in Armley, Leeds. He got five years for a £30 theft. One night, on his uppers (short of money) and the worse for drink, he demanded money from a taxi-driver. The Pakistani swore under oath that he had brandished a knife, thus it qualified as armed robbery. My cell-mate, an industrial fitter, insisted this was false, and also told me he had never been in trouble with the law before. All this depends of course on whether what he said was true, but I had no reason to doubt him. Within a few days of his arrival in jail, before he knew what was going on and how better to deal with such matters, he had his Rolex watch stolen, a more significant theft than the one which cost him his liberty.
Questions of identity
Until 16 April 2013 I must see probation officers at least weekly, one being as part of a "Healthy Identity" programme for "extremist offenders." My reaction to this topic was that our sense of identity is an illusion. That is the current attitude, as I understand it. To have a true meta-brain would require a separate organ 'above' the brain, and this then involves having one above that, and so on. So evolution has taken a short-cut to avoid this complexity and provided the same benefit (survival advantage) by giving us the illusion of having a unique identity. Many visual processes have evolved using similar short-cuts, hence the large number of optical illusions. I discussed collective identity once as I was being driven home after one of the police raids.
I talked to the officers about the Stalinist raids against political dissidents, where an arrest team would pick someone up at four in the morning. My take was that with a police force in the traditional British model, consisting almost exclusively of white males, government-directed raids of a similar kind might initially take place, following orders. However after a while resistance would emerge, and the police would find some means – fudging or losing paperwork, taking sick leave and the like – to avoid executing orders they considered unfitting.
If the police force were to become heterogeneous however, filled with women and ethnic minorities, they would follow such orders unquestioningly, perhaps even eagerly. A deracinated population is (simultaneously and equivalently) feminine and impressionable. It derives its identity solely from the State and mass media. A police force of this complexion would do absolutely anything the politicians wanted, regardless of traditional British values.
This is evidently the 'long-term plan,' though I would not claim that it is necessarily deliberate or even conscious. It is simply the logical conclusion of certain instincts being uninhibited. I am confident however that it will not come to this – other instincts will prevail, not least the Occidental respect for objective truth.
A strategic analysis
Today we have societal mediocrity, institutional incompetence, not only mores but our very identity being defined by an overweening mass media. If we are to analyse this in terms of game strategies, we must consider the possibility that the harmful policies now being promoted are the product not just of misguided delusion, but also of disguised malevolence. In other words, there is a population (the Protagonist) encouraging its opposite player (the Opponent) to follow detrimental policies. I call this Malign Encouragement.
An obvious adjunct to Malign Encouragement would be for the Protagonist to suppress criticism of the policies it promotes. Another adjunct would be to suppress, for example by stigmatisation, any attempt to remedy the problems the Protagonist thrives on creating. My experiences are offered as contemporary expressions of these adjunct strategies, and may serve as illustration.