Thursday, 5 February 2015

War Of Words

I am quite a passionate person, and when I get cross about something, I am rather inclined to close my mind and open my mouth and let rip. Not proud of it, but there you are, I am that I am. 
I got really, really cross when our government ( that includes LIBERALS for God's sake) stopped allowing prisoners access to books from 'outside'. I believe I may have gone as far as signing an online petition. I had no expectation that my two penn'oth would achieve anything: I put my trust rather in the authors, artists, and other worthies who have punch in political circles; and indeed the Justice Minister quickly saw sense and the ruling was reversed. 
That might have been the end of the matter, except that I was so pleased at this outbreak of humanity, that I wrote to the Justice Miminster and said 'Thank You'. 
Now writing to a minister is, I know, a bit naughty because the correct procedure is to write to your own representative and S/HE will then contact the minister on your behalf. It works! Our bureaucracy is extraordinarily mindful of its duty to those of us who write, knowing that we are also the ones who will vote. That's a bit cynical: really, your opinion IS important to them
(Let them have it via ' 
Anyway, having got my 'thank you' off my chest - and I received a very polite but entirely routine letter reminding me that I should write to my MP - I concluded the matter with, 'No reply needed, I only wanted to say 'thank you'.
But there is more! Yesterday I received the email, copied below. You can read  it yourself in a minute, but before you do, I want to say. " WOW! We have a government 'group' dedicated to behaving humanely!" (Officialy the 'Equality, Rights and Decency Group'. Double WOW!!!)  So in future, my war of words is going to get a lot more peaceful.  Some of it, anyway. 
Here's the email: 
Policy and Regulation Team
Equality, Rights and Decency Group
National Offender Management Service (NOMS)
4th Floor, Turquoise Zone, Post point 4.16
Clive House
70 Petty France
London  SW1H 9EX
Ms Mary Francis
Our ref: TO15/1
Dear Ms Francis
                                                    BOOKS IN PRISONS
Thank you for your email of 20 December 2014 to the Secretary of State, about prisoner access to books.  Your letter has been passed to the National Offender Management Service for reply.  
Thank you for taking time to provide positive feedback.  Your comments have been noted.
Yours sincerely
 Policy and Regulation Team
Equality, Rights and Decency Group

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