Friday, July 23, 2004

History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake...

Pretty horrible viewing. I saw an hour of television tonight - Robert Brown was beaten up and tortured for two days when he was an illiterate 19 year-old, until forced to confess to murder. Banged up for 25 years, his only options were to plead guilty to manslaughter (only 10 years) or stick to his story. 25 years, and 74 different prisons (he was a bit 'difficult' to be proclaiming his innocence) he is now finally out, and just had a few months with his mum before she died.

Now all he wants is that policeman, Jack Butler, be put in jail. I agree with him, but it looks as though it isn't going to happen.

Miscarriage of Justice doesn't come close -

I flip channels, and there is a programme about the 'Bangkok Hilton'- and the person on the screen is someone I used to know - Andy Hauke. Yeh, he pleaded guilty to smuggling heroin. If he hadn't done that he would have got the death sentence. I think (if I got it right) he ended up with 50 years. Then the King of Bangkok was feeling a bit jolly on his birthday and did a sort of amnesty, and reduced it to 25 years. (!) The British Home Office don't make much effort to get him back here.

I am not defending heroin, and Andy admits that is what he was doing (for financial reasons). But when I was growing up in the 60s the UK was a very civilized place - heroin addiction was considered an illness (as alcoholism is slowly being recognised on a massively bigger scale) and you got your prescription from the doctor. There were a few hundred junkies back then, getting good quality gear, and not hanging out with gangsters. Then 'they' made it illegal (not an illness) and now we have thousands all across the UK, sharing needles, stealing and hustling, and (yes) getting arrested for smuggling in (judicially) backward countries. Ah, progress.

I am past anger - it's the middle of the night, but the stupidity and fundamentalist bullshit goes on and on, and it's a nightmare.

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