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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Evidence that the Tories are the same old nasty party

Evidence that the Tories are the same old nasty party

Ben Gunn photo taken by mobile phone

Last night I got a strange phone call, shortly followed by a second phone call, from Alex, Ben Gunn's partner, and the substance related to an incredible political plot against me by some Tories.

This morning I received a letter from Ben confirming the substance of the phone calls.

Ben writes:

"I've hinted on the blog that things have been going on behind the scenes in the last year. Now I'm inclined to write it all down. It's a tale involving a secret visit from Iain Dale, a Tory activist called Robin Horsley, a book deal, Michael Gove, his wife whose an Editor at The Times, people in Ken Clarkes private office, and an offer to smooth my way to release in return for publicly denouncing you, refraining from making noise on the Votes issue, and abandoning the AoP".

I Googled Robin Horsley and found this on Amazon.

"My Friend Ben

This title has not yet been released.

Product details

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Biteback (28 July 2011)
Language English

Product Description

The first thing I felt when I realised I had killed my friend was shock. At first, the shock was that I was still alive. Murder is such a deeply ingrained taboo that it seemed inconceivable that some power wouldn t reach from the sky and strike me down. And yet I was still standing, still alive and aware. Then came the shock at what I had done. It makes you tremble to the core to realise that you have killed. To know that you are capable of killing. John Ben Gunn, known to the readers of his blog as Prisoner Ben, was 14 when he killed a friend from his children s home in a fight. After the incident he phoned the police, waited until they arrived and confessed immediately. At his trial in 1980 the judge sentenced him to 10 years as a reflection of both his age and remorse. Before this point someone should have intervened with the lesser charge of manslaughter rather than murder. Regardless, Ben has now served three times that original tariff. Why? During his 30 years in jail, Gunn has made himself unpopular with the prison authorities by peacefully fighting abuses of power within the system, documenting them in a blog that he keeps with the help of a friend from the outside world. My Friend Ben is the story of how Ben, now 45 and having lived his entire adult life behind bars, has interpreted his original crime and his life in prison, and about the man he has grown into general secretary of the Association of Prisoners a practising Zen Buddhist and studying for a PhD. It is also the story of the British prison system and of an extraordinary miscarriage of justice.

About the Author

Robin Horsley became interested in Ben s situation after reading his blog. After visiting Ben in prison, he determined to help him tell his extraordinary case".

I cannot help wondering if it is proper for a LBC presenter to be engaging in political activism?

Biteback publishing is owned by Iain Dale.


Charles Cowling said...

I've read this a few times and I can't get my head around it. Judging by the comments, your readers feel the same. Very high squalor factor here.

jailhouselawyer said...

Charles: It would appear that I have jumped the Gunn on this one. Alex first asking me to hold fire, and then Ben's letter seeking publicity...

I have since received a couple of more emails from Alex. There is a story here.

On the one hand Iain Dale and Robin Horsley getting cold feet after touching a raw nerve with Ben and his unbelievable account of his crime. And on the other Ben alleging a plot.

Charles Cowling said...

Pick the bones out of that. I haven't felt as confused since I worked in a prison, where truth is what anyone can get anyone else to believe and is available in many versions. I shall suspend all critical faculties and await developments.

Darby said...

Is the book 'My Friend Ben' being released with Ben's blessing or not?

jailhouselawyer said...

Darby: According to an email I have seen from Iain Dale he is no longer interested in publishing the book.

Darby said...