The Morning of a New Chapter

25 Mar

I wake naturally in the absence of my alarm.

No yelling.

No banging.

No clunking.

No chains of keys jingle jangling.

Out the window is a green square.

I reach under my bed, eyes focused on a view of relative beauty and withdraw a packet of cereal and carton of milk for my breakfast. With it I make myself a tea, Euro Shopper prison’s cheap stuff. Angst of isolation, new-found friend-less state of solitary stimulation. Alone here and starting again; I can be contented that I shall never need to return to the fire filled belly of the underworld.

I go for a stroll in between a widely spaced and sparse list of induction activities that require my presence. It’s a small world and casual small talk near the Chapel leads me in to a conversation with a friend of a friend. He is in fact seeing this old work colleague of mine in his weekend visit. I pass on my wishes and am buoyed by a sense of familiarity with at least one soul here. He gives me his cell number to pop by and chat at a later time, I decide to put it on the back-burner for a while. I’ve spent the last 2 years talking about the specifics of financial law and really don’t fancy giving up the retirement of this, anytime soon. He himself was implicated in a much larger Boiler Room Scandal, his sentence reflects it. Serving a 5 year sentence for establishing unregulated brokerages outside of the UK to sell shares in a range of questionable investments. An Essex boy like myself, he has seen the high life and is now sitting in the role of Society low-life. With a kid and a wife, I get the impression he has toned down his aspirations these days. This is the thing with many investigated in complex financial crimes, the time it takes to investigate, charge and then prosecute. There are some, where half a decade or more can pass from initial arrest. Many of those who experience such a fate, are much different people by the time sentencing comes round. Don’t misinterpret this as a statement suggesting they do not deserve punishment, it’s just a point to be noted. It is simply that much more punishment lay in the purgatory and the not knowing for the future, than the mere act of prison itself. For me the real stress ended, the moment my head touched the pillow for that first night in Wandsworth.

Working alongside J my new-found acquaintance, is ‘Shamed MP’ Elliot Morley. I didn’t consider who he was, when he politely introduced himself as Elliot and asked if I need advice or help to pop into their office. I treat people as they treat me, in prison. Elliot seems a decent enough bloke, a bit nervy but I guess not all are able to feel comfortable in such drastically different conditions than they have become accustomed too. It must be quite a shock to the system to be sat in Parliament representing tens of thousands of constituents one year, to wearing green cargo pants, working in a prison helping a chaplain. I won’t judge him for his mistakes, half the Commons were on the take BESIDES a man in a wig and robes has already done that. Who would have thought I needed to come to jail to meet an MP (Ex) and a Lord.

 

Shortly after I walk off, Elliot heads for his dinner. What happened next made it’s way into the papers…

 

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