Call me Chelsea, Wikileaks leaker tells fellow inmates

Wikeleaks leaker Bradley Manning, the US soldier jailed for 35 years for the largest intelligence leak in US history, has released a statement in which he says he wants to live as a woman called Chelsea.

A statement from Manning, read on NBC News’s ‘Today’ programme, said that as he makes the “transition” into the next phase of his life, he wants “everyone to know the real me.”

“I am Chelsea Manning,” the statement reads. “I am female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.

“I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.”

Manning, 25, was sentenced on Wednesday to 35 years in a military prison for turning over classified files to WikiLeaks.

During Manning’s trial, his defence team argued that the army missed multiple warning signs he was struggling with gender identity issues. The court heard how he sent his superiors an anguished email where he explained he thought should be a woman and attached a photograph of himself as his female alter-ego “Breanna”, wearing make-up and a blonde wig.

Bradley Manning want to lice as a woman

To paraphrase The Duke of Wellington, “I don’t know what he will do to his fellow inmates but he scares the shit out of me.

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Stupid Criminal Collection: Escape attempt was Cat – alog of disaster

The crime all our stpid criminals are guilty of, be they murderers, burglars, benefit fraudsters, or just people who shit on their own doorsteps and get ASBOs for annoying the neighbours, is that they don’t think things through.

A plan to spring a crim from prison in Rio De Janero failed and taught the perp. that the best laid plans of mice and men are never proof against not thinking it trough properly, especiall when cats get involved.

A cat carrying a saw and a mobile phone which were taped to its body with gasffer tapen was “detained” as it entered a prison gate in northeast Brazil, Brazilian media reported on Saturday.

Prison guards were surprised when they saw a white cat crossing the main gate of the prison, its body wrapped with tape. A closer look showed the feline also carried drills, an earphone, a memory card, batteries and a phone charger.

All 263 detainees in the prison of Arapiraca, a city of 215,000 people in the state of Alagoas, are considered suspect in the plot, which is being investigated by local police.

“It’s tough to find out who’s responsible for the action as the cat is exercising it’s right to silence,” a police spokesperson told the local paper, Estado de S.Paulo.

cat-crime

As our picture shows, the problem with using a cat to smuggle bulky objects into prison is that unlike humans, cats can’t fit much up their arse. Thus,

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Robert Burns
.

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Environment Minister Resigns. Environment Shouts ‘There Is A God’

Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne resigned this morning from his role as Energy Secretary after being charged alongside his ex-wife Vicky Pryce with perverting the course of justice over speeding cover-up allegations. Mr Huhne and Miss Pryce have both been charged with the same offence after Miss Pryce allgeged that he asked her to take speeding points on his behalf. They will appear before Westminster Magistrates Court on February 16th.

The pair now face the prospect of a criminal trial over allegations that they conspired to pervert the course of justice. The offence carries a maximum life sentence.

This morning, soon after the charges were announced by the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS), Mr Huhne resigned his Cabinet position. He told the press after his announcement: “I am innocent of these charges and I intend to fight them in the courts and I am confident a jury will agree. So as to avoid any distratction to my official duties or my trial defence, I am standing down as Energy and Climate Change Secretary. I will of course continue to serve my constituents in Eastleigh. That is all I have to say.” If found guilty and given a jail sentence Mr. Huhne will have to reliquish his Parliamentary seat.

The alleged offence is said to have taken place in March 2003 and is unlikely to have ever come to the attention of the police had Miss Pryce, who separated from Mr Huhne in 2010, not made allegations in a Sunday newspaper last year.

She told the Sunday Times that Mr Huhne had asked someone “close to him” to take the points so he could avoid a driving ban. It later emerged she was apparently referring to herself.

While Huhne continues to protest his innocence no date will be set for the by election in his consituency. Boggart Blog sympathises with the former ministers perdicament even though we have pilloried him mercilessly for his zealot’s belief in the efficacy of wind turbinesand his determination to plant a forest of these monstrosities on every beautiful upland landscape in Britain. To show we have no hard feelings towards him we have sent Mr. Huhne a copy of Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad Of Reading Gaol

Cambridge Admits Country Bumpkin

Despite the continued impression that Cambridge University will only admit the elite of the country’s youth, those of sharp intellect and proven academic ability who have impressed the interviewers with their willingness to advance an argument and then forge forward onto, for them, hitherto unexplored territory in search of the perfect answer to the sometimes rather unfathomable questions, this week it was shown to also admit illiterate, innumerate, socially disadvantaged and generally quite ignorant country bumpkins, or at least one anyway.

Charlie Gilmour,adopted son of former Pink Floyder David Gilmour was appearing in court to appeal the 16 month sentence handed down to him for the crime of violent disorder following his swinging from the Union flag on the Cenotaph during last December’s demonstations against tuition fees.

Poor Charlie thinks the sentence was a bit harsh and has advanced as his defence the fact that “he didn’t realise the monument from which he was swinging was a war memorial, let alone The Cenotaph.” The reason for this ignorance, according to Mr. Gilmour’s lawyer was that the poor, deprived young man had grown up in the countryside without access to television.

And presumably without access to written material such as newspapers, or even reading books as he appears to have been unable to read the words “Glorious Dead” carved in gold leaf upon the monument, nor recognised the numerals forming the dates of the conflicts in which those men and women died.

He obviuosly has never watched the film The Wall, by Pink Floyd, which was greatly influenced by the feelings of David Gilmour following the loss of his father in the war and features a distorted but recogniseable image of The Cenotaph.

He would also have us believe that his famous musician father and slightly less famous novellist mother had never taken him to London to see the sights.

The lack of recognition of the Union flag would no doubt be due to the fact that he lived in England and only ever saw the one with the white background and the red cross on it which he thought had something to do with a football team.

Let’s just hope that while inprisoned Mr. Gilmour can make good use of the prison library and education services to fill in some of the abyss likes gaps in his general knowledge and pray that he never gets selected for the Girton College University Challenge team.

Jus Primae Noctis

It came as no surprise to Boggart Blog to hear IMF Chief Dominic Strauss Kahn is on suicide watch in the notoriously tough New York Prison where he is temporarily domiciled.

In is not the same of being arrested for sexual assault that has got to the internaional bureaucrat but the shock of finding out he cannot do what he wants, when he wants, to whom he wants.

Strauss Kahn is one of “our new unhappy lords,” those faceless and almost anonymous elitists who wouls establish a new world order under which national and cultural identities would dissapear. He is one of the leading proponents of a global government and a global financial system.

Such people simply cannot cope with learning the feudal Lord’s right of right of Jus Primae Noctis* has not been recognised since the twelveth century.

*The right of first night – the Lord got to shag every young woman who lived on his estate on the night of her wedding.

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Treasure In The Heart Of Every Man

A junior minister in the coalition government, Crispin Blunt, has been talking about prison reform. Now Mr. Blunt who if we read blunt in the sense of dull, lacking a sharp cutting edge is perhaps appropriately named (although Rupert Pharquhar – Twatty might be even more appropriate) is not one of those Conservatives who believe the best way to reduce the prison population and bring reoffending rates down to zero is to shoot anyone convicted of any crime more serious than farting in a lift. Oh no, a humanist is our Crispin. He believes all criminals are redeemable.

We know this because he said as much in a speech to the National Association For The Care And Resettlement Of Offenders.

Quoting Churchill, Crispin said:

“I have an unfaltering faith that there is treasure in the heart of every man, even the worst of criminals.”

We at Boggart Blog agree wholeheartedly with this.

Now all we need is a government with the balls to pass a law requiring the heart to be cut out of every convicted criminal and sliced open so we might collect the treasure.

What a great way to reduce the deficit.

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A Degree Of Punishment

A charity that campaigns and works for prison reform has said that prison officers should be required to have a University degree.

Successfully completing a degree course in beating people lightly with iron bars, administering electric shocks and performing body cavity searches will give applicants the necessary skills to do the challenging jobs on offer in the prison service.

Being the very essence of enlightened liberalism Boggart Blog would take this suggestion even further. We suggest that as well as having written a ten thousand word thesis on why it is a very bad idea to leave ladders propped against the perimeter wall, wannabe officers should also be trained in handling fierce dogs and the most effective ways of swinging a baseball bat with nails through the end.

Our mole in the Department of Trade, Industry and Organised Crime tells us if the idea is taken up the only jobs available to people who do not have a degree will be digging holes and filling them in again on a Government welfare to work scheme.

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More humour every day at Boggart Blog

If you enjoyed our condensed version of Wuthering Heights (previous post) but found the Harry Potter film good but a bit long winded you will surely enjoy the saga of Boggart Blog’s own Boiy Wizard hero. Click this link to read Gary Trotter and the Portal Of Pleasure in seven very condensed volumes.

The Answer To All Our Problems? Midnight Basketball.

One of the many negative aspects (are there any good ones?) of the so called Obama effect is the disproportionate amount of media attention being given to the utterances of every African – American from comedians and gangsta rappers to the usual suspects, the preacher – politicians. Obama overkill is hard enough to bear but the rest? They’ve been around years, what make anybody think they have anything new to say?

The latest of this ilk to come and give us British the benefit of his unique insight on the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is The Rev. Dr. Jesse Jackson (D.Phil, University of Sendusthemoney).

The Rev Dr. was allegedly a mentor of Barack Obama in the early days of The President’s march to world domination. It is clear that Jackson was a major influence, their oratory styles show a shared penchant for incomprehensibility.

Addressing an audience Dr. Jackson of politicians and media people, Dr. Jackson told them:

“There are children of light and children of darkness: one grows tall and multiplies with fruit (most people find it easier with a calculator but each to his own), the other is stunted. The stunted one is the inferior one. It was denied the light and photosynthesis.”

This was serious stuff, absolutely vital for people entering the giant leek growing competitions so popular in coal mining areas. But surely Jesse Jackson had not come to England to talk about growing leeks. We has a little more of a clue as to his real meaning from the next nugget of wisdom:

“Children in the light are driven by hope, children in the dark are driven by fear.” (OMG he was turning into Yoda) “There is global street violence and corporate violence.” he said, “the wealthy are reprimanded, the poor go to jail.”

Reverend JJ may as well have been talking about the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns. He might even have been talking about the unknown knowns, the things we know but don’t know we know. One of the known knowns was that nobody in the audience knew what he was talking about and it seemed neither did he.

Eventually the evangelist moved on to the subject of prisons.

Prison does not work,” he said. “We have made an industry out of locking up our young men. There are a million African Americans and half a million Latinos in prison.

From there it was hard to guess where the lecture would go next. These pithy observations sounded more and more like Chance the Gardener in the film Being There, or Forrest Gump maybe. Jackson’s speech had now come to a fork in its path. One road pointed to the fact that having one and a half million people banged up was a great way of disguising how bad the unemployment had really become. The other was signposted “fiscal stimulus” as the prospect of letting loose a million and a half thieves and crooks would certainly trigger a surge in demand for cars, televisions, computers, camcorders and small, expensive, portable items as people replaced stuff that had been stolen.

Some left wing commentators had spoken of Jackson’s delivery being as mesmeric as Obama’s. it is a sad reflection of the failure of British education that journalists no longer know the difference between mesmerising and stupefying. The politicians were just too polite to interrupt.

A senior Conservative Member of Parliament was the first to break. He stopped The Reverend and reminded him that prison had worked in Boston.

“That was in a period when there was midnight basketball,” was the riposte.

Midnight basketball? Is this the answer to all the ills of our inner city communities? With bated breath the live audience and those of us listening on Radio awaited the great revelation of how Midnight basketball might work for the common good. Alas it did not come, the speaker had not finished with prisons.

“In school they got five free meals a week, in prison they get twenty – one. It’s a step up.”

Hang on a minute, wasn’t he just complaining about young men being sent to prison? So is this a suggestion that prison inmates meals be reduced to five a week? Does he want the poor lads to starve?

The second Parliamentarian’s veneer of reserve was broken. Martin Salter, a Labour MP tried to goad Jackson into condemning violent video games by asking if such pastimes made the situation worse in inner city areas. One could not help but hope for a reply to the effect that if the boys could play Midnight Basketball they would have no need to play Grand Theft Auto or shoot hos. It was not to be, Jesse had further to go into the realms of the surreal.

“ Freedom is victory over indecency, equality requires investment,” he proclaimed, continuing:” we must fight the disease with values, a lot more psychologists are needed.”

Leaving aside the obvious question, “What was he on and can we have some please,” the most fascinating issue he raised was Midnight Basketball. Everybody was mystified by it, was it something to do with a type of Urban Zen, a raised state of consciousness. Would people one day say of a great teacher “he quit crime and debauchery to devote his life to Midnight Basketball. Alternatively perhaps it was a reference to an imagined time of peace and plenty when everybody drove a Cadillac and nobody had anything to do but play Midnight Basketball. Or was it a coded reference to a forbidden pleasure in the way that in England the term French Polishing more often mean a service offered by ladies of negotiable affection that anything to do with antique furniture.

Perhaps Midnight Basketball is simply a phrase that conjures images of The Golden Age that exists in all our minds and always seems to slip from the future into the past without touching the present. In the way that Englishmen of a certain age go a bit misty when we recall the days we could take our girlfriend to town, see a show, have supper with wine in a good restaurant, be killed in a terrorist incident as we waited for a cab, have a respectable funeral and still have change out of five pounds.

All that of course was in a period when we had Midnight Cricket.

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Hope To See You Again Soon…

It’s alright riding shotgun with BBC. I get to see a lot of things one doesn’t necessarily notice whilst driving.
Today we passed the prison. We’ve passed it many times before, but today I clocked the sign:

WELCOME TO HM PRISON AND YOI NEW HALL

Isn’t that nice, welcoming the new inmates so warmly.

No doubt when they get in and they’ve had their medical, their clothes and possessions taken from them and been issued with their prison clothing they get a nice cosy chat from the governor.

“Wecome to New Hall. We are so glad you chose New Hall to visit during your incarceration. We aim to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. If you have any complaints don’t hesitate to bring these to the attention of your designated warder…”

Presumably when the lags are driven back up the drive having paid their debt to society, the reverse of the welcome sign will read,

“HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR STAY.
LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AGAIN SOON”

Justice For None In Open Prisons

Jack Straw who as Home Secretary tried to push through detention without trial for terror suspects is now the Justice Secretary. Now there is an example of Orwellian newspeak if ever there was one. In his new role Mr. Straw has dismissed concerns raised by prison officers that the public are being put at risk because dangerous criminals are being moved to open prisons according to news sources.

Is this to make room for terrorist suspects? you might well ask.

Open prisons are so named because they are open; there is a noticeable lack of high walls and electrified fences behind which dangerous psychopaths out to be detained and a distinct lack of big blokes with fierce dogs to discourage said psychopaths from simply walking out through the open gate.

Prison service staff are worried that no matter how nice the government makes life inside open prisons some dangerous psychos who cannot resist the urge to menace law abiding citizens will be tempted to nip out for a shag, a few pints with their mates and to kick the living crap out of anyone who looks at them.

Over the past decade 14,000 prisoners have left open prisons without permission. When this was put to Mr. Straw he said that we have a serious overcrowding problem in high security prisons and things will not improve if prison officers insist on obstructing The Government’s efforts to improve the situation.

Spreading fear and panic among the public by talking about dangerous nutters absconding from Open Prisons is not going to help anybody.

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