Good morning world â I think I can face you again. It has been an utterly miserable couple of weeks. It is only the steadfast support of Mr G that has firmly plonked me down in front of the computer again this morning with instructions to write. Heâs topped me up with sausage sandwiches and endless cups of tea, and told me to do what I do best. Write from the heart â and f**k âem all.
Itâs coming under the heading of âPast Livesâ because that is what set the misery train rolling down the hill inexorably in my direction. That train collided with my present life 15 days ago; it has felt as though there were an endless series of carriages following on behind. What happened?
Well, I was sitting in the sunshine with a friend who had just arrived from England, and was planning to spend a week painting in the Dordogne sunshine, when a van pulled up at the gate. A courier from England! Hand delivery. A bulging file, some eight inches thick. I knew it was on its way, I had had a phone call the day before to warn me. Usually, (like when someone sends me Yorkshire tea-bags from England!) such packages take two weeks or so to arrive, but money was no object to the sender of this package, they had employed a courier to drive it down here the next day.
If I sound uncharacteristically sorry for myself, it is because I am. The package came from Barnardos, and in some 500 pages, was a record of my entire family history, the letters that I had not be allowed to receive, the information that was considered too delicate at the time for me to know, the âmeâ before I was old enough to have memories. The âmeâ that a private charity has been storing away all these years; unknown social workers trawling through the pages as and when they pleased. The âmeâ that family knew about, but had then died before they felt able to impart to the older âmeâ. The âmeâ that I never knew because I was too young to have memories. I do not know how to describe the experience of finally â almost exactly 65 years later â finding out âthatâ which total strangers have known for years. It has devastated me.
So many things make sense now; deeply unpleasant sense. A âsenseâ that is far, far, too late to alter.
It took me an entire day to read through that file, sitting beside my friend who, for the first time in some miserable years for her, was emerging to paint, to be the talented person she is, whilst I slipped into a maelstrom of miserable thoughts. I donât know whether that black cloud will ever leave me now; it doesnât feel as though it will. I cooked and cleaned throughout that week, laughing politely at jokes, admiring the brilliant painting that was emerging at her hands, angrily pulling weeds from the garden; willing myself to appear like a perfectly normal host. When the week was over, Mr G packed up our camper van and whistled me away to Spain to some favourite haunts. They all seemed grey and boring. Thatâs been my last fortnight â how was yours?
If I hadnât been driven to write the truth about Duncroft, I should never have been aware of that file. Never have known that Barnardos had a âfileâ on me. Never have sent for it. gone on living my Pollyanna life; âlook forward, not backâ Miss Jones had told me. Christ that woman talked some sense! Now, having looked back, I feel unbridled anger â and an anger that has no outlet. The people I am angry with are either dead, or hiding behind anonymity.
Like the anonymous little shit, ex-Duncroft, or so âitâ claims, who wrote somewhere, I cannot be bothered to think where, that all Miss Jones did âwas sit on her arse in her office, chain smokingâ. No she didnât. Certainly in my case, she must have spent hours writing letters on my behalf and answering other letters, all the time shielding me from a truth that she felt could add nothing to my future. I am as shocked at the amount of time and energy she expended on my behalf, as I was at the man hours that Surrey Police expended investigating the spurious claims of âchild abuseâ. I am angry beyond belief, angry to the point of feeling inclined towards personal violence; at the web of lies that have been conjured up by a small group of unhappy women who thought they had a âstoryâ that would net them some attention â and money. A story that has fed into the need for newspapers to show that they must be allowed to print what they like, post Leveson; that has fed into the need for some journalists to have a libel free âgood storyâ; that has fed into the need for charities to grab an ever decreasing pool of money for wages and grandiose schemes; that has fed into a political need to unseat the present government in favour of one that creates dependency and victims; a need that has ruined the lives and happiness of endless families across Britain; a need that has led to me sending for my âfileâ from Barnardos.
That is not all that has happened over the past fortnight. The day after that file arrived, I had a phone call; from Old Holborn. To tell me it wasnât true that he had been arrested, allegedly for upsetting a delicate soul in Liverpool, under the âMalicious Communications Actâ; but that it was true that this delicate soul had mobilised his on-line friends, who had tracked down Old Holbornâs wife, made so many offensive phone calls to her employers that she had been fired from her job, tried to do the same to him, made public death threats to him and his children, published his name and address and phone number, which resulted in hundreds, literally hundreds of phone calls threatening him with physical violence â and that these people had made the connection between him and I, since I was his election agent when he stood for parliament. It seems that he too was paying the price for free speech in Britain today. Apparently thinking (and saying) that Liverpool is overwhelmingly filled with self pitying, whinging drunks is a crime punishable by death. Whereas planning to burn someones house down in the middle of the night with their children inside is a perfectly normal and understandable reaction to someone saying something you donât agree with.
What an utterly screwed up place Britain is today.
Then, a matter of hours afterwards, came the publication of the Royal Charter, which despite Leveson not having made any mention of bloggers, has miraculously included provision whereby bloggers either have to stump up the money to join in their bloody arbitration scheme, or find themselves in the position of having to defend, at their own cost, any and every allegation made by some disgruntled lowlife who doesnât like what they have said, and pay the price even when they prove that what they have said is neither defamatory nor untrue. It is a charter for every work-shy, drunken, rabid left winger who wants to see a government back in power that will keep him in the comfort he thinks he deserves to penalise anyone who disagrees. Note please: any out there champing at the bit â you can penalise me with legal fees, even imprisonment, by taking this route â what you canât do is take this blog down. I live in Europe. I can be âgot atâ under the Royal Charter. This blog lives in the US, in order to take it down you will need the agreement of the US court that what is written on it is libelous under US law, not merely that it âoffendsâ you. Tough luck! Mr G is all for us moving to the US, just so that I can keep going, keep speaking out on the insanity that is the UK today. Canât say I fancy it, but I am just angry enough to do so if I have to.
Speaking of imprisonment; I came home to a series of e-mails from journalists â the very same ones who declined to investigate the Savile claims with any ethical honesty. Whaddayaknow! Seems that the Court of Protection has secretly imprisoned a young woman called Wanda Maddocks for five months â for the crime of doing the very thing that brought me into contact with the court all those years ago and led to me working there – removing her relative from a nursing home where he was unhappy and taking him home with her to be looked after by her family. The cheeky buggers, who couldnât possibly take the word of a mere blogger in the face of all the âevidenceâ from the witless Savile âvictimsâ, are suddenly overcome with a need to take the word of that mere blogger on the subject of the Court of Protection. Yay! They have read my âexcellent writings on the subjectâ and would like to quote me âas an authorityâ on the matter. I did consider replying with a brief âfu*k offâ, but decided that even those six letters was wear and tear on my typing fingers that I didnât need to incur.
Is it worth the effort? Yes, but only because the fewer people around who are prepared to stand up for truth and honesty, the more important it becomes to so stand. Will I be one of the few left standing? I donât know â a part of me feels that those living in a Britain where a woman can be secretly jailed for taking care of her father, or a manâs daughter terrorised by death threats over the phone because someone disagreed with his views, or a man hauled up to answer for his sexual history of 40 years ago on the word of anonymous witnesses who neither have to say when it occurred nor who they were, deserve the Britain that they live in â if for no other reason than they have sleep walked their way into that position. It feels as though the only people prepared to stand up and be counted in Britain are those upset that their benefits have been taken away â those who are losing their rights to free speech, open justice, fair trial, just meekly concur. Until it happens to them â then they busily write to the nearest blogger, not just I, for I know that others get streams of such letters â âwill we publicise their case, they need helpâ.
So this blog will keep going, if only to annoy the 99% who are happy to see a totalitarian state, overflown by drones, jailing citizens for looking after their family, denouncing other citizens as paedophiles on the word of anonymous nitwits, terrorising the families of those who dare to speak out. It will keep going, supported by the 1% who take succour from the fact that they are not alone in their dissenting views.
I just wish I felt more like doing it right now. Still, tomorrowâs another day.
ps. My thanks to all those readers who have e-mailed me over the past fortnight, concerned for my health â yes, the cancer is still looming me over me, but funnily enough it has paled into insignificance, serving only to give me yet another reason to keep going whilst I can. If I had health, wealth, and happiness I might find better things to do.