Usually I try not to watch harrowing programmes or films before bedtime (bit difficult at the moment due to Art of Gothic series on the BBC!) but I was compelled to watch 'Inside Holloway' on Channel 5 last night. Part Two of a two part documentary, it made for a disturbing, depressing insight into the world of a women's prison.
Ruth Ellis, the victim of a brutal, nasty, violent upper class man resorted to shooting him and in doing so was charged with his murder and hanged by the neck. However, her case touched peoples' hearts and a public outcry led to Ruth being the last female victim of capital punishment in this country. Below is an extract explaining how the 'establishment' viewed Ruth. Obviously, they couldn't have some 'tart' killing one of 'theirs'!!
'It was in Holloway on 13th July 1955 that Ruth Ellis became the last woman in Britain to be hanged. In the press and in court, she was portrayed as a fallen woman – a peroxide blonde nightclub manager who had murdered her unfaithful lover David Blakely. As the law stood at the time, the judge had no option but to condemn Ellis, but the systematic physical and mental abuse that Blakely had inflicted on her raised public concern about the death penalty.'
No wonder women in those days were scared to act upon domestic abuse. As still happens in some countries today, the victim would be treated as the criminal!
Some people may be saddened to know Myra Hindley, later proven to be manipulative and conniving, just missed out on this punishment for heinous crimes to children.
One shocking revelation was that women up until the end of the 20th Century would be 'chained' when giving birth!
Another shocker is that they were almost spoon fed Largactyl.
'Conditions inside Holloway had begun to spiral out of control and powerful anti-psychotic drugs were used to sedate problem prisoners. By the 90s, conditions inside had hit rock bottom and changes were made with a new emphasis on education, cleanliness and purpose.'
It seems many girls/women are involved with the wrong men, come from poor backgrounds and many have mental health issues, addicted to drugs and alcohol - not surprising. In fact, the old Holloway prison was levelled and replaced with a new 'villagey' communal setting with therapy and art rooms.
'However, three quarters of Hollowayʼs inmates now suffer from a mental disorder, half are addicted to drugs or alcohol and two thirds are mothers.'
Ruth and the Girls
I try to imagine
My heart cries for you
To be incarcerated
For what not
Is always your fault
It's always the guilty who go unpunished
The soft and vulnerable who come undone
Seen as tarts, whores and slags
Druggies and thieves
Young slappers, old bags
One day we'll all be free
Your sister insane
The Arts have now been 'disabled' -The Arts Show - 23/10/2014 - with Claire Cunningham and views of other Artists
Marie-Louise Muir profiles of Claire Cunningham, artist-in-residence at Belfast Festival at Queen's, and meets disabled artists who focus on their art rather than their disability. Interesting programme and
Terrorism. 2. a person who terrorizes or frightens others. (Dictionary.com)
With all the exposure of child sex abuse I am wishing in an ideal world that our bullies should also be punished.
They say 'move on', 'it's in the past', 'look to the future'. Well along with sexual abusers, our bullies should be made to see the damage they've wreaked.
In an ideal world we could go back as we are now and have the confidence, the power to fight back.
I thought of getting in touch with one of my bullies to have it out with her and was told it was 'creepy' by a so called friend!! Eh? This girl/demon/witch made my life a misery. I was only happy when she was happy. Life at home was bad enough but she had more power than anyone over me. I went to school when she said. I went home when she said.
When she she didn’t know where I was, I got hell and remember when she gave me that evil look from the field as I ended my journey on the bus back from grandmas and fear struck, in my turquoise and white dress I ran round to appease my mistress. 'You didn't tell me you were going.....you've been gone a week!'
I stopped going to Grandmas and when she was hanging out of her bed during an accident during the night, the home help found her asking for me. She was dead a week later. I went to see her in hospital at least but she was so 'gone' under the hallucinatory effects of the cocktail of drugs that they seemed to dish out to finish people off back then, that she didn't really recognise me. I have felt guilt ever since. I was 12 and Grandma 86.
That bitch shook her fist at me one grey night and shook my world. I avoided her at all costs but one day she followed me home and finally went for me by locking her arm around my neck. Even though my brother and his mate put her face in a puddle that night, I was scared to death.
From a keen scholar (I couldn't wait to go to secondary school and learn French - I already knew some) and do homework (oh yes) I turned into a greasy, lank haired, depressed little doormat. Luckily she being a year above me had to go the upper school for her third year onwards and I could have some peace at school at least.
But it led to me dreading every single day at school when I progressed to the upper school (of which I had another three years). Ending up being lax with schoolwork, homework, hanging around with the wrong crowd who again dictated my life and then came more terrorism and undignified assaults and belittlement.
I have been fighting ever since to educate myself and learn and find a life.
I found out when my 'mistress' deigned to explain why I was targetted, it was because I was 'bonny' and the two girls she idolised want me to hang around with them as I was better looking! My fault then?
Her 'terrorism' combined with my home life almost destroyed me but I have some kind of survival instinct.
I used to think 'at least I got away', 'I moved out', 'my life is better' but now I sometimes think she and the other terrorists may have won. They seem to be surrounded by family who care while I am isolated. Fighting gets tiring. Writing and performing is my therapy! This is where my big gob's got me. The following poem explains:
(Now I Am Grown And w(R)eaking h(A)voc) Falls
I have managed to spell out NIAGARA as I appear to have cried a waterfall rather than a river.......
Now I’m grown
And I can ruin your world
I was your toy
When I was young
To be picked up
But now I can ruin your world
‘cause I have grown up
I kept quiet
But now I can open my mouth
And you will be undone
When I unleash all the years
To ruin your little world
For the years stolen
Let the tears begin
Not for me this time
I could have flooded Sudan
Torrents of torment
Now it’s your turn
How apt, just read Colin Hambrook's excellent editorial and in response to his paragraph: 'I think madness is often a sane response to living in an insane society... etc' I find I concur most sincerely (folks).
Now we hear, in the 21st century this 'Lord' making claiming disabled people are 'not worth' the minimum wage. Somehow his derogatory comments about people who at least are willing to 'do' something to make their lives more bearable is intermingling with my thoughts on Colin's article.
I commented: 'Being a good person can be regarded as mad, being truthful can be regarded as mad, being kind can be regarded as mad. Being a shifter/mover/shaker/shafter seems to be rewarded!
Reading Freud's Wiki page: Freud was first employed by the Financial Times as a journalist, writing the Lex column over a period of four years. In 1983 he was hired by the firm then known as Rowe & Pitman. Freud admits that this job which involved "writing research on companies at the same time as taking money from them for advice" would be considered illegal today.
Commenting on mentally disabled people from someone who is supposedly educated and should know better being part of the family that fled Nazi Germany - he should be ashamed of himself.
Is it fair that this privileged prig who seems to have dodged and ducked and dived with people's lives anyway should be in a position to say who in society should get the breaks (or cuts)?
Maybe he should be cut. What makes someone who has so much take from people who don't? He admitted he's not a politician and, oh joy, Blair's gang brought him in from the City (the guy who came in from the gold?)
Now there are excuses flying round that Freud meant that companies cannot afford to employ disabled people and that the government can make up the money so they will have some income. Surely, he should be educated in how to choose his words but then again, we are lucky to hear the bitter truth with no spin!
Big money maker
In charge of our welfare system
Let's wake up
Don't be taken in
By his making up
Breaking up is hard to do
But he does it with ease
So he's talking about economic worth
Not our actual selves
Too late for grovelling apologies
The articles have been written
Recorded for posterity.