Please note not all views expressed in the film and on the blog necessarily reflect the views of coalition members.
The self-fulfilling prophesy that's doubled our prison population,
demonised our young and costs us billions...
Welcome to the Fear Factory

Friday, 26 February 2010

It’ll be alright on the night

The Fear Factory is an apt description because when I entered “Monster Mansion” (Wakefield Prison) in 1972 I was 21 years of age but mentally and physically more like a 14 year old. I hugged the wall like a shadow out of fear. A chicken waiting to be plucked by the vultures staring down from the landings above. I recall thinking it was a Vultures Paradise.

Whilst in prison I have studied. Links have been drawn between the factory and the prison. Just type prisons like factories into Google and see for yourselves.

When the prison authorities state that they feared me more as a law-abiding citizen applying the law in prison than they did when I was being violent, reminds me of the boy, youth, young man, and then adult as I stood in the dock facing a judge. I had invoked the judge looking over their shoulder, and they could not stand up to the legal scrutiny.

I became famous for my legal challenges, and made history with the Prisoners Votes Case, then authored a blog, which has a worldwide readership (save for China which blocks me with the Great Firewall of China). So, it is understandable to me that The Fear Factory production team got in touch with me to take part in their production. I was going down to London anyway, and popped into their studio/flat.

First impression, a flat it’s a Mickey Mouse production. This was quickly replaced when I met the team and admired their professionalism. The shoot was only meant to last a short while, but it appeared as though they had stumbled upon a gold mine and set to digging. This took time. A lot of time, in fact. It did mean that it impinged upon time I had mentally intended to donate to others. (They did get another visit to make up for my hastily changed plan).

They say that the proof is in the eating. The sampler is a tasty tease of better to come. I look forward to the screening on 1st of March. I intend to go down to London for it. I was unable to go to the premier of Underbelly, which I was a special adviser on and a character in it is loosely based upon me, therefore it’s a first for me if everything goes as planned.

John Hirst

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