Our own Jimmy Boyle, a teacher by profession, needs no lessons in the experience of disadvantage in modern Scotland. A gay man who has suffered the trauma and the stigma of wrongful conviction and imprisonment, and who continues to suffer, daily, the suffocating limitations to recovery and restitution, imposed on his life by the institutions of state – despite his exoneration – Jimmy confronts his experiences through his writing.
Two examples of his work were recently published in Writing Our Space, an anthology of expression which appears under the imprint of Arkbound, a charity book publisher.
By kind permission of Jimmy, we reproduce these poems below. But first, we share with you a short polemic which powerfully expresses Jimmy’s rejection of the stigmatisation endured, as a matter of course, by those who have shared Jimmy’s misfortune at the hands of an imperfect justice system. We hope you enjoy…
You Do Not Get To Define Me
I neither trust the Scottish Government nor the Scottish Parliament. They have not earned trust and they do not deserve trust. Some will disagree. There are facts and opinions both.
It is the opinion of the General Teaching Council (GTC) that I absconded from the dock in the course of a trial in the High Court. Both the court and my legal representatives can provide no evidence confirming, or even hinting, this assertion is truthful, neither can the GTC: my legal agent advised, ”I cannot even begin to think what is being suggested.”
GTC personnel’s opinion and fact are entirely dissimilar. One is false, the other true.
It is the Opinion of three judges in the Court of Session that the fact two police officers fabricated and disseminated the lie there exists a conviction in my name is not an indicator of “bias.” Their Opinion notwithstanding, this design is a criminal act, and axiomatically an indicator of bias.
There is no such conviction; Police Scotland says so and Crown Office records corroborate the fact.
What of the fabricated Opinion of these three Scottish judges? Their Opinion stands.
A jury of my peers acquitted me of patently fabricated charges. However, the purposes expressed in threats levelled against me – threats founded in the evidence of one who issued these – continue to be imposed upon me by Scotland’s judicial office holders and various other ill-assorted abusers. This is a fact.
Acting in the criminal interest, Disclosure Scotland fabricated a psychological diagnosis as purported justification for its decision to collude in these purposes and impose them upon me. This is a fact.
In Scotland there is no such Right as the Right to an “effective remedy” to these crimes and abuses. Indeed, when the criminal State comes for you, you have no Rights whatsoever.
Each of these public agencies, and many individuals, chose to facilitate the criminal interest, pervert the course of justice, and sought to define me. These are facts.
I do not allow them to define me, but I will define them.
Each agency, each man and each woman, that acted to facilitate the purposes expressed in these threats against me, employing public authority and your taxes in these criminal purposes, is a criminal.
It is rare for the victims of the crime, designed miscarriage of justice, to have the opportunity to define his or herself in the face of these all-encompassing criminal abuses. Therefore, we must take each and every opportunity to define ourselves, challenging fabricated narratives with fact.
My own favourite example is that provided by the great Paddy Hill. Not only did he refuse the definition the criminal State and its agents sought to impose upon him, but when he had comprehensively exposed their crimes by providing us with facts, he went on to found the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation, thereby providing a forum whereby the victims of this deviant crime might have an opportunity to likewise define ourselves in terms of the facts of the matter.
As a Gay man of a certain vintage, I have been made aware of many an opinion. The fact is that I am a perfectly ordinary Gay man who refuses to be defined by such opinion.
The publication of these poems in Arkbound’s ‘Writing Our Space’ anthology furnishes me with another opportunity to reject the criminals’ designs, to define myself in factual terms, and to hell with opinion.
I urge all victims of the crime, designed miscarriage of justice, to create and take as many opportunities as you can to define yourselves; be a good neighbour, make your contribution.
There are many decent and honourable people throughout Scotland who reject the opinions of liars, fabricators and criminals, preferring their knowledge of the facts as they know, or come to know these, to any number of fabricated charges and the sordid tittle tattle of our ‘betters’. They are our neighbours, friends and colleagues.
I define me, you do not.
I am the banshee, hear me wail,
He is dead!
Bless me Father, damn you!
You brought me curds and honey
And you dashed them.
You slashed the bloom
And I will not forgive you.
Our dreams nailed.
My reason torn.
Our brief candle snuffed.
Laughter and grief;
Dreams and bones.
You will not tell me why
To kiss and salve;
To rest and to dust.
Leaves crackle and crunch;
This stick of a heart beats me senseless.
Dreams and bones
And laughter and,
God this miserable weather!
Chance chilled as the pallor
Of your brow
You wrenched him into the light and left me raging!
I hear wind
My Jimmy, my heart, torn.
For You, and John Clare
I reach for thee,
Though thou art gone.
‘Twas joy in you and me, in We,
In flower, fruit and thorn.
Passing moulds reflection,
Age silks the ebbing tide.
Sweet and private benediction,
Prest lightly doth reside.
In other forms and faces bright,
Full of life and free;
In recollecting you I trace
The grace I touched with thee.