Announcing The Michael Stone Award For Rough Justice

The Socialist Workers Party and their fellow travellers believe Britain and the world is controlled by some mythical entity alluded to as “The Bosses” or “The Ruling Class”. While it is true that money can sometimes buy a better type of justice, it is manifestly not true that the rich are above the law; there are numerous wealthy men in Britain’s prisons for the complete spectrum of crimes from common theft to murder. On the other hand, anyone from any background who falls foul of Britain’s wonderful boys in blue will soon realise there are some privileges that even money can’t buy. In Britain, and many other countries, the police can frame, brutalise, and even murder innocent members of the public with near total impunity.

On July 16, Michael Stone will be celebrating thirteen years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

On July 16, 1997, Stone was arrested in Gillingham, Kent on suspicion of a crime for which he was later cleared, but remanded to Canterbury Prison he would later be charged with the Chillenden Murders. When the case came to trial, the only so-called evidence against Stone was three confessions he was alleged to have made to other prisoners whilst on remand. He was convicted by a majority verdict, but shortly after the trial, one of the witnesses went to the national media and admitted he had told a pack of lies in court.

Stone launched an immediate appeal, and after the Court of Appeal quashed his convictions, the CPS decided that they had sufficient evidence to proceed with a retrial, which this time relied on ONE alleged prison confession. No forensics, no identification evidence, not even any police verbal, just the junkie in the next cell who claimed Stone had shouted a confession through the prison wall.

What sort of justice is that?

Now contrast that with the sort of justice a police officer can expect. In April 2009, a police sergeant at the now notorious G20 demonstration in Central London was videoed slapping a woman in the face with a gauntletted hand. His unarmed victim was half his size, and the officer was clearly not in fear of his life, all the same, that slap might have been half excusable, but afterwards, as she was walking away, he took out his baton and struck her not one but twice on the back of the leg with considerable force causing severe bruising.

Due to public outrage he had to be charged with assault, but after spending the best part of a year suspended on full pay, he was duly acquitted by a corrupt district judge after a half-hearted prosecution.

Outrageous as that was, in 1998 a police officer shot dead an innocent member of the public in his own home, and after being charged with murder, suspended for months - again on full pay - he was cleared when the judge stopped the trial, again after a half-hearted prosecution. The trial judge, Mrs Justice Rafferty, has since been appointed to the High Court. She also acted for the Crown at Michael Stone’s first trial. The same woman who clears a police officer of murder for shooting dead a naked man in his own bedroom because of insufficient evidence of murderous intent is quite happy to procure the conviction of a man for a double murder on the basis of concocted prison confessions. Christopher Sherwood, the police officer who murdered James Ashley in cold blood, didn’t lose a day’s pay much less spend a day in prison. And in what is surely the most outrageous case of the lot, in August 2005, a police officer stabbed his eleven year old son through the heart during a “self-defence lesson”.

After being arrested on suspicion of murder - and granted bail, of course - this imbecile sat around waiting patiently for the inquest the following July, which dutifully returned a verdict of accidental death. This may well have been a tragic accident, but there are accidents and accidents. Did he have to teach his son self-defence with a real knife? And did it have to be that particular knife? Most of us have knives in our kitchens that couldn’t slice through freshly baked bread. Admitting he didn’t intend to kill or even injure his son, this was an act of gross stupidity of the fifth magnitude to the seventh power to the ninth order. Any member of the public who was responsible for such an “accident” would have been sentenced to at least five years in gaol, and rightly so.

As that great wit Mark Taha once remarked: “All animals are equal, but the pigs are more equal than others”.

He might have added that the best way to get away with murder is to own a warrant card. Failing that, to implicate a police officer in the dastardly deed. If you do that, they won’t even ask you what you did with the gun.

Now you can have your say. The Michael Stone Award For Rough Justice is open to everyone in the world. You can submit a thoroughly researched, professionally referenced essay, a poem, a short story, a paragraph, a film, even a single photograph to reflect your thoughts on British justice, and what can and should be done to restore it. Should we for example seek to implement The Wizard Of Oz Sydrome (see below), or perhaps we should campaign to institute some form of Sharia law? In China, a supposedly oppressive country, civil servants who abuse their powers to the detriment of the common people can face severe sanctions, including execution.

You will find an example of the sort of thing we are looking for here, and here.

Terms and conditions

Entry to The Michael Stone Rough Justice Award is free if submitted by E-Mail; please contact this address for details of how to submit your entry by snailmail.

Send your entries to chillendenkill@BTInternet.com

The competition closes at midnight on July 16-7, 2010, London time. Only one entry per person, please.

Entry is open to anyone in the world subject only to the laws of their own countries. Your entry must be your own work, must not have been published anywhere before, including on the Internet, and must have been created by one individual. If you do not wish to enter under your own name you may use a pseudonym or simply an E-Mail address, but please nothing offensive - no swear words, racial epithets or potshots at any individual or group, including the police!

Essays and short stories, please try to keep to a maximum of 10 pages of A4, 20 pages at most, ditto poems and photographs. If you are making a film, try to keep it to ten minutes, half an hour at the very most.

First prize: A signed, framed photograph of Mike Tyson - living proof that the rich can’t always buy off the judicial process.

Second prize: A copy of Murder Behind The Badge, a recently published non-fiction book about cops who kill.

Third prize: A copy of Greatest Hits by The Police.

Stop press: prize money added!!

As of May 2, the anonymous site sponsor has added £500 in prize money to be distributed as follows:

1st prize: £250
2nd prize: £100
3rd prize: £50

There will be up to ten added prizes of £10 each depending on the number and quality of entries.

The Judges:

The award winning poet Alexander Baron, originator of both The Wizard Of Oz Syndrome - a new theory of state tyranny, and The Theory Of Blanket Dismissal.

The site sponsor: The Michael Stone website is sponsored by a retired businessman who spends most of his time running a charity for the underprivileged. He has a particular interest in British justice having helped secure the acquittal of an innocent man who had been wrongly convicted of a serious crime many years ago.

Michael Stone: Subject to the usual protocol, Michael Stone will help decide the winning entry from the short list. As far as practicable, the prizes will be announced by September 11, 2010 and despatched within one week to the snailmail addresses of the winners.

The decision of the judges will be final and absolute; no correspondence can be entered into.

The winning entries will be published in cyberspace, either on the Michael Stone website or elsewhere to be notified - and archived for eternity.

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