After a weekend of doing nothing, mostly being locked in my cell watching television, or chatting with the guys, on Monday morning they opened our door at 8am and I was told I had an interview with the UKBA. I walked in and sat down and a rather jolly looking guy opened my file. “Oh, we don’t get many New Zealanders here.” He stated. “Are you going or staying?” “Reviewing my options!” I replied. “I need some information first.” “What do you want to know?” he replied.
The problem was, I was unsure how much I could tell these guys without it being noted on my file and used against me as evidence should I decide to remain. The only information I had managed to glean since my arrival had been from other inmates and I was unsure how accurate it was,and whether it actually applied to me. I had seen posters on the walls, advertising FRS, The Facilitated return scheme, where the government offered £1500 as a ‘bribe’ to encourage foreign nationals to return to their country of origin. This was available to non-EU nationals who were returning to their country, who had a sentence of over twelve months and under four years, so I was not eligible, not that I needed the money anyway. I had also found out that if I were to be removed, I would also be entitled to up to 9 months reduction on my sentence, but I was unsure whether there were any ramifications to it.
We discussed them deporting me to Sweden where I had permanent residence, but apparently there is some weird law that stated that they had to deport to the country of origin - yet another gross waste of taxpayers money. Instead of paying for an Easyjet flight to Stockholm, they were going to subject me to a 28-hour flight to New Zealand, whereupon I would renew my passport and catch the next flight back. Having not lived in New Zealand for some 30 years, with no contacts, no ties, no family to speak of, and no knowledge of the country whatsoever, this was the last thing I wanted! Everything I owned was in Europe, but they were determined to make my life as difficult as possible, so this made me more inclined to fight to remain.
Having spoken to the immigration lawyer, If I could find someone to marry me, I would have an almost watertight case as I already owned property of considerable value within the UK, and whilst they were unlikely to grant me residence, which I didn’t in fact want anyway, there was no way, on appeal that they would be able to deny me entry. This in itself was bizarre. On speaking to the immigration official, he confirmed that once deported I would be facing a lifetime ban, which was a minimum of 10 years, however once I had left I could apply to have the deportation order lifted. This would take six months, and would automatically be rejected, but then on appeal, it would be heard by a separate panel and due to the strength of my case, would probably be granted, whereupon I would be free to enter on a visitors or work visa.
The nine-month reduction was certainly an incentive. I couldn’t wait to be out of this place. Having only served six months so far, including the two months credit for my bail on tag, I was struggling! The thought of a further 24 months was unbearable, and I was feeling decidedly sorry for myself. Having had a brief respite from my anxiety and depression when I first arrived here, I was sinking rapidly again as the full impact of my move sunk in, and I realised that I was now stuck here with no hope of any assistance. This was clearly calculated by the UKBA to encourage us to take deportation, but I was panicked about the prospect of another fifteen months, even allowing for the full nine-month discount. I wondered about the prospect of repatriation - serving the balance of my sentence in New Zealand, but my UKBA officer soon squashed that idea. Anyway, with no idea of the state of prisons in New Zealand I was unsure whether I might not have been jumping out of the frying pan into the fire!
I did manage to learn that if I was in fact deported, I would simply be escorted to the airport and released once I had completed customs and immigration, where I would be allowed to fly unaccompanied, which at least was a relief - how humiliating would it be to fly all that way handcuffed to a prison officer, in full view of the public! Furthermore, once I arrived in New Zealand, after clearing customs I would be free to go, and would not in fact have a criminal record there, so would still be free to travel globally to anywhere except the UK on my NZ passport. This of course was of paramount importance if I was to resume my career as a travel writer, but quite aside from that, with the amount of travel I engaged in anyway, the last thing I wanted was to have difficulties every time I crossed a border!
On paper it seemed the best option would be to go, but there were no guarantees that this information was in fact correct. In reality I had long since decided that I was moving back to the continent anyway, as soon as my tax obligations were discharged so I don’t know why I was making such a meal of the whole situation, but again, because of my mental state I was now incapable of behaving in a calm and rational manner, and very quickly became distressed whenever I was faced with a decision. Anyway there was no need to make a decision today so I left the meeting even more confused than ever.
I had no sooner completed my immigration talks than they came for me again. This time I was summoned to a talk with the National Careers Service advisor. I had been asking about the possibility of getting access to my manuscript from Thameside since my arrival, but had been brushed off on every occasion, so I wondered whether they might be able to help me. They had seen from my file that I had above average education so they wanted to discuss my employment situation whilst here. I told them what I had been doing at Thameside and they promised me that I would be able to gain access to the virtual campus in order to continue my writing, and that perhaps the best employment option for me would in fact be that on Education Champion, helping others in the IT area. They also suggested that I might like to look at distance learning options, and sent me away with a booklet on available courses. Regarding the book, when I told them the story, they seemed quite positive, assuring me that there were a number of options. They could first of all get a printed copy sent across. This was really of no use to me, as I would have to scan it in to be able to work on it.
They seemed to find it outrageous that I had been writing on a computer - apparently that was not what computers were used for! This of course was an immense sense of worry to me. The one activity which and provided me with a purpose and given me any sense of stability and balance had been ripped from me on my transfer, and now it seemed the prospects of being able to continue it here were looking extremely unlikely. Most of my peers in here were content to sit around all day and treat it as a holiday, doing as little with their time as possible, but not only was I aware that the busier one kept oneself, the fast the time seemed to go, I also knew that if I had something to distract me, and a goal on which to focus, I would not feel as though I had squandered two and a half years of my life for nothing. I also convinced myself that it could possibly provide me with a means of creating revenue and supporting myself, should I indeed find myself jettisoned to a country in which I hadn’t resided for over thirty years! Furthermore, it had provided me with a sense of accomplishment, and whilst I had been working on it, I had felt my confidence levels lift to a degree which had been missing for quite some months or even years! It was therefore of vital importance to me to be allowed to continue, if not for any other reason than my own sanity and survival.
The NCS officer, suggested that I might be able to help with the writing and editing of the prison newsletter, and I would have been more than happy to do this in return for access to the book, but they were unsure if this were possible. The other issue they had, was that most of the peer positions here, unlike Thameside, were for enhanced prisoners only, and of course, contrary to his word, when I had arrived, Terry Jeeves had not processed my application, and when the officers looked on the central computer system, they could see that I had applied, however there was no resolution to the application, so I would therefore have to wait a further three months here until I was eligible to apply again. This therefore meant that I could not apply for any positions similar to those in which I had been employed in Thameside, so I was now limited to factory type positions in the workshops, packing plastic plumbing fittings into plastic bags, folding paper in the print shop. Or possibly if I was lucky, working in vacuum cleaner reconditioning. I just wanted to die! How could this system be so bloody pedestrian, and how could these people not look at my situation realise that I was an exception to the rule, and find a way to give me something worthwhile. Even the training I had done as Shannon trust mentor, teaching others to read was of no use to me without my enhanced status.
I felt like I was going around and around in circles, and no one gave a continental fuck about me. One would have thought it sensible in this situation, to listen to my needs and try to accommodate them - emotionally and mentally it would have been a huge help, but instead it was having the exact opposite effect. Things were going from bad to worse, and I wondered whether they were deliberately trying to destabilise me. Surely the entire prison populace of officers were not so stupid as to intentionally cause chaos amongst prisoners out of spite! Surely by doing this they were making more work for themselves. I was aware that I was in prison, and therefore being punished for what I had done, however surely it was enough to be in here, cut off from society, with limited access to the outside world, subjected to inedible food, locked up and treated like cattle, sleeping in substandard conditions, having lost all privacy and independence, without someone purposefully fucking with our heads as well? I was beginning to think there was no hope, and was sinking further and further into depression and utter despair.
Tomorrow was referendum day. Since its announcement we had heard virtually nothing else on television day and night, with outrageous false promises being made by the leave campaigners, to a population they were obviously treating with such contempt, believing they were too stupid to understand the truth. The Remain campaign on the other hand had clearly given the population too much intellectual credit, and had believed that they would not vote to leave under any circumstance, so their advertisements and canvassing had been extremely soft, and they had not stood up to the lies of the leavers at all. Furthermore, if the television were to be believed, the whole dilemma had created a complete divide amongst the voting public, and had caused a massive rift between the factions. People who had been friends for years found themselves on opposing sides and were not speaking to each other. The political parties were now divided amongst their MPs. The whole situation was completely bizarre. Government ministers who I had previously thought were intelligent, worthwhile members of parliament; with a good grasp on the economy and the direction of the Country were now making outrageous claims and behaving like utter buffoons! Unfortunately, David Cameron, who I greatly admired, had gone to the EU in order to negotiate a better deal for Britain, in answer to the growing unrest over freedom of movement, and rising immigration, and although the debate had gone on throughout the entire weekend, day and night before they had finally reached an agreement, it had not gone far enough in the eyes of the British public, so we had been forced into this ridiculous referendum, but most of us were confident that when push came to shove, the polls would be right and although it would be close, in the end common sense would prevail and the public would vote to remain. The alternative didn’t bear thinking about. I therefore tended to ignore the hype surrounding the campaign throughout the day, secure in the knowledge that everything would be OK in the result. I couldn’t do anything about it anyway, as for the first time in my life, being in here, I wasn’t able to vote.
Next morning we awake early and turned on the television. Carnage! The Leave vote had won by the slightest of margins! The percentage was 51% - 49%, however in true British apathy and laziness, it had been the lowest turnout of voters in almost 100 years! Clearly it was obvious that they didn’t care enough about the state of the country to even vote for its future, but no! It was worse than that! Those who hadn’t bothered to vote, had evidently believed that the status quo would never change, and they had been proved wrong. Furthermore, those self same people were now screaming blue bloody murder on the television, indignant, and adamant that this was the wrong decision, however it was now too late!
David Cameron and George Osborne, The Prime Minister and Chancellor, two People who I had believed were some of the most forward thinking, modern and progressive leaders of the 21st century were now forced to resign. They had both campaigned to remain and now those members of the conservative party who had been on the leave side were baying for blood! This of course opened another can of worms over the ensuing weeks! Boris Johnson, the ex Mayor of London, someone of whom I’d had a great deal of respect, having done an amazing job, had 12 months earlier, resigned to stand as an MP, with widely predicted ambitions for PM, and now this was his perfect opportunity. It was no secret that he and David Cameron had long been adversaries, ever since their days at Eton together, so given that they had been on opposite sides of the fence on this issue, this was hardly surprising. Michael Gove however, the Justice secretary, and a close friend of David Cameron, had caused a rift by jumping camp, and now threw his cap into the fray for consideration as leader as well, essentially stabbing both Cameron and Johnson in the back. This was a friendship that would never recover!
What followed was a bitter and acrimonious battle, with a few others, including Andrea Leadsom, a virtual unknown until this campaign, when she had acquitted herself remarkably well in the television debates, and was largely touted to be a hot contender, with the groundswell of public opinion deserting Gove once his duplicity towards Johnson was exposed. Another candidate to throw her hat into the ring was Theresa May. She had been Home office secretary for the past six years, in both the coalition and Conservative Governments, and in my opinion was the reason we were in this bloody mess in the first place, due to her inability to curb migration, having promised to ‘reduce net migration to the tens of thousands’ for a number of years and not succeeded. Furthermore, she had done nothing to dispel the myth that this was due to EU laws and freedom of movement, which had been perpetuated by Nigel Farage and the UK independence party, in fact one could have been forgiven in my opinion for thinking that she was one of his most staunch advocates.
I had never liked her - She was a mealy mouthed individual, with a superior, ‘head girl’ or old, ‘school ma’am’ type attitude. I had met her personally a couple of times at social functions, and had never liked her. She had not done a good job as Home secretary, and was widely believed to have been of the remain camp, although in the mark of a true politician, she had sat on the fence throughout the entire referendum campaign, without declaring her hand for either party. Now, surprise, surprise, she was letting it be known that she was on the leave side, and with Johnson and Gove bickering amongst themselves it very soon came down to a two woman scrap between Leadsom and May. Before long, Leadsom began to show her lack of political experience, when a comment she made, clearly in innocence, with no malice intended, was misconstrued by the spin doctors and made out to be insulting to May over her inability to have children. The media whipped it up into a frenzy and May was made out to have been insulted and maligned - the leadership was all over for Leadsom, with May the last woman standing!
On a personal note, it should have made my decision a lot easier. I think, as in many aspects of life, the most difficult part is actually making the decision to jump, and even though I hated the idea of living in Britain, outside of the EU, I was still not strong enough to take the plunge. I had worked hard over the past ten years to build up valuable contacts in London from a business point of view, and had established myself with a rather comfortable way of life, before I had so unceremoniously destroyed it due to this latest meltdown, however I was pretty sure it could all be re-built. I had a good network of friends, an unencumbered apartment, and was pretty certain I would be able to return to writing commercially, once this nightmare was over, but at the same time I knew the UKBA would do whatever they could to ensure I would go, and if I did decide to stay, according to others I had spoken to, it would undoubtedly incur lengthy delays in having my immigration case heard, to the extent that I would not be eligible for HDC, or Home detention Curfew, which meant that after I had served a quarter of my sentence I could be released on bail under normal circumstances, however with an immigration hold over my head they could delay hearing it until well after my HDC date, or even my conditional release date, which was when I would normally have been released on licence, having served half the sentence. On the other hand, if I decided to go, I could be out of this hell hole in a little over twelve months, and would be free to travel again immediately, rather than being confined to the UK which I would be if I was released on licence.
When I look at these options now, as I’m writing this, there was absolutely no contest, however at the time I was completely torn! In the meantime, over the next few days, after hours and hours on my own in my cell whilst my cellmate was at work, with nothing to do but think about all this, and watch the aftermath of the referendum unfold I became more and more depressed, and the more I thought about it all, the harder it was to make a decision. To make matters worse, Tom was ignoring my telephone calls, and I’d had an argument with Edd and kicked him to the curb. A fortnight before my transfer, He had scheduled a visit, and hadn’t turned up. He hadn’t bothered to cancel either, with me or the prison so I had gone over to the visits hall at the scheduled time, and sat in the waiting room for my name to be called, looking like Billy no-mates when after half an hour they announced that they weren’t admitting any more visitors, and taken me back to the wing.
It seems like a small thing, and hardly of the calibre to warrant termination of a friendship, but it was more serious than it looked. I was pretty sure he had simply had a big night out the night before and overslept, but being locked up with no contact with the outside world for weeks on end, visits were a huge deal, and the highlight of the week or month. Mindful of the fact that I was so far out in the east that none of my friends could possibly want to venture out to see me often, I hardly ever asked for them to visit unless it was really important, and at the time I was feeling particularly low owing to my recent beating, so this visit was more important to me than perhaps any other, past and future. Had he at least rung the prison to cancel, I wouldn’t have lost my visit allowance for the month, but also, it would have saved me the embarrassment of sitting alone waiting for no reason. The worst part of it all was that they all should have known, that of all people, I was the last person to get upset with them for missing something in favour of a big night out - for fuck sake, I was the inventor of the three day party - no-one knew better than me how things could get out of hand, and obligations could be dismissed, so why? Why did they constantly feel the need to lie to me?
When I finally did manage to reach him that night he made the excuse that he had been involved in an accident and had only just got back from filing police reports and having the car towed, and I was in such a bad place emotionally that I believed him. He then pulled a sob story that he now had no car, and no way of getting to work, so I loaned him the remainder of my bank balance, some £600 or so which he logged onto my internet banking and transferred to his account. The other reason this visit in particular had been so important was that I had spent the previous two weeks fighting with the prison to finally have my valuables sent out, after they had been missing for weeks and weeks and he was supposed to collect them at the same time, so I looked like an idiot for having demanded to be allowed to send them out, and then my visitor not bothering to show up on the visit. I was extremely upset. Furthermore, the deal with the money was that he was supposed to send me £50, Top up both my prepaid mobile phone accounts with £10 each in order to prevent them from being closed whilst the police was still holding my phones, and he could use whatever was left. Needless to say, the entire amount had vanished from my account, and I had never received payment. On top of this, despite his assurances to me that the phones had been topped up, I was to find out later that they hadn’t and therefore I had lost the number, and the account had been closed, and furthermore, he then proceeded to bang on about all the music festivals and gay pride celebrations he was attending, and how expensive everything was, whilst I was languishing in prison, without two pence to rub together, as the transfer he had sent me had mysteriously ‘gone astray in the post’, having supposedly been sent electronically. It all just didn’t add up.
The money wouldn’t have been such an issue had I still been at Thameside either, as at the time, with all my work commitments, I was earning somewhere in the vicinity of £35 per week - more than enough for my weekly shopping needs, however now that I had moved, I was not working, and therefore not earning, so I was stuck here in the middle of nowhere, without a pot to piss in, so to speak! He had then proceeded to ignore my calls knowing that he had done the wrong thing, and I was getting more and more depressed about the entire situation. I was becoming jittery and nervous, scared of venturing far from my cell,and fearful of losing everything I owned, as I felt I couldn’t trust any of my friends, let alone people I didn’t know and had only just met. Everything just seemed completely futile, and at this point I really believed that I would be stuck here forever, with no one to help me, and no way of ever extricating myself from this mess.
To make matters worse, I had also spoken to guys who were still here up to two years after their entire sentence had been completed, because they were in a similar situation to me. Most of them had not lived in their native Country for many years, some of them since birth, and most of them had families and an established life in the UK, but because they were fighting to stay, the Home Office was dragging their feet about hearing their cases, so they were still stuck here long after they should have been released. So much for overcrowding in prisons, and Britain’s ‘Excellent record of Human rights’ which we were hearing about constantly on the BBC Propaganda feed.
Double Bubble is the third book in The Chemsex Trilogy - a series of books written by Cameron Yorke about his experience with Chemsex, addiction, and imprisonment in the UK.
We are serialising Double Bubble on Mainly Male. This is the 22nd instalment in the serialisation. Go back to read earlier instalments.
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How do you masturbate?
We ask men to share with us their jack-off techniques.
I caught up with Twitter buddy Suffolk Lad and asked him a few personal questions.
Can you remember the first time you jacked-off?
I’d probably just turned 13. I can remember I was still sharing a bedroom with my brother. We had bunk beds. I remember I was rubbing my hard penis on the duvet.
How did you feel when you first jacked off?
The very first time I came was quite a shock.
Did you talk about it with anyone?
It was never spoken about. Wanking felt like my dirty little secret. I never discussed it with anyone. That was over 20 years ago — it’s just how things were.
Did you try any different techniques in those early years?
I tried a few different ways but ended up sticking with what gave me the most pleasure.
Can you remember the first time you talked to someone else about jacking off?
The first time I spoke about wanking was with a guy that I met online — we’re great friends now. We chatted for ages about the pleasure it gave us and how we did it. Obviously we had a bit fun from there.
What’s your preferred way to jack-off currently?
I enjoy I straight forward wank. I play with myself a bit — balls, nipples — and I have a bit of porn to hand. Then I just bust one out — it’s the best way.
What jack-off hints or tips would you give a young guy just starting to explore his sexuality?
Enjoy yourself. It’s all about self-pleasure. Do it as you feel you need to. There’s no right or wrong way.
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