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Raising A Glass To The Next 50 Years of Jimmying

On October 13th 2012 I read that Penny Pepper was appearing at StorySLAM:Live on the
south bank. It's theme "your five-minute story around the theme of '50', as WE celebrate the 50th Koestler Trust Award anniversary". I imagined myself a slammer and this came out.

50 years of jimmy in the kids home
50 years more in special school
50 years again detained at her majesties pleasure
50 years pleasuring the unpleasant
A further 50 adding to all the 50's in all the world
Until old, battered and beaten with the old folks

Stoke Mandeville
Leeds General
Haute De La Gareene
Duncroft Approved School
Broadmoor
The names of places change

Disabled People
Sick People
Children
Vulnerable young adults
People with mental health issues
The range of people change

What stays the same over time
50 years of Jimmy
500 years of  Jimmies
5000 more
Abuse remains the same
Removal of rights remains the same
Indignities barely imagined, the same
The same
The same
The Shame

Whose shame?
The perpetuators?
The safe guarders?
The police
The moral guardians?
All these named

Whilst we suvivors
Hang our heads
Fret
Self harm
Die
through our shame
our hate
and disgust
at all those who did it
they who failed
who cried with crocodiles
too late
too bad
too harmful
too shamed

And yet we look outside
Inside on our tv screens
Listening to the radio
Reading papers and magazines
we know it happens
we wait for it to happen again
and stand idly by
leaving the institutions open
ineffective inspections
weak regulation
uncaring, not that greatly bothered
by all the old
all the young
sick
disabled
vulnerable

its not me
not my problem
read about it
talk about it
say wasn't he awful
that jimmy
this jimmy
those jimmies
its them
not me
not us

Posted by Rich Downes, 13 October 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 15 November 2012