It's a free country, or so people used to say.
A friend of mine wrote a book on a rather controversial political subject, and by strange coincidence in the last six months he has found himself hounded and harassed by police.
Here is what he has to say about it.
"Anyone writing a book critical of the EU is risking this sort of political attack by the authorities - it has happened to barrister Michael Shrimpton (who in all innocence reported what he had been told was a nuclear threat) with last year's release of his book "Spyhunter''.
I have just written 'The EU: A Corporatist Racket' which gives the history of corporatism and the EU as the corporatists tool, since 1939. [See below.]
In February last year I gave my daughter an early draft of the book (properly printed) to take to a conference in Torquay (which I could not attend) where I had hired a table to sell books. I had given the draft to show to a colleague.
Unfortunately she left it on the table and someone stole it.
Later on I received an email from someone I did not know asking me to send him a pdf of the book and when I asked him to phone me (giving my number) they did not call. Then in November I was arrested and spent 12 hours in a cell in Banbury and my wife was simultaneously interrogated for 5 or 6 hours in Witney police station in an attempt to get her to testify against me on an invented accusation. If they had managed to break either myself or my wife the consequences for me could have been serious. That they failed is testimony to my wife's courage and resilience. Afterwards I wrote to Thames Valley Police Commissioner requiring an apology. There was a report compiled and I have been refused an apology because they claim they have done nothing wrong, yet they refuse to give a copy of their report - the matter is ongoing.
Here is the full account of what happened to me and my wife on 12th November 2014
I had been at my computer from around 3a.m. on 12th November and was at it in our ‘Sun Room’, around mid-morning (I cannot be precise about the time, as I never got the opportunity to check it).
Quite suddenly, two police officers in black combat fatigues appeared outside demanding to be let in. Naturally, I unlocked the door and they came in instructing me to put my shoes on (I was wearing slippers) letting me know that I was under arrest and that I was being taken to Banbury Police Station for interrogation..
I informed them I was ill (being treated for prostate cancer, on hormone therapy which leaves you very tired and with hot and cold sweats and also I needed medication to help me urinate) – they didn’t seem much interested in what I had to say, and I also told them I needed to visit my toilet urgently (I had been delaying the visit as I was deep in writing and that if I was being taken to Banbury needed to go before leaving).
The older Officer, whom I shall call Officer ‘A’, as I have no idea of his identity, excepting that I believed him to be from Witney Police Station and who was clearly in charge of this ‘operation’, permitted me to collect my medication, but refused to let me use my upstairs toilet.
Well, at first he did not impede me in this, tramping through the house after me, followed by Officer ‘B’ and up the stairs. Both officers were in their outdoor boots, without a thought for our expensive fitted carpeting. When I made to close the toilet door for privacy, which a normal person would consider to be a not unreasonable thing to do, Officer A seemed to ‘flip’ and without warning pushed the toilet door back open before I could fully close it, grabbed me forcefully and clamped his handcuffs around my wrists – it seemed he was delighted at the opportunity.
There was no need for any of this since it was clear that I, 3 years off 80 and ill, was not going to scarper..
Of course by this time I was becoming terrified, as I was aware of press stories of the public being deprived of their lives through TASERING. Anyway, Officer A, not satisfied with just handcuffing me ensured the cuffs were tightened to the last ‘notch’ on the ratchet. I was immediately in acute pain and asked Officer A to loosen them by a notch. He refused, claiming they were not too tight asking Officer B, if they were too tight. Officer B, being a new recruit, was not about to contradict the older man.
How could he claim this – he was not wearing them – I was the one in pain and could best judge, but Officer A remained unconcerned. And I could see from Officer B’s grimacing visage that he was appalled with the situation. I attach no blame to Officer B, his behaviour from start to finish was exemplary. The cuffing was clearly intended as a punishment not as a means of preventing my escape.
Next we set off for Banbury, Officer A driving, with me in the back with Officer B.
The journey to Banbury had a bizarre air about it, it seemed like a leisurely day out for the boys to Officer A, with him, chattering away to me about what a nice place Oxfordshire was to live whilst all the time the pain was forcing tears from my eyes. We travelled quite slowly dragging out the agony.
Several times I asked to have the cuffs loosened a notch, but to no avail – what was the point, a notch less would not have allowed me to escape, even if I had wanted to?
We arrived in Banbury after what seemed like an eternity, and then had to wait outside in the cold for what must have been half an hour still shackled, even though we were in a secured compound. Why couldn’t the Officer have removed, or at least loosen, the cuffs? We were apparently waiting our turn to go in. It was somewhat hypocritical that the Officer waited until the very last moment before removing the cuffs as the indicator light showed that we could now enter the building – I suppose he did not want me brought before the Custody Sergeant in agony, as that might have raised issues about maltreatment.
I estimate that my pain and suffering had been for nearly two hours and later I noticed my right wrist was swelling slightly and bleeding. This was the last I saw of Officer’s A and B.
Whilst all this was going on, my wife, Francine, I was to learn from her later, had been removed to Witney Police Station for her interrogation. Naturally, my wife, who is also some 3 years off 80 and chronically ill, has been traumatised by the whole affair and doesn’t want to talk about it.
Anyway she has revealed to me that her interrogation lasted 5 to 6 hours, in two separate sessions, one at Witney Police Station and the other at our home in Witney. It was intensely stressful for her and so traumatic it is little wonder she wants to forget about it.
The only object of the interrogation being: to get my wife to testify against me. It lasted for a gruelling 5 to 6 hours, which in spite of the intense strain, she steadfastly refused to do so – why would she? Why were Thames Valley Police so determined to get a wife to testify against her husband? Was it a simple matter of targets (God help us) or something more sinister.
Next, back at Banbury Police Station. Having the cuffs removed was a blessed relief – you would say or do anything to get rid of the pain. I suppose when something nasty stops you don’t complain, but in retrospect I should have complained there and then about the treatment and had it recorded.
I was then allowed to visit the Police Station’s toilet, without supervision and without the door being kept open and unlocked. There were then some formalities at the custody desk, where the Custody Sergeant was efficient and respectful, followed by being locked up in a cell (being deprived of the means of telling the time, I can only guess at it – perhaps about midday).
The cell was cold and when I complained, I was told there was nothing they could do about it, although I was given blankets, as the atmosphere was electronically environmentally controlled! This was not pleasant as the hormone treatment I was, and am, receiving brings on periodic hot and cold sweats. I had to endure. Being deprived of my shoes, also added to my distress.
I had been told before we left Witney, that I was being taken to Banbury for interrogation, but there was no interrogation, not for many long hours (I estimate about 12). I was being ‘hung out to dry’ until I was sufficiently ‘broken’ that I would be ‘easy to interrogate’. I was offered food, but by now I could not trust that the food might not have some drug in it (after all, we now know that Britain, along with USA, has been involved in torture and drugging, in contravention of United Nations Charter). In any case the food offered looked revolting. As a result I was not to eat from supper on 11th until early morning on the 13th. I did drink from the water fountain in the cell. I must have been in the cell for nearly 12 hours without food or contact, before, at last, they were ready to interrogate me.
Of course, I was very tired, disoriented, traumatised, very miserable, hungry, and my wrists were sore. I was ready to tell them everything and anything they wanted to hear to put an end to this. I had no idea where all this was leading – it was most frightening.
I know the interrogation began about 11p.m. as I asked Rebecca, the CID interrogator, the time (my watch had been taken from me).
After what must have been more than an hour, Rebecca informed me the police (was this Officer A?) in Witney had been trying to extract a testimony against me from my wife of 46 years, but my wife didn’t have one to give. This was regardless of the pressure placed upon her, so there was no point in continuing my interrogation. I was to be returned to my cell pending the result of her recommendation to her Superintendent (or whatever) that there was nothing against me and that I be released. I spent another hour or so in the cell before, recovering my possessions and being released into the night."
If you are interested in reading the book that attracted so much attention for its author, you can find it on sale on the Amazon website.
The EU: A Corporatist Racket: How the European Union Was Created by Global Corporatism Paperback – 12 Dec 2014
by David Barnby (Author), John Leftwich (Illustrator)