PJ Proby was, you might recall, cleared of benefit fraud last year. He's been wondering aloud if the DWP didn't waste a lot of time and money pursuing him:
I was apparently being investigated for seven years before they arrested me in 2007, and then it took another five years to get to court. I wasn’t worried about going to prison.Far from being worried, Proby had planned ahead to such an extent I think he might have already been working in the prison library:
I’d have coped in prison.Jesus, I know Group 4 are awful, but surely they don't make you share your own head.
I had it all worked out. I was going to keep prison diaries under the name JL Bird and sell them when I got out.
I was on the verge of telling my secretary to go out and buy me an electric razor to shave my head, ready for prison.
But Proby - at least by his account - has been really ill-served by the DWP. They dropped the charges after finding "a box of evidence" but won't tell him what it was; as a result of all the upheaval Proby lost his home of 13 years:
They threw me out of that house at the trial. I’d rented it for 13 years and didn’t expect to move, but the owner didn’t want tour buses coming by showing everyone where the criminal lived.I'm not sure they'd have been running tour buses on that basis; and even if they did, I'm not convinced they'd have attracted more visitors than a tour bus to go and look at where trouser-splitting music legend PJ Proby lived.
So, understandably, Proby holds a bit of a grudge against the DWP. Is there any part of the UK state that he's okay with?
I thought the judge and jury could be bought like they can be in America. But I learned so much about English law and I was very impressed by the legal system. They followed protocol and it was handled correctly.Don't worry. Chris Grayling's working on that.