Having bought my train tickets over two months ago I was at last pleased to be blowing the dust off them yesterday as I took them from the bookcase shelf, slid them into my wallet and headed out of the door. I had been looking forward to attending the annual spring conference of FACT(UK) for a long time even though the journey to Birmingham seemed like a journey to the other side of the universe. (I’m not so well travelled nowadays:) )
Was it worth the long wait, was it worth the long journey? You bet! Unlike a lot of conferences which convene to chew over issues revolving around law, Fact’s conference is different in so far as the majority of those attending are not paid legal professionals but are victims of false allegations and the suffering families of those falsely accused. It was soon evident that this group of people have a unique pool of experience and unrivalled inside knowledge of how ‘the system’ is not only failing but in some cases is actively creating the problem. Even though I have been through it myself it was difficult at times not to be emotionally effected by the suffering people in this group have had forced upon them and how they have been treated by society. I realised some time ago how naive I had been before fate dealt it’s hand on me, even to the extent that I had thought this sort of thing just didn’t happen. So when it happened to me I was sure I must be the only person in the whole world, possibly even the whole universe this could have happened to. Now here I was some two and a half years after my world fell on my head with a room full of fellow victims. How naive was I back on the 20th October 2010? (see ‘about’ page on this blog)
As I sat on the train making my way home across the universe you would be forgiven for thinking I was in a sombre mood or even that I was trying to use Dr Who’s sonic screw driver to open the electric doors and make my final dramatic departure from life. Surprisingly it was the opposite! The Tardis or to be more accurate, Virgin Trains, had transported me to a little known world that few people take the time to explore or try to understand. One that was occupied by unsung heroes. A band of people all different but sharing a common problem. People who against all odds are prepared to stand for justice and a fair and balanced society. I know that sounds corny but it’s true. It’s all too easy when the immense power of government and public opinion stands against you to say “there is nothing I can do” and to walk away. These people aren’t walking away!
Can we save the universe – probably best left to Dr Who, can we make a difference YES.
I’m ready to charge up the Tardis for next year’s journey.
Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the conference a success and to the fantastic speakers for supporting FACT’s work. Also to those who have not directly suffered but feel the suffering of others and are working to achieve change. They are all super heroes to me.