Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Italian Job

Pewsey railway station is a small and very traditional outpost in the Wiltshire countryside. Its two small platforms and little stone and brick waiting room make a sweet and peaceful place to enjoy the British railway network. I went there recently after a hectic Halloween social event in Devises. I had half an hour to wait for my train home and so took a stroll around the area. I was then delighted to come across one of Wiltshire's many well-kept little secrets. Just outside the gates of Platform Two was a small black caravan with an awning. On the side was the words "The Italian Job". Inside was a very small but very comfortable cafeteria. Behind the counter was a man called Roy Messenger, and after talking to him for a while I discovered that he is a former hospital porter... And there's me thinking I could tell just by looking! He serves authentic Italian coffee brewed in Turin. It is a special blend of selected beans. I'm sure My EP&DBP Roy makes many commuters' and holiday makers' day with his special flavoured coffee. He also serves pastries and confectionary; I had one of his pains-au-chocolat. Roy spends most days at Pewsey Station, but sometimes he tows his caravan to outdoor concerts, fairs and other festivals. He is available for private hire. See here for his website: Like my EP&DBP Roy, I am an ex-hospital porter trying to find a new life after the hospitals. It's not easy. I wish him all the success in the world and salute him as an EP&DBP. If you're ever passing through the area by train, do please pay him a visit.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

My Confession

A few days ago Stefan Molyneux did a call-in show entitled "MGTOW saved my Eggs!" He spends an hour in conversation with a man called Logan, from 1 hour 37 minutes, whose wife ran off with a male best friend of his. They talk for an entire hour and in the last third or so of the discussion Stefan lambastes his guest for being "too nice" and a "pushover", see: It makes uncomfortable listening because this is a criticism that has been levelled at me; although not in recent years I'm glad to say. I'm referring to a period of my life long gone, primarily my first decade at the hospital, or maybe slightly longer; there is no definitive beginning or end point for this slice of time. No particular day that I started nor any particular day I finished. However, I know that today I am a very different person and that it has been many years since I stopped being the person I was back then. This article is addressed to the people who knew me back then and not to my current friends and acquaintances. This is why I am posting it on the HPWA blog. I am still in touch with a few of those people and I'm glad because I owe them an explanation, and some of them an apology. You see, my personality in those days was almost entirely an act.

One thing Molyneux believes in very strongly is personal responsibility and he tries to instil this into Logan during their call. I understand where he is coming from and he is, as is often his custom, clearly playing for his audience with sensationalism and hyperbole, but what he said could be construed as Logan being held one hundred percent accountable for his awful experience; because that's what popular wisdom states. In any situation like Logan's the call goes out from the multitudes: "You shouldn't let them get away with treating you like that!" This is far, far more common than: "They shouldn't be treating you like that!" It can even go to the extent of: "You deserve it for being such a sucker!" Indeed when Bernie Madoff, the world's most devastating fraudster, was caught, a commentator at the time said that Madoff had millions of accomplices, "...the investors who trusted him!" See: It took me a long time to understand that my feelings about this matter are why I did what I did. I really feel like I am moving through life at a ninety degree angle to the rest of the world and I always have been. I also began my charade at a time just after I had healed from my disastrous attempt to change my personality from within, see: The reason is, I have always found the idea of exploiting or abusing another person because they are vulnerable utterly obscene. If I ever committed such an offence I would feel mortally ashamed of myself and anybody telling my victim: "Well, you made it so easy for him! You need to change your ways and stop being such a mug!" would essentially be exonerating me of any blame for my brutal actions and shifting it completely onto the poor damaged and destitute individual I had just defecated on. The implications are that it is A-okay to mistreat others, so long as they're not capable of resisting. What's the difference between that and the rapist's excuse: "She was asking for it!"? It is the veto of the psychopath. However, most people accept this noxious ethical equation; I know because I put it to the test. I carried out a ten to fifteen-year live experiment with myself as the guinea pig. During that time I endured fairly universal contempt and despicable maltreatment at the hands of others. I could give you numerous examples; people borrowing money and never repaying it, people talking down to me in front of others in social gatherings for their own self-aggrandizement or simply for entertainment, money and property being stolen, nasty jokes being made about me, rumours being spread about me, lies being told about me, lies being told to me continuously as a matter of normal interaction, pub drinks being spiked, sabotage of my work, attempts to ruin my social life. It didn't do my love-life much good either, to put it mildly. Why did I do it? In truth, at the time I didn't even know it myself; it was something I decided to do on a completely subconscious level. It is only actually in the last few years, after a long process of reflection, that I realize the answer. That understanding has been an enormous liberation for me. A lot of the bitterness, self-reproach and guilt have been lifted from my shoulders. I did it because I wanted to know who my real friends were. Can you honestly call somebody a true friend if you believe that the only reason they're being virtuous towards you may be because they know you would not let them get away with anything less? It was a test, pure and simple. Who would not take advantage of me, even when they could? I'm sad to say that only three people ever passed that test; only three of the hundred a hundred and fifty individuals who came close to me during those years. One of them was my closest friend at the time, an older man called Barry who had become something of a surrogate father figure to me at the hospital; we're still in touch and on good terms although we have slowly drifted apart over the years. And there were only two others whom I shall not name here; if I meet them I might inform them of their achievement, if you can call it that.
What does my experiment reveal? That it seems I hold very unorthodox ethical values. Am I alone? Surely I can't be the only one who doesn't want to take advantage of other people just because they are easy meat. On the contrary; whenever I come across somebody and "sense that they're a pushover" to use Molyneux' words, my first instinct is to protect and defend them, to keep potential abusers away from them. I have made friends with these people with that very purpose in mind. I don't know if they appreciate me for that. Maybe some of them find it patronizing. It doesn't make any difference to me; I would still do it anyway. It's quite likely I am motivated at a gut level by my empathic disorder, see: and the background links below. Was this false-persona I lived under for all that time the right thing to do? To be honest, no. I feel a bit guilty at the way I misled and deceived some people. I feel almost as if I were a spy in their midst. I lived a double-life and few people ever saw the real me. I should not have done it, but because it was never a conscious decision to do it in the first place, I don't feel as regretful as I would if it had been a deliberate policy I had wilfully implemented, in which case it would have been much worse. Therefore I hereby apologize to everybody I lied to, or at least to Barry and the other two people who passed my test. As for the others?... Well, I don't have much to do with them these days anyway and I will never let them back into my life again.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Hospital Porter dies at Grenfell

One of the victims of the fire at Grenfell Tower has been confirmed as a hospital porter. Abdulaziz El Wahabi served at the University College Hospital in London. The son of a hospital porter, he entered the profession in his father's footsteps. His bother-in-law said of him: "You have to have a sense of humour to work in the NHS. He never complained, he got on with the job. Being a porter, you're someone who goes to the operating theatre, to X-ray. It's a very important job; you just don't get well paid for it." He died in his home on the 21st floor along with his wife Faouzia and their three children; Yasin, aged 20; Nur Huda aged 15; and Mehdi, aged 8. I salute the memory of my EP&DBP. Rest in peace, Abdulaziz. Source:

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

I've got Osteoarthritis

About a month ago I discovered that I have osteoarthritis. This was after I had a number of tests at the outpatients department at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford. I decided to go to my GP because I've been finding it more and more difficult to walk over the past few months due to my legs seeming to be getting very stiff. Other people have noticed and have asked me if I'm alright. Climbing stairs, tying my shoe-laces and getting in and out of the bath are especially difficult. My doctor referred me to the rheumatology clinic where I was examined and had my legs X-rayed. The condition is in both knees, but worse in my left one. I have to have further tests on my hips, but the rheumatologist suspects I have it there as well. I probably don't have it in my back because that would be very painful. Osteoarthritis is a disorder of bone joints caused by a breakdown of the various tissues of the joint. Unfortunately it is very common and about three million people in the UK have it; mostly older people than myself, but it can strike at any age. I am in a high-risk group because of having been a hospital porter for twenty-three years. All the countless miles and miles I walked in the John Radcliffe Hospital for so long, as well as the pushing, pulling and lifting, have literally worn down my joints by mechanical fatigue. The good news is that I am not in pain, unlike many other osteoarthritis-sufferers, although my left knee sometimes hurts a bit and I need to prop it up on a pillow in bed at night. The stiffness is not so bad that I can't work. In fact the rheumatologist asked me what my job was and I told him, I am a gardener, house-cleaner and odd-job man. He told me that this was good because it gave me moderate exercise and that is beneficial for osteoarthritis. It also prevents me putting on weight which would make the condition much worse. He recommended I take up swimming; this is not something I liked doing last time I tried it, but I'll give it another go. I already do a gym workout regularly. There is no cure for osteoarthritis and for some sufferers it can be debilitating, but this is not inevitable. With the right care it can be managed and people with it can lead normal lives. I am not complaining or seeking sympathy, in fact at the hospital I have seen so many people in far worse conditions than myself; conditions I would not repeat. Also this adds another silver lining to my dismissal from the NHS, see:; if I had not been kicked out of hospital portering in January 2012 then my osteoarthritis would probably have developed much faster. Being still in portering I would certainly then have been forced onto a light duty regime which would involve covering reception, manning the dispatch desk or other boring activities that would drive me up the wall. So I am not too bothered by my diagnosis; it is not impinging on my normal life.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Lift Accident- Porters not to Blame

There has been a freak accident in a Spanish maternity hospital that has resulted in the grisly death of a young mother. Rocio Cortes Nunes had just successfully delivered her third child and was being transported between the floors of the Virgen de Valme Hospital in Seville, Spain. The porter had wheeled the "stretcher" into a lift. This could be a mistranslation because post-natal mothers are usually moved on full-sized beds. I was a maternity porter for nine years, see: The lift wouldn't move even though the doors opened and closed properly, so the porter began wheeling the vehicle out of the lift. When it was half in and half out the lift moved with the doors still open and Mrs Nunes was caught in the gap. These are preliminary reports based on witness testimony. Nothing official has been released by the hospital. Source: Obviously I'm very sad for Mrs Nunes and for her surviving family, especially her newborn daughter Triana. I hope the lifts are repaired so that this can never happen again. One thing is pretty clear though, the porter was not to blame in any way.

Monday, 24 July 2017


In my latest Saint Theo's Day video I refer to my portering career's transition from the delivery suite to the operating theatres, see: The story of how I left the theatres and returned to general service is a long and intricate one, as well as being very educational for me. To explain how it happened it is necessary to know a bit about the organisational structure of the John Radcliffe Hospital's Portering Department at the time. Unusually we had a single large department consisting of a general pool or "lodge" and specialized sections from the Portering Department were deployed to the various other departments, X ray, theatres, emergency etc. A porter can be made to serve anywhere within the remit of the portering job description. In most other hospitals, departments tend to employ their own porters and the general pool is completely independent. All this changed in 2005 when the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust entered into a contract with Carillion PLC to build the new six hundred million pound West Wing. (This deal was a plot designed to sabotage the NHS, see: The contract involved the amalgamation of the portering services with domestics and catering to create a new department: Facilities. At the same time the refuse section of the old Portering Department, the hospital's dustmen, was split off and made into a new sub department called "the waste team" or "environmental porters". At the time I had been serving in Theatres since 1999. My job involved transporting patients to and from surgery, the movement of patients within the theatres and basic logistics relating to equipment, drugs, specimens, rubbish and anything else. The Theatres Department administration then proposed to employ their porters independently. Its proposal was approved and it was granted a budget. Recruitment was simplicity itself; the old departmental staff who had been deployed in Theatres at the time of transition were simply acquired automatically under the Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of Employment regulations. I agreed and signed the new contract. This was a big mistake. Had I declined I would have simply been redeployed within the rest of the new hospital portering Facilities services. On the surface it seemed like a good deal. Becoming a theatre porter employed directly by the Theatres Department meant a pay-rise of an extra one thousand two hundred pounds per year; and we would be answerable only to the Theatres management and no longer have to deal with the remote controllers in the Facilities offices. However, there was a catch, we would no longer be called porters; our new job title was "ODO- Operating Department Orderly".
I had no idea how much this would affect me until the first time I heard a voice on the intercom saying: "Are there any ODO's there please?" Up until then it had always been: "Are there any porters there please?" I remember it perfectly to this day. My jaw dropped. I felt like Winston Smith in 1984 when he first heard somebody announce that Oceania was at war with Eastasia. I asked the head theatre porter (formerly the section senior porter) if I could carry on calling myself a theatre porter. He said no; absolutely not. On a nuts and bolts level he was right; I had signed the contract, something I now bitterly regretted. However I got a sticky label and wrote the word porter on it and stuck it over my name badge where it said "Ben Emlyn-Jones- ODO." A few days later I was called into the office of the Theatres manager, a thin old woman called Julie. Sitting beside her was the head of Human Resources (another Orwellian word). I assumed this was just an informal discussion and at no point was I cautioned and asked if I wanted trade union representation. Julie explained to me that what I was doing was defacing hospital property and breaching security policy. She asked me to remove the sticker and I refused. The HR manager then asked me why I didn't like being called an ODO. I said that I intensely dislike this new job title. It's a shallow, gimmicky, artificial, politically correct, piece of Orwellian Newspeak, It's nothing more than stupid corporate jargon. It's not a word at all, just a piddling little soulless, plastic euphemism. I think it sounds mindless and highly unprofessional. "ODO" is also sometimes pronounced "Oh-doe" and that sounds rather like "odour"... or perhaps, very aptly, "order"; as in the new world one. "Porter" is actually a very ancient and noble word; it goes back to the Latin portare which means "to carry". I became very emotional as I spoke. "I've shed sweat, blood and tears for over seventeen years for that little word: porter!" I told him. "I will never give it up!" He replied: "The theatre porters at the RI (Radcliffe Infirmary) are called ODO's; they've always been called ODO's and none of them seem to mind." Really? The RI is Oxford's oldest hospital; it was opened over two hundred and eighty years ago. Were the theatre porters honestly called ODO's from day one? They asked me once again to remove the sticker and I refused again. Then they allowed me to return to work. However a couple of days later I received a letter at my home address warning me that the next time I turned up for duty, if I did not have an intact name badge and was willing to answer to the job title of "ODO" then I would be suspended and face full disciplinary action. I called my shop steward, a man called Eamon. He was furious that I'd even received the letter and considered it highly wrongful for them to have sent it to me. He chastised me that I shouldn't have cooperated with the panel: "There's no such thing as an 'informal discussion' in this place!" he said. "You should have walked out and only agreed to come back with me at your side!" He told me I had no choice but to remove the sticker, for now. However he immediately made an appointment for us to get together and construct an official grievance. He did this against the advice of most of the other conveners in the union; for this I am eternally grateful to him. The local UNISON branch was quite alarmed by the stand I'd made; some of them questioned my mental health. For them it was a total non-issue. "Who cares what you're called?" one of them said. "You've just bagged yourself an extra twelve hundred a year. What the hell is wrong with you!?" It's hard to explain to somebody who is apathetic towards their occupation and just sees it as forty hours a week out from their lives in order to generate an income. The saddest part of the whole situation was the response from my fellow porters. The first day of work after the news broke I walked into the lodge and MEP&DBP's were definitely withdrawn and subdued in the way they greeted me. Their usual warmth and camaraderie was absent and the embarrassed silence continued all day. With the exception of Eamon, not one of those men stood by me. That's eighteen porters, the entire section, that rejected me. On the contrary they shunned me. I heard how behind my back they were calling me a "fucking idiot!" and other epithets. The deputy senior was the worst. One of his jobs was to keep a record of annual leave. This he did by writing the porters' names in a big diary. At one point I booked two bank holiday lieu days with him over the phone; and on the first day I went on leave he phoned me up and asked why I wasn't at work. I told him that I had booked the lieu days with him a week earlier and he replied: "No you didn't." He deliberately hadn't written my name down in the book. What could I do? I had made the booking over the phone. This was something we all did and considered it perfectly valid because we trusted each other. The deputy senior had tricked me by pretending to book my leave. I was marked down as absent. There was no doubt my time in Theatres was limited. I sent the following letter to the Theatres manager:
                                                                                                 Ben Emlyn-Jones
3/1/06                                                                            Operating Theatres JRII
                                                                                  John Radcliffe Hospital

Dear Julie,

Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year.

Re: Your letter dated 30/12/05 and the question: “Have you removed the sticky label from your name badge?”

Yes, I have. I think I’ve made my point, and there is no valour in cutting off my nose to spite my face. Besides, it’s only fair that I return my badge to Security in the same state that it was issued to me.

I will be leaving the Theatres Department soon. I wish to continue my portering career in another department, or another hospital, where I am free to express my porterhood. If this is not possible then I will end my portering career in the same way I’ve always tried to live it: with dignity.

If I am given a job in another department then I will need to arrange a transfer and give appropriate notice. This I would like to discuss with you, Chris and my UNISON representative at the appropriate time.

With the exception of the last two months, I will look back at my seven years in your department very fondly.

Porters Forever!

Ben Emlyn-Jones

There is no valour in being a false martyr. As I said in the letter, I had made my point. I even used the word porter in my address; I also did in my following letter of resignation. I feared that Julie might actually be so petty as to send it back to me and order me to change it to "Operating Department Orderly" before accepting it, but luckily, to her credit, she wasn't. As good providence would have it, I was swiftly accepted back into the new Facilities department where I served for the next seven years until my final discharge, see background links below. They were delighted to have me actually. Why did Theatres management go to town so zealously on this issue? Not to mention the spiteful ostracization by my immediate peers. Or to put it another way, is the dreaded P-word really so awful that it had to be eliminated as such a high priority? A portering friend of mine asked me afterwards: "Why did you make such a fuss about a job title, Ben?" My reply was: "But they made just as much fuss as I did. Have you asked them that question?" No false modesty here, I was their most valuable member of portering staff; the most dedicated, the most expert and the most experienced. Yet they threw me away without any hesitation for the sake of a three-letter acronym. What really annoyed and baffled me is that some of the other theatre porters/ODO's were very bad at their jobs and they were left in peace. One man in particular springs to mind. He was late for work almost every day and used to sneak off early whenever he could. He was off sick at least one day a week. When he was present he spent as much time as he could get away with skiving. He could usually be found smoking at the entrance to the service tunnels with the other time-wasters, but nobody caught him out. He was never sacked and was rarely even reprimanded. He enjoyed eight cushy years in portering before leaving voluntarily to become a healthcare assistant in some nursing home. They got rid of me, but were quite content to keep him! I once asked my friend, who is still a theatre porter in the West Wing, how the staff feel about being called ODO's and apparently they say things like: "We've always been called ODO's, haven't we?" What's really disturbing is that even porters who were serving before 2005 say this... Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. The words we use for things are vitally important because language is such a precious and central part of the human experience; it is the framework of cognition. Take away the human power of speech and you remove our power of thought; we will then become no more intelligent than a limpet. This is why human language is under attack. The architects of the New World Order want to degrade it and transform it into a degenerate instruction code; as George Orwell warned us: "Newspeak was designed to eliminate all meaning from language, leaving only blandness." Before he died in 1950 Orwell left us a chilling warning: "Allowing for the book, after all, being a parody, something like 1984 could actually happen. This is the direction the world is going in at the present time... If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever. The moral to be drawn from this dangerous nightmare situation is a simple one: don't let it happen. It depends on you." I know, George. And I won't. I promise you, I won't.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Blocks and Dig's

Slaxxxer has uploaded a video today about an argument he had and how it has led him to introspection about expressing feelings, see: It's uncanny because I feel in a very similar situation. All today I have had the strange feeling that everybody is attacking me at once and it's put me in a strange mood. As I say to the skeptics: "I may be a paranoid conspiracy theorist, but being paranoid doesn't mean everybody isn't out to get me!" There are two cases in particular I want to detail. I was contacted a few days ago on Facebook (so begins a million argument stories!) by a total stranger who claimed she was engaged to be married to the son of a lady I know, somebody who I really like and respect. I was a bit alarmed because I didn't recognize this person but I checked with my friend and she confirmed that this was indeed her daughter-in-law-to-be. My friend is celebrating her fortieth wedding anniversary this Sunday. Then the daughter-in-law-to-be sent me a message confiding in me that she had a surprise present planned for my friend and asked me to help. Unfortunately I misunderstood and inadvertently ended up revealing the secret to my friend. I apologized to the daughter-in-law-to-be, but she was absolutely furious. She said: "Thanks a lot for ruining that surprise!... If you misunderstood you could have asked!... What a shame, you have ruined what was a lovely idea and took me a lot of time and effort... You really did mess that up! You just need to engage your brain... So gutted!" Beyond my apology there was not a lot I could say. I had indeed done that. But then this tirade continued. When I merely posted a comment saying: "Congratulations! Have a great day!" on a formal and public notice issued by my friend and her husband, the daughter-in-law-to-be posted an angry emoji below it. I deleted the comment. The daughter-in-law-to-be is behaving as if I have deliberately sabotaged my friend's celebration out of malicious intent. No, I would never do that. It was an honest mistake and I'm sorry. At the very same time I had a comment on one of my posts from an intermittent friend whom I last saw in 2011. He and I came across each other a few times before at David Icke forum meet-ups. He is the kind of person who is always very courteous in real life, but online he can behave like he did this time. His comment was sarcastic, bitchy and subtly abusive. This is not the first time he's done this kind of thing. A few years ago I was politely debating with somebody and he waded in with his size 12's with the snide comment: "Clutching at straws, Ben." These two incidents happened within about an hour of each other. I snapped. Maybe it's because of the Larry Warren business (See:, but my tolerance levels have taken a battering recently. My professional decorum has its limits. The good news is that hospital portering has taught me a hard but very worthwhile lesson on how to disarm antagonists like this: The Dignity Statement. See the background links below for more details. I explain how to use it, when to use it and, when used correctly, how effective it is at retaliating against enemies in an ethical manner. I've found it useful in my post-portering life on several occasions, although not as often as when I was in portering. This is one of these occasions. So I have done something that goes against the grain a bit, but I know in the long run it will make me feel a lot better. The first thing I did was to send them the lyrics to a porters' song.

Porters' Dignity
Porters' Dignity
Porters' Dignity
And Porters' Dignity
Porters' Dignity
Oh, Porters' Dignity
Porters' Dignity
And Porters' Dignity

Porters' Pride
Porters' Pride
Porters' Pride
And Porters' Pride
Porters' Pride
Oh, Porters' Pride
Porters' Pride
And Porters' Pride

You can hear me singing that song at the end of this HPANWO Show: After that I blocked them before they had the chance to reply. Childish you might think? Just how mature are we meant to be and for how long? Who benefits when we turn the other cheek again and again and again to aggressive and exploitative emotional vampires and hashtag pugilists who are all smiles when you meet them in person and then snipe and gripe at you from behind their keyboards and monitors?... They do! So I'm taking some time off from being Mr cool-calm-and-collected ex-porter. I've gone on to do the same to two other people. One is the person who unfriended me for daring to disagree with him over Dr Judy Wood, see: The other is the co-host of a skeptic radio show I was once on. He unfriended me when he joined the Anti-Darren Perks Cult, see: This was when I was striving on the futile effort to engage these people in rational debate. While I was presenting my rational case he posted: "Ben, stop prevaricating." I know, the last two cases are things that happened years ago and I'm still angry about it. Isn't that petty of me? Maybe Slaxxxer is right and the reason I'm still angry after so much time has passed is because I did not react correctly at the time. I've found that I can't just brush these feelings off; they fester. Perhaps this way I can find peace. I myself feel uncertain about what I've done. Many people will say that it's out of character for me. Maybe, but if my character includes biting my tongue and suffering in silence, then perhaps it is a flaw not a quality.