• Ben Westwood

My life in photos - Part 4

Updated: 5 days ago

#Brighton #brightonbeach #musicfestival #policecorruption #IPCCC #metpolice #campaigning #gamblingaddiction #documentary #gamblingact #channel4 #4thought #picktv #whatsupshow #liverpool #radio #surrey #tadworth #reigate #sutton #musicproduction #trance #psytrance #bracelets #handmadejewellery #handmadegifts #books #newbooks #author #musician #busking #london #busker #westminster #housesofparliament #demonstration



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So living in Brighton had its ups and downs, but living there had definitely been a memorable part of my life.

I ended up in one of the best house shares ever, living with a full house of us, all in roles working with people including residential care workers and at homeless service providers. A bright tribe and a few festivals many of us went together. Will never forget that.


During my time in Brighton, I'd been attending several crown court trials at Southwark Crown court, which I talk about in my mini-book 'How Not To Fit Up a Squatter' (there is a video book reading on part 2 of my life in photos)


A few times the case was postponed due to the judge being away on holiday or whatnot. The detective sergeant dealing with the case along with the Independent Police Complaints Commission asked me to hang in there so that the police would be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.

By the near end of it all I was ready to walk away, it was around three years in and out of postponed court cases until the case was finally heard at Southwark Crown Court.

On that occasion the police officers that had set me up, had got off on a technicality, but I was asked again by those prosecuting the officers to hang in there because they had enough evidence to show it was an illegal arrest.


So I went to where one of the-then police headquarter buildings called Tintagel house in Vauxhall to give evidence at a Metropolitan Police internal misconduct hearing, where the officers where then dismissed from the force.

You can read a little more about it here. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12367208


I eventually received my compensation, and after moving up to Walsall for a few months to spend some more time with the family member that had cancer, I then came back down to Brighton and found a house-share with some music students.

That was cool, I learned some simple stuff that I wish I'd known years earlier when trying to produce electronic music including some of the equipment I needed, which I was able to buy with my compo.


I then met a lovely lady, whom I've since departed ways with, but I'd moved up to Nottingham where she'd been studying to be closer which is where I made most of my collection of PsyTrance tunes called 'Love Life' (some are no longer available for reasons I won't go into.)


It was nice to take another trip down to Brighton where I performed at The Hanging Gardens of Brighton Festival at The Old Steine where I performed my own original songs.

I still didn't have a bank account in these days, and still found it extremely hard to be able to get one as my life and traceable history was so skew-if, so I was keeping my money in a credit union account in Brighton and having to travel all of the way down to get access to it, which is what I'd been doing when I was also back in Walsall visiting family. Still, needs must and all that, but it was expensive, and I know that if my life had been more stable and I'd had more practical help to get back on track then that money would have gone a lot further than it had.


Me and my then-girlfriend moved down to Surrey where she was from, and with a little technical help from her to help me set up my blog page, I decided to go all-out on my campaign to raise awareness of the rise in gambling addiction and betting shops and set up the 'Neuroliberation Campaign'


Back then there weren't very many activists raising awareness of the rise in gambling addiction and the gambling act which had enabled it. One group already established and making waves however were GRASP group, which was founded and ran by those experiencing gambling addiction.

They helped support me several times in my missions when my compo was starting to run dry eventually.

By then I'd made a documentary about gambling addiction. OK so it was a complete amateur bodge job of it all, but better than nothing.


Part one is unfortunately unavailable due to copyright grounds of using The Beatles 'Baby You're a Rich Man' but fortunately the rest can still be viewed on the below videos. I highly recommend them to anyone going through a gambling problem to help them get the education they need to know what's really happening.








A few journalists became interested in my blog and what I was doing. I was invited to go on Channel 4's 4Thought, as well as taking part in a show for Liverpool Community Radio which I traveled up to do. Liverpool is well great innit!






It was quite a journey, and one I couldn't help but put all of my passion into. I really thought I was gonna help to change the world for a while.

But deep down I knew that all I could do was plant seeds, hopefully my work did inspire others to get on the cause.


Here's a short clip from the What's Up TV show, a youth show on Pick TV, which featured me in a short piece on gambling addiction.





Here's a photo of me at my then-girlfriends families house down in Surrey, doing a Santa Christmas present handout for a handicapped young person, around the time that I FINALLY got my first bank account ever at around aged 27!


I also tried to organise a demonstration outside of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster. The weather wasn't on my side though, not sure how much of a difference that made anyway. Anyhow, apart from me and my then girlfriend, the only people turning up for it were two student film makers. Hopefully they used it still.

However upon asking one of the nearby police officers if he thought they'd hear my megaphone from inside of their, he said it was a decent megaphone and they likely would. 🤣 Happy days







And here it comes again, another batch of Laughing Beader handcrafted bracelets were born along with some decent photography. 2021 versions are still available on my shop page.













I even managed to send a few over to a shop called Naya Bhingi over in Tokyo. As well as stocking a small amount in a couple of alternative shops both in London's Camden market and at a shop in Surrey.

And of course, I still had some time for busking during it all. Here's me pitching up unlicensed (London underground wouldn't give me the audition) so I decided to play on an unused pitched anyway. Nice busk this was!

Song list for above video.


1.What's Going On - 4 non blondes

2. Bob Marley - Get up , Stand up

3. Think Beautiful - Ben Westwood

4. You've Got The Love - The source & Candi staton

5. Imagine - John Lennon

6. Quantum Future - Ben Westwood



CLICK HERE FOR PART 5

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