about him last night. Justice Minister Collins refused to be interviewed and so did the department, until a letter was dispatched to them by Ms Collins, though the department official said the reversal of the decision had nothing to do with anyone getting kicked in the butt by the Minister. Following from which, the department spokesperson, departed from the usual refusal to comment on the grounds of privacy, went onto reveal that the desperate Mr Taylor had been placed in solitary. When asked to explain how it was that Taylor could have taken photos of his gaol house law office, the spokesman said that 'incalcitrants' (something of that sort) were known to shove mobile phones up their bottoms, this was despite a deputy commissioner of police having described the security screens surrounding Taylor at all times. The deputy commissioner later went onto to describe how cunning Taylor was and other general descriptions that one would have thought would not be forthcoming from the commissioner knowing that Taylor had already appealed his conviction(s) for some gaol house organised drug importation of some description.
We also got to hear from the commissioner that Taylor, an armed robber among other things - so dispelling any misguided thoughts viewers might have harboured about armed robbers, pointed firearms at people and had spent around 30 years in prison. We got to see the grimace on Taylor's face when the Judge, sentencing him to 7 years, called him a minor celebrity who revelled in the role.
Not to be outdone the reporter questions Arthur's wife on the reasons why Arthur was permitted access to a law library and so forth, as though she, the wife, was instrumental in that decision. Overall, one might have got the impression that Arthur Taylor pissed the police and justice department right off for not only his dozen or so escapes but also because of his success in the courts over the years. Probably safe to assume that Arthur Taylor will have something to say in the Courts about the disclosures about him to the public. I know he's spent many years in solitary but it will be interesting to see how the Courts receive the news, that Taylor has not been able to prepare his defence (I gathered he has a number of cases going - some on behalf of other prisoners) and the QC appointed to advise him at his recent trial spoke of his acknowledgement of the legal skills of Taylor who, I seem to recall, was taken from Paremoremo a couple of years ago, to visit a dying Judge of the North Shore Court, at the Judge's request.
I once negotiated on his behalf when he was on a hunger strike and at other times teased him unmercifully about certain aspects of his slightly blemished character, during which discourses he would refer to himself in the 3rd person as AW Taylor when I reckoned he needed a good tickle. Blinking bank robbers.
Whatever is the motivation of Taylor, he's crossed swords with the police and justice department for 30 years and appears to be showing no signs of giving up. The unfortunate thing might be that nobody has been able to harness the formidable Arthur Taylor into a life of less conflict with the authorities, and that despite not being known as a violent man, has been treated as one because of his unbending spirit and willingness to fight the authorities every step of the way. I was reminded that as a page turns in attitudes toward the 'illegality' of certain drugs, and the futility of the 'war against drugs' without which Taylor may have moved from being an armed robber, to a more legit life, instead of apparently entering the drug trade. One thing is for sure, even locked in solitary, he won't be giving up - not even an inch.