Monday, October 29, 2012

Ed Miliband Tackling The Taboo of Mental Illness

We should all welcome Ed Miliband's intention to tackle the taboo of mental illness, no matter which side of the political divide our political allegiances fall. The fact that we are now in 2012 and there is still a stigma attached to mental illness is an embarrassment to any supposedly civilised country.

The Janet Street-Porter's and the Jeremy Clarkson's of this country do not help, their nasty prejudicial inferences and their vindictive little jokes at other peoples expense say far more about their childish spiteful attitudes than it ever will about those unfortunate enough to be struck down with this kind of illness, and mental illness is every bit an illness as a physical illness is, and can be equally as debilitating.

Janet Street-Porter sounds as if she is completely ignorant about the effects of mental illness, if she has ever had anyone close who has suffered like this or with depression, I feel for them, she must have made them feel ten times worse. They definitely know they cannot ever approach that nasty small minded woman for help. Small mind - big ignorant very ugly mouth, that's Janet Street-Porter.

As for Clarkson, I don't subscribe to the "oh he's just being controversial, that's just Jeremy" school of thought and I never have, it is just no excuse for his appalling crass behaviour. Clarkson is nothing but a grotesque egotistical selfish bastard, who had better watch out when the winds of Karma start blowing around him.

Clarkson and Street-Porter are not funny! It's not clever to poke fun at people suffering mental torment, it is cruel and insensitive and those who do this are just sad pathetic people, who have to use other peoples misfortune to feel big, important and superior.  I would like to say that they wouldn't act in the same crass manner if they were speaking about people suffering from cancer or other serious illnesses, but I'm really not so sure!

However, we can all do something to help, we can all be mindful of the things we say and they way we use our language so as not to cause hurt and offence and I include myself in that.

Ed Miliband leader of the Opposition will say today:

"Ed Miliband will criticise Jeremy Clarkson and Janet Street-Porter on Monday for demeaning people with mental health problems, likening attacks on sufferers to the fight against racism, sexism and homophobia. 
Jeremy Clarkson Outside Number 10
There are still people who abuse the privilege of their celebrity to insult, demean and belittle others, such as when Janet Street-Porter says that depression is 'the latest must-have accessory' promoted by the 'misery movement'. 
"Jeremy Clarkson at least acknowledges the tragedy of people who end their own life but then goes on to dismisses them as 'Johnny Suicides' whose bodies should be left on train tracks rather than delay journeys
Janet Street-Porter
In his first address since the Labour party conference, where he set out his plan to rebuild Britain as one nation, the Labour leader will propose rewriting the NHS constitution to guarantee that mentally ill people have access to therapies in the same way as the physically ill are provided with drugs and treatment.With the cost of mental illness to the NHS believed to be around £10bn, Miliband will announce he has set up a taskforce – led by Stephen O'Brien, the chairman of Barts Health NHS Trust and vice-president of Business in the Community – to draw up a strategic plan for mental health in society, in the hope that the next Labour government can begin work immediately on implementing reform.
I welcome Ed Miliband raising the profile of mental illness, hopefully it may help some people suffering from mental illness to realise that not everyone thinks and believes like the above two people. Recently there were four members of parliament that braved the stigma of mental illness to talk about their conditions.The four and a half hour debate saw the four MPs speaking out about their own mental health problems, in what was an emotional first for a parliamentary debate.
Hundreds of people with mental health problems had contacted their MP in the run up to the debate, urging them to speak out about local and national issues. It was a landmark day and I have every respect for those MPs, knowing the insensitive way the British parliament can behave that was exceptional.
Alistair Campbell, the former press officer to former Labour PM Tony Blair has also often spoken out about his profound depression many times.
Sadly although general attitudes towards the mentally ill had been improving I now fear for the continuation, and can contribute my fears directly to the present government and their attitude towards those with mental disabilities and physical disabilities. We have now in Britain a government hell-bent of playing fast and loose with peoples lives and using the tactic of "divide and rule" in order to shove through their ideological policies. They are actively encouraging neighbours to report people they think are scrounging and malingering backed up by gutter press right wing papers like the Sun and Mail who often run campaigns denigrating those unfortunate enough to be on benefits of one kind or another. George Osborne the chancellor has often tried to pit neighbour against neighbour by saying how annoying it must be to go to work and do everything right and you look up and see your neighbour's blinds are still down. There must be a myriad of reasons why someone's blinds are still down in the morning and mental illness is one of them!
Can you imagine being reported for possible benefit fraud if you suffer with a mental illness? Your benefits stopped, you are being pulled, prodded and pushed every which way, you are cold, lonely starving living in poverty and in danger of losing your home too?
This government are setting a very dangerous precedent, you can't see mental illness and you can't touch it  but it still there nonetheless. Often people will lay in bed or sit staring at a wall for hours on end, days on end in utter despair unable to cope, have they got to remember to raise the blinds for fear of being called a benefit cheat? I cannot think of a more irresponsible reprehensible way in which a government could behave towards its citizens.

Can you imagine being the family of a person who has committed suicide hearing Clarkson going on about "Johnny Suicides" should be left on the tracks so as not to delay journeys?" How would that make you feel? Why does Clarkson think this is an OK thing to say? He may be big but he is not very clever! The BBC is in enough trouble, however, they will be in more if they continue to broadcast this ignorant oaf making these kind of damaging comments.

One only has to look at Clarkson's closest friends to get a picture of the circles he moves in, which no doubt shape his appalling attitude towards others less fortunate than himself. Isn't there a saying that "you can judge the type of person someone is by the friends they keep"? Clarkson's "friend" and "best buddy" is Prime Minister, David Cameron, and just look at the damage he and his government are doing to those suffering from mental health conditions. The mentally ill are literally being savaged by Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan-Smith. They are being inferred to as "malingerers", "spongers" and "scroungers" etc, they are being treated as some kind of sub-human species by Atos and their lives are being turned upside down and many are being made to live in fear of their very own government and of the post arriving on their doorstep, or the phone ringing and this cannot be allowed to continue any longer, it has to stop.

I remember looking on with absolute horror and disbelief at the way Andrew Marr treated former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown when he appeared live on the BBC's Marr Show.

The BBC’s Andrew Marr  obviously felt no compunction, about asking Gordon Brown bluntly: “A lot of people in this country use prescription painkillers and pills to help them get through. Are you one of them?”
A clearly shocked Brown replied: "No. I think this is the sort of questioning which is all too often entering the lexicon of British politics."
I suspect that Mr Brown would have preferred to answer "it's none of your damned business you odious little shit" and get up and walk off the set, of course he couldn't - shame, because not many would have blamed him if he did! Marr had no business lobbing this in like a live grenade in a live interview and the BBC had no business letting him do it!
I don't care what anyone thought of Brown as a PM - Andrew Marr's question was out of the gutter. Brown is almost blind, has lost a child, has another who suffers with cystic fibrosis which was callously leaked and splashed all over the front of the Sun newspaper by then editor Rebekah Brooks. (Incidentally Brooks is yet another "friend" of PM Cameron) I believe Andrew Marr and the BBC lost all sense of human decency.

And remember this obnoxious little hypocritical turd of man has said that he has no intention of apologising! No wonder Marr's a Tory, crass, insensitive, hypocritical, arrogant and ignorant, he fits the bill - exactly! What kind of person treats another person like this on live TV, no matter who the hell they are? Marr is a disgrace to his profession and a disgrace to the BBC, but I have come to expect nothing higher than gutter level of the BBC lately, so nothing this corporation says and does surprises me any more! Mr Brown may or may not have been suffering with depression, however, that, and if he was taking medication is highly personal and was for him to reveal or not to reveal. Marr is a contemptuous arrogant little bully of a man, a womanising serial philanderer and a groper and Tory sycophant and he is useless at his job and has lost all sense of objectivity. (Something else the BBC is covering up maybe?) This is yet another example of the appalling ways in which some believe they have the right to treat people with mental illnesses. Would Marr have taken the same line of questioning with someone who had no legs or was suffering from another form of physical illness?!

Mental illness doesn't discriminate, it can affect anyone at any time, any gender, and any age, none of us know when we may need the help of the services this hideous Tory-led government is currently taking away from the "non deserving mentally ill". Suicides rates are rising generally, but suicides are especially being recorded in a rise amongst older men. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of suicides among men aged over 55 has risen by 12% over the past decade, while suicides by men aged under 34 dropped by 30%. This could be linked to older men losing their jobs without much hope of finding another in the present economic climate. Among mentally ill and disabled people the suicide rate is rising, this could be a direct correlatiobn to what the government is doing to the sick and disabled.

1000 Deaths - Atos Kills    
Over 1000 people in Britain have already died after losing benefit payments and being deemed ‘fit to work’ by Atos. Suicides are also rising sharply. The most recent Atos casualty, Celia Burns, was a cancer sufferer appealing her fit to work status. She died just a few days after a lengthy appeal saw her benefits reinstated.

Read another story about a lady called Christine about how Atos works HERE

Asking a person suffering from mental illness to "pull themselves together" is like telling a person who has just had an accident and broken both legs "to get up and walk", it is impossible in both cases.

Messing with mental illness is a dangerous thing to do, the Conservative party should know this because they have done so before, unfortunately though, they do not seemed to have learned their lessons. The present government is playing with the same fire that former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher played with, when she closed down psychiatric hospitals and sold off the prime land they stood on to her property developer buddies at grossly knocked down prices, just another example of Tories looking after their own. Psychiatric patients were discharged under the guise of "care in the community" a care that wasn't functional and many ill people slipped through the net and were left homeless to wander the streets, they never took their medication and their symptoms quickly deteriorated and we as a country took years to recover from that one act and now the Tories are back and they are attacking the mentally ill once again. They are cutting their benefits and in some cases stopping them altogether, people are losing their housing benefits and will become homeless, there are 2.5 million people out of work and approximately 12 people chasing down every job, even if there were a job available, many couldn't do it and if they could do it, show me the employer who is willing to take on a mentally ill person. in fact employers who are willing to take on any form of disabled people are very few and very far between and David Cameron, in his infinite wisdom has just closed down the Remploy factories, which actively helped disabled people back into the work place, what sense is that? Not only are this government closing down Remploy factories, they have also turned down an offer from a businessman who begged them to allow him to take over a Remploy factory in Wrexham in order to keep disabled people in work - the government just ignored him!

I Can't Believe Cameron Is Not Thatcher!

Who owns the land Remploy factories stand on and what will happen to that land when the factories close and disabled people have lost their jobs?

Is Cameron doing a "Thatcher" where she closed psychiatric hospitals and sold off their land, will Cameron close Remploy factories and sell off that land? If so who will gain?

 "Same Old Tories". However, remember, the Tory led government could not do any of this if they were not being helped and supported and propped up by the spineless gutless cowardly Liberal Democrat MPs who are more interested in keeping their little scraps of power in Government than they are about the way the incompetent Conservatives are tearing this country to shreds!

Hopefully in direct contrast to the Conservative led government and the damage they are doing and the harm they are causing people, if Labour do come to power at the next general election, having set up this task force into mental illness they will be able to start helping people immediately. I am becoming increasingly impressed with the way Ed Miliband and the Labour party seem to be shaping and changing the way opposition politics is done, Labour seem to be trying to find ways they can actually help people despite being in opposition and try to make a difference, as with their utility scheme to help people buy cheaper gas and electricity. They are concentrating on the issues that are very important to people and I look forward to hearing and seeing more from them - very impressive!

1 comment:

R33 said...

Excellent article thanks Gracie. The Tories really are intent on regressing society back to the dark ages. Creatures like Clarkson think being mean, cruel, vicious and offensive is being "courageous" and "defiant" against the mythical "PC thought police" and the "victim culture" that seeks to curtail their freedom of speech. Clarkson and Cameron are birds of a feather, which is why they flock together, because both are narcissistic, arrogant, right-wing extremist bullies, who aggrandise themselves by belittling others and enjoy hurting people.

The way Atos and the government treat the mentally ill is reminiscent of the witch trials. The only way you can prove your mental illness is real, is to commit suicide. If you don't kill yourself, you're not really ill and you are just benefit scrounging scum who wants to live in luxury at the hardworking taxpayer's expense.