Friday, 17 April 2015

Graham Nation

The never ending capitalist carousel continues: for some reason I tune into 5 Live every morning. Like a child with a scab I can't help but 'pick' at it, listening to the 'debate' for as long as I can stand. Usually not very long as it's a haven for desperately media brainwashed curtain-twitchers and cliche-spouters regurgitating a series of almost non-sequiturs of connected slogans and soundbites. Ultimately meaningless and completely non-progressive. This morning someone called 'Graham' who apparently runs an agency recruiting for warehouse staff lamented the lack of ambition across the nation in native folk wanting to work in a warehouse for, presumably, as little as possible - after he takes his cut, of course. Across the table from him was Nigel Farage trotting out his greatest hits; I don't think that man has said anything new in the last year.

So that's two wealthy (one assumes - unless that guy is just shit at recruitment, which is entirely possible since i have no idea who he is) opinion peddlers claiming representation of facts and truths. This is how we are to be governed. No one has asked my opinion, at best I'd be entitled to ask a question if I was 'lcuky' enough to be in the audience. A spectator watching two wealthy captains of industry talking and telling us what to think. Is this real? Have we really allowed ourselves to be robbed of the ability to govern our own destiny and determine how we live?

Apparently, according to 'Graham's' wisdom, British people are implicitly lazy; outsiders have to be brought in to work in our warehouse because no one here wants to apply. This 'fact' is of course not challenged; Farage's purpose is to explain why (ie to blame everything on the EU/immigration/open door, etc). How can 'Graham' possibly know this? Has he spoken to every single unemployed person in the neighbourhood, or is it more likely he's assumed this based on his own experiences finding staff for clients - whomever they may be. How do we know these clients are decent employers or that their needs are reasonable. If there was no option to hire Johnny Foreigners then what? You'd presumably have to offer more money? Would that work? Who knows because the one thing these capitalists are sure of is that they really don't like loosening the purse strings.

Immigration ;policy may well have a part to play, but ultimately the choice about whom to employ comes from the employer. 'Graham' is just a parasite: he has seen what capitalists like to call a gap in the market. They think this is clever, that they are providing a need. Except they are taking money that could go directly to workers...just to find workers, something I don't imagine would be difficult for the employer to do. There may be some circumstances where farming out the job to a specialist could be worthwhile, but for menial jobs in a local warehouse? Maybe there just aren't that many people available. We don't know, but is it reasonable to jump to the conclusion that it's because local people are lazy (and also unemployed since that's essential to be considered).

To me all of this is insane: we are the ones being told we are lazy for not wanting to work these jobs. Yet we are not listened to by those making these complaints. This is the future we want to build for ourselves: a world dependent on a paucity of creativity and interest. A society where saying that you want self determination, to be given opportunity to do what YOU want, is selfish and must be sublimated to the needs of rich people in charge. That the only people who can get a decent education that might waft them beyond the reach of the likes of 'Graham' are those that can afford it - or who's parents can? This seems fundamentally wrong. Why am I not allowed a say, why am I not listened to? Why is it assumed that what I want is unreasonable and overly demanding?

Our futures are determined by the needs of wealthy people to become more wealthy. Knowledge for anything else and of anything different is deemed either irrelevant or a privilege. I don't agree that these people should dictate to me my options for how I'm to spend the majority of my life - this isn't about a few hours' chores here and there. It's how you are going to be spending at least half your day at least 5 days a week for your entire life, until you become too feeble to continue (and even that's no up for grabs).

We are entreated to participate in an election through the propaganda that claims if we don't vote we have no voice, when in truth we have no voice either way. George Carlin was closest to the truth when he said that those who do vote bear responsibility for the misery caused by those in power - not those that don't vote. That said I think it's fundamentally important to oust this not-really-a-coalition-but a Tory government, but that's a temporary matter. It doesn't address the future and how we create a society that give everyone a voice and an opportunity. I do not agree that my life should be dictated by /Graham/.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Epilogue?

The strapline for this blog that I'm in danger of ignoring defines this as my record of how I endured the Cameron years. A period I hope history will measure with the requisite degree of justice and objectivity. It has been a period of, in my view, quite unprecedented change. People are now defined by uncertainty with views largely determined by the agendas of a predominantly right wing and unreasonably powerful media; they look to 'common sense' - ie how they feel - to inform their views.

They don't know what is factually correct because the deceitful nature of the political class has soured discourse to such a degree that anyone proposing evidence is treated with suspicion. The only truth is that political correctness, yet again, trounces everything and 'good' people are sacrificed on its altar.

People are placing their faith in trite platitudes (if I hear the phrase 'feel good factor' once more....) and decrying those who dare to speak against the now well-cemented lie that the last government wrecked everything.

We have less than a month to go until the greatest, though not great, and only (more importantly) opportunity to be rid of this awful government. I simply dread to think what will happen if we do not. I am sharpening my democratic (and, for the benefit of the security services, metaphorical) knife for a very very long night.

Last Thursday seven individuals claiming political insight and/or superiority pretended to have a televised debate, conducted in front of an unrepresentative (ie hard-working taxpayers) audience. This farce barely covered anything and didn't cover issues of welfare, disability discrimination, the attacks on the poor and the outrageous exploitation of workers and public services, except, merely, in passing. What hope is there? The same tired political platitudes, essentially scaremongering or preaching to the choir, are reeled out with truth at best a coincidence.

Cameron attempted to invoke sympathy by using his dead son, but didn't bother to mention that he, a millionaire many times over, claimed the same benefit as a relative while his son was alive that his government desperately denies everyone else. People that don't have that kind of wealth (and connections, don't forget - these people are a 'pig' society of their own) are being dashed against the rocks of his economic recovery. A kind that has now, without question, morphed into a 'long term economic plan'. His excuse for heaping the damaging austerity onto society was that it would be the price of balancing the books; something that the Tories, as economic heavyweights, would achieve by this time. No one questions this change of plan. The media dutifully reinforces this propaganda and so the people, they hope, will believe that another five years of this misery is required. More 'sacrifice' is required.

Sacrifice?  Since when did we vote to make a sacrifice? Since when did we even elect a coalition, never mind the Tory government that hides behind that title. The libdems have lied or been lied to - in some cases both: Bristol MP Steven Williams was recently discovered to have supported the Tory plan to sell off the forests (a plan so toxic it backfired almost instantly), while his neighbour, the pensions minister Steve Webb, refused to give way on a discussion about the Bedroom Tax he is intimately connected to. He tried arguing, with consummate arrogance, that people who can't afford the arbitrary theft of their income to satisfy the ruling elite should just 'find more hours' in their jobs. Extraordinary from a man who's mortgage interest is paid by the state.

Selling off the forests; doesn't that just say it all about the ruling class. That they think the very land itself is theirs to do with as they please. That it's just another asset to be stripmined, packaged up and sold off. Once it's gone, it don't come back!

Who are these people to behave like this? We elect them, he says with total naivete, to serve - isn't that the idea? But instead they have placed themselves at the top of the heap, eager to kick the ladder away having climbed it while claiming that all people need to do is work a bit harder, find more hours, and they too can climb tot the top. However with the removal of that ladder, a metaphor for the old school network, everyone else has to make do climbing on top of each other.

That's called ambition. It's what defines a schizoid liar such as Grant Michael Sebastian Fox Green Shapps. The chairman of the Tory party who got to where he is by marketing get rich quick schemes on the Internet. The very peak of human ambition and drive. Perhaps not.

They believe that, once in power, their brief gives them ownership of state services: schools are there to sell to friends and public money is there to be handed, via contentious and largely ineffectual public schemes (such as the Work Programme, an and expensive utter failure).

Cameron only mentioned welfare when referencing cuts: thereby reinforcing in the audience's mind the idea that social security, at best, is a burden. It is an expense that is, inexplicably, dragging the country down. He doesn't of course mention, while claiming wildly that it has ballooned out of control (another lie), half of that budget goes toward pension payments. It is another sacrifice that has to be made because...OUT OF CONTROL! That means don't think about it, Britain, just cut, cut, CUT!

He invoked the hapless spirit of Liam Byrne, the Labour MP who apparently left a piece of paper saying 'there's no money left'. This was a joke. The Tories have taken a joke as actual fact! What on earth does this mean? We truly are through the looking glass when we live in a world like this. But, through desperation (I hope), he waved a piece of paper which could well have had anything or nothing written on it as proof that Labour said this and, more importantly, that it was not a joke but a true statement. If this was true why on earth would the PM call on a scribbled note as evidence thereof when, surely, he could call on the records of the treasury or the Bank of England (Mervyn King has himself said that Labour were not to blame for the banking crisis - which is obvious to anyone with wit) which would have much greater credibility?

We can't really expect much from Cameron and I had zero expectations that anything interesting would come from that debate.

Thirdly, and finally, the NHS. Cameron second attempt at necromancy was to summon the spectre of the Mid Staffordshire hospital debacle. I am no expect in this (there's a long to a blog called Skwawkbox to your right that is) but I do know that, again the odious hand of the media, has its fingerprints all over this story. It is a sorry affair that even led to a heartbreaking radio interview with staff members who were fed up with being bullied and called murderers by the ignorant cattle that thrive on our media. These people did not strike me as callous doctors and managers and nurses. Cameron sought to argue that the ultimate cause of this affair, such as it was, was Labour - that is, the 'target driven' culture that emasculated people of their ability to use 'common sense' and operate sensibly and thoughtfully. There may well be some truth in that, target cultures are everywhere these days and the Tories are no less fond of them. After all look at what is happening in the DWP: a culture obsessed with targets, for which there is no shortage of evidence (just a deficit of honest). Interestingly, Cameron did not go or the jugular on this issue. I mention this because he has a fight on his hands defending his hypocritical treatment of the NHS; you'd think he might have tried tearing into Labour over this as its such an emotive issue. All he could do was timidly refer to 'targets' as the cause, while happy to drive toward certain targets when it suits him (after all isn't that the backbone of the austerity process?).

The Tories have power on the basis of a dark miracle: the largest source of their funding comes from the very place that caused the crash they capitalised on to create doubt enough in the eyes of the electorate to vote Labour out. Which isn't to say Labour are perfect, far from it, but the truth of the matter is they were doing a lot better than the Tories will ever give them credit for.

Truth is capitalism has failed. The Tories have failed - they were always going to because their focus is so narrow and their vision so bereft and short sighted. I've mentioned the Work Programme already, and, once again, it was complete shit. No help of any kind whatsoever - but that didn't stop my adviser accusing me of being the problem, not the programme, the system, or the Salvation Army and its attitude toward the poor.

We need a new system, now more than ever. Instead of quantitative easing we could have bailed out people who would have spent the money in the economy, Exactly where it needs to be. Instead we have a ruling elite bailing itself out at our expense and not oiling the very system they claim to serve.

One could argue that social security payments, benefits, that is, serve this purpose. Helping poor people live (you know, as opposed to die). We live in a system that treats money as some kind of magic force accorded to those we deem are deserving of this reward- and those people aren't always those you might think are most deserving. It's not nurses or teachers, working impossible shifts under heavy political burdens, who reap the most reward; we all know who it is and we all know they wrecked the economy. We all know they will end up doing it again because they speak no other language. It's not the poorest who have the power or the ability to cause that kind of damage, never mind on an international scale; it's the richest. Yet they are rewarded and the poorest are hounded. This cannot be right and must always be challenged. We must expose the lie behind the labels of 'wealth creator' and 'job creator'; that's what we are entreated to call this section of society. Yet it's not these individuals, those who technically own the businesses, that create the wealth. They don't even create the jobs, it's demand for services that does that, which is what makes the fad of self employment as pushed by the JC, so dangerous. But even then what of the quality of these jobs?

Things have to change. I look forward to that day in May when I can look back at this record of the Cameron years and close the book - even if it means the work is only just beginning to build a better society. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Lines

It must be nice to have a job working on a TV show you like, okay you may have to put up with the odd racist presenter and a punch in the face, but it's a small price to pay to be in the presence of such genius. No?

Almost a million people (and I use that term quite loosely) have signed a petition petulantly demanding that the BBC reinstate a programme about schoolboy hijinks dressed up as motoring journalism along with its lanky provocative-for-cash presenter. Tha's about four times as many who signed the petition calling for a debate in Parliament on the effects of the government's catastrophic welfare policies. Not only that but Jeremy Clarkson is a friend of the Prime Minister, so a televisual troll and vapid bigot receives the ultimate endorsement while Cameron's own government can't be bothered to even consider the effect of their  on the poorest. We don't have the right to call ourselves civilised.

Let me be clear: Clarkson is a cunt. He may have started out as a journalist, but all that remains is a husk formed from populist outrage. According to the Guardian his most recent Top Gear Magazine article consists of nothing more than tired stereotypes about foreigners and public transport (apparently the former drive taxis universally smelling of vomit while the latter are containers of disease). Outrage isn't really the appropriate response at this point; more a sense of resignation and tiredness. I'm so fucking weary of this cretin. There is no content to his bullshit and no taxi I have ever travelled in has smelt of vomit either.

Clarkson and his tedious insipid cohorts, the sycophantic Hammond and the terminally curmudgeonly-for-cash James May, stand on a line that seems to divide society quite deeply (if that petition is anything to go by). On their side of the line is a world where people can speak their minds, do as they please (drive as they please where they please, specifically). On our side of the fence is, in their view, a stuffy repressive modern world of political correctness inevitably gone too far (the only kind apparently) and where values and cultures are shockingly mashed together with no respect for...something - even though culture is born from the confluence of older existing traditions.

Clarkson is the last bastion of free speech to the repressed fans of Top Gear who delight in his brave license fee funded health and safety checked white skinned antics. He is no more a maverick than John Wayne was a real cowboy. Instead he receives a huge sum of money to comfortably say things that resonate in a vile echo chamber of public opinion warped by a right wing media. His fans are regularly told about Muslims wanting to ban Christmas and how their kids can't play conkers in schools -a very Clarskon activity - without crash helmets, about how their white skinned daughters will be robbed of their innocence by foreigners while they themselves are robbed for their livelihoods - and thus their sense of identity - by, well, other foreigners. It's deeply sad but somewhere along the line these people lost who they were. Capitalism sold them down the river: Thatcher stole the industries they worked in and gave them to outside interests full of people they were told were better and smarter for example. Now all these people have as an ideological refuge is that side of the line, the one Clarkson, Hammond - Britain's worst presenter and a tawdry clone of the man himself (only made more pathetic by his inability to be equally as innately offensive) - and Misery Guts for Money James May.

People revel in the maverick antics of the Top Gear trio as they throw cars that aren't 'cool' out of planes, or drive around America with provocative slogans just to upset the locals. But they aren't really in any danger, not even in Argentina, the BBC and the behind the scenes staff will cop the flak, just as one of them did when Clarkson got a bit tired and felt like throwing his weight around because one of them wasn't on hand to offer him a plate of Roast Bee or something. That poor sod felt the wrath of Clarkson's faithful who variously thought that he should never be allowed to work again (no doubt subsequently complaining if he signed on) and that he had a punchable face. These are the same people that audibly guffawed when, on the televisual kleenex that is the One Show, Clarkson referred his wisdom on the issue of striking public sector workers. He felt they should be shot in front of their families. 

But it's all a joke innit. If you don't find that funny then you are on the wrong side of that line. You are a stuffy do-gooder - worse: you are a repressive force doing the common man down. Of course these people should be shot. In this age of fluid opinion and fact free churnalism of course these people should be shot. Just as when some poor shmuck working for Top Gear (and thus Jeremy Clarkson) doesn't immediately rush to his master's side like an unquestioning faithful puppy. 

I want our society to move forward but it won't as long as people refuse to move past that line. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Twisted System

Last night Dispatches on Channel 4 presented half an hour on the insanity of the mechanism of DWP sanctions. It is next to impossible to try and understand this system without coming away traumatised. Throughout all of this, on the broadcast and beyond, the government refuse to involve themselves in any discussion of the consequences, supported of course by the media and any useful idiots drawn in along the way.

How does poverty help people? 

This is control. That's all it is. This is the worst kind of authoritarianism: selective and exploitative. It just goes to show the utter hypocrisy and ideological bankruptcy of the right who have no compunction abandoning their ideals when it suits them. That is capitalism. This is what is in store at the general election; if one thing is certain it's that capitalism will win - even if that means fashioning some nightmare coalition across the apparent political spectrum in this country. After all the Libdems claimed to be left wing for so many years and they were quick to use the excuse of 'national interest' to grab power, to maintain capital's control over our lives.

This system uses poverty against the people in society. That is what is happening.

One heartbreaking case on the broadcast was a single dad of two schoolkids dependent on food parcels because his ESA was stopped. Non attendance of the Work Programme was the reason, in complete ignorance of his very obvious physical discomfort. A fused hip and a spinal hernia left him in clearly pain. But not only that he was also a victim of the Bedroom Tax to the tune of £28 a week which consumed the risible sum of money that the DWP left him with (I'm not sure of the full breakdown of his benefits, it's not important, nor any of my business really). The priority for the DWP - the government - was not to ensure that this man and his children were able to feed themselves and have shelter, but to make sure that what they deem he owed is paid back above even those considerations. The sense of desperation was palpable, he is now in rent arrears for the paltry sum of a hundred and twenty odd quid.

It is more important that, no doubt with the help of some Mitchell brothers style goons, the government gets its pound of flesh from this man than he and his kids eat. 

What does that tell you about capitalism? That money is more important than people. That a government can create a debt, in the form of the Bedroom Tax, out of thin air and trap a vulnerable man and his dependants for the rest of his life. 

And they will tell you this is the right thing to do; that it is helping people. 

There is not one shred of evidence that a single person, through the mechanism of sanctions, has been helped.

None of this even begins to address the inherent corruption, exposed by the PCS (who, even so, don't seem interested in actually doing anything about it). We all know that there is a rancid culture of setting targets, however it also appears there is a culture of ramping up conditioinality on those who do what is required of them. Such people are to be treated with increased harshness until, presumably, they ineivtably trip up. 



The DWP, under the stewardship of an ideological tyrant, wants people to fail. 

Clearly the government does not want to help people.

In fact I'm not entirely sure what it wants. I suspect there is no ultimate goal here; it is simeply about using social security (welfare is an Americanism) as a political football. The right believes it can exploit the existence of a safety net endlessly to maintain power. However that does imply that the Tories don't want it desotryed completely, which seems incongruous. You might be forgiven for thinking the Tories want to remove benefits entirely. They may well do, but that's because their ideology blinds them and makes them stupid. They don't realise that social security provides...security. If everyone is forced into poverty what's to stop them turning on the rich or turning to mass crime. If that happens the middle classes will turn on the Tories for making them feel unsafe in their little enclaves. So the truth is that the more intelligent (so to speak) element of the party (and I don't necessarily include Duncan Smith and his cohorts within this) want some form of social security to exist. However that element is to be abused to keep them in power, thorugh demonising the poor and making the faithful afraid of the poor. It's a small price to pay, in their minds, for low wages and the commensruate labour market insecurity.

Meanwhile people such as the case above are just collateral damage. Nobody within government will care. He will be trapped by a system that has been brutalised into something dark, that is no longer there to help but to harm.

Monday, 23 February 2015

The State of Greed

The arrogance of politicians goes on.

Is this ever going to change? Both sides of the house are at it if Channel 4 are to be believed and the camera, as they say, never lies.

Some people say this is about their pay implying that they don't get enough. I don't actually care what they get paid, but it's relative. They have no right to complain when they vote for pay rises that are ten times what they begrudgingly offer people in jobs like nursing. What is it that has bred this culture; this notion that being a politician, which should be an honourable role, isn't enough or that it's a means to a lucrative end?

Serving the community and society should be a privilege. But in this country it seems that it has ever been the sole refuge of the privileged. We have career politicians who place themselves in line for a peerage so they can see out their time in the Lords, unaccountable and unelected. They claim that being a Member of Parliament demands a lot of their time, which is quite likely, and then find the time to take up positions on boards 'advising'. This means they use their position and the connections made to gain advantage in return for cash. 

This is only going to change if we do away with a financial system that breeds this kind of thinking; that creates the career of politician that erodes the position of public service. We could start by shutting down the Lords including all the vastly subsidised services within (the wine cellars and fine dining). We don't need a second chamber and to claim it holds the Commons in check is a nonsense given that government stuffs the Lords full of supporters anyway. If a bill needs proper scrutiny then give it scrutiny. But that would require politicians to attend and anyone looking at a picture of the disgustingly dismal government turnout during the WOW petition debate will realise how corrupt it is. What is more important a discussion than that? When even the minister responsible can't be arsed to attend something is deeply wrong.

We would also need to dismantle the systems of privilege throughout society. This is not just about the abused expenses system which is something that's easily fixed really. It's about the private institutions that cover our legislators in money in return for whatever. It's about the schools that the elite and only the elite attend that are breeding grounds for subsequent candidates for the high ranking positions in our society. We might have a few 'commoners' that make it into Parliament but few of them are ever likely to become PM compared to the Eton Mess that rule our society.

We must break the back of this system. Britain seems unique in mixing capitalism with aristocracy. This is a toxic mix that leads to this bizarre worship of big business and the veneration of the 'entrepreneur' class. This in turn gives us such phenomena as Dragons Den wherein a number of wealthy people sit in a warehouse surrounded by their money lauding their success and fighting over the hopes and dreams of the bedraggled and be-suited wannabes that apply in the hopes they will receive the blessing of at least one of these 'dragons'. Why do we worship these people when we do nothing to support creativity or art or culture?

The modern world has become the playground of the rich to the point of absurdity. We have powerful institutions that exist to protect the interests of big business who routinely whine that schools should exist solely to train people in shelf stacking or till operation (rather than train people themselves). Where is the institution calling for schools to provide knowledge for the sake of learning, art appreciation, understanding of music, philosophy, etc. Public services are a football to be used to generate disdain in the public mind as a precursor to inevitable privatisation: a highly short termist approach benefiting the few at the expense of everyone else. Like the privatisation of the Royal Mail.

Sooner or later this house of cards will crash. Ultimately it will be technology that forces a change. Maybe we will actually create nanotechnology and move into a post scarcity economy. Or maybe cheap energy will take the burden. Or maybe we will all have Star Trek replicators. Or maybe financial systems that gamble on food and resources will plunge their owners and those who play them into darkness, crashing into society like an asteroid into the planet. Who knows when that kind of change will happen.

Or it could be sooner: ultimately I believe 'we the people' still have the power. The problem is there isn't the will for the masses to come together. That's why we need the unions to call a general strike. Unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon. 

Somehow the frustration in society will find an exit; pressure will force it to explode and when it does it will be ugly. Ukip supporters may not like the protrayal of race riots in the 100 Days fiction, but that is where we are most realistically headed. Someone will snap, something will give, and again the politicians will have blood on their hands.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Business As Usual

I couldn't sleep (as usual - at least late night radio is somewhat interesting) and on the radio was Labour's latest proposal: double the duration for paid paternity leave to 4 weeks. Innocuous enough, you might think, but of course the voice of Big Business would not be silent. The BBC (for it was they) were ready with a quote from tedious toad faced free market apologist Mark Littlewood (he's another non entity from another capitalist think tank). His cry of wolf was that the cost would have to be passed on to someone somewhere, either cutting the workforce or dumping on to the consumer. This is despite Labour qualifying the idea explaining that it is paid centrally, from government.

Well so fucking what? Going along with Capital's straw man, as set out by Littlewood, if your profit has to take a hit in order to meet the needs of a human being in your employ: so what? It's an extra two weeks, this is not gonig to be something that happens 365 days a year for all time for everyone. 

Oh but won't someone please think of the profit line? Why? Profit is supposed to be that which a business makes on top of its costs. Turnover minus costs = profit; isn't that correct? So why is profit so important. As far as I can tell it's so you can ultimately sell your business in an act of loyalty - the kind you demand from your workfroce - so you can spend your days sitting pretty in the sun. No social good at all. 

Someone will claim that, through this convoluted nonsense, people's pensions are funded. But that is only because that's the way the market has been rigged. That's how the rich and powerful that run capitalist societies (like HSBC for instance - who will doubtless get away with their tax evasion crimes) stack the deck. In ohter words, it doesn't have to be that way and thus it is unfair to deflect valid criticism accordingly.

The only argument left is the special pleading from small business. The problem here is that, yes, a case can be made in favour of small business in such cases; it's an easy example to make because it sets up capital as the underdog. The reality is that these entities, while they might technically be businesses, are really no different than the people I'm defending: the workers, the poor, those who do not have the capacity or the resource to fight their corner in the market (never mind the rigged market that is capitalism). To regard Mr Smith who runs the Local Business Shop as a fully paid up member of UK PLC - as someone who has a voice among the ruling classes or any real authority - is a mistake. He is no better off and suffers the same economic and systemic depredations as the working man in the labour market. Just because he runs a Local Business Shop is immaterial.

So clearly the message is: if you're working class, you shouldn't breed.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Explaining Problems

I spoke to the Clinician again, complete waste of time of course. She's not going to change her mind and I can't say I'm surprised. So either I speak to the Patient Advisory Liaison Service which will be no more effective in persuading her to change her mind, but it's what she's duty bound to recommend, or I go back to the GP and ask for a second test. 

How that will happen I don't know. She is a member of the only local service (other than private services that of course won't be cheap - nor anything close) and previously said that a second opinion was out of the question because she had discussed it with her colleagues and they'd all decided. Naturally.

So I will have to go back to the GP, which I will be doing in two weeks. I'm not remotely confident, they don't understand these issues at all. The fundamental problem with these sorts of issues (let's call them mental health problems, it's so much easier) is that they are very personal. An individual grows up with his mind the way it is, particularly in the case of issues such as Aspergers and the like. However your brain is wired, it forms the way your experience of life is shaped. That means you don't know any different and you don't know, necessarily, whether what you experience is problematic because you have no basis for comparison. So you go through life struggling - a bit like a blind person bumping into things they can't see. 

It's only as an adult, or t least with the wisdom of years, that you start to think "hang on, other people aren't experiencing things the way I do. No one else seems to find life such a struggle intrinsically". (That is, there are people who do struggle, obviously, way more than I, but those struggles are born of specific conditions, usually imposed - benefit sanction for instance.) So you start to examine and learn what might be the cause, even if your studies are not informed by proper knowledge of the field.

However translating those experiences into a clear soundbite for a GP or a clinician, or even a Work Programme god botherer, is difficult - particularly when you have to penetrate the prejudices of such people. So you find yourself banging your head against people who have been conditioned, particularly in respect of the unemployed, to downplay these problems. Nevertheless the reality remains and the individual struggles.

Until mental health provision can adequately deal with these difficulties it cannot even begin to provide help. When you further impose cultural values (ie "get a job, that will cure you") and do not actively hear what the patient is trying to tell you. Or when you have a diagnostic process that can't deal with adults and doesn't make an effort to tease the full scope of the patent's difficulties you aren't going to get anywhere. I don't think the testing process did either of those things: a picture book of flying frogs maybe a recognised tool (I’m not suggesting the clinician was a quack), but it's no good for adults for example, especially when there is no provision on  hand for dealing with adults who cannot provide an objective life experience to be cross referenced. My life experience is my own, it's in my head; it's not separate from me.