Thursday, 11 February 2016

Anarchism 1

What is the way forward?

Since the riots of 2011 - such as they were - the government has made sure that people are afraid of standing up and fighting back. But that is what it will take.

I do not condone burning down other people's houses and belongings, that's just divide and rule. Working class people should not be fighting each other. 

Unfortunately it seems increasingly clear that we have a government that wants to do nothing more than assault ordinary people, laughing like the cruellest bully as it gets away with this in plain sight. People stand back while the poorest are kicked and punched by a vicious bully that revels in the spotlight as it does so, daring itself to go even harder knowing that we, apparently, lack the spine to do anything. 

On the fringes of our society, people are falling apart. Mental health problems born of pressure split families, increasing workloads and social stresses and isolation induce those problems into a nightmare feedback loop. Yet the media looks the other way, painting a selective picture of a Britain unrecognisable to anyone with a conscience. 

It is painfully clear that our systems have failed us. They are controlled by a neo feudal capitalist aristocracy; middle men for corporate bottom lines and trans-national agendas that only ever exploit. Yet people seem to be waiting for a solution that never comes. They look to old men like Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders (a 74 year old white man ffs). These people are still participants in a system that, by virtue of that participation, will persist. That system needs to be torn down. There is no other way.

The most common response is: what do you replace it with. This is actually irrelevant. If you are sick and your doctor has prescribed a medicine that is exacerbating the problem you do not stick with that medicine if an alternative is not readily available, you get off that medicine. We are sick, our society is falling apart. 

It is predicated on unsustainable principles that set people against each other: in a society that compels people to believe in 'winners and losers', what provision is made for the loser? None of course, since that would be the antithesis of this system. 

Anarchism calls on people to question the authority that is imposed upon us, without consent. People are trained to believe that voting - parliamentary democracy - is that consent. They are told that not voting is akin to surrender to fascism; people are abused by propaganda that positions fathers and grandfathers, as soldiers in the wars (equally exploited), against them, shaming them into compliance. We must question these ideas and reject those that are found wanting. 

It is of paramount importance that we reject and remove capitalism, but the argument is not based on what to replace it with. I am not an authority and I do not seek to be. I seek only to be part of the discussion and to offer an equal voice in the effort to remove capitalism and instil a better system. It is not about replacing capitalism, it is about empowering people to have control over their lives and their aspirations and removing those systems that have no legitimacy: the sorceries of finance for example. Do we even need money?

The greatest mischief that has been done to us is to convince us we need others to tell us what to do and how to live, and to profit from that position. I do not grant that chinless wonders in Westminstershire are expert over my needs and I do not legitimise their efforts to control me, and neither should you.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

End of the Line?

I think I have reached the limit of what our system and indeed our society can offer. Speaking with a CMHT nurse yielded nothing; they are only prepared to get involved if you are about to throw yourself under a bus - or someone else. The GP just doesn't get it at all; it's one step forward and two steps back. One time they seem to understand, the next they do not and it's as if you were talking to someone else entirely. All she can recommend it seems is the same old groups and organisations, completely ignoring the fact that these people do not offer what she thinks they do or that I have dealt with them before.

Clearly GP's and the like are given a sales pitch from these people as to how they can help, when in reality that's not what they actually do. But what can you expect from those that align themselves with corporate filth like ATOS?

I have been told to go back and speak to the likes of Friend, a drop in centre largely run by volunteers (with all their faults - including not being very welcoming and racist). They have rebranded themselves to be called '1in4', though I imagine the same people work there. I notice they offer such evidence based and efficacious therapies as Reiki and Reflexology. That dpesn't inspire confidence. Not least of all, visiting them involeves expensive bus travel.

The other alternatives follow the same lines. There is a place in town called the Carlton Centre which offers courses in 'life skills', which is going to be similar to the CBT approach that's all the GP can offer. Again it costs to travel, and there's a course fee. Unfortunately the courses aren't running at the moment. Whether any of these schemes or places offer anything that has long term practical value I do not knpow. My feeling is sceptical; these places are never geared that way and so when you explain the difficulties you have, particularly in respect of the DWP/employment, they wilt. They have nothing to offer in that area.

This I think is what needs to change. Unfortunately the best the government has to offer is the Work Programme, which they think does exactly this. We all know it doesn't, my experience of that on this blog proves this.

We shouldn't need governments to provide these solutions, and part of this is because we know they don't. The Work Programme serves the wishes of the likes of the CBI, not the individual. The lack of a holistic approach that allows individuals the freedom to explore not just how they can heal themselves in a world gone mad, but the freedom to explore what they can do in society. Capitalism curtails this dramatically, limiting people to whatever the capitalists want, often according to the aspirations they programme and the demand they manufacture in people. Jobs are only created when there is demand for the commodity involved, and we have no say in what we want.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Everyday Conditionality

Well that was a complete waste of time. Unsurprisingly.

It seems I have reached the limits of what our system can offer. The appointment with the Primary Care Liaison offered nothing. According to them I do not meet any criteria for a diagnosis. Well that may or may not be true, but it's the reality that now exists. What seems clear is that the system is only prepared to recognise a certain level of conditionality. Consequently, what might be described as everyday conditionality - the pressure from society and the system that oppresses us - is ignored. 

This has long been a problem that's been ignored: as those pressures increase, the effects become more normalised, especially in lieu of any solution addressing those pressures. Since there's no chance of that happening people are left to sink or swim in a situation where the waterline is constantly rising; that waterline is the normalisation of every day stress anxiety and depression. All those things represent perfectly rational responses to an unfair exploitative and oppressive system.

I tried explaining the reality of this situation to the nurse, but it was for nought. They have nothing to offer, the system doesn't allow it. What we have is triage: people are expected to continue producing in this economy and the little help that does exist is prioritised for those that are really up shit creek. I guess I can be fortunate I don't suffer anything as severe as, for example, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But then I'm not interested in competing for the provision the capitalist ruling elite deems an acceptable expense. That provision only exists to get people fit enough to get back on the production line, that's the purpose of CBT (and it's interesting I read that the effectiveness is decreasing, thanks to a recognition of the placebo effect being active).

What is frustrating is the usual lack of administrative care. I asked if the GP had sent over all the details of the discussions we'd had prior to her contacting the Primary Care department. Of course she hadn't (the nurse referred to my GP as a male, which means the only reference she has comes from several years prior when my GP was male). This was frustrating for a couple of reasons: firstly I felt that, haphazardly, the GP was starting to understand my position. She had asked for evidence of the online tests I had done in pursuance of aspergers/neuro diversity, I provided that. None of this information was passed on. 

More importantly it means that I had to try and explain the difficulties and issues I have afresh, which is something I find difficult. Having all this discussed and, presumably, recorded by the GP, and subsequently forwarded would have helped immeasurably. The nurse claimed they liked to have the patient describe their symptoms afresh and 'in their own words', but actually I don't. This is because, when you're in the storm, so to speak, it's hard to think clearly. In other words, I find that my thinking is clouded, because of the issues I talk about, and so appealing to it to explain it is not easy. I only get one shot with the nurse and so if I fail to explain things properly that's my loss. I don't get another chance at this point. They aren't going to think differently without a good reason to do so.

This appointment came about after the Attention Deficit Disorder people responded to my GP's request for an appointment saying that my anxiety needed addressing first. I'm not sure how they have decided (not incorrectly to be fair) that I have anxiety since they have never seen me. I can only assume this conclusion comes from the aspergers diagnosis, which itself was conducted by someone who was dishonest (she said she'd speak to the ADD people then didn't and lied about saying so - I put this to the nurse but of course she wasn't interested in hearing that sort of thing). However anxiety was not brought up in that diagnosis.

So the end result is I have no way forward with any of this. The support structures that society and those with everyday mental health conditionality need do not exist. There is no help for people like this, me, to move forward, so if you don't have people that can help you out, don't know anyone that can help you - you're fucked. I have to accept the diagnostic conclusions that have been presented to me, however haphazard, and so I have to accept I don't have any mental health problems. It's just a shame my head and my heart say otherwise.

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year Post

I keep meaning to write more, but I find it difficult. My concentration is shot these days and reading screens is extremely difficult due to shitty eyesight (so it's great to see the Universal Jobmatch* system making no effort, still, to fix up it's approach). But who reads this whiny auld shite anyway!

So it's another year. Same old society, same old problems. A few years ago I joined the Socialist Party; I'm not entirely sure why since they have no chance of winning an election anywhere.  But it turns out there's not just one 'socialist party', aside from them, and the always-infamous Socialist Workers Party, there's another Socialist Party. Not exactly a rousing vote of confidence for an ideology already viewed with absolute disdain by the establishment when those espousing it can't seem to agree. I joined because I thought I might be able to make friends and useful contacts in perceived struggles to come, but they are not based locally and so I can't really get involved. 

Recently I've been considering leaving them. Not that I disagree with their opposition to capitalism, but that it doesn't go far enough. Trying to change that system by participating within only serves to validate the questionable and unjustified authority it assumes. We need not just to remove capitalism, but to remove hierarchies such as capitalism altogether and make decisions for ourselves. This way we can properly do away with the institutions that, despite all best intention and hopes, continue to exploit us. The dismal result of the general election and the continued public infighting within the shell that is the Labour party demonstrate this. Consequently I am searching a more potent ideology than mere political party membership. After all the Socialist Party and it's affiliated union group, TUSC (Trade Union Socialist Coalition), have achieved fuck all of note - and that's before addressing the issue of how the unions have let people down and are themselves hierarchical authorities.

More on this to come.

Next week I am to meet with the Primary Care Liaison person previously mentioned. I have no real confidence this will ahcieve anything, but one has to be seen to participate in the 'help' that is 'offered' otherwise one has no leverage at all. This alone is proof that the system fails utterly since help shoudl be not just available to begin with (it isn't), but proivided on the basis of need, not dangled like a carrot with conditions attached.

My main concern is that, because mental health support is so lacking and what exists is isolated from all other avenues of personal support (such as becoming independent or even employed/provided with a means to live), it will focus on extremes. I fully anticipate being asked if I intend to top myself as the only means to determine support: if the patient says 'yes' then help is likely to be offered as a perceived emergency. If 'no' then nothing will be offered at all. These are stark extremes that define just how hollow I think the system is. 

What does it mean to feel 'suicidal'? What are the actual consequences if one admits this? Will they be pumped full of happy pills, kept under observation for a few days until the doctors are finally convinced they are happy enough to be discharged and abandoned anew? Aren't people that admit suicidal tendencies merely masking a cry for help? That's always been the conventional wisdom, but what good is that cry for help going to be if there's no other help available than being dosed up to be artificially happy? How will this address the real issues at hand? Of course pills won't change a brutally oppressive system and the society at large's complicity in their own exploitation.

This, I fear, is what awaits me. That ultimately the Liaison person, whom I assuming is a clinician or doctor of some kind, will have an approach boiled down to these two questions, because this kind of triage is all that modern mental health in Britain permits. No, I do not want to kill myself, but that does not mean I do not feel frustration, within and without. We have a system that does it's best to keep people oppressed so they can aspire to nothing more than wage slavery (just ask that nice Mike Ashley, who's probably, right now, being knighted), and isolated so they cannot commune with like minded people; finally they are bombarded with aspirational propaganda to buy the means to cure the deficiencies they are programmed to believe they possess.

(* I still look on this site. It is, without exception or peer, the worst website design I have ever seen. It is completely and utterly broken, but does anyone in the DWP care? Of course not!)

Monday, 14 December 2015

Green Gone

Over the last week or so, some bright spark, for reasons unknown, has decided to completely destroy a nearby field. This field has not been 'developed' or managed in any way since I can remember, and that's several decades. I remember playing there as a kid, amongst the tree trunks, stinging nettles and grass. That doesn't sound appealiong, but it's nature; wild and free! In all seriousness, while such places might not sound appealing, I like how they look. It is how they were meant to look; not manicured and manufactured artificial environments. 

It saddens me to see someone come along and tear it all down. Now it's a muddy field, the treeline that has demarcated this environment around me like a swaying comfort blanket has been torn down. All that remains is a grotty brown field, left for purposes unknown. There was no consultation or even information. I rang the parish council but they seemed neither to care nor know. All they could say was that there are no official planning applications involving that field, but I doubt anyone would go to the expense of demolishing a field were it not worth their while. 

I have no idea who the landowner is and no idwea what their plans are. Perhaps they intend to plant grass and trees anew, though that would be even more expense. Unfortunately this has come at a cost to the wildlife that flourished there. But nobody cares about these things. The only valid fauna these days is a tractor and a thresher.

The area looks exposed and vulnerable. This is not unlike how I feel these days. It is sad to see the land constantly subjugated in this way. It is not, I feel, necessary. The council are quick to respond, and make a fuss, when land is threatened by housing developers, but here they didn't seem to care. It's just a patch of unused field, it doesn't matter.

Well it does to me. It has character. It was a window into another world. A place of timeless natural beauty with a wonder all its own. A realm one can refresh oneself in a world gone mad. A place free from judgement yet with a charm and a depth unmatched by the artifice of society, with its stage managed show gardens and shrubbery. This is how the world is meant to look even if stinging nettles are a pain in the arse. But that pain is a good thing (perhaps!), it is humbling. We are not meant to be masters of all things, we are meant to have a place within the ecosphere of this planet, yet all we do is destroy it.

In other news, the Paris climate change talks seem to be indicative of these attitudes: so much hot air. Nothing will change, we are too far gone to turn back from the brink. With a world dependent on fossil fuels and little desire amongst the leaders of the world to change this, despite the rhetoric of the talks it is clear we had best prepare ourselves for the climate that is to come. 

Here in Britain we are experiencing what I can only describe as the warmest December I can remember. Further north the country is under water. Floods are threatening to become the new winter and yet what is done about this? People will be forced to spend Christmas in temporary accommodation fighting not the cold weather but the insurance industry while the Tories and their capitalist chums cluck their tongues and sit on their hands. Winter isn't coming.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

PCT Phone Call

In the dim and distant past my GP said she'd write to the CMHT regarding...whatever. At this point, I'm running on fumes with regard to mental health. There's not really any support and the people you speak to who claim they are there to help either lie or make claims they then deny. For example, the Aspergers clinician who diagnosed me said she'd speak to the ADD people in the same building. When I chased that up she denied she'd said that.

So this morning a "PCT liaison" rang me in respect of the aforementioned letter. Apparently the ADD people recently said (in respect of my GP contacting them herself) they couldn't diagnose me because they think I have anxiety issues severe enough to taint the diagnosis - maybe they are right.

To be honest, the liaison may well have good intentions, but what can they offer? They can't unseat this government that is ravaging social care. They can't depose the exploitative economic system and the feudal hierarchy and it's brutal system of privilege. Will they offer a seat on the same merry go round that begins and ends with the Positive Step organisation who offers a simple CBT course and then...nothing. In fact the liaison mentioned that they offer talking therapies (something I've engaged in before and found useless), I tried repeatedly to tell her - based on my own experience - they don't. They offer a service for all manner of issues, but it all ends up with the same CBT course. When I tried that it was called 'Beating the Blues' and it was no help.

They are going to ring me tomorrow to book an appointment (because apparently the diary wasn't available this morning to the person calling me - bizarre). I guess we will see where that leads, though I suspect my frustration will be difficult to conceal. I don't want to come off as aloof or disinterested, but it's hard not to be; they tell me they will help draw up an, wait for it, 'action plan'. So it's the same old bollocks by the sound of it. People like action plans they think drawing one up is doing something; it's an element of the whole objectionable world of self-help. Action plans won't effect change in the world, society or economy.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

My Brother Hate

It's very depressing watching the decline of our society. I see it everywhere: the malaise mixed with a frustration that borders on malevolence. Everyone, as human beings, senses there is something amiss but few seem to understand what it is and fewer care enough to want change. People are all too comfortable with divisive TV rubbish, binge drinking and jingoism.

It's sa to see this affect people I know. Ever since my friend, who isn't even someone I'm desperately close to, got with his current partner I've perceived a change. It's not that she's the root of all evil, but she's just that kind of ignorant: she spends her time glued to Facebook gossiping while some god awful rubbish is on the TV - such as Benefits Street. She also reads the Sun!

People like this don't seem to bother to criticise what they read, they just consume. They passively interact with the information that is beamed into their consciousness and rarely question it, and that is very dangerous. As a result they become defensive when questioned, which leads to a divisive mentality mixed iwth a persecution complex. As a result I find it very difficult to quesiton the resulting values: I do not want to be seen as arrogant or patronising, but when you have someone that, when their kid asks who got booted off the Apprentice, refers to that candidate, being Asian, as 'poppadom', you have a problem.

Unfortunately he, my friend, has picked up on this kind of intolerance. His attitude towards muslims is troubling. For example reference was made to a muslim that his partner works with (she's a 'raghead' apparently, because...foreigner innit). This person is apparently demanding and unreasonable because of her religious values, but in the context of who is telling me this I have to wonder where the real intolerance lies.

Recently he got into a, thankfully non-serious, RTA involving a lad who he inadvertently hit. It seems there was no injury and, from what he tells me, the kid wasn't watching where he was going. That's entirely believable, but when the N word is used, in reference to the ethnicity of the kid problems arise. He now seems comfortable using that word and was dismissive of the kid and what he perceived his background to be.

This is casual racism and it is something I find desperately difficult to confront. I do not want to be a guest in someone's home and then find myself in a position where I'm telling them how to behave, but racism is unacceptable. I call it casual because it isn't a conscious attempt to hate on people and stir trouble - like Hitler proselytising from the Reichstag. Instead it's an attitude bred by divisive simplistic and ignorant media putting the blame for the ills of a complicated fast pressured society on the minority groups within. So his attitude toward Muslims comes from his perceptions surrounding immigration; they are getting all the new houses. It's nothing of course to do with the fact there aren't enough houses being built.

It's sad to see this happening and I don't know how to deal with it, but I sure as hell do not want to associate with it. I can't be around people like that long term.