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Mental Health Manifesto 1

It seems apposite that I set out what I think should be done regarding mental health and the wellbeing of our society, instead of simply bemoaning the lack of either. Ok fair enough, says I.

Anyone else that wants to add to this list, a set of ideas that will have zero influence politically and will be read by precisely no politicians ever. Oh well!

The support that exists, that I have experienced, feels like it is intended simply to keep people "off the streets". It borrows from the "idle hands" model: keep people occupied to keep them out of trouble, specifically keep them from realising the truth of their reality. That life in modern capitalist western society is, for the vast majority, shit. This is what I mean when i say that these places institutionalise people. Out of sight, out of mind - literally!

Now clearly there is a place for peer support, but that must not be at the expense of providing proper support, by which I mean offering a framework, or at least…
Recent posts

Eleanor Rigby's Lament

As the Chancellor dines with business bigwigs and mandarins, at a £400/head function, I am left wondering how different our worlds are.

How can anyone fail to notice the cracks in our society? The streets are like a warzone now; there's bodies littered all over the place. These were real people once, they still are despite what austerity and capitalism has done to them. Yet, despite their increasing presence, they are growing ever more invisible. I've never seen anything like it.

And yet everywhere I go there is damage and suffering. I attend a mindfulness class with people that also have the scars of a life forced upon them by this miserable system. People like this are everywhere that it seems the norm. It's only the rich ruling elite that seem to be the exception. Unfortunately they have power; the power to ignore us.

I have a facebook and twitter feed full of the casualties of this war on humanity, waged by profit. At what point does enough become enough - for all side…

Mindfulness

I have a feeling this may drag on. I want to be concise here because there's a lot to cover and, unfortunately, my concentration fades easily.

Mindfulness - the fashionable practice of meditation on the breath or other sensation (hands in the lap, movement of the belly, sensation of body on seat, etc) to stimulate well being, but ultimately the process of becoming aware of the present moment. At the fullest it is rooted in a worldview I'm not entirely sure is as helpful as it is positive sounding. It is my understanding it stems from buddhist meditation practises along with the accompanying worldview of compassion. That's a lovely quality to have, but, at the risk of being crass, it doesn't pay the bills.

Breath meditation is something I have tried for a while, on and off. I usually do it in the morning for about ten minutes. Recently I signed up for a Mindfulness class and the experience of it is oddly more formal than I would like, and I'm not sure that's for…

Everyday Crapitalism 1: The Guy on the Bus

Isn't it fun when there's an awkward bugger before you in the queue for the bus? Wouldn't life be easier if these difficult people would just disappear? Well now there's a means to that end, friend: it's called CAPITALISM!

So there I am with my bus ticket and the guy in front of me, with a pair of crutches, presents his ticket to the driver. Unfortunately it appears it's the wrong ticket. He wants to get back to Bristol, but the driver is having none of it because - according to him - the ticket is not valid in Weston super Mare. It's a Bristol zone ticket which doesn't cover the journey he's making. In response the guy makes an appeal to ignorance: why was he sold the wrong ticket then when he asked to go to somewhere that the ticket he was sold won't allow.

It doesn't really help that First Bus' ticket system is a complete nightmare. But that's the price of profit I guess. You might reasonably think the solution would be to just ha…

Welcome to Little England Where I Ride The Highest of Horses!

I think that's a suitably pretentious title. Also note, this is (and not for the first time) the pettiest and shrillest of rants you are likely to ever hear from me. Enjoy.

So I take a walk usually two or sometimes three times a day. I follow the same route which takes me across the local cricket pitch. Technically this field is privately owned, though I don't respect those rights. Why: because I don't agree that the earth should be subject to private property rights and because these are communal resources. That's not an invitation to vandalism or neglect of course.

I walk across the middle of the pitch and someone shouts at me. I can't hear him, which no doubt provokes him. Apparently he's 'scarified' that part of the field, despite it looking like a muddy puddle with no fence, signage or obvious indication of groundwork. Had that been the case I'd have avoided it, it's not an imposition to do so.

What then ensues is a ridiculous argument that…

What do I think employment figures mean?

Seems like every time these figures come out, if they are preferable, the government takes credit.

That's as bonkers as DEFRA claiming that, if the weather's nice, it's down to the government. I'm surprised they haven't tried that one yet.

The Tories have done precisely nothing to positively affect labour market conditions, how can they? They would argue their policies favouring low tax and no regulation (i.e. no workers rights) make Britain attractive for employers. But the truth is that it is demand that drives employment; no boss is going to hire people just because he has less red tape to deal with and less corporation tax to pay because that would eat into his profit margin.

If there's increased demand for his commodity then that is the most likely - but by no means guaranteed - stimulus for taking on more staff. But even then it is just as, possibly more so, likely that he will simply cut his wage bill (again, the issue of curtailing workers rights and pu…

Experiment 2 - Class War!

Another opportunity to stare at an overgrown reed bed - this time with added fencing!

You can also listen to me rant some more about that bizarre human mantis aristocrat, Mogg, as well as the recent nonsense about falling unemployment, and the general class war that I think we're in (were we ever out?).


Thanks for watching, I intend to look into the unemployment thing a bit more.