Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Letter in the Guardian today

Simon Jenkins calls for a revival of the spirit of the left. We can begin it by changing the welfare reform bill which is completing the committee stage in the House of Lords. A small group of Independent and Liberal Democrat peers are trying to amend the legislation in order to protect people with severe mental illness. People with mental illness want to contribute to society and to have their dignity. We need a system in which people suffering fluctuating conditions are able to move in and out of work without fear of punishment or loss of income. It will require flexibility in a properly funded system, government support for employers, and it will mean an integration of non-coercive support, therapy and care for people with mental illness. Instead of the bill contributing to the problem of mental illness in Britain, it could become part of the solution.

Neal Lawson Compass, Caroline Lucas MEP, Jonathan Rutherford Middlesex University, Prof Ruth Lister Loughborough University, Jon Cruddas MP, Leanne Wood AM National Assembly for Wales, Oliver James, Sebastian Saville Release, Mark Thomas, Sam Tarry Young Labour, Frances Kelly and Rosemary O'Neill CarerWatch


  1. Hear hear.

    It's shocking how little coverage this is getting. Or not so shocking, you know what I mean.

    I was reading more and more about this on Tuesday, and getting more and more angry. Had to stop.

    Take care, Dx

  2. Sid bloodhound25 June 2009 at 22:54

    If you're wondering why it's fallen to a handful of Liberal Democrats in the Lords to take the Government to task over the way people with mental health problems and learning difficulties would most likely be bullied and discriminated against if the Welfare Reform Bill went through without amendment you need look no further than the wilingness of national representative charities like Mind, Rethink, the Mental Health Foundation and Together to collude with the NIMHE and New Labour ideology of viewing 'work as treatment and cure for all'.

    What's wrong with the Bill is covered in the main blog post but it's not all one way traffic as a few days ago another prominent mental health charity that led the push of the work as treatment and cure approach , the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (SCMH) suddenly announced that it was being wound down.

    SCMH Director Angela Greately confirmed that the Gatsby Foundation was pulling the centre's funding but neglected to explain why.

    The plug was pulled on SCMH by the driving personality behind the Gatsby Foundation, supermarket magnate David Sainsbury because the charity had made ridiculous claims about using CBT therapy to get millions of people off incapacity benefits and into work as the UK plunged into deep recession.

    Increasingly frantic whinings from SCMH's Employment Expert Dr Bob Groves for the Government to step in to bail out SCMH's doomed hairbrained national scheme after the economic meltdown of last autumn are rumoured to have exhausted Mr Sainsbury's patience and sealed SCMH's fate.

    SCMH has some time and money to find itself a new backer or merge with another MH charity but the centre's academic credentials and those of its in house 'experts' have toileted in a big way.

    It's not often that a rich benefactor ditches a prestigious research body bearing his own name.

    Go figure....

    SCMH also helped setup NIMHE and this week Mary O Hara of the Guardian interviewed former NIMHE Director Ian McPherson and focused on his decision to come out in public about his lifelong issues with depression.

    O Hara is becoming a bit of an easy journalistic lay for well connected MH figures as she gently helped McPherson , described as the ' voice of experience ' in her piece, come out without ever thinking to ask him why he had spent so long 'in' when NIMHE had blown £100 million of public money on anti stigma and discrimination campaigns encouraging ordinary people with MH issues to come out.

    So lets ask ourselves the question.

    Why did Ian McPherson wait until NIMHE was abolished to suddenly remember in public that he also had mental health problems?

    Could it be that now that hypocrite McPherson fronts NIMHE's successor the National Mental Health Development Unit he now needs to demonstrate that that unlike NIMHE NMHDU aims to combat the 'Them and Us ' approach even though he's spent years as one of 'Them 'working with Government against all of 'Us'.

  3. Sid, you just reminded me: Arbeit Macht Frei.

  4. Sid bloodhound25 June 2009 at 23:45

    Don't get me started Abysmal Musings as hypocrite Mr McPherson joins an elite group of NIMHE and charity connected professionally 'Out' MH service users like David Crepaz Keay who totally depend on the MH system and/or MH charity sector to maintain them but eagerly back DWP employment schemes aimed at bullying other service users off benefits and into mainstream jobs.

    Someone needs to bully McPherson into a real mainstream job.

  5. System functionaries like McPherson have helped perpetuate and obscure how Class impacts on mental health and healthcare outcomes.

  6. Hi D

    I don't think it is shocking to those of us who have been party to some 'targetted' political manipulation ( Personally exprienced because of my naievty in that I thought I could somehow be part of a postive change movement whilst unwittingly being stuck in the bottom layer of Top Down driven organisations) Stupid Cow or what?. I don't mind so much being in the bottom layer. Is better to know where you stand but the bullshit that is fed you to keep you there. It ain't worth the kleenex to clear the blood of a the nosebleed.

    Also due to the debilitation that many people suffer because of their illness, their voices are never heard. Nobody gives them the time of day. Well nobody who is in is in any position to do much of any good!!!

    In this society, you have to be 'recovered' (quoting back to some minor breakdown you had in 1984, if questioned about your mental illness) and now being nicely suited and booted as chairman of a charity or leader of a 'policy making' organisation to be 'credible' to the media when it comes to speaking up on behalf of the mentally ill...and buy fuck they will (Kerching).

    Then again anyone with the slightest bit of savvy will know the media is a circus and occasionally it suits them to 'toy' with the tokenistic empathy side show act long as people can 'perform' when required.

    The only Latin I know is 'et tu Brutu' and I think is a case of a united set of Brutu types eating from the same trough as the other suits that have sold this country down river.

    Apart from that I haven't got much to say on the subject. Ha! ha!

  7. Hallo Sid

    Welcome back. On the case as ever!!!!

    Please, please and once more with a pretty please...keep on bringing it on.


    Hey, this blog has great insight.