Tory Wedges Have Thin Edges

So this rather Nasty government are considering making the mentally ill conform to their idea of ‘treatment’ – or face losing their benefits.

Let’s leave aside for now the fact that this government have presided over the biggest cuts in mental health services ever. The fact that this leaves it as such a poor service that suicides have risen, self harm has risen, and getting help is a huge difficulty, with huge waiting lists already – even before a sudden influx of all these threatened mentally ill patients.

We’ll leave that aside.

What is more disturbing is that government is starting to adopt powers that it should never have: the forcible treatment of those who are ill.
They start with talk of ,talking therapies’ and ‘CBT’ – but what happens if the ill person complies with this, manages to get an appointment to see a mental health professional, and takes whatever treatment is deemed ‘right’ by the government – and does not get well?

Will this person then be judged to be ‘faking it’? And benefits withdrawn?
Or will they then be required to have deeper treatments – poisonous drugs that harm liver, brain, heart, hormone regulation, weight regulation? Or Electro Convulsive Therapy? Brain surgery?

The government is taking to itself powers to coerce ILL people into treatments that are – on test after test – often found to be only a few per cent better than nothing at all, yet which can substantially harm the patient’s physical health.
Yet, these representatives-turned-rulers (have a read of how democracy truly disappeared in 30s Germany) appear to show no end to their lack of compassion – they will do literally anything to ensure their gravy train is not derailed, almost any act to increase profit for corporations (in this case, Big Pharma), and all things needful to ensure that more and more people are denied their rightful benefits.

The disabled – and especially the mentally ill – were among the first to be exterminated by the National Socialists in the 30s; in the twenty-first century, their ideas rise again from the ashes of millions, which starts always with denigration, followed by denial, and ending in destruction.

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What Have The Tories Ever Done For Us?

“Well, there’s the aqueduct …”

I can’t find any new aqueducts in the Tory reign. Education, sanitation, &c., were already there.
So what has the present crop of Tories done for us?

They’ve built a people that are eminently controllable. and selfish.
They’ve built a society – a Big One, I’ll grant you – that has lost its sense of accountability and decency; a society where community and solidarity in the face of adversity have all but vanished.

They’ve built a society that cares nothing for people.

A society that allows people – as this week – to turn to a Ward Sister in the NHS, and call her a ‘fucking bitch’. My wife (for it was she), as with all persons, may not be perfect sometimes, but she’s not a ‘fucking bitch’, and neither does she deserve such abuse.
The Tories have built a society of greed, intolerance and a sense of entitlement; where someone who, by working hard for the health of others, who diligently pushes herself beyond her comfort zone for others’ benefit can be abused and treated as if she were dirt on a shoe sole.

Because the Tories have created a society that has lost its coherence. a society that swallows whole – a camel, not a gnat – propaganda that would have made Goebbels blush. barely concealed, it is breathtakingly brash.

Nowhere does this show more than in the NHS.
The Tories have run down services, cut back on safety and training, starved it of funds; and, at the same time, raised the expectations of patients (and their relatives) to an impossible level, and – also at the same time – told people how nursing, ancillary and medical staff are lazy scum who care little for the needs of their charges. In deed, who, more often than not, seek to harm their patients, and make swifter their eventual demise.

It’s a society that allows people to treat NHS staff as the enemy, to be able to treat hard-working, dedicated staff as badly as they wish; to abuse them, to see them as objects of derision, suspicion and hatred.
To call a woman who, by working hours for free that she will never see back (or be paid for), who desires above all else to give the very best care, to heal and to comfort, a ‘fucking bitch’.
This is by no means an isolated incident. It happens to staff throughout the NHS day on day, week through week. It is relentless and endemic.
And it is fuelled by Tory dogma that seeks to makes huge profits for its friends from the suffering of others.

This is what the Tories have done for us.

The Long Goodbye

When I started nursing, the very first lecturer asked us all a question:
“Why do people come into hospital?”

Hands shot up. It was obvious.
“People come into hospital to get better.”

The lecturer shook her head.
“In many cases, people come into hospital to die. We help them to do that with dignity, with care, with compassion.”

It is something people seem unable to grasp, today; that, one day, we shall, as a natural part of life, die.
We have seen, recently, the new phenomenon of Medicine By Media – the ignorant and sheeplike furore caused by the media’s vilification of the Liverpool Care Pathway.
It was formulated – not so long ago – by the Liverpool Hospice Movement, as a protocol for giving a framework to the business of compassionately treating people with terminal cancer.
It was broadened when NICE decided it was an excellent, evidence-based protocol.

The hospice movement adopted it wholeheartedly, and the NHS embraced it. At last there could be an end to indecision regarding good, end-of-life care.

It was not always perfectly applied. This is life; motor cars may not always be well driven, and may cause premature death by this misapplication of their purpose, but we would not hysterically demand that all motor vehicles be removed from the roads.

Medicine by Media is a dangerous and stupid phenomenon. It is the unlearned preaching to the ignorant. It is neither evidence based nor anything other than a means to sell newspapers.

And now, when your parent/sibling/child is moving toward the end of their life, they will no longer have the safeguard of an evidence based, sound protocol to stop their suffering. Indeed, such suffering will be prolonged as doctors – nervous at being sued for not doing everything they can to prolong life – will subject your loved one to envy procedure to prolong such, whether this causes discomfort, trauma or pain.

When I am – at whatever point – at the end of my life, I hope and pray I will be nursed and succoured not by the media-driven need to extend my hold on life, but by a protocol that gives me dignity, compassion and a pain free exit from this world of shadows and dreams.

Vote Tory!

I have tried, without success, to help stem the tide of the Tory-held media’s assault on the welfare state and the NHS. Simply put, the main body of people cannot be bothered to support these institutions, preferring to watch them crumble and be put into mothballs by the Tories and their LibDem quislings; the flat-screen television is the opiate of the people.

As a lifelong and enduring Socialist, I feel there is only one course of action left open to me – to vote Tory at the next election.

Because, the only thing that will mobilise the people in the long term, is to have their security and their health taken from them. Only when this is actually gone – not just threatened – will people, seeing the death, suffering and reduction in living standards that now assaults them and their families, demand a government that works with the people, and not against them. Selfishness will, in the end, come round to bite the Tory arse, and abolish it for a generation.

This is a drastic step. However, given the comatose state of the people, and – more to the point – the lack of Social conscience within the so-called Labour Party, there is little else to do.
Labour have said they will not reverse the Tory assault on the poor, the disadvantaged, the disabled; neither will they see fit to repair and support a revitalised and totally public NHS. They are the greatest blackguards of the century; they fly under a flag of convenience to promote their own desire for power and wealth. They abjectly fail any of the criteria which mark out a party as Socialist.
They fail the people; they have created the one-party state in the UK, and they have sold their people down the river for a life of privilege for themselves. Labour no longer sees the need to support the disabled, or the poor. Like their Tory and LibDem counterparts, they arrogantly parade their empty policies before the people.

Well, the Emperor has finally had his lack of clothes spotted.
I for one cannot support a lie.

So, I shall help to damn people like myself – and including myself – with a disability to suffering and possible premature death by voting Tory.

For only when all is laid waste before the altar of greed and self-serving power, will people at last move forward toward common ownership, common concern, and the common good.

Tyrant – A Fable for Modern Tyrants

oblivious to all entreaty
the tyrant built up stranger’s walls
a line of obfuscation
retreating from the calls
of desperate voices, long silent,
now crying for peace and bread
Instead
he gave them
bread and games
a new identity each day
a new spectacle of the saviour for his people

great the walls became, and broad,
so fifteen men could stand abreast
their solid battlement
entrapment for those held within
isolation for those kept without
who with entreaties still
Shouted
for sake of those they loved
for entrance to the vaulted halls
of plenty and of life

behind the solid division
smirking smugly sat the tyrant
his men compliant
bent easily to his hardened heart
the expression of his love a
stony will that had no regard
Artfully
he spun them round, a fairground ride
of human dross

the days, as is their wont, multiplied
themselves into the years
and those without sought succour
amongst themselves
seeing afresh the dignity of
Communal life
commonality of man and woman
and, despite taken from their soul,
they sought a lighter path

realising then
they had no need of the tyrant
they snubbed the daily leaning
and keening
About the walls
and made instead their own
daily bread

within the walls, the suckle of need
dried upon the whispering breast
and hunger for the power of old
Gnawed
upon the shrinking hearts
of those within
with empty guts they looked without
upon the new community of plenty
and life
from the safety of the high walls

they saw the food that was without
and spoke unto the tyrant, pleading
that they might go forth and
eat their fill
The tyrant led them out …

and learned then a great truth

greed is blinding to those who
proudly sit in opression

and when they built their
encircling fortress
in arrogance they forgot
that in order for it to not become
Prison

the tyrant should have
allowed, within the proud edifice of
The Wall,
the humility of a gate

The sun shrivelled them then,
And bleached their hides

And
The tyrant

Wept

As tyrants do, when their last breath
Falls due.

and those without never sought again
to be within
amongst the dead souls
who moved not
and neither
breathed
nor held power or dominion
Over aught.

©2013 R Wright.

Brown Envelope Day – A Blast (And Buggery) From The Past

It’s not something that I care to come home to, is the brown envelope.

It’s something that I never think will arrive, and always catches me on the hop.  Take today, for example.

We started it off in a muted way, the wife and I, with a cup of tea and a bowl of cereal for me; I was neither feeling well, nor particularly poorly.  In fact, from the night before, when we had done some arty things together, I was probably a 4 out of ten.  Which is quite bearable, if not positively wonderful.  

I hied myself off to the charity that gives me an outlet for poor days, Towers Above, a place of healing though art.  I arrived, chatted and started about my latest ceramic masterpiece – meh – and had a damn good boost to my general mood and ability rating; off I toddled at the end of the session, and managed not just to go to Hobbycraft alone, but to chat to t’girlie from the knitting section about knitting, life and art.  She intimated I should contact the manager-type person who dealt with demonstrations, as I seemed able and interesting, to set up a date to come in for an art day for customers. And I damn’ well thought, at that point in time, that I might be able to, as well; I made a note to look at the possiblility for the new year.  If I could get through that, I could see a bonus in it for me of health-sense.  Worth trying to do it.

All in all, I now rated probably 7 on the ability and mood scale.  I’m pretty happy, looking forward to going home and getting on with some art.

The Brown Envelope was waiting for me.  

Threats from the Government as to what would happen if I was unable to comply with what the job centre were going to be telling me to do from the 3rd of December – yes, I an Duncan Smith, a merry fucking Christmas to you too – to whit, ‘sanctions’, a gradual reduction in my benefit until I came to heel.

Now, following the assault by the police, and handcuffing, in Wellington (see this blog ), I’m not even going to get into the Job Centre, because I simply cannot go into Wellington any more. Being scared of a place is no longer an ‘adequate excuse’ – if you think about it, if severe illness is not a good reason not to go to the job centre, then very little else (except, maybe, death) is going to cut the mouse turd, is it?

So now I am at a 2. I have very little but gradual, but accelerating, impoverishment to look forward to, and eventually the loss of the house.  Sure, there are people in the world worse off than me in the poverty stakes, but most of them do not live in a rich country, or have paid into a social insurance for their working lives.  Indeed, these poor people are going to be much worse off, ironically, since the aid Belinda and I currently give them will soon be cut off.

Threats from a Government – whatever the flavour or colour – toward ill people is a sign you are living in a very poor country indeed; not poor in resources or financially, but a country that has reached rock bottom in the way it treats the most vulnerable of its citizens.  A country so lost, so spiritually and morally bankrupt, that it is willing to put up with propaganda and strictures against the disabled, the like of which have not been seen since Germany of the 1930s – and thought that, with the sacrifice of lives that people  in WW2 suffered, we would never see again.

Threats in the post from a Government.  I shall soon be forced to wear a Black Triangle on my clothing.  I may preempt them and wear it anyway.

I’m unable now to see forward, with the remainder of people willing to let people like me die, some at their own hands, some at the hands of the DWP and ATOS, and this (Tory) government.  

I’m sort of lost.

I’m sort of afraid.

I’m very, very alone.