Archive

Archive for January, 2005

Iraq: Losing the Peace

January 30th, 2005 No comments

The terrible consequences of Bush’s pet war project were always plain for those with eyes open to see. If the CIA recognises the facts things must surely be bad. Thanks to Empty is form for the article CIA Report depicts Iraq as long-term terrorist haven as search for Saddam WMDs ends.

Let’s hope that Bush is beaten back from the precipice he is fast approaching in Iran by calmer more moderate voices than have prevailed so far. He surely can not believe that to fight war on two middle eastern fronts simultaneously can be beneficial. But then if he launches an action we must ask, is he trying to do the right thing? Or are apocalyptic visions assailing his dry-drunk mind?

Listen to this article Listen to this post

Share
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Cannabis, Schizophrenia and The Personal Politics of Irresponsibility

January 29th, 2005 No comments

Rethink, the British mental health charity have called on the government to study the link between psychosis and cannabis. Because there is an overlap between these things, Rethink believe that cannabis can cause serious mental illness. This is potentially as psychotic as the people Rethink are supposed to be helping.

It is a bit like saying ‘every time I wake in the morning the sun is up – it must be because I am waking up’. As R D Laing pointed out mental illness is principally a social and political fact. It tells us more about our society than the individuals concerned.

If there is a statistical overlap between mental health problems and drug use the causal link lies elsewhere: Persons suffering mental health problems are stigmatised, unsupported, victimised and isolated by society at large, their family and friends and even the massively underfunded support services that are supposed to be helping them. Left in a vacuum of other people’s making many persons suffering mental health problems self medicate with illegal drugs to approximate the highs and lows of a normal life.

Quite simply Rethink and the Government would do better exploring why persons with mental health problems are four times more likely to die in police custody than those without. This fact highlights everything that is wrong with the way we treat such persons in our modern society. They are blamed for problems created by their family, upbringing and the schizophrenic nature of our society in general which avoids personal responsibility at all costs.

Eight years ago at the height of a nervous breakdown I went and asked for therapy. I was told “you won’t get therapy – last week the Health Authority sacked all the therapists to save money. People in the middle of long-tern treatments are back on the street without support”. I, perhaps like many, turned to cannabis to dull the continual ache of a life which made no sense and could not be made sense of.

After several years of heavy addiction I finally found the courage to stop and to heal my hurts. There is nothing genetically or intrinsically wrong with my mind: It was split in pieces by a paedophile who used me as his personal masturbatory toy when I was an infant.

Three years ago the local Psychiatrist told me, “putting to one side everything you have said about being abused as an infant I am sorry to have to tell you that you have a personality disorder”. At the end of last year I plucked up the courage to go back and tell him he got it wrong. After a couple of meetings and tests he said he was ashamed and embarrassed at his original diagnosis and that I am suffering Chronic PTSD as a result of childhood abuse.

Freud was convinced by his contemporaries that his assertion that his patients had been molested as children and got better when they talked about it was dangerous and wrong. He changed his tack and went with the commoner theory of “Hysteria”. We would be in a much stronger and more realistic place in society today than we are if he had stuck to his guns. Of course, he was a very heavy cocaine addict and they are by nature of the drugs they use not very solid people.

Rethink have to stop treading the boards of personal irresponsibility and start laying blame where the causes are: In the abusers, bad parents, nasty teachers and lying politicians and civil servants who set the tone and character of our world of personal irresponsibility.

‘There is no such “condition” as “schizophrenia,” but the label is a social fact and the social fact a political event.’, R. D. Laing (1927-89), British psychiatrist. The Politics of Experience, ch. 5 (1967), quoted from fusionanomoly.net

Listen to this article Listen to this post

Share
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Prescott: Importing Death?

January 29th, 2005 No comments

The Rt Hon John Prescott MP, Deputy Prime Minister’s office spent £50,000 on flowers during six months of last year according to BBC Radio Four. In 1997, Western Europe imported $6 billion of floricultural proiducts from Africa, according to the latest figures I could easily track down. The figures are certainly much higher now as this has recently been a fast growing sector of African exports.

I wonder what percentage of Mr Prescott’s flower bill represents blooms imported from Africa? I wonder how much food for African’s could have have been grown on the land committed to beautifying his office? I wonder how many people could have lived from that food? I wonder how many people have died for lack of it? I wonder of Mr Prescott sees the death his floricultural abundance reaps?

We live in a complex world and I can easily be accused of being simplistic. But at the same time we live in a simple world, overcomplicated by egotistic needs for beautification at the expense of life.

Listen to this article Listen to this post

Share
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Auschwitz Ceremony: Survivors Are Second Class Attendees Once Again

January 28th, 2005 No comments

The BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme reported this morning on yesterday’s commemorative service at Auschwitz. The survivors, who are pensioners, waited for hours in the cold for the service to begin whilst world leaders where whisked in at the last minute and given chairs on a heated stage.

This is exactly what is wrong with the world today and what was wrong with the world back in 1945. No person is more important than any other. No-one deserves to live whilst another deserves to die, no one deserves such unequal treatment. These people did not deserve it from the Nazi’s back in 1945 or from the modern fools who organised the ceremony yesterday in the mistaken belief that world leaders are a more important class of people. The scale may not be the same but the mistake is identical.

Capitalism is all about ego or sense of self-importance. I deserve to eat enough to make myself ill because I have earned it. I will watch my excess rot and watch you starve because it is mine, mine, mine. “You are animals we can treat as such becasue you are Jewish”, thought the Nazi’s mistakenly. “You are less important than these fluffed up politico’s”, thought yesterdays organisers, also mistakenly. Would it be wrong if “important” people should have to bear the cold, wait a little or be inconvenienced for an hour?

When such fundamentals are mistakenly confused we can see with great clarity what has to be done to turn the tide of human misery.

Listen to this article Listen to this post

Share
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Auschwitz and Africa: Remembering is Not Enough

January 27th, 2005 No comments

In 1994, during what seems like a former life as a financial publisher, I found myself spending the best part of a month in Poland. One weekend I decided to visit Auschwitz and take in for myself what I had often seen through the TV screen. In part I was inspired to do this by a good Jewish friend whose grandparents had all died at the camp. The rest of my motivation was to see and understand, to comprehend the horror of victims and victimizers.

There were still enough reminders to make the visit sombre and a deeply felt experience. Many friends had no idea why I would do such a thing – I had no idea how anyone could not arm themselves with knowledge. The hardest experience for me was not entering the gas chambers where so many died and nor was it hearing the bubbly banter of a coachload of German schoolchildren as they completed the tour.

The hardest part was entering the long living shed which had been split all along one side by a glass partition. The other side of the glass was human hair from floor to ceiling, cut from victims. Blond, brown, black, some of it still in pigtails, the odd ribbon here and there, destined to be woven into coat linings. Standing next to the glass I could see the hair from the head of thousands of individuals, up close and personal. It looked like it had been swept from the hairdressers floor just that morning. Each lock, each strand, so obviously coming from an individual human being who had their own hopes, fears, celebrations and sadnesses. The whole room was an undying reminder of the uber-efficiency of the German killing machine.

On the way out of the camp there was a discreet sign that read something along the lines of ‘funded by the holocaust fund so we don’t forget and it doesn’t happen again’ – I am very heavily paraphrasing here. This was when my anger rose, and not at history but at the then present. At the time Bosnia was all over the television. Camps, mass murders, rapes, genocide. “It is happening again”, I thought, “remembering is not enough”.

It is always happening it seems, in one way or another. Today half the people in Africa will not have enough to eat. Tonnes of topsoil will be exported in the form of vegetables for Europeans to eat and flowers to grace their tables whilst they do so. Each one should come with a label that shows starving children on it and the worst effects of the desertification that will be rife in Africa within 50 years.

Remembering is not enough. Action is the only response that makes sense. If we are to live in a world where peace is the norm and hunger unknown we must take action now. It is not good enough to give a little crumb or two from the table, we must be Christlike and turn the table over.

We must change our whole way of being in the world or the world will change things for us. It is quite simply true that we live in a closed system, with limited resources and that the disproportionate use of resources, and over-use by largely white westerners, is causing Africa’s harm. These injustices are the fundamental recruiting ground for terrorists and where the untrammelled anger they carry grows. We can not escape the consequences of our actions or inaction however much we would like to.

Another 30,000 children will die needlessly today.

Listen to this article Listen to this post

Share