Posts Tagged ‘the Daily Mail’

A Letter to the Lesser Hitchens Brother

June 23, 2013

Mr. Hitchens,

While elements of your case against anti-depressants may be valid, you are undermining your case by blaming them for just about every terrible thing that happens anywhere on the planet. LIke Scientology and its video on You Tube ‘PSYCHIATRY: THE INDUSTRY OF DEATH’ although even they make some valid points.

I noticed that you mentioned the Hannah Bonser case a few months back in the context of anti-psychotics. (‘She was also prescribed ‘antipsychotic’ drugs, and who knows what effect they may have had?’) If you have read Theodore Dalrymple’s ‘If Symptoms Persist’ he writes about a young woman in the manic phase of her disorder who had (and these are the good doctor’s words, not mine.) ‘taken to hearing voices’ and gloating over the fact that he orders his ‘underlings’ (aka: nurses) to forcibly medicate her ‘in the buttocks’.

I fear for the future of journalism when mere fact checking is interpreted as an ad hominem attack.

In response to this.

Picture 5

screen-shot-2013-03-04-at-03-30-52 screen-shot-2013-03-04-at-03-31-05

Advertisements

Gotta Love the Daily Mail…

March 19, 2012

 

Shrinks in the news   For the concept of  collective guilt to have any validity it has to be  applied universally.*

The very mention of this newsworthy issue makes me a ‘monomaniac’ in some people’s eyes: http://blog.skepticaldoctor.com/   I would be the last person to stand in the way of people who are making an effort to correct the deficiencies in their education but I would suggest that while the use of random polysyllabic words can be impressive, it would be even more impressive if you familiarised yourselves with their meaning.

*Addendum: They’re not too fond of geriatricians/gerontologists either.  And if even a fraction of this is true then I’m not sure I blame them.

Succinct and Extremely Bitchy

October 13, 2011

According to Mary Portas, advisor to the government on something or other, ‘If I were PM I’d bloody restyle all those women. (An account of the interview can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/6k4d8s8 .) ‘I mean, the female cabinet, what an ugly bunch. I would restyle them. Do you know, I could not look at them. I couldn’t look at them! I go in for meetings now and they do dress up for my meetings, but I just want to go, ‘Pleeease. No. Not that necklace. Not that skirt.’

Charming. She goes on to say that what women in the cabinet need is ‘a bit of sex and glamour’. My suggestion to the delightful Ms. Portas is that she should get hold of a dictionary and look up the word ‘Conservative’.

What kind of a moron would appoint someone like this to a position of government advisor?

This kind, perhaps? http://tinyurl.com/69qjtux

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

In Stitches

November 3, 2010

There was a letter in The Daily Mail/Hate/Fail/Misogynist from someone who claimed that his sister had ‘the worst possible case of depression’ and managed to get up every morning to go to work. That’s funny but when I had my ‘worst case of psychotic depression’ I could barely move off the couch. I could do nothing but rock backwards and forewards, shaking and crying while a disembodied voice in my head told me that I was an ugly, evil witch and that, by rights, I should burn at the stake. I was eventually sectioned and taken to hospital. I wonder if that Mail correspondent suggests that people who have been hospitalised for depression should get up from their hospital beds and work.

I’ve lost the appetite for doctor-bashing but I downloaded two free books written by young doctors on my ipad. Now these newly qualified doctors seem as though they are sweet, sensitive little souls but they can’t write for toffee.

From In Stitches: The Highs and Lows of Life as an AandE Doctor [Paperback]
Nick Edwards (Author)

‘Patient says : I’ve got a personality disorder’
Patient means: ‘I used to be known as an attention seeker. Now I am medicalised by a hippy psychiatrist and you have got to be nice to me.’

Oh, well, I guess humanity has always needed its scapegoats and for the foreseeable future the personality disordered is it.

Here’s another little tidbit:

Chaviest/ugliest girl ever: someone spiked my drink.
Doctor: People only spike your drink if they want to sleep with you

I expected something a little more sophisticated from a doctor. At least Dalrymple is laugh out loud funny, charmingly self deprecating (on occasion) and he’s also a damned good writer.

On the Relative Courtesy of Bullets

October 13, 2010

And now, somewhat belatedly, I come to the verdict of the Inquest into the Death of City Barrister, Mark Saunders.  The Coroner’s Court yielded to common sense and returned a verdict of lawful killing.  So it is now, thankfully, at an end.  My favourite newspaper  The Daily Mail seems determined to squeeze the last few drops of blood out of the case.

I wonder what the Daily Mail’s traditional readers would make of Peter Hitchens’ comments in his column two weeks ago, in which he attributes Mr Saunders’ behaviour to the fact that he had been taking anti-depressants: Oh, and please note, the crazed, shotgun-wielding barrister Mark Saunders was taking ant-depressants – another connection everyone refuses to see.’

Yes, Mr Hitchens, Mr Saunders was indeed taking anti-depressants but he had also imbibed alcohol and taken cocaine along with a whole host of other legal/illegal drugs, non of which would have been compatible with one another.  A doctor can only go so far in ensuring that a non-compliant patient (who is not a candidate for a section) adheres to the drug regime that has been prescribed for him.

And now another ‘Daily Hate’ columnist is in on the act.  Max Hastings claims that the police shot Mark Saunders like a ‘mad dog’.  (Is it common for armed police officers to launch into lengthy negotiations with mad dogs before they eventually shoot them?  And who is in charge of negotiations?  I knew police dogs were smarter than your average pooch but still…).  It is, Hastings asserts, ‘an affront to the values of a decent society.’  And to have simply left him to get on with it would have been a lesser affront?  Hastings is at pains to emphasize that Mr. Saunders was ‘drunken and depressed’.  So, wouldn’t that have made him even more dangerous to the public then?  And intoxication itself is no defence in law.  Hastings proceeds to berate the police officers on the scene for denying Mrs Saunders access to her husband.  Given that they were separated, it is hard to see what good that would have done.  Now let’s imagine what would have happened if the police had permitted Mrs Saunders contact with her husband and she had been harmed in any way.  There would have been an outcry, of course, led by The Daily Mail itself.

It occurred to me that Max Hastings and the tabloid for which he writes have chanced upon some scientific evidence which reveals a difference in lethality between the bullets from a gun fired by a city barrister from his 2.2 million pound home and the bullets fired by the gun of some ‘yob’ from a Liverpool council estate.  Perhaps the brilliant barrister’s bullets were gentler, more civilised, more refined.  Perhaps each one presents a summing up before it tears through your flesh and turns your insides to mush.  Lesson learnt: if you must get yourself shot, get yourself shot by a barrister

Stirring the Hornet’s Nest

September 29, 2010

I’ve been engrossed in the blog of Inspector Gadget (No, not that Inspector Gadget with the niece called Penny and all of those Gadgets; our Mr Gadget is not even entitled to carry a firearm).

The main topic of conversation over there at the moment is the inquest into the death of Barrister Mark Saunders and The Daily Mail’s unashamedly biased reporting on the issue.  First, a caveat: I have some sympathy for Mr. Saunders and his family and I expressed it unequivocally here.  In spite of this I believe Mr Saunders was killed lawfully.  Whether they were aware of it or not the authorised firearms officers were acting on the principle of the lesser of two evils.  The greater evil would have been to simply leave him be and let him do whatever he pleased with his loaded weapons.  This, clearly would have been untenable so they reacted exactly as their training had taught them to and fired back when they were fired upon.  They killed one to save many.

The ever-self righteous Daily Mail includes a gallery of gunmen shot dead by  authorised firearms officers in the last fifteen years.  According to The Daily Mail these men are victims, even those who, at the moment they were shot, were holding innocent bystanders hostage.   Of course, this has all been precipitated by the inquest into the death of Cambridge educated barrister Mark Saunders.  If you take a look at the paragraph accompanying Saunders’ picture you will see that his apartment was worth 2.2 million.  Only in the Daily Mail…

But the greatest calumny of all can be found in  their Sunday editorial in which they equate the shooting of gunmen by police with formal execution.  They then go on to propose that any AFO who draws his weapon should be  identified and publicly named.  They clearly have not thought of the consequences of the policy they are advocating, for who would volunteer to be an AFO in the knowledge that if they do their job they will be ‘named and shamed’ by The Daily Mail and possibly be facing a murder charge if the mob turns against them?

The Daily Mail is beyond parody.  It frequently complains of the break down of law and order in this fair land and then prints ‘investigative’ pieces like this that only serve to contribute to the destruction of all it claims to hold dear.  What is their agenda?  They don’t have one.  They like to stir the hornet’s nest for conflict is their bread and butter.

Next Stop Ducking Stool

August 18, 2010

I must confess I am afraid. I went with my neighbour Nobby for our usual trip to Costa Coffee Shop. I ordered my usual mocha freshcato (primo), a drink that I am convinced contains about two hundred million calories. The only newspapers in the rack were The Daily Mail and The Express. Both had scream-out-loud headlines about benefit scroungers.  Lately, the right wing press have been getting their jollies by excoriating benefit claimants and it feels like a witch hunt.  Their efforts to whip up the masses into a frenzy of hatred against benefit claimants appear to be working if the comments section of The Daily Mail online is to be believed.  Everyone hates The Daily Express so only a couple of people have bothered commenting there.

Today, both The Mail and The Express are aiming their vitriol at those who claim incapacity benefit.  It is alleged that approximately 900,000 people have been wrongly awarded this benefit.  Note that they do not use the word ‘fraud’ but it is not so subtly implied.

Now, as I understand it, in the past few years new and stricter rules have been introduced in order to make it more difficult, and in some cases, impossible to claim incapacity benefit.  Those who claimed before this point, under the old rules, acted in good faith and cannot be said to be defrauding the system.  It would be illogical, not to mention hideously unfair, to accuse them of this.

Here’s a useful analogy: take a sports game of two halves.  If the players adhered to rules enforced in the first half which were then changed in the second half, it would be unfair to retrospectively penalise these players for failing to follow the newly introduced rules in the first half.  This is, in effect, what these two tabloid ‘newspapers’ are doing to benefit claimants.

I am becoming afraid of my own species, paralysed  by terror.

Because this feels personal.

Ich Bin Ein Untermensch Too

February 18, 2010

Seaneen over at mentallyinteresting.org.uk. launches a ferocious and passionate and eloquent attack on this article in The Daily Mail. And every missile hits its target. I see parallels between the treatment of the underclass and the treatment of the mentally ill.

They do not follow the rules.  They do not obey instructions.  They are weak, they are feckless, they are helpless.  Their very presence corrupts society.  The industrious middle class readers of The Daily Mail are the most hostile towards them.  It is not that they lack imagination.  It is not that they are devoid of empathy.  Far from it.  They possess those qualities in abundance.  They understand more than they want to.

The underclass and the mentally ill represent devastation.  Lives laid to waste by some invisible force over which they have no control.  Those Daily Mail commenters are afraid because one day they know it could happen to them.  Like aerial bombardment.  No one knows who the missiles will hit next.  But they will never acknowledge that.  Not in a million years.

There Really Is Nothing New Under the Sun

October 15, 2009

‘Young mother down at Smithfield
5 am, looking for food for her kids
In her arms she holds three cold babies
And the first word that they learned was “please”

These are dangerous days
To say what you feel is to dig your own grave
“Remember what I told you
If you were of the world they would love you”‘

Black Boys On Mopeds, Sinead O’Connor

In the early nineties I was taking my A Levels and living with my parents in a 1930s semi detached pebble dashed house in the suburbs of Birmingham.  I also had some pretty severe psychiatric problems (an eating disorder, depression etcetera).  The house in which we lived was one of those ex-council houses that so many people enjoy sneering at, forgetting that their inhabitants are only there because they were desperate to be a part of Maggie Thatcher’s ‘Home Owning Democracy’.

Most of the neighbours were ‘decent’, reasonable, hard-working people but there was a large family whose children pretty much terrorized the entire street.  They would smash the wind screens of cars, verbally intimidate people as they walked past, attack the vulnerable.  I was sexually assaulted by one of them.  They targeted our next door neighbour.  He was a retired, elderly gentleman living in the upstairs flat of the house next door.  His garden was at the front of the house.  He worked hard on it, planting flowers and vegetables.  Eventually he gave up because these kids would trespass on his land and simply wreck it.  My father tried to intervene on several occasions but eventually he gave up too.  The reason?  On the final occasion the eldest ‘child’, a boy who was taller than he was, shoved my father.  My father, reacting instinctively, shoved him back. The police were called and my father was told that if he did anything like that again then he would be the one who would be prosecuted.

WTF are people getting out of pretending that this is anything new?

A Burden on the Parish II

August 10, 2009
TH]]

'Rentawomb'

<satire>

Addendum:  I gotta say for someone who has churned out thirteen brats and has one firmly ensconced inside her Theresa Winters has quite a decent figure. Shapely legs and no sign of bingo wings.  You certainly can’t accuse her of letting herself go.  If I were you though, Theresa, love, I’d grow that fringe out because it simply doesn’t suit you and ditch this dress (Did the stylist at The Daily Mail suggest  you wear it?) – that’s most definitely not you.  Why doesn’t the Daily Mail fix Ms. Winters up with their middle class readers who’ve found it almost impossible to dispose of the blubber that was their new born baby’s gift to them?  And that many of the columnists whine about incessantly.  Funny, isn’t it?  How some ‘chav’ on the dole can work out how to get rid of her baby blubber and yet many female Daily Mail columnists still have it, firmly cleaved to their bones when their brats are off to university – Oxbridge, of course.  Anyone ever noticed how every middle class brat is Oxbridge bound?* They’re not, of course. That would be a statistical impossibility.

And here’s another business proposition: why doesn’t  The Daily Mail try and hook up Ms. Winters with a few middle class readers who can conceive but can’t carry the baby full term?  I can see it now: ‘Rentawomb.’  Now I’m off to draw up a business plan.

</satire>

*http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1178070/8216-We-stand-skunk-8217.html

Remember the Myersons. Proof, if ever proof were needed that the Middle Classes aren’t infallible and omnipotent to a man, as the Daily Mail would have you believe.  ‘Jake Myerson had been a straight-A student destined for Oxbridge; skunk addiction had made him menacing, unmanageable and morally erratic.’ Sure you were, mate, sure you were. Oh, and another thing: I grew up in a working class family and my parents would never permit my brother or I to ‘smoke a spliff’ in their house (or anywhere else for that matter) just so they could look ‘cool’ in front of their offspring. ‘Ooh, look how liberal we are!’ They adopted a zero tolerance approach to drugs. And I knew no one in our (working class and even ‘underclass’) circle of friends who would offer their younger siblings drugs. This is exactly what Julie Myerson asserts that her son Jake did to his younger brother.  So, a question directed at my many social superiors.  Should I still emulate my betters?

And I bask in the warm glow of schadenfreude. Is that a bit mean of me? Well, damn it – I’ve earned it!


%d bloggers like this: