I Like Zombies But I Wouldn’t Want To Be One

Finding the right medication to treat bipolar disorder is a bit of a minefield. The difficulty is in finding a drug, or a combination of drugs, which can balance two completely opposite problems – high highs and low lows – bringing one to a comfortable middle ground.

When I was diagnosed about five years ago the psychiatrist explained to me that ‘some patients find the right medication straight away, some can take a couple of years’. Earlier this year the effect of my medication (200mg of Lamotrigine pill-fans!) was deemed ‘as good as it’s going to get’ and I was signed off to live my life psych-free.

Six weeks later I was back to see a nurse – now the psychiatrist’s conduit – because the Lamotrigine side effects had become unbearable. I was suffering with horrible nightsweats comparable, so I’m told, with those experienced by women going through the menopause. The GP had run all the relevant tests and concluded that although nightsweats weren’t listed on the box it was nonetheless my medication causing them. Apparently only the most common or serious side effects are provided with your pills.

Reassuring.

The nurse has reduced my Lamotrigine intake which has marginally improved the sweating but rendered it less effective as a mood stabiliser. I’ve also been asked to try Quetiapine for a second time having failed miserably on it previously.

Dealt in prisons as a Heroin substitute, Quetiapine is a superb sedative. This is no doubt just the ticket when you’re bouncing off the walls thinking yourself invincible but in previous trials it only sent me into a disabled haze, making it impossible to do anything. I fell asleep at soft play centres and stayed in bed until midday.

I took my first ‘New Quetiapine’ (a modified release which supposedly helps reduce the somulence) on Tuesday night and awoke at 10:30am on Wednesday in tears, unable to peel myself off of the mattress, my eyes only half open and battling to close the gap. I’d gone from functioning despite the tiredness brought on by the discomfort of nightsweats to a limp rag doll too exhausted to put one foot in front of the other despite sleeping for two and a half extra hours. I worked for nine hours, fighting the urge to take the four steps from my desk to my bed, which was the only place I wanted to be. Then, at 9:30pm I finally felt awake for the first time. At 11pm I fought back the urge to stay up – scared that if I slept I would find myself in the same numb state again in ten, eleven, twelve hours time.

I know I shouldn’t be driving but the kids have clubs to get to after school. I probably shouldn’t be operating the oven or the iron. I’m too out of it to do any of the things I need to get done – things I don’t have an option but to do. So tonight I’m not taking Quetiapine despite the (not very reassuring) promises of the nurse and the information leaflet that ‘the sedative side effects MAY improve’.

But where do I go from here? There’s not enough sheets in the world to deal with Lamotrigine’s side effects. The tremors of Lithium make photography and typing close to impossible. Nothing else has worked and so I’m back to the beginning, trying it all again.

I’ve thought about giving up medication because I’m beginning to think that the side effects and the stress of the never ending cycle of new pills and not knowing whether they’ll work or not may be worse than the bipolar itself. When you consider that the side-effects of bipolar medication are often bipolar symptoms (suicidal thoughts, depression, vivid dreams, feelings of restlessness etc, etc, etc…) it does make you wonder whether its worth it all when you’re rattling like a pill case and still not functioning like a human being. It’s a huge risk but it’s starting to look like the only viable option.

The Maggie Myth and Legacy

In death as in life Margaret Thatcher has divided a nation. The country has been split firmly down the middle with the furthest extremes at one end distastefully popping champagne corks in the street, at the other calling for multi-million pound state funerals during a time of austerity and (oddly) penning mawkish poetry. At the same time the death of the Iron Lady has boldly underlined the raging debate on the welfare state, diminishing benefits and the shortage of social housing.

Coming just days after the imprisonment of Mick Philpott, the right-wing press’ new benefits poster-boy, Thatcher’s death has served to compound the fury of the employed and particularly the retired who have been reminded of what they consider glory days while fighting tooth and nail to keep their own benefits, something which, given a chance, Maggie would have ripped away without blinking an eye.  What many of those pensioners taking bus passes while running cars and winter fuel allowance despite living in mortgage free family houses fail to take in to account is that total pensions expenditure is £30m more than social security, £15m more than the NHS and a vast amount more than disability allowance.  Yes, these people have ‘saved’ through their taxes but likewise their hardworking children have done the same, paying more taxes but destined to receive just a tiny fraction of what their parents, retired at 60 and 65 now take.  It’s a perfect example of the ‘I’m alright Jack’ mentality promoted by Maggie, the thoughtless attitude fostered by a woman who didn’t believe in society, a society now ironically pushed by the current Conservative government.  Yet those worst affected by Conservative governments are afforded little consideration by those pension protectors who shout the loudest.

The older generation of Thatcher followers angrily dismiss the hatred of today’s young people for the woman, the ‘ding dong’ comments and the impromptu street parties.  Yes, it’s an inappropriate way to behave following the death of a frail old lady, no matter how she may have hurt you, but to claim (as many do) that these people, who were small children during the 80s, have no right to comment on the past because they weren’t there, they didn’t know what it was like is unforgivably ignorant.  I wasn’t alive in 1939 but can I not say that Hitler was a murdering bastard?  May I not comment on the foreign policies of Alexander the Great or William I?

I was a baby during Mrs Thatcher’s time as PM but I remember my parents struggling financial throughout the 80s and in to the 90s, crippled by mortgage rates eight or nine times higher than current rates.  As my Mum likes to remind us (strangely she remains a great admirer of MT) there was a time when she wasn’t able to buy new tights for work.  I also know that my dad, a Met officer, was sent ‘up north’ when I was a toddler to police the miners strike.  He might have been part of the enemy but how can being sent away from one’s family to brutally put down a protest, like it or not, for a paltry PC’s wage be something anybody relishes?  My grandparents worked in factories – Grandad at the Dagenham Ford plant – they must surely have feared for their jobs despite being given the right to buy their council house.  We, the children of Thatcher, are still affected by the greed of the banks she deregulated, the lack of a British manufacturing industry, the high cost of privatised travel and fuel.

I’m not sure one needed to ‘be there’ to identify the myth that surrounds Maggie. Vaunted as ‘the First Lady of Girl Power’ and held up as an example to women the world over, the ex-PM was hardly a feminist icon, her cold, unsympathetic approach to her people harsher than any male leader. She took on the landmark role of our first woman Prime Minister yet surrounded herself with men, many of whom she bullied and belittled, with only one female working in her government during her premiership. She forced working class women in to work whether they liked it or not while cuckolding working class men who were forced out of jobs and onto the dole. She demonised single mothers but split families with her devastating policies.

Thatcher is likewise celebrated as proof that, with work, anyone can achieve. The daughter of a grocer from Grantham, the girl certainly ‘did good’. Yet en route to power Thatcher changed to fit the Tory mould, changed her regional accent to the clipped tones more often heard from the mouths of Mitford girls than from you and I. She died in her suite in the Ritz, a suite paid for by her friends in high banking places, beneficiaries of her own yuppie culture.

If that’s progress for any of us you can keep it, thanks all the same Mrs Thatcher.

Help! Bipolar Charity Crisis

Mental health services have never been so desperately needed. More people than ever are contacting Bipolar UK, many suffering episodes triggered by worries about job security, financial difficulties and the increasing number of hoops the government requires those unable to work due to mental health to jump through in order to receive a dwindling disability allowance.

The irony is that the economic downturn which is causing a rise in mental health issues has also put Bipolar UK at risk.

Providing support not only for those with bipolar disorder but for family and friends too, Bipolar UK offers self-help groups for sufferers and carers, a telephone helpline often used by those in serious distress, online communities, mentoring services and a youth support service. These services are vital for bipolar sufferers who are often isolated and afraid to seek help. It’s estimated that between 25% and 50% of those with bipolar will attempt suicide at least once.

Bipolar UK desperately needs funds to keep its valuable resources in place and is currently attempting to raise £100,000. If you can help by donating even a small amount please, please do.

http://www.bipolaruk.org.uk/donate/

Even if you can’t donate you could help me with awesome fundraising ideas…

Forgiving the Famous: Armstrong, Gibson, Polanski et al

As difficult as it is to gain somebody’s forgiveness when you’ve let them down, it’s often harder to forgive yourself.  Imagine what it must be like when the whole world is watching and arguing over whether you should be allowed to continue with your life in peace or be hung, drawn and quartered for your crime.

Take Lance Armstrong, one time cycling hero now cut down to size by a raging public who will probably never let him forget that he cheated his way to the top.  I don’t think Armstrong deserves anybody’s forgiveness – he took millions for races he won through doping, gladly took on hero status, launched a worldwide charity and then lied through his teeth to avoid losing it all, letting down those who worshiped him and a thriving charity now tainted by his wrongdoings.  And he still appears unrepentant.

See also Mel Gibson, he of anti-semitic rant, Mad Max, drunk driving, (alleged) wife beating and controversial Jesus movie fame.  During the recent Golden Globes Robert Downey Jr eloquently called for Gibson’s forgiveness.

But has Mel (standing smugly behind Downey Jr throughout his speech) really ‘hugged the cactus long enough’?  Should somebody shown to be so unpleasant a person be allowed to continue in a career in the glare of the spotlight?  Is it our place to forgive Mel Gibson or is it the place of his abused ex-wife, the Jewish police officer, the employee he referred to as ‘a wetback’?

What is somewhat incredible is that while Armstrong and Gibson are being hung out to dry for their sins, the BFI have been merrily planning a grand retrospective of the work of Roman Polanski.  Celebrated as one of the greatest movie directors of all times, Polanski is the man behind such celebrated offerings as The Pianist, for which he won an Oscar and a BAFTA, Chinatown, for which he won a BAFTA as well as gaining an Oscar nomination, and Rosemary’s Baby, still held up as one of the finest psychological horrors of all times.

Oh, and speaking of psychological horrors Polanski is a child sex abuser too.

rosemaryTo clarify, in 1977 the director was charged with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor.  He initially pleaded not guilty but later accepted a plea bargain, ie: he ADMITTED it.  Yet rather than face charges and show repentance, Polanski hopped the country.

Polanski has avoided extradition to the US ever since.  Not only that but he continues to make movies, receive awards and rake in millions.  Actors such as Johnny Depp, Adrien Brody, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and Ben Kingsley have starred in his films.  Hollywood luminaries including Woody Allen, David Lynch, Darren Aronofsky and Martin Scorsese signed a petition requesting Polanski be let off.  Whoopi Goldberg, lest we forget, doesn’t even believe he committed ‘rape rape’.

As you may well point out Samantha Gailey, Polanski’s young victim, has since spoken about the abuse, playing down the crime by stating ‘he wasn’t hurting me and he wasn’t forceful or mean or anything like that’.  Does that make sex with a 13 year old ok?  Is it worth noting that Gailey sued her abuser for sexual assault, seduction and – most interestingly – intentional infliction of emotional distress?  Or that Gailey accepted an out of court settlement?

The world seems to find it easy to forget that this feted film director committed a heinous crime just as disgusting as some of those currently being investigated through Operation Yewtree.  The BFI, BAFTA, AMPAS, the movie-going public and Hollywood seem to be able to separate Polanski’s crimes from the genius of his work.

Should we be able to do the same?  I don’t know that I can. I’ve always disliked Mel Gibson and I have little to no interest in cycling, however I am a great lover of films.  Despite this I can’t bring myself to watch a Polanski film (I saw Rosemary’s Baby unaware of Polanski and his not-so-private life but have a gaping hole in the filmic experience where perhaps Chinatown and Tess and The Pianist should be).  If the public are so willing to overlook the actions of a man who drugged and sexually abused a young girl because he makes decent movies shouldn’t we forgive a cheater and a manic-depressive drunk with a less than appealing way with words or an equally unpleasant but talented fashion designer (John Galliano who, after two years out in the cold is set to fill a position at Oscar de la Renta)?  Should we continue to celebrate Polanski’s work while we burn BBC abusers alive?  Are some of the Yewtree defendants less culpable than others because they didn’t ‘rape rape’?  Should they be allowed to continue on with their lives and their careers in the way Polanski has?

When it comes to forgiving celebrities where do we draw the line?

Well said this blogger and well said Mary Beard!

glosswatch

Women have always had to deal with misogyny, therefore it is ridiculous for individuals to kick up a fuss about it now. This appears to be the argument made by Cristina Odone in her latest Telegraph blog, in which she expresses her sadness at “clever Mary [Beard] […] being stupid” for responding to vicious online attacks:

Come on, Mary. Women in public arenas get a lot of flak – they always have. Think of Livia and Julia back in the time of Augustus. They were attacked for everything they did, simply because they refused to stay in the background and fawn on men. The same is true today. A woman who sticks her head above the parapet – whether it be to present a history programme on the BBC or debate issues on Question Time – is asking for brickbats and (some) bouquets. If she doesn’t have the stomach for it, she should…

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Mummy Bloggers v Liz Jones Continued…

Much as I despise the idea of giving the old shrunken womb more airtime than she deserves I thought I would very briefly clarify my position following yesterday’s Liz Jones-related post, which I perhaps articulated a smidge badly in a fifteen minute keyboard bash (though I should say I in no way go back on anything I said, all of it remains my view though some of the smart commenters beneath have given me food for thought too).

When I wrote that post I should’ve begun by clarifying that I in no way agree with anything LJ said beyond using her article as a jumping off point for my own concerns because I do think, though she put it with as much finesse and subtlety as a bull going crazy in Lladro, that writing – good writing – is an art and that the flooding of the market with over-ambitious bloggers high on networking skills and low on talent has begun to overshadow those, both bloggers and employed/qualified journos, who care about words and produce quality, worthwhile content be that hard hitting political analysis or musings on muffins.

Anyway…

Ms Joneses article was, to put it mildly, deeply offensive on so many levels.  First she’s woefully wide of the mark when it comes to her view that all Mummy Bloggers are apron-wearing Stepford Housewives.  The point she entirely fails to grasp is that feminism should be far less about crashing through a glass ceiling in a power suit than it is about doing, as a woman, exactly as you choose.  If you wish to stay at home popping out babies, baking and putting dinner on the table at six every night feminism says you can, if you choose to go back to work three days after giving birth feminism says go for it, if you prefer to remain childless and work your way up the corporate ladder feminism is with you all the way.

I have my own reservations where this is concerned, I don’t think the pressure women put on themselves and on other women under the banner of feminism and ‘having it all’ is a good thing, especially not where mental health is concerned.  Having it all, as I’ve often said on other forums, should never mean ‘doing it all’.  But that’s a small price to pay perhaps for the freedom we now have over our bodies, minds and lifestyles.

As far as the casual portrayal of the burka as a shackle foisted on women by controlling men in a controlling male-centric society, could LJ be any more insulting to those women who choose to wear the burka?  While yes it can be, in many instances, a patriarchal tool used to keep women in their place, but I have also come across a number of women, both in Britain and overseas who choose themselves to wear the burka.  Perhaps those women are freer and braver than those in tiny skirts, boob jobs and eyelash extensions, choosing to be judged on their personality rather than their looks while respecting their own culture and traditions.  I don’t know enough about the subject to argue for or against the burkha but neither do I imagine that Liz Jones (who appears today in the Mail modeling mini dresses from the Kardashian’s collection for Dorothy Perkins) is well-informed enough to cast aspersions on these women or those who choose to follow a life path in any way different to hers.

Mummy Bloggers v Liz Jones

Today controversial Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones has published a scathing and bitter attack on Mummy Bloggers (and Mumsnet users).  According to Liz, she of sperm stealing fame, bloggers may as well wear burkhas.  Um, ok…

Actually while I am, as a rule, extremely anti-Jones I do see why she might be a little upset in her position as a (albeit not terribly good) journalist.  For some time I’ve noticed that writers with experience and qualifications are being marginalised by the boom in blogging.  It’s depressing to find that bloggers, many of whom are lacking in writing ability and free and easy when it comes to research, are given more credence than those who slogged to get to even the measliest paying position on a local rag or low-traffic website.

It’s also patently obvious to anybody with any knowledge of the Mummy Blogging world that the success of blogs boils down in large part to popularity amongst your peers.  Just as there’s a pecking order in coffee morning cliques so there is in the blogging community, and clicks on pages are, one might suggest, produced not necessarily through genuine interest in the content of a page but in the person who produced it.  Successful blogs are not often made by natural means but by hardcore networking, a touch of nepotism and a good knowledge of how the web works.

I suppose you could say that successful Mummy Bloggers win the popularity contest that Ms Jones and her Prada bowling bag were never offered a place in.

To put this in to perspective, imagine if you worked in a bakery.  You might bake some of the best cakes in the country but if there’s someone baking crappy cakes but putting lovely icing on them and sending them out to all the other crappy bakers with cutesy notes ending in ‘xxx’ and all those crappy bakers start saying wonderful things about each other’s crappy cakes you’d end up going out of business.  It doesn’t matter that those other cakes are shit, because the sheer amount of cakes and the cake popularity contest has devalued your great bakes.

That probably makes no sense, it’s little wonder that I’m one of the first ones to lose their career as a journalist because blogs are easy money.

I know, I know, there are some great bloggers out there, I’ve met them, I’ve read their blogs – even the ones about knitting and baking and buying cute Scandi clothing for their kids and taking maternity leave (none of which make a Stepford Wife out of someone or equate to wearing a burkha) and I know Liz Jones is a heinous, bitter old shrew but for once maybe she does have a badly conceived point.  Of sorts.  Not really, but you see what I’m…oh, never mind *awaits anger of the Mumsnet Mafia*

How I Finally Believed In Carrie (Because Nobody Else Did)

At the end of last season’s Homeland I wrote about how disappointing I found the portrayal of bipolar in the American drama.  I felt as if another opportunity to explore a much misunderstood condition had been passed over in favour of a paint-by-numbers plot device.

However, since the beginning of season two there has been an aspect of Claire Danes’s character which has really hit home – her triumph at being vindicated and frustration at still being treated as unreliable.

A few years ago, as I’ve previously mentioned, I was ‘made redundant’ from a job and was later awarded (still unrecovered) damages for disability discrimination, sex discrimination and wrongful dismissal.  To cut a long story I was accused of being paranoid and over-emotional when I approached my then manager with to report  that a junior member of staff, who I had suggested for redundancy was deliberately undermining me in order to gain a promotion in to my position and retain employment.

Like Carrie I felt absolutely sure of my position (unlike her I had absolute proof) but was treated as unreliable and hysterical.  My award was made when it was proven in tribunal that following my redundancy the aforementioned member of my team had been given my post and that I had been negatively treated because of both my mental illness and my recent maternity leave.

Watching the first episodes of series two of Homeland I felt as elated as Carrie – SEE, sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re not just forgetful or devious or plain ol’ crazy.  And sometimes we’re just as good at our jobs as everyone else.  Actually, an awful lot of the time we’re better, many high achievers (Stephen Fry of course, Alastair Campbell, Isaac Newton, Georg Cantor among numerous other musicians, artists, writers, actors, scientists, politicians, philanthropists and business people) have been diagnosed – some posthumously – as bipolar.

This particular aspect of bipolar is the one that finally rang true with me.  I struggle with the idea of being treated in the same way as Carrie has been; I find it hard to believe myself, assume that others don’t trust my assertions and struggle to distance my failings from my bipolar.

For example I’m often forgetful or dissociative, which leads to the absolute conviction that I haven’t said or done something that I have.  I regularly forget conversations, miss appointments, ask questions repeatedly or fail to run essential errands.  The problem, however, is that sometimes I’m absolutely convinced that I’m right – that I’ve never said or done the thing that I’m told I haven’t – and usually I’ve simply forgotten or said/done it during a dissociative episode.

It happens so often that when I KNOW that I’m right I either assume my mind is playing tricks on me or that there’s no point trying to convince anybody else because I’m so often proven to be wrong and they probably think I’m just being bipolar.

To illustrate:

I made an appointment for 4:30pm at the opticians.  The receptionist later called and spoke to my husband, telling him that the 4pm appointment I had made would have to be rearranged.  I knew absolutely that I had made the appointment for 4:30pm, I distinctly remembered refusing a 4pm appointment not least because I now keep a strict diary (to avoid my usual appointment muddling).  I remembered in detail telling the receptionist ‘4pm is no good because the kids are in sports club until 4:15pm’ and her saying ‘how about 4:30pm?’ and me saying ‘Yes!’ and adding it to my diary there and then.

The fact of the matter was that whether the appointment was at 4pm or 4:30pm it would’ve been cancelled so really it didn’t matter a jot.  But I cried because I had doubted myself and had assumed that my husband would doubt me (he didn’t), all because it’s the sort of thing I would get wrong.

Homeland’s Carrie has an awful lot more self-belief than I do, not that it’s done her a whole heap of good.  But I finally feel that we’re being shown a very real side of bipolar and the way those of us with bipolar are treated, something I can relate to and hopefully others (both those with bipolar and their friends, family, employers and teachers) can too.

Hell Is Other People

This is a list of some of the things that annoy me:

1. People who don’t say ‘thank you’ when you hold a door for them2. Pensioners who shop on Saturdays

3. Parents who appear to believe they have done the world a favour by breeding

4. Baby boomers who complain about the cost of things (but don’t mind that they ate all the tax)

5. Other people’s music

6. Shop assistants putting coins on top of notes

7. People who do chirpy knocking on doors*

8. Cluster parking in empty car parks (a similar phenomenon is also experienced in cinemas and restaurants)

9. People who complain about their jobs but don’t do anything to make them better

10. Oneupmanship (as my mum might say ‘if I’ve got an elephant you’ve got a bag to put it in’)

I could’ve added things such as ‘the exact level the sun is at during a particular time in autumn rendering it difficult to see when driving’ or ‘the fact that the Big Tasty isn’t a regular feature of the McDonalds menu’ or ‘hot feet’ but none of these things are as teeth grindingly annoying as the sins committed by human beings.

As a disgruntled colleague of my husband once said ‘people Mike, just…people‘.

Image

Since Spring this year I’ve been working as a Moderator for the Mail Online, weeding out great handfuls of offensive statements from the comments section of the website, a receptacle for the Western world’s anger towards Islam and immigrants.  Those people are angry. Really, really angry. I’m pretty sure I don’t fall in the same category of hatred as the xenophobic Mail readers. For one thing I don’t only hate foreigners, I spread my dislike evenly across the nations.

In fact I wouldn’t say I even hate the human race, I’m misanthropic to a point (I absolutely share a hell with Sartre) but it really boils down to a consistent disappointment in people and the realisation that so many human beings are unintentionally fake, more concerned with their outer appearance and being liked than with being honest and decent.

Just call me Holden.

Those of us with phobias of social situations have the opportunity to view other people in a unique way.  We aren’t asocial (in fact most of those with such a phobia only wish they could be those social butterflies who flutter merrily in to conversations with complete strangers), we just find engaging with people – even those we know well – extremely difficult.  As such a social phobic is the first to notice when people are kind and thoughtful or self-absorbed and rude.  We’re easy to talk over and ignore and the majority of people will do just that.  It’s rare that I come across somebody who will patiently spend time navigating awkward silences or who will spot the shy person and bring them in to a conversation.
It’s when you’re a quiet observer and you rarely speak out of turn that you notice how self-absorbed the vast majority of people are.  If you don’t shout you aren’t heard and every insult – a shop assistant who ignores you in order to continue a conversation with a friend or someone who doesn’t say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to children (if you don’t have kids you might be rather surprised by how rude grown ups can be to little ones) – is added to the elastic band ball of disappointment which grows bigger and bigger and is eventually put on a plinth on the outskirts of a small American town with a plaque declaring it the biggest ball of misanthropy in the state.
My husband finds it funny that even the smallest thing will annoy me for hours, growing and growing until I actually hate the whole world and for an hour or two wonder if it might really be possible to learn witchy curses, but the longer we’re together the more he notices it too (this might not be a good thing and could be considered reasonable grounds for divorce).  I think it’s almost a shame that more people aren’t able to see themselves and those around them as the painfully shy do, they might be more inclined to think before they act, to be a little bit nicer and think less about their own egos and more about others.
And if people were nicer the world would be better and I might even be less angry about cheerful door knocking techniques.*coming over to do a chirpy door knock after reading this post will not be considered an acceptable joke

Dear Jeremy…

Let me be absolutely clear about this: I think that our current government sucks balls.

I’ve yet to meet anybody who’s been fooled by Cameron’s reshuffling (deckchairs on the Titanic, pack of jokers etc, etc…) or ignored the fact he’s edged an expenses cheat in to the Minister of Education chair and pushed the departments of culture and women & equality together (because culture is one of those girly things that boys don’t get), headed up by a token woman who votes against gay marriage and spits the same bile as Nadine Dorries when it comes to abortion.
Even more concerning is that one of Cam’s most controversial MPs, Jeremy Hunt, has been made the Minister for Health.  I wonder if he thought we’d all be so dazzled by the Olympics we’d forget that while Culture Secretary he was all over that whole ‘selling the world to Murdoch shit’, that he threw his lessers to the wolves and ‘inadvertently misled Parliament’ (I think that’s shorthand for telling porkie pies).
Now I might be overreacting here but do we really want another commercially driven MP this close to the NHS?  I didn’t think it could get much worse than Lansley but Hunt seems the type that would sell his own Grandmother for a bag of chips.
Thus far Hunt’s made no noise about privatisation or overhauls but supporters of the NHS aren’t too confident about the future of health under Hunt.
It might not be perfect, it may be mismanaged, over-complicated and hugely annoying but if you value the NHS – and if you’ve ever been treated by a GP, taken expensive medication but paid only £7.30 for it, been visited by a midwife, tended to by a paramedic or even if you had free dental treatment as a child you bloody well should, please sign this open letter to Mr Hunt, reminding him that some of us don’t want to be treated in the Murdoch Wing.