Monday 14 July 2014. In a world gone mad.
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Dear Mr Cameron,
The media rumour mill is attempting to pre-empt, ahead of the rumoured cabinet shuffle, what's going to happen to Iain Duncan Smith. The Mirror is saying he's out, the Mail is saying he will refuse to go. I am not sure I care either way because what is for sure is that the war on the poor is not going to change. The only cabinet shuffle that would have any meaning is if you were all shuffled out of parliament for good and faced criminal charges for the devastation you've caused.
The Telegraph reports that the latest brain(less) child from the DWP is - "Hundreds of thousands of benefit claimants face being stripped of their state allowances if they refuse to undergo treatment for anxiety and depression." Threatening punitive action against people with anxiety and depression is actually insane, that crosses so far over the line into la la land that sanity is no longer even a speck on the horizon. What vile creature actually dreamt that one up? Does your government have a secret Department for the Promotion of State Sponsored Misery and Suicide?
I have lived with depression all my life, I have no idea whether it came about by nature or nurture, though I strongly suspect both. My Father suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, so it's likely something got passed on genetically to me. At 63 I have had a great deal of help in my lifetime including time in a psychiatric unit, which I must say was the sanest place I've ever lived. Winston Churchill was a functioning depressive, not something everyone can achieve, and he said in his latter years to a young researcher as he gazed at a log fire, "I know why logs spit. I know what it is to be consumed."
One of the great lessons I have learnt from mental illness is assertive refusal and rebellion for self survival. Faced with a situation that I know will threaten my ability to function I have learnt to refuse. Well meaning people question such refusals, saying, 'You'll never know if you don't try.' Crap! I know my own mind very well, after 63 years I am an expert on my own anxiety and depression. I know intimately not to follow the opinions or authority of others or their made up rules. History is littered with rule makers and rule breakers and I know which side I am firmly on. The voice of authority must never be taken without question. There is no excuse for unquestioning obedience and disobedience is needed now more than ever.
Sadly most people are unquestioning (in any meaningful way) law abiding citizens; obedience to authority wasn't a valid excuse in the Nuremberg Trials and nor is it a valid excuse now. Nothing has changed since then other than forgetting the past and being 'civilised', and allowing the past to repeat itself. The greatest threat to civilisation is civilisation itself. That you are still in government is the proof of that. I may or may not have been born mad, but what I do know is that it is civilised society that has confirmed it all my life making me glad to be mad. Being insane in an insane world is, as it happens, sanity. Comparing myself to Iain Duncan Smith or Esther McVey makes me realise how sane I am and very grateful for it and no one will ever cure me of that.