America is not a great nation

How dare that bunch of uneducated right-wing morons on the other side of the Atlantic still claim to be the world’s preeminent  nation? I just came across this tragic story, and America lost the last fragment of my respect. The faecal smear on human civilisation whom it is currently  calling it’s president has overseen the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s great achievement which at last gave americans something approaching  a civilised healthcare system. Now a halfwit who laughably calls himself a judge in Texas has ruled it unconstitutional, so our American friends will soon be forced to go back to paying insurance companies for their healthcare. I just feel sorry for people with disabilities and long term conditions, who will now need to start worrying about how to pay for their  healthcare. Ffs how  can a country dare  to call itself even remotely civilised when it prioritises the rights of capitalist fatcats to make a profit over the wellbeing off it’s poorest citizens?

Is Outism a type of psychosis

I’m beginning to think that Outism – the compulsion to back Brexit – can almost be categorised as a mental disorder or illness. It is certainly a profound delusion. I’m not saying that just because I disagree with it, and I’m not trying to be funny. Online, I’m starting to come across the most ludicrous comments from those who support Brexit. This morning, for instance, I came across one guy commenting on the bbc Question Time Facebook page who seemed to think that  Brexit was an extension of World War Two, and to  remain in the EU was somehow letting Germany win. The comments were so ludicrous you had to wonder whether they were really genuine and not some kind of spoof. Yet if they were made in earnest you have to wonder what sort of deranged mind could produce such thoughts; whoever it was, they clearly had a very tenuous grip on reality. I think I encountered people with the same delusion last Saturday.  They aren’t just ill informed; I think it is more profound than a lack of education or  knowledge. This is a genuine delusion verging on the obsessive;  their grip on reality is so loose that  it begins to  recall a form of psychosis. How else can you explain the belief that the EU is equivalent to  Nazi Germany or the conviction that every expert and sign of a coming disaster is  wrong, and the uk will flourish outside the eu? Patriotic optimism is one thing, blind obsession quite another.

The only question

I suppose as I head to bed having just turned Newsnight off, the country still  having the same inept prime minister it woke up with, the only question to ask this evening is, can things get any more stupid?

The incident at charlton train station

I was just down at Charlton Train station trying to get tickets for a trip John and I are taking to Oxford and Liverpool. It’s a small station with a single counter. I’m there  quite often these days, so the staff know me. It was going quite  routinely at first: the guy had come out to read what I wanted from my Ipad; he had just gone back behind the counter when something happened. I couldn’t  see what because he was behind the serving window, but through that  I saw his colleague come over and say his name. I was slightly confused – I thought he was  still processing my request. I waited a few moments, but then the colleague pulled down the window blind and I heard him calling an ambulance – the guy had had some kind of seizure.

I waited in the station for a while, unsure what to do, worried about the guy. The station was empty but for me. I thought about making suggestions, like to put the guy into the recovery position. The ambulance came and the medics went into the  staff area. Shortly after that I was asked to leave and go back tomorrow. I did and I will, but  it was rather scary.  I really hope the man is ok.

Nationalism in Whitehall

I think I should have stayed in Charlton yesterday; it probably wasn’t good for my heart. I had heard there was going to be a pro-Brexit protest in Westminster, along with a counter-demonstration, and the temptation  to go join the latter proved too strong. I  know everyone has a right to their views, but what is  now happening in this country must surely  be stopped, and those who would see Brexit pushed through in the name of nationalism must surely be countered.

I set off  up there after my weekly Skype with my parents, and took the Jubilee Line to Westminster. When I got there, there was no sign of any protest, so I  waited around a while. I first browsed the statues in Parliament Square, then went into  Whitehall. There I saw barricades erected and police gathering:  something was about to happen. I then  began to notice people carrying signs supporting  brexit,  and it soon  became clear that I had arrived at the wrong end of Whitehall. The Anti-Brexit march, I was told, was then in Trafalgar square.

I decided to stay where I was – perhaps I would learn something. That proved a bit of a mistake as pretty soon I was surrounded by people – bald thuggish men, mostly – carrying UKIP and Brexit signs. My heart began to race and I  began to get upset. I tried to talk to a few of them but that proved futile. In the end I swung round along the river to join the other protest.

This seemed quieter and more peaceful to me. There were also more nonwhite people there. On the other side of the barrier was a different kind of protest, made up of people who, like me, were appalled by what is going on. There was music followed by speeches, but then it disbanded – I had only caught the tail  end. It was then that I  had the stupid idea of going back  to the other protest, rather than  head home.

I don’t know why I did it. I wanted to talk to them, tell them why they are wrong, but I knew that I would only end up getting more pissed off.  I was,  however, able to establish a few things by watching that demo. I’m afraid to say that it only confirmed my opinion that brexit is  driven by nationalism, and that the people trying to push it through have no real understanding of what they’re advocating. I spoke to a few  of them, and their knowledge was very limited. It now seems to me that, rather than being a stereotype or assumption, the educational difference between Brexiteers and Remainers is very real and very stark. People there were deeply misguided and ill-informed. They did not seem to realise what they thought was an expression of national identity and pride was actually a scheme intended to transform the uk into an ultra-capitalist tax haven where human and consumer rights will be slowly whittled away.

It also reinforced my opinion that Outism is a far-right position. Most if not all of  the morons there were outright xenophobes, and the speeches I heard being given only confirmed that. One was an  utterly baseless diatribe about how climate change isn’t real, with nothing to do with  brexit. Hearing such rubbish spouted from that stage in order to brainwash those people even  further into fascism made  my blood boil.

What also struck me was  how pointless it was  too. These fools were demonstrating against May’s plan, which they saw as too light a brexit. Don’t they realise that it’s either that plan or no brexit. They were marching in aid of a nationalistic delusion. When you think  about it, the brexit they want isn’t going  to happen, so all that hate and anger was for nothing. It was totally unclear what they wanted or why, but they  were  clearly angry and frustrated.

And that is the dangerous thing. Yesterday in  Whitehall I saw two or three thousand people all feeling ignored and persecuted, all clearly  unable to properly understand what was going on. They feel disenfranchised and left behind by the contemporary multicultural world; a world which  has outgrown the simplistic  certainties of nation  and race – certainties they derive  a sense of belonging  from. Such people are therefore getting angrier and  angrier, not only in the UK but all over the world. Nationalism is on the rise again. I saw it firsthand yesterday in Whitehall, and it chilled my heart.

What about Other kinds of Disability?

A while ago I wrote on here that I wanted to take  up psychology again. I think that is still the case. These days, I’m becoming more and more interested in mental  health. It is an area I know very little about, but as a writer and filmmaker I want to now start to articulate stories about  all kinds of disability,  including less obvious ones. Of course, I can go on telling the world what life is like for a guy  with cerebral palsy, but now I want to start exploring what life is like for people with types of disability which are less obvious. I’ve been conveying my thoughts,  feelings and experiences on my blog for the past fifteen years. I’ve also written a few scripts and made a few films. Yet it seems to me my type of disability is straightforward in that the problems I face are relatively obvious; I’ve also been lucky in that I have the ability to communicate my thoughts and experiences to the outside world. Now I want to give a hand to those who might not have that ability, or whose impairments are less obvious. If anything, people with mental health issues get even less representation in mainstream media than  those of us with physical disabilities. As I say, it’s an area I don’t know much about, but from what I’ve seen and read  so far it’s quite fascinating.