Archive for the ‘depression’ Category

After a friend asked me if i am a member of anonymous (by the way i am not) it got me thinking abanonymous maskout activism and then onto revolution here in the western world and I can say with absolute truth the thought of revolution scares the hell out of me.

I can understand why a person reading my blog may come to the conclusion that I may be into some kind of political activism but there is a difference between being a kind political analyst and activist, I like to think of myself as a conduit for information to get people thinking outside of the box we currently live in.

When the Egyptian people stood up to oppression and stood shoulder to Tahrir Square Egypt protestshoulder against Mubarak they was able to shout louder than the national press a message of peace that went beyond the borders of Egypt and gave the population a voice and a legitimate claim against the oppression from the government that could not be ignored nationally or internationally.

But since then we have seen a hijacking of the Arab Spring from a voice of peace to a fist of violence that has been spread throughout the middle east with devastating consequences both politically and socially. What we saw in Libya and Syria is international powers playing politics in civil disputes with little regard for the people caught in the cross fire.

European Spring

Since 2007 we have seen a rising discontent as governments of all of the European nations stumble blindly on trying to save private investment banks from bankruptcy and in the process they impoverishing the working class for decades to come just to protect their future employers and six figure sum jobs.

Toronto Riots 2012 mounted policeUnless the ruling elite start listening to the people and remember that they are only supposed to be enforcing the will of the people for the people and not just fulfilling their own ambitions we will see major civil unrest in most if not all of European and north American states from the USA to Mexico and Canada.

But our political discontent is very different from those of the Arab spring nations and our gripes considerably minor in comparison to the daily persecution but our anger is no less. I am sure that most with the exception of  the most hardcore anarchists understand that although our society is broken it is certainly repairable and any calls for revolution are premature to say the least.

Wake up and fight

When I say you need to wake and fight I do mean this metaphorically, we do need to fight for our rights through mass protests and deliberation and diplomacy wile we still have this process available to us now there have been many times in history when normal men and women have had to take up arms to ensure freedom from oppression we saw this in the french, American and more recently Egyptian revolution where the ignorance of the oppressors becomes so much that talking will no longer work and violence is the only answer.

However here in Europe we are not even close to that stage yet and I hope for my children’s sakes that we never are. We still have a largely free judicial system and it is they who need to start ensuring that the politicians return to listening to the people and not the boardroom. The corruption in the west is deep and far reaching but it is a cancer that can be cured if people with courage are willing to take the actions required.

Mob Mentality No Thank You

The judges should start to reverse the rot by refusing to enforce ridiculous laws set down by half wits call for the rewriting of a bill of rights to ensure the citizens safety, only they can stop the slide to Anarchy and If you ask me do we need mob mentality I will say no thank you. When people start trying to enforce the law themselves all kinds of terrible things happen that further legitamises the elites way of thinking that we can not govern ourselves. In order to succeed however We are going to need to be structured in our thinking, clear concise and overall determined.

If we allow mob rule it will be a return to the dark ages and could mean the loss of nearly a thousand years of history and culture and a return to the feudalistic days of the 1500’s, this is not an exaggeration after the fall of Rome we went from living in stone towns with paved roads and sewers to mud huts and turf roads that turned to rivers every time it rained so as far as I am concerned a western revolution is the worst case scenario.

There are big social differences between Europe,  North America and the middle eastern nations here in west people have become slothful and relaxed over a generation of convenience and relative safety since our last war on European soil was sixty years ago unlike the middle east that has seen plenty of action.

Another important difference is our middle class we are underestimating the importance of having a small enough gap between the rich poor in Europe we can actually climb up the social ladder to a point that our lives can become considerably easier and we can pass that down to our children albeit very slowly but this allows people a life goal and from it a level contentment and from that point of view is extremely important to public happiness. In places like Kuwait Bahrain and the Saudi Kingdom the gulf between the rich and the poor is insurmountable to the point that the majority don’t even bother making any attempt to better themselves and this leaves room for a very unhappy but hardy lower class.

The European psyche simply can not survive the destruction of social mobility and this is why it is so important to stabilize the flow of money currently rushing upwards in ever increasing amounts. Removing this dream will be the underlying cause of a revolution on a scale close to the 1776 war of independence but unlike the colonies in the Americas modern people are heavily reliant on the government for food water and energy and any social unrest risks disruption to these essential services not just for convenience but literally our very survival.

Not only are we physically soft but we simply cannot feed ourselves due to having such a large population and very little if no farm knowledge or suitable soil to grow crops in while we fight for independence. The result could lead to many deaths simply from starvation not to mention untold numbers from conflict and disease.

And lastly but just as importantly over the last decade our western governments have been allowed to disarm us and monitor every aspect of our daily lives allowing them the type of intelligence that the middle eastern dictators could only dream of. If the government thought for one second there was even the slimmest chance of a mass insurrection they would swoop in and arrest and disappear anyone connected with the plans as was seen in the soviet west German state regularly by the stasi.

The resulting crackdown would lead to a cycle of distrust between the authorities and the electorate causing more yet unrest and then even more arrests effectively destroying the western way of life which we covet so much.

What do we the people want

The current round of distrust is because people are sick of being ignored what we the people want is a voice like the one the people in Tahrir square found and Sooner or later we will find that voice but I fear that the longer it takes the more likely it will sound like a violent shout and frighten the leaders in becoming defensive and even more prone to stupid mistakes that could inflame the situation. What the politician’s need to do is stop the austerity reduce taxes and let the market forces purge the toxic waste in the financial sector. Yes it will be hard and yes it will probably end up in that party leaders political suicide but at least it will not end in revolution or the collapse of society.

The basic belief in capitalism is the market decides what lives on and what dies out as necessity dictates unfortunately this rule has been abandoned with the dropping of the gold standard and the creation of the debt society created the elites superwealthy companies that manipulate the markets by keeping decaying old corporations rotting away the worlds wealth. Until we return to true capitalism and remove the government mushrooms we continue to slide deeper under the water line and sooner or later we will drown resulting in a Western Revolution that could drown us all.

The national minimum wage (NMW) in the UK is a national slavery industry, I remember it being hailed as a good thing when it was implemented but now older and wiser I see it as legitimizing forced labor in the private sector. I know many will say that I am focusing on the negative or over exaggerating the effect of the minimum wage but lets just break it downMan digging through the word poverty

  • Minimum Wage is £6.02 per hour worked
  • average week is 45 hours
  • That is a wage of £1094 per calendar month before deductions
  • So on Minimum Wage your likely to take home £750 roughly after Tax and NI
  • The Average Rent is £500-600 a month and travel £100-150

I am very fortunate at never having to have worked on minimum wage due to the fact that I was able to fall into a trade from school and by the time the NMW was introduced I was already earning £15,000 which was considered a good wage at the time, but many here in the UK are not so fortunate and end up working in retail and services which is largely minimum wage.

On paper the concept of forcing the employer to pay a minimum wage looks like a good idea but there were two unforeseen consequences by the original policy makers

  1. No effort was made to look at the cost of living and implement a minimum wage for each county/town so that in some areas people did well and in others people lost out.
  2. and two the NMW allowes companies to keep wages in areas artificially and unethically low while taking all rights under the law for the employee to question the set wage.

A Taste Of Their Own Medicine

Any politician that blindly defends the NMW should be forced to live on it for 6 months with no outside interference and I am sure we see them struggle even more than the average poor person is forced to live for the rest of their lives this would allow the policy makers to get a taste of their own medicine.

But it truly is a shame that this kind of situation has even arisen and even worse that the basic problems have not been sorted over a decade after the NMW was first introduced if we had policy makers that actually knew the plight of the poorest in our society blogs like this one would not exist.

In the next couple of years we are going to see the Tories making even deeper cuts into government spending and in response to this local authorities are guaranteed to increase taxes to keep their over inflated budgets and salaries rising well above inflation while the people at the bottom are on the verge of starvation.

Keep the National Minimum Wage or Get Rid Of It

So what am I advocating do we keep the National Minimum Wage or Get rid of it well above I pointed out some basic and serious flaws but nothing fatal that could warrant the legislation being removed no what is suggest is

  1. Amend it to be a Local Minimum Wage based the local cost of living
  2. Have it increase every year at the same percentage of the growth of GDP if negative then at 1% above inflation.
  3. Increase the tax threshold to £16,000 per year

This would go a long way to helping the people at minimum wage level increase their living standards as well as help the economy with as more people with disposable income will allow more spending and reduce the burden on the welfare state. On a final not I Man stacking shelvesthink that companies who decide to lay off staff because of the company losing money should have to prove that they are falling into negative income rather just just slimming their profit margins.

I think its disgusting that a company can lay thousands of staff but still make £20 Million pound profit to pay share holders as we have seen year in and year out since 2007. We should implement simple changes to the legislation to make the national minimum wage a national pride not the slavery that it currently is.

Depressed Or Not Depressed that is the question, I am always surprised by statistics surrounding depression and mental illness’s in general for that matter but in this post I would like to concentrate on depression. According to statistics by 2020 depression will become the second most common illness and yet despite this shocking statement only around 10% of those suffering will get treatment.

I got looking into this after I noticed a difference in my own behavior and although I contributed manyDepressed man with head in hands. of the symptoms to tiredness I have come to realize that I myself am probably suffering from a mild depression my symptoms have included

  • Irregular sleep either to much or not enough.
  • fatigue.
  • bouts of sudden emotion such as feeling as though I want to cry.
  • Mood swings from angry to sad and happy with no apparent reason.
  • comfort eating of chocolate and other sweets even though I have rarely eaten it for most of m life.
  • Having no real interest in anything and not wanting to be sociable.

But truth is I am also unlikely to get treatment as I have been through a lot in my life and never felt the need to have outside help so why start now, But even as I write this I am thinking either I am being stubborn and or stupid I cant decide which.

Why do we avoid getting help with depression

One of the reasons I think that we do avoid getting help with depression is ignorance of our situation because to admit we might be having trouble coping is a sign of weakness but another reason I honestly believe that any sign of mental illness can be detrimental to peoples future employment chances and in this age of information no person really has a private life anymore so I do believe this to be a valid concern. I watched a documentary recently about a group of people that are set a number of tasks and some have a history of mental illness but the employers did not know which ones and in the end the employers ended up picking all three with mental illness for a job despite saying at the beginning that if they knew someone had a history of mental illness they categorically avoid employing them.

I can see why people don’t want to be tarred with the brush of mental illness and that some of their concerns are valid but I also think that most people don’t get help shows that government need to do more to reassure myself and people like me that we will not be punished through employment chances and we are protected in the same way as someone with a disability are from discrimination. As you will know from my previous blogs that I do not advocate government intervention on many subjects but public health is one valid area that I think they need to have an active imput.

Epidemic of Depression

Society is currently in the midst of a full scale epidemic of depression and it is only set to get worse but when looking at the epidemiology we have to look at the causes of the problem.

So why do we seem to have an epidemic of depression in the modern society I think that the pressures of modern life certainly have not helped many peoples mental health and the constant stress of bills and the debts that many people have built themselves into a prison and when they can no longer see a way out this causes an erosion in the mental health of people.plane dropping adverts

I know people are going to think that I blame the media for everything in society but although this is not true they do have a responsibility for the society which places it’s trust in them, here a few examples on one hand the media constantly bombards us with advertisements which through the usage of psychology break down our barriers of control and in the process leave us wide open to the other stresses that life has to offer and on the other hand we are also constantly bombarded by mixed images of unobtainable goals and bad news.

Not to mention the current global depression with this comes added stress and worries that all contribute to the modern persons stress levels and should not be discounted when looking at the reasons why people are becoming more and more unhappy to the point of becoming depressed.

Return to Nature

When as humans will we realize that we are animals and that sometimes we need to look to the animal kingdom for the obvious before you declare me insane let me explain, If you take an animal out of its natural habitat and put it into a zoo the animal becomes lethargic not wanting to eat and moping around. So in order to make the animals feel like they are in the wild we build a habitat that looks like their home.

But yet as humans we have been removed from our natural habitat largely through our own success with technology but now that life has become a prison in which we are forced to live on top of each other in sprawling cities and with it illness my reason for thinking this came when I left my city to go and visit my dad in the country and for a week I was almost in direct contact with nature and found that I was happier relaxed and slept much better and since returning to the city have dropped straight back into the lethargic loop we now  call city life.

Getting Help

The up side to the information revolution is that getting help is easier than ever not only can you get advice to help you get rid of mild depressions through the change of habit and diet but also their is bundles of information for people to educate themselves to help those close to them also get over depression and other mental illnesses. Although I will admit that I will be taking the exercise and dietary route to help get myself better this option is not for everyone and if you do feel depressed then I urge you to talk to a confidant and see about getting help over 80% of people who do receive treatment are cured.

But I would also that whether you are depressed or not depressed they key to getting healthy and staying healthy is a good diet and getting back to nature to enjoy what little natural habitat we have left on this beautiful planet.

Useful links

NHS Direct

Mental Health Foundation

Help Guide

Beyondblue