Britain is a nation of self harmers

We haven’t yet succesfully committed suicide but we’ve had a good try simply by voting for Brexit and yet more Tory government austerity. It isn’t yet fatal but it is certainly self inflicted harm that makes living much more difficult.

Self harmers are normally mentally insecure and many of the UK population is in a similar situation.

15% (7.3 million people) either own no assets at all, or are in debt.

Disproportionate and excessive housing costs with often only six month rental periods do not engender a secure environment for people’s future.

More than ever are on zero hours contracts. Zero hours contracts serve simply to transfer the risk of the so called entrepreneur to the employee, who thus ends up with an insecure and uncertain future.

Indeed by driving for Uber you can be master and slave at one and the same time. That is insecure, uncertain and highly confusing.

The disaster in North Kensington is not only a disaster for residents. It is a disaster for the members of the emergency services. The London fire service is now calling on counselling help from other UK fire and rescue services.

Fire service cuts mean that although first response times have just about been held, firefighters do not arrive in the quantities that they used to – with generally less appliances initially sent to calls and appliances which themselves often have fewer crew than before the cuts. So in the vital first few minutes there is even greater pressure to deduce the resources required and it is more difficult to prioritise that first response.

And, as fire deaths went up last year and so has the number of fire service responses it is even more difficult to understand how this is a reason to cut services. But it serves to pressurise fire service personnel.

So here there is both insecurity for the Fire service and for those they are trying to protect.

In the Police, the retiring Chief Constable of Lancashire reiterates the stuff about difficult choices (thus indicating that even he does not know where money comes from) but goes on to say that policing is almost broken and the exploding quantity of mental health problems is a major difficulty. He concludes that the cuts have gone too far.

Once again there is both insecurity for the Police service and for those they are trying to protect. A substantial cause is mental ill health.

In the NHS there is the lowest number of doctors per head of population in Europe and almost the lowest bed numbers in Europe. So doctors are running to stay still – yet meanwhile their NHS is reorganised with continual salami slicing privatisation. So at a time when there are increasing mental health problems the NHS finds it all the more difficult to provide help.

Once again there is both insecurity for the NHS personnel and for those they are trying to protect.

And then we have the insecurity of Brexit, which really is the self harm of the badly mentally damaged. Brexit is the cry of hurt and despair of those at their wits end. Austerity has made life that depressingly difficult.

If part of the a plan to make us feel more insecure in order to make us more compliant then austerity seems, in part, to be working. People are not thinking straight with no understanding of the lack of evidence for the medicine of austerity. In fact it is a medicine that substantially prolongs the agony.

Yet perhaps, with a hung Parliament those who don’t vote because it never changes anything may see that it could. (If nothing else these hardly engaged types might be concerned that the recently introduced standard mobile roaming in Europe will be likely to come under threat.)

For those more engaged it must be ever more obvious that to re-elect any single MP who favours austerity would literally be mad.

Insecurity for the individual is not prosperity for the country – quite the reverse.

We certainly owe the end of austerity to our emergency services, so dominant in the news recently,  but we also owe it to ourselves.

With despair and insecurity so prevalent it may be difficult for people to realise that this self harming gets us nowhere, but still risks being terminal.

With despair and insecurity so prevalent embracing and voting for hope offers the only way to recover.

Doctors Caroline Lucas or Jeremy Corbyn are the only ones still holding that prescription.

When we also realise that there is no precription charge we shall all be able to book out of the sanitorium with calm and confidence.



  1. Sean Danaher -

    About a year ago Fintan O’Toole published an article: “Brexit offers the jagged razor of incoherent English nationalism” along the same lines.

    We seem to have ended up in an extraordinary place. About 2 months ago when May called the election there was talk of a 100+ seat majority and a ten year premiership. There is now speculation that she won’t even last the week.

    Lenin’s words “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” seems more relevant than ever

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