Posts Tagged ‘Drug Addiction’

The Young Turks: US Senator Blames Heroin Addiction on Disability Benefits

December 27, 2015

Okay, this is another video from The Young Turks across the Pond. I’m reblogging it here, because the attitude of the Republican senator, who made this stupid speech is exactly the same as the Conservatives over here. It’s so similar that I wonder how long it’ll be before Ian Duncan Smith, Katie Hopkins, Louise Mensch or some other Tory rentagob makes precisely the same argument in parliament, or in the pages of the Sun or the Mail.

The Republican senator, Tom Cotton, gave a speech to the right-wing Heritage Foundation arguing that disability benefits should be abolished because they act as a disincentive for the disabled to get jobs. He stated that disability benefits encourage increasing numbers of people to stop working to go on them. Eventually there comes a point, according to Cotton, where the sheer number of people on disability benefits drives companies away from an area. Without the prospect of work, the people then turn to drugs like heroin.

The Turks’ Ana Kasparian points out that the heroin epidemic in America isn’t due to disability benefits. It’s due to the pharmaceutical companies putting pressure on doctors to overprescribe massively oxycotin. When this drug then becomes unavailable, those who have become addicted to it then try to self-medicate with heroin.

The Turks’ other anchor, Cenk Uygur, states he has some sympathy with Cotton, on the grounds that if benefits are paid at a rate above that of normal wages, most reasonable people will try to go on them instead. But he argues that isn’t the reason why Cotton has made this argument. Cotton is talking about the depressed communities in the Appalachians – the ‘Rust Belt’. These communities have been hard hit by the decline of the American manufacturing industry. Unlike Pittsburgh, the Appalachians haven’t been able to boost their economy with the introduction of new technology. So Cotton is attempting to divert attention from industry’s inability to create employment in the area by blaming the people themselves for their problems.

Uygur and Kasparian also start talking about the double standards the Repugs adopt when talking about drug addiction amongst White and Black communities. When it comes to White communities, they’re much less harsh and start to pretend to feel the pain of those communities suffering from it. ‘Cause those people aren’t Black. They also do so because many of the politicos’ own families are addicted to something unpleasant. To properly demonise something, they have to pretend it’s foreign. Uygur states that in the 1920s, when the US outlawed cannabis, they renamed it ‘marijuana’ in order to link it mentally with Mexicans. As for the corrosive effect of the pharmaceutical industry on American politics, the industry is the largest political donor.

The Tories share Cotton’s attitudes to disability. They too are determined to stop people claiming it, along with other benefits. As for the pharmaceutical industry, this is one of the problems that come with privatised medicine. So if the Tories get rid of the NHS, we’ll suffer the same phenomenon over here. And the Heritage Foundation has influenced British politics. Very many of the Tories on the extreme Right-wing of the party, like one Paul Staines aka Guido Fawkes, have been part of sections of the party, that have links to the Foundation and similar right-wing organisations. Cotton is saying what a fair number of Tories are thinking, and what they’d like to say if they could get away with it.

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Coventry Tories Attack Food Banks and the People Who Need Them

June 29, 2014

Lady Godiva posted this video as a comment to the post I reblogged from Unemployed in Tyne and Weare about one of the Tory councillors for Coventry, Lepoidevin, blaming the people using food banks for their own predicament. She claimed that some of the people forced to turn to them did so because they chose to indulge their own selfish desires for drugs and alcohol over paying the rent and feeding their children. This video shows her actually saying that. It begins, however, with her colleague, Councillor Blundell, claiming that the rise in food banks is due to the ambition of the Trussell Trust to have a food bank in every town. Blundell then says they’re going to ‘thwart’ the Trust’s ambition, partly by ‘growing the economy’. Here’s the video:

Now, as Untyneweare’s article made clear, some of the people referred to the food banks do come from an agency dealing with those issues. However, the person, who has to spend his or her rent or money for food on alcohol and/or drugs, has gone way beyond using them for pleasure. They’re addicted. There’s a lot you can say about alcoholism and drug addiction. One of the most important is that it’s not a pleasure, it’s a clinical illness. The countries that have the best recovery rates for these diseases, like Switzerland, treat it as such. And part of the reason they succeed, is that while some people might find defying the law for forbidden and dangerous pleasures attractive, no-one really wants to be sick.

And we are dealing with severe sickness here. A friend of mine once told me he knew people, who were hooked on heroin. They once literally sold the clothes off their backs for a fix. No-one ever goes through that stage of addiction voluntarily. Somebody that does clearly needs help.

As for doing it for pleasure, the impression I had from the people, who spoke at the Uni about a project the archaeology department did in Bristol with the homeless, is that many of those on the streets, who have alcohol and drug problems, have severe psychological problems. In the case of the children and young people, they’re quite often fleeing violent and abusive home. In psychological parlance, they’re ‘self-medicating’. They’ve started using drugs and alcohol as a way of escaping from some of the inner, mental torment. They’re sick on all number of levels. Councillor Lepoidevin is basically kicking people who are severely ill, based on nothing more than the folk wisdom and morality peddled by the Daily Mail and the Express.

Just before Blair won the 1997 election, Channel 4 showed a programme ‘The Dinner Party’. This consisted of very middle class types simply talking round the dinner table about, well, Life, the Universe, and Everything. But with precious little of the late Douglas Adams’ wit, humour or intelligence. Instead, it showed them as a bunch of profoundly ignorant, sneering misanthropic snobs with a complete contempt for their social inferiors and an absolute complacency about their own status in society. The picture was so revolting, that several TV reviewers joked that Channel 4 had deliberately screened it to boost Blair’s campaign by showing how utterly disgusting the Tories were.

It’s precisely the reaction I have to the crew in this video. One of the contributors to Lobster once asked one of his friends, what the global financial elite were after the friend attended a high level banking conference. The friend said simply, ‘Worse than you can ever possibly imagine’. This shows them without the mask. And it’s ugly. Very ugly.

Monkey Dust on the Daily Mail: Not Witty, Not Clever, but How a Lot of People Feel

October 7, 2013

Monkey Dust was a short-lived animated series on either BBC 3 or 4 a few years ago. It consisted of strange characters wandering around a bizarre and frequently bleak nocturnal world. In this clip, a couple reading an article from the Daily Mail wonder whether their son’s on heroin, as the poor lad lies spaced out in his chair, injecting the filth into his veins. Then a man goes into the Daily Mail’s building to talk to their editor. When he is ushered in, he finds that the editor is a giant piece of excrement. ‘Ah,’ he exclaims, ‘that explains everything’.

Really, it’s just scatological abuse. No, it’s not big, and it ain’t clever or witty. But it shows just how many people truly despise the tabloid.

The Youtube address for this clip is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfV3OuN57Bk.