Heightened Senses

Hello. I'm Imraan. This is the only thing I own outright; I write from time to time, in the hopes that free-association might save a trip to a sanatorium.

Tag: Inequality

Sweet dreams, pray hard …you scumbag politicians, complicit and bought-off media, and Godless institutional oligarchs…

‘Let’s be clear what it at stake: services, people’s health and even lives. As Professor Terence Stephenson of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges put it last week, doctors’ warnings had been ignored, and “unnecessary competition [would] destabilise complex, interconnected local health economies, in particular hospitals, potentially having adverse effects on patient services.”‘ Owen Jones, The Independent.

Please read this article – and if you’d rather not – here are my thoughts on the reforms to the NHS in a slightly broader context.

For those of you who voted Tory (that’s ‘Conservative) at the last election, and New Labour at the previous ones…thank you so very, very much.

As a disabled person who is in need of NHS services regularly, I have experienced first the sub-standard care that comes when you turn healthcare into a racket based on the coldest, most dehumanising economic principles…from being unable to see the specialists that I need fourteen miles away from my home, in the very city in which I live, as ‘there is not enough funding in the PCT to justify it’; to waiting over a year for an application to be heard with regard to getting in-patient rehabilitation (as yet with the case in limbo sandwiched somewhere between a bureaucratic fat-cat’s wallet and pool of blood resting in his chalice..)

..to being discharged by physiotherapists and occupational therapists repeatedly because my recovery has been ‘too slow’ to justify me ‘being kept on the books’ (how’s that for economic?) –  maybe four times in the last year – twice after just two visits…. – my being forced to see psychiatrists because the institutions were at a loss (both in terms of finances and morale, and even expertise) to be given drugs, effectively to shut me up and stop complaining (incidentally, these drugs have only had a negative effect on my health)… as I said, thank you, dear comrades.

…Yet there are countless others who have both lost their lives or have suffered the most dehumanising cruelty at the hands of an institution, and a government, and a complicit public, whose responsibility has been to protect the vulnerable. I didn’t plan on falling sick at 18 and not being able to contribute to the services on which I became forced to be reliant (no, I don’t have a sense of entitlement – just had a hope that I might be able to leave a better NHS behind for my own, and your children)… but thanks to those of you who justify propping up a godless financial behemoth, killing millions in far-off lands with money you have stolen from your own fellow citizens to fight for natural resources that you were never entitled to… you know what….thank you again.

…Forget just the atrocities committed against those of us reliant on the ‘welfare state’, and what grief we have to go through to ‘prove’ we are sick or in need, with less than 0.5 percent of us as fraudulent claimants to disability support… think how many months we are cut off from financial support etc, to be forced to rely on people who can barely afford to feed themselves…. There is blood in your hands, in all of them, in mine too… in your bellies because of the unjustified sustenance procured at the hands of your soldiers, in your wallets because of the circulated wealth that has come from robbing it out of the pockets of those who needed it the most through ‘savings’ (not ‘cuts’)…

But of course if you know not of anyone who is in desperate need of these services which were a birth-right to them, and to you, a part of the compact they have made as contributing citizens to this country, and to each other (that’s you included), you will sleep in relative peace tonight as the lives of millions of them are ravaged further after today. Sweet dreams, comrades.

…Hopefully Hell won’t spit you out in disgust… I say this not flippantly – but if you happen to believe that Christ died and arose for your sins this weekend…Happy Easter to you. Enjoy the festivities with your families… but think about this… how many others are you killing off for your sins? That you will never be able to be vindicated for nor redeemed, without an act of all-out sacrifice and nothing short of Grace… pray hard for your souls…pray very, very hard indeed.

The Destruction of the European Poor

If I were a parent, I would not have taken part in this experiment, not even for a week. Thousands of parents don’t have a choice.

One week ago a Conservative councillor from York said that no one is starving in the UK. On the evidence of last week, he is wrong. Not because the income used in our experiment was a starvation rate, but because for those who have to exist on such precarious incomes it does not take much to push them over the edge.

“Lots of people living on the breadline are getting by most of the time, but then some kind of crisis hits,” says Molly Hodson of the Trussell Trust, the charity whose network of 298 food banks has given out more than 209,000 emergency food packages since April.

“Say you’re off work for a week and you end up on statutory sick pay, or your car breaks down and you don’t get to work and lose your job. Then the crisis spirals into a disaster. Even something as simple as cold weather: a lot of people on low incomes are on meters for electricity and gas. Whenever there’s a bout of very cold weather, people are making the decision between heating and eating.”

The above is an extract from a very sad piece from Saturday’s Independent, by Charlie Cooper, highlighting the extent of the plight, and most importantly, the hunger faced by so many millions of people in what should be one of the richest countries in the world. Do read it, and then if you have no tears in your eyes at the end, consider reevaluating your priorities.

This isn’t some attempt at piety from some guy who lives on the other end of your computer-screen; but whilst you’re eating your take-away and watching the latest episode of the X-Factor, as you undoubtedly will do sometime this coming year, do recognise how privileged your position is…or perhaps when you’re reading that article on The Sun’s website (don’t ask me how I found this piece…though I am looking for looking for a cup of disinfectant that I can leave my eyeballs in overnight) that Katie Price is marrying a builder/part-time stripper (which has been categorised as ‘News’) on your iPad whilst sipping your lunchtime latte, have a think about what it actually is that matters.

Then, why don’t you make a contribution or two toward a homeless shelter, a charity for families or elderly in crisis, perhaps? I won’t tell you which ones. Why not, with your guaranteed income for this month, set up a regular payment or two both here and abroad. One tragedy of all this penny-pinching is not just the effect it has on people at home – forcing them into prolonged hunger and political and economic oblivion  –  but the lack of good a larger public purse could do in the third world.

I’m reminded of a couple of quotes that I read last year, which were attributed to Imam Ali (may God’s blessings descend upon him always), that are very appropriate. Too bad our statesmen today haven’t the integrity to speak this way:

If a person starves it is due to the fact that his share has been taken by another.

And

I have not seen any excessive bounty which is not associated with a right which has been violated.

 

 

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