Sunday, 22 April 2012

Stephen Fry - Good Egg or Pompous Prat up his own arse? You decide!

It's been a while.

The novelty of working again after being on the scrapheap (the pre 2012 Workfare programme!!) for 4 years has caused me to ignore you (Am I now being a pompous prat up my own arse assuming both people read this and look forward to the next Blog?!). I am loving being back at work and doing well I'm told. I'm very tired but after a head-injury as bad as mine I was always going to be!

However, it's brought some unwelcome memories back.

After my accident in 1991 I went into the Rehab unit as a "no-hoper". Everybody there apart from my family, friends and a few of the medical staff thought that.Over the next 10 weeks I made a remarkable recovery, which was great. However, I became aware that I was getting better quicker than the other patients and so did they. Rather than being thrilled at what was happening all I can remember is feeling guilty. Why am I getting better and Gary/ Chris/ etc aren't? That guilt has stayed with me!

So, my return to the rat-race has awoken similar feelings. Why have I got a job and people like me (in fact, me for 4 years!) can't seem to get past the initial screening process?

The Spartacus Report awoke a felling of belonging to the disabled community in me. Once I got past the guilt (most of the people I tweet with appear to have "proper visible disabilities" that make me feel like a fraud!!) I wanted to do my bit. Now I am back in work I still want to do my bit if I can.

Which brings us to Stephen Fry. I have noticed that the Spartaci have been ignored by the press and everybody else. A few notable exceptions in the Lords (Thanks Tanni) have fought hard but the mainstream are unaware of the potential holocaust facing us. I though that some of our famous friends who have a position of responsibility to the disabled (i.e. The President of MIND) might say something that people might listen to.

Stephen Fry Tweets a lot. He is disabled. People might listen to him. Will he help?

Not unless you're a disabled Rhino or Tiger, threatened by man. Why are animals more important to him than the disabled. He didn't have to be President of MIND.

My activism against Stephen Fry highlighted a problem. I fell out on Twitter with 2 people.
  • Grace @Greyseahorse thought I was being anti-endangered species. I engaged with her and explained my position re the pompous Oxbridge twit and she became a supporter. 
  • @CreativeCrip held a different view than me and we fell out (I got un-followed for the first time I know of!!). I am sorry for upsetting her.

I asked MIND how I could mobilise a vote against him through their procedures. The reply is below.
Don't forget, MIND uses workfare as slave labour. MIND reports people to the DWP for not carrying out Workfare. MIND is working with the CONDEM's to reprogramme the disabled. If you read below MIND (a Charity) WILL cut off services to disabled people that lose their funding.

MIND have told me I am the only person to complain about Mr Fry. Their contact details are below. If their attitude is OK then file me in the rebel without a cause box. If you think they are wrong, contact them.

Mt final question.......

Who do these Charities represent?

Some of us have started a "Post Spartacus Blog" link below. Please have a look?

 No To Irresponsible Welfare And Mental Health Care Reform In The UK.

Dear Ian

The appointment of the President is aninternal decision, voted and approved by our board of trustees. It is notsubject to external election or review. Our trustees are elected by our membersand are therefore empowered to make decisions on their behalf.

We have no plans to review the appointment.We would do so if the postholder was not fulfilling the role or we felt theywere bringing our values and organisation into disrepute. This is not the caseat the present time.

Ruth Richards
Head of Communications
020 8215 2318
15-19 Broadway, Stratford,London E15 4BQ

From:Ian Jones []
Sent: 19 April 2012 12:40
Subject: Re: Tweet by MindCharity

Dear Ruth

Can I suggest you consult with Twitter for other negative commentsabout your President. You have not told me the mechanism by which he can beremoved?



Sent from my iPhone

On 19 Apr 2012, at 11:48,
Dear Ian

Thank you for your message.

I assume you're referring towhether individuals with personal budgets will be able to access services fromMind if this funding is cut? This is complex, as it would depend on what thecontract was to deliver those services and how the costs are covered. Someservices are funded in a way that allows us to offer universal access. Someservices require a referral.

Mind operates a federatedstructure, so each local Mind is an independent charity in its own right. Ifyou want to know the access requirements for their services, you would need tocontact the local Mind involved. They would be able to tell you whether theycould offer the service to someone without a personal budget.

Of course this isn't aperfect situation. We want to see everyone be able to access the support theyneed. We are always working on ways that we can improve access. At a nationallevel we're campaigning hard to see mental health services improve across theboard.

But, being charities, allMinds are reliant on funding. We can only carry out the work we have money for.We work hard to encourage people to donate to us but the reality is, like manysmaller charities, many local Minds are struggling in the current climate.

We'd never want to withdrawa service, but sometimes we don't have a choice.

In response to your secondquery, I'm aware that you have expressed disappointment in our appointment ofStephen Fry as our President. This feedback has been logged. However, we havenot received any other negative comments. In fact, we have received verypositive feedback from members and supporters. So we do not feel we need toreview the arrangement.

The 'President' of Mind is ahonourary post. It's an awareness raising role. We want Stephen to use his publicprofile and popularity to reach out to people who may not know much aboutmental health and helping us challenge the stigma that exists in much of themedia.

This is a very different rolefrom that of our Chair and trustee board who oversee the governance of Mind.They are responsible for ensuring we operate in a way that holds true to ourvalues and that is of maximum benefit to everybody with a mental healthproblem.  

Best wishes

Headof Communications
0208215 2318

15-19Broadway, Stratford,London E15 4BQ
t: 020 8519 2122

Registered charity number 219830. Registered in Englandnumber 424348.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Jones []
Sent: 12 April 2012 12:38
Subject: Tweet by MindCharity

@edwinmandella That isn'twhat we're saying, but it's difficult to answer in 140 characters. Please


A Group of ex-Spartaci areconcerned that the mentally ill/ head injured/ etc are not being properlyrepresented by the Charities that claim to represent us.

As a first stage we arecanvassing major charities to establish their charitable response to usershaving their finding cut off. How would you deal with that situation and wouldyou withdraw services in any circumstance?

I am still awaitinginformation as to whether it is possible to oppose Stephen Fry's position asPresident.

Thank you

Ian Jones

by MindCharity at 12/04/201212:30

Sent from my iPhone

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