Tag Archives: Feminism

“Desperately Clutching onto a Leaflet on Depression”

“Jobseeker! Can of Strongbow, I’m a mess/ Desperately clutching onto a leaflet on depression/ Supplied to me by the NHS/ It’s anyone’s guess how I got here.” – Sleaford Mods, Jobseeker

In the run up to the 1968 US presidential election- and amidst all the political upheaval, civil rights protests and race riots of the late 1960s- Nixon created a winning campaign focusing on “law and order”, with a promise to be “tough on crime.” (Click here for his iconic ‘The First Civil Right’ advert.)

He argued, against the democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey,  that “doubling the conviction rate in this country would do more to cure crime in America than quadrupling the funds for Humphrey’s  war on poverty.” And hence the beginnings of the modern american “’Tough on Crime’ movement; .. a set of policies that emphasize[d] punishment as a primary, and often sole, response to crime.”*  This continued partly through the efforts of Clinton, who diverted funds from projects investing in deprived communities into increasing policing and prison capacities; the modern legacy of which is the second highest incarceration rate globally, and huge racial and class-based disparities in sentencing (black men are statistically more likely to go to prison than complete high-school**). It’s also made police forces in impoverished, inner-city areas (such as the parts of Baltimore currently rioting over the murder of Freddie Gray) more akin to an “army of occupation”, than anything aimed at protecting citizens from the negative effects of crime.***

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Respect and Adaptive Preferences

Before I started taking psychiatric patients on ‘escorted leave’, I’d never felt like I was being looked at so much by strangers.

(That’s not to say I was never looked at. Sadly I’ve had my fair share of everything from odd looks to homophobic abuse for being physically affectionate to members of the same sex in public. But for me it was nothing as isolating or pervasive as this.)

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