Tuesday, 30 October 2018

There's a benefit to losing one's mind

Regular readers of this blog will notice that I haven’t written anything for quite a while and the answer is that I haven’t had anything I thought was worth writing and I haven’t been very well psychologically.

I lost my second cat, Blossom, on 26th October 2017 and it completely destroyed me.  I went into a spiral of depression and grief that damaged my resistance to a bout of influenza in mid-December that turned into pneumonia over the Christmas and New Year period that didn’t fully subside until late January/early February this year.

The result of all that has been that I have lost what little empathy I had for the human race and have isolated myself as much as possible from the outside world.  It seems that I was correct in my assertion that having a cat to look after kept me human and allowed me to retain my humanity and empathy.  I do still have the same emotional range that I had but it only manifests in relation to animals and fictional film and TV characters (so much so that any sad events portrayed in those visual amusements can reduce me to tears).

Since Blossom’s passing I have found that I can’t be bothered in writing about politics, social injustices and the cruelty of the current UK ‘government’ because I feel that people just don’t care or that they’re not listening in the first place so what’s the point in wasting my time?

There is also another development that is more worrying.  I cannot seem to concentrate for more than an hour or two at a time and I am becoming increasingly forgetful.  I forget what day it is on a more regular basis than I am comfortable admitting and my train of thought can derail in an instant so that I can forget what I am saying (or writing) in the middle of a sentence.  I have noticed that I can make a shopping list for my rare trips out of the flat and find that I have forgotten to buy something that was on the list because, for some reason, I didn’t see it on the list.

I can’t concentrate on the movies and TV shows that I try to watch so they have become more of an exercise in visual and auditory distraction from the silence than the enjoyable journey into a fictional world that they should be.

I still have days where my concentration returns and I’m not as forgetful and I can have periods of clarity on even my bad days.  I even wrote a review of a movie for my Vault From The Abyss blog but it took me four weeks to complete the review to my satisfaction and the movie is only about 64 minutes long.

I suppose it could be that I’m succumbing to ‘senior moments’ but it seems a little too early for that to be happening given that I’m only 47.  I’ve mentioned my forgetfulness to my Mum but I haven’t shared with her my concerns that this could be more than just getting older as she is going through her own age-related decline given that she’s in her early 80s.

I don’t seem to have reached the level that Mum has reached yet but I can’t help thinking that we’re in a race to see which of us is going to lose our mental faculties first.

Am I just suffering from a decline in mental health due to isolation and grief?  Am I having trouble with my memory due to the years of trying to repress all the bad memories?  Or am I just losing my mental acuity due to the onset of age-related illness?

I don’t know and perhaps I don’t want to know because, as my ‘government’ is trying to kill me and my fellow disability benefit claimants, it may be a blessing that my mind is going so that I won’t feel so betrayed as I just won’t know what’s going on.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Some people just can’t argue nicely

Here’s an exchange I had with a ‘person’ on YouTube on a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxcaHtaDMSI) debating the trial runs being set up in five local areas in the UK to pilot the necessity of photo ID when voting in elections.  The whole point of the discussion was about photo ID (although the video does mention that some of the trials are using non-photo ID) but some people will just ignore the main point being discussed to try to score points as you will see from the exchange I had.

Starting with the initial comment:

you need ID to open a bank account/to Drive/to rent and so on....
the only people that can't get this are illegal immigrants.
and the 3 million mentioned, it is odd because the Government believes there is about 3-4 million people in the UK illegally.
odd that the people who don't have ID/can't afford it ''the people they are defending'' seem to be the ones who shouldn't be here as they are here illegally.

Valen Cook
I currently have a passport because I'm a born and bred UK citizen but it's up for renewal in September this year and I can't afford the fee to do so; so your comment is based on fallacious reasoning and xenophobic zeal.

oh sod off
you have a drivers licence?
bank account??
you have proof you are legally here?...
sorry but i'm not being xenophobic i'm being logical.
only legal people should be allowed to vote, and legal people have passports/driving licence or some form of ID.
i have a drivers licence and i don't drive.
and yes renewing you passport is costly, but to renew your drivers licence is £20.
you don't even need to have a full licence, you can get and hold onto your provisional licence and use that.
sorry but using the card/Xenophobic card on me wont work boy

Valen Cook
Charming.  I'll ignore the low-minded nature of your initial outburst and give my one and only reply to you on each of your points.

No, I don't have a drivers licence because I can't drive - never learned, didn't see the need to.

Yes, I have a bank account but none of my bank accounts provide photo IDs so I don't see why you bring that up because the whole issue is about photo ID.

Yes, it's called a birth certificate.  I did say that I was a born and bred UK citizen so that was a particularly stupid question to ask.

You have assumed that all people who can't provide a photo ID are illegal immigrants which seems to me to be the definition of a xenophobe.

The only part of your rant is that only legal voters (you said "legal people" but, as everyone is a legal person under the law, I'll be generous and assume you meant legal citizen or voter) should be able to vote.  However, not all legal citizens/voters have photo ID or, at least, photo ID that is considered valid (concessionary bus passes are photo ID but aren't considered valid for the purposes of picking up a parcel).  Yes, legal citizens/voters have other forms of ID but then illegal immigrants can have non-photo ID as well but the discussion is about PHOTO ID so, again, I'm not sure why you bring up non-photo ID.

Good for you!  You have a driving licence.  You must be so proud...but not proud enough to drive.

Not everyone has a driving licence.  Not everyone wants one or may have a disability that prohibits them from having one.  Not everyone has the money, even as small an amount as £20, to renew their drivers licence if they have one.  You show an enormous ignorance of the fragility of some people's financial situation.

I think I've proved that the fallacious reasoning and xenophobic cards both apply to your comments.  And, finally, I'm a MAN not a boy.

no you a boy
you are bitching about having ID to vote....sorry but only legal citizens are allowed to vote.
and like i pointed out, the government says there is around 3-4 million illegal immigrants in the UK, the same amount talked about in this video on people who can't afford ID.

also i bet you have a bank account right?...you need ID for that/open one up.
and as for the £20....not that hard to save up for, cut back on something.
drink/chocolate/crisp and so on.
it's called taking responsibility.
and like i said you can get a provisional licence.
and in some cases the Government will cover the cost..
sorry but you are making excuses up.
oh and i can't drive, i have issues when travailing and in some cases pass out, so i am not allowed to get behind the wheel of a car.
but i have provisional licence for personal ID reasons.
and no not everyone is a legal person under the law, you have
over-stayers/immigrants sneaking into the country and others are not here legally.
and sorry but said it once already BOY...that Card wont work on me.
calling someone a immigrants or legal/illegal immigrants doesn't make someone a racist or Xenophobic.
you are play a pathetic card boy

I won’t offer any more replies as that was my stated position but it does show how low-minded some people can be when confronted with reasonable arguments.  And, to prove that I haven’t edited any of the conversation, I am providing screenshots below.  PLEASE NOTE:  My final reply was too long to be captured in a single screenshot so it’s captured as two photos with the second half including some of the first half to prove there’s no editing.

I would normally respond to such abuse but I’ve reached the age when I just can’t be bothered engaging with abusive morons.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Reply from Thurrock Council regarding the stealth rent increase

I got a reply from Michael Everest from Complaints and Information Governance at Thurrock Council regarding the ‘service charges’ being imposed on council tenants to cover the increase in council rents the Tory-led council wanted to impose but couldn’t due to the pledge by their Westminster brethren to reduce council rents by 1%.  Below is the full text of that e-mail:

Dear Mr Cook,

Thank you for your email. I can confirm that only the grounds maintenance aspect of the service charges has been suspended and the other charges will remain in place. All residents are being contacted to confirm this information and an appeals team has been set up to respond to anyone who wishes to query these charges or appeal the decision directly.

In regards to receiving a response directly from Cllr Gledhill, unfortunately as he receives a very large amount of correspondence this is often investigated by relevant officers within the council, who respond on his behalf.

Kind regards,

Michael Everest l Complaints and Information Governance Assistant I HR, OD & Transformation

And here’s my reply:

Dear Mr Everest,

Can you give me the contact details of the appeals team?

Regarding Cllr Gledhill - it is his policy and it is his defence of said policy so it is his responsibility to reply to my article as a publically elected official who should take personal responsibility for his ignoring his own party's pledge to reduce council rents.  His response is not just for myself but for all the council residents of Thurrock who are having their council rent increased at a time when his own party's 'government' pledged to reduce council rents by 1%.  As I will be posting any reply I get from him, as I have with your responses, on my blog which then has links posted on relevant websites, his personal response will get the public airing it deserves.  Please pass this onto Cllr Gledhill and tell him that I won't go away until he responds.


Myles Cook

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Letter to Thurrock Gazette - Tory behaviour in council meeting

Here’s the full text of my letter to the Thurrock Gazette regarding last night’s council meeting:

Cllr Coxshall used expletives in the council meeting on 27th September and not for the first time.  The repeated use of this kind of language shows his contempt towards his duly elected colleagues.  He should have been ejected from the Council Chamber and Cllr Gledhill, Council Leader and Mr Coxshall's superior within the Thurrock Tories, should have been instructed to suspend Mr Coxshall for a specified number of months by the Mayor.

This, of course, didn't happen.  The Mayor is a Tory so Mr Coxshall was asked to apologise and the matter was dropped, an apology that was as insincere as the Mayor’s admonishment was.

It seems, given the other incidents that occurred that night when another Tory councillor shouted at an attendee from the public and yet another Tory councillor showed contempt towards the audience in the public gallery, that the Tories are nothing but yobs enabled by Tory Mayor to get away with whatever behaviour they wish and bringing yet more discredit to their elected offices.

At one point I had a good deal of goodwill towards Mayor Ojetola because of his stance on some issues.  Given his performance last night, I now have none.

If it gets published I’ll post the printed version here on this blog.