Tuesday, 8 October 2013

7 million Sun readers are full of shit

I am no journalist.  There are many reasons for this but the one I am referring to (or to be correct 'the one to which I am referring') is that I can't be bothered to do the research.  It's not because I am lazy but rather that the I have researched a number of subjects and it has turned out to be a rather pointless exercise.  Specifically I am talking about researching a subject to refute a banal or erroneous claim by someone else.  The temptation is to explain what is wrong but the point turns out to be that they knew they were wrong and don't give a shit.  So why did I ever work at proving it?

The Sun has printed a headline "1,200 killed by mental patients" and the subtext "Shock 10-year toll exposes care crisis"  It will create a great scandal.  People will, quite reasonably, get very angry and upset by this headline.  I am fully aware of the social implications of this kind of banal, cruel, scare-mongering, divisive sensationalism.  It is disgusting and it is dangerous.  It is harmful to a lot of innocent people.  It is pandering to the ignorant and to the politically right wing.  It is intellectually pathetic.

Incidentally my headline "7 million Sun readers are full of shit" is more correct than the Sun's scandalous headline because it is not even dependent upon collected figures or spurious definitions.  It is also slightly less misleading.  The fact remains that every Sun reader is full of shit because we all are.

But I thought about this and currently, according to the World Health Organisation, we have something more than 20% of our population with mental health problems.  If it is known you have a mental health problem then presumably you can be described as a 'mental health patient'.  That means that approximately 12,000,000 (12 million if you are a Sun reader because they don't do lots of zeros) people are mental patients.  Given that in 2011/2012 there were 640 murders in the UK, that equates to a rough average of 6,400 in ten years.  Take the 1,200 mental patient murders off that and it leaves 5,200 murders by normal people (Do you get jokes?).  So if 80% of the population killed approximately 80% of the murder victims I am left wondering what the intention of the headline could possibly be except to denigrate mental health patients.

BUT... whilst thinking about this I was moved to compare Ian Duncan Smith's death toll with this almost meaningless claim by the Sun.  The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), headed up by the now infamous criminal IDS, has figures indicating that, in the first 11 months of the new welfare reform tests, more than 10,600 people died within six weeks of being declared 'fit for work' by their henchmen at Atos.  Some people regard this as murder.  I do too.  In fact I regard it as genocide but that's another story.  Taking the view that the inhumane oppressive policies enacted by the DWP are causing these deaths (which is not unreasonable but I am not going to spend three weeks doing the research, collecting the figures and proving this point - which is why I am not a journalist) this amounts to approximately 120,000 killed over a 10 year period.  So although these figures are not included in the one to one murder statistics they amount to 100 times more killing than the Sun wishes to claim is caused by mental patients.

Does this suggest that Iain Duncan Smith is 100 times more mentally ill than the average mental patient in the UK?

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