Protesters carried placards opposing the proposed site
Protesters have demonstrated near the site of a proposed eco-town planned for a former Army camp in Warwickshire.
The scheme, for 6,000 new homes at Long Marston, is one of more than 50 similar projects across the UK aiming to create carbon-neutral communities. Councillor Izzi Seccombe, from Warwickshire County Council, questioned whether developing an eco-town in a rural area would be sustainable.She said: “Eco may be eco within its community, but they all have to travel outside and there is a very large rural area they will have to travel through to get to any employment or major leisure centres or towns.“This area is a thread of very many rural villages. We have a lot of cohesion within those communities.
“I believe planning 6,000-plus houses on a piece of paper does not build community cohesion in an instant like that.”
Some of the areas considered for eco-towns
The world is full of bitchers, pissers and moaners. It will never run out of them.
The answer to the question, typically reserved for the leftist hand ringers and whiners….”can’t we all just get along“…is NO, we cant!
In comments in this piece by Angus Dei, discussion turned to what is and is not a “mental illness,” and are mental illnesses over-diagnosed and drugs over-prescribed? That discussion reminded me of this piece in my clipbook about the issue of “counselling” after traumatic events. It was written back in June last year after Melbourne had been through an unusual number of “traumatic” events in a pretty short period of time. And as usual after each event, the media made much of reporting that “counselling is being given” as herds of “trauma counsellors” descended upon each scene.
The following is from the newspaper piece (emphasis mine):
. . .
This was to prevent any lasting effects on their psychological health. At least that’s what the counselling was supposed to do.
But it doesn’t work. This type of trauma debriefing, or critical incident stress debriefing, is now discredited.
The Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (ACPMH) has released new guidelines, which have been given the tick of approval by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
The very first of these guidelines spells out that psychological debriefing should not be offered on a routine basis.
That is a mighty blow for the debriefers. For the past two decades they have been peddling this type of group psychological counselling as the salve for post-traumatic ills.
Yet, evidence has been mounting that venting inner turmoil immediately after a trauma is not only often unhelpful but can sometimes make things worse.
This is backed by solid research from studying survivors of earthquakes, motor accidents, bushfires, victims of assault, burns, dog bites, emergency workers as well as the combat experiences of soldiers in the first Gulf War.
With studies showing that debriefing sometimes increases the likelihood of post-traumatic stress disorder, a Cochrane review recommended compulsory debriefing should stop.
This does not mean leaving traumatised observers to battle with demons on their own.
What is needed is psychological first-aid, say the guidelines, where survivors are supported, their immediate needs met and monitored over time to see who runs into problems.
Most people who experience a traumatic event recover on their own and with the help of family and friends, says ACPMH Associate Professor David Forbes.
Within a few weeks, it is possible to tell who is likely to run into long-term problems; for example if they are having trouble sleeping, feel highly anxious or distressed, or are using alcohol, drugs or gambling to help them cope, or find difficulty expressing feelings or relating to other people.
That is when they need expert clinical help.
The guidelines say this should involve five to 10 sessions of trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (www.acpmh.unimelb.edu.au).
But the large numbers of counsellors involved in the debriefing industry are battling hard to persuade employers their skills are still needed.
The landmark legal case, Howell versus SRA, is used to convince employers that their services are required under law.
Yet this case, in which a railway man received damages after he developed PTSD when the SRA offered only telephone counselling after a railway track suicide, makes the case for proper treatment as recommended by the guidelines.
So, voice your protest if your child’s school reacts to a tragedy by rounding up all the children for post-trauma counselling.
It is far better that children talk to their teachers and parents and that those who don’t want to talk be left alone.
Provide them with any information they may want and keep a careful eye for the rare few who may have lasting issues and only then seek professional help.
And there is an important role for the media in challenging what has become the automatic postscript to every disaster story. That is the reassuring words that survivors will receive counselling.
This flat-earth, cliched reporting is part of the problem.
For all the efforts to present a good news spin, it won’t improve their lot and may add to the disaster in their lives.
. . .
I think that this article makes some really good points. The comment about most people being able to recover on their own also meshes well with our Saltydog’s comment here about how working your way through a hard time is an important building-block of one’s self-esteem.
I believe that the comment about trauma counselling sometimes making things worse could also be applied to some support groups for everything from eating disorders to cancer. If the support groups keep the focus on sharing tips and tricks to deal positively with your situation, I suppose they can be helpful. But if they degenerate into a weekly whinge-fest and especially if one or two members see it as a competition and lead things in the direction of one-upmanship in the misery stakes (and I’ve seen that happen), it is not only not helpful but downright harmful.
The point that trauma counselling is a money-making industry like any other cannot be stressed enough. Whilst I’m sure that most of the individuals involved in the trauma couselling industry mean well, it’s hard to expect them to be able to be dispassionate and unbiased when it comes to evaluating the impact of what they do.
Although the conventional wisdom is that unless you “talk things out” they will sit below the surface and fester away, becoming more and more toxic, I think counselling and support groups can be like picking at a scab. Pick, pick, pick; it will never heal.
I’d be really interested to hear what some of you guys think. And, thank you to both Angus and Salty for their perceptive and well-thought-out pieces here — they do a good job of making me think (and sometimes making me laugh!) Cheers.
OK, it’s Superbowl Sunday, and I’m not a football fan. So, I thought I’d share my funniest life-experience ever. I want you all to do the same in comments.
Back from 1965-1967 when I was 7-9 years old, Beefdad was stationed at Howard AFB in Panama. This was the Canal Zone back then… before Jimmy Carter gave it away. But, I digress.
Beefdad was an outdoor sportsman type, and so he and one of his fellow USAF pilot buds of like mind – Capt. Sheldon E. Bell – went in half on a 21′ Glasstron fishing boat. We spent every spare second on that thing, the three of us.
One year, when the sailfish were running, we went out and did our usual sailfish routine: On the water by dawn, fish for some bonita – a small tuna we used for bait – and when we had caught enough of them, we went to the “drift line” – where the detritus of the sea lined up in the tidal currents to give cover to the food fish – and we went after the sailfish.
The way you bait the hook for sailfish is to create a skipbait: You cut the belly out of the bonita, and sew it onto a hook. Then, you attach it to an outrigger, and it skips along the surface of the water to lure the sailfish.
Well, we had skipbaits out port and starboard on the outriggers – it was probably about 10:00 AM – and all was cozy. Then, suddenly, a pelican took a shine to one of the skipbaits and dived on it: He was hooked and flew up into the sky. Shelly and I were in some sort of awe or other, but Beefdad was Johnny on the Spot (Sorry, Spot). He took up the pole and began the long process of trying to boat – and free – the big-ass bird.
Of course, hilarity ensued.
Now, Beefdad was careful not to swear in front of me – It was a conditioned response to Beefmom smacking him whenever he did – but on the rare occasion that absolutely, positively called for it, he’d let go. This was one of those situations.
It went something like this:
Beefdad: “Oh, Jesus Christ! I’ve hooked a goddamned pelican!” (Cranking on the reel, with the line straight up into the sky).
Shelly and Beef: Hysterical laughter.
Beefdad: “It’s not funny, god damn it! This bird is big!” (Still cranking, but now the whoosh of the pelican’s wings are audible: Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh!).
Shelly and Beef: Hysterical laughter.
Beefdad: “You won’t think is so god damned funny when he’s in the boat!”
Shelly and Beef: We look at each other with that, “Oh, fuck; he’s right!” look.
OK, I was about eight years old, but I swear to God this bird looked like he had a ten foot wingspan by the time Beefdad had him to the end of the pole. And by that time, the wing-whoosh was positively frightening. WHOOSH, WHOOSH WHOOSH!!!
Beefdad landed the bird. Pandemonium ensued.
Every piece of gear in that boat? That pelican’s wings hit it, scattering everything hither, thither, and yon.
Ever have a big-ass angry bird beat on you with his wings? All three of us got to experience that joy, with bruises and welts galore on every extremity. I was bragging about my bruises for weeks back at school, and grossing all my little girlfriends out with them.
Eventually, we subdued the beast, and when Beefdad had him firmly in his arms… we all busted out laughing like I don’t think any of us had ever laughed before… or since. I was rolling on the deck not making a sound… because all of the air had been expelled from my lungs by laughing. We all had faces covered by laughter-induced tears. It was really and truly the funniest goddamned thing I have ever experienced.
Here’s how cool Beefdad was: The hook on the skipbait had slit the pouch under the pelican’s bill with surgical precision. If we had let him go like that, he wouldn’t have been able to catch any fish, and he would have starved to death.
Beefdad: “Well hell, we can’t let him go like this. Shelly, give me that needle and thread.” (This was the same needle and thread we used to sew the bonita bellies onto the hooks).
Beefdad was a ruthless perfectionist and would have made a fine surgeon. He spent nearly an hour sewing the most gloriously beautiful set of stitches into that pelican’s pouch. Seriously, there is no way you can imagine how beautiful a job he did. Shelly and I were watching him work with rapt attention. The boat was silent.
When Beefdad was done, he released the bird, who rewarded him with one last, “POW! Right in the kisser!” from his wings. Beefdad turned to Shelly and I with a look that said, plainly, “That’s the thanks I get!”
We were laughing all of the rest of the day. Sure, there were moments of silence, then we’d make eye contact… then, all hope was lost.
Fuck, that was funny!
Okay, here’s the deal. Two Mississippi state legislators want to “protect” fat people by legislating against them eating at restaurants. If they do get served at a restaurant, it’s the restaurant who will be held at fault, not the obese people. Naturally.
Mississippi legislators this week introduced a bill that would make it illegal for state-licensed restaurants to serve obese patrons. Bill No. 282, a copy of which you’ll find below, is the brainchild of three members of the state’s House of Representatives, Republicans W. T. Mayhall, Jr. and John Read, and Democrat Bobby Shows.
I first read this, nodding my head, thinking, “typical nanny-state Democrats, hah!” Then I realised. The sponsors. Two of them are Republicans. WTF? If this sort of thing is becoming common, then American Republicans certainly have lost their way.