Sunday 10 May 2009

Fake Charity Rigging Consultations Within Rigged Consultations

What the fuck is going on up in Jockland? If anyone truly believes democracy still exists in our isles, think again.

The Scottish assembly are planning to ban smoking in mental institutions. Remember that these were exempted in previous smoking ban legislation since many residents are simply not allowed to leave the confines.

As I have mentioned before, the usual rigged public consultation was arranged and punted out to 'stakeholders' who will mostly have a view according with the wishes of the legislators. The public won't be told about it and will only be able to respond if they stumble across it or are expert online detectives. It's a common tactic, of which we are now well accustomed.

One of the fake charities stakeholders who were included in this particular work of fiction, though, have gone one step further by holding a rigged consultation of their own.

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) received £22m income last year, here's where their funds came from:

Local Authorities - £16,528,567
Scottish Executive - £1,709,195
Dept of Health - £1,336,808
Employment Services - £817,711
European Social Fund - £608,312
Other Income - £606,562
Dept Work & Pensions - £474,802

Their response has been published on their web-site and is stunning in its dismissal of those surveyed.

A few snippets:

Most of those who responded to our survey did not think that the law should be changed. Over half (52%) said the Scottish Government should take no action, while almost 30% said that the Government should encourage people in psychiatric wards and units not to smoke, but not change the law. Just over 13% believed that the Government should make it illegal to smoke anywhere in psychiatric wards and units. Both mental health service users and workers expressed similar views ...

And ...

Clearly, there is little appetite for a total ban. Several of those who selected “something else” stated that they did not think the law should change at all. Some respondents raised concerns that people smoking in the grounds of hospitals at night or in quiet areas would be vulnerable.

And ...

We asked respondents to say whether they thought that banning smoking in psychiatric hospitals and units would be a positive or a negative step. Three-fifths said it would be negative and over a quarter thought it would be positive.

And ...

It is clear that the majority of those who responded to our survey do not wish to see smoking banned from psychiatric wards and units. SAMH recognises these views and also the strength of feeling among many service users about being able to smoke. In particular, SAMH is extremely aware that for people who are detained and not permitted to leave a hospital, a smoking ban would essentially remove their ability to smoke: a position in which no other group in Scotland currently finds itself.

Well, that's a definite no then. After all, according to their web-site.

SAMH, Scotland’s leading mental health charity, works to support people who experience mental health problems

But not if it conflicts with the righteous church of healthism, it would seem. SAMH's recommendation to the Scottish Assembly?

SAMH would therefore conditionally support a phased introduction of a change in the law to ban smoking in the buildings but not the grounds of psychiatric hospitals and units.


Apparently, they paced up and down for a long time before completely ignoring their respondents.

SAMH has given this response a great deal of thought. It is unusual for us to survey the views of people who have mental health problems and then to take a position which differs from the majority of respondents.

But they did.

Seriously, what is the point of these consultations? Why waste the money when the outcome has been pre-arranged?

This is how your lives are being ordered and destroyed, people.


B7 said...

Even if 99.9% of people were in favour of no change in legislation these stakeholder bodies would still toe the government line and find an excuse not to go with the majority.

Hope the mainstream Scottish press make a song and dance about it.

Dick Puddlecote said...

B7: I'd like to live in your fantasy mate ;-)

Witterings from Witney said...


What this shows is that those in the mental health institutions should be in the offices of SAMH and those in the offices of SAMH should be in the mental institutions!

Good spot again DP!

Anonymous said...

This stinks.
This should be headline news.
This is how our governments listen?
What the hell is the point?

Sue said...

This is getting ridiculous. Can you imagine being the nurse that has to tell one of her patients that they cannot have a cigarette?

It would make me bloody angry.... and if you have an anger problem or are severely depressed, how are you going to react?

vincent1 said...

The only person I have heard (non-smoker) talk any sense on this subject is Dr Snel. He would run rings around these, people.
Those that do agree, should be in the mental units themselves,IMOP. Seriously they must have an illness.
Will they force Chantix on them?
You are right anon, it does stink, I can smell Big Pharma money from here.
Thank you Dick for another great write-up.

Anonymous said...

It is disappointing that SAHM has absolutely nothing to say about the inherent bias in the consultation material and questions.

'As a final general comment, several of our respondents did note that the title of this consultation, “Achieving Smoke-Free Mental Health Services in Scotland”, suggested that decisions had already been made about what action to take.'

Yes, SAMH, but where was YOUR objection to this blatant bias?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Good spot, Anon, and their respondents are, of course, entirely correct.