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Review: The Rise Of Islamic State – by Patrick Cockburn

rise of islamic state

This is an excellent introductory text for those wishing to better understand the complex details of the rise of Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL. From its arrival due to the Syrian Civil War and its cancerous spread into post-war Iraq, this extremist-terrorist Sunni Islamic (Wahhabi) nation/fundamentalist organisation, has been indefatigable. The best minds and theorists on the region have been unable to prevent ISIS success and growth, even with tacit US military support and backing virtually every possible political rival. This book looks at the reasons for this emergence of IS and it briefly analyses the possible solutions to its successful cessation. It is clear that a lot of the problem comes from the wider Sunni-Shia split across the Islamic world. The failure to establish a genuine alternative to the Saddam Hussein régime in Iraq has left a vacuum in particular among the Sunni populations of Northern Iraq where ISIS predominate. The failure of the Assad opposition in the Syrian revolution/civil war has also created the perfect conditions for this new state, the inheritor of post Bin Laden Al Qaeda, and the recipient of such massive Sunni Wahhabist support across the Middle Eastern oil-rich kingdoms. Every player in the region has its interests invoked and post-imperialist powers plus global nuclear superpowers are all involved in the rising anarchistic conflict. What is clear from the author’s well-studied work is that this ISIS / Sunni Revolution situation is far from an anomaly and is a reality and a problem which is here to stay in the short term at least. In order for any solutions for the problem to be found, then studies on the ISIS phenomenon will become ever so important. A great introductory read, packed full of condensed information.

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Review: Women and the Second World War in France, 1939-1948: Choices and Constraints – by Hanna Diamond

women ww2 france

This book focuses on the role of French women during World War 2 and the immediate aftermath. It is clear that the women of France bore the brunt of dealing with the occupier, very often their men away, detained as prisoners of war or, for example, sequestered to work abroad in the Fatherland, Germany. Women had to cope with running family businesses, looking after the family, acquiring food. They may have chosen to either be collaborationists or to have joined the resistance. I found it particularly interesting hearing of the women who collaborated with the enemy, either seeking roles within Vichy or directly engaging with the German soldiers. The shorn heads of collaborators at Liberation cast powerful images in the reader. Women became, I feel, more valued in society as a result of their wartime activities and although they may have gone back to their roles afterwards as second class citizens within the family and society, they did earn themselves suffrage and I feel moved women as a whole towards parity with their male counterparts. The book is written in feminists tones, though without being to alienist to the male reader. It is factual and interesting and provides a good basis for further study for the university course I anticipate studying on the subject of Women in World War 2 France.

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Review: 2017 War With Russia: An Urgent Warning from Senior Military Command – by General Sir Richard Shirreff

2017 war with russia

When I first purchased this book I thought it would be a work of non-fiction, but instead I discovered it was actually fiction. The author, a former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, was, in his employment, well-used to war-gaming scenarios with, in particular, Russia. This book, aimed at the general public, introduces many real aspects of NATO and is about a potential imminent future conflict with Russia. The thrills of the well-built characters as they journey through a potential MAD (Mutually-Assured destruction) Nuclear scenario, set in the Baltics, makes the novel a real fast page-turner. I was surprised by the often negative light the author holds NATO in, with its often complicated command structure and this book must have been written with real-life experience. It makes me wonder about shedding defence force budgets and what problems we actually would face were a potential conflict with Russia in Europe actually break out (which of course if you include Ukraine it actually has). In light of the potential Brexit vote in the UK, I think that this book shows the potential value of unity and the necessity of an international alliance in defeating dangerous foes. An excellent read.

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KryKey Web Radio: Lyvshow – Stream what you want

LYVSHOW-LOGIN-FINAL

Always at the cutting cusp of web radio technology, KryKey has now released Lyvshow, a plugin to its web radio service that allows radio show hosters to publish their own material. It bypasses the standard KryKey studio and allows broadcasters to use their own software, be it Traktor, Virtual DJ or Itunes. It also incorporates Skype for ease of radio station callins. We’ll certainly be giving the new service a whirl over at http://shuffleradio.org  

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Review: Hidden Dangers – Mexico on the Brink of Disaster – by Robert Joe Stout

Hidden Dangers

Stout’s book is a detailed study of the status quo in Mexico and its relationship with its uber-powerful Northern neighbour. Based in Oaxaca, Robert Joe Stout’s writing often reflects detailed local knowledge and overall, his grip on Mexican and Mexican-USA affairs is profound. The book falls into 5 main chapters where various ‘landmines’ awaiting explosion are discussed. From migration to the cutthroat ‘War on Drugs’, from the environment to political activism and corruption. The poise of Stout is always of an educated man yet he has a Derridean presence, enough to see the wider picture and to target a worldwide readership. I love the way he interlinks words and phrases from Mexico such a ‘Cuatear’ and ‘debajo el agua’. I found the War on Drugs to be a noteworthy chapter – it is very difficult to see a solution to this militarized situation and with 50000 deaths already and 70% of Mexico’s cash being generated by the illegal drug industry, there are no easy solutions to this landmine. The author’s work here builds on other detailed studies I have read on this situation such as Joan Grillo’s ‘El Narco’. I found the chapter on corruption to be where the author was most freeflowing and insightful. The detail in this chapter, combined with direct local knowledge and research gives this book an edge on other contemporary studies on Mexico. Overall, I loved Stout’s revelations in ‘Hidden Dangers’ and as a Translation / Hispanic Studies student at Cardiff University I hope that this book and its contents can be featured on future courses at the institution. Five Star Rating.

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KryKey Web Radio #IPhone #app – Review

KryKey IPhone App

  Technology is shrinking. We are moving into areas through mobile technology that would have been unenvisaged 20 years ago. Devices bring us together on the move and we share photos, music, film, like never before. The disruptive web radio technology, that is #KryKey, now brings web radio to your pocket, with the release of its eagerly anticipated mobile app. Having just purchased a new #IPhone, I decided to surf over to the Apple App Store and test out what KryKey’s app brings to the table. It’s nice and easy to get hold of this FREE app from the Apple App store… Just a quick search of ‘KryKey’ will list the Premium app for free download and installation time is fast. The app is pretty much streamlined and for the data it handles, works very efficiently. The app builds on the successful web-based platform of http://KryKey.com and brings web radio to your fingertips. The first noticeable thing about the KryKey app is the design. It is structured to look like a traditional radio, with easy to use dials, all app-subscribing radio stations being allocated their own digital frequency, with plenty of space available at present to allow for company growth. Obviously, listeners and app users will remember the frequencies of their favourite KryKey radio stations and be able to simply whirl the dial to quickly tap between shows, in the same manner in which one used to flick through a car radio. There’s an initial sign up to the app which requires a simple email address and some locational information, to tailor the app to your needs. This is non-essential though and the app will function anonymously, if required. You have the pre-mentioned dial, for simplicity, though for the first few uses of app, it might be more advisable to use the search features to get to know the network a bit better. The preset dials can be customised for easy browsing, like any standard, traditional radio. The search features allow radio stations to be navigated by various subdivisions: Music genre, Radio Name, City or wider, by country. The app is only available for broadcast for KryKey Premium stations, that pay the $30 or so monthly fee for the new service. KryKey used to have over 60000 personal radio stations and since the streamlining of the business, ahead of app release, most of the dross has been culled and only the…

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90s Megablast

90s megablast

Wez G – 90s Megablast by Wez G on Mixcloud Here’s a nice selection of influential songs that plugged my walkman ears during through the teenage years. :::TRACKLISTING::: 1. Mock Turtles – Can You Dig It? [Siren] 2. The Farm – Altogether Now [Produce Records] 3. Martika – Toy Soldiers [CBS] 4. Lisa Stansfield – All Around The World [Arista] 5. Blue Pearl – Naked In The Rain [Big Life] 6. New Order – True Faith [Factory] 7. Womack & Womack – Teardrops [Island Records] 8. OMD – Enola Gay [Virgin] 9. Transvision Vamp – Baby I Don’t Care [MCA Records] 10. Divinyls – I Touch Myself [Virgin] 11. The Las – There She Goes [Go! Discs] 12. Soup Dragons – I’m Free [Big Life] 13. Bomb The Bass – Winter In July [Rhythm King Records] 14. Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U [Chrysalis] 15. Annie Lennox – Little Bird [RCA] 16. Heaven 17 – Temptation [Virgin] 17. Patrice Rushen – Forget Me Nots [Elektra] 18. Soul II Soul – Back to Life [Virgin] 19. Beats International – Dub Be Good To Me [Go! Discs] 20, Duster – Not So Manic Now [Food] 21. Aztec Camera – Somewhere In My Heart [WEA] 22. Deacon Blue – I’ll Never Fall In Love Again [Columbia]

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Review: Santa Muerte – Mexico’s Mysterious Saint Of Death – by Tony Kail

santa muerte

This book documents the rapidly growing Mexican folk faith that is ‘Santa Muerte’ or ‘Saint Death’. The iconic image of the skulled woman with a scythe gives hope to many discomforted souls on the fringes of Mexican and indeed global society. From the origins of death cults across the world, to the exploration of the faith’s pre-Colombian roots, the author (not a follower of Santa Muerte) assesses what draws followers to the dark mistress. From its fame spread through the Mexican underworld to its iconic presence in Western pop culture, Santa Muerte attracts new followers in their millions and attempts by the Mexican government and Catholic church to stamp out this ‘abomination’ are so far failing. The book is a nice introduction to the subject and although brief, the author does get to grips with enough material and introduces ideas that can be followed up with further study. A concise and interesting read on a new cultural hispanic phenomenon.

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Tribute To The Loft

tribute to the loft

Wez G – Tribute To The Loft by Wez G on Mixcloud The Loft was the location for the first underground dance party (called “Love Saves The Day”) organised by David Mancuso on feb 14th 1970 in New York City. It’s a legendary club where the roots of dance music took hold. This rare Wez G tribute DJ mix explores the Loft’s music and delivers disco beats interspersed with dub, reggae and early house. :::TRACKLISTING::: 1. Chuck Mangione – Land Of Make Believe [Mercury] 2. Eddy Grant – Living On The Front Line [Epic] 3. The Trammps – That’s Where The Happy People Go [Atlantic] 4. 280 West – Love’s Masquerade (12” Edit) [Kaleidiascope Records] 5. Luna Project – I Wanna Be Free (The Higher Mix) [Black Label] 6. Man Friday – Love Honey Love Heartache [Vinylmania] 7. Manu Dibango – Soul Makossa [Fiesta Records] 8. MFSB – Love Is The Message [Philadelphia International Records] 9. O’Jays – Love Train [CBS] 10. Joe Gibbs & The Professionals – Chapter Three [Crazy Joe Records] 11. Johnny Hammond – Los Conquistadores Chocolates [Milestone Records] 12. Atmosfear – Dancing In Outer Space [Elite] 13. Stevie Wonder – All I Do (Is Think About You) [Motown] 14. Blackbirds – Walking In Rhythm [Master Dance Classics] 15. James Brown – Give It Up, or Turn It Loose [S12] 16. Whispers – And The Beat Goes On [Solar] 17. Ten City – Devotion (Bam Bam’s House Mix) [Atlantic] 18. The Winners – Get Ready For The Future [Ariola] 19. Risco Connections – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now (Version) [Black Rose Music] 20. Lamont Dozier – Going Back To My Roots [Warner Bros. Records] 21. Idris Muhammad – Could Heaven Ever Be Like This [Kudu]

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Review: In Other Words – A Coursebook On Translation – by Mona Baker

in other words

This Mona Baker book is a core text on my Translation (MA) at Cardiff University. We use the text to accompany the Translation Methods Course. The early chapter of equivalence at word level and how to translate non equivalence is particularly interesting, useful and a strong section of the well-written precise coursebook. On occasion there is perhaps an abundance of examples although Baker covers a range of different languages, often straying into non-European, non-standard foreign tongues. In this new edition there is a valuable additional chapter on Ethics and Morality. This is a fashionable area of current Translation research. I feel that the book is an essential read for anyone considering Translation as a profession or those who study it at degree level. To a lay reader, perhaps the in depth detail is a bit profound. However, the book remains very accessible and is an ideal entry level text for students. This book will be well-thumbed in my reference section.

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Review: Franco and The Spanish Civil War – by Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses

franco and the spanish civil war

This book is a nice, concise look at the Spanish Civil War. I used it for revision purposes, to remind myself of some of the details of heavier tomes that I have encountered on this subject. The author’s analysis of the causes of the War are precise and factual, without noticeable bias. The account of the war itself focuses on the political changes and has an underlying reasoned account of why events transpired and their implications on the outcome of the wider conflict. There is an inevitable tragedy to the Spanish Republic, with bitter infighting plaguing all their attempts at retaining democracy. The lurch to the left from within is seen as an inevitable result of the lack of full international support and the Republicans’ heavy reliance on Soviet Aid. Franco’s luck and expert conciliation of his own individual powers can be seen as gifted by not only the over Italian and German military aid but also the insistence on non-intervention by the Allied powers of Britain and France. The different policies of either side, especially in relation to the peasants and working classes and the depth of internal conflict and terror is a shock to any reader’s system. This book covers the principal details of the gruesome conflict that was the Spanish Civil War very well and is a good guide to the key events and a nice summary of the causes, conflict and its outcomes.

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Review: Franco and The Spanish Civil War

franco and the spanish civil war

This book is a nice, concise look at the Spanish Civil War. I used it for revision purposes, to remind myself of some of the details of heavier tomes that I have encountered on this subject. The author’s analysis of the causes of the War are precise and factual, without noticeable bias. The account of the war itself focuses on the political changes and has an underlying reasoned account of why events transpired and their implications on the outcome of the wider conflict. There is an inevitable tragedy to the Spanish Republic, with bitter infighting plaguing all their attempts at retaining democracy. The lurch to the left from within is seen as an inevitable result of the lack of full international support and the Republicans’ heavy reliance on Soviet Aid. Franco’s luck and expert conciliation of his own individual powers can be seen as gifted by not only the over Italian and German military aid but also the insistence on non-intervention by the Allied powers of Britain and France. The different policies of either side, especially in relation to the peasants and working classes and the depth of internal conflict and terror is a shock to any reader’s system. This book covers the principal details of the gruesome conflict that was the Spanish Civil War very well and is a good guide to the key events and a nice summary of the causes, conflict and its outcomes.

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Disco Dappers

disco dappers

I was feeling the NuDisco and Indie Dance department of Beatport and always being a bit of a funkmeister I thought I’d spin some disco grooves. Yes, there’s a little cheese within the mix, but also a lot of deep funky beats and grooves, uplifting for the approaching summer…. :::TRACKLISTING::: 1. Majestique – Renegades feat. Lakshmi (Original Mix) [Eskimo Recordings] 2. Frey – Someone To Count On (Original Mix) [Erase Records] 3. Lou Van – Every Second (Original Mix) [Spirit Soul Records] 4. Thee Cool Cats, Lika Morgan – Thee Worst (Club Mix) [Enormous Tunes] 5. Croatia Squad, Me & My Toothbrush – Scream for Pleasure (Original Mix) [Enormous Tunes] 6. Doozie, illusionize – Destruction (Original Mix) [Sleazy G] 7. Kasper Bjorke – Rush (feat. Tobias Buch) (Pink Skull Remix) [Hafendisko] 8. Gorkiz, Sugar Hill, Marri-Anna – Work Me Out (Maxim Kurtys Remix) [Tobus Limited] 9. Calippo – Owe You Something (Me & My Toothbrush Remix) [Enormous Tunes] 10. 303Bastard – Nightingale (Giom Remix) [Monotonik Records] 11.Soul Clap – Misty (feat. Robert Owens) feat. Robert Owens (Louie Vega Roots NYC Mix) [Soul Clap Records] 12. Dirty Vegas – Save a Prayer (Lesonic Remix) [d:vision] 13. Westbam, Nena – Oldschool Baby (Piano Mix) [KNM] 14.Nora En Pure – True (Mark Lower Remix) [Enormous Tunes] 15. Mason – Papapapa (Original Mix) [LouLou Records] 16. Andrey Exx, Diva Vocal, Troitski – Here Comes The Rain (Original Mix) [Tiger Records] 17. The Love Symphony Orchestra – Let Me Be Your Fantasy (Disco Dubb Edit) [WHITE] Wez G – Disco Dappers by Wez G on Mixcloud

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Review : Chávez: Venezuela and the New Latin America – by Aleida Guevara

chavez

This book is based on a series of interviews given by Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez, to the daughter of Che Guevara, Aleida. Although the book doesn’t cover the entire period of Chavez’ rule up until his demise, it presents a wonderful tale and grasps fundamental insight into the way the mind works of one of the most popular Latin American leaders of the modern era. Chavez, a man of military background, discusses his rise to power in Venezuela, his roots and also the wider world of South America. His relationship with Fidel Castro is striking and his leftist tendencies are very apparent. His goals for the Venezuelan people and socialist objectives cover the first part of the story and he moves onto topics as diverse as the Gulf War and his family in the second, more broken series of short interview chapters. The book concludes with appendices of a TV interview with Hugo and Aleida and also with some of the insider details of the attempted military coup d’etat that took place against Chavez. I found the book to be very insightful and interesting on a subject that I previously understood very little.

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Cardiff student tells of sectioning nightmare – from Gair Rhydd – Cardiff University student newspaper

gairrhydd

Cardiff student tells of sectioning nightmare Posted in News by Alexander Norton on March 3, 2015 http://cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk/gairrhydd/news/cardiff-student-tells-sectioning-nightmare/ A mature student has revealed to Gair Rhydd details of eighteen turbulent years as a mental health patient. Wesley Gerrard, 37, is currently studying Translation at Cardiff University’s School of Modern Languages – but for nearly two decades his academic career has been disrupted by a series of detainments. Gerrard claimed that his extensive experiences with the system have been far from positive and provoked him to set up the campaign site ‘endofterror.org’. The site aims to raise awareness of his experiences – but this in itself has brought him problems. “As soon as I started publishing stories on ‘endofterror’, I’ve had major police involvement. I came to realise it was dangerous to publish this sort of thing,” he said. In all, the part-time DJ claimed to have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act on “fifteen to twenty” occasions. He claimed that his encounters with mental health services started when he was studying for an undergraduate degree in Geography at University College London in 1997. “I ran into some trouble in London and when I came home, my parents forced me to go to an outpatient appointment. “Since then I haven’t really progressed or gotten out of the system.” He said that he was discouraged from undertaking further education by the fact that they “wouldn’t let me out of hospital to complete my exams [and] sectioned me whilst I was preparing my dissertation”. Despite this, he re-entered higher education with the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning in around 2008, and subsequently progressed to undertake a full degree. However, he still had encounters with mental health authorities – until an academic “would not accept me pulling out of classes and put me in touch with disability advisor.” “They said: ‘enough is enough, we’re not going to have this student’s life ruined anymore’. It made me very happy knowing I was going to get some protection from Cardiff University.” The University’s intervention reportedly caused the mental health authorities to “lay off me”, and despite averaging a sectioning a year he came to an agreement with mental health authorities “not to disrupt his studies for three years”. However, over the festive period he once again found himself incarcerated at St. Caldcot’s Hospital – and was accused by the authorities of having delusions over his status…

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Hamster Disorder

roborovsky hamster

Let me introduce a new character on the doctor front. Dr. Agniezsca Tyson, or Agi, is a Polish female acute psychiatrist employed by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. She works out of the Hywel Dda Centre in Chepstow and is head of psychiatry for Lower Monmouthshire. She is also a lecturer in Psychiatry at Cardiff University thus bringing the new generation of mental health employees up to scratch. Agi has a command role within the local police and they have to attend regular briefing and meetings at Hywel Dda. I think she relies far too heavily on the fear factor her surname induces with it also being that of the fearsome world champion boxer, Mike Tyson. A world champion, Agi isn’t. I was transferred to Tyson against my consent after the previous Sri Lankan psychiatrist managing me, Dr. Nirmalie Mirando, retired. Never keen, as the Chepstow shrinks are usually a lot worse than the Newport ones and the general staff they employ are totally militant and more obnoxious than the average mental health worker. Almost automatically I ended up feeling the full force of Tyson. I filed multiple reports of attempted murder against her with the police and over the several years she acted upon me it was a truly frightening experience. Eventually, Tyson transferred me into the care of convicted child sex offender Gwent Police-employed forensic psychiatrist, Dr Darryl Watts (see category http://endofterror.org/?cat=191 ). I was ‘under’ her from around 2006-2010 and fought every second of the way to be transferred away from her grasp. When my partner, Nicola, lost our unborn child in the womb (due to her enforced mental health drug treatment regime), we decided we would bring some life into our home by getting some family pets. A kind neighbour gave us our first hamster, ‘Rafa’ or ‘littly’. I bought a nice cage complex for our living room and our friends and us had hours of fun with a whole mass of roaming Roborovsky dwarf hamsters. Yes, our front room became the Gobi desert away from home, but these creatures are magnificent and they were well looked after and bred really well. Obviously the psychiatric establishment (who you are forced by law to enter your home regularly) disapproved. When a whole industry is based so heavily on the inhumane torture of rodents it is no wonder that well-looked after hamster pets are an anathema. I disagree…

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I Can’t Take The Power

off shore

Here’s a nice, happy piano house track from the early nineties: Off Shore – I Can’t Take The Power – When I’m not mental healthing I really do love listening to house music and find it truly enlightening… I love the catchy lyrics to this underground hit record because I really ‘CAN’T TAKE THE POWER!’

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Police Brutality and Mental Health – PART 3

police with taser

I’ve written two articles already on policing and mental health. The impact of this particular episode still hasn’t quite sunk in. Bang out of order is obviously one of my judgements. Equally, writing this blog, just knowing firsthand exactly what the British police are capable of, means that my life is in potential danger as something equally as bad or worse could quite easily happen at any time. I was just reading a fellow DJ’s Facebook about returning home to a key UK airport to see heavily armed police officers ‘greeting’ people as they got off the plane. OK. We may be on whatever alert, but I do passionately disagree with the arming of the police. Unless laws are passed for the general public to have the right to bear arms, it is unfair to arm a civilian force. Army and other military services, by all means, weapons are a necessity. But not the police. They do not have responsible enough a mentality to be given the easy power over life and death that a trigger brings. I speak from experience. If you actually ever look at the mental health act, when you are admitted to a hospital or sectioned, you are supposed to go through a process of assessment. There are balances and checks in place. I do believe that the process is unfair as it stands. However, over the years the mental health system has been opening up to allow the police more and more involvement and they more or less have a free reign today. The ‘Place Of Safety’ in the legislation allows them to use their premises as mental hospital holding cells. As soon as I heard of the police being armed with tasers I was against the idea. I don’t believe that any form of weapon can be safely deemed as providing non-lethal force, in particular a ballistic weapon. it is no surprise to me that there are so many deaths caused by tasers. I was spending the evening in my home studio, making music. I use Ableton and have various MIDI instruments that plug into it. I was having a quiet jam on my keyboard and laying down the foundations of a new tune. It’s quite a creative process, making music and is very tranquil and relaxing as a producer, although repetitively listening to the same beat patterns as you build up a track…

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Coffee Cup Syndrome

coffee cup

Here is another letter of complaint about a Dr Darryl Watts incident. this complaint resides with a senior nursing manager (Perry Attwell) at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. It shows how trivial medical staff can be in the mental health system.   Hi Perry, Further to our telephone conversation, I am writing you an email, as requested, with Karen Newman cc’ed. I would like to request that you reinvestigate the incident which I already reported to you regarding the acuphase I endured at the hands of Dr Darryl Watts. I found this particular incident to be one of the worst incidences of malicious medical malpractice I have ever witnessed and believe that it clearly indicates Watts’ un-reformed criminal character. Whereas I have found it unsettling to discover Watts’ past demons, I do smell blood here and will not let my enemies have a wink of sleep. I will not let this matter rest, purely from a vengeful perspective. Watts went out of his way to take 4 whole days out of my time and life (plus recovery) by delivering an unnecessary acuphase. He thought it was particularly funny and Gareth Lane and himself had a good giggle at the time. I hope that giggling now haunts him because it has fired me into action. He wants to go out of his way to ruin my life, then I will let as much of the public know about his own failures in life and his own sick ideas on reality. I was an inpatient under Watts’ treatment at Talygarn. I like drinking green tea and always have my own green teabags. It is an antioxidant and helps combat the torture chemicals you use by force upon me during incarceration. The teacups at Talygarn were small and it was difficult to get a good brew from them. I asked the staff and got the staff’s permission to bring in my own mug so that I could enjoy my green tea more whilst an inpatient. Nicola, my partner, brought me a mug from home and on entering Talygarn at visiting time she was subjected to a search by nurse in charge, Jayne Hughes (one of Agi Tyson’s good friends and working colleagues). By the time I managed to locate Nicola she was crying her eyes out and Jayne was screaming at her. Jane banned her from visiting me any more and entering Talygarn…

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Aneurin Bevan University Health Board: Complaint about Criminal Psychiatrist, DR DARRYL WATTS

Judith Paget

When I found out just prior to Christmas 2014, about my former psychiatrist Dr Darryl Watts’ criminal convictions (see category http://endofterror.org/?cat=191 for more details) , I was upset, to say the least. I decided to follow the appropriate channels and sent a complaint to the Chief Executive of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Trust, the local NHS for this area of SE Wales. They are ultimately the employer of Dr Watts and were responsible for him being assigned to my care in the first place. Judith Paget is the current Chief Executive and having attended a private meeting with her in the past to address mental health issues, I do know her personally. I addressed the complaint to Judith, as I discovered (here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/866/opendoc/169907 ) that she was part of the small committee that actually gave Watts the job in the first place. From the newspaper articles surrounding his conviction I know that he is forced to disclose the full details of his criminal history to any future employer. Therefore the Aneurin Bevan UHB had full knowledge of the character of the man that they were employing. Here is the relevant text from the above cited NHS WALES document (pp13-14) surrounding the appointment of Dr Watts. “3.3 Appointment of Consultant Adult Psychiatrist with a special interest in Forensic Rehabilitation The Health Board held interviews for the post of Consultant Adult Psychiatrist with a special interest in Forensic Rehabilitation on Friday 25th February 2011. 13Aneurin Bevan Health Board Wednesday 23 March 2011 Agenda Item: 7.2 The appointments panel comprised the following members: REPRESENTING THE CHAIRMAN: Miss Sue Kent, Vice Chair, Aneurin Bevan Health Board REPRESENTING THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Mrs Judith Paget, Director of Planning and Operations, Aneurin Bevan Health Board REPRESENTING THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR: Dr Stephen Hunter, Associate Medical Director, Aneurin Bevan Health Board REPRESENTING THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF PSYCHIATRISTS: Professor Gary Sullivan, Regional Advisor, Bwrdd lechyd Cwm Taf Health Board REPRESENTING THE ANEURIN BEVAN HEALTH BOARD: Dr Steve Attwood, Consultant Psychiatrist, Aneurin Bevan Health Board 1 applicant was interviewed for the post. The recruitment and interview process was conducted in accordance with Health Board policies and procedures. The appointments panel recommended Dr Darryl BallantyneWatts for appointment to this post.” I heard nothing for quite some time from the Trust and then received the below letter that I was told was a final resolution to my complaint about all…

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Police Brutality and Mental Health – PART 2

nazi jackboot

In this second post about my experiences of police brutality and mental health, I wish to discuss the nature of problems affecting diagnosed mental health victims when it comes to attempting to conventionally use police services. If you’ve ever been a mental inpatient you are probably aware that the police’s jurisdiction does not extend to mental hospitals. There is no protection for incarcerated patients no matter how many times you contact police. Therefore you are forced to deal with crime inside a hospital environment on your own. This in itself is dangerous, especially when often it is the polices themselves who have removed you to the locked environment. I suppose, it could be argued that it makes sense not to want to seek help from an organisation that works on behalf of the secret prison system that is mental health lockup. The problem I have found, is that once back in the community, attempting to build up your life, should you ever require the assistance of the police in a conventional way. To report a crime or anything else, you do not get standard service that a public user of their service might expect. This dilemma is created by, despite diagnosed mental illness not (yet) being a criminal offence, it is recorded by the police and you do show on their system as being diagnosed mentally ill. When you call 999 or 101, caller display and police monitoring systems indicate immediately and you are flagged as a ‘mentally ill’ customer. I first encountered the reality of this situation over a decade ago when, during a business dispute whereby some of my business’ equipment was illegally seized and I was attempting to recover it I was held hostage on someone else’s business premises with active threats of violence which I feared could result in murder. I felt I had no real alternative but to report the matter to the police, from a question of personal safety as much as anything else. Luckily, I had a mobile phone so I dialled 999 and reported the matter from within my locked environment. After about 15 minutes the police turned up at the location. they entered the premises where the owner was actually in the room with me. The police entered, and despite me having given a lucid sane account of the crime I alleged, the police did nothing to the person I was…

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Immigrant Doctors on the NHS: A Good Thing or Bad Thing?

nigel farage

Not wanting to sound the horn or anything, but: PEOPLE, THERE IS A GENERAL ELECTION COMING UP! Come May unless you adhere to Russell Brand’s non-voting strategy, then you could well be heading to the polling booth. We heard of ‘weaponising the NHS in the buildup and it looks like a weird old forthcoming election with the rise of UKIP and some pretty unsettling times here in the UK and indeed in the wider world. I put a picture of Farage on this post as I have heard time and time again people citing immigration as a key issue. I am very pro-European in essence. As a Translation student and a man with a passion for foreign languages, I embrace the ‘otherness’ of cultures from abroad. I think that in expelling immigrants and abandoning the European we would instantly be cats back into the stone age. Immigration brings us a net benefit in terms of capital, cultural diversity and skills in the workplace, plus it would be rather difficult to study foreign languages in the education sector if all foreigners are thrown out à la Farage. But, politics aside, immigration is a real issue. We hear of how our NHS is full of nurses and doctors from abroad. In fact, I believe that I am correct in saying that proportionally, the NHS employs more foreign workers than the average organisation. I think that in healthcare, some of my pro-immigration views do distort. I can especially remember when my dying grandmother was in hospital. She came from a pre 1960s immigration boom generation. She was supporting an RAF pilot during WW2 and part of the incredible effort made by home soil women during that conflict. Her values and ideas were very old-fashioned and quite a bit different from my own. I felt a bit ashamed when she was openly cursing foreign NHS workers during her treatment. I found it a little rude, but, who am I to judge? I come from a more tolerant generation whose values have been shaped by a different set of problems and I live in a more or less totally globalised world. I wonder though, how the older, often politically silent generation feel about their healthcare needs being attended to by foreigners. We are constantly told how our education and especially higher education system is among the best in the world. If that is the case,…

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Happy Pills

younger brother happy pills

Well, some might argue that mental health meds are happy pills, certainly those dull enough to accept the marketing nonsense dished out by anti-depressant manufacturers… I’d say it’s more like suicide-in-a-box… Whatever floats your boat, Younger Brother certainly enjoy their ‘Happy Pills’. They’re a great band incidentally: An offshoot from Shpongle – and all their music will make your spine tingle with or without pills. More Younger Brother: http://www.last.fm/music/Younger+Brother

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Living With Schizophrenia – PART 1

wez g

Living with Schizophrenia Part 1 from End Of Terror on Vimeo. This is the first part of my mental health story, explaining how I first came into contact with psychiatry in 1997 and the horrors I experienced during my first mental hospital incarceration. I plan to do a series of videos about mental health. More http://endofterror.org This was a video I did a couple of years ago. It was originally posted on my youtube but I had to take it down as it cost me a job. I had gone through the interview process and been appointed by Pharmya ( http://www.pharmya.com/ ), a pharmacovigilance company in the South of France. It would have been an interesting position, combining translation, interpreting, my language skills and also knowledge of medical industry, but the woman boss found this whilst googling and decided that she couldn’t employ me as a result. Anyway, I like the fact that the video is the truth… You can run and hide from your past or you can live with it. My biggest goal in life is not to make money, or to travel, raise a family, fall in love etc… My primary goal is to sleep at night with a clean conscience. I feel that on the whole I manage to do that. Since the making of this video my incurable ‘schizophrenia’ has actually been ‘cured’ and I have a new diagnosis that I haven’t even bothered to research bar a brief scan of wikipedia. I’m now apparently suffering from Schizo-Affective disorder which sort of buggers up the future episodes I plan to do for this series… Enjoy the vid, any comments most welcomed… Hope I don’t lose any more work for putting it out into the ether…

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