Time out for good behaviour

All efforts to remove the stigma of mental illness are to be applauded, but it will never change the fact that certain jobs are just not suited to people with a mental health issue.

I find it hard to believe that anyone takes rapper Kanye West seriously when he says he’s running for president of the United States. He’s bipolar so who, if you’ll excuse the pun, in their right mind would take him seriously?

But then I think, well they elected Trump so anything can happen.

It would be nice to think that a deeper understanding of mental health could make the world a better place, but the problem is that, like with any quest from #MeToo to fundamentalism, it gets taken to extremes and in this case mental illness becomes an excuse for just being a dick.

Kanye is a perfect example. Yes he is bipolar, but he is also a misogynist and a megalomaniac (just like Trump, who as we all know because he’s told us, is the most healthy septuagenarian in mind and body ever to walk the planet).

So is it now OK for Kanye to behave how he wants because he forgot to take his meds?

Before the outraged of Orsett letters start coming in, I should point out that I have very close experience of bipolar disorder as my late wife suffered from it, along with PTSD from being blown up by the IRA in 1972, so I am familiar with the manic ups and crashing lows that come with it.

Because of that I can sympathise with Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian West because the pressure of a partner’s condition on the significant other can be very difficult indeed.

Throughout my entire adult life I have dealt all too regularly with just the crashing lows part of the equation, although I certainly would never have admitted it to a prospective employer. I wouldn’t have had a career!

For all the good intentions of trying to change people’s perception it’s fraught with danger.

It has become all too easy to excuse bad behaviour when it comes from someone with an “issue”.

Never once have I considered that when I’m being a dick – as we can all be at times – that it’s due to my being susceptible to periods of black despair.

No excuses, I was just being a dick.

As judgement calls go this was a bad one

The BBC made a serious error in editorial judgement this week when it chose to repeat a racial slur in a report about a racially aggravated attack in Bristol.

Although the corporation has defended its use of the N-word and says that the decision to use it had been supported by the victim’s family, more than 18,600 complaints have been received, making it the second most complained about item next to the Emily Maitliss monologue about Dominic Cummings, along with almost 400 more direct to Ofcom.

1Extra DJ Sideman has even quit the station over it saying he no longer felt comfortable being associated with the BBC.

It’s the media’s right to report the news accurately, which is something too many people take for granted in this country and far too often there’s a tendency to shoot the messenger, but this story could have been told without the full use of a word which more than any other is filled with hatred.

I love a good expletive, sometimes nothing else will suffice, but this is the most offensive and culturally redundant word in the English language.

That it was considered at great length by news chiefs and still used is all the more disturbing when we all have a responsibility to consign this odious epithet to history.

Stupid TV quiz answer of the week

No need for three guesses to figure out where this came from

Q: Which S is a microstate surrounded by northern Italy?

A: Siberia?


Mick Ferris

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