Having pre-existing mental illness during pandemic

By Siddy Shivdasani

I’ve heard a lot about how the pandemic — particularly lockdown — has impacted on the public’s mental health but I haven’t heard much about those with pre-existing mental illnesses. Maybe I haven’t consumed enough news. 

I suffer from bipolar disorder 1 and have been sectioned three times, twice in 2008 and once in 2009. But even though I have a severe condition, I haven’t been contacted once by anyone in the NHS about how I’m doing during the pandemic. 

The worst thing is I’ve never expected that call.

Churchill: The covert warrior

While Winston Churchill’s role as an extraordinary war leader is being celebrated in a series of recent films, his support for somewhat dubious covert warfare operations has been largely ignored. Take for instance, his backing for the toppling of Dr Mohammed Mossadeq, Prime Minister of Iran, in a joint British and American operation some 65 years ago.

After Carnival remember Grenfell

By sun-up next Tuesday our attention must shift from Carnival "Play Mas" to the drama that unfolded in the sky.

The Grenfell tragedy in June cast harsh light on London's dwindling low-income housing.

Failed investment is the culprit.

Westminster attacker falsely named by Channel 4 News

What a monumental and damaging breach of journalist ethics. Simon Israel, Channel 4's senior home affairs correspondent, failed to double check his informant's claims. Black British Islam convert,  Abu Izzadeen/ born Trevor Brooks of Jamaican Christian parents, was falsely named for the terrifying attack in Westminster, the broadcaster has admitted.

Raising Martha: 'A very cynical view of humanity'

Militant animal rights’ activists Marcus (Tom Bennett) and Jago (Joel Fry)-né Graham- have absconded with the remains of the not-so-dearly-departed Martha Duffy. 

Theatre Review: Oil by Ella Hickson at The Almeida, London

19th Century Cornwall. Expectant mother, May (Anne-Marie Duff) finds life particularly hard living with her poor in-laws on their failing farm. The winter is harsh. Relations with her mother-in-law Ma Singer (Ellie Haddington) are tense and her brother-in-law Samuel (Patrick Kennedy) resents the passionate and fertile marriage she enjoys with his brother Joss (Tom Mothersdale).

Brexit- Weak pound benefits Notting Hill Carnival and tourists

Notting Hill Carnival, the UK’s biggest street festival and prime target for European tourists, could benefit from post-Brexit currency exchange rates. 

Now in its 52nd year, the festival draws over two million people to the streets on August bank holiday.  The bad news is masqueraders and events are not ticketed. Hence, cash-strapped organisers must generate income to meet the growing 40,000 volunteers and steward’s bill, and massive police security costs.

Brexit? Fix it!

Post Brexit Black Londoners and minorities face three key game-changing challenges:

  • How to resist the politics of hate against diversity and immigrants? 
  • How to rebuild a damaged economy with opportunity for all?
  • How to organise a civil rights movement for racial justice and equality?

Only this will banish the terrors of disadvantage, the low status and esteem, and the Brexit curses “we voted you Blacks, Muslims and foreigners out”.

A symbol of racist heritage: the Confederate flag

There are among those of us that reside in the United States those who consciously avoid expanding their knowledge base with information and lessons provided by history. They live their lives via bullet points and sound bites, both of which rarely flesh out any provided subject matter in a way that would aid those individuals that have read or heard the bullet points and sound bites. Many of these citizens, when confronted with facts, retreat into their comfortable corner of denial.

Activist and financier Mazurier praises G20 leaders for climate change focus

By the time the smoke cleared on the 2014 G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, climate change had raised a few notches on the list of priorities for the world’s 20 major economies. It was a welcome -- if rushed, under pressure from climate fight leaders the United States, France and China -- evolution for many nations, and an encouraging sign for activist Christophe Mazurier.