The Echo is a mediocre newspaper at best. Few of the really experienced 'hacks' are left, and a good editor - like a good woman - is hard to find. Today the front page highlights the potential ( i.e. (99% certain ) loss of 160 jobs at the company I used to know as Fram Filters. This is the tragic result of our failure to recognise the importance of the rapid decline in manufacturing jobs, and my heart goes out to the poor souls who will have to find new jobs in today's stagnant market. But, let me get to the main point of this post.
Yesterday, we had the front page screamimg " 'Disgrace' - Dad's anger as UHW denies hydrotherapy treatment to his son with Dystonic Cerebral Palsy ." Without doubt, another tragedy, especially when the Echo reporter reveals that this therapeutic facility is only available to private patients. Is this
UHW or Holby City ?
For me the piece de resistance is the truly tragic story in tonight's edition 'MEN'S Suicide Shock'. And what priority does our popular 'rag' give this story ????? Answer - Page 25, four small columns at the top of the page. The Samaritans delivered the news to their conference that the numbers of middle-aged men taking their own lives is on the increase. As a result, they are the the most at-risk group and up to three times more likely than women to commit suicide. In 2010, 225 men took their own lives in Wales, compared to 63 women and, for the UK as a whole men in the age groups 35-44 and 45-5 were more than doublefor those aged 15-24. Although focus has been primarily on mental health, they believed social factors - including the recession - had a big impact on these rates. Men strongly think that they they should be able to cope, whatever the crisis. Instead of visiting their G.P., they tend to 'self-medicate', using drink and drugs where the connection between these two social remedies and suicide is very strong.
Being typically incapable of giving any detail, Minister Lesalie Griffiths said "much work has been done in Wales to prevent suicide", adding rhetorically " As the effects of the economic downturn continue, it is crucial we remain alert to the effect this has on mental health". ( Yeah Right - and is she kidding when she says 'remain alert' ? When did this start, considering the indifference shown to the Bridgend suicides ? ...R.W. )