Tuesday, 5 December 2006

The madness behind the Mental Health Bill

Mental health policy in this country has long been dictated by a sort of political mental illness in itself, namely the belief that if the two front benches agree with each other, then that constitutes a consensus at large and "the centre ground", dissent from which is by definition extreme and insane. We also see the consequences of this warped thinking in so many other areas, of course.


  1. I don't know where you get the idea that the two front benches agree with each other on the Mental Health Bill. They don't. See for example this Conservative press release on the subject. The Tories are largely following the line of the all-party pre-legislative scrutiny committee which looked at the previous draft Bill, and which was highly critical of both its broad thrust and its detail, and are tabling lots of amendments reflecting this.

    There are plenty of ways of criticising the Mental Health Bill, but claiming that it arises from a complacent cross-party consensus is entirely wrong.

  2. They're not yet. They will be by the time a final Bill reaches Third Reading, even if the Tories have to go through the pretence of voting against it (although I doubt even that).

    And anyway, I was talking about policy in general. Labour voted against Tory Mental Health Bills that cruelly dumped vulnerable people on the streets to harm themselves and others, but it has continued the policy once in office. And the Toies might vote against this Bill, but they have no intention of changing it of they ever got the chance.

    Like so much else, in fact.