An open letter to Mind
I'm sorry to have to write to you like this, but I was rather incensed by what I read this week regarding you giving Alastair Campbell the award of Mind Champion 2009.
Look, I'm sure that Mr Campbell has done a lot of campaigning for mental health issues. I'm sure he's tried to show his good side to you and through you. I saw him popping up on Comic Relief and I'm sure he's done other stuff that I haven't noticed.
But to take this man's latter career in isolation is to ignore a raft of rather uncomfortable things from his past. The bullying of journalists and their bosses when they acted like journalists and not like New Labour stooges. The off-the-record briefings against people who dared to disagree with him and his party.
Who is it who was involved with selling a deception to the British public about war with Iraq - an illegal war which has caused not only death to thousands of innocent people, but also untold psychological and mental health problems to combatants (on all sides) and civilians alike? Did Mr Campbell give much consideration to that, do you think?
And who was it who turned up on television to dance on Dr David Kelly's grave when the Hutton report was published? Far from showing respect to someone with mental health issues, who had tragically taken his own life, Mr Campbell decided he wanted to roar about how he had been vindicated and how the BBC had been proven wrong. Mental health didn't seem at the forefront of his mind then.
You've got form in this area, of course. You have previously awarded the Mind journalist of the year award 2007 to Mr Campbell's former New Labour chum, Derek Draper - a man whose public disgrace over plans to smear about political opponents this year will hopefully mean he is never trusted again, professionally or personally.
Speaking as someone who has cheerfully had mental health problems for more than a decade, I feel disappointed that you can give such an award to Mr Campbell. I don't want to be associated with people like that. There's enough of a stigma already surrounding mental health issues without having to be compared with people like him.
- *sigh* It’s health, sorry, ‘elf, and safety – plus a bonus Sky oopsy
- It’s health & safety not mad enough… and I want my taxes to pay for it… er… wait… no… but… KABOOM!
- Littlejohn: I like the idea of health & safety, if it backs up my bollocks argument
- When health and safety and PC go mad at the same time
- It’s a mental picture all right