Thursday, 20 May 2010

Asperger Comments

Here are a selection of comments I have made on the "Autism isn't infectious but ignorance is website" on Facebook..

One way that my Asperger's has helped me is that I don't get bored like NT's do, and many of them as a result turn to booze or gambling. This is often because they don't have many hobbies or interests. I have my obsessions or special interests, which prevents me from getting bored. In fact, it is very rare I do ever get bored.

Sometimes when in a public place, if people are talking about something which interests me, this has happened recently as I am tracing my Grandmother's family tree, I am tempted to butt in and start talking myself, even if I do not know them, and giving a monologue or an opinion on the subject. However, I steel myself not to. I think Sensory stimuli plays a part in this.

When people with Autism or Asperger's are being assessed for care needs, or provisions, it is usually in their own homes, which they know, which they are familiar with, which is often quiet and peaceful, and in conditions more conducive to Autism or AS. So therefore, an assessor will probably think that little or no care needs are required, and therefore turn the application down. An assessor needs to see how people with Autism and AS will fare in public situations which stress them out and mentally overload them.

It would have been hell to have had Autism or Asperger's Syndrome in 1910 or 1810 or anytime before. It wouldn't have been a perfect ten! However, in one respect, I feel I am fortunate in that I don't have Kanner's Autism, because as difficult as my life is, and the numerous problems I have, at least I can verbally tell people how Asperger’s Syndrome affects me and what it is like to have it. Some with Kanner’s Autism have the symptoms but can’t verbally let you know.

I sometimes think that technology of some kind would be useful to make people aware of Autism and Asperger's Syndrome: To make the invisible become visible. Surely we can do more to educate the public than wearing T-shirts saying "I am not bad, I am Autistic".

If I ever am on a bus or a train, I listen to my MP3 player and have small earphones. Nothing odd in that you might think. I never go anywhere without my MP3 player because it blocks noise out. You might ask "You say you can't stand noise and yet you listen to your MP3 player or the radio?". Well, I am only listening to one sound, whereas when I am out in public, I am bombarded by sound.

As you will know, I have got Asperger's Syndrome, but I don't go around everyday telling everybody I meet that I have got it. I want to passionately raise awareness of it, and of Autism, and I believe that Autism and AS get nowhere near the support, provisions and understanding they need and deserve, but I am not just Kevin Phillips a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, but Kevin Phillips, a human being, who like everybody else, is trying to make his way in the world.

I don't like it when I am in a pub and there is nobody in and no atmosphere. Conversely, I don't like it when you are being jostled, can't get served, can't sit down and can't hear what you or anybody else is saying. I never have been particularly a fan of nightclubs. I am fine socialising with a small group of people ...around me, but I usually avoid family functions and parties because I can't cope with large groups of people around me, mentally, emotionally and sensory. I am happier and more comfortable in a big library or the archives deparment of my library than at a party.

When some people ignore, shun, ostracise or insult or poke fun at disabled people, Autism, Asperger, Cerebral Palsy, Down's Syndrome, GLDers or whatever, they don't realise or have the insight or reasoning to understand is that it could have been them who was in that position or a family member... they are usually the ...types that who are so far up their own arse they would make a circle. Some bigots are supposed to be intelligent. In whose eyes? They aren't in mine.

People with Autism/AS rarely fit into this world, but at times, I almost think that they are too good for this corrupt, two-faced and inconsistent world anyway.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Summing up the result

The General Election has been held. I genuinely believed that David Cameron was going to get elected Prime Minister by a majority of 3 or 4. I was surprised that an hung parliament occurred. However, that has been the verdict of the British electorate.

It was a bad night for all three main parties. Obviously, it was bad for Labour because they lost 90 seats, and they obtained the lowest share of the vote since the 1983 General Election debacle under the late Michael Foot. When a party has been in power for a long time, the public tend to get cheesed off without it. This was shown last Thursday.

It was a bad night for the Liberal Democrats. The "Clegg affect" didn't materialise. Neither did talk of them making an electoral breakthroug. Quite the opposite. They lost five seats, taking their seat tally down from 62 to 57.

The Conservatives finished the night with 306 seats. This was their best General Election performance for 18 years, since Thursday 9th April 1992. However, talk of them winning in a landslide, which has surfaced a great deal in the press, didn't occur. They didn't win 326 seats which is needed for an outright majority. For me, in the last days of the campaign, they were acting and talking as if they had won already. Perhaps this turned voters off. It was a bad result for them. They failed to turf out an unpopular government, an unpopular Prime Minister and a party which has been in power for 13 years, and during a severe recession, despite Ashcroft's millions and fervent and vociferous media backing.

A notable result occurred in Brighton, with the election of Caroline Lucas, Britain's first ever Green MP. Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, standing in Barking, obtained 6,620 votes. The winner, Margaret Hodge, obtained over 24,628 votes.

There was a shambles, with huge queues in Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle. Many people were turned away, being unable to vote. After low turnouts in the two previous General Elections, perhaps they were expecting a repeat performance. It wasn't. This General Election had the highest turn-out for 30 years.

The 2010 General Election, also laid an 18-year myth to rest: That a party leader needs the backing of the Sun newspaper to win. During the 1992 General Election, it appeared as if Labour were going to win, according to the opinion polls. They didn't, and the Conservatives were returned by a majority of 21, down from 100 five years earlier.

The newspaper that the deep-thinkers read, The Sun, put out a boastful front page proclaiming "IT WAS THE SUN WOT WON IT!". Blair courted the Sun's backing between 1995 and 1997 by promising he wouldn't place any restrictions on Rupert Murdoch's business empire and wouldn't return to 1970's style policies.

In September last year, the Sun came out in favour of David Cameron and the Conservatives and urged the public to do the same. It then ran some viciously anti-Labour and viciously anti-Gordon Brown stories and headlines. Notably the Jacqui Janes letter. Also vociferously in favour of the Conservatives were the Daily Mail and Express. The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and Times backed them, whereas the Guardian, Observer and Independent all supported the Liberal Democrats. Only the Daily Mirror supported Labour.

Perhaps the age of the Internet was why the public weren't swayed? Perhaps because newspapers sales are in decline was why this occurred? People can join groups on Facebook, join discussions on You Tube and other forums. Perhaps because the circulation of numbers has declined was why the public weren't swayed to vote for a Conservative landslide? Perhaps the Internet, in creating, energizing and formenting debates, was why voter turn out was the highest for 30 years? Perhaps it was relatively high because the public wanted to vote Labour out? Perhaps this was countered by people wanting to give the Labour government a kick up the backside, but alternatively, couldn't trust the Tories for form a Government as well? Perhaps the influence of newspapers was never all that great, and their importance in forming voting opinion has been overestimated?

The Sun and Daily Mail, having told Gordon Brown over the last two years, have been telling Gordon Brown to call an election so the British voters can deliver their verdict on him and his party, and that they would accept the verdict. An election has been called. An hung parliament was their verdict, and now they don't like it.

What will happen now I wonder? Who knows? Maybe Cameron will say to the Liberal Democrats that he will accept some of their policies, in order for him to implement some of his? Maybe Labour will say the same to them? Many people argue that it is a travesty that the party with the least amount of votes and seats out of the three (The Liberal Democrats) decide who forms the next Government, whilst the Conservatives, who obtained the most amount of seats and votes, might be in opposition. Morally it is unfair. However, these are the rules of the electoral system, and will continue to be so, unless something different or better is implemented in its place.

Whoever becomes Prime Minister, be it Brown, Cameron, that chicken who stalked Cameron during the campaign or someone else, will have a difficult job. They are going to have their hands tied, will struggle and will find it difficult to implement any policies, with the country in such a state. We are due to undergo a few bleak years ahead of us.

What do I think about Gordon Brown? The genesis of the recession can be traced back to the Thatcher years, when deregulation became the buzz-word. The bankers have been the main culprits. Gordon Brown has been savagely, and unfairly maligned by the Tory press. I feel he is a honest man with substance, and was generally a successful Chancellor. He was stupid to call Gillian Duffy a bigot though, in Rochdale.

Just as I don't agree with attacks on Cameron for his Eton background, I don't agree with the viciously personal attacks which have been made on Brown and his alleged personality. However, he didn't seem to fit in during the age of "X-factor" politics. Sad how shallow society is, when we judge a potential Prime Minister on appearance and style, but there you go.