Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Steven Purcell to stand down

Who knows why Steven Purcell has decided to stand down as leader of the Labour run Glasgow City Council (hope it wasn't my letter to him yesterday!). All we can do for now, unless other information comes to light, is accept that the man is suffering health problems as a result of stress. In the same way that I abhorred the way in which some people rejoiced in Iris Robinson's mental breakdown (and couldn't have put it better than my mate Will did in this article) I can't take any pleasure at all if someone is suffering from mental ill health.

That won't stop me arguing the politics of the situation and I think the Labour Party, particularly in Glasgow, has no redeeming features and takes the people of this city for granted with breathtaking arrogance.

However, politics aside, one of the biggest ills in our society is, I believe, our often snobbish and patronising attitude to people with mental health problems. Any one of us can suffer from clinical depression. Any one of us might even be bipolar or schizophrenic but never know it because, as far as I understand it, many people have a latent psychosis and unless something happens to kick it off (head injury, certain drugs) it may well stay beneath the surface until the day we die.

More common of course is anxiety, stress and depression and they're words we all use too freely because REAL depression is paralysing, disabling and humiliating. It needn't be humiliating if we all change our attitude to it and accept it's something we might have one day and nothing to be ashamed of.

So, if the rumours are correct, on a personal level, I wish Steven Purcell well and I hope if he is experiencing mental health problems just now, simply being open about it will enable other people to ask for help when they need it.

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