Author Archive | Catherine Robinson

Hard times in the land of plenty

Most people know someone a bit like Donald Trump. The only unusual thing about him is the huge amount of money that he inherited. He parades his faults shamelessly. I would be reluctant to talk to him at a party, let alone vote for him. The polls suggest that many people gave him their vote […]

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Histrionics and quantum politics

Last week started with a somewhat anti-climactic announcement from the Prime Minister about mental health services. Her speech ended with a statement that “parity means parity”. If this was intended as a triumphant conclusion to a stirring performance, it fell rather flat. The phrase echoed her hollow “Brexit means Brexit” catechism. The Prime Minister seems […]

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What’s going on?

One of the most memorable features of 2016 was a continuous cacophony of intolerance and raw aggression. Our most pressing task for 2017 is to find a distinctive voice of militant tolerance and decency. It is a bit of a challenge, but it must be done. Stridency appears to have infected public debate of all […]

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The last blog of 2016

As befits a curmudgeonly older man, I tut a lot about Christmas decorations going up before the cricket season is over. I object loudly for months about the intrusions of the winter festival of excess. When Christmas eventually arrives, I enjoy it. Sharing good food and drink with people you care about is an irresistible […]

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Dancing about psychiatry

No one knows who first said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture, but dancing about psychiatry certainly does not seem to work. Stigma can be conveyed without the use of words. On Friday, I attended a really enjoyable party in honour of Vanessa Cameron, who leaves the Royal College of Psychiatrist at […]

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The virtual asylum revisited

Early in my career as a consultant, I took responsibility for the psychiatric care of a group of men who had been resettled in a community facility after decades as residents in a distant mental hospital. One man sticks in my mind. Ernie had diagnoses of learning disability and chronic schizophrenia. He was mute. He […]

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A Public Health Disaster

I have mentioned my grandfather, Arthur Poole, in this blog more than once before. He was a plumber (“an artist in lead”), autodidact, raconteur and trade union activist who taught me to appreciate a pint of well-kept bitter.  He would be irritated and amused that I was co-author of this report presenting evidence for a […]

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Reasons to be cheerful

What if the worst happens? Well, it has. Donald Trump is going to be President of the USA. His campaign rested on his status as an existential “winner”, a promise to reverse America’s misfortunes through the power of will and the demonization of minorities. These ideas belong to a political tradition that is indistinguishable from […]

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