Mental health workers claim decent pay

Mental health care is a real and growing problem for the National Government and for New Zealand Society.

There was a major move from institutional mental health care late last century.

It was correctly decided that many people with mental health problems could be better cared for in the community. The problem is that proper community care has never been adequate. And the problems seem to be getting worse.

Part of the problem is the shortage of resources, mainly mental health staffing levels. It is a demanding and sometimes very stressful field of work, and community care pay rates have been pathetic.

Aged care and supporter workers campaigned for and eventually won a significant pay rise, due to take effect next month.  They succeeded through the courts by proving that  their workers were underpaid because the majority were female.

Mental health care workers are trying to do the same.

RNZ: Mental health workers lodge equal pay claim

Christchurch mental health support worker Vicki Harmon works for Pukeko Blue, an organisation which provides community care for those with mental health needs.

She works at one of the 12 residential homes in the city, which provide 24-7 care for seven residents.

It’s tough and demanding work, for which Ms Harmon is paid $16.50 an hour – 75 cents an hour more than the minimum wage.

One of her clients is a woman with an intellectual disability who has spent the last six weeks in the grip of mental illness, something she describes as “exhausting” and “very demanding”.

“Having somebody with a dual diagnosis – an intellectual disability and mental health – means that you are constantly aware of their mental state, not just their intellectual disability, that’s the same every day.

“But you need to be aware of their mental state, it can go up in two days and then it will come back down in two days. You’ve go to be vigilant all the time,” she said.

Auckland mental health worker Pollyanna Alo agreed the job could be challenging.

“There have been occasions where I have been spat on, verbally abused, even had a knife thrown at me,” she said.

Both women are among the 3000 to 4000 community mental health support workers who were left out of the historic pay equity claim for care and support workers, because the government wouldn’t include them.

While they have similar experience, qualifications and responsibilities to their colleagues in the disability support and aged care sector, in a fortnight’s time they can expect to be paid about $6 – $7 less an hour.

Today, two of the country’s largest unions – E tū and the Public Service Association – will lodge an equal pay claim with the Employment Relations Authority.

E tū’s assistant national secretary John Ryall said this was the third group left out of the historic settlement and is similar to a group of workers employed in vocational services with the Ministry of Social Development, which the union is also negotiating.

Mr Ryall said the government needed to support this claim and move swiftly to avoid the impending crisis.

“If the authority decides that, then the government as the funder of the sector needs to either pay the money or watch these places shut.

“We think the job these people do is so important, that it’s important the government gets involved in it,” he said.

Ms Alo said reducing the number of mental health workers would place more stress on district health boards, which were already struggling.

It was inevitable that other sectors would try to benefit from the success of the Care and Support workers.

The problems facing mental health care are probably greater. Pay rates need to be raised, but more workers are also required to deal with the growing demand.

More funding was made available in last month’s budget but it was criticised as not enough.

Stuff:  Frustration, disappointment over health funding in Budget 2017

Patients and healthcare workers say they have been left frustrated and disappointed by “inadequate” funding for health in the 2017 Budget.

They said the Government’s announcements on Thursday would not go nearly far enough in addressing concerns about overworked staff, access to new medicines, and access to mental health treatment.

The Government said total health spending would be a record $16.77 billion in 2017/18 – an increase of $879 million, with an overall increase of $3.9b over the next four years.

There are growing demands right across the health sector. On mental health:

The government committed $224m in funding for mental health in this year’s Budget.

That includes $100m for a new cross-government social investment fund that will “target innovative new proposals to tackle mental health issues”.

A further $100m will go to District Health Boards to support local mental health and addiction services, with funding also earmarked for Maori suicide prevention.

Mental Health Foundation spokesperson Sophia Graham welcomed the funding announcement as a “really positive step in the right direction”.

“It seems like a lot of money, but we need to see a commitment to sustained increases in funding,” she said.

Meanwhile, mental health workers and union representatives said the funding was only a fraction of what was needed to adequately respond to demand.

Social worker Andy Colwell said he expected to see the gap between demand and funding get even worse as a result of Budget 2017.

“As a mental health worker, seeing families struggling with life-threatening situations not being seen as urgent is incredibly frustrating, and knowing it will get worse is incredibly distressing,” Colwell said.

“It’s critically important to look at how the money is spent, and make sure we don’t just keep doing the same things that don’t work.”

Graham said key measures for success would be a reduction in the number of suicides, and a reduction in the number of people presenting critically ill at mental health units.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman acknowledged there had been an increase in demand for mental health and addiction services in recent years.

“Cabinet will soon consider a new mental health and addiction strategy, which will include our new approach to dealing with mental health issues,” he said.

Mental health was covered on Sunday last night: Trouble in mind

Has a mental health crisis put our police under siege? Police officers say the number of emergency callouts for mental health related emergencies is skyrocketing. And they are struggling to cope. Police officers, patient advocates and a frightened family affected speak out.

Coleman wouldn’t comment for that programme but said he was taking a proposal to Cabinet soon. At least with an election looking there may be some urgency.

Ardern’s Congress speech

Jacinda Ardern has given the key Saturday speech at Labour’s election year Congress, and has announced new policy on mental health.

Labour on Facebook:

And today, Jacinda Ardern has announced that we’ll deliver comprehensive health services to every state secondary school. These services have been shown to reduce the risk of suicide by two thirds.

We’ll make mental health an absolute priority.

It’s great to put more priority on dealing with mental health issues – in the shorter term this may put more pressure ion the Government to take more action.

But I question this claim: “These services have been shown to reduce the risk of suicide by two thirds”.  There’s no way of knowing in advance what degree of success it might have.

Ardern’s speech:

A curious personal intro to her speech by Ardern, trying to appeal to a social media audience.

Stuff reports: Labour promises a nurse in every secondary school

An emotional Jacinda Ardern has spoken about her grief at losing a childhood friend to suicide.

Speaking to Labour’s election year congress, Ardern put youth mental health on the political agenda, with a promise to place a nurse into every public secondary school.  Schools will also get the support of a GP.

“Evidence around existing services shows where students had more time with on-site professionals there was significantly less depression and suicide risk. Depression and suicide risk were up to two thirds lower in schools with comprehensive health services. Early intervention works.”

Ardern revealed that as a 13-year-old in Morrinsville, her best friend’s brother took his own life.

“I had just started high school and was waiting for class to start when I heard the news, I can remember exactly where I was standing, just outside the science block.

“I went straight to my friend’s home and spent the next few days with her as her and her family went through the unimaginable grief of losing their only boy, grief that was felt by everyone that knew him, and was captured in the handwritten notes and messages from his classmates that hung around the walls at his funeral. Every single thing about it seemed unfair and still does to this day.”

Ardern said school based health services were introduced by Labour in 2008  but were currently only funded directly for nurses in decile 1-3 public secondary schools, teen parent units and alternative education facilities.”

Under Saturday’s announcement, the average secondary school would have a full time nurse and also the support of a GP.

The cost would be around $40 million a year, funded out of Labour’s commitment to reverse National’s $1.7 billion of health cuts.

That doesn’t sound a lot in the whole scheme of things. The question to ask is whether it’s the most effective way to deal with a big problem.

Personal experiences can be a powerful driver of change that matters.

Full text: Jacinda Ardern: Labour Congress Speech

Clark v Coleman on mental health funding

Labour’s health spokesperson David Clark versus Health Minister Jonathan Coleman in Question Time on Tuesday – this approach doesn’t help the mental health debate.


Health, Minister—Statements on Authors of People’s Mental Health Report

11. Dr DAVID CLARK (Labour—Dunedin North) to the Minister of Health: Does he stand by his statement about the authors of the People’s Mental Health Report, “they’re very left-wing, anti-Government protesters”; if not, when will he apologise to the 500 people who wrote their own stories about experiences with the mental health system as part of the report?

Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN (Minister of Health): Yes, and my statement distinguished between the genuinely motivated story submitters and those ActionStation organisers with some political agenda. My quote was: “When you look at the people behind it, [you know] they’re very left-wing, anti-Government protesters.” As I say, ActionStation is back on Thursday with another, separate, anti-Government protest within the health area, and it could be back week after week with different topics. And just for the record, the ActionStation campaign coordinator is Mr Rick Zwaan, the Green Party’s Wellington election campaign coordinator, who used to work as Kennedy Graham’s researcher. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! Supplementary question, Dr David Clark. [Interruption] Order! I have asked for less interjection from everybody so that Dr David Clark can ask his supplementary questions.

Dr David Clark: Has he read the report; if so, does he accept that its aim, as recorded in the executive summary, is to give space to the stories of what is really going on and going wrong in our mental health services?

Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN: Yes, I have read the report, and especially the executive summary, the first line of which is a totally false premise. It talks about $140 million being cut from health funding. Well, actually, health funding has gone up by $300 million, which kind of proves the point that this is a political document.

Dr David Clark: Does he think the contribution of Robbie, who described support services as expensive and inadequate, and which, he says, “almost drove him to take his own life”, should be dismissed as the experience of a left-wing, anti-Government campaign?

Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN: I have already answered that. Look, I think Robbie’s experience is worth listening to, but that does not change the fact that this report is produced by a group of people who are permanent anti-Government protesters. If the member does not believe me, go and look at their website. They will be back here, week after week, on subject after subject after subject, because they do not like the Government.

Dr David Clark: Does he think the contribution of Mike King, who “describes despair and hopelessness in the face of inadequate access to mental health services”, should be dismissed as the experience of a left-wing, anti-Government campaigner?

Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN: Look, I think the member needs to speak to Mrs King about how you think on your feet. I have answered that question already. The organisers are from ActionStation, and it is the permanent anti-Government, left-wing protester. Mr King is a very good man—Mike King, as opposed to Mrs Annette King—who is genuinely motivated, and I do not detract from his efforts. But, as I say, when you have people like Mr Rick Zwaan, who used to work for Kennedy Graham, and his friends from the Green Party, I think it is pretty obvious that this is political.

Dr David Clark: Does he think the contribution of “the many parents who submitted in regard of their children’s experience of huge waiting lists and lack of funding” should be dismissed as the experience of a left-wing, anti-Government campaign?

Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN: I point out to the member that he does not have to take all his supplementary questions, and if he cannot think of new material in response to the answers, he should just stop. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! We will deal with them one at a time.

Chris Hipkins: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. For two answers in a row, the Minister began by insulting the questioner rather than addressing the question. But the main substantive point is that despite the abuse in that last answer, he did not even address the question that was asked.

Mr SPEAKER: On this occasion—[Interruption] Order! I have been increasingly worried about the interchange between these two members and some of the answers that have been given on occasion by the Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, but, on this occasion, when I consider the three questions that were asked, they were, effectively, the same question each time. Therefore, I can understand the frustration of the Minister in having answered the question the first time—he, effectively, gets the same question for the next two occasions.

Dr David Clark: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. That question, in my view, was not addressed, because he had talked about ActionStation, which is the compiler of the report. I am asking a specific question about the comments from the parents within the report. That is a very specific and non – politically loaded question.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! I would like to assist the member, but when I consider the answer that was given to, I think, the second supplementary question, that, effectively, was an answer that was then quite suitable for the rest of the questions the member asked, which were, effectively, just drawing on the experience of someone else within the book. The Minister was quite clear in saying he is not in any way critical of the experiences that were detailed in the report; he was certainly critical of the authors who put the report together.

Hon David Parker: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. With respect, is the problem with that not that the Minister is trying to write this off as being a left-wing conspiracy—that is the essence of his answer? I think it is quite proper for members of the Opposition to put instance after instance after instance that paint a different picture. I think the Minister should have to address each of those instances, rather than just cast aside a political insult telling him he should learn how to ask different questions.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! I do not agree that it was a political insult. The question was answered. There was no attack on the various contributions that were made within that report by the Minister. There was certainly a feeling that the authors were not of the same political persuasion as the Minister. That is acceptable.

Dr David Clark: To clarify—

Mr SPEAKER: No. [Interruption] Order! [Interruption] Order! Would the member please resume his seat. [Interruption] Order! Would the member please resume his seat. I have ruled on that matter. The member is now starting to challenge the Chair and debate with the Chair. That in itself will lead to gross disorder in this House. Question No. 12—Melissa Lee—[Interruption] Order! [Interruption] If I hear a further interjection from Carmel Sepuloni while I am in the Chair today, she will be leaving the Chamber. She has been consistently interjecting throughout question time in a very—[Interruption] Order! If the member wants to go now, I can make that arrangement very easily. I expect cooperation, particularly from whips, and the level of interjection that has been coming from Carmel Sepuloni throughout question time is unacceptable. When I rise to my feet, for those interjections still to continue is just not acceptable to this House.

 

Labour’s ‘fresh approach’ on mental health

Labour has announced policy on trying to deal with difficult mental health issues.


Fresh approach on mental health

Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.

“Mental health is in crisis. It needs a fresh approach so we can make a difference quickly because what we’re doing now just isn’t working.

“This is something you can’t put a bandage on and a Labour Government will make it a priority to better equip our health system to cater for those crying out for help.

“Health professionals and those needing treatment tell us it’s hard to find the front door to access mental health services. The present service is over-stretched and fragmented with little co-ordination of the care people need.

“What the new mental health teams will do is offer free, accessible help for those in need and ensure their care is co-ordinated and effective.

“One in six New Zealanders will be diagnosed with a mental health problem in their lifetime. There’s been a 60 per cent increase in Kiwis accessing mental health treatment since National came to power but spending on this sector has only increased by 28 per cent.

“A quarter of all suicides are people who have been in contact with mental health services in the past month.

“Under the two year pilot specialist mental health teams will operate from eight sites across the country and work with doctors, NGOs and District Health Boards. One of the sites will be in Christchurch reflecting the city’s particular needs.

“We expect the teams will be able to help nearly 40,000 people each year at a cost of $43 million over the pilot.

“This is a small investment that we’re confident will make a big difference to those who struggle today to access the services they need. It will be funded through Labour’s budgeted commitment to reversing National’s $1.7 billion of health cuts and is in addition to Labour’s review of the mental health system.

“We believe early intervention and continuing care will help people avoid significant mental health distress and better assist them to live their lives to their fullest. It’s the right thing to do,” says Andrew Little.


This is a timely policy announcement by Labour given Health Minister Jonathan Coleman’s reaction to a mental health report.

The Spinoff: Jonathan Coleman’s attack on ‘anti-government’ ActionStation is a smokescreen. And it’s nonsense

The minister of health has dismissed a report on mental health claiming the authors are ‘left-wing anti-government protesters’. ActionStation’s Marianne Elliott responds.

You know the saying: ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’?

Well, the message is that New Zealanders are deeply concerned about the state of our mental health system, and heartbroken about the family and friends we lose to suicide every year. We’re just the messengers.

The “we” in that sentence is the ActionStation community of everyday New Zealanders, hundreds of whom shared their stories with the People’s Mental Health Review, and 12,800 more who added their names to an open letter asking the government to consider the findings of that review.

So when the minister of health, Dr Jonathan Coleman, dismissed the recommendations of the People’s Mental Health Report on Tuesday because “the people behind the report” were “left-wing anti-government protesters”, that is who he was dismissing.

Attacking the messenger is a classic diversionary tactic when you don’t want to face up to the message itself.

That’s how it looks – not good for Coleman.

Coleman needs to ditch the reactionary petulance and be seen be genuinely dealing with obvious mental health care shortcomings and difficulties. Otherwise voters may choose to go with Labour’s approach.

I’ve always been aware that ActionStation has some close connections with the Greens, and their regular petitions can seem a bit pointless and easy to ignore, but their mental health report was much more substantial and pertinent to current difficulties many people face.

And this from Parliament doesn’t help the metal health debate either: Clark v Coleman on mental health funding

The Nation – prisons or hospitals?

In the third in a series on mental health, crime and justice:

Prisons or hospitals?

This weekend we bring you the final part of Mike Wesley-Smith’s investigation into treatment of mental illness in the justice system.

In this episode we look at conditions behind the wire for inmates with mental health issues.

A ormer prisoner talks about there was yoga and belly dancing offered to her when she was inside but not counselling.

@TheNationNZ

Since 2007, 53 inmates in NZ prisons have taken their own lives and are 4x more likely to attempt suicide

The chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier says the number of suicides in prisons is a real concern to him.

Demands on the forensic services within prisons are growing as the muster increases.

Corrections deals with more people with mental health issues than any other institution and the Ombudsman has raised concerns about training.

Mental health, crime, prisons and hospital care combine to make a very difficult issue to deal with.

The Nation – mental health and the courts

On The Nation, following on from last week: Perpetrators or patients?

More than 90 percent of prison inmates have a diagnosis of mental health or substance abuse disorder – so is New Zealand doing enough to divert these people away from jail?

Mike Wesley-Smith investigates, in association with the Mental Health Foundation.

This morning:

In part 2 of ‘s investigation into mental health in the criminal justice system, he’ll look at the courts.

How experimental new courts could lead to lower re-offending rates for those suffering from mental illness.

@TheNationNZ

Michelle Kidd gets up early every day to bring food to homeless people, she says some beg to go to prison for a good night’s sleep.

2700 people last year ended up getting a health appointment in a place of detention.

Sir Ron Young says sentencing people with mental health issues to prison is pointless.

The New Beginnings court has reduced reoffending rates by 66%, number of homeless reduced from 16 to 3 in 6 months.

That sounds impressive. It’s worth expanding.

From justice.govt.nz:

Therapeutic courts

There are 3 therapeutic courts in New Zealand: 2 in Auckland and 1 in Wellington within the criminal District Court system.

Therapeutic courts aim to reduce reoffending, alcohol, drug use, and addiction. They try to help a person’s health and well-being so they can move on with their lives. If someone appears before a therapeutic court, they’re sentenced in the same way and the same laws apply as in other New Zealand courts.

You can’t choose to appear before a therapeutic court. You or your lawyer can ask a judge to go through the court but a judge may say you can’t. Therapeutic courts are for people who have committed less serious offending and who have admitted their guilt.  This court does not hear serious offences like sexual offences.

Alcohol & drug courts

The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts are at Waitakere District Court and Auckland District Court. They’re designed to supervise offenders whose offending is driven by their alcohol and other drug dependency.

New Beginnings & Special Circumstances court

The New Beginnings Court Te Kooti o Timatanga Hou is aimed at homeless people in Auckland. The Special Circumstances Court is aimed at homeless people in Wellington.

If you get accepted into one of these courts, you can get help to address issues in your life that contribute to your offending.

This is a voluntary court. People going through it can choose to withdraw and be returned to the normal court system at any time.

https://www.justice.govt.nz/courts/criminal/therapeutic-courts/

Part 3 of ‘s series will look at people with mental health issues in prison… tune in next week

Mental health & criminal justice

Mental health has become a prominent issue. The Nation this week:

When you break a bone you go to hospital… so why do so many people with mental illness end up in prison instead of getting the treatment they need?

In association with the Mental Health Foundation, this week on the show we’ll feature the first part of Mike Wesley-Smith’s investigation into how the criminal justice system responds to people with mental health conditions.

More calls for mental health care inquiry

The Government seems to be digging it’s toes in after more calls for an inquiry into the state of mental health care in New Zealand.

The People’s Mental Health Report has revved things up again


The People’s Mental Health Review was an innovative and powerful project aimed at improving Aotearoa New Zealand’s public mental health system by letting those within the system share their stories.

Although everyone would hope to live in good mental health, the reality for one in six New Zealand adults is very different – and for them and their families, the expectation that they should be able to get help when they need it is vital.

Unfortunately, there are signs that the public mental health system designed to offer this help is in crisis.

Those most in need are experiencing long waiting times for support; the lack of resources is leading to an increased reliance on the use of isolation as a form of care; and the country is experiencing alarmingly high levels of suicide.

The Ministry of Health has rejected repeated calls for a Government review of the public mental health system, so we decided to run our own.

The People’s Mental Health Review was designed to allow anyone involved with mental health in New Zealand – from mental health professionals to those with either personal or family experience of the system – to tell their story. We launched it in September 2016 with zero advertising budget, and over the space of three months collected 500 stories.

This website, and the associated People’s Mental Health Report are the result of that project.

WHAT YOU WILL FIND HERE:

  • An online and downloadable report summarising the key themes raised in more than 500 stories submitted to the People’s Mental Health Review.
  • Four key recommendations for Government based on those themes.
  • An invitation to sign up to an open letter calling on the government to implement our recommendations.

Our hope is that the courage of the 500 people who submitted their stories to this process will be rewarded by seeing their concerns taken seriously, along with their hopes and recommendations for a better future for mental health services in Aotearoa New Zealand.


In response from Newstalk ZB: Opposition calling for Govt to hold inquiry into state of mental health system

Green MP Julie-Anne Genter…

…said the Government’s statements seem to fly in the face of the experience of people needing mental health care, and those working in the sector.

“It does seem that National is failing to address some very real problems in the mental health system.”

“We need to go to some lengths to investigate what all the different causes of the problems in the mental health system are, so that we can begin to address them in a way that’s really effective.”

Labour MP David Clark…

…said his party believes there should be a full review of the mental health sector.

“What we need desperately is a stock take. To put a stake in the ground and say ‘this is where things are, these are the things that can be fixed immediately’ and then to lay out a path to assist them that’s more responsive, where everyone can get the support that they need.

“We need somebody with a mandate to see over the service to check that things are improving and to make recommendations where they clearly haven’t been adequate,” said Clark.

But it looks like the Government isn’t interested.

The Government’s ruled out holding an inquiry into the mental health system, as recommended by the review, with the Health Minister’s office saying an extra $300 million is now being spent on the mental health sector.

Labour leader Andrew Little…

…said Kiwis had “huge concern” about publicly-funded mental health services.

The number of service users had increased by 60 per cent since the 2007/08 year, he said.

“The report says patients have told ‘a story of frustration at being unable to access mental health services.’ This is a tragic indictment of the Government’s underfunding with many submitters talking of despair and hopelessness.

“Recent reports of bed closures, staff assaults and suicides are signalling a growing crisis in mental health. The Government has to act and act now.”

Prince Harry and mental stress

Missy posts on Price Harry and his revelations about his struggles with mental health since the death of his mother Princess Diana:


Over the last few years I have noticed more and more that Prince Harry has been supporting and promoting Mental Health Charities, one of which he supports along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Heads Together.

Today we may have received a glimpse into part of the reason. In an exclusive with the Telegraph – that has been picked up by other news outlets – Prince Harry opened up about his issues after the death of his Mother, and how he had difficulty dealing with it. He disclosed that he was close to a breakdown on a number of occasions and it wasn’t until his late 20’s that he finally sought counselling for it, with the encouragement of his brother. One of the symptons he displayed was aggression, and he turned to boxing as an outlet for this, and he said that the boxing saved him.

There had been speculation that Prince Harry suffered Mental Health issues from his time in Afghanistan, but he says this is not the case, and it was dealing with the very public death of his mother that really affected him. He indicates that it was through talking to soldiers who suffer Mental Health issues that he started to realise he needed help.

The interview is the first in a podcast series for the Telegraph, and is 30mins long.

The Telegraph: Prince Harry: I sought counselling after 20 years of not thinking about the death of my mother, Diana, and two years of total chaos in my life

I haven’t heard it all, but there has been widespread praise for Prince Harry to be so open about his issues with Mental Health problems, and seeking help to deal with his feelings and grief. There is hope that this will go a long way to help de-stigmatise Mental Health issues in the UK.

Two of the charities that Prince Harry publicly supports for Mental Health are:

In NZ the Mental Health Foundation is a good starting point:

I should note, this is a personal thing for me, many years ago a friend of our family suffering depression committed suicide, and only last year someone I used to work with also committed suicide. In the case of both of them their families and loved ones were unaware of their problems and suffering as neither had talked to anyone.

I just want to say that if anyone on here, or anyone you know, is going through a rough patch I hope that you either have someone you can talk to, or are someone they can talk to. Sometimes that is all that is needed – to talk. #oktosay (heads together hashtag – but relevant for all).


New Yorker has a profile of Prince Harry’s father, which shows the extraordinary pressure put on members of the royal family, especially on the heir to the throne.

WHERE PRINCE CHARLES WENT WRONG
The Prince of Wales makes himself most unpopular when he tries hardest to be a worthy heir to the throne.

Disgraceful Whale Oil comments

Whale Oil has claimed for some time that they have cleaned up their comments and that they don’t allow anything nasty.

From their usually strictly enforced ‘commenting and moderation’ rules:

  • Do not threaten to kill, harm or otherwise injure anyone, even in jest. Don’t think that you can get away with clever language like “I propose a lead injection”, or similar.
  • If you see someone else troll DO NOT REPLY. If you reply, you risk being seen as part of the problem (no, we don’t care “who started it”).

From their General Debate comments today:

slateronmentalhealthpatient

That’s three blog owners and moderators making despicable comments about someone who clearly has severe mental health problems.

Whale Oil claim they have cleaned up their comments but this makes it clear that doesn’t apply to the site censors.

It is very unlikely the target of these disgraceful comments will read them, but this sends a clear signal to Whale Oil readers and commenters that nasty is back, big time.

SB, you are welcome to explain here. It wasn’t you making the comments but you have claimed your comments are clean and criticised other blog comments for being disgraceful in the past.

Slater’s suggestions he would get dirtier this year seems to be already evident. Back to the worst of Whale Oil?