back to article MPs suggest introducing web blocking to tackle suicide rates in UK

MPs have suggested restricting access to sites which encourage self-harm or give detailed advice on methods for committing suicide as a means of tackling the "unacceptable" level of suicide in the nation. MPs have warned government that it has failed to do enough to tackle the UK's suicide rates. Suicide is the leading cause …

  1. steve-b

    Is there anything the internet has not been blamed for?

    1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      The Chappaquiddick incident?

    2. Smooth Newt
      Facepalm

      Academic journals

      They propose blocking sites which provide detailed information about suicide methods? Does that include sites like the British Medical Journal? http://jech.bmj.com/content/62/6/545.full etc

  2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    How? Every time a proposal like this is floated I wait for the flood of jobs monitoring every document on the interweb and classifying it. Put your money where your mouth is, when I see the job adverts I'll believe you're doing something.

    1. Annihilator

      Presumably the idea is to start supplying the relevant URLs to the IWF block-list using the same ban-hammer for everything else they want to do.

      Although I don't think that someone in such a state of mind will see a "website blocked" and knock the whole idea on the head...

      1. Paul 195

        Not being able to access a website won't stop someone from having suicidal feelings. But every barrier placed between a suicidal person and their ability to kill themselves makes it less likely that they die, and more likely that they seek help. Remember when you used to be able to buy a nice jar of 50 paracetamol? Someone in the home office did some maths and calculated that selling paracetomol in boxes of no more than 16, individually wrapped to make them harder to get at all at once, would save a worthwhile number of lives each year. Even a suicidal person has inhibitions against going through with the act; websites that aid and abet suicide are one of the things that lower those inhibitions.

        1. find users who cut cat tail
          Black Helicopters

          > Not being able to access a website won't stop someone from having suicidal feelings.

          Seeing the government attempting to control every aspect of my life and blocking access to websites may actually strengthen suicidal feelings. At least mine...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No sane would-be suicide would use paracetamol, it isnt a quick or pleasant death, taking two - three agonising weeks while your liver dissolves.

          As for the 16 pack, the rules dont even work there, you can walk into any cash&carry and buy a cartoon of 16 packs; plus you can buy 2 of each brand even in a supermarket without issue.

          I would rather they turned their internet ambitions to fixing their existing websites. I had to register my daughter for school today, and the only way to do it is to ignore and not enter a full post code when prompted; a horrible, HORRIBLE site, where clicking "No" means "Yes", where there are Yes/No buttons with no clear explanation of what they are for, and btw, it wont load correctly in IE, as several off site links for menu icons (FFS!!!) are broken.

          It harks back to the day I tried to pay a parking ticket in Tewkesbury a few years ago, and found the council website payment system only worked correctly if you used IE6.

          1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

            The real problem with paracetamol is that the lethal dose is an unusually low multiple of the therapeutic dose. Many a cry for help has turned to a disaster because of this.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "As for the 16 pack, the rules dont even work there..."

            Except for the resulting 43% fall in paracetamol overdoses. It's saved close to 700 lives so far.

            1. Annihilator

              "Except for the resulting 43% fall in paracetamol overdoses. It's saved close to 700 lives so far."

              Not the conclusion you can draw. Just means 700 people haven't used that method - you don't know they haven't picked another option.

              Although I would say (as noted by someone above), it's a particularly long, painful and irreversible way to go, so perhaps they were just trying to spare people that.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "Not the conclusion you can draw."

                It is if you read the paper.

        3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Denmark, 10 only and one packet at a time. It was difficult to buy one packet each if the pharmacist realized you were a couple. (2002)

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Stop

        There's always Usenet

        I think alt.suicide.holiday is still around...

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There's always Usenet

          There's always the BBC.

          I'm in no hurry, but if I ever do decide to euthanize myself I'm following a method I saw a Beeb report on.

  3. hplasm Silver badge
    Holmes

    Have HMG considered the reason-

    -for all the suicides, and further considered that, if they were not doing such a shit job of running the country, people might find themselves less depressed?

    1. Dr Stephen Jones

      Re: Have HMG considered the reason-

      Suicides are a personal tragedy. But obviously, it's always the Tories fault.

      Any chance you could put your brain back in the jar and go somewhere nice for Christmas?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have HMG considered the reason-

        Could you just clarify for me? How do you get from complaining about shit governments to assuming it's just the Tories? I remember Brown's government being very depressing too.

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: Have HMG considered the reason-

          @Mycho

          Ooh, you were lucky, we had Wilson and Heath.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Have HMG considered the reason-

        @Dr Jones - reading not your strong point then?

        You mentioned the Tories, not I.

        HMG are always the ones in 'charge', regardless of party.

        Dr of Divinity, I reckon...

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Have HMG considered the reason-

      As Bismark is reputed to have said "governments come and governments go but the bureaucracy is there forever."

      Blair wanted to give the UK ID cards and the cradle-to-grave NIR to go with it.

      Incidently blocking these kinds of sites is (IIRC) already listed on the list of site CMD's BS laws already cover. Along with "Esoteria" WTF that is (magick & spells I think)

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: "the actual number may be higher."

      And with various life insurance companies still (reprehensibly IMHO as mental illness is a potentially fatal illness just as much as cancer etc) operating suicide non payment clauses there tends to be financial pressure on families to get a non suicide "result" to enable insurance claim to go ahead.

    2. Mayhem

      Re: "the actual number may be higher."

      Frankly we're talking about a problem that affects between 0.009 and 0.018% of the population.

      By contrast, old people dying in winter of generally avoidable cold related issues are at least 40,000. Priorities maybe?

      I know three people who have taken their own lives. Two of them had tried before and been stopped, but the core issue never got resolved and the conclusion was inevitable. Suicide is a problem that in general is very very hard to prevent - western society is innately isolating, and there are a heck of a lot of easy ways to go, from trains to jumping off stuff. Would I like to prevent more, yes. But you do that by funding support organisations, not by trying to block information. This is a futile gesture which in general won't do squat.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. dcluley

    Suicide is sometimes rational

    Yet again the assumption behind the article, and the proposal it is reporting, fails to acknowledge that there are occasions when suicide, or assisted death, might be a genuine rational choice.

    Let me start by saying that I do not in any way want to minimise the problem addressed. Some people have problems that seem out of proportion to them and need help. The reductions in finance and support of organisations that are there to help seems to me to be a cruel rejection of the caring society that most of us hope that we live in.

    However, there are other aspects. The examples most often put forward usually involve people with a terminal condition whose circumstances such as extreme pain or total lack of mobility and who would like the opportunity to be able to decide they have had enough and know that their decision will be acted upon. The palaver and costs and potential liabilities involved in a trip to Dignitas should not be necessary and in any case that option is not open to all. Attempts have been made to make provision for people with a terminal date expected within 12 months and even this has been rejected by MPs.

    For me even these proposals do not go far enough. We have all seen horrifying examples of people in care homes with extreme dementia, totally unable to even recognise their relatives, force fed and abused. I for one do not want to get to that state. I am happy enough now in my 70s whilst I can still walk up the village, do my shopping, cook for myself and keep the house reasonably clean. When it gets to the stage where I can no longer look after myself then I want to be able to end it easily and effectively. I totally accept that such decisions should be made whilst one is still rational; but therein lies a snag. Waiting until I am within the 12 months terminal category might be leaving it too late. I want to be able to make the decision now whilst totally compos mentis.

    Those opposed to assisted dying are wanting to tell others what to do (or not do). I, on the other hand, am not wanting the right to tell others what to do; I am merely asking for the right to make a decision for myself. It is in the nature of the problem that implementing that decision might be down to someone else; but it should not be beyond us to come up with appropriate safeguards to avoid unfair pressure on vulnerable individuals.

    So, to summarise, yes - there are many situations where suicide is perhaps not the right option; but there should be allowances for sane individuals to make a choice about their own continuing existence.

  7. inmypjs Silver badge

    The MPs recommended...

    Blah blah blah,

    These wankers are so depressing I increasingly regard death as a light at the end of the tunnel.

    If I thought I would have to put up with this bullshit forever I would definitely kill myself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The MPs recommended...

      Why do you think the Chinese painted the afterlife as a massive bureaucracy?

      Best way to prevent suicides ever.

  8. batfastad
    Black Helicopters

    And so it begins...

    Nanny is at the door. She wants her peons back.

    They'll be attacking the judiciary soon enough. Oh...

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: And so it begins...

      It's a stupid solution, but @batfastad, they are actually trying to reduce the number of suicides. It's not the worst impetus for Government action.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: And so it begins...

        But now there's a general all-purpose Internet banhammer, and when you've got a banhammer everything looks like a nail, MPs sitting in committees can come up with the same cheap all-purpose solution for anorexia/bulimia, bullying, and so on. But will any of societies' ills be fixed?

        I'm sure a nice shiny clean Internet (for people who don't know what a small ISP or a VPN is) will have the kind of success at tackling homelessness as moving the homeless on does.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And so it begins...

          the thing is the Internet will never be shiny clean and a banhammer wont change that

        2. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: And so it begins...

          @ Dan55, you make exactly the right point, politicians are always looking for the easy route to sounding as though they are doing something good for the people. Reducing the number of suicides is undoubtedly a good thing but fixing the ills of society that lead to individuals wanting to commit suicide is far better.

          Personally, I object to government interfereing with what I see as one of my rights, I'm 65, if in the future my quality of life becomes such that not continuing is a better option, then I regard that as a right, to terminate an unbearable existence. It's my life in spite of what they think, not theirs to control.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And so it begins...

            @Chris G

            In Nanny Theresa's ideal world, you won't have any rights...

      2. batfastad

        Re: And so it begins...

        @Hollerithevo: Yes I appreciate the Gov appears to at least be thinking about taking positive action on this issue.

        Blocking of legal content is censorship.

        A few years ago it was blocking illegal child pornography. Yesterday it was logging all accesses to completely legal content because terrorists. Today blocking legal suicide information off the internet because they likely think you can't be trusted. Tomorrow...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And so it begins...

          @batfastad

          Sounds like the penny has dropped.

      3. Dr Dan Holdsworth

        Re: And so it begins...

        Welcome to the thin end of the wedge.

        Your right to look at a website that discusses suicide is being curtailed for your own good, citizen.

        Next up, your right to look at a website that described narcotic drugs will be curtailed, because drugs are illegal.

        Somewhat later, you will be prevented from looking at a website with a recipe for treacle pudding on it, because the sugar might make you fat.

        Somewhat later still, the British Government will start to wonder if they shouldn't be banning VPN software...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And so it begins...

          "you will be prevented from looking at a website with a recipe for treacle pudding on it, because the sugar might make you fat."

          they would have to ban recipe books to enforce that and banning VPN software would be hard

  9. Anonymous C0ward
    FAIL

    Oh, this old chestnut again

    Tackle the cause, not the symptoms!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As someone who attempted this and has been on the waiting list for the mental health team for over two years, I suspect investing in these areas rather than some pointless web guardian system might be more beneficial. Being told to ring the Samaritans is all very well and good, but when you need more than 40 minutes to talk or need to speak to the same person so as to not go over the same old ground each time with a new person, it's just a sticking plaster. I ended up getting help through my local alcohol support group until funding was cut and they were told not to ask why people were drinking, only to suggest ways to stop people drinking.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Treat the causes not the symptom...

    There is nothing to fear about death. I'm sovereign over my own body and consciousness, which includes having the right to choose to kill it and end it. The fear that the rest of society considers such a view to be so abhorrent as to be an indication of mental illness, that justifies having my liberty taken from me, is backed up by proposals like this.

    Rather than trying to treat the symptoms of suicide, perhaps these MPs could put some thought towards the causes. Or would that level of introspection reveal their own (in)actions and culpability?

  12. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    The good news...

    Personally every time I see the Dail Heil website (or the Sun, Excess etc) I feel I want to open a vein. Usually my own (but not always). Does that mean their websites can be blocked?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The good news...

      Good point. Let's not forget *.gov.uk though.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The good news...

      No, when all three of those rags had a go at the judiciary Theresa May said she valued the freedom of the press. Blocking it would be censorship.

  13. Mike Shepherd
    Meh

    Cost/benefit

    The government's concern is losing taxpayers before they retire.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cost/benefit

      Actually, cynically speaking, what the government most wants is for everyone to die on the day they retire.

      This would cure the pensions problem, most of the social care problems, and many NHS ones as well, whilst having maximized tax take.

      There would also be another windfall, as the profits of the pensions companies would jump, leading to additional corporation tax being paid, although this would be transient, as the private pensions businesses would die a death shortly afterwards.

      Of course, raising the pension age further will have some of the same effects.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Cost/benefit

        "Of course, raising the pension age further will have some of the same effects."

        The pension age was set at 65 because few tax-payers lived past 70. That's why we have the pension deficit in the first place and why the pension age is being raised everywhere. I'm surprised it's takes this long to see that and start raising the pension age. The baby boomers masked the problem, but now we are reaching pension age.

  14. Trey Pattillo

    NoYFB

    Yep, None of Your Flipping [$%^&] Business.

    Here in the US this idea is driven by money [root of all evil] as you must keep paying "live insurance".

    [find references to George Carlin thoughts on subject].

    Not sure if this applies in your case but I do know that to cover medical it is in your taxes and when the US add-ons are figured in the numbers are not that far off.

    A person did not chose to come into this world, that was the decision of the parents, or to the anti-abortionists you were forced into the world.

    BE DAMNED that I do have a RIGHT to terminate my life for any reason at anytime.

    **Yep, None of Your Flipping [$%^&] Business.**

  15. Florida1920
    Childcatcher

    The news is very depressing

    For this to work, all news sites and other sources of news will have to be banned as well.

  16. Your alien overlord - fear me

    And no mention of ISIS suicide bombers? I'm not sure blocking web access will help but stopping their nutty 'leaders' spouting rubbish like they'll get 72 virgins would be more beneficial.

  17. Banksy

    Causes

    Are the MPs interested in addressing some of the causes of suicide like social isolation, inequality, inability to access suitable housing, etc., etc. rather than banning some websites? People don't need to read a website if they want to end it all.

  18. Alister Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Ah, the UK government with their unerring ability to get to the heart of the matter, have once again aimed their sights squarely on the root cause of the problem.

    Some may have been sidetracked by the idea that the general uncertainty of jobs, the pressure put on school pupils, the increasingly underfunded mental health care sector, may have contributed to a rise in the suicide rates.

    But no, they are foolish irrelevancies, the problem is the internet, and the government have an enviable track record of successfully managing it.

    Sheesh!

  19. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    How about

    those 'sharing caring' mps actually get around to having a country WORTH living in.

    Where if you are unable to work you are not a "worthless work shy layabout" or if you are unable to work due to a combination of being on benefits coupled with low wages in your area you are not a "lazy worthless brit".

    Or having to work a ZHC, where you may earn 400 quid one week and 0 the next and be unable to claim for help because 'you're still technically employed' so its off to the 1000% payday loans people(we used to call those folks loan sharks)

    Or perhaps moving up the scale, you are forced to make an appearance at work while suffering badly from 'flu because your line manager will mark you down on the appraisals and you'll lose any pay rise for the year.

    In short , give people something to live for instead of some hell hole where the MPs care first about lining their own pockets, the party comes second and f*** the rest of us until its election time

  20. King Jack
    Pirate

    Orwell's 1984

    Living in 1984 or the threat of it becoming real is enough to make me glad I'll not be around forever. Death looks like a great deal to escape being spied on 24/7. A few seconds of anguish... then peace.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been there...

    As someone who has considered suicide more than once in the past, and even as recently as last year, I can say I never looked up how to do it. Perhaps its a generational thing - I didn't grow up with the Internet being effectively everywhere, accessible 24/7. Still...considering the plethora of ways found in the news that people have found to accidentally terminate themselves, it takes a minimum of imagination to make a method intentional. Blocking the sites won't have any effect - the authorities in China block a whole raft of websites - in many ways, most of the Internet, really, but people still find ways to get at the 'subversive' knowledge anyway. The kids will too, and the fact the knowledge is harder to get to will only make it MORE enticing. If one wants to reduce suicides or non-lethal self-harm, one needs to understand the root causes. You don't get that knowledge by talking to psychologists for whom its an abstract, academic discussion. You get that knowledge by talking to people who've tried, and failed, at self-ending. And not in a clinical setting where the person feels like they are diseased or defective...and not by someone who is accusatory in any way.

    Anonymous, obviously. I don't want some bureaucrat knocking on my door and arresting me for threatening myself or something.

  22. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Is it just me

    or is the fact that the government's first response to any problem appears to be "we need to block some websites" frankly a bit disturbing? First they came for the porn. Then they came for the web forums...

    (And yes, I appreciate there is a very real problem here that needs addressing. I'm just saying that the proposed solution here is nothing of the sort whatsoever)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it just me

      Nearly right but..

      No, they came for child porn, then extreme porn, then anything that could be considered terrorist related (depending on if they agreed with the target or not), then file sharing, then fake goods, then fake news then......

      A few years ago, some nasty shit accused me of raping a child; the Police waited TWELVE weeks to arrest me; I still wonder if they spent that time monitoring everything I did on line, so see if I was watching kiddie porn etc.

      When they finally turned up, they certainly had a fine old time, ripping my house apart and damaging every computer in a futile bid to find evidence.

      Anon, cos mud sticks.

  23. MrDamage

    Give people something to live for

    Instead of trying to micro-manage every aspect of their lives in some bizarre homage to George Orwell.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again, our freedoms are being eroded by an issue that affects only a small minority of people (and by the sounds of it, they never asked for). If this trend continues, we will end up with no freedom at all and then the suicide rate will rise. Perhaps our MPs should spend their time debating problems that the public actually want them to address?

    Personally, I would respect people's free choice to decide their own future, and if someone does make that decision, they should have the best information available to them. Censoring information that people want is not helpful, nor should anyone offering this information be at risk of prosecution.

  25. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Sites that act as a catalyst for bullying...

    judging by press coverage - carry a far greater risk of people being cornered into a situation where they feel unable to elicit advice or support from others, leading to an increased probability of suicide.

    The action of "unfriending" someone needs to carry a Government Health Warning: "Are you sure this person can handle your pressing of this button? Are they going through a difficult time? Do they need your support?"

    1. Cereberus

      Re: Sites that act as a catalyst for bullying...

      Ken, you were close but didn't go that extra step required:

      'The action of "unfriending" someone needs to carry a Government Health Warning: "Are you sure this person can handle your pressing of this button? Are they going through a difficult time? Do they need your support?"'

      After they are 'unfriended' and attempt suicide, you will be arrested because you caused them to commit the act and so are guilty of murder - you did select Unfriend after thinking about it so it is premeditated.

      'Of course we know you were the person who caused it because your act was the last one before they took their life so it must be your fault and not the fact that they had no job, life, partner and suffered from a terminal illness which would have killed them in 2 years anyway. How do we know this? We monitor everything you do and every webs site you go to except when you do it through a VPN which means it must be an illegal site or why would you hide it?

      'No, looking up signs of suicidal thoughts and how to help is not relevant - we banned everything to do with suicide years ago, after child porn, extreme porn as defined by the BBFC 60 years ago, looking at a naked back last year and looking at naked ankles last week.'

      As has been mentioned several times, look at the cause not the symptoms - banning doesn't solve anything. All it does is make people into potential criminals because they don't accept or know about the ban which served no purpose. The next step will be an extension of a work place filter. Trigger enough 'illegal' searches and you will be pulled in to explain yourself, and you better have a good reason......

  26. veti Silver badge

    Suicide is not particularly prevalent in the UK, its rate is well down in the pack of first-world countries. What would these MPs consider an "acceptable" rate of suicide, exactly?

    Serious question. If these bastards are talking about restricting your internet freedom yet further, the least you can do is press them as to what precisely - i.e. what reduction in rates - they hope to achieve by it. And while they're at it, let them define an unambiguous failure condition - if this reduction is not achieved over the next five years, the rule should automatically be removed.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Because.....

    ..without the nasty web pages, suicide would stop, dead!

    (sorry)

  28. Adrian Tawse

    Blame someone else

    Yet another pathetic attempt from our flabby minded politicians to blame someone else. The solution is to adequately fund mental health, as was promised by Cameron. If this annoys you as much as me please make a donation to Mind.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What we need is more censorship.

    For our safety, of course.

    And because we're all children and nanny knows best.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More smoke and mirrors

    to distract from the real issues...that's a first.

  31. elliotpage

    How about instead of blocking the internet, the government look into making life less abjectly shit?

    To echo some other comments, its scary that the government sees making peoples lives not garbage as not its problem and instead scapegoats the internet.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Useless

    We have suffered suicide twice in our family, it's devastating and this is just paying lip service so poor as to be an insult. When someone is at this point denying access to a website will do nothing more than modify the method if anything at all.

    What is really needed is improvement to mental health care, access to mental health care and real initiative to tackle the stigmatisation of suicide and mental illness. All of that requires investment so..........

  33. teebie

    Is this going to be a Section 28 thing, where any discussion of suicide is banned in case it is seen as 'promoting it'

    If so, I think the government has finally come up with their solution to the assisted dying debate - if people can't talk about it, they can't criticise the government for inaction.

    1. VanguardG

      I recall some year ago, one ISP got itself in real trouble after "trying to fight pornography" by banning use of the word "breast", among many other terms. Breast Cancer discussion/support groups were not amused.

  34. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

    I already know how to tie a knot.

    What's to blame? Access to the internet? Really?

    Not austerity, lack of hope, lack of purpose, lack of social cohesion, alienation, isolation, suspicion, paranoia, exploitation, hateful and divisive everything at all times wherever you go.

    Hanging is the most common method used (was according to 2015 stats).

    Government's response: Introduce a new Rope Tax.

    The proposals suggested for farting around banning websites here and there, besides A: being unworkable and B: being censorship, are simply ineffectual to the point of being beneath parody.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Oh there is a social problem that needs addressing...

    Can we tax something... no!

    Can we blame Russian Hackers... no!

    Okay back to the Internet did it, no need to make this more of a job than it needs to, btw here are my expenses for the past 3 days, just a £1000 for a few drinks..

  36. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    Odd Internet censorship is considered to be a fix to this, considering there's been a general downward trend in suicide rates which seems to be independent of the general populace getting Internet access, it was slowly reducing before, and after, and apart from a blip upwards in 2010, is still lower than 1981.

    I would have thought socio-economic factors far more responsible, maybe if the Govt looked at making the nation prosperous, increased the minimum wage, improved education and healthcare, we'd see a more pronounced decrease.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I would have thought socio-economic factors far more responsible, maybe if the Govt looked at making the nation prosperous, increased the minimum wage, improved education and healthcare, we'd see a more pronounced decrease."

      Except that with Brexit looming, they seem to be on a hiding to nothing with doing anything to improve the overall wealth of the country.

      Whatever side of the brexit debate you are on, things are going to get much worse before they ever have a chance to get better. There's lots of talk about negotiating trade deals with a post-brexit EU but almost nothing is being heard about new trade deals with the rest of the world for a post-brexit UK

  37. splodge

    While a pal of mine attempted suicide at least a dozen times this past year, they may have been helped more by NHS staff not refusing to stitch their wounds; telling them "if they really wanted to die they'd have succeeded by now"; not having a surgeon prescribe blood thinners when told how they would be used - and they were; not getting a letter from the ambulance trust saying they'd used the service "too much", an undefined term; not having to listen to an old lady being left to die of a urine infection overnight; and not having every helplines' advice essentially boil down to "go to A&E / ring an ambulance".

    Actual help, advice, empathy and support would be a better use of time / money than pointlessly chasing web sites you disagree with

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