Interviews. You might think
it’s easy just to open and close your mouth and see what comes out, but as I
come to the end of a day promoting the Time to Change report, I feel more
understanding of the time TB said to me ‘if I speak to one more local radio
interviewer trying to find a local angle, I will go mad.’
Of course he
didn’t, but I do appreciate the feeling. Eighteen was not as heavy a load as
the 23 in one go I did when my novel, All In The Mind, came out, but it was
still a lot of questions and answers.
of the day was turning up for ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh show (recorded at the BBC)
and discovering they have a big live audience in the studio. The show is
apparently dominating the afternoon ratings and as I was asked whether I
preferred broccoli to cauliflower (I don’t have a preference, do you?) I wondered why. But when we got
on to weightier matters I could see Mr T has a certain something about him, and
I could see why it appeals. I must also thank him for plugging, far more than I
did, both my diaries and the novel, and for letting me spell out the main Time to
What was clear
from pretty much all the interviews I did is a general acceptance that mental health remains one of the last
taboos and that does lead to discrimination. I made several references to the
film, Milk, about the gay rights campaigner Harvey Milk, which I saw recently.
Nobody can point to an exact moment in the campaign when public attitudes to gay people changed. But change they did, which is why even the Tories now say
they support civil partnerships.
And so with mental health discrimination. I
believe eventually attitudes will change for the better. It’s just taking too
long and, today at least, too much of my own voice.
Finally, it’s interesting
that on the Titchmarsh programme I referred to Cameron as Smarmy Chops. Interesting because everyone seemed to
know who I was talking about.