Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 September 2012

From addiction to recovery

Who, outside the super-rich 1%, is not suffering the impact of austerity - through job cuts, reduced pensions, cuts to benefits, and in a myriad other ways? So it's not surprising that some of this anger and frustration has finally filtered through to the media.

Here, Wyllie Hume looks at some recent BBC television programmes. First is Russell Brand: From addiction to recovery. Much of what comes from Brand is objectionable to say the least but this programme gave some insight into the everyday struggle of people living with addiction. And below Wyllie comments on a new satirical comedy series, The Revolution will be Televised - Spitting Image for the 21st century?

Cuts in services are coming hard and fast. Services for people recovering from addiction are taking a huge blow, hitting those who are worst-affected by capitalism.

Brand shows the difficulties addicted people face and the lack of support given when recovering. He explains his experiences of getting over drug and alcohol addiction and gives his strong opinions on the methods of recovery and how addiction is viewed.

He is right when he says that addiction is a product of society and not of individual choice.

The addiction sufferers on the programme said that the reasons they turned to substances for support were largely down to stress, unemployment, social alienation, or being the victim of abuse or mental health problems. These are all social ills and by-products of capitalism.

The number of addictions will inevitably grow. People will be subject to greater stress and mental health problems due to working long hours, paying the ever-increasing cost of living, arranging childcare, rising unemployment, etc, as the cuts get deeper and working class and poor people's living standards drop.

Brand correctly points out that there is a culture, especially among politicians and the media, of blaming the individual and not society. This is particularly rife in the right-wing media. Daily Mail journalist Peter Hitchens notoriously denies that addiction even exists and accuses people of being lazy and choosing to ruin their lives with substances. Anyone who watches this programme or has ever experienced addiction will realise that it is not a choice and it is not a pleasant experience.

Methadone useless

Brand explains his fervent opposition to the use of methadone to help people give up drugs, describing it as nothing better than "rearranging the furniture on the Titanic". Most people who are given methadone as a substitute for heroin either find themselves addicted to the methadone after they've stopped using heroin or more often addicted to both!

Addressing the underlying problems that lead to addiction is more important than 'medicalising' the problem. But the truth is that 'the methadone method' is not used because of any evidence that it works. It's used because it's a cheaper way to deal with the problem than providing people with both the emotional and practical support they need to give up drugs.

There are not enough rehabilitation centres, 90% of sufferers don't have access to rehab. But helping people to beat addiction has other benefits to society; especially crime reduction.

The cost of police and crime reduction programmes far outweighs the cost of supporting people to give up substances.

However, this government is more concerned with bailing out banks, privatising public services and giving public money to pharmaceutical companies for methadone rather than helping people fight addiction.

The Revolution will be Televised - lol!

Big business and the rich are trying to make working class people pay for their crisis through massive cuts from a government that represents the 1%. Meanwhile the fat cats hide away their assets offshore to avoid taxes. This new BBC comedy highlights this corporate greed and tax evasion - in a very funny way.

It gives some facts and statistics about the disgraceful behaviour of the rich in the current crisis and even confronts the capitalists themselves.

In one episode the two comedians, Jolyson Rubinstein and Heydon Prowse, stand outside skyscrapers in the City of London shaking collection tins at bankers asking for our money back!

The show even confronts George Osborne, presenting him with a GCSE maths book and telling him to read up on economics.

Vince Cable is given a 'Thank You' card from the fictional Tory MP 'Twottington-Burbage' telling him 'We couldn't have done it without you!'

Reflecting the betrayal that many who voted Liberal Democrat in the 2010 general election feel, one sketch involves a pretend Tory MP, overly posh and out of touch with the way ordinary people live, and his Lib Dem MP lackey.

Hilariously a campaign to make former Labour PM and warmonger Tony Blair a saint even involves measuring up his front door for a stained glass window!

Culture reflects the material conditions of society, and some of the greatest art, music, television, literature and media comes from times of mass working class struggle.

The Revolution will be Televised isn't a complete expression of the anger that exists in society, but it is informative and highlights the 'them and us' society humorously.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 5 September 2012:

Fight the cuts

On 20 October... March Together and then we must... Strike Together! to end austerity

Osborne's cuts plans aren't working

Socialist Party news and analysis

Southampton council pay dispute

London Met university crisis

Con-Dems criminalise homeless people

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Marikana massacre ignites a political volcano

Countering the far-right

EDL rally stopped by anti-racists in Walthamstow

Stopping the far-right - The need for democratic debate

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: Save Oaklands Pool

Building TUSC in Manchester

Fight begins against massive outsourcing by Knowsley's Labour council

Campaign Kazakhstan: Solidarity concert for those facing oppression

London Paralympics; protests against disability cuts: "Atos kills, kill Atos!"

Hospitals lacking services? Save our NHS!

Boris' workfare - no solution

Brighton Pride 2012: anti-cuts group blocked

Socialist Party subs appeal

Socialist Party workplace news

Unison Higher Education Service Group

Workplace news in brief

Readers' comments

From addiction to recovery

Volunteering at the Games


Home   |   The Socialist 5 September 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleShocking insight into Isis

triangleNew documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed

triangleRacist smears won't stop child sex abuse


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now


triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments


Port Talbot

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle


Russian revolution

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'


Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares



Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks


The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox



Shocking insight into Isis



Hugh Hefner's exploitation of women



Women's football - Sampson allegations



The Socialist Inbox



Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"



Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward



New documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed



The Socialist inbox


Che Guevara

Intimate insight into a revolutionary icon



Bosses' pensions robbery

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice