Activist’s Welfare Centre


Activist’s Welfare Centre

a new group for getting it off your chest without harming others or yourself.

Feeling blue? Frustrated? You’re not alone! Come and join us for a spot of radical self-pity – any whinges or lamenting will be gladly received by your fellow-sufferers, as we cheer up each other on our long march to somewhere life-enhancing, empowered and empowering.

There’s a serious side to this – Nat Wei (he of the early Big Society elite) blogged about the emptiness of protest which can’t find a reforming home in the system, and predicted suicides. Honestly, the nerve. But we do need to look after each other, and here’s your chance. Jez Hall posted an earlier discussion on sending each other positive messages:

Well, let’s do it, and also have a bloody good whinge (it can’t all be asset-based, you know)

If it takes off, we may introduce “A Doctor Writes..” to give unwanted advice and lofty encouragement.

Over to you – who’s cheesed off?

And to update: there's a serious edge to all this too: for activists who are facing severe strain, there's an online resource:

Members: 31
Latest Activity: Oct 23, 2014

Discussion Forum

The Situation Is Hopeless But Not Serious 2 Replies

"My, oh my, good God, everything's gone to pot" (unofficial national anthem of Austria) . Well, it was written during the plague, about a country who seemed to lose every battle but the hopeless…Continue

Started by Nick Beddow. Last reply by Kitty Leach Oct 23, 2014.

Tools for Effective-Sustainable Activism, October/November 2013 in the Pyrenees (apply soon!)

Tools for Effective-Sustainable Activism12 – 20 October 2013, Catalan Pyrenees!! Deadline to apply for fully funded places, including travel: 20 April 2013 !![apologies I didn't post up here till…Continue

Started by Adam May 16, 2013.

What the Flip am I doing? 9 Replies

It's Monday and another week of work ahead is providing me with recurring thoughts about my role -Am I doing Communty Development or have I "settled" for a job as a manager in the Council? (an often…Continue

Started by Peter Smith. Last reply by Nick Beddow May 4, 2012.

Can we live on air? 1 Reply

And as the 'oxygen' of government funding runs out how can we (ethically) stop pinching it off others... is collective suicide the only honorable answer? At least we may become martyrs without…Continue

Started by Jez Hall. Last reply by Nick Beddow Apr 23, 2012.

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Comment by Adam on March 26, 2012 at 18:06

When suggesting people read the Tyranny of Structurelessness (see above forum), it's also important they read the reply, the Tyranny of Tyranny.  Both published together at the time as Untying the Knot.  

When we're talking about activist welfare, check out the resources and contacts at Activist Trauma Support.  Also perhaps a link for inclusion in the intro above?

Comment by Peter Smith on March 22, 2012 at 9:32

Chris, can I also add my best wishes and good luck to you. Your situation certainly puts in perspective my present frustration at a changing job title without any reward alongside worrying about day to day management of a bunch of CDOs.

I hope that knowing some of of us are thinking about you and sending positive vibes is some small comfort.

Cheers Pete

Comment by Nick Beddow on March 21, 2012 at 19:06

Hi Chris, I hope you're okay - I never imagined the AWC would be so sorely needed. We all wish you well and keep in touch for support. All the best! Nick

Comment by Nick Beddow on March 3, 2012 at 20:15

Twitter, eh? 140 letters can be just enough to do your head in, especially when some sod is telling you about their breakfast or sneering at other train passengers, but try this for size: someone just tweeted " Go outside & look up at the night sky...makes you feel good to be alive." Not when it hurts your back to look up, I hear you say. But I think she's right - it feeds the dreamer and puts us in perspective (first I help to change Hadfield, then the North , then England, then the world, then the cosmos...mmmm) . I really enjoyed seeing Haley's Comet, knowing I wouldn't be around next time (unless the bugger changes course and splats us). And I can really connect with all those who were here long before us - same sky, same awe, same need for glasses in order to see owt. Mesdames et messieurs, mujers y hombres, I give you..the sky at night!! Use it wisely...

Comment by Nick Beddow on February 29, 2012 at 19:06

It's Vicar time!

Dearly Beloved,

If our great grandparents could see how we live in this island , they would be amazed at how even the poorest of us lives like a space-age aristocrat in comparison (unless your great grand-parents owned Blenheim Palace – and even then, they’d rub their heads at telly, and crap themselves over IPad 2).

So as a species we’ve done well – very well if you had the luck to be born white, male, posh (porsche), able-bodied and somewhere in the Northern hemisphere.

But we’ve done a rotten job of sharing the pot. And a terrible job at improving how we live together. And a diabolical job of caring for the other species who share this planet (okay, some of them would like to eat us too, but at least when they do it’s because they’re hungry or scared)(or absolute swines – wipe them out quickly) .

As we near the end of the production line for endless consumerism and mindless growth, our finite planet gives us an opportunity to make a world habitable for all species and fauna. A chance to keep breathing air. A chance to connect with everyone, and include everyone (as long as they’re not complete and utter bastards), re-distribute what we have amongst us and feel that life is a glorious opportunity to live well.

As human beings, we won’t achieve everything we hope for and we’re only here once (sorry Mr Disney, the fridge broke in 1999) (and sorry Ms Buddha, it’s just one of those great un-knowables so here’s hoping...)   but as long as the journey’s enjoyable and in good company, who can really care?

Our mortality makes every good thing we do even more positive and affirming.  And here’s to the next generations doing it better, because we left something worth wanting to build on. Here’s to us doing it right now. Hats off to Occupy, a big cheer for protestors against cuts, keep well Mr Mandela, and , as that  unearthly spooky weatherman says every night up North: “Look after yourselves, you deserve it”. Ugh!

Comment by Nick Beddow on February 28, 2012 at 0:12

There's nowt like drinking loads and having a jam down the local pub for chirping you up. You're all my best mates (hic)

Comment by Bren Cook on February 24, 2012 at 16:52

Patch Adam's writes in his book 'Gesundeit' : 

"Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Nazi Concentration camps who know's the importance of freedom of choice, wrote;

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms-to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

Viktor E Frankl Man's Search for Meaning

I am suggesting that even though the wolrd's pain hurts us, we must keep love and peace in our lives. We must take every opportunity to shout "Whoopie!"  Be an example of joy! "

Spike Milligan summed it up for me in this poem: 

I eat my peas with honey

I've done it all my life.

It makes the peas taste funny 

but it keeps them on the knife!

Comment by Nick Beddow on February 24, 2012 at 14:39

And I always thought

The very simplest words must be enough:

That you'll go down if you don't stand up for yourself.

Surely you see that?

(Bert Brecht's last poem)

This one always made me feel a bit sad too - he's right but it's a bit like being shown a mountain and told you'll have to climb it to get to the other side - yes, of course, you're right (but I'm knackered...) Yesterday's NatCAN conference gave me a lift (and if you put a lift on the side of a mountain..) It was SO GREAT to feel we are there for each other. Andy's words at the end summed it up (over to you Andy, won't risk a misquote or appropriation :) - but other's said very similar things, along these lines: that we are finding a place where other people get us, know what we're on about, know the impact of struggle on poor flesh , and give each other the encouragement to keep on keeping on. Have great weekends !

And to amend Bert a bit:

And I always felt

The very simplest words would help us sing.

That you'll stand up

When other's stand beside you.

Surely we get that?

Comment by Nick Beddow on February 20, 2012 at 15:50

This weekend I have mainly been reading Eric Hobsbawm's "Changing The World" (which did my head in) and Monty Python's Autobiography (a huge book) (which did my back in) and was struck by the similarities between the bickering of Marxists and the bickerings of the Pythons (how Cleese and Jones didn't tear new bums off each other..perhaps they did) - so the Life of Brian inspiration for the Judean Peoples Front could well have been rooted as much in Python dynamics as a hooting satire of left wing sects. Does it matter? Not a bit. Why am I mentioning it then? I've got no idea. I'll get my coat then...

Comment by Lady Lindsay Langlands on February 20, 2012 at 1:08

Nick ,I fear no such luck is on the horizon..on a humourous note ,perhaps I should act on the old saying, "If you can't beat em join em " so ..just buy a Boat , Name it the "Love Boat " hire a skipper and find Gilligan's Island. I'd be self employed.. wouldn't have to pay any tax, nor sufer the disappointment and frustration the current status does create.:)


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